by Steven Doyle
Some may already know that I am spending the Winter in Ruidoso, New Mexico for several reasons. I am helping a friend open a cafe (more on that as it progresses), to finish a book on chili, and to ski. So far I have done very little of each of these but it looks promising.
I continue to write craveDFW with stored up stories and help from some terrific contributors who are eager to try out new places in my stead. But I am missing things in my little ski town. I am missing quite a bit. Let’s take a look at what you initially long for once you leave town for a bit. I will add to the list as the month progresses I am sure.
How about a look at the 75 things I miss the most about Dallas, besides some of you. I do have one beer, one cocktail and one person on the list that makes this so much more fun. What would you miss?
There are some mighty fine burgers to be had in New Mexico, and most are adorned with green chiles. A blissful topping to be sure, but there is nothing more comforting than the Doing It Murph-Style at Off Site Kitchen in Trinity Groves.
The Chicken Fried Steak and Eggs was my last meal before heading to New Mexico, and AllGood Cafe does it the best in Dallas.
Enchiladas are abound in New Mexico, but they are flat. They taste similar (more green chile) but they are flat and served like a casserole. I prefer mine rolled and Herrera’s-style. Actually, let’s be specific, I love the 2C. Or as the new Herrera’s located downtown at the Omni, the Lemmon Avenue. All the classic dishes have been renamed to represent a past Herrera’s location.
You can judge something, or someone, you miss by how much you either think or talk about it. I have met with plenty of New Mexico chefs and we discuss food. Many are astounded by the mere mention of Blind Butcher’s poutine that is graced with duck fat fries, fresh cheese curds, duck fat gravy, duck confit and a duck egg. For a few bucks more a chunk of seared foie is added to my giddy delight. Who wouldn’t miss this?
Knowing I would be gone at least a month I loaded up on a lot I knew would be immediately missed. I believe I had 3 or 4 Italian Stallion’s from Jimmy’s Food Store before embarking on my short sabbatical.
The dim sum at Kirin Court is ever so special. And I miss it. Badly do I miss the dim sum at Kirin. Lunches are half-priced, so I miss that too.
Lawdy how I miss the soup dumplings at Royal China. They are simply the best Dallas has to offer. And yes, I have tried them all. Many, many times.
Dean Fearing is one super cool cat, and I do miss his Dr Pepper-Braised Short Rib. Simply something I do not have the ability to replicate. Perhaps Chef Dean will take me into the kitchen for a lesson when I am back.
All the pizzas at Dough are worth ordering, but I really dig the one with house-made sausage and pistachio. Made in the Neapolitan style, each pie has this super terrific fire bruises that give an extra flavor burst. This is my favorite pie in Dallas. Well, savory pie that is.
The food truck I miss the most is Ruthie’s Rolling Cafe. The variations of her grilled cheese are insanely good. Damn, now I got myself hungry.
I miss the brisket at Pecan Lodge. So smoky and tender. Nothing like that anywhere.
The brunch at Oddfellows is soothing and healing all at once. Open daily for brunch service I knew I could count on these chicken and waffles on command.
The baby backs at Off the Bone on South Lamar are the very best. How I do miss these babies. Soon, my friend, soon.
When I first encountered the pig’s head at CBD Provisions I had already sampled most of the menu that evening. Then came the pig all dressed with several house-made salsas and tender tortillas. It did me in. But I made sure to return to conquer the porker, and conquer I did. And now I crave.
The Dungeness crab haunts me in my sleep, and I love the crab at Shell Shack. The first thirty days Shell Shack was open I enjoyed these crabs at least 35 times. Spicy and delicious.
Licked with flames, the White Clam Pizza at Nonna is a staple in my life.
That crazy, crazy lobster roll at TJ’s Seafood is always on my mind. No mayo, just a whole lobster gently dressed with a lemon thyme compound butter for the very best lobster roll in Dallas.
