When she's not busy planning her new restaurant, Remedy, Chef Danyele McPherson likes to focus on the parts of her life that aren't just in the kitchen. "Food is my passion," says McPherson, "but I also like to do other things, too. I like to ride bikes around Dallas and have beers with my friends like everyone else." Of course, even a busy chef has to eat, especially at restaurants that are not their own.
McPherson's own dining style is cozy and casual. You won't find her beating down the door for a reservation at FT33 every night or rushing around to the city's hottest restaurants. Instead, you can dine like this chef at these six casual restaurants that won't make you feel underdressed in jeans and a hoodie.
Monkey King Noodle Co. (above) What could be more casual than food that's served out of a window? McPherson hits up Monkey King regularly, especially if the weather is nice and she can sit on the rooftop patio that has one of the best views of Downtown in the city. While she's there, you can find McPherson chowing down on Monkey King's much-beloved xiao long bao (soup dumplings), largely because she's still trying to figure out how they manage to wrap that delicious, steaming hot liquid into a perfectly formed dumpling.
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Blind Butcher This one is really a no-brainer. Remedy and HG Sply Co are located just across the street, and Chef Oliver Sitrin's food is known for being reliably solid. Instead of gorging herself on poutine and sausages, though, McPherson suggests trying one of the restaurant's salad offerings. "The elbow salad is amazing. You might not ever think to order a salad at Blind Butcher, but you should definitely try that one."
Chuy's Tex-Mex is practically a food group for McPherson, and Chuy's is her joint of choice. It may not have the old-school authenticity of El Fenix or Mia's Tex-Mex, but there's nothing wrong with enjoying a big bowl of (probably) Velveeta queso alongside your steaming plate of fajitas or crunchy taco plate. You can get back to patronizing all those authentic Mexican taquerias tomorrow.
Swiss Pastry Shop If there's one restaurant that can motivate Danyele McPherson to drive to Fort Worth, it's Swiss Pastry Shop. Outside of some stupidly good baked goods and comfort-food sandwiches, Swiss Pastry Shop has McPherson's favorite burger in the Metroplex. The buns are housemade, Wagyu beef is an option, and there's even a burger topped with five ounces of smoked brisket if you're in need of a serious gut-bomb.
Neighborhood Services Ever the no-frills type of lady, McPherson heads to Nick Badovinus' popular gastropub when she's looking for a good steak and a good night out. The sides are big enough to share and good enough to fight over, and the cocktails are equally enjoyable. If you're looking for a great place to have a steak that doesn't require jacket and tie, this is your spot.