Since we knew Austin would be crawling with South by Southwesters this Spring Break, my family and I decided to take a road trip to Dallas. We’d never been before and didn’t know what to expect, food-wise, man were our stomachs impressed. After three days of eating and drinking our way through the Big D, these were the big three restaurants that stood out:
Dough Pizzeria Napoletana
11909 Preston Rd.
I first heard about this place on Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives, when Guy Fieri visited the San Antonio location in 2011. Having remembered that Dough’s burrata appetizer got many a fist-bump from Guy, we tried that along with a Preston Hollow pizza. Burrata is an Italian cheese made from a soft center of mozzarella and cream, encased by solid mozzarella and formed into a ball, which Dough complemented with basil pesto flatbread and tomato slices. The Preston Hollow pizza was on the spicy side but seriously packed with flavor, covered in house-made tomato sauce, house-made sausage, Calabrian chiles, caramelized onions, and house-pulled mozzarella, not to mention a perfectly charred crust from the brick oven it was baked in. Fist-bump worthy indeed.
Sprinkles Ice Cream
8413 Preston Center Plaza Dr.
Most Houstonians are familiar with Sprinkles Cupcakes, the California-based chain with a location in Highland Village. But Dallasites get another level of Sprinkles: ice cream, the chain’s latest sweet treat. While waiting in line at Sprinkles Ice Cream—located next to a Sprinkles Cupcakes and the Sprinkles Cupcake ATM—I was so overwhelmed with choices that I nearly couldn’t decide between a scoop, sundae, or float; choosing from one of the 21 flavors was a whole other battle. I didn’t make up my mind until I was at the counter and decided on Cap’n Crunch ice cream in a red velvet waffle cone. The cone itself was a dessert—imagine red velvet cake turned crispy wafer—supporting pillows of light, creamy, Cap’n Crunch-filled ice cream. If you’ve got a thing for magical combinations like the Shipley’s Glazed & Confused Donut ice cream at Eatsie Boys, you have to try Sprinkles Ice Cream while in Dallas.
3012 N. Henderson Ave.
Velvet Taco’s vast menu Greek, vegetarian, Vietnamese, and even British twists on the taco encouraged me to break out of my comfort zone and try something new. My fish ‘n chips taco was stuffed with malted french fry shreds and beer battered cod, and topped with curry mustard. Mustard in a taco? Sounds weird, right? I couldn’t stop talking about how good it was, to the point that everyone else at the table was jealous they hadn’t ordered one. My roasted pork banh mi taco was served up like your typical banh mi sandwich with a few significant differences. All of the standard fillings were there—the pork, radish sprouts, and pickled veggies—but what made it delightfully different was the Asian barbecue sauce mixed in and the blue corn tortilla holding it all together. Velvet Taco makes the most random but most phenomenal tacos I’ve ever eaten.