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.
It's not every day that a dinner with friends risks a murder accusation. That's a good possibility for the guests of The Murder Mystery Company, who find themselves in the middle of a investigation for which any one of them could stand accused by a hapless detective. During each interactive dinner, the company's troupe of professional improv actors ignites the dining room with entertaining outbursts and hilarious one-liners in an effort to divulge clues and redirect guilt. Meanwhile, guests work together to sniff out the real culprit, which is definitely not the school janitor in a mask. Birthday parties, bachelorette celebrations, and corporate events can also get in on the interactive action by scheduling a private murder-mystery dinner.
In 2003, entrepreneur Donald Brown opened the first Donald Brown Chicken, a restaurant that would soon become a family enterprise. Though the signature fried-chicken recipe is a well-kept secret guarded by cooks trained in krav maga, daughter Donnice gladly gives out hints to its taste. "It's a touch spicy, but my 1-year-old nephew and 2-year-old niece love to eat it," she says. Housemade waffles and traditional sides such as greens, yams, and black-eyed peas round out meals.
Dick Woodward found his family in the restaurant industry—literally. In the 1970s, he began managing restaurants throughout Texas and Georgia and eventually landed at The Hoffbrau, where he met his wife, Teril. By 1985, they were operating their own small chain of cafés in downtown Dallas, but their desire to return to Dick’s hometown of Cedar Hill led to a new plan. Soon they relocated there and opened Dick’s Uptown Cafe in 2009, filling plates with their return-trip-beckoning pancakes, philly cheesesteaks, and the whole mess, a breakfast hodgepodge of hash browns, onions, and a choice of breakfast meat capped with two cheesy eggs.
Dick and Teril recently expanded their menu to include dinner, lining up entrees as varied as pork tenderloin steeped in olive oil and build-your-own burgers. Patrons and owls curious about what mornings are all about are still always welcome to order from the all-day breakfast menu.
White Rhino Coffee is about more than just coffee—although really good coffee is of the utmost importance here. Open early and closing late, the cafe serves as a place where strangers can become friends over caffeine-fueled conversations and laughter. Along with classic french press, espresso, and drip coffees, the staff recommends tasty drinks like nonfat iced dirty peppermint chai. "Edibles" such as house-baked cookies, muffins, fresh fruit, and scrumptious sandwiches keep bellies full and quiet during events like open mic night and group naps.
When viewing the eatery's exterior, Éclair Bistro appears to be a small, conservative dwelling. But inside, the quaint dining room bustles with bright French-inspired cuisine crafted by chefs Aaron and Lynn—a mother and son team who curate the dynamic menu of old New Orleans dishes made in house from fresh, seasonal ingredients. Among them, classics such as imported escargot simmer in a rich herbed butter, and pan-roasted duck breast mingles with poached pears and roasted potatoes in a tart raspberry gastrique.