A few weeks ago I traveled to Dallas to watch the Cowboys play the Tampa Bay Bucs at AT&T Stadium (Jerry’s World). It was my first visit to the most amazing of sports arenas and I was definitely “Wowed”. Jones has put so many great amenities in the place that I didn’t even complain when I shelled out $9 for a Coors beer.
I’ve been a Dallas Cowboys fan since about age 10 and as a long-time Florida resident the Bucs have been my team of choice all the way back to those putrid orange uniforms. My favorite all-time Cowboy is wide receiver Drew Pearson, who attended the same college, the University of Tulsa in Oklahoma, where I graduated with undistinguished honors.
Enough about football, though, I want to talk about steaks and barbecue in Dallas. The restaurants where I dined definitely enhanced the enjoyment of the trip.
I thoroughly enjoyed Pappas Bros. Steakhouse. The steaks are exceptional and the ambiance exudes that classic, polished wood steak house feel. While I’m not a carnivore connoisseur, I think I know a good steak. I grew up in Tulsa, Oklahoma and during my teens and early 20s I feasted on steaks prepared by Lebanese chefs at places like Jamil’s, Eddie’s, The Phoenician and Ziegfield’s nightclub and I’ve dined in steak capitals like Omaha, New York and Buenos Aires.
I had a to-die-for New York strip at Pappas Bros. Here’s their secret to success: They use only corn-fed Midwestern beef and dry age it for at least 28 days. Forget all the fancy seasonings, too. They let the beef stand on its own by simply using kosher salt, pepper and butter to enhance the flavor. Then they sear it on Montague broilers to create a crust to seal in the flavor. In addition, there’s a terrific wine list, helpful sommeliers and excellent sides like asparagus and phenomenal onion rings.
For barbecue, I can’t imagine there’s a better place than Pecan Lodge in downtown Dallas. The hugely popular, few frills restaurant is worth the wait in line (there always seems to be a line). Texas Monthly has called it one of the Top 4 BBQ joints in the world. Everything there is prepared with love and care. They wood smoke all their meats and make their own sausage. I had the 3 meat platter with brisket, sausage and ribs with cole slaw and fried okra and Aunt Polly’s Banana Pudding…Culinary heaven, my friends.
Quite honestly, I’ve vowed to never visit Dallas again without dining at Pappas Bros. and Pecan Lodge.
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