Best Oyster Preparation 2010 | Central 214 (inside Hotel Palomar) | Best of Dallas® 2020 | Best Restaurants, Bars, Clubs, Music and Stores in Dallas | Dallas Observer

With chicken-fried oysters and spicy fried lobster on the menu, it might appear as though chef Blythe Beck turned Central 214 into the State Fair, but her innovative creations have instead transformed it into one of the city's finer restaurants. Even for someone who isn't much of an oyster fan, it's worth the 14 bucks for the appetizer to try Beck's unique creation. Once the six breaded oysters are served, the feeding frenzy begins. A few extra dips in the creamy lemon mustard garlic sauce could cost you a shot at the final one if you're not alone. If only you could take a ride on the Ferris wheel as a consolation prize.

Lauren Drewes Daniels

Take this honor with a small grain of salt, Lakewood Landing. See, we've never been sober when we've had the corny dogs that you serve late at night. But, when drunk? Holy crap, those things are the greatest dogs we've ever eaten. They're just so amazing—and warm, too—and, honest, we've started to no longer mind that you close your kitchen before you close your bar. We like the fact that we stroll into your dark confines, saunter up to the bar and slur out something that, realistically, probably sounds like we're saying "Wha crumbly don, peas," and, better yet, you don't even shoot us a second glance—you just go get us a hot dog on a stick dipped in corn-bread batter. And for that, you're our heroes. Even if we won't remember it tomorrow.

Pizza Lounge opened its doors late last year at the corner of Exposition Park Boulevard and Parry Avenue (across the street from the DART Rail Green Line's Fair Park Station), and the pizzeria and lounge quickly made a name for itself in the Expo Park area thanks to its made-from-scratch gourmet pizza pies, with names like the Sofa King and the Nickel Bag, and a very tweet-friendly drink special. The Po Boy Special includes a shot of tequila and a can of Schlitz for $3 and you can add a slice of pizza for $4. A perfect late-night trio, but if you're worried that one slice won't be enough, then add an order of the spot's popular "sauerkraut balls," an appy made with sausage and sauerkraut that's then breaded and fried.

Scene: Fish City Grill

Time: Any "R" month

Dad: "Son, it was a brave man who ate the first oyster."

Son, giving it right back: "It was a brave man who ate the first anything."

Dad, smiling: "True."

Waitress: "Here's your Oyster Nachos. Enjoy."

Dad digs in to an ample appetizer plate; Son, not so much. Each fried oyster is adorned with pico de gallo perched atop a tortilla chip lathered with a thin layer of chipotle tartar sauce. The result: a crunchy, fishy, tasty, briny, spicy, chewy burst of taste and texture. Fish City has been known to stand behind their appetizer; this particular waitress even tells Dad if he doesn't like the Oyster Nachos, he doesn't have to pay for them. It's a foolish man who would refuse that offer.

The food here is served "push-along" style, with diners shoving trays in front of glassed-in troughs filled with Greek and Middle Eastern goodies. On the veggie counter are traditional dolmas, kibbie rolls, falafel, tabouli, baba ghanooge (that's how they spell it), Egyptian okra and fresh salads piled with tomatoes and onions, Mediterranean-style. The cranberry-mushroom salad and the couscous are light but intriguingly seasoned. On the meat side are beef, lamb and chicken kebabs and fork-tender broiled lamb shanks in rich mushroom gravy. Dessert is—what else?—baklava dripping with honey. Just the kind of casual, wallet-pleasing ethnic joint the busy Knox-Henderson dining corridor can be proud of.

Best Way To Keep Track Of Oak Cliff Restaurant Happenings

Go Oak Cliff

Go Oak Cliff is a nonprofit neighborhood news and advocacy operation with a mission to "develop North Oak Cliff as the most livable community in the nation." Judging by the website's news coverage, it seems that the single most important factor in livability is restaurants. There's some truth to that in Oak Cliff for sure, as dining destinations such as Smoke, Bolsa and Tillman's Roadhouse have been crucial in attracting people from outside the 'hood in to visit and see what a thriving, lively neighborhood it is. And when a new restaurant like Nova, Lucia or Burguesa Burgers even thinks about the neighborhood, you can bet that you'll find out about it at

Taryn Walker
Mai's Vietnamese Restaurant
Babe's Chicken Dinner House


Purple Cow

Purple Cow

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