The Celaborelle Phoenician Buffet, which traces its roots back to 1908 and its Fort Worth presence to 1976, delivers a daily smorgasbord of made-from-scratch Lebanese fare with its King Feast buffet. Inside a refurbished home, culinary alchemists fry eggplant and load it with onion, cilantro, and pomegranate molasses to whip up msaqaa. Chicken shawarma glints with olive oil while resting beneath sautéed bell peppers, and sujuk features beef sausage flavored with cumin, garlic, and jalapeños. Falafels make ideal pucks for table hockey and walnut-, pistachio-, or macadamia-layered baklava drizzled with rose-and-orange-blossom syrup rewards roommates for cleaning up after their science fair volcanoes erupt spontaneously.
When The Melting Pot originally opened in 1975 just outside Orlando, the location was cozy and quaint, but diners had only three options: swiss-cheese fondue, beef fondue, or chocolate fondue. However, as the restaurant grew in popularity, so did its menu selection and atmosphere. The restaurant first expanded four years later under the leadership of a Melting Pot waiter and enterprising college student named Mark Johnston, who teamed up with his brothers Mike and Bob to open a new outpost in Tallahassee. This location grew in reputation to pave the way for future franchise expansion. Today, the company—now owned by the trio of siblings—reigns as the premier fondue, wine, and drink restaurant, stretching across North America with more than 140 restaurants linked by underground tunnels. The restaurant's menu has also ballooned, and patrons can now expect six varieties of hot dipping cheese paired with salads, meats, and molten chocolate.
On a given night, groups of foodies gather around tables to nosh on signature four-course meals, from cheese-fondue appetizers and various salads to steaks and seafood cooked in a choice of healthy broth or oil. Birthday revelers and couples can share decadent evenings at private tables, capping off meals with chocolate desserts that have defined The Melting Pot for decades.
The Egg & I started in Colorado, but like a tumbleweed or a particularly sturdy egg it rolled its way south into the Dallas culinary scene. Sit on the outdoor patio and sip premium, fresh-ground Costa Rican coffee, fresh-squeezed orange juice, and made-to-order smoothies. Or head inside, where the décor is as sunnily downhomey as the yolks on your plate. Vegetarian options abound, and egg whites can be substituted at any time so long as you order with conviction and integrity.
Since making their stage debut in 1956, Pizza by Marco's thin-crust pizzas and colorful palette of toppings have earned a bevy of awards, including Best Pizza in Dallas-Fort Worth from the readers of Pegasus News in 2010. The menu of specialty and customizable pizzas showcases the pizzeria's rich sauce handcrafted from a Sicilian family recipe of 13 secret spices known only to the founder's son and a network of undercover measuring spoons.
In Amharic, the word desta means "happiness," and it appears throughout the Ethiopian restaurant known as Desta, gracing the menus, signs, and walls with a constant reminder of hope. Here, it's a mantra as much as a namesake, a tribute to the tragic past. In 2012, the owners of Desta—Yared and Yenni, a husband-and-wife pair returning home from a 16-hour shift—were fatally shot on their front porch, leaving behind an infant son. Months after the couple's death, Yared's sisters reopened Desta, dedicated to continuing Yared's dream so that his orphaned son might grow up in a world defined by desta rather than grief.
Whether in the sleek, minimalist décor or the menu of authentic Ethiopian cuisine, Yared and Yenni's legacy remains in every part of Desta's second iteration. Atop the wooden tables, entrees such as fish kitfo—a serving of extralean tuna seasoned with mitmita-hot-chili powder—accompanies helpings of injera bread, an Ethiopian staple that can be formed into a scoop to pick up food by hand. To the tune of the modern lounge’s grand piano, Desta’s friendly staff serves diners inside or on the patio, happy to offer suggestions or answer questions about any unfamiliar fare.