30 Must Try Restaurants & Food in Dallas & Fort Worth for 2022 (Best Thing I Ate)

Best Thing I Ate On Fox 4 Good Day.

Hello Food and Drink Lovers!

Have you ever taken a bite of something so delicious that you thought to yourself, “I have to tell someone about this!” I’m sure you have because we all feel that way sometimes. It doesn’t matter if it’s savory, sweet, or both, we just want to tell someone about how perfect a dish was. After traveling around in 2021, eating and visiting with chefs and restaurant folks, I had an idea. I wanted to spread a little deliciousness among my friends; I wanted to share with everyone the BEST DISHES I ATE in 2021.

2021 was our most successful year at locating creative chefs and delicious dishes. We traveled through 10 different states, logging our most miles ever and visiting a record number of chefs and restaurants. I wanted to highlight some of the most unique and delicious dishes you should try in 2022.  These are my top restaurants with dishes, and there’s a big variety so there’s something for everyone!

I enjoyed visiting and eating with some of the best chefs and restaurant folks in the business. Each dish has been carefully chosen and is a chef-driven dish prepared by the best! They only use fresh ingredients, vegetables, and spices to create some bold, modern flavor profiles that everyone will love. Most of the eats are simple dishes that are prepared with passion, love, and creativity.  Remember, a simple dish is sometimes the most difficult to facilitate because all parts must be complete perfection. I believe that in most cases simple is better because it gives each ingredient that culinary jingle to create deliciousness.

Knife Dallas Photo: Robert Jacoblerma

After the last 2 years I think it’s safe to say that we all need to save a little money in 2022. This is not only a list of deliciousness, but most of the dishes are also affordable so that everyone can enjoy them. I’ve listed a few that are a little pricey, but every now and then we can splurge to treat ourselves and our families. We all deserve to be treated like KINGS and QUEENS occasionally!

I truly hope that you’ll take some time and visit at least a few of these restaurants. As we know, restaurants have been suffering and playing catch up this last year, so any help you can give them would be greatly appreciated. If you have friends and family over for the holidays, now is the time to visit these unique restaurants and chow down on something special! Remember, nothing – NOT a conversation, NOT a handshake, or even a hug establishes friendship so forcefully as eating together with laughs and smiles!

Disclaimer: My Must Try list for 2022 DOES NOT include my BEST BBQ 2021 or BEST BURGERS 2021. You will have to visit my Best Burger List and my Best BBQ List to see those dishes. 

Are you ready for your tour of deliciousness? Here we go!

Knife Dallas   

Dallas & Plano, Texas

Chef John Tesar

Dry Age Steak /Bacon Sampler

Chef John Tesar has done a masterful job at creating a steakhouse that exceeds all expectations of what a steak dinner experience should be. He offers a Texas-sized variety of meats and cuts where a true steak connoisseur will feel like a kid in a candy store. His “Bacon Sampler” appetizer melts in your mouth with each bite. They have custom-crafted desserts, cocktails, and appetizers that will make your mouth water and your pallet dance. One of the BEST offerings at Knife is a dry-aged steak from John’s mesmerizing dry-age cooler. You can stand at the window, slobbering while you stare at the meats dry-aging second by second.  John’s dry-aged beef has a different flavor profile compared to what I’ve tasted in the past. Their process makes for a very intense flavor, creating hints of blue cheese, truffle, and popcorn butter. In my opinion, John’s flavor profile created at Knife is different and pure meaty perfection and it’s very addicting. Knife Dallas, Knife Plano and NOW John’s restaurant Knife & Spoon in Orlando, Florida is a MUST TRY in 2022. Watch Chef John Tesar on Trey’s Chow Down: https://watch.tcncountry.net/home

Wild Acre Camp Bowie  

Birria Grilled Cheese (Wild Acre Camp Bowie)

Fort Worth, Texas

Chef David Hollister

Birria Grilled Cheese /Meat Ball

I met Chef Hollister years ago and I’ve always enjoyed his food. I’ve hosted him on my TV show and podcast several times and have always enjoy his insight into the culinary world. He’s helped create some very successful restaurant concepts and has become a celebrity chef through his hard work and dedication to his culinary passion. He is an extremely creative chef and loves slinging deliciousness. His dishes are always beautiful, colorful, and loaded with flavor. His newest creation, a fresh-prepared “Birria Grilled Cheese”, is truly a culinary masterpiece. While it may sound simple by name, the way it’s prepared is anything but. ONE bite and you will be hooked for life! Its savory, cheesy, meaty deliciousness with a unique and unforgettable flavor profile. Wild Acre is a must visit in 2022! While you are there, add a Skillet Meat Ball if they’re available, and grab one of Wild Acres tasty CRAFT BEERS!

