As a countdown to the Dallas Observer's "Best of Dallas" 2010, City of Ate is serving up 100 of the favorite dishes we crave, savor and hope to scarf down again soon. These dishes are in no particular order. Some are little known, others celebrated. Some are pricey, others can be eaten on the cheap, but all are delicious to the extreme. Don't hesitate to share your own nominations in the comments. More of the dish's tasty details are after the jump.
No. 54: Pork Carnitas at Matt's Rancho Martinez
Carnitas are a de rigueur menu item at Tex-Mex restaurants. The same is true for Matt's Rancho Martinez, the offspring of Matt's Famous El Rancho in Austin. The difference is in its presentation and flavor. Sure, the Lakewood neighborhood joint is most lauded for its chile relleno and chicken-fried steak, among other options. But, the pork carnitas plate deserves equal footing.
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The shredded pork comes to the table on an ancho sauce, not smothered in it. This allows the diner to wipe off the sauce with the accompanying flour tortillas if desired. That would be a mistake. The rich sauce isn't overwhelming. It adds smoky notes that distinguish the filling dish from other pork carnitas. The rest of the elements add texture but can be ignored. The meat shines alone.
Matt's Rancho Martinez 6332 La Vista Drive 214-823-5517
No. 100: Oatmeal Pancakes at Legal Grounds No. 99: Shanghai Buns at Jeng Chi Dumpling House No. 98: Mashed Tater Parfait at Cowboy Chow No. 97: Chicken and Waffles at Victor Tango's No. 96: Colorado Lamb Osso Bucco at Hibiscus No. 95: Flatbread Pizza at Dish No. 94: First Chinese Barbecue in Richardson No. 93: Elotes at Fuel City No. 92: Summer Platter For Two at Big Shucks No. 91: Chicken Gizzards at Sushi Yama No. 90: Bob Armstrong Dip at Matt's Rancho Martinez No. 89: The Angry Dog at Angry Dog No. 88: Sliders at Dish No. 87: Spaghetti Bolognese at Urbano Café No. 86: Vietnamese Pork Panini at Lumi Empanada & Dumpling Kitchen No. 85: Cheese Fries at Snuffers No. 84: Tres Vasos at Samar No. 83: Quatro Leches at La Duni No. 82: Pad Pak at Bangkok City No. 81: Brisket Sandwich at Maple and Motor No. 80: Lunch Express at Dream Cafe No. 79: Apple Crisp at Salum No. 78: La Vaca Loca at Good 2 Go No. 77: Shrimp and Grits at Screen Door No. 76: Meatball Sub at Jimmy's No. 75: Baja Chicken at Mattito's No. 74: Fried Port Salut Cheese at The Porch No. 73: Lobster Roll at Rex's No. 72: Fried Green Beans at Local No. 71: Shaved Ice at May's Ice Cream No. 70: Shredded Pork Sandwich at Mojitos No. 69: Tom-Yum-Gai at Bangkok City No. 68: Paella at La Calle Doce No. 67: Bacon Cheeseburger at Wingfield's Breakfast and Burgers No. 66: Original Nachos at Fuzzy's Taco Shop No. 65: El Aragón at Tortas La Hechizera No. 64: The Cheeseburger at The Grape No. 63: Dungeness Crab Dip at Hibiscus No. 62: Sweetbreads Made Two Ways from Restaurant AVA No. 61 Asado De Puerco Rojo at Chitos No. 60: Basil Chicken at Genroku No. 59: Capricciosa Pizza at Il Cane Rosso Truck No. 58: Shrimp and Chicken Curry Clay Pot at Mai's Vietnamese Restaurant No. 57: The Grilled Cheese and Chili at Highland Park Pharmacy No. 56: Meatloaf Blue Plate Special At Norma's Cafe No. 55: Carne Asada Plate at Taqueria El Fuego