So you're at a restaurant and nothing on the menu is piquing your interest. You may not have to pick up and try a new one just yet. Some restaurants in Dallas have been holding back, keeping secret menu items hidden for those in the know. Some are experiments or hybrid dishes; others don’t even have names. If you’re looking for something off the menu and defiantly off the beaten path, this list is for you. We dug extra deep to unveil and uncover some of Dallas’ best hidden secret menu items so you can impress your guests by saying the magic words to get what most don't. Just be sure to ask nicely.
The Pigmento/pickled plate at Smoky Rose, $12
8602 Garland Road
When the chefs at Smoky Rose want to experiment with pickling, the secret creation is bound to be delicious. The charcuterie board of sorts was initially tested as a vinegary, crunchy, crazy snack tray to satisfy bar patrons and lucky guests. Composed of pimento cheese, housemade crispy chicharrons, pickled radish, green beans, ramps and sliced peppers, it’s all garnished with a black charcoal barbecue sauce that is pitch black and distinctively delightful. It’s a perfect bar food that may soon work its way onto the main menu, but for now, our suggestion is to get there soon, cross your fingers and ask politely.
The Weech at Trompo, $2
839 Singleton Blvd.
If Trompo tacos haven’t already won you over, there’s a little extra something to sweeten the deal. The Weech, a secret-ish off-menu taco that’s bound to make your head explode, shares the nickname of owner Luis Olvera, and it's made with all three Trompo proteins stuffed into one taco. Instead of you choosing among the trompo pork, beef, or poblano and paneer, this taco does the deciding for you. The Weech puts all three on one corn tortilla with the usual cilantro and onions. For those really in the know, it gets better. Alongside the green and red sauce is another secret orange sauce. Made spicy with habanero, it piles on the heat for brave spice-seekers. It’s a crazy flavor explosion that is cheap enough to warrant ordering way more than you can eat in one sitting.
Bacon lollipops with ice cream at Meddlesome Moth, $14
1621 Oak Lawn Ave.
While the bacon lollipops are on the menu at The Meddlesome Moth, those looking to make one hell of a bridge between dinner and dessert can take it off menu with a scoop of ice cream. Made with skewered, seared slab bacon, buttery hollandaise sauce, maple syrup and fresh-made funnel cake, it's served in a cast iron skillet with a melty, sweet lump of vanilla bean ice cream. It comes in somewhere between stoner wet dream and hungover brunch, in the best way possible. It perfectly mixes salty, sweet and savory and was initially a way for guests to share dinner and dessert to fill that little bit of leftover room after the meal. Whatever its intention was before, it’s certainly got it figured out now. Be sure to impress your guests and throw the table’s diet overboard by ordering bacon à la mode.
I.CE. NY's test menu, $7
2625 Old Denton Road, Carrollton
Although I.CE.NY is a franchise, the company lets the owners experiment with their rolled ice cream. When the Carrollton owners wanted to do a test run of flavors, they started using Instagram to offer limited tastes. While the flavors rotate in and out, decadent cookie dough, perky Vietnamese coffee and bright purple ube sweet potato are some new favorites. All soft, creamy and rolled in front of customers, they are topped with unique flavors.
Campisi's cheeseburger, $8.99
5610 E. Mockingbird Lane
What right does an Italian restaurant have serving a burger this good? We were confused, too, until we tried it. At its Mockingbird location, Campisi’s serves an off-the-menu burger that blows the buns right off most dedicated burger joints — and it's been making it for decades. Made with a special blend of hamburger meat that is forbidden from being pressed during cooking, it develops a wild crust and a juicy interior. It's topped modestly with the usual hamburger fixings, and a squishy bun makes for a well-rounded, timeless burger. While employees at Campisi’s say they only get an order once every two weeks, we hope that number skyrockets because more people need to try the best burger from an Italian restaurant.
Fried chicken fries at Shady’s Burgers, $8.95
9661 Audelia Road
Shady’s Burgers is hiding a perfect bar food sure to crush the cravings that come after a few beers: fried chicken french fries. Made with hand-cut fries covered in cheese, jalapeños and chopped fried chicken, it’s the kind of comfort food that's double-fried and definitely shareable. The fries are crispy, juicy and just the right amount of spicy, and $9 will get you a giant tray of them. While most regulars know about Shady’s affinity for crazy fry creations, those truly in the know will ask for the fried chicken fries.
Oishii's secret menu mix, approximately $19.50 (prices vary)
2525 Wycliff Ave.
Of all the restaurants on this list, Oishii has the most secret menu items by far. With 20 to 30 items in rotation at a time, the secret menu is dictated by the chef, the mood and the group you’re with. While some menu items show up on Oishii’s social media as a limited-time offer, those who are lucky enough to make friends with the chef will gain access to the crazy concoctions that don’t show up on the menu, online or in print. Crispy fried salmon skin, salmon cabbage salad, spicy mackerel — most of the one-off dishes don’t even have names. They simply exist as they are, products of whatever fresh ingredients Oishii has on hand that day. Secret menu items may only be offered in limited portions, so large groups may not get the chance to try them. It’s an exciting game to play, and the prize is enticingly delicious.
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Stonedeck Pizza Pub's mac and cheese, $8.99
2613 Elm St.
What started as a secret menu offered only for delivery through Uber Eats recently became a part of Stonedeck's dine-in menu as well. Stonedeck took its pizza toppings and put them on a secret, snacky meal: mac and cheese. When customers ordered online, some needed their carbs quick, and waiting for a hand-stretched pizza simply wasn’t an option. A solution for this was to make a rich, French-style béchamel mac and cheese and add the pizza toppings, creating a creamy, craveable dish that could get to customers in a hurry. When the noodles started taking off, Stonedeck decided it was time for dine-in guests to get in on the action, and now you can get these cheesy creations on a separate menu. The dish comes in various flavors, from barbecue to tikka masala, and all utilize the pizza joint’s toppings in creative ways.
Mubrooka Egyptian's online menu, $6.99 each
Online ordering through delivery apps like Caviar, Grubhub, Seamless and Uber Eats
While Mubrooka doesn’t offer an off-the-menu selection, everything it serves right now is secret because there's no physical storefront. Mubrooka only does online ordering through various meal delivery services, and it doesn’t cater to in-store customers. But don’t let the secrecy fool you; it is turning out some serious Egyptian eats. From Egyptian-style falafels to koshary, a grain-based dish sauced with zesty tomatoes and covered in rich fried onions, it's crazy good and delivered right to you. What more can you ask for?