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.

Snuffer's

Always among the contenders for best burger, Snuffer's has so many good ones that it's hard to pull the trigger. Do you stick with the classic? Add cheese or bacon? Or do you consider the green chili Swiss, mushroom Swiss, pizza, barbecue, blue cheese bacon, turkey or veggie burger? And if you're not in the mood for a burger, there's always our favorite: the spicy chicken strips. With a menu full of tough choices, including their famous cheddar fries, and one of the city's most attentive waitstaff, there's no better place to seek hangover relief from a night on Lower Greenville than Snuffer's.

NorthPark Center

This is not to say that, in our lives, we haven't enjoyed our fair share of greasy slices from Sbarro and cups of Orange Julius. Just saying that, though the mall may be the quintessential high-schooler hangout, those of us who are aged do crave food slightly more sophisticated than Cinnabon (sorry, Cinnabon). NorthPark, which for so long resisted the mall "food court," finally gave in and brought us an "international food plaza" when they built their addition in 2006. Of course, you still have a few traditional outlets—Chick-Fil-A, Auntie Anne's pretzels—but NorthPark classed it up with Paciugo, Which Wich, Snappy Salads, Tin Star and The Original Soup Man (still the only restaurant location in Texas). Other area malls have tried to be as fancy-schmancy, but have essentially failed, due in part to catering (pun intended) to the high school palate. But NorthPark's still keeping it real tasty. Thanks, guys.

Love Shack

After we watched Fort Worth's Tim Love on Top Chef Masters, he truly earned our respect. He made an impressive trio of dishes—in a dorm room—with accidentally frozen ingredients. But it's away from the cameras and back in the Stockyards kitchens where Love really impresses. His flavor profiles aren't overly complex combinations that shock the palate; they're simple, thoughtful and—when it comes to his Love Shack burgers—oh-so savory. Love grinds fresh daily half prime tenderloin and (a thousand times yes!) half prime brisket for the patties. They're cooked to order on the outdoor grill and, if you order wisely (the Dirty Love Burger), there'll be a fried quail egg atop the American cheese, veggies and Love sauce. The result is tender, juicy, unbelievably messy and perfect. But then, we'd hope the guy who led a trail drive all the way to New York to collect his James Beard Award would know how to cook a good sloppy burger.

Sevy's Grill
Alison McLean

So everybody in Dallas orders vodka instead of gin. And the shaken or stirred question never comes up. At least Sevy's understands that, when you deign to order a real (gin) martini, the proper end result requires a balance of spirit and vermouth. And they don't let you get away with uneducated calls. Say "Bombay" and they're likely to ask "regular or Sapphire." You gotta respect a place that respects a martini.

Fogo De Chao

Fogo de Chao is where animals voluntarily surrender to become part of a magical dining experience as opposed to the next Happy Meal. It's where meatatarians—if there was such a term—gather and rejoice that somehow their vision of what meals will be like in heaven has been realized here on Earth. Sure, there's an impressive salad bar with jumbo asparagus available, but true carnivores know to avoid filling up on the leafy crap and turn their place card from red to green, signaling the staff that you're ready to begin your feast. Then it starts. Two kinds of top sirloin are brought to the table followed by lamb, filet mignon, chicken, pork loin, beef ribs, sausage, filet mignon wrapped in bacon, pork ribs, rib eye and chicken wrapped in bacon. Is it worth it at $48.50 for dinner and $32.50 for lunch? You betcha. If only the bill was wrapped in bacon too.

Afghanistan, as a geographic entity, was well-situated to benefit from the Mediterranean's culinary breadth, as well as the unique flavors from the mountainous areas. Spice flowed through the region as early traders traversed the land. And it all winds up here in Dallas, as densely flavored meats, exotic platters, thick and pasty servings of hummus, the beautiful variety of dumplings. Afghan Grill can be one of the most rewarding nights out the city has to offer, especially if you're a fan of things bold and garlicky.

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