48 Hours in Dallas

I spent two days in Dallas this weekend, and it was jam-packed. One highlight would have to be the Heroes Memorial Climb, but I already told you all about that. The other highlight was an incredible meal at Fearing’s, one of the most renowned restaurants in the country.

david-fearings-sign

Dean Fearing is a legend in the food world, and is known for putting southwestern cuisine on the culinary map. He’s won countless awards and accolades, had a show on the Food Network when the channel was still in its infancy, and, more recently, was a guest judge on “Top Chef.”

My friend Mike (who was briefly introduced in my last post) is the General Manager at Fearing’s, and he kindly arranged for me to have an incredible meal – a six-course tasting menu of Dean’s most famous and beloved dishes. It was probably the best meal I’ve ever had. Every dish was more delicious than the one that came before.

Fearings-scallops-crispy-leek-entree

Skillet Seared Sea Scallops, and a Jonah Crab/Ricotta Crispy Leek, with a Sunchoke Puree with a Saute of Morel Mushrooms, House Cured Bacon and English Peas with Kumquat Marmalade

I didn’t even know you could stuff a leek – but Dean found a way to do it!

Fearings-Buffalo-tenderloin-entree

Maple/Black Peppercorn Soaked Buffalo Tenderloin on Brazos Valley Jalapeño Grits, Tangle of Greens and Butternut Squash Taquito with Smoky Chili Aioli

I love buffalo and eat it when I can (I’ve even cooked with it), but I’ve never had buffalo like this before. It was succulent and flavorful, and the smoky chili aioli was unbelievable. I want to eat it on everything!

Other courses included Dean’s famous Tortilla Soup, his Barbequed Shrimp Taco, and Barbeque-Glazed Quail that came with the fanciest wedge salad I’ve ever had. And since it was a tasting menu, the portions were small, so I got to try lots of stuff without feeling like a whale afterward.

Speaking of afterward, the final course was a Frozen Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Ice Cream and Pineapple and Macadamia Garnishes. I had the chance to hang out with Jill, the restaurant’s pasty chef, the night before, and she’s a lovely, friendly woman who makes mind-blowing desserts.

fearings-carrot-cake-cream-cheese-ice-cream-dessert

Everyone at Fearing’s, actually, was really friendly, including Dean Fearing himself. He came by my table three of four times, and we chatted a little bit, and he’s a genuinely nice, approachable, guy. He even sent me home with his newest cookbook, The Texas Food Bible

fearings-cookbook-texas-food-bible

…which he autographed for me!

dean-fearing-autographed-copy-cookbook

I can’t wait to tackle some of the recipes in here. I’ll probably start with that smoky chili aioli!

Long story short: if you have the chance to go to Fearing’s, GO!

What else, what else? I had some time to kill before going to Fearing’s, so I hopped on a free trolley and saw a couple Dallas neighborhoods.

david-trolley-dallas

And, of course, there was more eating. Mike knows more about food than anyone I know, so he picked a couple other restaurants for us to hit during my visit, and, most of the time, I made smart choices (there’s one exception, which will be glaringly obvious).

I arrived on Friday evening, and we stopped at the original Campisi’s on the way from the airport. It’s a chain, but we were at the original, which is known as the oldest pizzeria in Dallas and the last place that Jack Ruby dined at before murdering Lee Harvey Oswald. Pizza was tempting, but I stuck with the Chopped Salad, dressing on the side.

campisis-chopped-salad

After the race on Saturday, we went to breakfast at Smoke, a Tim Byres restaurant (he’s another well-known local chef). I had the Smoked Salmon and Soft-Boiled Egg plate, which featured salmon smoked in-house and delicious buttermilk dill toast.

smoke-salmon-egg-tim-byres

A great post-race meal. For my final meal on Sunday, before heading back to the airport, we stopped by Mia’s, which is Mike’s favorite Tex-Mex place (and there’s tons of Tex-Mex places in Dallas!). He recommended their brisket tacos, so I ordered them. We also got a bowl of queso, which is also everywhere in Texas – you can see it in the back of this photo:

mias-tex-mex-brisket-tacos

It’s been a hot minute since I’ve had a big plate of beans and rice and cheese and such… and Mike was right, it was very good. It was also pretty much the only meal I ate that day (which I don’t recommend) and the only time I’ve had food like that since I-don’t-know-when.

I also had a great run that morning, after a huge thunderstorm passed through, so I burned a lot of calories that day, in addition to consuming a ton. The run was 4.3 miles, and part of it was along the shore of White Rock Lake, which is very picturesque.

bridge-white-rock-lake

I paused for a moment for a selfie on that bridge.

david-bridge-dallas-white-rock-lake

My heart rate monitor says I burned around 750 calories on that run… so that covers roughly a fifth of that Tex-Mex meal! Ha.

Keep it up, David!

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5 Responses to 48 Hours in Dallas

  1. Dana says:

    David thanks for taking me home. I lived in Texas for many years (actually was born there) before moving to the Pacific NW and all the places you mentioned are very familiar. Loved going to White Rock Lake! Dallas is a terrific place and though we have lived here for 12 years, I still get homesick from time to time. Glad you had a great trip.

  2. Pat says:

    Keep it Up!

  3. Hey David! Wow, you were within 1 block of my house! The trolley ride you took goes through Uptown, which is part of Oaklawn. The tracks run just a block from my front door. And you’re right White Rock Lake is an awesome park. Glad you enjoyed your trip.

  4. Brittani Edman says:

    What did Dean Fearing sign in your book! We have a different cookbook singed by him and we can not figure out what it says! It looks very similar to what is written in yours in the photo!

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