Distraction post#1 - Where's the best restaurant you've ever eaten?

Where’s the top three place you’ve ever eaten? …yes, I realize you guys are great cooks and your mamas house was unreal with its delivery…but outside the house


#1 - Le Refuge Du Passe in Paris. I dream about that restaurant. It was off the beaten path in a small house with 2 people: the chef and the lady running the front. I got a French country chicken dish that was just heavenly. It was slow cooked and all the flavors melded perfectly. The bread was hot and fresh, desserts divine, and drinks plentiful.

#2 - Chef Morimoto’s restaurant in Vegas. I had the Kaduki appetizer and Duck Duck Goose dinner. A combination of richness, sweet, and tangy that just satisfied every corner of the palette.

The appetizer was a ten hour pork belly with rice congee and soy-scallion jus. The dinner was duck meatball soup, duck confit fried rice with a quail egg on top, and gooseberry compote.

#3 - A restaurant at the Marriott in Prague had incredible braised rabbit with root vegetables. I’ve never been a fan of beets and turnips, until then. Firm, yet just somehow melted on your tongue and the flavors were just incredible. I also had a wild boar dish there that was the first time I had that meat. I want to hop a plane now and go back. :slight_smile:

I’ve had so many incredible meals around the globe - rare chicken appetizer, the freshest sashimi, and most incredible tempura in Japan, grilled salmon collar and ramen in New Zealand, Kangaroo kabobs in Australia, and Haggis and venison dishes in Scotland. I’ve also gotten to eat some amazing food in the US too - This is It Houston Soul Food has the best ox tails and smothered pork country ribs. THE best smothered pork chops and mac and cheese at Dorothy’s Soul Food Kitchen in Baton Rouge. Mrs Mary’s chicken fried steak in Strawn, TX. Lazy Man’s Cioppino at Scoma’s in San Francisco. Eisbein in Berlin and wild mushroom soup and pirogi in Warsaw.

ALWAYS eat native wherever you are. You might not like it in the USA, but overseas it WILL be different. Sashimi in Japan is one huge example.


Oh boy. As a foodie this is a hard question to answer… a few key places in memory:

BBQ- Hutchins BBQ, McKinney
Italian in America- Coperta, Denver
Italian overall- Aqua al 2, Florence
Sushi- Nobu, Dallas or NYC
Pizza- Cane Rosso Carrollton
Pretzels and croissants- any train station in Germany
Steakhouse - Fogo de Chao
Duck - Le coq Rico, Paris
Grilled Cheese - Llewelyn’s Pub, St Louis
And many more, depending on the mood and flavor :grinning:

There are dishes at each of these restaurants that I frequently dream about and work to recreate.

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Lots but this one has great burgers …


It is a converted old dance hall, always packed out with people waiting outside because there is no room inside.

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Best steak I’ve ever had, Taste of Texas outside Houston.


Anette took me to dinner for my birthday one year at this place:
The food and atmosphere were amazing. The best seafood I’ve ever had.

I’m also partial to le tub in Hollywood Florida

In both cases it’s a combination of amazing food and an amazing location.

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  • Thai: Zense Thai in Irving
  • Street Tacos : Fuel City in Dallas - bring cash and possibly a heater

Have you tried Tacos El Rinconcito on Mill St at Purnell in Lewisville? Cash only, but DAMN, those are some good tacos. Better than Taco Hut in Lewisville, but not open 24 hours and doesn’t take CC like Taco Hut.


Nope. Surely a lot more convenient than Fuel City in terms of geography and likely in terms of excitement as well.

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El Paisa locations. Best predictable street tacos.

Sandy Lake & 35, Walnut Hill & Shady Trail, Harry Hines & Lombardy.


Use to love il Sorento in Turtle Creek but it closed and torn down. Now a condo complex. ;-(

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Marsala’s at 360 and Ave K in Arlington. Unfortunately it closed a number of years ago.

My wife’s favorite restaurant is Le Procope on Rue de l’Ancienne Comédie in Paris.

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@Raymond I completely agree with you that native food when you travel is often better than in the USA by a wide margin…even migrant versions (for example, Italian in London)…that said, never ever eat British raised beef…it doesn’t taste like steak!!!

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Top 3?
I wouldn’t even be able to narrow it down to the top 15…
Bear with me, I’m trying to figure out how to word what I’m wanting to say without sounding like a complete pretentious [email protected]

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Taqueria Cervantes off Independence and PGBT has absolutely amazing street tacos for Mexican street prices. Bring your best Spanish though. They also have the more unusual meats (for America) like Lengua.


