Updated: The Essential Guide to Father's Day in Dallas

The El Jefe Platter, because Dad is boss.
The El Jefe Platter, because Dad is boss. Hurtado Barbecue
For Father's Day, we wanted to think outside our New Balance 608s and instead find options with a little more pep. So, we queried our staff of foodie writers who eat a lot of food, at a lot of places and have a good idea of what's hot and what's not. Some Stan Smith's perhaps; enduring class and still a bit sporty.

We've gathered all these things into one complete list of foodie finds for Father's Day.

If your dad fancies himself a craft beer aficionado, then you might consider our Father's Day Beer Me 4-Pack for BrewFest. You'll save more than $25 on four general admission tickets where you'll get 12 2-ounce samples from hundreds of options, plus a commemorative tasting glass. This is the 12th year for BrewFest; it will be held at the Dallas Farmers Market on from 3 to 6 p.m. on Sunday, Sept. 10.

Zavala's Barbecue Class

Hosted at Four Corners Brewing, 1311 S. Ervay St.
Zavala's Barbecue is opening their playbook for all interested in learning how to slay a brisket. Zavala's Barbecue class is from 8 to 11 a.m. on July 9 and is hosted by Four Corners Brewing in Dallas. Tickets cost $189 each. Pitmaster Joe Zavala himself will be the teacher, which means this will surely be an interesting event.

The Bob's Burgers Movie (and Others) & Dinner

Alamo Drafthouse, various locations
A couple of weeks ago we saw the new Bob's Burgers movie (it's hilarious) at Alamo Draft House, and they have a special menu of Bob's Burgers of the Day to pair with the movie. If that's not your (or Dad's) thing, there's also Top Gun or, this Sunday, Alamo is showing some oldies but goodies, like Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade at The Cedars and Richardson locations, The Birdcage at Lake Highlands and Las Colinas. There Will Be Blood is showing Saturday evening in Lake Highlands and Las Colinas.

All the Sports at Texas Live!

1650 E. Randol Mill Road (Arlington)
If you haven't ever been to Texas Live! and you're a "sports fan" on any level, you need to head over. There are TVs everywhere, including a movie screen-sized behemoth in the middle. The Rangers are in Detroit this weekend, so there won't be as big of a crowd. You can also make reservations at Troy Aikman's restaurant if your dad is a fan. They have live music every night and serve a variety of bar-food like appetizers, burgers and salads.

Hurtado Barbecue

205 E. Front St. (Arlington)
Dad's the boss, right? Why not get him an assortment of all the barbecue meats at Hurtado Barbecue with his name on it? Hurtado's El Jefe platter is just the ticket; a third-pound each of prime brisket, pork spare ribs, sausage, pork belly burnt ends, pulled pork, turkey breast and two sides of your choosing. Best of all, this assortment of 2 pounds of barbecue plus sides will set you back just $40.

Heim BBQ Ultimate BBQ Dad Class

5333 White Settlement Road (Fort Worth)
If Dad wants to hone his chops as lord of the backyard cookout, score him some lessons from none other than Travis Heim. Heim's Ultimate BBQ Dad Class is being held at Heim's on the River location in West Fort Worth, and a seat in the class will get Dad up to speed on all of Heim's tips, tricks, and recipes, including Heim's famous pork belly burnt ends. The event will be held on Saturday, July 9. Tickets are $250, limited and available via Eventbrite

Rare Books Bar

6959 Lebanon Road, No. 110 (Frisco) (inside J. Theodore Restaurant)
click to enlarge You'll have to find the secret code to get into this bar. - CHRIS WOLFGANG
You'll have to find the secret code to get into this bar.
Chris Wolfgang
Chances are, your dad is a fan of the brown liquors (he raised you, didn't he?). You won't be able to take him on Father's Day, but a visit to Rare Books Bar in Frisco for a pour of a hard-to-find bourbon is a great way to toast your father. Rare Book's list of bourbon, scotch, Irish and Japanese whiskeys spans eight pages, so there are plenty of options to grab a taste of something new or hard to find. Rare Books is a speakeasy inside of the J. Theodore Restaurant, and you'll need to check out their Instagram for a book title to share with a librarian who will let you into the bar.

Perry’s Steak House

Various Locations
Perry's opens early on Father’s Day at 11 a.m. with specials for Pop that include a 22-ounce bone-in smoked strip steak for $59 and their pork chop three-course dinner consisting of soup or salad, the chop, and the dessert trio (a sampling of seasonal cheesecake, lemon meringue square and chocolate crunch).  Brunch cocktails for $9 are also available, including a brandy milk punch and the ubiquitous bloody mary and mimosas.

III Forks

1303 Legacy Drive (Frisco)

An above-average old-style steakhouse with dark interiors and linen tablecloths, III Forks offers perfectly prepared 42-day dry-aged steaks and Durham Ranch wagyu. Flex with a $225 tomahawk ribeye, or go for the Father's Day special: a $29 boneless rib-eye served with whipped potatoes, sugar snap peas, off-the-cob cream corn, ripe tomatoes and spring onions. Their crab cake is solid as well, and the house salad (toasted pecans, blue cheese, Granny Smith apples, maple pecan vinaigrette) is always a perfect complement to the protein-heavy meal. Don’t forget the Garrison Brothers Old-Fashioned; if it’s not the official Dad Cocktail, it should be.

 Southern Table

13050 Bee St. (Farmers Branch)

click to enlarge Show dad how you grew up to learn where to find the best fried chicken in the city. - HANK VAUGHN
Show dad how you grew up to learn where to find the best fried chicken in the city.
Hank Vaughn
Who wouldn’t love a nice plate of Southern-inspired field-to-table comfort food served at Roots by chef Tiffany Derry? There’s the famous duck-fat fried chicken that serves a family of four or one really hungry dad, of course, but don’t overlook the jerk lamb chops or sous vide short ribs either. Start with an order of cornbread and finish everything off with a delicious slice of orange juice cake, of course.

