The amount of excellent food available in Dallas is dizzying, yet mediocre meals somehow keep worming their way into our lives. With your Eater Dallas editor dining out frequently, that means coming across lots of standout dishes and drinks that need to be shared.
The Tom Kha-llins with caviar service and a gimlet ceviche at Apothecary
Apothecary on Lowest Greenville updated their cocktail menu recently and, if you don’t already know it has one of the most adventurous programs in the city. I popped in to give a few of the newest concoctions a try and got my doors blown off by the Tom Kha-llins — which I was, frankly, afraid to order until the bartender talked me into it. The inspiration behind the drink is combining the drinkability of a Tom Collins and the sweet flavor of tom kha soup. It is lighter and thinner than I imagined, with coconut and lime coming through for an island vibe. I happened to pair it with Apothecary’s caviar service, which is a treat in the single-bite amuse size.
Another bite to try while you’re there is the gimlet ceviche. It is soaked in a gin and lime marinade and served on a black sesame cracker that looks and eats like a pork rind.
Crispy airline breast of chicken at Local
When I mentioned to a few friends I’d eaten at Local in Deep Ellum, I was met with shocked faces and asked, “Is that still open?” This favorite of the 2010s is in need of a menu makeover, but the space is still a classic from 1911 that’s evocative of the spirit of the neighborhood, even as new loft apartment complexes go up all around it. The fried chicken, however, still doesn’t miss. It’s crispy, dark, and perfectly cooked. The bed of mashed baby red potatoes it comes on is thick and delicious. I was far from the only person in the place ordering it — clearly, it’s a crowd favorite.
Crab butter, summer tomato salad, and pork confit potatoes at Stepchild
Misti Norris’s Acadian and French-inspired pop-up at Exchange Hall it opened at the end of June, but won’t be there for long — for “just a few months.” It’s open for dinner only on Thursdays through Sundays (reservations recommended). The menu is small and yet it was nearly impossible to narrow down what to order because it all sounds divine.
We had the crab butter and summer tomato salad starters. Ripping into a fresh baguette and smothering it was fresh crab meat submerged in butter was everything it’s supposed to be: decadent, delicious, and summery. The tomatoes came with candied hazelnuts and shavings of sour tomato that paired together nicely with the juicy seasonal tomatoes.
And the pork confit potatoes have no business being that layered. When the dish was put on the table, it seemed like nothing special other than the brightly covered roe that topped it. But one bite revealed a goat cheese whip with a texture unlike its appearance and the salty goodness of pork that makes everything better.
Burrata with tomato jam at Paradiso
Maybe I’m a sucker for burrata. I can’t help but order it whenever I see it on a menu. Paradiso, Dallas’s most Instagrammable restaurant, has a take on it that incorporates a lovely tomato jam and basil-infused olive oil. Scoop it onto a slide of freshly made grilled sourdough and...heaven.
The Cardi B with crisp potatoes at Invasion
One bite will leave you agreeing with everyone who says this is Dallas’s best chicken sandwich. The fry is crisp and light. Chef Airric Heidelberg makes it using a tangy buttermilk soak — and his chicken is served halal. It’s topped with a combo of pickled coleslaw jalapeno (heavy on the purple cabbage) that give a little kick but isn’t heavy on spice. The bun is, as it should be, toasted. Served with potatoes that have that convection oven crispiness.