100 Favorite Dishes

100 Favorite Dishes, No. 78: Tots du Jour at Town Hearth

With all the great dishes at Town Hearth, it's kind of weird how much we love its gourmet takes on tater tots.
With all the great dishes at Town Hearth, it's kind of weird how much we love its gourmet takes on tater tots. Kathy Tran
Leading up to September's Best of Dallas® 2017 issue, we're sharing (in no particular order) our 100 Favorite Dish es, the Dallas entrées, appetizers and desserts that really stuck with us this year.

Town Hearth and its chef, Nick Badovinus, have a cheeky sense of humor about food and a knack for turning items that sound like jokes into specialties. Badovinus’ seafood restaurant, Montlake Cut, its well known for one of its sides: a crispy-shelled beef taco. Neighborhood Services, another of his hot spots, takes dry-aged beef and uses it to make meatloaf.

But Town Hearth has taken things to a new level. There may no better example than the “dry-aged chili cheese fries,” except that there is a better example, which is the rotating tots du jour special. Some nights, it could be tots bourguignon, a fancy take on the classic French beef stew but, you know, with tater tots. Other times, it might mean tots Oscar, in which the potatoes are topped with béarnaise sauce and huge chunks of jumbo crabmeat. Yes, it’s as hedonistic as it sounds.

And one more important note to make: Town Hearth makes really great tots. Even plain, they’re crisp, salty and utterly addicting, like the tots served at Maple & Motor or in your greasiest childhood memories. But when there’s a big pile of crabmeat added to the equation, suddenly childhood memories take second place to the rewards of being a grownup.
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Brian Reinhart has been the Dallas Observer's food critic since spring 2016. In addition, he writes baseball analysis for the Hardball Times and covers classical music for the Observer and MusicWeb International.
Contact: Brian Reinhart