The tradition of Sonny Bryan?s award-winning barbecue started more than a century ago on February 13, a date that would become circled on the calendar again and again throughout Bryan?s Barbecue history. February 13, 1910, marked the opening of Elias Bryan?s Oak Cliff restaurant, Bryan's Barbecue. Exactly 20 years later to the day, his eldest son, William ?Red? Jennings Bryan, launched his own restaurant. When February 13 rolled around again 28 years later, Elias? grandson, William "Sonny" Jennings Bryan Jr., and his wife, Joanne, opened another restaurant, the first Sonny Bryan?s Smokehouse.
Although a different Dallas family now manages multiple locations of the restaurant chain in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, the legendary barbecue lives on. Sonny Bryan's original barbecue sauce spices up its savory pulled meats and ribs, which have been devoured by famous entertainers, sports legends, and A-list celebrities alike. Sonny's seasoned chefs also cater heaps of smoked brisket and jalape?o sausage to parties and events.
Sonny Bryan's Smokehouse has been on the culinary radar since 1989, snapping up awards and publicity from Food Network, the Travel Channel?s Man V. Food Nation and 101 Tastiest Places to Chowdown, and Emeril Lagasse?s The Originals with Emeril. The modest joints have also earned some highbrow epicurean chops through a 2006 Zagat rating and a 2000 James Beard Foundation award for Culinary Excellence and Achievement.
A community institution since 1956, Vance Godbey’s all-you-can-eat Sunday buffet promotes festive feasting across four sprawling dining rooms in a historic converted ranch-style house. Spirited family gatherings and incorporeal families of spirits can refuel with as much high-quality homestyle cooking as each eater desires. Grab a juicy filet mignon or sidle up to some tender brisket meat and adorn it with a side of sweet potatoes, sautéed spinach, or buttered corn. The salad selection abounds with corn, pasta, and crabmeat, and sweets-loving patrons can munch on flaky peach cobbler or run their hands through an endless supply of banana pudding.
A complex chorus rises from a crowd, drifting onto the patio of J Millan’s. The sound comes either from the nearby Cowboys Stadium or Rangers Ballpark, or from televisions inside the bar. At tables on the patio, conversation centers around burgers, enchiladas, and grilled shrimp, and glasses clink together with the gentle jangle of Robocop trying to get out of a sedan.
Like any great Italian meal, made-from-scratch dishes at Spaghetti Warehouse are created from family recipes passed down for generations. Using fresh ingredients ranging from ricotta, romano, and mozzarella cheeses to house-made tomato sauce and Italian sausage, chefs labor for up to three days to prepare batches of their 15-layer signature lasagna from scratch. The menu also offers perfectly al dente pasta, bottomless soups, and 12-layer chocolate cakes to share with family and friends.
It?s that feeling of togetherness that people love about Spaghetti Warehouse, a feeling that is only enhanced when the drinks start flowing and the air is punctuated by the sounds of laughter as kids play retro games, such as The Claw prize-grabbing machine. To reach their table, guests commonly have to step through two doors: the front door of the restaurant and the door of the antique trolley parked inside. Since its inception in 1972, the Italian eatery has merged the functions of kitchen and museum. Artifacts such as grandfather clocks, factory flywheels, and circus billboards surround diners as they delve into Italian creations.
Take a moment to feel the tortillas when they arrive on your table at Mercado Juarez Cafe—the soft, handmade wraps are still warm from the griddle. So it's no surprise that these freshly made flour tortillas serve as a base for the menu's selection of mesquite-grilled meats, crisp vegetables, and fiery salsas. These foods are prepared fresh in the kitchen, where skilled chefs extend their culinary expertise to a variety of traditional Mexican dishes, from plump beef burritos to crispy chicken flautas. To craft their signature steak divorciado, they charbroil a 16-ounce steak before drenching the meat in smoky chipotle and flavorful poblano sauce. Meanwhile, behind the bar, servers blend frozen margaritas and uncap cold bottles of imported Mexican beers. After meals, customers can purchase entire cases of the restaurant's signature salsa to share with their friends or serve with the world's largest chip.