BEST ONION RINGS 2013 | Peggy Sue BBQ | Best of Dallas® 2020 | Best Restaurants, Bars, Clubs, Music and Stores in Dallas | Dallas Observer

There's really only one thing to know about onion rings. Fresh? Or frozen? At Peggy Sue they slice their own fresh onions, batter them up and deep fry them right there in the kitchen, so they taste like sliced battered deep-fried onions instead of chemically enhanced Mylar. Everything at Peggy Sue is pretty much that way. The onion rings stand out, maybe because a good onion ring is such a hard thing to find in this world. Those fake ones must be a whole lot easier to do. That's not what they do at Peggy Sue.

Captain Keith Schlabs, Meddlesome Moth partner and beer guru, precedes the craft-brew revolution. His Flying Saucer was serving up the best beers available in the area before "craft brew" or even the now antiquated-sounding "microbrew" were terms that merited USA Today trend pieces. Flying Saucer, which has blossomed into a formidable chain of franchises in the South, may have more mind-boggling arrays of taps, but the Moth is where you'll most often find Schlabs' most prized trophy brews: cellar-aged kegs, special one-off casks and rarities otherwise difficult or impossible to find in North Texas. Better yet, chef David McMillan's culinary creations are made with beer pairings in mind, helping prove that beer is just as good (well, better, if you ask us) as wine when it comes to elevating a great meal.

A good brunch is a balancing act that has to take a variety of things into account. There’s more involved than just sweet and savory, though these elements are of the highest importance. A good brunch has to cure a hangover while keeping things a little fruity and wholesome. It also has to appeal to the church crowd while being rich and fiery. Bread Winners can straddle all of those at the same time — for example, with the Tabasco hollandaise on the Southern Benedict or the hot sauce and maple syrup on the fried chicken and waffles. Or the Carmen’s French Toast — cinnamon raisin bread topped with fruit — with an added side of jalapeño bacon. Bread Winners has the balance you need in a successful Sunday brunch: the healthy and nutritious parts of breakfast with all the lingering sinfulness from the night before.


Barbacoa Estilo Hidalgo

It is an unlikely place for an eatery of any sort, but if you were going to pick a restaurant to open up on this little strand at the end of Lake June Road, it would probably be a taco place. Lucky for you, Barbacoa Estilo Hidalgo isn't just any taco restaurant, but a really good one. They likely make the best barbacoa in all of Dallas, and they pack it into handmade tortillas. Owner Raymundo Sanchez roasts lamb down to shreds on the weekends for breakfast and lunch. During the week his restaurant is closed. That's just as well because the food here was designed to destroy your worst hangover. The lamb roasts in a special oven, suspended over a bed of chickpeas. What collects in a pan at the bottom is the most restorative soup you'll ever encounter. Come with friends and say goodbye to last night's margarita haze. Everything is all right now.

The term "mom and pop" is as overused as the word "hipster." It's heaped on every restaurant that's not a Chili's or a Cheesecake Factory. Mom and pop should indicate an actual set of parents is at the heart of the business. It should be reserved for family-owned restaurants, like Los Torres Taquería in Oak Cliff, where Ramiro Torres, wife Irene and her sister Evangelina wait to deliver bliss tucked in a tortilla. Even their children are there, more often then not. And you wish you grew up with cooking like this. There is succulent goat spiced with cloves and cinnamon and rich barbacoa made not just with beef, but pork too. And if you request it, they'll make your tortillas by hand, to order. Step up to the salsa bar and choose your ammunition. Your hunger never stood a chance.

Wits Steakhouse/Kathy Tran

This upscale Design District restaurant isn't new to winning awards or earning "best" nods for its cuisine in these pages or in other publications. Last year, Oak walked away with Best New Restaurant and Best Chef awards from us, and for good reason. We've yet to be let down when dining there. The menu at Oak is constantly changing, especially since its recent chef transition, but throughout the turmoil one thing has remained: the Ligurian Caesar salad. Oak takes the on-every-menu salad and turns it into a refreshing, modern nosh. The Caesar comes served with a hunk of hand-torn crouton, Parmigiano-Reggiano and mint pesto, and once that crouton soaks up some of the dressing, it's ever so heavenly.

Chances are that while sifting through the bar menu at Truluck's (which is half off during happy hour) you'll feel like a kid in an alcoholic version of a candy shop. The menu is filled with drinks ranging from savory to sweet, among them the tiramisu martini made with Vincent Van Gogh double espresso vodka and walnut liqueur, the Red Door with vodka, St. Germaine and fresh raspberries or the Dinner Martini made with Belvedere Intense vodka and served with a few blue-cheese-stuffed olives. While picking one can be hard, there's one cocktail in particular that stands out: the lychee martini. The sweet and perfume-like taste of the lychee pairs perfectly with vanilla-flavored vodka and Chambord. We've ordered the Asian fruit cocktail all over Dallas, but haven't been able to find anywhere that shakes and pours it up better than Truluck's.

Catherine Downes

The restaurant formerly known as Thai Express received an upgrade of sorts when it moved from its strip-shopping-center location on Inwood Road to the new spot on Oak Lawn Avenue (underneath the offices at 3300 Oak Lawn Ave.) and re-branded itself as "Si Lom Thai Asian Fusion" in late 2012. While the menu offers a variety of scrumptious options, from curries, salads and noodles to the amazing pineapple fried rice and Thai classics like pad Thai, it's the tom kha soup that keeps us coming back time and time again. Si Lom's take on the lemon grass soup is made with coconut milk, cilantro, green onions, juicy hunks of tomato, straw mushrooms and a choice of chicken or shrimp. It comes served in individual portions or as huge, sharable platters, and diners are given a heat index to choose from. We recommend ordering the large and asking for it "hot."

Sundown at Granada

Do yourself a series of favors. First, go to brunch at Sundown. After you've pounded your requisite (and delicious) mimosas and bloody marys, take a look around. You'll see the same dish ferried to most every table: Sundown's insanely delicious, heavenly choir-inspiring eggs Benedict. You will want to order them. Quickly. They'll come with Shiner brisket for the meat eaters, sautéed spinach and mushrooms for the herbivores, barbecue hollandaise and sweet-potato hash for everybody. They taste like drunk sunshine. The sight of that perfect golden yolk running across the plate is enough to inspire goodwill toward your fellow man, always important when you're at brunch surrounded by 200 people drinking just as many mimosas as you are.

Tacos Y Mas gets most things right. Every taco offered there is delicious, naturally, as are the queso, the guacamole and the chips, all of which they turn out from a tiny kitchen wedged between a car wash and a Walgreens. But the bombero salsa is, truly, their crowning achievement. The adobe-brown concoction is house-made, never watery and goddamn hot. It’s also got just the right hint of tomato and onion to make it flavorful, without overdoing them so much that it turns into some gringo-ish salsa fresca bullshit. Enjoy the sweet sounds of some dude blasting his stereo as he soaps his 1992 Camry and get yours.

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