55 BEST Eateries & Eats in DFW 2019

Trey on ABC 8 DAYBREAK w/Kara Swell. Trey’s Chow Down Best Burgers DFW ON Victory Plaza Party.

I’m proud to write about the very BEST PLACES and DISHES I’ve eaten in the last twelve months and I’ve enjoyed my research time. I am passionate about what we do at Trey’s Chow Down and bringing the very best to you!  The named restaurants and chefs I have listed continually change the culinary landscape in DFW area. 

Food is an event itself and the chefs who prepare it are now celebrities themselves. It doesn’t matter what kind of food you’re talking about, whether it be a $1 dollar taco or a $250 steak dinner, it’s all taken the center stage in the last decade.

Any and all food can be prepared with a creative and colorful flair that’s packed with delicious flavors. Chefs have no boundaries in what they can create and deliver to anyone’s table. It can be at a food festival, a food truck, a taco shack, standing by a smoker in the middle of now where, in a restaurant with a white table cloth, or a food hall, it just doesn’t matter!

Great food creates bonds from friendships to business partnerships. We are being brought together over great meals more than ever. It is true, nothing brings us closer than a good meal. We have more fun, relax, and socialize when you have some food and drinks. It’s just a proven fact!

If you look back over the course of history, there are many photos of folks enjoying meals with big parties. Have you heard of the little thing called the Last Supper? I’m sure you’ve seen that photo. Also, kings and queens had big tables with extravagant parties for dinners. In the late 1800s to the early 1970s families would all sit down and eat dinner, breakfast and sometimes lunch.

Trey On Fox 4 Good Day Best BBQ Episode for the DFW area.

Why would they do this? It was a way to form a place for communication. An event where you could discuss your day, work, family, and any issues one might have. Somehow for three or four decades we lost that. Food became a necessity. We just ate in most cases to stay alive and keep moving so we could make more of the oh mighty dollar. I guess one might say for a lack of a better term it was GREED that halted the family and friendly food gatherings. We just didn’t have time.

Not any more! It’s back in our life’s and society has said, “Bring it on, let’s eat! We LOVE a great dining experience with family and friends it’s all about the food and drink NOW!”

There’s been a progression in competition in the food and chef wars, and I’m in happy about it. I’m in love with food and always have been. I love all that food offers us from and friendships and bonds it creates. I’m passionate about the chefs that create it and the restaurants that house it. This is why I wanted to give my fellow foodies my award-winning restaurant picks for 2019.

I spent all of 2018 chowing down, visiting with chefs, and locating some of the best food creations you will ever eat. I’ve eaten at some amazing places and I’ve listed them all.

These are my top places to CHOW DOWN for great experiences with some incredibly creative and delicious foods. From trailers to restaurants, nothing is off limits when it comes to eating deliciousness. Let’s sit back,  relax, and enjoy some incredible eats and eateries.

I’ve hosted a few of these restaurants and dishes on Fox Television Fox 4 GOOD DAY and ABC Channel 8 DAYBREAK. Please click on the restaurant or chefs name for more information or videos. 

#1 Knife

Dallas / Plano, Texas

Chef John Tesar video

Knife Dallas/Plano 📸: @matthews_meals

Knife is much more than a steakhouse because John Tesar is incredibly passionate about his customer’s experiences. It’s a place where you can dine, drink, and socialize. Its a guarantee you’ll be having a fantastic time with friends and family here. It’s not stuffy but it is a classy place with a wonderfully comfortable atmosphere. Knife has some of the best flavor profiles in Texas. The steaks are award winning 44 Farms cuts of beef. You can get amazing dry aged beef from Chef John’s cooler. The choices are endless! John desserts, simply put, are just ridiculously delicious. I’m also in love with his Blue Cheese Wedge salad.  The lettuce was chilled to the perfect temperature and the dressing was so good I wanted to drink it. Knife is an all-time favorite for me and I’ve chowed down all over the world. They offer brunch at the new Plano location too. #FlavorRodeo