 Hawkers Dallas   

Deep Ellum, Texas

Chef  Jorge Da Rocha

Roti Canai / Pad Thai  (Cover Photo)

Hawkers Dallas opened in late 2021 in Deep Ellum. We took a ride over and spent some time with the staff and enjoyed a fabulous meal. They are an Asian street food concept specializing in creative, fresh, chef-driven eats as well as colorful, exotic craft cocktails, all wrapped up in a vibrant atmosphere. They have unique dishes that are loaded with deliciousness and quite addicting. We fell in foodie love with two dishes in particular. The “Roti Canai”, which is fresh-prepared Malaysian flatbread, served with Hawkers signature curry sauce.  You pick them up, rip them, dip them, and enjoy the unforgettable flavor. It truly has the WOW factor of savory deliciousness immediately when you take the first BITE! They also offer a “Pad Thai” dish that is a Hawkers Staple. If you’ve enjoyed Pad Thai before, I can promise you it’s not like this one. Prepared fresh with shrimp, chicken, red chili pepper sauce, eggs, veggies, and wok-fired to perfection, this dish has a variety of fresh and simple ingredients that when combined offer a true kaleidoscope of flavors that you will love! #StupidDelicious – Hawkers is a must visit in 2022!

B&B Butchers   

Fort Worth & Houston, Texas

Chef John Piccolino

Chef Tommy’s Bacon / Steak

Chef Tommy’s Bacon (B&B Butchers)

B&B Butchers & Restaurant in Fort Worth and Houston offer a cozy but vibrant atmosphere with incredible service. The menu is loaded with delicious, chef-driven eats, but I want to focus on a bacon appetizer that I’m in LOVE with. It can also be eaten as a main dish for lunch or dinner. It’s called “Chef Tommy’s Bacon”, and you need to try it! Tommy’s Bacon is prepared fresh bacon, house Roquefort blue cheese, and truffle infused honey. This dish will send your taste buds to the FLAVOR RODEO and fill your belly with delight. I truly wish I could convey through words how delicious this dish tastes, but the words don’t exist. I guess you’ll have to head that way to experience it for yourself! Saddle up for the flavor rodeo with each bite, because B&B Butchers is a must visit in 2022!

Seven Doors Kitchen & Craft Cocktails  

Grandscape The Colony, Texas

Chef Jacob “Smiling” Quintana

Candied Bacon / Old Fashion

I’ve enjoyed my culinary conversations with Chef Jacob because he’s loaded with culinary passion. Seven Doors opened during the pandemic and have been setting North Texas on fire with their creative fresh cocktails and delicious dishes. They have a colorful interior based on seven different old doors from around the world. They are simply a chef-driven, from-scratch concept that believes in creative eats featuring layered flavors, tasty craft cocktails, and plenty of deliciousness. Chef Jacob and his culinary team believe in only using fresh ingredients to achieve some bold flavor profiles. The first time I tasted his candied bacon, I went nuts and had to put in two orders because I couldn’t stop eating it. It has a candy apple-like texture, with a slightly chewy crunch, but not overly sweet. It’s lick-your-fingers delicious. Seven Doors is a must visit in 2022! Watch Chef Jacob on Trey’s Chow Down LIVE: https://watch.tcncountry.net/home

Brick & Bones   

Deep Ellum, Texas

Mexican Fried Chicken / Mac N Cheese

I like this chicken so much that I featured it on my BEST Chicken Dishes special on ABC Channel 8 AND my BEST Chicken for 2021. They are located in Deep Ellum in the heart of the arts district. I love the name Brick and Bones, kinda catchy! Classified as Mexican Fried Chicken, it’s something you’ve never tasted before. They will tell you it’s a throwback bar in Deep Ellum, focused on craft Mexican fried chicken, great cocktails, and curated spirits. They started in the kitchen, where they cooped up and built a menu centering around Mexican-inspired fried chicken, which is their specialty! Prepared with fresh chicken and over 15 different fresh Mexican spices, it’s crispy ridiculousness! The first time I put this chicken in my mouth I said, ”S!@#$%^& W.T.F.” because it was so damn delicious! I ordered a second helping because one just wasn’t enough. If you love lip-smacking savory chicken – some of the BEST in North Texas, then head over to see them at B&B. Oh and don’t forget the Habanero Mac-N-Cheese with your fried chicken. Brink & Bones is a must visit in 2022!

