Mother's Day in Dallas: A Survival Guide

Mother's Day is only behind Valentine's Day in terms of craziest days to eat out. Choosing almost any other day of the year would probably provide a better experience, but mom gets what mom wants on this day.

I prompted Chris Jeffers, co-owner of Smoke, one of the best brunch spots in the city, on some insight into why Mother's Day is so crazy for restaurants:

"The stuff people say to get a table quicker is crazy. We don't do reservations and it drives people nuts. Everyone wants to make their mommy happy, myself included. After the years I put her through, she deserves one day a year. Sundays are already a beat down though. People have to go back to work on Monday, kids school routine starts back up, church stuff and some people are nursing a hangover. Now throw a mom in the mix. That's a lot of moving parts."

So, to keep all those moving parts flowing smoothly, following is a guide to help you sort through the riff-raff and give mom a day she deserves, all on a scale ranging from mild thoughtfulness to bold ill repute. Pick your spot.

• If you want to do a fancy-schmancy brunch or dinner on Sunday, the odds for a great meal and experience are better at small, chef-driven restaurants, which will maintain the same quality as any other day of the year. Think along the lines of The Grape, Campo, Cedar Social, Meddlesome Moth, Smoke, Victor Tango's, Oak.

• Central Market is hosting the Passport to France event. Take a stroll through the crowded aisles and pick up the makings for a fine French meal. Or make light of the fact that this is probably as close as mom will ever get to her dream vacation to The City of Lights. Luckily she has a good sense of humor after raising you.

• It was always a special treat when mom took you out for ice cream, right? By the same token, every mom will love Twisted Root's adult milk shakes. They'll work up just about any boozy concoction you can come up with. This might not be officially stated anywhere on their menu, but they have'em and I promise they're worth every dime.

• Celebrating on Saturday instead of Sunday gives mom a full day to recover before Monday hits. Moms love foresight. The Texas Food Truck Fest is this Saturday with over 30 food trucks from around the state. There will be live music and even though it costs five dollars to get in, hanging in a mall parking lot is totally worth it. Some of the best times with mom were in malls, right? Right....

• There's also the North Texas Beer Festival this Saturday from 3:00 to 9:00 p.m. at the Irving Convention Center. Tickets for designated drivers (mom) are only $20. Tell her you'll split it with her.

• Did mom miss the boat on good home cooking? Was that boat nothing but a lonely liner barely visible on the horizon, while you were adrift in a sea of cereal and Ramen noodles? Send a message by taking her to Mecca, where they run a daily clinic on how mom is suppose to cook. They're taking reservations for Sunday.

• One damn good bet is to peruse this here Ultimate Guide to Eating Like a Cheap Bastard. Show mom she raised this bastard right. And if you're in a hurry on Sunday (or hungover), Big Mama's Chicken and Waffles drive thru is a solid option.

• And last but not least, Hooters is giving away ten free wings to moms all day Sunday. As a bonus, they're boneless wings. It's more cultured that way.

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Lauren Drewes Daniels is the Dallas Observer's food editor. She started writing about local restaurants, chefs, beer and kouign-amanns in 2011. She's driven through two dirt devils and is certain they were both some type of cosmic force.