Current estimates have the Dallas/Fort Worth population swelling by as many as 300,000 during Super Bowl week. That is a whole bunch of cheese heads and, um, whatever you call Steelers fans. Towel-Wavers? Steel-Toes? I don’t know.
With many of our visitors coming in a few days early to take in the sights and sounds of the Metroplex (I am renting out my beach front property: call me), we will have tons of mouths to feed. And, since so many of you will be coming from so far away, I thought it good form for a native Texan and citizen of Arlington to share some ideas on the best places to eat.
Now, I am a football writer, not a food critic. I am also a red-blooded, middle-class male; not a foo-foo, wine-and-cheese, extended-pinkie connoisseur. I like to eat and I know some good places around Dallas/Fort Worth to do just that.
I was tempted to misguide you, seeing as how you are likely a fan of the Packers or Steelers, and therefore, an enemy to all that is righteous and God-fearing. Or, at least an enemy to all that is silver and blue. But I cannot bring myself to be so cruel, even to you. I don’t mind offending your sensibilities, but I refuse to torment your digestive system. You people are already going to place an undue burden on the waste management systems around here as it is.
So, listen up. I am going to help you find some good grub at affordable prices. And that is important, when parking spaces are going for a grand and game tickets on StubHub are ranging from $2200 to $23,000. Not to mention the high price of attending a celebrity party or two.
My list is designed to get you into some of the best eating joints around and to give you a sample of our delightful cuisine. So, of course, there will be barbecue, steak and Tex-Mex involved.
These restaurants range in price from around $10 per plate to about $50. I present them to you in no particular order, as this is not a ranking, just a heads-up.
Kincaid’s (various locations throughout the Metroplex)
I said no particular order, didn’t I? I lied. I am listing Kincaid’s first. Sure, it is a burger joint, but it is not just a burger joint. It is listed among the best in the country, and has been for decades. By whom? Well, almost everyone. Visit a Kincaid’s and take some time to read the random articles and awards adorning the walls. Then bite into the best burger you have ever sunk your teeth into.
Kincaid’s began as a grocery store and meat market on Camp Bowie Street in Fort Worth in 1946. O.R Gentry, the meat-cutter, began cooking burgers and selling them. Without so much as tables to sit at, people soon began to flock to Kincaid’s for lunch by the dozens, then the hundreds.
Just go there. Have a burger. Oh, and their chili burger: incredible.
Bob’s Steak and Chophouse
Bob’s is consistently ranked among the top ten steakhouses in America. If you read the American Airlines magazine on the way in, I am willing to bet that somewhere in there that fact is mentioned. Bob’s is classy and elegant, but not stuffy. The food is incredible and the portions are what one would expect them to be in a city named Dallas.
The original Bob’s is on Lemmon Avenue in Dallas, but there are now locations in Plano, Grapevine, and Fort Worth, as well.
Served family-style, Babe’s Chicken delivers home cookin’ like you probably won’t even get at home. Their fried chicken might make you slap your grandma. And the chicken-fried steak…words escape me.
Babe’s was begun in 1993 in Roanoke, a little ‘burb northeast of Fort Worth. Now they are springing up, quite conveniently, all around the Metroplex, including just a couple miles from Cowboys’ Stadium in Arlington.
They may have only been around since 1993, but that taste has been around since 1893, at least. It is food that takes you back.
If you don’t eat at Babe’s, don’t blame me, boy. I didn’t raise ya.
Joe T. Garcia’s Mexican Restaurant
You will have to go to the Stockyards area to experience this one, folks. But you were going there anyway, right?
Joe T’s, as we natives reverently call the place, is also a family-style restaurant. It is wildly popular and deservedly so. The place began in an old house, which is still part of the over-all scheme, but the restaurant has expanded many times over the years in order to accommodate burgeoning crowds.
In 1935, when Mr. and Mrs. Garcia established the restaurant, Joe T’s only seated 16 people. They seat well over 1,000 now. Go claim your seat.