El Relleno (Nico’s Pizza)

Nico’s MX Pizzeria   

North Dallas, Texas

Restauranter Nico Ponce

Executive Chef Juan Manny Reyes

El Relleno Pizza / Short Corn Ribs

I was excited to be invited to Nico’s when it opened in North Dallas in late 2021. They brought Mexican street food to Dallas and combined it with pizza. Chef Juan is from Mexico, so the dishes are authentic, creative, and extremely colorful! We tried several delicious dishes, but the one that won our hearts was the “El Relleno Pizza”. When they set the pizza down in front of us and I saw the Chili Rellenos and fresh flowers layered on top, I went into full tilt pizza boogie. You read that correctly: the pizza is layered with edible Marigolds – I couldn’t wait to try a slice! It’s prepared with Nico’s deep dish pizza crust, farm-fresh chili relents, fresh salsa verde, a Mexican cheese blend (Oaxaca, Chihuahua, Asadero, Mozzarella), and poblano sauce, topped with farm-fresh diced tomatoes and fresh picked edible Marigolds. The presentation is unforgettable, and the flavor is savory, cheesy deliciousness with floral notes that you will savor forever. Don’t forget an order of “Short Corn Ribs”! Nico’s is a must visit in 2022!

Provender Hall   

Fort Worth Stock Yards, Texas

Chef Marcus Paslay

Wedge Salad / Pimento Cheese Dip

I’ve known Chef Marcus for years, and every concept he creates is unique and loaded with fresh chef-driven eats. Provender Hall is located in an old mule barn that has been restored with a colorful chic western vibe with a casual atmosphere. Chef Marcus believes in offering fresh, colorful, and creative dishes loaded with unforgettable flavors. They have a variety of tasty dishes and daily specials that everyone will enjoy, but I want to highlight what I consider to be the BEST Wedge Salad in North Texas. I’ve eaten a bunch of wedge salads this year on the hunt for the BEST! Marcus and his culinary team are slinging a wedge salad with a favor profile all its own. It’s prepared with farm-fresh lettuce that’s chilled to perfection, a house-made dressing that’s savory, a bit creamy with notes of dill and loaded with deliciousness. If you love wedge salads, you must try this one. Don’t forget the house Pimento Cheese Dip. Provender Hall is a must visit in 2022!

Parlor Donuts 

Lake Worth, Texas

Family Owned

Layered Donuts

When I first heard about Parlor Donuts and how they are layered, I couldn’t wrap my head around it as I’ve known how donuts have been made for decades. Parlor uses a unique technique to create their signature donuts. It’s the layers in their doughnuts that make them so special. PARLOR dough is layered in butter, making it flaky and sweet. Beyond their amazing dough, they work hard to offer an incredible selection of over 20 flavors. For this reason, they believe you will leave their shop saying, “This is the best doughnut I have ever had.” I can honestly tell you without hesitation that it’s the BEST DONUT I’VE EVER EATEN! Parlor Donut is a must try in 2022!

Vaqueros Texas Barbeque 

Grapevine, Texas

Pitmaster Trey Sanchez

Birria Tacos / Nanner Puddin

Mini Taco Flight (Tejas Bishop Arts)

Pitmaster Trey Sanchez has been around World Class Bar-B-Q and the Bar-B-Q business since he was a kid. His dad was in the food business and passed on that spark for creating deliciousness to Trey. Located in Grapevine at Hop and Sting Brewery, he has award-winning smoked meat Birria Tacos that have been featured on numerous national TV shows and social media.  His Birria Tacos are so dam tasty they’re actually famous, FAMOUSLY DELICIOUS that is! I want you to think about taking a grilled taco and dipping into fresh consommé sauce which I call taco gravy. That’s Birria Tacos! His brisket is flavor-loaded, bold, and he offers house-prepared sides that are always on point and loaded with deliciousness. Don’t forget his NANNER PUDDIN! It’s savory sweet deliciousness to die for! Watch Pitmaster Trey on Trey’s Chow Down LIVE: https://watch.tcncountry.net/home

Tejas Bishop Arts  

Dallas, Texas

Chef Nick Hurry

Mini Taco Flight

We discovered this little hidden jewel which is in Dallas in the Bishop Arts District. Tejas is a trendy TEX-MEX spot slinging chef-driven eats and craft cocktails with agave-forward spirits and includes some colorful signature drinks. Chef says, ” It’s the BEST of Mexico and Texas combined.” Tejas was transformed during the pandemic from a counter-service only to a full-service restaurant. It offers a vibrant and upbeat atmosphere with a creative menu loaded with deliciousness. The Chef’s Mini Taco Flight is savory, unique, taco deliciousness that I fell in love with.  You can choose from SIX or TWELVE TACOS with your choice of picadillo beef or poblano chicken. Each bite is a flavor explosion in your mouth, so buckle up and get ready for a taco surprise! Tejas is a must visit in 2022.

