Courtesy of Adriana Herrera
The Flora Liquid Nitrogen Margarita at Beto & Son

The Liquid Nitrogen Margarita has been a staple at Beto & Son since it opened in 2016, and over the years, it's been a must-try for Dallas residents and visitors alike. Made with Avion reposado tequila, lime juice, agave, DeKuyper 03 and encapsulated fruit pearls, this margarita is designed to stay cold and slushy during hot temperatures. It's best slurped through a boba straw, which will allow for the pearls to travel through. The pearls provide quick bursts of sweetness to balance out the cold, boozy taste.

Andrea's Pizza first reeled us in at its Frisco location, and once it had us addicted, the place packed up its pans sometime around 2010 and left for the greener, much quieter pastures of Gunter. Never heard of it? It's a small town up north near Van Alstyne. Never heard of that either? That's OK; part of this restaurant's charm is that we have to work so hard to get what we want. The small, father-and-son operated marvel is worth the tank of gas. The pizza crust is sweet and sensuously thick, making it the perfect base to hold its velvety bed of cheese and hot, crispy-fresh veggies or whatever meaty toppings fill your carnivorous dreams. The long ride back allows visitors extra time to reflect and reminisce on the memories of the best pizza they'll probably ever have.

Lauren Drewes Daniels
queso fundido

This Deep Ellum gastro cantina represents the best of local food. It's got grit and panache. James Beard-nominated chef Gino Rojas writes his own rules here at his newest concept, which is just next door to his original taco restaurant. He offers a stunning cross section of food. Get the delicate cabrito wontons over a salsa roja reduction topped with a tiny purple flower. His aunt presses and grills tortillas, made to order. Fill those soft orbs with queso fundido loaded with shrimp for one of the best bites of your life. The blender size licuachelas — a chaotic blend of sour candy and margarita — might be dangerous, but you'll have a fantastic story to tell. And what a place to make stories.

Chris Wolfgang

After a morning of smelling the flowers at the Dallas Arboretum or running around White Rock Lake, you'll find nothing is better than enjoying a cold adult beverage or brunch on a patio to give your weekend an A+ rating. One of the best patios in Dallas is across the street from the arboretum. Whether you prefer sun or shade, fire pits or fans, Smoky Rose provides the perfect setting for you to relax with friends, sip a cocktail and enjoy some brunch or barbecue and remember all that is right in this world.

Angie Quebedeaux

The service at Selda Mediterranean, formerly Pera Turkish Kitchen, is first class. The food is always fresh, and there are many vegetarian options here, including fried cauliflower, hummus and vegetarian couscous. If you're up for sharing, the mixed grill is a great option. The dish serves 2-4 guests and has a combination of grilled meats including urfa, chicken, meatball, beef kebab and chicken adana. It is served with Turkish bulgur rice and a cold bean salad. Reservations are suggested as it is not a large place and is very popular, especially on the weekends.

Angie Quebedeaux

You might want to approach Thunderbird Pies with skin as thick as their Detroit-style pizzas. In addition to a sassy social media manager, they don't care much for complaints. Especially, don't ever ask to talk to corporate or you'll likely get dinged with something like, "I am corporate, motherfucker." Then they'll make T-shirts to mock you, which they actually did, and blast it on an in-house billboard. It's not at all ironic that one of their best pizzas is the Honey Bastard, named after the honey badger. Much like the similarly named mammal, they just don't care, which they can get away with because the pizza is so good.

Lauren Drewes Daniels

A proper Tex-Mex meal should start with a giant bowl of queso, and Meso Maya's pair of queso options makes for a tough choice. You could go with a traditional bowl of queso poblano, with a trio of white cheeses blended with roasted poblanos, fresh corn and nopalitos that are rich and buttery. Or go big with the queso fundido, which comes with corn tortillas and your choice of chorizo, pork or calabacita vegetables. It's a difficult decision, but it's rewarding however you decide.

Catherine Downes

This French restaurant in the Harwood District is a gem. When the weather is nice, grab a table on the patio overlooking the lawn or a seat at the bar to watch the open kitchen. Mercat Bistro opens for breakfast at 7 a.m. on the weekdays and 10 a.m. for brunch on the weekends. The interior has about a dozen tables. There are pastries on offer, but go for the croque monsieur served on a country sourdough, with Gruyere, jambon and a mornay sauce. Weekend brunch has an expanded menu with crepes, a duck baguette and charcuterie.

Hank Vaughn

This Deep Ellum ramen spot offers carefully crafted and flavorful ramen dishes such as spicy soboro shoyu and miso, all with a chicken-based broth and perhaps some of the best chashu in town, imbued with a delicate grilled flavor that is not always present in ramen pork belly. The pork buns are heavenly, and there is a vegetarian version, but the star is the deep-fried mochi rice cakes that come as six addictive balls of goodness.

Chris Wolfgang

Barbecue hounds and casual fans alike should sign up for emails from Cattleack Barbecue. Of course, you'll get a weekly email to highlight the week's specials. With hits like pastrami beef ribs, burnt end boudin or fantastic pork steaks, there's not really a weak item to be had. But the extra bonus to the signup list happens on the occasional Thursday or Friday when the stars align and the line at Cattleack is nonexistent. An email will show up announcing the lack of a wait, which is your cue to hop in your car and get some of the area's best barbecue.

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