By Danielle Leahym photos by Jacque Manaugh
The Cedar’s Social is one of the most buzzed about restaurants in Dallas this year. With is dark, sexy 70’s throwback interior, amazing and exhaustively researched drink menu, and ownership by former NFL player Brian Williams there are lots of reason The Cedar’s Social keeps popping up in the news around town, not the least of which has to do with it’s food. The food here is very good, in many cases great. Sure it can be on the pricey side but many agree what it might lack in affordability it more than makes up for in ambiance, mood, music, and execution.
If you want a romantic date night that doesn’t feel traditional, campy, or old fashioned The Cedar’s Social is the place for you. If you want some of the best drinks in town made by the some of the best bartenders in DFW, then The Cedar’s Social is the place for you. But what if you want tacos? Well thank God for The Cedar’s Social $2 Taco Tuesday’s because in this most holiest of food genres, The Cedars Social also has you covered.
The Cedar’s Social menu consists of one regular menu taco plate (the short ribs) with up to three rotating tacos on their weekly menu, that is written on the smoked glass wall in the main dining room. Be sure to check it out before making your menu selection. This is where the week’s best and freshet items can be found.
On the week we visited Cedar’s featured chicken, pulled pork, and tilapia. Pork Belly is a former feature that was met with rave reviews and other unique gourmet tacos will be sure to follow.
Our large table ordered all of the tacos, which was served family style with multiple tacos stacked side by side and skewered together by a single large wooden spike holding them upright on the plate. We found all of the tacos to be amazing with many of the Bots changing their “favorite” pick throughout the night and next day since they could not choose just one.
The chicken taco was a standout for me and I am not normally a chicken taco fan. The chicken tacos at The Cedar’s Social come smothered in a spicy, jalapeno packed tomato based sauce that can almost be described as a “stew like” in flavor. The spices and tenderness of the chicken meld together to form a much deeper and richer taste than usually found in a taco. I wanted to eat the chicken with a fork or pour it over rice it was so delicious. Rarely have I met a taco meat or filling that was good enough to stand on it’s own The chicken tacos at The Cedar’s Social can do just that.
Next, the pulled pork was perfectly cooked, juicy and tender with a spicy rub and seasoning adding kick and pickled onion on top for crunch. The meat had the kind of smoky crispness you imagine comes from roasting over an open pit with the onion adding just the right amount of tart bite to balance the flavor.
The tilapia was a huge hit at the table, many considering it the ‘best cooked’ fish taco they have had. So many times fish tacos end up either extremely dry or extremely bland. This taco was neither. Fluffy and light in texture the breading around it was flavorful without being heavy or greasy like so many breaded tacos. Topped with creamy coleslaw, these are tacos you can eat your fill of without any guilt.
No trip to The Cedar’s Social would be complete with a drink in the tunnel like Library room or a trip outside to enjoy a cocktail on the patio by the fire pit. Plenty of bench seating doubles the dining room seating. The high walls of the patio give you a sense of peaceful enclosure and privacy on an otherwise busy road.
Next time you are heading to Palladium for a show or visiting a friend at the South Side on Lamar lofts check out The Cedar’s Social for one Dallas best cocktails, and if it’s a Tuesday be sure to get the tacos. Just don’t be discouraged by the lack of signage on the outside. Hidden behind what seems to be a closed one-story office building is one of Dallas best dining experiences.