Picking the best of anything can really lead to some stress, if only because there are so many great restaurants and food businesses in and around Dallas. And since we're in the middle of a desert here, you might think there may not be too many seafood restaurants to choose from either, but that's not the case. DFW serves us well, and great seafood is shipped in every day.
Freshness is a given, but Las Palapas stands out as the best because of a few dishes they serve that I've not seen elsewhere. Their camarón en agua chile, in both red and green varieties, is a bowl of warmth no ceviche fan should go without trying, and some of their grilled fish dishes are outstanding. Still, they're not the only seafood restaurant around town that deserves some praise. Here are five I feel bad for snubbing.
TJ's Seafood (pictured above) I haven't paid the new restaurant a visit, but if it accomplishes what the market in Oak Lawn accomplishes, with the addition of a bar, the TJ's family is going to be a force to be reckoned with. TJ's is also one of the better places to get oysters in the city, and the wine list may be small, but it's mighty.
Spoon There is lobster, and there is butter-poached lobster. There are scallops, and then there are scallops adorned with caviar. Spoon is the seafood restaurant you go to when you want to be as pampered at the crustaceans on your plate. Don't forget a second credit card.
20 Feet Seafood Joint Oysters are supposed to be about decadence, but it's hard to order with abandon when you're charged more than three dollars a shell. At $11 for half a dozen on the other hand, you can afford to eat mollusks like a walrus at 20 Feet. Just don't forget to bring your own beer.
Sea Breeze Fish Market & Grill If you find yourself way up there in Plano and you encounter a craving for a lobster roll, you'd do well to check out Sea Breeze. Restaurants that sell fish retail have a higher chance of turning over their products quickly, and quick turnover leads to freshness.
You should also keep an eye on the specials at Sea Breeze throughout the year that are hard to find elsewhere around Dallas. Like those belly clams, for instance. Oh, those belly clams...
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Two years ago, I wrapped up my 100 Favorite Dishes with a plate of oysters and a glass of champagne at Rex's. While I like this year's No. 1 dish even more, that plate of bivalves really felt like a celebration to me. Since you likely don't have to blog about your own eating habits, I'll suggest you find your own reason for oysters and libations and get to it. Rex's is the spot.