#2 Clay Pigeon Food and Drink

Fort Worth, Texas

Chef Marcus Paslay video

Chef Bri Downey

Clay Pigeon could possibly be one of those places where you could eat and drink every night. Chef Marcus is passionate about his restaurants and everything that is created in his kitchens. They change the menu four to six times a year and they only use farm fresh vegetables and ingredients sourced locally where available. I’ve loved everything at Clay Pigeon. At most occasions, I have even licked my plate clean. They change the menu so much I’m not going to list any particular dish. I’ll just let you know, everything I’ve had has been riddled with flavor and is so delicious you can’t stop eating until it’s gone. #FlavorCentral

#3 Grace Restaurant & Bar

Sundance Square in Fort Worth, Texas

Chef Blaine Staniford video

Grace has been on my radar and in my food directory since the first time I dined there. Chef Blaine changes his menu seasonally and always has some of the most creative dishes in Texas. His creativity has no bounds and his flavor profiles are always on point. Since the menu changes regularly I’m not going to give you any one dish, I just want you to dine at Grace and try anything. I do love Blaine’s Steaks and unique creations like his one-of-kind escargot dish. The snails for this dish are only fed fresh basil. They also have a seven-course tasting dinner option that is truly amazing!  If you’re looking for an incredible dining experience prepared by one of the most creative chefs in Texas then head over to Grace and try the Seven Course Tasting Dinner. #WorthIt

#4 Petra and the Beast

Dallas, Texas

Chef Misti Norris

I’ve eaten Chef Misiti’s dishes and they’re incredibly colorful, creative, and just beautiful to the eyes. Misiti is so passionate about her cooking, being a chef and most of all taking her creativity to the next level. She’s always trying to stay one step ahead of everyone in the culinary world by consistently creating new flavorful creations that amaze food lovers and chefs. Petra and The Beast is a must visit for any food lover in Texas. I can promise you, it’s worth the drive and trip from anywhere in Texas to dine with Chef Misiti and enjoy her culinary delights. Check her website for hours of operations and menu details.

#5 Sugarbacon Proper Kitchen

Downtown McKinney, Texas

Sugarbacon Rib Video 

Asian Mint Dallas Locations

Located in an old historic building in downtown McKinney, Texas, Sugarbacon has some amazing and creative items that are worth the drive from anywhere in the DFW area. I’ve tried five different items in 2018 and this place has never let me down. I love the pork belly dish. The desserts are stupid delicious too! After research and discussions, we discovered everything is farm fresh and sourced locally when possible from the McKinney-Dallas area. They offer  “Tender Belly Farms ” Pork, “ Morgan Ranch” Beef, and “ Lewellen Farms” greens. Seriously, it is local and farms fresh vegetables and ingredients ONLY. What more do you need? #Worthit

#6 Asian Mint

Dallas, Texas

Chef Nikki Phinyawatana

The flavor profiles and creativeness that chef Nikki is slinging from her kitchens is just ridiculous! It’s billed as Asian Fushion but all I can say is it’s like you own little “Flavor Land” with every single bite you take. Everything I eat is just riddled with goodness that will make your head snap back in disbelief. It will leave you saying, “I just can’t get enough”. Just last week I tried something as simplistic as “bacon fried rice” and I went back three more times. I couldn’t stop eating it! If you haven’t tried the MINT then I would suggest you do, and soon! #Delish

#7 BBQ On The Brazos

Cresson, Texas

Chef/Pit Master John Sanford

This place is a cozy little Texas hang out. The menu is loaded with items that will send your taste buds to the flavor rodeo. I don’t care what you eat, whether it be the brisket with thick delicious bark, chili, the gobble gobble sandwich, it’s all just packed with deliciousness. Everything is cooked, smoked, or prepared by the creative BBQ team at BBQ on the Brazos. No wonder they made the Texas Monthly Top 50 BBQ joints on Texas! #SmokyGoodnessAlways

