I am the first one to admit that although I pride myself as a foodie, I am also a creature of habit. I am all about trying new places and dishes, but when I find something I really love, I have a tendency to never order anything else. These are the dishes that compel me to drive across town, listed in no particular order.
After you check mine out, tell us--what are your most crave-worthy Dallas dishes? We want to know!
1. Canh Chu (Vietnamese Hot and Sour Soup)
3211 Oak Lawn Ave, Dallas, TX 75219
If I'm not feeling well, if it's cold and rainy, or if I'm in the mood for something light but full of flavor, there's nothing better than this soup. The perfect combination of sweet and spicy, this chicken-broth based soup is loaded with fresh tomatoes, pineapple, and your choice of shrimp or chicken. It is literally not possible for me to eat at Green Papaya and not order it. A little tip—the shrimp comes with the tails still on, so it's kind of a beating to eat in the soup. Go with chicken.
2. Chicken Salad
1600 Alma Rd., Richardson, TX 75081
Mayonnaise is my kryptonite. You can make the best hamburger in the world, but if you put mayonnaise on it, I'm out. Because of this, chicken salad is usually a no-go for me. The chicken salad at Café Max on the other hand, is a mix of roast chicken, pears, apples, walnuts and green and red bell pepper. I've never been able to put my finger on exactly what's in the sauce, but I think it's a mixture of cider vinegar, cilantro and apple juice. Whatever it is, it's delicious, and—at least I like to think—a little more virtuous than your run-of-the-mill chicken salad.
3. Cheese Enchiladas
3011 Routh Street, Dallas, TX 75201
6332 La Vista Drive, Dallas, TX 75214
Most decent cheese enchiladas are fairly crave-able, but these are irresistible. The combination of chile con carne, onion, cheese and tortillas is a classic, but these are at the top of the genre. Yum.
4. Baby Spinach Salad with Steak
State and Allen Lounge
2400 Allen St., Dallas, TX 75204
In general, I'm not much of a salad person, but I order this one almost every time we eat at State and Allen Lounge, which is fairly often. The fresh spinach, raspberry, red onion and oranges are topped with blue cheese crumbles and dressed with warm vinaigrette. Because I'm a total carnivore, I usually get the steak on top, which goes great with the other flavors in the salad. It's crunchy, sweet, tangy, and meaty. What more could you ask for in a salad? Or any meal, for that matter?
5. Crawfish Enchiladas
4416 Live Oak, Dallas, TX 75204
Yes, I'm raving about Alligator Café—again. I just can't stress the greatness of this place enough. The Crawfish Enchiladas are almost always what I order. Normally cheese and seafood don't mix, but this is the exception. It's also served with dirty rice and red beans, both of which are crave-able in their own right.