After coming from New York City, Proof + Pantry chef Kyle McClelland knew that Dallas had some big shoes to fill when it came to good eats. Fortunately, the city's restaurants have provided this East Coaster with plenty to love, especially in the form of Asian food. Most people think that Dallas is completely devoid of good Chinese, Japanese, Vietnamese and Thai food, but that's only because they don't know where to look.
Since moving to Dallas, McClelland has taken advantage of the excellent Asian food in Dallas suburbs, along with these other restaurants that he considers to be best in the metro area.
Tei-An (above) Tei-An is clearly a favorite of Dallas-area chefs, so it may be the best place in the city to catch your faves outside of their natural habitats. McClelland considers Chef Teiuchi Sakurai's lunch-sized bowl of ramen to be both the best ramen in Dallas, and one of the best over all lunch deals in town.
Sichuan King As with most excellent Chinese food in Dallas, Sichuan King is comfortably nestled in a nondescript Richardson strip mall. This restaurant, according to McClelland, is relatively new to the area, but has created one of the best dishes that he's had this year in a traditionally made mung bean jelly.
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Jeng Chi Located in the same strip mall as Sichuan King, Jeng Chi is McClelland's favorite spot for dumplings in Dallas. If the soup-filled xiao long bao aren't exactly your thing, the fresh, hand-pulled noodles make an excellent soup that is not to be missed.
First Chinese Barbecue If you're not seeing the theme here, Kyle McClelland really digs Asian restaurants in Richardson. First Chinese Barbecue has long been a Dallas favorite, thanks to their long history of serving up some of the city's most authentic Chinese. The char siu is obviously an excellent choice, but this is the place to get a little adventurous and try something you've never had before, like salty fish rice.
Pecan Lodge In our interview with McClelland, he raved about the resurgence of barbecue that has taken over Dallas. When he's craving smoked meats, this chef heads to Pecan Lodge in Deep Ellum, which he preciously calls "PEE-can Lodge" like the New Englander he really is. Get a pile of brisket, a fried beef rib or two, and eat like the chefs do.
Great American Hero This brightly colored Lemmon Avenue sandwich shop is where McClelland gets a little slice of home. "It reminds me of this place up in the Northeast called USA Subs," says McClelland. "It's the same premise, and the menu is almost identical. I'm not sure who came up with it first, but I love it."