Selda Mediterranean Grill

6006 Belt Line Road (North Dallas)
click to enlarge Mixed grill at Selda Mediterranean - ANGIE QUEBEDEAUX
Mixed grill at Selda Mediterranean
Angie Quebedeaux
After a day of allowing Dad to relax, top it off by treating him to a fantastic meal at Selda Mediterranean Grill. Start with one of their dips, such as hummus, saksuka or spicy ezme served with their freshly made homemade pitas. The mixed grill ($55) is large enough for up to four people and offers you a bit of everything, including urfa (chargrilled ground beef), chicken, meatball, beef kebab and chicken adana. The portions are generous and the meats are seasoned well, juicy and flavorful. The dish is served with rice, vegetables and a bean salad. If you have room for dessert, the kunefe should not be missed. Just make sure you order it the same time as your meal because it takes about 20 minutes to make it. And if Dad happens to be a hookah connoisseur, they have about 20 different flavors.

Bulla Gastrobar

6007 Legacy Drive (Plano)
click to enlarge The Father's Day spread at Bulla comes with a special gift for dads. - BULLA GASTROBAR
The Father's Day spread at Bulla comes with a special gift for dads.
Bulla Gastrobar
If you're aiming to be Dad’s favorite, a trip to Bulla Gastrobar will have you well on your way. Located in Plano’s bustling Legacy West, Bulla is known for their authentic Spanish fare, specialty cocktails and fun atmosphere. Start your meal with a chef’s board of cured meats and cheese followed by an assortment of tapas, including albondigas (meatballs), sautéed garlic shrimp or pintxos (grilled meat skewers) to share. You can never go wrong with one of their many varieties (chicken, steak, seafood or mixed) of paella, which are large enough to share and range from $25 to $39.50. For dessert, Dad will love the torrija, a caramelized brioche topped with honey and served with mascarpone ice cream. On Father's Day, Bulla is giving all dads $20 bounce-back coupons for their next visit, and they'll receive a box of chocolate clusters.

Terra at Eataly

8687 N. Central Expressway (NorthPark Center)
click to enlarge Lamb spiendini at Terra - ANGIE QUEBEDEAUX
Lamb spiendini at Terra
Angie Quebedeaux
If your dad loves meat and an open flame, then Terra is a great choice. It's located on the third-floor rooftop of Eataly, where chefs cook seasonal ingredients over wood-burning flames, allowing the simple flavors to shine. Their assortment of spiedini’s (grilled and skewered meats and veggies) are a great way to start your meal. Choices include quail, mushroom, sausage or lamb skewers. Dad will surely enjoy the Tagliata di Manzo, which is a Rosewood Ranch wagyu steak served with fingerling potatoes and rosemary. For something unique, hit the gelato cart — just this once let Dad load up on all the toppings he wants.

Nuno’s Tacos and VegMex Grill

8024 Spring Valley Road, Suite 8024

click to enlarge Cool dads love vegan fare, like these "shrimp" tacos at Nuno's. - ANISHA HOLLA
Cool dads love vegan fare, like these "shrimp" tacos at Nuno's.
Anisha Holla
Nuno Arias Jr. opened this spot with his own father in mind. “I saw the health effects that being vegan had on my ill father,” Nuno says, and now he too is a full-fledged vegan and father of three. Five days a week, this hole-in-the-wall Tex-Mex eatery serves some mean vegan Mexican food. Go for the fishless tacos, a popular dish stuffed with grilled vegan "fish" and spices. Or perhaps you’ll find a safer option in the ‘Krunchwrap,’ an original take on the Taco Bell favorite. Wash it all down with one of Nuno’s creamy milkshakes, made with oat milk soft serve.

Handel’s Homemade Ice Cream

4200 Legacy Drive (Plano)
click to enlarge Handel's Homemade Ice Cream is a father-son operation. - ANISHA HOLLA
Handel's Homemade Ice Cream is a father-son operation.
Anisha Holla

It’s hard to find a father who would say no to a cold post-meal treat. Open seven days a week, Handel’s Homemade Ice Cream in Plano is a father-and-son-owned ice cream parlor that makes all of its ice creams in-house. It has more than 40 different flavors on the menu, so you might find yourself sweating about which one to choose. Don’t worry, though, samples are available. Try the blueberry cobbler, a fan-favorite flavor made of vanilla ice cream laced with a blueberry ripple with sugar cookie crumbs adding a nice crunch to each lick.

Is Dad more of a bottle-of-wine-at-the-house guy? We've got that covered too. Here are recommendations from Jeff Seigel, our local wine curmudgeon.

Carol Shelton Wild Thing Zinfandel

About $20 (available at Total Wine)
Carol Shelton is one of the world’s best zinfandel winemakers, and this California red shows why.
The vines are more than 60 years old, which gives it a dark, almost savory flavor (in addition
the brambly berries). Perfect for barbecues.

Zestos Rosado

About $10 (available at Central Market)
Ths Spanish pink is always top-notch, and the current vintage is even better than that. It has an almost orange aroma, with subtle, barely ripe berry fruit, and a stony finish that seems to go on forever. Sit on the
porch and toast Dad.

Chateau Boisson Blanc

About $12 (available at Central Market)
This French white blend is reliable – a fair price and always well made. It’s fresh, with lots of citrus, and some minerality on the back. Just the thing if Dad prefers white wine.

Chris Wolfgang, Angie Quebedueax, Hank Vaughn, Anisha Holla and Jeff Seigel contributed to this article.
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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.