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

The Morning After Brunch A Real Chow Down!

Doc B’s Candy Bacon DFW

A few years ago I heard about this brunch event. After my diligent research, I found that it was centered on brunching. I was like, “One price for a bunch of chef-driven brunch dishes AND it includes cocktails too? Sign me up folks. I’m there.”

This event was forreal a fantastic brunch event filled with incredibly delicious brunch cuisine like powdered donuts, candied bacon, biscuits and gravy, maple and chocolate pancakes. I can go on forever. It is areal foodies dream come true.

Just A Brunch’in!

The events name is the “Dallas Observer – Morning After Brunch”, and it’s truly a Texas sized brunch that doesn’t compare to anything you’ve ever seen before. I’ve never seen so many mouth-watering, knee-slapping, chef-driven brunch dishes in one spot! There are so many, you couldn’t get to all of them. We only made about eighteen, or twenty, before we had to jump in a wheel barrel to roll ourselves out of the Dallas Farmer’s Market.

We had a bit of trouble trying to jump in the wheel barrel to make our exit with empty cocktail glasses in both hands, powered donuts in our jacket pockets, and four or five strips of Doc B’s delicious candied bacon stuffed in our shirts, but we managed to make it work. I felt like a food thief piglet at an all-you-can-eat late night buffet in Las Vegas. I was on a brunch high like no other!

When I tell you they had cocktails, I’m talking about serious cocktails. They didn’t just have a few selections of beer and wine they had it all; Deep Ellum Distillery Vodka, KORBEL Champagne, Wine, Jack Daniels whiskey, Bloody Mary’s, Creative cocktail mixes, much more. They offered custom Bloody Mary’s too! Oh it was a cocktail lovers dream. If you would have seen me with all that food and trying to hold cocktails in both hands, you might think I had a serious partying issue.

The BEST Steaks & Steakhouses For 2018


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.

Chicken, Biscuits, & Gravy! Oh my!

Good day Chow Fans!

Fixture Chicken & Waffles!

I grew up in Texas in the ranching/beef/restaurant business. One would think I would be a beef man! A person who only consumes beef! That is far from the truth. My family history in the ranching business has given me all the opportunity in the world of beef from raising it to selling it for private sale. I grew up in the family restaurant business and even handled the moving, cutting, packaging of the beef, and making our custom chili in the meat company. It was a lot of work, but gave me great insight and knowledge in the food business.

I do enjoy all kinds of food. I love chicken! Especially LOVE fried chicken. There is just something about rolling that chicken in a delicious batter, setting it into a fryer, and ending up with a beautifully crisp chicken. It comes out of the fryer all hot, crispy and crackling… Your senses seem to go into what I like to call, “Full Tilt Chicken Boogie”. OMG the crispy skin and the soft delicious meat can make anyone go crazy. I find it hard to control myself!

A lot has changed in the last 20 years within the culinary world. Chefs have gotten more creative with fried chicken dishes and flavor profiles. This combination of creativity and fried chicken has made the business better than ever. I set out to find the most delicious fried chicken. I’m talking all types of fried chicken. Fried chicken on biscuits, fried chicken and waffles, spicy fried chicken, and regular old fried crispy fried chicken. You name it!

Please enjoy the best Fried Chicken Trey’s Chow Down has ever eaten in the Fort Worth and Dallas area.

The Fixture Restaurant & Social Lounge