The cooks at Dickey's Barbecue Pit have been serving slow-smoked, USDA-inspected meats slathered in sauce concocted from the Dickey family recipe since the first shop opened in Dallas in 1941. The menu is populated with sandwiches piled high with barbecue-drenched Texas-style chopped beef brisket, southern pulled pork, spicy cheddar sausage, and turkey breast ($3.50–$7). Fingers dress themselves to paint white T-shirts after handling plates mounded with barbecue-smothered ribs, which are accompanied by a choice of two sides such as creamy coleslaw, waffle-iron fries, or mac 'n' cheese ($11). The Giant Stuffed Baker cushions a family of meat, cheese, and toppings on a baked-potato sofa more fluffy than Mother's Day card poetry ($5.50–$7).
Tapping in to fresh, local ingredients, the wing-slingers at Wing Barn offer classic appetizers and sides along with a made-to-order menu of Texas favorites. Jumbo-sized crispy wings—available in orders of five ($4.49), 10 ($8.49), and up—can be smothered in one of 14 original homemade sauces, including garlic parmesan, honey mustard, and cilantro chipotle lime. Teeth can sink into half-pound burgers such as the Ranch Hand ($7.99), as well as fresh salads and Texas State Fair–inspired desserts, including funnel cake, fried oreos, fried twinkies, and fried oil rigs. Head to the outdoor patio, settle indoors within eyes' reach of several big screens, or polish off a dozen of the hottest wings to win the Lava Wing Challenge, thus earning a place on the Wall of Fame and a seat in Valhalla.
A towering chalkboard announces the menu at Chef Mark's restaurant, which certified executive chef Mark Carpenter erases and redrafts each day. Drawing from nearly 40 years of experience, Carpenter oversees an experienced kitchen staff as they whip up hearty comfort breakfasts and lunches from scratch. The restaurant's countertops steam with freshly made platters of pot roasts, meatloaf, and pork chops, and a salad bar showcases colorful vegetables and dressings. Meanwhile, a dessert bar is piled high with trays of warm cinnamon buns, crusty rolls, cookies, and pies. After selecting their meals, customers retire to a sunlit dining room filled with white-clothed tables. The welcoming, communal atmosphere is accentuated by decorative flower arrangements, a bookshelf of reading material, and a prohibition on duck hunting of any kind.
At El Patron, chefs cook up an expansive menu of Mexican cuisine. Fajitas carry bounties of beef, chicken, chorizo, or veggies sizzling freshly on hot skillets, supported by a cast of burritos, quesadillas, and enchiladas, as well as vegetarian options. Meanwhile, a drinks menu details domestic and imported draft beers, as well as margaritas with lime, peach, strawberry, or mango.