Dallas' 50 Most Interesting Restaurants, No. 18: Local

Leading up to our annual Best of Dallas® issue, we're counting down the 50 most interesting restaurants in Dallas. These spots bring something unique or compelling to the city's dining scene, feeding both your appetite and soul. Find more interesting places on our all-new Best Of app for iTunes or Android.

Lady chefs are a rarity across the country, but Dallas' dining scene seems especially defined by men. We could use a few more restaurants like Local, where chef Tracy Miller's cooking speaks more softly than her masculine Dallas counterparts. Miller plates with a certain delicacy and restraint that lets the ingredients she's working with stand out on their own. It's in stark contrast to other chefs, many of which ham-handedly construct their plates like Fritos pies.

Have a seat at the bar and snack from a warm bowl of nuts and pretzels spiked with rosemary. You'll wonder why the snacks at other bars can't have a little more class. The same goes with a tiny shot glass of warm soup that begins every meal. It changes, but right now it's roasted corn, which tastes exactly like what you'd expect, and nothing more. Did that last soup really need a duo of crema drizzles and drops of chili oil?

The theme carries through the rest of the menu, where seared meats are supported by sauces instead of hidden under a blanket. Portion sizes allow you to clean your plate without feeling guilty, and you might even have some room for dessert.

The burger, however, breaks this mold, casting off all reason and embracing decadence just because. It's studded with Gruyere and way too big for its bun, and if you're not careful you'll wear some burger on your chin. Not everything needs to be delicate -- not all the time. Sometimes you have to embrace your gluttinous side, and a burger like this one is the best way to do it.

No. 50: Joyce and Gigi's No. 49: East Hampton Sandwich Co. No. 48: 20 Feet Seafood Joint No. 47: Taj Chaat House No. 46: Mot Hai Ba No. 45: La Nueva Fresh and Hot No. 44: Pera Turkish Kitchen No. 43: Tom's Burgers and Grill No. 42: Mughlai No. 41: Russian Banya No. 40: Off-Site Kitchen No. 39: Bachman Lake Taqueria No. 38: Carbone's No. 37: Babe's No. 36: Barbacoa Estilo Hidalgo No. 35: Zaguan No. 34: Royal Sichuan No. 33: Spoon No. 32: Bambu No. 31: Pecan Lodge No. 30: FT33 No. 29: Keller's Drive-In No. 28: La Pasadita No. 27: Ten Bells Tavern No. 26: El Ranchito No. 25: Cafe Urbano No. 24: Nova No. 23: Jeng Chi No. 22: Omi No. 21: Tei-An No. 20: Jonathon's Oak Cliff No. 19: Yutaka and Sharaku

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