A few days ago a friend of mine, in Austin, who new how much of a food crazy person I am, asked me what were favorite dishes in Austin. So I instantly rattled off 5 or 6 dishes from local restaurants. Days later, I thought it would be a good idea to compile my favorite dishes from everywhere. I've had so many memorable meals that it was easy to make the list, but I also added some everyday "go-to" picks. Leave me some suggestions from your favorite places.
-House Special Pho w/ Egg Noodles @ Pho Vietnam in Arlington, TX
One of the few places that I go to that me and my mother never have to order, the owner already knows what we want the second we come and just serves it to us.
-Thai Basil Chicken @ Taste of Thai in Arlington, TX
Used to be spectacular, new owner and cook have changed it a bit, but still good.
-Moules Frites & Max 'n Cheese @ Max's Wine Dive in Austin, TX
Mussels and fries taken off of menu was a crying shame. Their mac & cheese is the best $9 you can spend,...yes, I said $9.
-Bone-in Ribeye Steak & Creamed Spinach @ Del Frisco's in Dallas, TX
If the artery clogging prime grade ribeye doesn't send you to heaven, the creamed spinach might already make you feel your already there.
-Saffron Risotto w/ Seafood in Spicy Tomato Sauce & Bittersweet Chocolate Cannoli @ Asti Trattoria in Austin, TX
Northern Italian food doesn't get better than this. Emmett Fox is one of Texas' best chefs, and his wife is my favorite pastry chef. The cannoli is so rich it makes you dizzy.
-Sashimi @ Musashino Sushi Dokoro in Austin, TX
The closest thing you will get to true Edo style sushi in Central Texas. Hands down spectacular. You know a place is good when they bring in their fish straight from Tsukiji market in Tokyo, the mecca of all fish markets. The sashimi list is 2-3 pages long, with fish that is served nowhere else.
-The Specials Board @ Yu Sushi Izagaya in Austin, TX
Don't even bother with the menu, just order off the board and thank me later.
-Masman Curry @ Madam Mam's in Austin, TX
This dish has gotten me over some of the most wretched hangovers in my life. It's heavy, sweet, nutty, and spicy for that perfect morning after.
-Peppercorn Chicken @ Coco's Cafe on the Drag in Austin, TX
At $6, this dish was my "go-to" choice during my broke college years. Hell, still is now.
-Chocolate Chip Cookies @ Tiffany's Treats in Austin, TX
If you didn't go to UT at Austin, you won't understand. For god's sakes, they delivered the little rounds of cookie crack straight to your dorm room!
-Seared Scallops, Wild Mushroom Risotto & White Truffle Essence @ North in Austin, TX
No one cooks scallops so tender and better than this joint. Have ordered this dish a million times and never have they f***** it up. My wife's fave.
-Chicago Style Hot Dog @ Wild About Harry's in Dallas, TX
Until I head back to Chicago (the hot dog capital!), this will have to suffice. Best hot dogs I've had in Texas so far.
-Supreme Pizza w/ Jalapeno's @ Mama's Pizza in Fort Worth, TX
Pizza so chock full of toppings and so heavy that you won't be able to sh** for a week. I used to watch, as a kid, my father eat a large by himself with 3 pitchers of beer. I still don't know where it all went.
-Venezuelan Triple Chocolate Truffle Cake @ La Duni in Dallas, TX
I usually don't even like cake, but after eating this decadent treat, you might just find me panhandling outside for more money to buy another slice. An 8" cake=$45, a woody from cake= priceless.
-Tres Leches @ Habana Calle 6 in Austin, TX
There is no Tres Leches that even compares, bar none.
-French Bread Pudding @ Artz Rib House in Austin, TX
Me and my wife would eat dinner and then travel to this Bar-B-Que joint just to have dessert, that's how good it is.
-Eggs Benedict @ Taverna in Austin, TX
It's not even the best eggs benedict I've ever had, but Taverna's location next to the hike and bike trail make it a fave for me. If I don't have to work on sunday, then you will find me here for brunch.
-Black Coffee @ ALO in Dallas, TX
Yep, a cup of joe made it on the list. Cheap and great tasting, deep, dark, with a berry aftertaste. Puts other restaurant coffees to shame.
- Langostine Paella @ La Pepica in Valencia, Spain
Ernest Hemingway used to frequent this joint during his Spanish days. And when he frequents a restaurant you know automatically its good, no one traveled better than him.
-Anchovies & House Cava @ El Xampanyet in Barcelona, Spain
Simple, good, and cheap=packed out tapas bar night after night. And these aren't those shitty anchovies you find in can in your local supermarket neither.
-Oysters @ Parkside in Austin, TX
Not cheap by any means, but when drunk on 6th street and that oyster craving hits, there is no better place. They have oysters from all over the world.
-Almond Crusted Lemon Chicken @ Pearl in the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, TX
The most generic dish on most chinese menus, but is elevated to new heights here. I didn't even order this dish when I went to Vegas and it made the list, my friend did, thats how surprisingly good it is.
-Beignets @ Cafe du Monde on Decatur St. in New Orleans, LA
Classic. If you haven't eaten here, you haven't lived.
-Coop's Taste Plate @ Coop's Place in New Orleans, LA
Great food, especially late at night after boozing it up on Bourbon St. One of the few places in the French Quarter that stay open late into the night.
-House Salad, Seafood Gumbo, & Gold Brick Dessert @ Mac's Bar and Grill in Arlington, TX
These three items are just damn good. Best gumbo I've ever had goes great with blue cheese crumble salad, then chase that with the best dessert in the Dallas/Ft. Worth area (it's only vanilla ice cream, pecans, and melted dark chocolate).
-Zuppa Toscana @ Olive Garden in Arlington, TX
My guilty pleasure.
-Ribs @ Salt Lick Bar-B-Que in Driftwood, TX
This place has been on t.v. so much it doesn't need me to advertise. Plus they have a vineyard on site and will soon be serving their own wine.
-Pork Chop @ Cooper's Bar-B-Que in Llano, TX
This bar-b-que joint won best in Texas by Texas Monthly several years in a row for a good reason, the pork chop (I think), but it could have been their entire repertoire of smoke meaty goodness. My fave is the pork chop though.
-Ugly Pug Beer @ Rahr Brewery in Fort Worth, TX
As magical as Guiness, but smoother.
-House Mexican Martini @ Trudy's in Austin, TX
No margarita even comes close to defeating this restaurants version, that's why this place is packed every night. Please don't put good tequila in a margarita- ya'll just ruin it, you wouldn't mix Dom Perignon with OJ would you?