At Watch Ya Fingas, owner and cooking expert Sheila Turrentine cures feverish hungers with a mountainous menu of from-scratch barbecue meats, flaky catfish, and bountiful sides. Inside the family-friendly, casual diner illuminated by broad windows, Sheila and her grill masters barbecue whole chickens, sausage and beef by the pound, and ribs, searing savory flavors into each entree before it's joined by cornbread or wedged between thick slices of regular bread. The diner’s signature fried catfish joins collard greens and a slice of peach cobbler for a meal more southern than Antarctican cuisine.
At Genghis Grill, cooks stir-fry more than 70 fresh ingredients to make healthy, flavorful bowls loaded with proteins and vegetables. Diners can mix and match ingredients to create customized feasts, or choose signature dishes such as the Thai Chicken bowl with chicken, veggies, and udon noodles in red curry peanut sauce. Nutrition-focused heart-healthy bowls, developed with the help of a dietitian, feature flavor combinations such as Sichuan-style bamboo beef or ginger-citrus shrimp.
Dickey?s Barbecue Pit has smoked beef brisket in-house nearly every night since 1941, painting each morsel with a tangy house-made sauce. Pulled pork, turkey breast, and polish sausage round out the menu, which fills up diners with meals that are heartier than a burrito wrapped in Paul Bunyan?s plaid shirt. Boxed lunches and catered buffets brim with homestyle sides such as coleslaw, mac 'n' cheese, and jalape?o beans. Once the last pickle has crunched and each finger has been licked, guests can enjoy one of the restaurant?s most cherished traditions: fresh ice cream, on the house.
When Norma’s Cafe opened in 1956, it was the kind of homey breakfast spot where the food was as comforting as the waitresses were welcoming—they greeted their customers by name. One of those customers was Ed Murph, who later purchased Norma’s with the goal of keeping the down-home tradition alive. And according to the Dallas Observer, he succeeded. The paper voted Norma’s The Best Home Style Restaurant in 2010, claiming that “the recipes taste as though they haven’t much changed.” It’s those recipes that have made generations of diners—and even food critics—eager to wake up in the morning. Pillowy biscuits blanketed in gravy, chicken fried steaks, and omelets made with farm-fresh eggs are partially responsible for the countless amounts of press and awards Norma’s has earned. But credit the atmosphere for a good portion of the popularity. Norma’s continues to evoke feelings of a friendlier, simpler time, when the pies were made from scratch, the waitresses knew your name, and the jukeboxes didn’t heckle you for your poor music choices.
Dickey's Barbecue Pit traces its origins to 1941 in Dallas. The menu then cataloged only beef brisket, pit hams, barbecue beans, potato chips, beer, bottled milk and sodas. Today, it presents a whole lot more, including barbecue pulled-pork sandwiches and the smokehouse salad with chopped brisket. In the 70+ years since its inception, the menu has been more than expanded. It has been refined. Each Dickey's Barbecue Pit slow-smokes and seasons its meats onsite.
Food & Wine, bon appétit, and Forbes number among the many tipping their hats to SMOKE’s chef and owner Tim Byres. So does First Lady Michelle Obama, who included Tim in the chefs selected to pioneer Chefs Move to Schools. Through the program—just one of Tim’s many community-oriented endeavors—he instills schoolchildren with his “bloom where you are planted” philosophy, which focuses on locally or regionally sourced ingredients. It’s the same approach to food that customers enjoy at SMOKE. Tim cultivates relationships with local independent farmers, so when he and his staff assures customers that their meats are all-natural and free of hormones, they’re sure of it. When it comes to actually smoking Berkshire pork chops or pit-roasting cabrito (goat meat), Tim’s myriad, colorful experiences shine through. He spent his childhood in California, learned to cook in old-world kitchens in Belgium, then ventured across the U.S. to collect barbecue recipes from grandmothers, pit masters, and one species of tree in Tennessee that grows them. Some call for curing beef brisket with coffee (at least at brunch) or shredding hog into tender slivers (a dish for dinner.