Bankhead Brewing  

Fort Worth, Texas

Chef Driven Eats

Lobster Mac-N-Cheese

Located in Fort Worth in the West 7th Street area, Bankhead Brewing is a craft brewpub offering fresh, chef-driven eats and tasty craft beers. They opened during the pandemic and have been a driving force in the vibrant west 7th street area slinging deliciousness and fun. Their craft beers have won awards including 2018 Silver Medal Winners at the Great American Beer Festival for their Southern German-style Hefeweizen (Hoofer’s Hef). When we heard about the fresh Lobster Mac-N-Cheese I couldn’t resist the culinary tug to try this dish. Prepared with various cheeses, fresh lobster, and pasta, each bite is a karate chop of savory cheesy deliciousness. A must try in 2022. Don’t forget an award-winning craft beer!

Connecticut Lobster Roll (E.H.S.C.)

East Hampton Sandwich Shop  

Dallas / Fort Worth Texas

Chef Driven Sandwiches

Connecticut Lobster Roll (Warm)

 The story goes: Their first location opened the doors in 2012 after founder Hunter Pond realized his penchant for flavorful, perfectly prepared sandwiches outweighed his commitment to the law degree he was pursuing. When I first visited East Hampton, I was impressed with their fresh-prepared sandwiches. In a world that is saturated with sandwich shops they stand alone in the pursuit of creative deliciousness. The Connecticut Lobster Roll is served warm and offers a unique flavor profile that is savory, buttery deliciousness you can’t forget. Each bite I took was better than the last, truly an unforgettable sandwich. Prepared with a hot butter-grilled N.E. Atlantic lobster knuckle + claw meat and Old Bay seasoning, then stacked inside a fresh toasted bread roll that is light, airy and flavorful. You also get your own little container of fresh, melted, clarified butter to pour over the sandwich. WOW! This sandwich is so good it would make a Pit Bull break it’s chain! A must try in 2022 if you’re looking for true sandwich perfection!

Jose On Lovers  

Dallas, Texas

Chef A.Q. Pittman

Any Dish Offered (On Cover)

Jose On Lovers is one of those rare restaurants offering perfection with every dish prepared. They have a creative, fresh take on contemporary Mexican cuisine. Chef A.Q. Pittman and her culinary team create some of the most beautiful, colorful, and vibrant dishes in the Texas dining scene. Her team plates every dish to the finest detail, creating deliciousness that is unforgettable. They only source and use authentic, fresh ingredients and vegetables to achieve the best possible flavor profiles, offering a kaleidoscope of flavors with every bite. Jose is truly an unforgettable dining experience for Mexican food lovers, art lovers, and Craft Tequila Lovers alike. I was lucky enough to host Chef AQ on Trey’s Chow Down LIVE and it was a culinary education and the life of a passionate chef in the pursuit of perfection. Jose is a must visit in 2022 and is one of favorite Mexican restaurants in the USA! Watch Chef AQ Pitman on Trey’s Chow Down LIVE: https://watch.tcncountry.net/home

PAPPASITO’S Cantina  

Texas Locations

Sizzling Family Platter #2

I was in disbelief when I learned about the new BIG FAMILY MEATY Platter they’re offering at PAPPASITO’S location across Texas. When someone in Texas talks about barbeque, beef, or steaks, they tend to exaggerate. This is the reason I didn’t believe the size of the Family Platter until I saw it for myself. I heard the meat and vegetables sizzling as the platter approached, and my mouth started watering. WOW! My mind went into full tilt Foodie Boogie because it smelled like meaty deliciousness and looked like heaven on a platter. I was truly SHOCKED by the number of proteins and vegetables we received. They said it would feed 4 people but truly it’s more like 6 or 7.

Sizzling Family Platter (PAPPASTIO’S CANTINA)

 

The platter includes Fresh Quail, Fresh Beef Fajita meat, Fresh Grilled Chicken meat, Fresh Jalapeño Cheese Sausage, Mexican rice, house beans, fresh cut jalapeños, fresh prepared quac, and we added extra sour cream and shredded cheese. We enjoyed the fresh chicharrones with house queso and chili Con-Queso. Talk about a FULL MEAL DEAL! It’s truly a meal for meat lovers to enjoy! A must try in 2022.

