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Dallas' 50 Most Interesting Restaurants, No. 17: Ibex

Dallas' 50 Most Interesting Restaurants, No. 17: Ibex
Sara Kerens

Leading up to our annual Best of Dallas® issue, we're counting down the 50 most interesting restaurants in Dallas. These spots bring something unique or compelling to the city's dining scene, feeding both your appetite and soul. Find more interesting places on our all-new Best Of app for iTunes or Android.

If you have a good Ethiopian restaurant in your rotation, you've got a lot of bases covered. If you're tight on money on any given day, you can buy a meal large enough to feed yourself and three friends for a song. If you're been on a burger binge and need some time away from meat, Ethiopian has got you covered too.

Unlike some vegetarian meals, forgoing meat while eating Ethiopian will hardly leave you longing. Many of the dishes ladled onto your massive, round injeera bread are inherently vegetarian, and significantly more satiating that your favorite tofu-turned-animal-part protein substitute.

And in the case of Ibex at least, if you find yourself without party plans on a Saturday night, your dance party needs are taken care of too. Call ahead to make sure, but on many weekend evenings a DJ sets up as the dinner business wanes. Ibex becomes a full-on party spot and if you want to throw down with the local Ethiopian-American crowd, you'll do it here.

As much as you think you've got what it takes to teach your new friends how to twerk, Ibex should be noted for its excellent food, first. Order the vegetarian combo, and then because you're well rounded, a massive pile of beef called kitfo. Your waitress will be surprised when you ask for it raw, but stand your ground. You're about to earn some serious Ibex street cred.

Flex your muscles and request extra berbere, and when you're asked if you'd like the wet or dry version say "both." The spicy mixture is fun to sprinkle or spoon over any dish you think requires more personality, and they each add a different texture and flavor. Now grab a hunk of injeera, pinch some kitfo and perhaps a little of the tomato and onion salad for acidity and crunch. It's one of the most delicious bites you've ever had.

Now do the same with one of the lentil stews, and then again with another vegetarian dish. Somehow these are the most delicious bites in the history of your mouth, too. Every bite you construct will be a little bit different, and they'll all be interesting. And when you've eaten enough raw meat to satisfy a lion you'll be there -- ready to completely own Ibex's late-night dance floor.

No. 50: Joyce and Gigi's No. 49: East Hampton Sandwich Co. No. 48: 20 Feet Seafood Joint No. 47: Taj Chaat House No. 46: Mot Hai Ba No. 45: La Nueva Fresh and Hot No. 44: Pera Turkish Kitchen No. 43: Tom's Burgers and Grill No. 42: Mughlai No. 41: Russian Banya No. 40: Off-Site Kitchen No. 39: Bachman Lake Taqueria No. 38: Carbone's No. 37: Babe's No. 36: Barbacoa Estilo Hidalgo No. 35: Zaguan No. 34: Royal Sichuan No. 33: Spoon No. 32: Bambu No. 31: Pecan Lodge No. 30: FT33 No. 29: Keller's Drive-In No. 28: La Pasadita No. 27: Ten Bells Tavern No. 26: El Ranchito No. 25: Cafe Urbano No. 24: Nova No. 23: Jeng Chi No. 22: Omi No. 21: Tei-An No. 20: Jonathon's Oak Cliff No. 19: Yutaka and Sharaku No. 18: Local


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