This weeked, I dined at two of my local favorites for dinner. I've been dining at both of these establishments for years now, and they never fail to please.
The first is a neighborhood favorite in my 'hood, Uptown Dallas. The State and Allen Lounge sits among a ton of apartment and townhome developments just off of the super busy Uptown main drag, McKinney Avenue. State and Allen has a reallly great casual vibe -- TVs with sports playing on the patio, very dog-friendly, and a large patio perfect for neighborhood people watching. It's also home to one of my favorite salads, the Silver Bowl:
From the menu: Chopped romaine, bacon bits, grapes, oranges slices, red bell peppers, spicy chicken and two dressings -- balsamic vinaigrette & caesar!
To make this gluten-friendly, I sub balsamic vinegar for the dressings. It seems simple, but that chicken is the best damn chicken I've ever had on a salad. Super spicy and flavorful! This place just knows how to season things right, which in my book is HEAVILY. Which brings me to Aaron's order -- the turkey burger, which he claims is his favorite in the city (MY favorite is MY turkey burger, but whatever):
And do you see those fries? They are SWEET POTATO WAFFLE FRIES. Nothing else to say. As an appetizer, we often order the triple dip, which is Hummus, tomato feta salsa, and spinach artichoke dip with chips and pita bread slices. But this time we ordered something new to the menu, the baked brie and Roasted Garlic, which is really a salad with baby greens, spicy pecans, grilled pear and home made bread croutons:
I also dined at a long-time favorite, which is so tasty that the first time I dined there many years ago, I ate there three days in a row: La Duni. This weekend I dined at the Northpark Mall location prior to a movie, but there are three locations, the other two of which are in my Uptown area.
Aaron had his usual, the roasted pork:
which is just UNBELIEVABLE. Perfectly cooked and seasoned, he turns it into tacos, which he artfully and diligently creates.
I had MY usual, the tomate con pollo y palmitos salad, which is just uh, a salad with giant slices of tomato, hearts of palm, and perfectly grilled chicken and sauteed onions. And much to my delight, it happens to be on their new gluten free menu:
Sorry for the crappy photography!
I've never had a bad thing at La Duni, and I've eaten half the menu. The desserts are also AMAZING, though hardly gluten-friendly. The Nutella cake is probably the best dessert I've ever tasted. They also have an amazing selection of coffees and some of the best drinks in Dallas, including their award-winning margarinha, which is kind of a margarita/mojito hybrid.
Some of my other local favorites:
Fearing's: best brunch in Dallas, located in the Ritz Carlton, and hardly a typical hotel restaurant. It was actually rated the Best Hotel Restaurant in America by Zagat in 2009. The bar will be the locale for my birthday party this Friday!)
Hibiscus: Hands down my favorite restaurant in Dallas, and the site of many birthday/anniversary/celebratory dinners. Everything is perfection.
Stephan Pyles: Home of the best steak I've ever had (the Cowboy Ribeye) and the best cake in the WORLD, the Heaven and Hell Cake.
Tillman's Roadhouse: The Trio of Fries. Just do it.
Fireside Pies: Some of my favorite pizza ever, and they make it gluten-free too!
A recent study indicated that Dallas diners dine out more than ANYONE in the US, and, well, there's good cause all over the city. Come forth and eat!