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.
No, not pita -- pide. The rounds at Pera Turkish Kitchen have little in common with the more popular Middle Eastern flat breads. The discs rise more evenly like sandwich bread and don't puff up in the center to form a pocket. Pide bread is more sturdy, and it's baked to order at Pera for every table. You'll get a basket when your order your first round of meze. Tear off a hunk and use it to bulldoze your way through the eggplant puree.
While downtown has a few Middle Eastern restaurants that plate up some class, suburban restaurants are dominated by relaxed atmospheres and buffets tables. Pera's dining room is clean and modern. The food is carefully crafted but very affordable.
Don't miss the dolmas, which are rolled by hand and have lots of texture compared to the paste-filled grape leaves you're used to. Don't miss the ezma, either, a small plate of diced soft vegetables swimming in pomegranate and thick, black molasses. There's cacik, a savory yogurt with cucumbers, garlic and mint, and a shepherd salad loaded with tomatoes, pepper, cucumber and onion, too.
Back in the kitchen a grill turns out savory kebabs kissed by charcoal flames. Ditch your fork and use hunks of pide like a pincher. It's a fine way to eat in a restaurant that deserves the positive attention it gets. You'd give anything to have a place like this within walking distance to your home.