Dallas's Best Cheap Eats
Meet Our Dallas Restaurant Connoisseur
Tim Byres is a Dallas star known for gutsy smokehouse flavors paired with spiffed-up Southern-style preparations–think pimiento cheese croquettes with grilled romaine. But when he leaves the kitchen, he's ready to be anonymous. "There's my life and the restaurant life," he says. "The hospitality biz is awesome and intriguing, but it can be consuming. I'm interested in family-run businesses and passed-down recipes, so that means little independent restaurants. It's fun because when you go, it's like being in someone's house."
Edelweiss German Restaurant
Sometimes, only a Sausage Plate, sauerkraut, and polka fix will do. That's when Tim heads to this 44-year-old shrine to goulash and giant ham shanks. "There are no windows, so when you're there it could be noon or midnight." Adding to the surreal setting are accordion-playing musicians in lederhosen, live polka, and big steins of beer.
3801 Southwest Blvd., Fort Worth; 817/735-5934; edelweissgermanrestaurant.com
Wingfield's Breakfast & Burger
"This is a down and dirty burger joint that also serves breakfast. You order inside (cash only), and then hang around outside for your food. Get the cheeseburger. There's nothing like a hamburger-grease-down-your-arm, iced-tea-on-a-bench kind of meal."
2615 South Beckley Avenue, Dallas; 214/943-5214; wingfieldsbreakfastandburgers.com
Tim orders the Hot Buffet with Salad with chickpea curry, basmati rice, crispy pakoras (vegetables dipped in a chickpea-flour batter and fried), noodles, and more at this tranquil vegetarian Indian restaurant. "They have an amazing creamy lemon tahini dressing that inspired a salad at Smoke."
5430 Gurley Avenue, Dallas; 214/821-1048; kalachandjis.com
Mai's Vietnamese Restaurant
Go for Vietnamese Iced Coffee and sizzling entrées like Chicken Curry Clay Pot: rice topped with chicken and mixed vegetables in a coconut curry sauce. "The rice chars on the edges of the pot, so you get a mix of crunchy and soft, warm curry, and fresh vegetables."
4812 Bryan Street, Dallas; 214/826-9887
El Ranchito Café
"I order the Cabrito a la Parrilla, which is grilled baby goat with rice, charro beans, guacamole, pico de gallo, and freshly made tortillas."
610 West Jefferson Blvd., Dallas; 214/946-4238