#8 Buttons Restaurant 

Fort Worth, Texas

Chef Keith Button Hicks video 

My man and soul food legend Chef Keith Button Hicks… When I think about soul food of any type, Chef Hicks is always the first to pop in my head. I’ve known him for over a decade now and everything his kitchen is slinging is purely delicious. I will tell you, Chef Hicks has a “Chicken and Waffle” dish that is truly amazing. Anyone who eats this dish will fall victim to Chef Keith’s cooking spell. There are rumors that folks start babbling all kinds of soul food phrases after they eat his chicken and waffles like, “That was the best I’ve ever had”, “Man, that cat can really cook”, “That food was groovy baby”, “I found my soul food happy place with Chef Hicks”! Buttons’ Famous Chicken & Waffles is prepared with special seasoned fried chicken and a homemade Belgium waffle with blueberry infused butter. Served with sweet potato pommel frites and their signature collard greens. Oh man, you need this in your life (and it’s only 15 bucks). Get to Buttons and enjoy the comfort soul food. Life is groovy, baby.

#9 Little Red Wasp

Fort Worth, Texas

Chef Blaine Saniford  Video

J2 Steakhouse Lunch Sandwich Deliciousness.

The Wasp, as locals call it, has something for everyone. It’s the brainchild of Celebrity Chef Blaine Saniford of GRACE who has created a little world full of magic bites for everyone. The service is incredible, the staff is friendly, and the drinks are strong. I love so many items from this place I’m just going to list a few. The Rebun and Chicken sandwiches, the amazing fresh Chili Dog, the Cheddar Cheese Fried Chicken Biscuit, and of course the pot stickers. Jet head over to Wasp and enjoy some delicious creations from Chef Blaines culinary team! #TasteLikeMore

#10 J2 Steakhouse

Lewisville, Texas

Chef Jonathan Pauley

J2 Steakhouse has one of the most amazing atmospheres to me. It was built and created in an 1880 grist mill. They used the old equipment, furnishings, and antique items found in the construction and restoration project inside and outside the restaurant. I can’t begin to explain the creativeness and atmosphere J2 has except to say it’s wonderful. Chef Pauley has done an amazing job with his menu items. They have dry age cooler, a pasta room, dessert room, and a cold preparation room. It doesn’t matter if you’re eating one of his delicious pattie melts, a dry aged steak, or house prepared Mac-N-Cheese because everything is stupid delicious, period! Make the drive to J2 in Lewisville. #WorthTheDrive

#11 Billy Can Can

Victory Park Lane in Dallas, Texas

Billed as a vibrant saloon extraordinaire!  Billy’s Tale as stated by the restaurant: “Being that he was confident and enigmatic, Billy Can Can is an artful sensationalist a brooding bon vivant. Host, master of ceremonies, guru and social conductor, he keeps his distance from the action, while slyly orchestrating every happening”. The place simply put is freaking awesome! it’s everything they claim it to be and more. The staff is lively and the atmosphere is upbeat and wide open. It’s a saloon, it’s a restaurant, it’s a bar with creative cocktails, and a fun palace with creative delicious chow and creative drinks. I’ve tried several dishes but the best ones “SMOKED FISH DIP” and the “HOT FRIED QUAIL” both are packed with flavor and the presentation is awesome. If you want to have a great time at fun place head over to Billy Can Can because you CAN CAN! #SensationallyDeliciouness

#12 Fred’s Texas Cafe’s

3 locations in Fort Worth, Texas

Chef Terry Chandler

Fred’s and Chef Terry Chandler a.k.a. the Original Outlaw Chef has been slinging deliciousness for THREE decades now and is still going strong. Terry’s menu items keep things fresh and new. He has some of the best comfort food you will ever eat. If you love live music, Fred’s has that covered too. They have a “Chicken Fried Steak – Queso” that is amazing. They have so many dishes I love at Fred’s, but the chili, hamburgers, and fried pickles are superb. If you’re looking for some comfort food, great music, and cold ass beer then head to Fred’s.