While I am thinking of seafood, and it’s not rare that I do daily, the Fish and Chips that Marc Cassell makes at 20 Feet in East Dallas blows my mind.
The bad ass oyster selection at Gemma is my go-to spot for late night chow where they are highly discounted and go wonderfully with rose bubbles. I have a standing order on a Friday night.
This list was originally to be five places that I missed the most while out of town. Obviously, that didn’t work. How I crave the Legs and Eggs (Duck confit, duck eggs, Homestead grit cake, and huckleberries) from the Boulevardier brunch.
Doesn’t the Bouillabaisse from Dive Coastal (located across from SMU) sound amazing right now? Made with little neck clams, redfish, salmon, shrimp, salami, grape tomato & saffron rouille. I want this bowl right now.
Late night pho is not the only option at Dalat, but it sure helps with whatever might be bugging you. How I need a bowl of this elixir right now. I go to this place quite a bit, maybe more than I care to mention.
Stampede has so many things I miss, and if narrowed down I would venture to offer the honey injected fried chicken is something I need. Or the chili? How about I just miss Stephan Pyles.
The 240-day dry aged bone-in ribeye that Tesar makes at Knife is not only drool-worthy, but crave-worthy. So many hyphens, so little time.
I miss “Lucky” Campbell and all his concoctions at his bar, Parliament. The man is legend and he makes me soothing whiskey-based cocktails just how I adore them. He knows. I had a chance to work with Cambell for a single day when he ruled the roost at Bolsa along side Jason Cosmos. A day I will never forget, and I learned more about the bar business in that single day than I did owning one.
The trompo tacos at Bachman Trompo get me every time. I could be passing by after a heavy meal and I will still stop in to pay respects and order a handful of these delicious tacos.
The Vice Cake at Ida Claire. Think on this a bit: Smoked Stout Cake, Coffee Buttercream, Candied Bacon abound including a large chunk of bacon to garnish, and a chocolate ganache. Layers upon layers of this beautiful cake that tastes every bit as good as it looks.
I miss not one taco, not two, but all the tacos at El Come Taco.
I must give proper love to Rise No 1 and their Marshmallow Soup, which is a creamy concoction of tomato soup with clouds of roasted goat cheese floating atop which look very much like marshmallows. They also make a mean souffle. Delicious.
I miss the Big Beef Rib at Lockhart in Bishop Arts.
I get more requests for the best Chinese food in Dallas, and I am conflicted. Some have a wonderful dumpling, others a great soup. But First Chinese BBQ hits with all pistons and I love the crispy duck.
If you ever had Bubba’s chicken and dumplings you will know why I miss this bowl. Bubba makes it exactly like my mother made.
The Soft Shell Crab at Oishii is a whole crab dissected and fried, resting on a mound of salad greens and spicy hot chiles. I love this dish.
The lobster bisque is creamy and lobstery and how I miss this bowl, be it cardboard. Oh, and that coconut cake in the background is usually on the menu and so freaking good. Stocks and Bondy at the Dallas Farmers Market has yours waiting.
The Cornish Hand Pie served with an HP sauce is something to miss when it is not in your grasps. Found at the Dallas Farmers Market, the Proper Baking Company well worth a visit.
While at the Farmers Market check out the Himalayan Dumplings from Muda Flavors of Nepal. The free sample will convince you this is something you too will miss when not in Dallas.
I miss everything at Underground Indian Cuisine in Las Colinas including this Oudhi Qurma. I mean everything.
When discussing Indian food in Dallas I always recommend Bombay Chowpatty. It is vegetarian and vegan, but don’t let that deter you to a delicious repast including these little pani puri which are fed to you hand-to-mouth as it would on the coastal waters of Bombay.
I don’t have to miss the Albatross Fudge from Dude, Sweet Chocolate because I can order these online. And I will.
Crossroad Diner’s Sticky Bun is something only found in Dallas.
