The tradition of Sonny Bryan’s award-winning barbecue started more than a century ago on February 13, a date that would become circled on the calendar again and again throughout Bryan’s Barbecue history. February 13, 1910, marked the opening of Elias Bryan’s Oak Cliff restaurant, Bryan's Barbecue. Exactly 20 years later to the day, his eldest son, William “Red” Jennings Bryan, launched his own restaurant. When February 13 rolled around again 28 years later, Elias’ grandson, William "Sonny" Jennings Bryan Jr., and his wife, Joanne, opened another restaurant, the first Sonny Bryan’s Smokehouse.
Although a different Dallas family now manages multiple locations of the restaurant chain in Utah and the Dallas-Fort Worth area, the legendary barbecue lives on. Sonny Bryan's original barbecue sauce spices up its savory pulled meats and ribs, which have been devoured by US presidents, famous entertainers, sports legends, and A-list animated Disney characters alike. Sonny's seasoned chefs also cater heaps of fresh brisket and smoked chicken to parties and events.
Sonny Bryan's Smokehouse has been on the culinary radar since 1989, snapping up awards and publicity from Food Network, the Travel Channel’s Man V. Food Nation, and Emeril Lagasse’s The Originals with Emeril. The modest joints have also earned some highbrow epicurean chops through a 2006 Zagat rating and a 2000 James Beard Foundation award for Culinary Excellence and Achievement.
If the apple-green walls in Vitality House Café fail to evoke the phrase "an apple a day keeps the doctor away," then a daily recommitment to healthy fare definitely will—keep the doctor away, that is. As graduates of Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts, Chefs Chris and Sandy Smith aimed to create wellness-inducing meals for families, having just had a child of their own. Gluten-free and vegan preparations grace their menu, which specifically lists the number of calories for each dish. For instance, strawberry-almond pancakes harbor precisely 403 calories collectively, and the portabello-mushroom sandwich stacks up 301 calories. Heartier meals grace tables at dinnertime, including a maple-soy-glazed salmon with grilled broccolini and a roasted half chicken that is paired with a choice of two sides.
However tasty the dishes may be, they cannot grace the dine-in and catering menus until they have passed the scrutiny of in-house nutritionist Kelly Crawford. As a Cooper Institute–certified dietary guidance counselor and AFPA-certified nutrition and wellness consultant, she stays abreast of current food trends and offers nutritional services such as meal planning and sabotaging the tourism industry of Candy Land.
Brazil Brasileiro’s enthusiastic staff celebrates Brazil’s culinary and cultural heritage with feasts of sizzling meat and sumptuous spreads of fresh fare. Traditional rodizio meals pepper taste buds with seven different cuts of roasted pork, chicken, and beef straight off the skewer, including the namesake rodizio, Brazil’s signature cut of steak and form of currency. Tableside servers generously carve off unlimited slices of meat garnished with seasonings of zesty pineapple and spicy cinnamon. In addition to dishing out all-you-can-eat roasted meats, Brazil Brasileiro lays out a buffet that satisfies more diverse appetites for tropical fare with a wide array of traditional Brazilian edibles. Like Pele’s brief conquest of the United States, Brazil Brasileiro aims to import an authentic atmosphere of Brazilian joie de vivre onto American shores by broadcasting South American soccer games on flat-screen TVs. Additionally, live music reverberates across the cozy, hardwood walls, and Brazilian souvenirs beckon to shoppers from the restaurant’s gift shop.
Around the turn of the millennium, Fabien Goury and Yasmine Bohsali opened Main Street Bistro as a simple shop where neighbors could stop in for a cup of coffee and a chocolate-filled croissant. Popularity came quickly, and soon the bakery had expanded into a full-fledged bistro and added two more locations, including a Richardson outpost with a greenery-framed patio. The current owners, the Marshi family, took over in 2007. To American ears today, the word bistro might conjure up a decidedly upscale eatery, but in their menu, the Marshi family say they’re reaching back to an older sense of the term: a low-key place serving “flavorful home-style fare of generous portions accompanied by modest wines.” Three meals a day, they blend French tradition with Southwestern favorites, clasping hand-formed Angus burgers in brioche rolls, pairing crab-stuffed salmon with Southwest-style corn, and placing quiche Lorraine on the breakfast menu alongside migas and eggs benedict. A full bar completes the bistro experience with a variety of beverage choices.
The seasoned chefs at Dimassi's Mediterranean Buffet whip up unlimited portions of authentic Middle Eastern cuisine seven days a week. Partnered patrons survey the robust buffet to plot their takeover of fresh, house-made bread sauced with hummus or baba ghanouj, a roasted and seasoned eggplant purée. Endless supplies of savory entrees silence even the chattiest tummies with chicken kebabs and baked-fish-shaped pacifiers. Diners not on speaking terms with salt may opt for Dimassi’s spinach baked with chickpeas, onions, garlic, and cilantro, and herbivores can nosh on an assortment of seasoned veggies or a greek salad with feta, olive oil, and aged balsamic vinegar. Dining duos toast to the possibility of falafel shot put becoming a common party game with unlimited glasses of iced tea or soft drinks. Fistfuls of jam cookies or ladyfingers with walnuts, sugar, and rose and orange water give meals a delicately sweet sendoff.
After ten hours of slow-cooking, the barbecue ribs at Joe’s American Bar & Grill land on tables tender and ready to fall of the bone. Served with fresh-made coleslaw, these ribs are the centerpiece of a menu overflowing with upscale comfort food. Chefs cut potatoes by hand to accompany bacon cheeseburgers topped with aged cheddar and bread-and-butter pickles made in-house rather than flown in by a talking stork. Grilled pizzas are made fresh to order and never frozen, and hefty sandwiches and hand-cut steaks stack plates with sustenance. On the weekends, brunch dishes come out of hibernation to sate guests with made-to-order omelets and specialties such as eggs benedict and prime-rib hash. Diners enjoy the fresh air on the outdoor patio or cluster around the bar to keep track of sports scores or find out who really got married on Days of Our Lives.