100 Favorite Dishes, No. 64: The Short Rib Frites at Ten Bells Tavern

The Short Rib Fries share plate at Ten Bells Tavern in Oak CliffEXPAND
The Short Rib Fries share plate at Ten Bells Tavern in Oak Cliff
Nick Rallo

Leading up to September's Best of Dallas® 2016 issue, we're sharing (in no particular order) our 100 Favorite Dishes, the Dallas entrées, appetizers and desserts that really stuck with us this year.

Ten Bells Tavern is a place to lick your wounds. We don’t know what the science is, but surrounding the tavern is some force field that diffuses anger and anxiety. Things are warmer. The patio, half under the tin roof and half in the sun, has soft wood benches. There’s comfort in old dishes: Pickled eggs, puckering and satisfying, come skewered on toothpicks, and the fish and chips are expertly crunchy.

Ten Bells' short rib frites are the Holy Grail of comfort. The fries are sprawled in a small cast iron dish, layered in a handful of shredded short rib and a velvety Mornay (think a rich Bechamel cheese) sauce drizzled with a warm, peppery gravy.
Paired with a sour beer or cider, it’s the mental equivalent of easing into a hot spring. The fries maintain a crunch (ask for extra cheese sauce if you’re that kind of evil) all the way through. Always a good thing.

On a good day, the short rib has blistered-to-crunch edges. Green onions, showered over the white cheese sauce, give fantastic color and a light, rooty bite. Use the fries as edible spoons, scooping cheese and gravy as you go, and feel the comforting wave of great tavern food.

Ten Bells Tavern, 232 W. 7th St.

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