A half pound of seasoned ground beef dressed in a thick overcoat of toppings and condiments awaits the arrival of hungry patrons in the comforting confines of Vince’s South Port Restaurant. A classic diversion from a spicied-up menu loaded with the piquant flavors of Cajun Louisiana, the Original burger offers its own tasty torrent of mouthwatering flavors. Thick spreads of mayonnaise and mustard grace the soft surface of the bun and serve as the groundwork for savory skyscrapers of crisp lettuce, juicy tomatoes, pickles, and onions. Swiss or american cheese can be melted onto the flame-grilled masterpiece for an additional 50 cents, and a cultivated audience of french fries stands nearby on the plate, eager to appraise the meal’s cultural merit and comment on its principled sophistication.
A staple in the Dallas eating scene since before the first location in Oak Cliff was cool, La Calle Doce opened in 1981, just ten minutes from downtown. Set inside a renovated former home, the original location on 12th Street is near to bursting with relaxed charm. Each cozy, wood-floored room offers up a couple of white tablecloth spots for simple dining, while sunlight pours in and homey touches – think hutches filled with china, decorative wallpaper – round out the experience. Offering some of the best Tex¬-Mex food in town, La Calle Doce pushes plates of saucy seafood and fresh ingredients, served in tacos, sopas, cocteles or as standalone plates.
Ruggeri’s Italian Kitchen’s experienced culinary crafters whip together an expansive lunch and dinner menu brimming with homemade Italian dishes. A plate of thin spaghetti ties tongues in a web of noodles and slow cooked bolognese sauce ($16) while a meal of italian sausage and peppers serenade mouths with a harmonizing trio of bell peppers, onions, and tomatoes ($18.95). The pescatore diavalo ($19.95), a savory blend of shrimp, calamari, mussels, scallops, and artichoke hearts, bobs in a pool of marinara sauce to give land-locked tongues a more authentic taste of the sea than a fricasseed ship hull. Though Ruggeri's offers an array of meat options, including chicken, veal, and beef, plantivores can sink their bicuspids into a tomato & blue cheese salad bedecked with fresh basil vinaigrette and shallots ($8).
Shellfish and butter-brushed steaks served in an elegant atmosphere permeated by live jazz.
While You’re Waiting
Steak oscar: steak topped with crab, asparagus, and hollandaise or béarnaise sauce.
Steak au poivre: steak seared in a crust of cracked peppercorns, leaving it rare to medium-rare inside.
In the Oscar-winning movie Forrest Gump, one of the title character's best pals, Bubba, lists more than 20 ways one can cook shrimp. Though the chefs at Fish Bone Grill—which is now celebrating 30 years in business—don’t cover them all, they come pretty close. The Fish Bone team tends to stick to a few staples—crab legs, catfish, and oysters in addition to shrimp—but there’s hardly a lack of variety on their menu. Patrons can order the fresh seafood in any number of ways, including golden fried, blackened, sautéed in a New Orleans–style stir-fry, mixed in an étouffée, or hidden inside a piñata. The chefs also incorporate additional fresh seafood, such as salmon, mahi-mahi, tilapia, sea scallops, and alaskan snow-crab legs into a few of their specialties, and they even throw in a few land-faring meals such as chicken-breast sandwiches and chicken tenders. Regardless of your order, the portions are always generous, encouraging you to grab a beer and stick around to enjoy the fun, vibrant atmosphere of this modern throwback to an old oyster bar.