Have you had the Deconstructed California Roll at Parigi? Holy blessed child it is good.
The Lobster Enchiladas are not the only thing to miss from Mesa Veracruz Coastal Cuisines, but it’s a good start.
With cooler temps falling upon us all, the tomato soup at Hatties is so, so good.
I want a few dozen tamales from La Popular shipped to me immediately. Who will be in charge of this?
Lord how I already miss the Philly Cheesesteak at the Truck Yard on Greenville Ave.
Who wouldn’t miss the Ricotta Pancakes from Smoke? Which of the two locations could be your only decision.
How I do miss the Challah Bread French Toast from the Coffee House Cafe in North Dallas.
I had a bowl of Gumbo recently from the Freeman knowing I was soon to be out of town for a bit. Good decisions are sometimes made late night.
OK, I also am fond of Amberjax which makes a different sort of Gumbo served with a side of potato salad.
Can’t get the Duck Fat Fried Rice from Chino Chinatown outa my mind.
The very best Peking Duck is hand carved table-side at Mr Wok. Get it on, baby.
All the soup and sandwiches from New York Sub in Park City.
The extra delicious fried chicken at Bbbop, with several locations including Greenville Avenue, will make you understand what Korean Fried Chicken is all about.
Deli News is the closest thing we have to the real deal deli in Dallas. And I happen to love their pastrami sandwich and matzo ball soup.
Love, love, love this Uncle Uber’s burger. Double that.
Can’t get the biggest pizza from Serious that is open late nights in Deep Ellum out of my mind.
The Kar Pao at CrushCraft kills me. Can’t get enough of this late night eatery either.
Anything at Malai Thai-Vietnamese Kitchen will be a correct choice, but gotta get down on the Banh Mi for lunch with a side of the Coconut Pie.
The Tuna Crudo is hard to beat at Top Knot. The brunch is superb as well.
The Mushroom Hot Pot, or the Kinoko Nabe made with mushrooms, Kushi Hikari rice, Korean chili, egg yolk with gyutoro or foie torchon will make you silly.
I miss the Chocolate Crepe from Wisk.
The Boulangerie by Village Baking Company on Greenville Avenue makes an assortment of pastries that you won’t wish to miss. Try them all. This is their delicate Almond Croissant.
This bowl of Left Bank Gratinée à L’Oignon from Lavendou is insanely good. Power-packed with sauteed onions, a rich broth and a mountain of stringy gooey cheese you will find this the ultimate comfort food.
You could not possibly be from Dallas and not crave the burger from The Grape, only served Sunday and Monday. Make that order with a side of the famous mushroom soup.
The wings at Ten Bells is enough reason to visit Oak Cliff all by itself.
The Chachapa will flip your wig it’s so good and so different. Think corn crepes. Great assortment of bakery good made in house, and a fantastic breakfast.
The buffet at Kalachadji’s is the very best of its kind. Hare Krishna.
Any donut at Glazed Donut Works. Especially late night when the mood hits.
Brick and Bones has these Chicken and Waffles until the very wee hours of the morning. Praise God!
The Sunday Gravy at Carbones.
The Spicy Quail Legs at Bowl and Barrel.
Indulge in the ramen at Wabi House and you will understand what it’s like to miss Dallas.
When I am back home I will want to order the Weiner Hühnerschnitzel from Jorg’s in Plano.
I love to order my favorite IPA in Dallas, Community Mosaic, at the Ivy Tavern so I may order some superb wings on the side.
The clever presentation of the Uni at Tei Tei Robata Bar is not the only one reason to miss this restaurant.
The house-made Soba Noodles that go into the Soba Sampler makes me weep some nights.
The steaks at Chamberlains Steak and Chop are of course fantastic. Bonus prize for the sexy cigar lounge.
And finally, who wouldn’t miss the Moscow Mule meant to a dozen people at the Standard Pour. I only require two of these, then good-night.