Start Your Post-State Fair Diet with Killer Veggie Dishes at Wayward Sons

Keep Dallas Observer Free
I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of Dallas and help keep the future of Dallas Observer free.

It had been a long day at the State Fair of Texas. My friends and I tried the fried jambalaya (meh), fried clam chowder (tasty), fried PB&J (even better than the original!) and fried brownies (decadent). By dinnertime, we were feeling a little queasy and not at all hungry.

“What should we eat?” I asked.

Everyone answered in unison: “Vegetables.”

And so we headed to Wayward Sons and its inadvertent but flawless cure to State Fair food. This nearly year-old Greenville Avenue spot is serving some of the best veggie dishes in town.

That night, we set upon our greens with abandon. When the restaurant’s goat cheese grits landed on the table, topped with mushroom ragout, someone said, “Wow, I need to start making better grits.” And then there was the scene-stealer: a late-season tomato salad.

The tomatoes themselves formed a veritable rainbow of greens, oranges, yellows and reds. They were exquisite, ultra-fresh and divine on their own. But chef Graham Dodds and his crew made tasteful additions: pencil shaving-thin pickled peppers to provide just a little tang, ultra-fresh local mozzarella and a discreet quantity of basil. Together the flavors sang in gentle, reassuring harmony. The words they sang: “Everything will be okay. Your post-fair diet will be delicious.”

Addicted, I returned to try another salad, but got distracted by a vegetable-laden main course. Wayward Sons released their new fall menu last week, but before they did, I tried fettuccine made in-house with spinach in the dough, tossed in a faux “alfredo sauce” of corn purée and topped with baby squash and wild mushrooms. The pasta is divine: fresh noodles with snap and al dente texture, a balance of earthy mushrooms and sweetcorn, ultra-tender squash diced fine. The corn was nearly as rich and creamy as real cream sauce; only guilt was missing.

I was in heaven, and in health, both at the same time. How does that even happen? The restaurant works that same magic at weekend brunch, with its plate of shakshuka (pictured above), a riot of bright colors. With fresh late-season tomatoes, mozzarella and a light dressing, it has a similar starting point to dinnertime's tomato salad, but this is brunch, so there's an egg in there too, and pesto made from leafy carrot tops.

Chef Dodds and his crew know the arcane alchemical secrets of making good-for-you foods taste compulsively delicious. So, when Fletcher’s stops dispensing its corny dogs and you feel like having a few veggies before Halloween candy and pumpkin pie descend upon us, stop by Wayward Sons and order some salads and greens. They’re even more addicting than fried butter.

Wayward Sons, 3525 Greenville Ave., waywarddallas.com. Grits $9, tomato salad $10, vegetable fettuccine $18, shakshouka $12.

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.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.


Join the Observer community and help support independent local journalism in Dallas.


Join the Observer community and help support independent local journalism in Dallas.