#13 Michaels Cuisine

Upper West 7th in Fort Worth, Texas

Chef Michael S. Thomson Video

Michael’s Cuisine has been around for so long that I consider it to be a Fort Worth staple. Chef M.T. aka Michael Thomson works hard to keep his menu offering different dishes depending on the season, and he gives back to the community in so many ways. This cozy restaurant is located on upper West 7th. It has fireplaces, Texas décor, and an old-school Fort Worth feel. I truly love everything Chef M.T. creates and slings out the kitchen. I especially adore his appetizer “Texas Quail Pops”, and for my favorite cut of meat… It would have to be the “Cowboy rib eye” because it is so delicious, tender and juicy. I always want to order an extra to take home with me! When you have time to check out Michael’s, tell’em Trey sent you! See video here: Chef M.T. Quail Pops 

#14 The Biscuit Bar

The Granite Boardwalk

The Biscuit Bar Plano/Dallas Loaded Tots

Hwy 121 Plano, Texas

Yep, you read that correctly. A Biscuit Bar! I waited six months for this place to open last year and it was worth the wait. Nestled right off Hwy 121 in Plano, on a little man-made lake and a Board Walk, complete with water fountains and birds chirping. Boy, the atmosphere is perfect. Everything is prepared in-house from fresh ingredients to create big bold flavors of deliciousness. The El Jefe, The Fancy Chicken, and The Monte Cristo, all taste amazing. I’m in love with the fresh “Fully Loaded Tator Tots”. Just DAMN Delicious! They say everything tastes better on a biscuit and I completely agree. Check out The Biscuit Bar! #Yummy

#AMAZING DFW SANDWICHES

With all of Trey’s Chow Down BEST OF lists getting so much attention, and thousands of re-shares, we just had to seek out the BEST SANDWICHES for our fellow Texas foodies!

One of my favorite things to do is eat a delicious farm fresh flavor-packed sandwich!  They are delicious at any time of day, or night, when prepared with farm fresh vegetables and ingredients, stacked between two bakery fresh buns.

The story of how the sandwiches were created is a funny one. I laugh every time I read it or discuss it with someone. A man, for no other reason than convenience, created it. LOL. Sounds just about right.

The bread-enclosed convenient food known as the “sandwich” is attributed to John Montagu, fourth Earl of Sandwich (1718-1792), a British statesman and notorious gambler. He invented the sandwich so he could sit and gamble without getting up to eat. All I can say is… Men haven’t changed much at all in 300-something years. Most still don’t want to get up when gambling, watching sports, movies, or one of the many social media sites we visit daily. I don’t really care who invented it, where they invented it, or what the reason was! I’m just happy that we have them and I can CHOW DOWN on them when I feel like it.

I’ve been chowing down on sandwiches the last 12 months and now it’s time to let everyone know where the best sandwiches in DFW are located. It wasn’t easy making these picks, but someone has to do it!

DFW BEST Bars & Super Bowl Watching Parties!

Trey Enjoying A Drink, lol!

Last year, our Drink With Trey “BEST BARS & NIGHTCLUBS LIST” received over 1000 re-shares and 121,000 reads! We just had to make a BEST LIST for 2019 for our Texas sports fans too.

It’s here! It’s time! Are you ready sports fans?

Every year the Super Bowl puts excitement in the air for sports lovers, partygoers, drinking buddies, and heck even folks who love to watch the super bowl just for the commercials.

If you follow Drink With Trey, Trey’s Chow Down, or Trey Chapman, then you know how much we love to have a good time. You can’t threaten us with a great party because in most cases we are the PARTY. We’ve been partying, watching sports, slinging back drinks, listening to live music, and chowing down all over Texas in 2018. We wanted to offer our suggestions for the BEST PICKS to watch the SUPER BOWL or any sporting event for that matter in the DFW area.

