Intro and caveat: I recently found myself in Dallas for a few days, primarily to give a speech. This is a report of my chowing. I call it "Vital Dallas" only as a play on my chosen nom de internet. This, by no means, is meant to be a summary of definative Dallas resturants. In fact, one of the interesting things about my Dallas trip was my slim chow preparation. Typically, when going to a new city, I would do plenty of research to avoid a single less than delicious meal. Aside from wanting bar-b-que, I had no other pre-planned destintations this time. Fate did me well. In my limited exposure, I came away pretty impressed with Dallas.
Thursday night I arrived early enough to hook up with my former Big 5 cohorts. We went for the kind of dinner much appreciated by highly paid professionals with fully loaded expense accounts. That is, we went for steak. Someone had tipped us off to Chamberlains in the close-in suburb, Addison. Everyone from the valet parkers to the hostess, to the wait staff applied gracious southern hospitality that stereotypes Dallas. The food generally matched the service. Of the appetizer assortment, the crab cakes and sesame shrimp tasted a bit too similiar to catering pass arounds. The gigantic iceberg wedge with blue cheese provided a better opener. I had prime rib. It did not feature the lucscious softness of some prime rib, but did have a nice beefy richness. I finished with bread pudding. A tawny port hoisted upon me by my bill paying, ex-collegue cut through the excess sweetness of the desert.
I spoke on friday. after a brief drive through dealy plaza (which looks just like zapruder shot it), we repaired to the oddly named deep ellum. we enjoyed super delux margaritas at st. pete's dancing marlin. the drinks, served in pint glasses, went down as easy as a new orleans hurricane, deceptively easy. luckily i paced myself.
from the gentrfying deep ellum we went west, to monied oak lawn, very much the dallas of prime time tv. we arranged dinner at super-trendy, super hot, pan asian, steel. we needed to wait until 10 pm to get a reservation. to hold us over, we ate tapas at st. pete's. the wings were decent enough.
i could not believe how steel packed them away so late at night. in chicago, few resturants would teem like this at 10 pm. on top of that, we still needed to wait for a table to open. it was worthwhile. across the table we sampled many of steel's dishes including vietanmese carpacio, wok fried squid with three chili dips, a "hot pot" (really just a big bowl of soup kept warm at the table, no actual self-cooking), korean beef and a parade of sushi. we enjoyed all, and we enjoyed the scene that seemed more like one of the coasts than what i expected in dallas.
so far, so good