K POP Burgers  

The Colony Texas

Chef Kevin Lee

Asian Infused Burgers

I’m going to tell you right now: if you don’t want to eat massive burgers, DO NOT go to K POP. Every burger they offer is a massive stack of meaty, savory deliciousness. Once your burger arrives at your table you will be slinging sauce ear to ear. I tried the 3.5 Pound “Bang Tan Burger”, which was loaded with eight (1/2 Lbs) fresh Angus beef patties (x5), grilled pineapple (x2), grilled jalapenos, grilled spam patties (x2), American cheese (x6), pepper jack cheese (x4), and fresh house prepared K3 Sauce that will have you licking your lips in a food coma. All the burgers on their menu are loaded with flavor explosions, you can’t go wrong! If you’re a burger lover head over to K Pop. They are a must visit in 2022.

Shell Shack Restaurants  

DFW Locations

Fresh Chef Driven

The Heavy Weight / Crab Tator Tots

Seafood Deliciousness (Shell Shack restaurants)

Shell Shack specializes in fresh, chef-driven seafood dishes, sides and desserts. I love the BIG bags of fresh seafood and the amazing Crab Tater Tots. All-day seafood, “THE HEAVYWEIGHT” – prepared with two lbs. of SNOW CRAB, two lbs. of SHRIMP, one lb. Of KING CRAB, two fried FRIED CATFISH FILETS, eight FRIED SHRIMP, eight CORN, twelve POTATOES, twelve SAUSAGE, fresh FRIES, and loads of HUSHPUPPIES. Wow, a seafood experience like no other! Seven pounds of smack you in the face seafood deliciousness. Feeds five to six people and is market priced. Don’t forget the fresh crab tater tots, they are always GBD Golden Brown and Delicious. Shell Shack a must try in 2022.

Ruth’s Chris Steakhouses  

DFW Locations

Fresh Steaks & Seafood

Chef Driven

Baked Cheese Stuffed Chicken Breast

I’ve been telling food lovers about this chicken dish for a decade. Now before you say, “What? Isnt Ruth’s Chris known for fancy steaks?” Yes, they are, but I can promise you the chicken is the sleeper on their menu. I’ve been eating this chicken dish for years and I can honestly say it’s at the top of any chicken dish I’ve ever eaten anywhere in the world. I say with confidence that you will be blown away. It’s presented hot, crackling, and bubbling with butter and a beautiful golden brown crisp skin. The aroma of this dish as they set it down in front of you is head-turning. I swear, when I order this dish, folks around me will ask, “What in the world is that?” I always say with a grin, “Why, it’s STUFFED CHICKEN BREAST!” It’s prepared with a double-breasted chicken that’s been oven-roasted, stuffed with garlic herb cheese, and topped with lemon butter. Trust me and go try this succulent, cheesy, flavor-layered dish at Ruth’s Chris Steak House. It’s a must try in 2022 and one of the BEST THINGS I’VE EVER EATEN!

Bushi Bushi Dum Sum Palace 

Addison, Texas

Chef Driven

Soup Pan Fried Dumplings

Crab Truffle Mac-N-Cheese (Drake’s Hollywood)

They opened about six months ago in Addison and specialize in fresh appetizers, soup, Dimsum, entrees, desserts, and craft cocktails. When I heard about a place called DUM SUM Palace I wasted no time at making my way to chow down on some of their award-winning dumplings. They prepare the dumplings fresh daily using locally sourced ingredients and vegetables to create dumpling love affairs. The Soup Dumplings are my favorite because when you bite into them, they release a river of flavors running through your mouth that are unforgettable. Bushi Bushi is a must visit in 2022 for an unforgettable dumpling love affair.

Drake’s Hollywood  

Dallas, Texas

Chef Driven

Snow Crab & Black Truffle Mac N Cheese

Drake’s a dark, cozy, old-fashion Hollywood style eater that is loaded with charm and coziness. Old painted Hollywood actors line the walls of the dining room and bar area. Drake’s offers plenty of chef-driven deliciousness like pizzas, steaks, and crazy desserts. I want to discuss the mega cheesy “Snow Crab & Black Truffle Mac ‘N’ Cheese”. You just can’t go wrong with this savory, gooey, cheesy, flavorful, and delicious seafood Mac-N-Cheese. It’s always served HF&D Hot, Fresh and Delicious! A must try in 2022.