Instead of “best”, I’m gonna go with “favorite”. At the end I’ll tell you why.

#1 - Paesanos Italian on 14th and 75 in Plano. Closed now, but it was my favorite Italian place since I moved here in 2002. Homey, consistent service, cheap prices for the quality.

#2 - Eethuis de Dis. Tiny Dutch restaurant in Schaevinegin in the Netherlands circa 1991. Tiny hole in the wall with just 6 tables. Run by a retired cruise ship chef and his wife. Ate there about 2X a month when I lived In Holland for about a year. Wonderful, sometimes strange food. They offered a “day menu” with opener, main course, and dessert for 17 Guilders (about $10).

I tried egg liqueur (called Advocaat) served over sliced bananas, braised beef tongue, raw “new” herring with toast points, escargot, et al.

Wonderful experience and very nice people.

#3 - Goodfellas Pizza in Parker/Wylie, TX. This one is still open. Run by a nice guy named Craig who usually greets his customers by name. Good, solid NY style pizza/pasta/subs place. The restaurant is pretty simple, as is the fare, but the prices are reasonable and it feels like home.

Why these three?
The Dutch have a word which describes a very special place: gezellig. It means cozy, comfortable, etc.


There isn’t an exact translation, but all three of these restaurants nailed it. Not the fanciest, not the best food I’ve ever eaten, certainly not over the top atmosphere, but a consistent, gezellig feeling when I was there and when I think back about them, even though one was nearly 30 years ago.



As you might expect, I have a completely different take on this question.

My favorite meal was from Nora’s (an Italian restaurant in Las Vegas off the strip) but not for the normal reasons.

I had just started using my CPAP machine regularly, but I never got directions on how to use it. I just thought you breathed normally, instead of getting into the habit of closing off your nasal passages to maintain non-leaky airflow. I also didn’t humidify my airflow. As a result, I severely dried out my sinuses on a consistent basis. Anyway, one day something “broke” or “opened up” with my olfactory bulb. Over a one-week period, my sense of smell was magnified five-fold. Things I could never smell before were now in-your-face powerfully fragrant (or stinky, as the case may be).

Food went from being something I merely enjoyed to something overwhelming. The long and short of it is that my baked rigatoni with ricotta cheese from Nora’s was perhaps the most amazing tasting meal I ever ate. It made perfect sense to me why dogs get so over-the-top excitable over treats. It made sense to me why toddlers are such picky eaters, since the sense of smell peaks in early childhood.

I guess what I’m saying is that, while quality fresh ingredients, favorite recipes, and good cooking technique all matter, other factors are important too, such as: the company you keep, the setting, your hunger level, your smell sensitivity, mood, and so on.

I’ve similarly found that the taste of my food improves greatly when I go to the restaurant famished. Apparently, the sensation of hunger activates the CB1 receptors, which activates the olfactory bulb and cortex. Food tastes better when you’re hungry for it.

So stay hungry, my fellow gourmands! Remember that you eat with your nose, as well as your mouth.

P.S.: Star Pizza in Houston makes a wonderful spinach-and-garlic deep dish wheat crust pizza, if you like that sort of thing. I’ll also second the call by TBJK on Taste of Texas. Really, any great steak prepared by a competent cook is to-die-for.



I completely agree.
Some of the best food I remember having comes out of the hole in the wall restaurants, walk-up Street Food style restaurants, and even carts.
Some of my Fondest Memories was getting street food in Tijuana, Okinawa, Tokyo, Bangkok and even walk up service in places like Palermo, Seoul, New Delhi and Dubai.
A lot of the finest of those memories was being young, exploring new and unusual (to a midwestern kid) places with friends.


Edohana sushi in Irving is the best sushi I’ve ever had. I’ve gone to ‘fancy’ sushi restaurants that were overpriced and not nearly as flavorful.
Empa mundo (also in Irving) is a small hole in the wall type empanada place ran by one sweet older woman.
My other go to place is Kebabs-to-go in Irving and Carrollton. They have the best kebabs and wraps, and they also have vegetarian options.
These are all locally owned and operated businesses, and I hope y’all will check them out when you’re in the Irving area


If you have the time, check out Yama Sushi, yamasushidallas.com

That is the only place I have found authentic Yakitori and yakisoba in a restaurant in the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex.