The Mansion Restaurant
2821 Turtle Creek Blvd.
There’s no disputing that this is Oak Lawn gayborhood’s best-known, most highly praised restaurant. Probably the most expensive, too, but quality — here defined as “haute cuisine, Texas style” — has its price.
When you’re in Dallas, there’s only one type of meal that will define your visit, and that’s steak. Pappa Bros. Steakhouse looks plain on the outside, but inside you’ll find a clean, industrial look. Start off with the charcuterie plate, move on to the seasoned steak, or pork or lamb loin, and finish it off with a suitably decadent dessert like a peanut butter cup and chocolate ganache.
Authentic Tex-Mex means gooey processed cheese, soft corn tortillas (not those godawful hard shells) and tables full of noisy children. Deal with it, because this is the real thing.
As much a gay club as restaurant, this is the original that inspired a mini-chain from Denver to D.C. After imbibing one of the drink not-too-specials (Jell-O shots, domestic longneck beer, etc.), you can order from the admittedly equally limited menu that does, however, have the advantage of rock-bottom prices.
Brine the bird for a full day, roll in seasoned flour, dredge in buttermilk, more flour, and you have the fried chicken that’s the South’s greatest gift to cuisine.
You may end up calling it “Off the Map” as you drive around an industrial area of South Dallas looking for this barbeque landmark. Keep driving, because this is what barbeque is all about: smoky, spiced, tender and lots of it.