Doc B’s Restaurant & Bar

Fort Worth & Dallas, Texas

Chef Driven

1lb Angry Meat Ball

I don’t know the story behind Doc B’s, but I do know they’re slinging creative deliciousness all day. They have open spaces for dining rooms and wonderful outdoor patio areas. Eating outdoors in Texas with a pound of meat sitting in front of you is what food dreams are made of. The 1 Ib. Angry Meat Ball is served in a big cast iron skillet, topped with a spicy house tomato sauce, fresh ricotta cheese, and house garlic bread. When you take the first big bite it’s a karate chop of flavor in your mouth… K POW! If you love meat balls, it’s a must try in 2022.

Malai Kitchen  

Fort Worth, Southlake, Dallas Texas

Chef Driven

Drunken Noodles

Fresh Lobster Ravioli (Saint Rocco’s)

I like to call Malai Kitchen the “Flavor Palace” because every dish I eat here is loaded with tastiness. Every single bite I take of anything here puts a smile on my face and happiness in my heart. All the dishes are colorful, fresh, and creative! The service is always perfect, and the staff is happy to help you. The atmosphere is upbeat, open, and very bright. I just can’t get enough of Malai Kitchen and my favorite dish is the Drunken Noodles. I can smell it before they set it down in front of me. They are the BEST drunken noodles I’VE EVER EATEN. I’ve even had delicious dreams about this dish! You need to head over to Malai Kitchen and for some noodle deliciousness. They are a must try in 2022.

Saint Rocco’s New York Italian  

Trinity Groves, Dallas

Chef Jay Valley

Lobster Ravioli

If you love to be entertained, drink, and CHOW DOWN, then Saint Rocco’s is a spot you need to check out. They have a vast array of different fresh prepared dishes and tasty craft cocktails. The atmosphere is colorful, old-school Italian with some fantastic views of downtown Dallas. Trinity Groves is one of my favorite spots and chef Jay Valley and his culinary team are one of the best in the Dallas food scene. The “Lobster Ravioli” is prepared fresh by hand daily using only the freshest ingredients, and Jay’s grandma’s old Italian cooking technique. When the dish arrives, you can see the fresh ravioli floating on a bed of the house prepared lobster truffle cream sauce. When you take your first bite its savory, creamy, a little cheesy and a load of deliciousness. It’s so dam good that I’ll do things to that dish that’s probably illegal in most states. YES! It’s that good! A must try in 2022!

Pho District  

7th Street Fort Worth, Texas

Chef Kenzo Tran

Sizzling Beef & Chicken Platters

Pho District has been open since 2018 and I’ve been eating there since the first day the doors slung open. It has a hip vibe and open spaces featuring modern takes on Vietnamese street food. They use fresh, locally sourced ingredients to create some street food deliciousness. I’m in food love with the sizzling platters! You can hear and smell them as they approach the table with the platters. The dish is served in a cast iron skillet in the shape of cow and is hot, sizzling and meaty goodness. If you love sizzling meat, you need to try this dish because it’s worth it and you need it in your life!  Must try dish in 2022!

Jonathon’s Diner  

Dallas, Texas

Chef Jonathon

Danger Dogs / Fried Chicken & Waffles

CoCo Shrimp Sampler (CoCo Shrimp)

One of my favorite little places in Texas, or anywhere for that matter! I stumbled on this place by accident four years ago, and I loved it from the first time I laid my eyes on it. It’s located right off Beckley Ave. in a little neighborhood in Dallas. There is just something to be said for a cozy little laid-back diner that is full of charm and energy. I can’t truly describe the feeling when you walk in, but it just feels friendly and comfortable like you’re supposed to be there. This is the cozy type of place my mom, grandad and grandma would have loved. I sit at the bar and order this dish called “Danger Dogs.” Yeaaaahh, you read that correctly, Danger Dogs! I love creative menu options and I just had to order these. After they sat them down in front of me and I took my first bite I was HOOKED like a fish on a pole. I’ve been back four times to chow down on Danger Dogs and chicken and waffles, and you should too. They have a variety of tasty, creative options for you to enjoy with craft cocktails too. Don’t forget the brunch items… WOW! Make plans to visit Jonathan’s and find out why I love them so much. It’s just cozy, delicious perfection! A must visit in 2022

CoCo Shrimp  

Fort Worth, Texas

Chef Driven Shrimp Concept

Shrimp Sampler

I first visited CoCo Shrimp two years ago, and that started love affair in Texas. They story goes: The Coco Shrimp dream began while they were attending BYU-Hawaii. Over four, adventure-filled years, they fell in love with the laid-back lifestyle of the North Shore of Oahu. They became enamored with the way food played such an important role in the Polynesian culture.  They moved back to Fort Worth, their hometown, and opened CoCo Shrimp specializing in fresh shrimp dishes and tacos. People have fallen in love with CoCo Shrimp and everything they are slinging out of the kitchen. The first time I walked through the doors, I could smell the strong hints of sweet garlic, onions and herbs. My foodie barometer was on full tilt. I ordered the Shrimp Sampler, and the rest is history. It was a bath of Polynesian, shrimp flavored deliciousness! They are a must visit in 2022. Throw that door open and Tell’em you’re diving in for a shrimp platter.

