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I'm from Charleston, and I'm going to be in the DFW area at the end of August for a ballgame. I'll have a chance to eat two meals while I'm there, and I want to eat good Mexican (aka Tex-Mex) and good barbecue (brisket). Here's my question: If you were in the DFW area for 36 hours only, what Tex-Mex place would you want to hit? What barbecue joint (specializing in slices of brisket, not chopped brisket in sandwiches) would you hit?
Right now, Fuel City Tacos and Angelo's (Fort Worth) are on my radar, but my quest is just beginning.
I hope you're hungry, Bill. Thirty-six hours isn't much time and you've picked the heaviest meals you could possible indulge while in Dallas. Angelo's and Fuel City are popular destinations for visitors and locals alike, but there are much better options for Tex-Mex and brisket while you stay in Dallas. (Fuel City is actually just a gas station that peddles tacos and elotes alongside car washes, motor oil and beer.)
Tex-Mex restaurants have a way of blending together into a salsa-laden sea of fatness and guilt. For a memorable experience, I'd shoot for a place with the best scene. On weekends El Ranchito in Oak cliff has a line out the door, and you'll likely be one of a few gringos. It's not a Tex-Mex restaurant, exactly, but they do have a section of their menu devoted to the genre with enchiladas, tacos, flautas and fajitas. The smart money is on the grilled baby goat, or cabrito a la parrilla, though. For a straight up Tex-Mex menu try Manny's in Uptown or Mia's in Oak Lawn and be sure to order the brisket tacos at either.
For barbecue, the simple answer is Pecan Lodge. The small BBQ storefront, buried in Shed Two of the Dallas Farmers Market, offers the finest sliced brisket that can be had in Dallas. A recent appearance on Diners Drive-ins and Dives has drawn a serious lunch crowd on the weekends, so you can bet on a line here too. Barbecue aficionados view the wait as an indication of quality: a necessary, and almost welcomed part of the brisket experience.
Also: Go Rangers!
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