Grill masters at Chasin' Tail BBQ slow-smoke meats kneaded with special seasonings and slathered with a homemade sauce, and they regularly enter their tender treats in barbecue competitions. Diners can gerrymander plates after electing two meats from a trio of candidates that includes slow-cooked pulled pork, beef, or chicken—all drizzled with savory barbecue sauce and body guarded by a hunk of bread. Pairs of sides—with options such as mac 'n' cheese or barbecue baked beans—evoke the down-home comforts of swinging on a back porch and whittling a second back porch out of cornbread. For dessert, peach cobbler or pecan pie shoot down gullets in sweet streaks reminiscent of sugared stars.
The menus at Meddlesome Moth gastropub are just as eclectic as the stained-glass cathedral windows of pop culture icons behind the bar. Executive chef David McMillan relies on international elements to create such dishes as mussels simmered in French, Spanish, and Thai ingredients, along with fried hominy, tandoori lamb, bangers and mash, and pork belly with figs. Small plates heavily populate the menu to encourage communal dining and beer pairing, but the chef also designs his own gourmet versions of classic pub and brasserie fare, including pilsner-battered fish and chips and blue-cheese-topped steak frites. Co-owner and resident beer expert Keith Schlabs ensures that each menu listing includes its complementary brew, and also organizes themed beer flights to demonstrate which ales are the most aerodynamic. He curates a selection of more than 40 draft beers and 85 bottles, including rare cask ales. Once diners have decided, servers parade the dishes and their chosen pairings out on the covered outdoor patio or through a dining room that D Magazine describes as a "funky-cozy venture."
DaLat Restaurant & Bar plates up Vietnamese comfort food from 11 a.m. until 2 a.m. every day of the week. The spread includes meaty soup bowls, vegetarian dishes, and DaLat's take on the Banh Mi sandwich, the Khanhwich, which chefs whip up in five different styles. The pho was recently lauded by a Dallas Morning News reviewer, who wrote, "There's no place in Dallas to match this bowl of warming pho bo after midnight. But I'll take it anytime of day at DaLat." Equipped with a full-service bar, DaLat also offers a line of specialty cocktails, such as tangmosa and its signature DaLat Dragon Shot, which includes a dried Vietnamese prune, a chilled tequila shot, and a lime topped with powdered prune.
A young, hip crowd frequents Oak Cliff’s Nova, a Kessler Park gastropub that features some of Dallas’ best brick-oven pizza. Nova is a standalone space with a 1950s-esque exterior, and a chic, unruffled interior. Nova offers daily and weekly specials from mini sliders to New York strip Vietnamese style with baby bok choy, chili peanuts, cucumber, mint and roasted tomato-ginger sauce or lemongrass vinaigrette. As much neighborhood hangout as weekend haunt, the bar comes complete with beer and a special cocktail menu. There are also regular menu changes, so if you eat at Nova once, it could easily be different the second time around.