To prepare for this fall's Best of Dallas® 2014 issue, we're counting down (in no particular order) our 100 Favorite Dishes. If there's a dish you think we need to try, leave it in the comments, or email me.
Plenty of restaurants offer a collection of seasoned, cured and preserved meats, known collectively as charcuterie. Some of them even make it themselves -- but not too many, because the process is complicated, intricate and takes a lot of time, equipment and space. The art of charcuterie requires meat grinders, casings and obscure ingredients like pink salt.
You also need special refrigerator space held at a constant temperature and humidity or hundreds if not thousands of dollars of meat could end up a rancid moldy mess. In short: charcuterie is a pain in the ass, which is why most restaurants that want to serve the stuff opt to buy their selection from someone else.[jump]
And usually that's a good decision, because shops that specialize in charcuterie usually do decent a job; it's easy to get good at something when you devote an entire business to it. The only problem with buying pre-made charcuterie is you're limited to any given shop's selection, which depending on that shop can be limited.
It is, for instance, not so easy to find the tiny tongues of lambs, pickled in an acidic brine like the ones you'll find at FT33. Sliced and dipped in a perfectly formed quenelle of mustard, and possibly topped with some pickled onions, the meat packs a vinegary punch. If you want to serve something like this, you may be forced to make it yourself, if you don't want to pay through the nose for it.
Being able to offer obscure products is just one reason Matt McCallister has been practicing the art of cured meats at FT33, since way back in the days when he worked at Campo. He also likely does it because it's fun and interesting, and the chef has yet to display a willingness to shy away from challenges. Right now McCallister is plating up a selection of his own fennel salumi, culatello, soppressata, beef bologna, cascina and lamb's tongue pastrami.
There's also an element of seasonality on his boards with smoked summer sausage and embellishments including strawberry jam, house mustard, pickled fennel-green tomatoes-okra. Don't miss out on one of the most interesting charcuterie boards you'll find in Dallas, and likely far beyond.
No. 100: Pastrami Egg Rolls at Blind Butcher No. 99: Chicken-fried Steak at Tom's Burgers and Grill No. 98: Pasta with Uni Butter at Nonna No. 97: Camarón en Agua Chile at La Palapas No. 96: The Wings at Lakewood Landing No. 94: Chicken Kebab at Afrah No. 93: Trompo Tacos at Bachman Lake No. 92: Fish and Chips at 20 Feet No. 91: Canelés at Village Baking Co. No. 90: Banh Mi from La Me No. 88: The Burgers at Off-Site Kitchen No. 87: The White Album at Spoon No. 86: Ramen at Tei An No. 85: Tacos at Revolver Taco No. 84: Stuffed Chicken Wings at Sakhuu No. 83: Korean Fried Chicken at Bonchon No. 82: Grilled Branzino at Tei Tei Robata No. 81: The Toddfather at Cattleack Barbecue No. 80: The Biryanis at Chennai No. 79: Shish Tawook at Qariah No. 78: Arepes at Zaguan No. 77: Goat Momo at Everest Restaurant No. 76: Steak Tartar at Gemma No. 75: Escabeche at Joyce and Gigi's No. 74: Spicy Fish in Oil at Royal Sichuan No. 73: Pupusas at La Pasadita No. 72: The Kathi Roll at Simply Dosa No. 71: The Chicken Wings at Teppo No. 70: Cheesesteak at Truck Yard No. 69: Chicken and Waffles at Jonathon's No. 68: Birria Tacos at Los Torres Taqueria No. 67: Bulgogi Cheesesteak at Say Kimchi No. 66: Suadero Tacos at La Banqueta No. 65: Brian Luscher's Post Oak Red Hot No. 64: Banana Flower Salad at Mot Hai Ba No. 63: Cinco Leches Cake At Mesero Miguel No. 62: Cabrito a la Parilla at El Ranchito No. 61: Reuben at Kuby's No. 60: Plain Cheese Pizza Cooked Extra Crispy at Zoli's No. 59: Enmoladas at Mesa No. 58: Pig's Head at CBD Provisions No. 57: Rib "Sandwich" at Baby Back Shak No. 56: Beef Noodle Soup at Monkey King No. 55: The Nachos at Spiral Diner No. 54: Elotes, Everywhere No. 53: The Popeye At Green Grocer No. 52: The Cuban at International Bakery No. 51: Rush Patisserie's Croissant No. 50: Kitfo From Sheba's Ethiopian Kitchen No. 49: Beer at Craft and Growler No. 48: Pastor Tacos at El Rincon No. 47: Banh Mi From Nammi No. 46: Beef Fajitas From Mariano's No. 45: Italian Combo from Carbone's No. 44: The Brisket at Pecan Lodge No. 43: Chicken-Fried Steak at Ellen's Southern Kitchen No. 42: Carnitas Tacos at Taqueria Y Carneseria Guanajuato No. 41: Lamb Burger at LARK No. 40: Regina Margherita At Cane Rosso No. 39: Barbacoa At Barbacoa Estilo Hidalgo No. 38: The Peace 'Stachio at Hypnotic Donuts No. 37: Nasi Lemak at Kampong No. 36: A Rotisserie Chicken Taco at Velvet Taco No. 35: The Burger At Boulevardier No. 34: Surfers On Acid At Local Oak No. 33: Bread Pudding at Sissy's No. 32: Pelmeni at the Russian Banya No. 31: Loukoumathes at Greek Fest