Drawing on his experience as an artist, Pablo Esparza festoons the walls of his restaurant with a rotating display of work from local artists and framed prints of his own black-and-white photography. He also taps into 20 years of restaurant experience, staffing his kitchen with cooks who skillfully grill carne asada, assemble torta sandwiches, and wrap tortillas around beef, rice, and beans according to his specifications and the whims of a giant magic 8 ball. Bartenders mix custom cocktails and dispense brews from behind the full bar, and diners croon out hits during karaoke nights or dance to tunes from live DJs.
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.
Fresh, cooked to order catfish fillets and jumbo fried shrimp anchor the focused menu at Catfish Fridays. The restaurant’s catch is always fresh—never frozen, microwaved, stowed under a heat-lamp, or tied to a radiator. One big reason for their success: Catfish Fridays’ owner perfected his secret recipe during his time as the owner of another Dallas seafood institution, Catfish Connection.
The kitchen anglers at Staks of Fish bait appetites with a menu showcasing crispy, comforting fish dinners. Jumbo shrimp, catfish, tilapia, red snapper, and whiting take a dip in the house's secret batter before diving into the deep fryer and emerging golden brown like a pan-fried Academy Award. Cooks craft dinners to sate a range of appetites, with meals such as two red-snapper fillets ($7.99) or 10 shrimp ($10.99), complemented by a choice of fries, hush puppies, coleslaw, or bread and pepper. Fingers wrap up ready-made sandwiches ($3.99) to take on impromptu picnics, and à la carte diners may order extra coleslaw ($1) or extra bread ($0.25 for two slices) to create DIY po boys.
In 1964, Wes and Ann Jespersen built a gateway to the past, where today their children helm Ben Franklin Apothecary’s pharmacy and adjoining quilt shop, general store, and old-fashioned Kitchen’s Deli, where malts and ice-cream floats recall the soda shops of yore. Amid the deli’s vintage Coca-Cola ephemera, hot sandwiches and cold cuts nestle into baskets lined with red-gingham wrappers, and jumbo baked potatoes embrace chili and cheese. Kitchen’s Deli’s signature pies rotate daily, filling buttery crusts with coconut-, peanut-butter-banana-pudding-, and strawberry-flavored charts of the free-market system. The deli also caters celebrations and hosts special events such as happy hours and appearances by Elvis impersonators.
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.