Tiff's Treats

Ah, the power of a warm, fresh-from-the-oven cookie. It has the ability to comfort, satisfy, inspire...and provide a sugar-boost when it's about 3 p.m. and all signs read: "We're Not Gonna Make It Until 5. Population: Everyone in the office." But the little cookie delivery company that could is here to help. Once rising to meet the needs of midnight oil-burning UT Austin students out of an overused home oven, Tiff's Treats has become a dual-city treat titan with pro gear and seriously craveable recipes. Place an order online, set the time for delivery (if you're in the deliverable areas) and wait for that magic box with the blue ribbon to arrive. Inside, the snickerdoodles, chocolate chip, peanut butter cookies or whichever flavor you pick (they all hark back to Grandmother's masterful creations) will still be warm and oh-so ooey-gooey. Suddenly, the rest of the day will instantly seem less harrowing. And yes, milk is also available.

There's only one man who serves up a Chicago-style dog with a side of big Texas personality in downtown Dallas. And that's Vincent Navarro, better known as Uncle Vinny, who can be found at his cart parked somewhere along Main Street, looking out at the world through yellow-tinted shades. Vinny and his sister run the business, Sidewalk City Dogs, out of a warehouse suite in Garland. However, you'll find them vending in downtown. Ask the vendor for the Uncle Vinny special, and he'll take care of you, loading your dog with neon green relish, all the condiments and fresh tomatoes and lettuce. Find a wall to lean on and enjoy your $3 dog.

As it says on the label, "It's gun barrel hot," which translates to darn tasty for those who enjoy a little spice in their lives. This locally jarred goodness can be found at Whole Foods and other area grocers, so you don't have to spend a lot of dough at fancy Mexican restaurants to get your hot 'n' spicy fix. Whether for dumping on a plate of enchiladas or a bag of Tostitos, keeping some in the fridge is a must for any junkie. So head out and grab some Gun Barrel Hot Sauce, but make sure to have a drink handy because it couldn't have stuck around for 20 years if it didn't have some kick.

Roti Grill

This is a slightly different spin on traditional Indian food—it's order-up-front as opposed to the more formal sit-down-and-be-served atmosphere, and there's no buffet. Yet for a reasonably-priced Indian meal that's delicious and served in a modern dining room, you can't beat it. They have fantastic lunch combos complete with dessert, delicious chicken tikka masala and navrattan korma (garden veggies with nuts and raisins in a cream sauce), and excellent mango lassis. And in case you're super hungry or just a huge fan of the food, you can opt for the Texas-sized portion of any entrée.

Villa-O

It's not like we have some kind of Little Italy around these parts, from whose neighborhood confines an indigenous Italian restaurant might spring up. So we have to take our Italian food as we do much of our ethnic fares, one restaurant at a time. This time, we bestow the honor of Best Italian Food on Villo-O, a trendy, Travis Walk venue where everything is made from scratch and at a good price point. The "O" in Villa-O stands for three things: organic, original and oddly enough, oceanic, which comports with the yacht-like feel of the place, all dolled up nicely in rich mahoganies and the blue and white décor of an Italian seaside cafe. You'll quickly forget the seafaring scheme, recalling instead a great patio for imbibing and the great food. You'll remember the brick oven pizza—light, not overly cheesy and, well, original; the fried calamari and the mussels marinara, both cooked to near perfection and, well, organic; and the variety of sauces—among them, Wagyu beef Bolognese, puttanesca, vodka tomato—that flow through the many pasta dishes, nothing heavy, nothing overdone, just a delicate balance of flavor that is downright oceanic.

Jimmy's Food Store
Nick Rallo

Whether the purpose of your visit is a picnic, dinner party or just an excuse to try a new bottle of wine, Jimmy's selection of Italian wine, cheese, meat and olives is like a veritable trip to the streets of Rome, or at least to Little Italy in New York. The family-owned store has been at its present location since 1966, and family recipes for meatballs and fig cookies lend the place an intimate and historic feel that's impossible to capture at a chain deli or market. In 2006 the store added a special wine room, which is used for tastings and dinners, complete with visits from Italian vineyard owners and winemakers who share with customers their process and product.

Brooklyn Jazz Cafe

Jazz is music that's supposed to be felt. And brunch is a meal defined by leisure and taste. So why not marry these sensory experiences and enjoy some weekly decadence at Brooklyn Jazz Café? Every Sunday from 11:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., enjoy the soulful sounds from a full-piece jazz band while you enjoy classic eggs Benedict or a giant waffle. The restaurant also has started featuring lunchtime jazz performances Tuesday through Thursday from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. So grab your sweetheart, enjoy a romantic lunch, or gather the whole family to share some good food and experience great music.

Zinsky's Deli

So you live in North Dallas, and it's the weekend, and the Houston's in Preston Center is slammed with Highland Parkies, and the sidewalks seem to roll up before you can say, "Hell no, not again" to the late-night Wendy's drive-through. Well, there is a new choice in town, a future contender for Best Deli if it weren't so new (opened in July) and there weren't still several kinks in the cuisine to be worked out. But it's open until midnight on Fridays and Saturdays and though that's not Deep Ellum late, it's late for folks with baby sitters paid by the hour or clock radios set to go off at 6 a.m. for a White Rock bike ride. Anyway, the bagels are tasty and toasty, and the prices are right, and the Reuben sandwich—the best indicator of deli done right—is done right. The portions could certainly be bigger, but there is no need to eat that heavy in the later hours. For a nosh after a movie or a ballgame, it's a great way to wind down a weekend night in North Dallas.

Lakewood Landing

We're gonna be honest. There's really just one reason why we're naming the Landing for late-night grubbage. And, truly, while the Landing's regular menu rocks, if you've had the late-night corndogs, you really only need one reason. Every night, from 11 p.m. to last call, magical sticked and battered dogs become fair game for the hungry. And they're not your basic corn dogs. No, come midnight these pups can drag a man from his couch and bring a carload from Oak Cliff, with their hearty center care of Rudolph's and a homemade jalapeño batter that isn't too spicy but holds just enough kick to make things interesting. For $2 each, the Landing's corn dogs are the perfect way to end a night out drinking...or a fine reason to head out for a corn dog and cold beer nightcap.

Creme De La Cookie

Yes, of course, stop by Creme de La Cookie for the decadent OMG cookies, the "Private Reserve" cookie and the assortment of cupcakes. But while you're there, don't pass up novelties such as the cakeballs, the Nutella brownies, whoopie pies and, best of all, the screamin' O's. This little, single-bite goodie is a crazy concoction of chocolate flavors, including fudgy brownie, creamy ganache and jimmies with just a hint of coffee. Stimulating and relaxing at the same time, this tiny treat really lives up to its name.

Best Of Dallas®

Best Of