It’s easy to forget what Dallas lacks until you try a good version of it.
At least, that’s what a recent trip to Happy Eats reminded us.
The unassuming storefront with a cheesy — or straightforward — name has a dense four-page menu, but what you can really focus on here are the cheesesteaks.
Happy Eats is doing something right here: from the proper bread that’s soft with a flaky exterior to the ratio of cheese throughout the whole sandwich.
An original Philly gets you American cheese, grilled onions and mayonnaise. Then you have options for toppings such as chili, pepperoni and marinara, chicken and wing sauce and more. All the Philly cheesesteaks are $6.99 for a 6-inch sandwich or $9.99 for a 12-inch.
The OMG Philly with American cheese, grilled onions, mayonnaise, green peppers and mushrooms proved to be a solid choice. With just a few added toppings, it’s classic enough to hit the spot and decadent enough to make you feel guilty.
Any of these cheesesteaks will be messy, hard to eat and result in cheese getting into places you never intended. The bread is just sturdy enough to hold everything in. One bite, and the whole thing wants to fall apart on you, but the savory mess is so good, you won’t let it.
As mentioned, there’s plenty on this large menu: from a cheeseburger ($7.49) to six-piece wings with fries ($7.49) and quesadillas ($4.99-$9.99).
And odd appearance is chicken and waffles ($7.99-9.99), which we’ll have to try on the next visit (if we can possibly avoid that cheesesteak temptation).
A little section for hot dogs has a few options. The kraut dog ($8.50) sounds good with melted provolone, sauerkraut and onions — but they were out of sauerkraut on our recent visit.
We opted for the classic Coney Island ($8.50), smothered in chili, cheese and onions. It’s a step above Sonic’s version, which has its place in the fast-food hot dog world. It’s not all that offensive, but the lackluster chili over a simple hot dog certainly doesn’t belong on the same menu as the superior cheesesteaks.
These also come two hot dogs per order. They’re not giant, but about what you would make if you bought the ingredients at the grocery store. For some reason, it doesn’t feel crazy to eat two at home, but it feels overly decadent to have two in public. Maybe it’s the sight of so much chili in one place that gives that impression.
There are wraps and salads for those who want to go lighter. Or you can keep going with side items worth sharing.
After having some absolutely terrible fried mozzarella in East Dallas recently, the simple mozzarella sticks here ($3.75 for four, $6.75 for eight) are everything they’re supposed to be — simple, sturdy batter with a gooey cheese that stretches with every bite.
The fried pickles ($3.75 for the regular size, $6.75 for large) don’t disappoint, either. When you’re craving that fried bite with a snap of vinegar, this does that.
Fried bites aside, you can really stick to the front page full of cheesesteaks and be happy. Dallas in no way overflows with options for a good cheesesteak. With that in mind, this seemingly random hole-in-the-wall with a smiley face outside is a welcome addition to Oak Cliff and Dallas.
Happy Eats, 612 Schooldell Drive, Oak Cliff
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