At the end of a strip center under the shadow of U.S. 67, chef Kevin Winston is rethinking classic Southern food. What’s remarkable about the dishes at Kendall Karsen’s is their confidence. No, those baked ribs don’t need a sauce, not with their peppery rub and tender meat that comes off the bone with a gentle tug. But there’s a cup of deep brown barbecue sauce on the side anyway, and it’s fantastic. No, these stewed collard greens don’t need half a saltshaker and a pound of bacon to achieve deeply satisfying flavor. (There are inch-wide planks of pork in the cabbage, though.) What’s even better than the food, though, is the outstanding hospitality of this ultra-friendly team, which serves a close-knit community of regulars. No wonder this spot has hosted celebrity visitors like Bun B.
Top pick: We just like being here and enjoying some of the friendliest staff in Dallas. Well, OK, and the ultra-gooey cheesefest that is the side cup of macaroni.
Fun fact: Kendall Karsen isn’t a real person: It’s two real people, a combination of the names of Winston’s sons.