Our picks have a large number of TVs, great music, awesome chow, seductive bar bites, and great service folks that pride them selves on great customer service. It’s all about having a great experience with lots of fun. Buckle-up buttercup! It’s fix’in to get crazy!

Reservoir Bar & Kitchen

Fort Worth, Texas on West 7th

Rez as the locals like to call it has plenty of TV’s with a big menu and great chef-driven brunch items. I love the Texas-size patio and they have so many TVs! The only way to miss anything is to close your eyes. The NEW bunch menu is killer. It is just packed with great creations.  On Super Bowl Sunday they will have brunch until 3 PM and 2.00 Mimosa’s. The staff is friendly with big smiles and just love to sling those cocktails. So get there early and have some fun for Trey. Check out Reservoir’s new location at Texas Music Factory coming soon!

On Super Bowl Sunday they will have brunch until 3 PM and 2.00 Mimosa’s. Check out this video: Reservoir fun

Happiest Hour

Dallas, Texas in Hardwood District

Happiest Hour (Photo Credit: H.H.)

I love this place! My favorite spot is on the patio looking out at the beautiful buildings of Dallas. They have a wonderful bite menu and why not considering they’re the sister of Saint Ann’s Restaurant. The staff is always upbeat and friendly with big smiles. They are hosting a big watch party downstairs and on the front lawn. They have a VIP party upstairs. Not sure about the cost of VIP though. I do know, they will have $5 dollars off appetizers and beer tower specials. I dare you to try “Everything But The Kitchen Sink.” This dish is what I call A Spectacular Foodie Rock Star! If you love sundaes, then I double dog dare you to try this dish. Head on over to the Happiest Hour and turn it up like Trey!

They will have a VIP party, $5 dollars off appetizers and beer tower specials. Check out this video: Happiest Video

Texas Republic Bar & Kitchen

Fort Worth, Texas in West 7th area

TXR as the locals like to call it has one of the biggest TV screens in the DFW area, if not the biggest with incredible color. They have amazing sound throughout the club and a wonderful staff that is super friendly. They also have fantastic bathrooms, which is important if it’s crowded. They have an amazing menu that is chef-driven and the chef offers some award-winning items that you will love. Oh baby, the “Trash Can Nachos” are OMG… I just dare you to get this amazing dish. Tap this link and view video Make plans for TXR tell’em Trey sent you.

Deep Ellum Distillery

Dallas, Texas in Deep Ellum

What can I say about my boyz at Deep Ellum? It’s just an AWESOME place with fantastic one-of-a-kind cocktails created by professional mixologists. They have booths, tall tables, bar seats, and a Texas-size TV screen. They offer wonderful Deep Ellum Distillery products like Apple Cinnamon Vodka, Pickle Flavor Vodka, and of course the regular Deep Ellum Vodka. I dare you to try the “Apple Pie Drink” you CAN NOT have just one. I guarantee it or my name isn’t Drink With Trey!

D.E.D. special:  Happy hour all day on Sunday. $5 DED Vodka, $6 infusions, and $7 specialty cocktails. Head over to D.E.D. it’s just bad azz! D.E.D. Tasting Room Video.

Whiskey Garden

Fort Worth, Texas in West 7th Area

Whiskey, let’s say that again, WHISKEY. You see how that just rolls off your tongue? The locals call it Whiskey. I like to call it my fun house. Whiskey Garden has long been one of my favorite places for just about anything fun related. Awesome staff, award-winning tacos from Chef Tuck, great cocktails and of course tons of fun. Just stay out of the pool it’s cold as a well-diggers butt this time of year! Oh, and it’s covered, lol! Reservoir across the street is a sister club so feel free to walk back and forth.

Specials: Free buffet starting at 4 by Tailfeather’s Wing Truck. at Whiskey until they run out of food. We know they won’t run out of drinks. Love my W-H-I-S-K-E-Y staff!

