Alex Nham travels the globe, mainly the part with Dallas on it, in search of new places to eat breakfast.
My breakfast credibility may have been questioned for not coming here yet, but I just didn't want to spoil one of Dallas' oldest gems. The Mecca is Dallas', well, mecca for breakfast, serving locals since 1938 (as the window paint says). Much like other breakfast spots I like to frequent, The Mecca is home cooking through and through: hot coffee, traditional staples and good ol' boys from around the way.
I went in on a recent weekday morning and I was pleased to find that the restaurant was not just a weekend hit. Tables were filled with men with their names patched to their shirts and octogenarians assembling together because what else is there to do? Everyone was hanging onto a white mug and didn't really seem to know, nor care, that it was a Wednesday.
The walls are covered with banners and flags from local schools and teams, most prominently from the old Southwest Conference. The booths need to be reupholstered, the chairs look like they came from a country inn, and the tables all have local business advertisements in them. You can almost see each decade of existence in the furnishings.
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I'd been here before, and I'd always ordered what I think they do best: the chicken-fried steak breakfast and a cinnamon roll to finish it off. Like all home-cooking joints, the portions are excessive, and it's definitely not good for your cholesterol.
Naturally I ordered it again.
The hefty chicken-fried steak came out covered in white gravy, accompanied by two over-easy eggs and a nice crispy chunk of hash browns. I opted for a biscuit because biscuits are good. The steak had that nice crunchy breading. The biscuit fell flat, but that's why I supplemented my meal with one of their famous (I'm talking TV famous) cinnamon rolls.
It's a little shocking when the cinnamon roll is brought to your table; the size alone will give you some heart palpitations, but it comes out slathered in frosting and sitting in a pool of butter. Parts of the exterior can be a little dry, but that's why you drill deep to the core, through the layers of tender dough, cinnamon sugar and more butter. I give it a little dip in the salted butter, so the sweetness doesn't immediately turn my teeth into dust, before shoving it into my face. It's delicious; they're famous for a reason.