When strangers find out I’m a restaurant writer, they always demand that I name my favorite restaurant. Which is like asking a music writer to name their favorite band, or asking a mother to admit which is their favorite child. There are certainly favoriteS, meals I loved, meals I crave, memorable moments from this year and meals I wish I could relive, however. So as 2014 comes to a close, I’ll let you in on some of those meals I’ll remember for a long time.
These are My Favorite Meals of 2014 in Dallas (mostly), in order of appearance.
January Super Cool CBD | First legit date night out post #foodbabies. It was glorious. The food was also pretty great. Doubling Down at Gemma | I went twice. It was that good. But you know that. It’s on everybody’s list and everybody’s lips.
February Bangin’ Panang at CrushCraft | CrushCraft is cool looking. It’s also doing great serving something so much better than shitty sandwiches to working stiffs and that makes me happy.
Hot, hot buns at Tanoshii Ramen | I like Tanoshii. It looks good, feels good and tastes good. Meals there are simple and Asian. I like that.
A Biscuit Named Amy at Hypnotic Donuts | Don’t skip the biscuits at Hypnotic. The donuts are cool, too, but trust me. Don’t. Skip. The. Biscuits.
Getting Drunk at Chino Chinatown | Inside, out on the patio, wherever. The drunken noodles are my jam. I love the creativity and punchy flavors at Chino. Great cocktails too.
Patioing at Savor | It’s my little oasis to hang out with the fam on the patio eating a tasty salad or deviled eggs at Savor at Klyde Warren Park. It’s kind of my Happy Place.
March Zoli’s NY Pie | New York City is alive and well in Dallas. Just get yourself a NY cheese pie from Zoli’s, grab a table and have a seat. If you like salad, have one of those. Maybe grab a coke, some garlic knots, another kind of pizza like a slice of Grandma or something. It’s all good. Smile at the unicorn.
Chicken Pot Pie at Emporium Pies | On National Pie Day, The Pie Goddesses at Emporium Pies create and serve their one and only savory pie. It’s glorious.
April Steak Tartare at Knife* | My first taste of Tesar’s Knife was quite good. It was raw, and served on a soft triangular pillow of naan. Damn good.
May Yellowtail at Knife* | Back at Knife for dinner I tried the Yellowtail appetizer and was reminded of why I loved Spoon so much. Perfection on a plate.
#1 at Cindi’s NY Deli | Nothing new here. New York-style stacks of meat on rye with cole slaw. Done.
June Flan-drunk at Abuelo’s* | Surprisingly sexual flan from a place named after somebody’s grandpa.
Salted Caramel cupping at Neighborhood Services | Ending a meal at Neighborhood Services with this is now required. You’re welcome.
July Croissant Bread Pudding at Stock and Barrel | I guess I was into desserts this summer. Didn’t bother me much. The entire meal at Stock and Barrel was so incredible, from crudo to croissant.
August Stopping for an Extra Lean Pastrami on Rye | So simple, and yet so impossible to duplicate. The Czech Stop in West, TX (Yup, the famous kolache spot) makes a killer sandwich.
September Sipping a tableside marg at Stampede 66 | Part of a great meal at Stampede, because every meal is, this fruity, frozen and firey spectacle is worth the price of admission.
Ropa Vieja at San Salvaje* | At the newest gem by celebuchef Stephan Pyles, the rope vieja is at once familiar, comforting and modern. I loved it.
Devileds at Oak* | I’ve been a fan of Oak since the beginning, through lots of chefs, some issues with service, bartenders coming and going, but I think they’ve got something really great right now.
October Brisket and Mac and Cheese at Pecan Lodge* | There are a few great barbecue joints in Dallas. Pecan Lodge happens to be the one that makes the brisket that I rank as numero uno. Slap a side of green chile mac and cheese next to it and I’m in heaven.
Fondue at Proof and Pantry | Forget the drama and the hullaballoo that surrounded P&P. The food’s good. It’s expensive as hell, and the menu is a tad small, but it’s good. So that’s really all you need to know.
Hash at Henry’s Majestic* | They take delicious potatoes, incredible pastrami made by Meat Parlour and put a couple of fried eggs on top. It’s what breakfast was meant to be.
November Pressed Sushi at Sushi on McKinney (Plano) | Short story: I love SoM. SoM moved to 75/Parker. Sad bitch. Well, SoM is still the same old SoM, just super far north. Go there and get you some SoM.
The Char Bar at Asador* | Like as in, the entire Char Bar. Control + A, if you will. A good friend and I ate the entire thing. For research, of course, for a story. And it was oh so wonderful. We felt good afterward. There were incredible cheeses, delicious meats, pickled things, housemade accoutrements. Everything you want in a cheeseboard.
December Smoked Turkey at Lockhart Smokehouse | Because meat. See also: potato salad and deviled eggs with brisket in them.
Christmas Eve Dumplings from Royal China | It’s what Jews do on Christmas. And it’s what Royal China has been doing for like a hundred years.
Ceviche at TJ’s Fish Market* | Now that two huge fish players in the Dallas pond have gone belly up (sorry, it’s late), Jon Alexis and a small handful of others are getting great fish in a landlocked town. Modern technology is the best.
There you have it. 2014 was memorable eating. And 2015 is shaping up to be even better. Stick around to watch, join in, and root for the bitch.
Happy New Year!
*TRANSPARENCY NOTE: Items marked with an asterisk represent meals or restaurants where that particular dish on either that or on a previous visit was comped. All images property of foodbitch.
Foodbitch is an expert eater and published food writer who lives in Dallas, Texas with her exceptionally well-fed twin daughters, husband and their dogs. She’ll tell you what to eat and you’ll like it.