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.
Most Italian beef sandwiches sold in Dallas are exactly the same. Chicago-based Vienna Beef ships meat, buns and giardiniera down in boxes and the ingredients are warmed up, assembled and pushed over the counter to a hungry customer. The results are actually delicious, but the sandwich lacks the personality you find in a version that's made completely by hand on-site.
At Luscher's Red Hots the beef for sandwiches is roasted and sliced in the tiny kitchen behind the counter. The meat has a big, beefy flavor that's a bit like pot roast and it stands up to the spicy giardiniera that is also made on site and packs an acidic crunch.
The hot dogs are made locally to owner Brian Luscher's specs. They're long and thin, bite with some snap and pack plenty of spice and savory flavors. In a poppyseed bun, with mustard, tomatoes, a pickle and a pair of sport peppers, this dog is nothing short of a masterpiece. It easily tops most dogs sold back in Chicago.
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Much of the food at Luscher's is inspired by the Windy City, but what makes the dishes interesting is that they're interpreted though the eyes of a Texan chef and made by hand in small batches. It's a level of detail that's mostly lost on this sort of pedestrian fare these days, and you can taste the difference.