Del Frisco’s Double Eagle Steakhouse
Looking to mix fine dining with a mean Texas steak? Del Frisco’s will do. Heck, it will more than do. Their aged USDA prime beef will get your mouth watering and then satisfy those troubled taste buds until they are quiet and content.
Del Frisco’s began in Dallas, but they are there in Fort Worth, too, so don’t fret, you AFC folks. Just dress nice and leave that ridiculous yellow towel in the rental car.
This is another Dallas original, since 1910. The Bryan family has taken their family recipe for Texas barbecue and parlayed it into national and international acclaim. You can parlay it into a fine eating experience.
Be sure and try the onion rings.
Mi Cocina Restaurant
Mi Cocina has only been around since 1991, which seems impossible. I feel like I have eaten there at least a thousand times.
Hm. Maybe I have.
They serve both Tex-Mex and traditional Mexican food. And they excel at both. My daughters swear by a plate called “Ernie’s Chicken.” I say that you have to try those brisket tacos.
Mexican Inn Cafe
The Mexican Inn is far from Mi Cocina in tone and type of food. Mi Cocina has a higher-toned atmosphere, but the Mexican Inn has those home-made corn chips.
That’s right! The chips and salsa they bring you…those are like light, airy, homemade, still warm Fritos.
I love them; my wife does not. But she isn’t writing this piece. I am.
The Mexican Inn is a Fort Worth institution. They have been around since 1936. They are still around for a reason. They have several locations in Fort worth and the mid-cities area.
For a relaxed evening, go there and get your grub on.
Another Fort Worth institution, Riscky’s dates back to 1911 and a Polish immigrant named Joe Riscky (which has to be an Americanized version of the name, right?).
Riscky’s has several Fort Worth locations, including Sundance Square, where ESPN is setting up their broadcast headquarters. But go to the Stockyards, if you can, and eat at the one there. It just feels right.
OK. I am throwing in a fast food joint because you know you are going to want a midnight snack or a quick, inexpensive meal, especially after you realize you are so broke that you will need to take a Greyhound home.
Whataburger is a fastfood hamburger joint, like McDonald’s or Burger King…only not. They are better.
Locations? Just keep looking. Probably one on the next exit.
Outlaw’s Barbecue2334 South Beltline Road, Grand Prairie, TX
Grand Prairie butts right up to Arlington, on the east side. Drive down I-30 or I-20 to the Beltline Road exit in Grand Prairie. If you are on I-20, head north. If you are coming off of I-30, go south.
Outlaw’s is a well-kept secret. You won’t find them on the typical lists of where to eat in Dallas. They are my secret, and I am sharing them with you. Their baked potatoes are huge and their barbecue is great.
Now, you don’t owe me a dime for all of this inside information. You could check out my eStore and get yourself a nice coffee mug or bumper sticker, but no obligation. This is a public service to my fellow man. My way of volunteering for Jerry’s Troops (a very different organization than Jerry’s Kids).
When you visit one of these place and it is everything I said it would be, tell them Gene from SilverAndBlueBlood.com sent you.
If they look at you confused and ask, “Who?”—Just make that “tsk” sound and tell them what a shame it is that they are so ill-informed. Then repeat the name of my site slowly.
Enjoy yourself while you are here. Just don’t forget to leave.
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Copyright 2011 Silver and BlueBlood
Posting for Felicia (because I agree w/ all her suggestions, except I've never tried Olenjack's)...
Chuy's in Arlington! Candlelite Inn in Arlington! Texas Roadhouse. Olenjack's Grill in Arlington and Don Juan's in Grand Prairie.
The best Texas BBQ you will ever have is North Main BBQ in Euless. It is $12 bucks all you can eat of any meat you want. No frills long tables, potato salad, beans, sweet tea. You can't beat it!
I'm with you on the Tacos de Brisket at Mi Cocina. And I've never had better fajita nachos anywhere. And the quacamole!! Oh my! Now I need some Mi Cocina!