Little Red Wasp 

Sundance Square Fort Worth, Texas

Chef Blaine Staniford

“Fried Chicken & Biscuit” Parker House Rolls

Cheddar Cheese Fried Chicken Biscuit (L.R.W.)

Little Red Wasp Kitchen and Bar is nestled in downtown Fort Worth between two steak houses. This restaurant is a chef-driven, knife and fork sandwich concept by Chef Blaine Staniford and Adam Jones. They are slinging deliciousness with every dish on their menu. I’ve featured them so much, one would think they are paying me, but one would be wrong! I just love the cozy atmosphere, great service, and creative dishes. But I’m in love the Wasp “Fried Chicken and Cheddar Cheese Biscuit.” It’s prepared with a fresh house cheddar cheese biscuit, house prepared black pepper gravy, and an awesome big fat n’ juicy fried chicken breast. You must have a knife and fork to eat this beast of a dish. It’s packed with flavor, and you will be sopping up the gravy with your little fingers and licking them all up, I promise you that! Get to the WASP because It’s a must visit in 2022!

Chabelo’s Food Truck  

Paris Texas

Chef Driven

Cheesy Birria Pizza

Located in Paris, Texas just north of Dallas, they offer the best Birria Pizza I have eaten in Texas to date. When I walked up to place my order, I was greeted by some extremely friendly people with big smiles. It was difficult to stand there because the delicious smell was pouring out from the trailer. I could see and hear the Birria Tacos sizzling on the grill! I placed a big order, but I’m going to highlight and feature the Birria Pizza because it was truly unbelievable. When I grabbed the pizza box it was very heavy, and I knew that meant only one thing – It was going to be loaded with tons of cheese 🧀and plenty of deliciousness.

What I discovered was one of the BEST BIRRIA PIZZAS in Texas, and I’ve eaten quite a few this year as I’ve been on a mission to discover the BEST. The Pizza was prepared fresh to order, so it takes about 20 to 25 minutes, but it’s so worth the wait! It had loads of cheese, fresh house-prepared sauces, farm-fresh onions, and cilantro chopped and bagged separately. It also came with fresh grilled onions that were caramelized to perfection on the grill. Every single bite you take from the first to the last will have you saying OMG, OMG, OMG because it’s loaded with deliciousness and each bite is sinful! I promise you will be praying to the flavor gods for more! A must visit and worth the drive to Paris, Texas in 2022. Make a day of it because Paris is a beautiful old East Texas town full of charm.

 Jazzy’s Tacos  

Dallas / Fort Worth, Texas

Chef Driven Mobile Concept

Fresh Birria Tacos

I met Chef Jose and Chef Jazmin just a few short months ago in Deep Ellum. They were slinging taco deliciousness, and when I say slinging, I mean deliciousness was flying everywhere! Everything I tried from their grill was stupid delicious. The fresh prepared tacos, Birria Tacos and Birria Taco Pizza and desserts… all amazing! I’m going to focus on the Birria Tacos because they were taco perfection. The Birria Tacos were served Golden Brown and HF&D – hot fresh and delicious. Loaded with succulent and flavorful meat, cheese, farm-fresh onions and cilantro.

New Hops & Hens (Restaurants On Lamar)

If you’re looking for some Taco Deliciousness you need some Jazzy’s Tacos and Jazzy’s Sweets in your DIET. They are a must try in 2022!

Hops & Hens  

Restaurants On Lamar

Dallas, Texas

Chef Driven

Fried Chicken Sandwiches, Tenders & Sides

The NEW concept Hen & Hops is open at the Omni Dallas Hotel and is located on Restaurants on Lamar across from the Omni Hotels & Resorts. Created by the Omni and their award-winning culinary team, it’s a new concept specializing in fresh farm to table chicken dishes, sides, desserts, and craft beers. They really did a fantastic job of creating the concept, menu, fresh dishes, and the vibrant atmosphere.

