RVA 2016 • Dine

Posted on 18 Mar 2016 at 7:15am
chef

Chef Blythe Back by Arnold Wayne Jones

By any standards, Blythe Beck has had an amazing year. She started it off being the first chef to get a second stint at Kitchen LTO, owner Casie Caldwell’s “permanent pop-up” concept at Trinity Groves. But as soon as she stepped away from that, Pink Magnolia was already in the works (once again with Caldwell). The homey Southern kitchen specializes in Beck’s signature “naughty” food, with a decidedly gourmet bent. But while the food might have been responsible for Beck’s Best Chef notice and even Pink Magnolia’s Best New Restaurant laurels, to be Best Overall Dining Experience as a freshman eatery takes something more: The vibe, the service, the Chef and Song night that turns the dining room into a cabaret and the wickedly indulgent brunch. Beck doesn’t “prepare food for customers” — she “cooks for her guests.” Like all great Southern hostesses.

— Arnold Wayne Jones

BEST DINING EXPERIENCE
BEST NEW RESTAURANT
Pink Magnolia
642 W. Davis St.
Open Tuesdays–Sundays at 4:30 p.m., weekend brunch at 10 a.m.
469-320-9220.
PinkMagnoliaDallas.com.

BEST LOCAL CHEF
Blythe Beck
Pink Magnolia, formerly Kitchen LTO.
ChefBlytheBeck.com.

BEST STEAK
Texas Land & Cattle Co.
3130 Lemmon Ave. (and additional locations).
214-526-4664. TexasLandAndCattle.com.

BEST BARBECUE JOINT
18th and Vine (pictured right)
4100 Maple Ave.
214-443-8335. 18thAndVineBBQ.com.

BEST PATIO
BEST LUNCH SPOT
Cedar Springs Tap House
4123 Cedar Springs Road, Ste. 100.
214-377-7446. CedarSpringsTapHouse.com.

BEST ASIAN / SUSHI
Thairriffic
4000 Cedar Springs Road, Ste. E.
972-241-2412. ThaiDallas.com.

BEST ITALIAN / PIZZA
Italia Express
4000 Cedar Springs Road.
214-521-3300. ItaliaExpressCS.com.

BEST VEGETARIAN SPOT
Cosmic Cafe
2712 Oak Lawn Ave.
214-521-6157.
CosmicCafeDallas.com.

Truth is, you can get meat-free dishes at most restaurants in Dallas. You can even get vegetarian or vegan items at a variety of great locales. So what makes for a favorite veggie spot? We’re guessing it’s the funky-friendly atmosphere at Cosmic Cafe that sealed the deal. The gayborhood institution serves up food, of course, but also a sense of spiritual nourishment. “While hungry, why not meditate a little?” Cosmic’s online menu counsels. “There is no hurry.” How many restaurants encourage diners to take their time and reflect on life’s mysteries in between courses? From the colorful decor to the option to take a yoga class to the self-serve chai bar to the healthy, cleverly-named food items (spicy pappadam on a dish named Bombay Sage, pictured; curried veggies and a rich dahl on an entree named Buddha’s Delight; a fruity sweet called Raisin Consciousness — all items’ prices add up to multiples of the mystic number nine), Cosmic Cafe is a true gem of Dallas living.

— Arnold Wayne Jones

cosmic-cafe

Cosmic Cafe by Arnold Wayne Jones


BEST TAQUERIA/TEX-MEX

Ojeda’s Mexican Food
4617 Maple Ave.
214-528-8383. OjedasRestaurant.com.

BEST BRUNCH
Quesa MX
3900 Cedar Springs Road.
214-443-8351. Find them on Facebook.

BEST MARGARITA
Ojeda’s Mexican Food
4617 Maple Ave.
214-528-8383. OjedasRestaurant.com.

BEST GOURMET BURGER (TIE)
Rodeo Goat
1926 Market Center Blvd.
214-741-4628. RodeoGoat.com.

Hunky’s Old-Fashioned Hamburgers
3930 Cedar Springs Road and 321 N. Bishop Ave.
214-522-1212. 214-941-3322. Hunkys.com.

BEST DINER
Original Market Diner
4434 Harry Hines Blvd.
214-521-0992.
OriginalMarketDiner.com.

Here’s a little secret about diners you probably didn’t know: Cakes can be under glass cloches, but pies? I’m sorry, but pies have to spin. Have to. Nothing says “diner” more than scrambled eggs served all day and rotating display case of kinetic pies, which is why nothing says “Best Diner” to Dallas Voice readers more decisively than the aptly named Original Market Diner on Harry Hines. The staple of the community has been a fixture in its current location for 40 years, and its charm accounts for at least some of its popularity. The rest of its appeal lies in the hearty comfort food (with daily lunch specials, because, “diner”) with such offering as a cheeseburger topped with fried pickles, chicken and dumplings and, of course, a daily selection of pies. That rotate. Cuz they hafta.

— Arnold Wayne Jones

pies

Pie case at Original Market Diner by Arnold Wayne Jones

BEST FOOD TRUCK
Flaming Grill Barbecue
214-208-5622.

BEST COCKTAIL MENU
Alexandre’s
4026 Cedar Springs Road.
214-559-0720.

BEST DESSERT SPOT
Cake Bar at Trinity Groves
3011 Gulden Lane, Ste. 117.
972-684-5801.
CakeBarDallas.com

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition March 11, 2016.

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