The Owners Box

Dallas, Texas at Restaurants On Lamar/Omni Hotel

The Box! The Big Deal! The Beast in Dallas! This place is packed with TVs, pool tables, private suites, great staff, a big patio, and awesome food. Let’s just say The Owners Box is a destination, not a stop off. You have a chef-driven menu and 6 other restaurants on Lamar to choose from if you get hungry. They also have 2 other big patios if you just want to stroll around and get away for a few. Oh yeah, I forgot one of the most important factors. You can carry your drinks anywhere on Lamar. Just stroll around sipping, drinking, and laughing like you own the place. Like a BOSS! If you need a room, the Omni is there too. Heck, drinking at the Owners you’ve already won (even if your team didn’t). I love the pretzel and loaded fries just DELICIOUS! Head over to the Owners Box.

Texas Live

Arlington, Texas at Live Area

Texas Live-WOW! (Photo Credit T.L.)

What? What? What did you? That’s what folks normally say when you try and describe Texas Live to someone who has never been before. I like to call it an “Entertainment Mecca” everything you need for a real Texas party. T.L. has a complete and crazy line up of places to sling back drinks, watch the big game, or Chow down on some incredibly delicious food. It’s so big it needs it’s own zip code, lol! They are having great specials Super bowl Sunday look at this deal:

Sunday, February 3rd for the Big Game Bash and enter for a chance to WIN the ultimate tailgate package! Package includes a 65″ TV, tailgate tent, cooler, and two chairs. Enter herehttp://bit.ly/2SeAxG9

Head on over to Texas Live and have a Texas-size time like Drink With Trey does! Check out this video

Bottled Blonde

Dallas, Texas at Good Latimer Express

Bottle Blonde, or B.B. as I Iike to call it, has an awesome upstairs outdoor patio setting. The downstairs is killer too but I love the upstairs. The first time I was there I fell in love with the vibrant upbeat atmosphere upstairs. The cars flying by on the expressway makes for some fun games. They have a fantastic friendly staff and a wonderful menu full of great tasty creations and bites. They have lots of TVs and plenty of room for Super Bowl Sunday.

They will have two 24-foot projection wall TV’s which will be awesome to watch the big game. Head over to B.B. have a have a drink on the upstairs patio for Trey. Watch this video! 

Bar 2909

Fort Worth, Texas West 7th Area.

Varsity Tavern (Photo Credit V.T.)

Bar 2909 or just 2909 as the locals like to call it. I call it my outdoor headquarters for all that’s fun. 2909 has an amazing outdoor area with games, lots of seating, a fireplace, big heaters, and great sound. They have plenty of bar space so you can get your drinks easily without any issues. They have a wonderful Chef driven menu from Cork & Pig Tavern and it’s full of tasty creations. Its filled with great eats. They have one of my favorite sandwiches, the “French Dip”. This is so good you will order two one for later. Great cocktails, lots of room for lounging and having fun in the sun, or under a heater. Head over to Bar 2909 and have some good times. Watch this video! 

Varsity Tavern

Fort Worth, Texas in West 7th Area

V.T. is what I call it and it’s a great place for fun and debauchery of all types. They have two floors of greatness. Outdoor games of all types, great cocktails, and an awesome staff that loves to have fun. You can hang out upstairs and look down two different streets. Here you can take in the vibrant upbeat atmosphere. They have some big TV’s with a great sound all over V.T. I love the upstairs section outside in fresh Texas air. They have great seating areas with plenty of stand up and stretch room. V.T. as also been an all-time favorite of mine and is a great place to watch sporting events. Love me some V.T. baby! What this Video! 

End Zone

McKinney, Texas on Eldorado Pkwy

If you’re in the McKinney area for Super Bowl Sunday or any sporting event you need to head on over to the wonderful End Zone. The powerhouse of sports entertainment, or as I would say, the place for some bad azz fun with great staff. E.Z. has plenty of room with great bar food. They have some awesome cocktails too! They say, “It doesn’t matter if you like the classic, soulful, shaken, or stirred, you will get an amazing cocktail from E.Z.”. They’re having some great deals on Super Bowl Sunday.

