by Emily Brummett
We’ve spent most of our lives in and around Dallas. The area sometimes gets a bad rap for a lack of culture. In that sense, it really has grown a lot over the past couple of decades. Part of that growth can be seen in a more robust food scene. That being said, many of our favorite Dallas restaurants are old standards that have stood the test of time.
The Brummett journey began at Desperado’s in Dallas. Jeff did research before our first date, for the best margarita in Dallas, and came up with Desperado’s. Desperado’s is nestled on Upper Greenville Avenue. I loved Desperado’s and their margaritas. We continued to frequent Desperado’s through our time living in Dallas. We still go whenever we get the chance. Their brisket flautas are to die for, and we still love the house margarita on the rocks. It’s one of our favorite Dallas restaurants for Tex-Mex.
Jeff and I discovered Food of Galilee while we lived in Dallas, it became a fast favorite restaurant. Food of Galilee is in Snider Plaza right by Southern Methodist University. If you weren’t looking for it you might miss it, Food of Galilee is a tiny very low-key restaurant. We use to frequent Food of Galilee at least twice a week when we lived in Dallas. I always stuck with the Gyros Platter, while Jeff would try more things. We’ve loved everything we’ve ordered! Everything from the Sambosas, Shwarma, and Baklava is wonderful.
My family has been going to Celebration for decades. My grandparents graduated from SMU in the 1960s and started married life in Dallas. The Celebration opened in 1971 as Dallas’ original farm to table restaurant. Whenever my family comes to town the Celebration is always on our list, Jeff and I love to frequent it as well.
My favorite is the Chicken Fried Steak or the Meatloaf. Jeff’s favorites are the Walnut Crusted Chicken and the Pot Roast. The sides cannot be beat. The lima beans, fried okra, and their garden salad with a variety of homemade dressings. My mouth is watering writing about it. Seriously, if you want to feel like you are eating at your grandma’s house, go to the Celebration. My mother-in-law has even started having them cater our Thanksgiving dinner. You can’t go wrong with the Celebration.
Rafa’s is another of my family’s favorite Dallas restaurants. My family has also been coming here for decades. Jeff hadn’t spent a ton of time in Dallas until we started dating. So the beginning of our relationship was me taking him to all my Dallas favorites. The Mayan, the Inca, and the Cancun are some of our family favorites. Though I think the first thing Jeff ever had at Rafa’s was Raphael’s Nachos.
The waiters get to know you, and if you are lucky you might even see Raphael himself. Before you go either order the Sopapillas or grab a praline when you pay your bill. It’s all delicious. Taking an Uber is a great idea too. The parking is non existent, plus you might leave a little tipsy.
Eno’s is located in the Bishop Arts area of Dallas. This is a great area to wander around and pop into all the different shops and restaurants. Jeff and I are pretty basic when it comes to our pizza order at Eno’s, as we usually get a pepperoni pizza. We also love their appetizers and salads.
I dream about Society Bakery cupcakes on a regular basis. Especially the pink champagne and pecan praline flavors. I had their pecan praline flavor for my birthday cake for my twenty-first birthday. It was heavenly. The Ellen DeGeneres Show even voted Society Bakery one of the Top Ten Cupcakes in America. Jeff and I don’t get to indulge in Society Bakery cupcakes as much as we would like, but when we do we definitely enjoy them.
Jeff has yet to experience the magic of Toulouse, but once he does I don’t know how I will ever get him to go anywhere else. I went to a friend’s birthday dinner there and haven’t stopped talking about it since. If I could have I would have ordered every Champagne Cocktail they have on the menu. But since I had to choose, I went with the Rossini. The Rossini has Champagne, Raspberry Liquer, and fresh raspberries…. how can you go wrong? They also have my tried and true cocktail, the French 75, which is Champagne, Gin, and Lemon. I have never seen so many champagne cocktails on a menu, and it makes me so happy to think of one day trying them all.
Okay, onto the food. The mussels will change your life! Make sure they bring you a side of bread to soak up all the lovely broth left in the bowl. You also have to have an order of their pommes frites, if they don’t come with your meal be sure to order a side for the table. Their coffee was also delicious. I’ve heard there brunch is great, but haven’t had the pleasure of trying it myself yet.
Jeff and I have only been to Pecan Lodge once and it was delicious. You have to get there early and stand in line and wait for them to open. Once they open, they are open until the run out of food. I don’t even remember everything we got. I know Brisket, Sausage, and ribs were involved. The Brisket is some of the best I’ve ever had, certainly the best in DFW.
Jeff and I went to Mercat Bistro with my family for my grandmother’s birthday a few months ago, and it was divine. We started with the charcuterie board which was definitely a hit. Funny thing, I didn’t know how much I loved meat and cheese in the form of charcuterie until our trip to Italy a few years ago. Now I can’t imagine life without charcuterie boards. Jeff had the short rib, which was so delicious. Short ribs are always a go to for Jeff and I. We may have ordered every dessert on the menu and they were all to die for.
I also got a vanilla latte with desert that was the best vanilla latte I have ever had. I only discovered my love for coffee within the last year or so, and vanilla lattes were my gateway drug. I have expanded my coffee horizons since, but vanilla lattes will always have my heart.
We love to travel and try new food! We always keep our recommendations local and affordable for everyone.
Check out more of our favorite eateries across the Metroplex in Fort Worth, Texas.