The only use fresh, locally sourced ingredients and vegetables to create some bold modern American flavor profiles that are flavor loaded and delicious. I love their signature batter because it’s light, flavorful and turns a perfect golden brown. After cooking, the fried chicken is light, savory, and cooked GBD #GoldenBrownandDelicious. They offer plenty of sides and salads that are served fresh. All the dressings and flavorful sauces are also prepared in house by the culinary team. The chicken and sides are a kaleidoscope of flavors with each bite. If you love chicken HOPS & HENS is a must visit restaurant!

Bisous  Bisous Patisserie  

Uptown Dallas, Texas

Chef Andrea Myer

An intimate French Chef-driven bakery known for its unbelievable macarons & other French pastries, with a coffee bar & cozy patio seating. If you follow me, you know I LOVE my sweets! I love the creative, colorful, and delicious, sweet treats that come from Bisous Bisous Pâtisserie in Uptown. They are truly some of the BEST I’ve ever eaten in the WORLD. That’s a big and bold statement, but it’s TRUE. Chef Andrea Myer and her culinary team are slinging some colorful and beautiful pastries that are prepared fresh in house. They only use the finest ingredients sourced locally to create some unforgettable sweet and savory flavor profiles you will love.

If you love sweets and pastries like I do, head over to Bisous Bisous Pâtisserie. I promise it’s worth the drive from anywhere in the DFW area. They are a must visit in 2022.

Thank You I hope you enjoy the deliciousness!

Trey (Chow Down) Chapman

 

 

The BEST Fried Chicken in Dallas and Fort Worth, North Texas.

Howdy Fried Chicken Lovers!

Rapscallion Dallas “Long Walk To Nashville” Fried Bird. ABC Studios.

I’ve been excited and wanting to create my list of top fried chicken joints for over two years, but like fried chicken itself, you just can’t rush perfection. We’ve been enjoying fried chicken all over North Texas from casual, fast casual and fast-food joints and I’ve finally decided it was time to let the feathers fly and expose what I consider to be the BEST fried chicken in the North Texas area.

We have many places selling various forms of chicken nowadays, so I want to be clear about what I mean when discussing fried chicken. I’m talking about fresh, bone-in chicken fried to GBP – Golden Brown Perfection. Wikipedia defines fried chicken as: “Southern fried chicken,” also known simply as fried chicken, is a dish consisting of chicken pieces that have been coated with seasoned flour or batter and pan-fried, deep fried, pressure fried, or air fried. The breading adds a crisp coating or crust to the exterior of the chicken while retaining juices in the meat.

Growing up, we served fried chicken at some of our Chapman Family Restaurants and it was very good. Under our restaurant umbrella we also owned a Churches Fried Chicken franchise, and this is where I truly learned the preparation techniques and the time it took to cook and deliver fresh fried chicken. There really are no shortcuts in the process – if you try and eliminate a step, you’re asking for subpar chicken. Preparing fried chicken isn’t very technical, but I strongly believe that simple cooking processes are sometimes the hardest to pull off. The simpler the dish, the less places there are to hide from subpar preparation.

TOP 10 BEST Bloody Mary’s In DFW 🏆

Did I hear someone say, Bloody Mary?

Yes, why yes I did and I went on a serious mission to locate the BEST we have to offer in the North Texas area.

Trey with Celebrity Chef Keith B. Hicks

If you’re one of the 5 million-plus people we reach every month through social media, event happenings, my radio and television podcast show then you’re aware of this fact. BUT I always like to state the obvious.

I’ve tried each one of these BLOODYS! Trust me, I have tried literally hundreds of Bloodys in the last decade. It was all tasted & tested and approved by Trey’s Chow Down and Drink With Trey 

If you love brunch then chances are you love a great Bloody Mary.

I drank Bloody Mary’s between Texas, Florida, California, Washington, New York, even in Jamaica and Mexico. I drink them quite often and have been asked at least 100 times this year or more, “Trey, who has the best Bloody Mary in North Texas?”

Bloody Mary’s are a staple in the national and the Texas brunch scene. It’s a favorite among the cocktail lovers of all ages the young drinkers and the old.

But first, I want to discuss the history of the Bloody Mary because it still blows my mind how it was conceived and created. Just as simple as someone mixing a drink and giving it a name after one long night of drinking. I still laugh at this because so many awesome deals can transpire over cocktails.

The history of the Bloody Mary is simple. It’s only 100 years old.

In FACT, next year is the 100th anniversary of the creation of the Bloody Mary.

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