The biggest game in all of the sports, free beer hour, free appetizer samplers, prizes, $200 being given away…I mean, what else do ya need!?!? Head on over to E.Z. and tell’em Big Trey sent you.

The Mad Hatter Pub (Photo Credit Sneaky Pete)

Mad Hatter Neighbor Pub

Fort Worth, Texas in West 7th Area

Here’s the deal. Mad Hatter isn’t a big sports club, a party palace, or a gigantic bar. It’s plain and simply one of the BEST little bars in Texas, PERIOD! When I tell you it’s the BEST because I truly mean it. The place reminds me of CHEERS. It just can’t get any better than the little Cozy Mad Hatter. The owner and staff are truly amazing and so friendly. They pride themselves on great customer service as well as serving perfect cocktails and cold beer. You get good times and plenty of conversation whether you want it or not. If you in the mood to try an award-winning cozy little joint in Fort Worth where everyone knows your name then head over to the wonderful Mad Hatter. Tell them Trey sent you. Mad Hatter still my NUMBER #1 VOTE of the BEST BARS in Texas, PERIOD!

Upper 90 On College 

Fort Worth, Texas Magnolia Area

Up 90 is a fantastic little sports bar located in the new hip area of Fort Worth in what I like to call the Magnolia Arts District. Known for friendly fun folks and a great staff you call see all your sports games and enjoy some great company. I think they enjoy every sport known to man at Upper 90 it’s a real sportsman paradise. Super bowl Sunday is no different it will be a Texas size day!

Party kicks off at 5PM Free Food, Drink Specials, Super Bowl Squares, Live Music and more. Head over to Upper 90 and enjoy the fantastic sports vibe and wonderful staff! Check out this video!

Please have an awesome time and remember to TIP your staff well! Be polite and don’t drive drunk. It never ends well for anyone especially you. 

Much Love,

Trey Drinking Chapman 

Watch out new Radio TV show @ Spoony Radio . COM 

Texas Best Chili for Chilly Weather!

It’s getting cold so that means it’s chili time in Texas, my friends. Who doesn’t love a bowl of delicious warm tasty chili layered with your favorite cheese and fixings? EVERYONE DOES.

I love chili. All my life being from Texas, I’ve tried so many bowls of chili, they have to number in thousands. Every year I judge at least 10 to 15 chili contests, and boy is that always a shocker. Just when I think I’ve tried every combination known to man, a new chili cook creates something crazy new. As a seasoned chili expert, it always surprises me. On the positive side, it’s fantastic that we have all these chefs and home cooks wanting to create some new delicious chili recipe for everyone to enjoy.

Quick Story! About two years ago I was judging a contest (I’m not going to state any names because I want to protect the integrity of the food-judging scene). At this contest, one of my good buddies was sitting next to me. I could tell by looking at his facial expressions if something was bad, good, and really tasty. Everyone started passing the chili around and we were about 7 chili bowls deep into the 20-something chili contest. I hear this gaging sound and little snicker. I look up and it’s my buddy looking like he’s about to puke all over the table. You know that look, lol! After a second he passed it to me and shook his head as if to say DO TRY THAT CHILI, DUDE. I figured he was acting or at best just exaggerating to get one over on me. When I put that big spoon full of chili in my mouth it didn’t take two seconds before I almost spit it out. It tasted like someone had put an entire container of salt and hot sauce and nothing else in this chili. That was just crazy. After the contest was over we tried to figure out what happened but we just assumed they screwed up on the mix. One would think they would try the chili before they serve it? Who knows? That’s just part of judging and one contest I’ll never forget.

On a good note, I’ve eaten lots of great chili this year and I wanted to share my great chili picks with each of you. That way you can enjoy some delicious chili in the chilly Texas weather.

My number one pick for 2019 has been around a while and knows a thing or two about some delicious Texas cooking.

