This Sunday a hoard of runners will take off from downtown in the skin-hardening cold to compete in the Dallas Marathon. The weather may have turned antagonistic but they will run on undeterred, swaddled in Under Armour and bodyglide. Some people run marathons for the sense of accomplishment, some as a way to keep themselves exercising in the months leading up to the race, some to collect runners' bibs.
And some do it to eat. We don't mean carbo-loading on pasta or waffles beforehand. We mean eating like guilt and shame and body mass index don't exist because screw you I just ran a marathon. Marathon-running bestows a special privilege on the people who do it. After finishing a marathon, you'd be shocked with the sorts of things you can get away with: cutting lines at a movie theater; taking days off work; generally carrying oneself like a lazy, indulgent asshole.
So it's time to reward yourself. Or if you're that kind of supportive friend, it's time to treat your buddy who just proved what a sloth you are. Either way, here are places to go to eat like tomorrow will never come and to see if it's possible to undo months of training in a single sitting. Because you earned it, dammit.
Now, there are real fitness professionals who can tell you what to do immediately after finishing the race, which probably includes hydrating. Like, with water. But we're not here to talk about that. We're here to talk about the best things to gorge yourself with when you're done with all that. Seriously, if you're running the marathon and don't have all the fitness stuff worked out yet, you shouldn't be looking for advice at a food blog.
Viva Las Migas at Spiral Diner Okay. Maybe you've done the marathon and still worry about turning into the Gluttony victim from the movie Se7en. You still need to eat more than a normal human amount of food because you just did something humans are not normally supposed to do. It's loaded with vegetables to replenish electrolytes, egg and bacon substitutes for protein and tortillas for refueling carbs.
See also: Dallas' Best Brunch Gut Bombs
VK Burger at Village Kitchen People look for all kinds of ways to make burgers less sinful. Turkey burgers, vegan patties, bun-less burgers. If you can get away with eating any burger in Dallas though, and have the freedom to smack with your finisher's medal anyone who gives you side-eye, then you should go all out and get the VK Burger, slathered in bacon mayo. Again: that is mayo made from bacon. Follow it with a fruity pebble milkshake, and if your foodie friends give you any grief for not getting the trendier salted caramel one, tell them to eat it because you just ran a marathon.
The Trough at Pecan Lodge You just spent the morning running like an actual racehorse, so it's thematically appropriate that your next meal should be called a trough. It would be more appropriate if Pecan Lodge offered a feedbag but here we are. This option is admittedly dicey since the Lodge has famously long lines but it does give you incentive to beat your best training time. Get your race done in less than three hours and you have a decent start ahead of the rest of the crowd. Those sides (sold separately) can also double as your replenishing carbohydrates.
Mexican Pomme de Terre Casserole at Bread Winners Cafe & Bakery Again, we have staples your body needs after schlepping 26 miles in the cold. Chorizo and cheese supply protein (along with added eggs on request), potatoes provide starch, fruit sides give nutrients and avocados give healthy fat. Breadwinners is a safe bet no matter which way you lean post-race, healthy or destructive. Everything from homemade granola to The Deluxe, a brioche bun with maple pork belly, is available. All of which pairs well with a celebratory beer or cocktail.
Chicken and Waffles at Jonathon's Oak Cliff The finish line is just up the road from the Omni Hotel ,and you just spent 26 miles moving on your own power, so you don't want to waste too much time on transportation to get to food. Jonathon's, with best chicken and waffles in Dallas, isn't far, though it's a good enough distance from the finish that it shouldn't be swarming with other runners. Waffles are a popular pre-marathon food, a convenient and tasty vehicle for carbohydrates and fruits. Bookend the race with another serving, this time topped with fried chicken and pepper gravy. The ultimate stoner food for the ultimate runner's high.
Monster Cinnamon Roll at Mecca Completing a marathon is a bucket list-worthy event. So is eating this behemoth. Mecca's affront to nature feeds 40-50 people according to their menu and has to be ordered in advance, so you'll need to decide prior to race-day that you want to add this challenge to your plate. There is no calorie count because the swirl in the center is actually a black hole of butter and sugar, a vortex daring you to reach inside of it. You can spend months tuning your body like a machine and then when the furnace is burning hottest you smother those flames with frosting. It'd be almost poetic if you weren't growling "YOLO" around a mouthful of cinnamon roll.
Keep the Dallas Observer Free... Since we started the Dallas Observer, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Dallas, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Dallas with no paywalls.