The BEST Steaks & Steakhouses For 2018


Steakhouse Magic in Old Town Lewisville in DFW

J2 Large Dry Age Cooler #1

If you’re a steak LOVER, do I have a story for you! Here’s some deliciousness with a historical background you will surely enjoy.

About three months ago, I heard about this new steakhouse in Lewisville, Texas that was opened in an OLD 1886 FEED MILL. A Chef I met Chef Johnathan Pauley was extremely passionate about his baby J2 Steakhouse as he explained in detail about the new restaurant venture. Being in the food business, I hear a lot about the openings of new restaurants. You get all the information about the new restaurant buzz but sometimes you miss out on the NEW CONCEPTS in the Texas market. You say to your self, “I’ll get there when I can. It’s a steak restaurant in Texas. That’s nothing out of the ordinary in the Texas restaurant market.”

Well, friends, I should have made the trip to J2 Steakhouse much SOONER than later. I waited over three months before making the chow down trip to J2 in Lewisville.

Craft Cocktail from J2 Craft Master

Chef Johnathan and J2 state on their website,  “J2 Steakhouse is a new restaurant in a familiar space. Opened in the Spring of 2018 by a family who was just as fond of great food as they were of preserving the past. After operating since 1886, the Lewisville Feed Mill at 119 E. Main St had seen its fair share of history and reinvention. There is something special about what the Polser family created over 100 years ago that lends itself to preservation. It’s rare to find a restaurant that feels so comfortable in its own right and place – so written into the lore and landscape of a neighborhood and it seems it has always been at that address.

Today, J2 Steakhouse serves elevated Texas fare with a wonderful selection of dry aged beef in the heart of downtown Lewisville. It is kept up by a staff who strives to maintain an unobtrusive sense of hospitality & service.”

When I pulled up to J2 I saw the historic building and old machinery displayed around the building. I started to get excited! I love Texas history, especially farming and ranching history. The building was originally constructed in 1886 as a feed mill. It’s a very large building with lots of character and charm. When they purchased the building it had been locked down for decades. What they found inside was a large number of Texas treasures. They found old machinery, bottles, cans, and all kinds of historic items. Simply said, what they found was amazing.

BEST BURGERS IN DFW East To West 2018

Trey’s Chow Down T.V. Best Burgers of 2018 Fox 4 Good Day with Lauren

This years list was crazy! We chowed down on 120 burgers and visited over a 100 different burger joints and restaurants to complete our list.

For the past five years at Trey’s Chow Down.Com we’ve researched and compiled a list of the best burgers I’ve eaten that year. The first year it started at Fort Worth Magazine with what I thought was the best burger I ate. As time went on, more and more folks would ask me what I thought about this burger or that burger. In 2017, I increased my dedication to research and the number of burgers for the list. I had to increase the list to the TOP 15 BURGERS in DFW because there are many places promoting and selling delicious burgers. I needed to be fair, accurate, and credible. Our “Best Burger List” has become so popular (251,000 views in 2017) that I’ve decided to make some changes for 2018 and for the future of our Trey’s Chow Down Best Burger Contest. I’ve created TWO NEW burger categories and a BEST ALL AROUND WINNER for 2018 and beyond.

The NEW categories will be as follows:

–    BEST OLD FASHION Burger

–    BEST CRAFT Burger

–    BEST ALL AROUND Winner

I truly love a delicious burger but the beef industry has changed so much in the last five decades. I felt I needed to make the decision to create the NEW categories for fair judging and a TRUE BEST BURGER LIST.

To me, a CRAFT burger is completely different in creation and flavor profile. They can be prepared with delicious creative toppings, a variety of expensive fresh meats, premium aged cheese, with a fancy bakery fresh bun. A craft burger can get expensive depending on how it is created. When it comes to craft burgers my flavor profile has a wide range. I will try anything to see what kind of burger deliciousness a chef has created to achieve the number one tasting burger in the burger wars. There are lots of crazy flavor profiles for craft burgers. Plenty of the craft burger creations have the ability to send your taste buds to the flavor rodeo and have you screaming giddy up with each bite.