Cooler temps are finally here, which in our world means al fresco dining, soups, braised meats plus dumplings. This week, our food writers’ favorite bites — at old favorites and new restaurant finds — are clear markers of a changing of the seasons. Here are the best things we ate this week.
Kuy Teav at Rumdoul
In a small, nondescript retail strip behind a Rowlett gas station is a restaurant making piquant Cambodian comfort meals served by incredibly friendly staff. Rumdoul has been open for about three years, but it feels like a well-kept secret — at least it did when I was there for lunch on a weekday and was the only customer in the dining room. The menu covers a spread of rice, noodle, plus protein-heavy dishes like beef loc-lac, lemongrass tofu and caramelized pork. Their kuy teav, Cambodian rice noodle soup, is what soup season dreams are made of. Thin grain noodles are usually suspended in a deeply flavored chicken broth topped with a neon slick of chili oil, cilantro and scallions. Order this with the spice level plus protein of your choice (I kept it simple this time with chicken), or get the Kuy Teav Phnom Penh with ground pork, crab meat and shrimp. It comes steaming hot in a trough of a bowl that feels bottomless. — Claire Ballor, food reporter
Rumdoul is located at 8602 Lakeview Pkwy E., Rowlett. rumdoulcuisine. com .
Montreal Long Haul at Encina
With a liver and a waistline still recovering from too many bottomless mimosa brunches in my younger years, I’ve become a little bored with a meal easier cooked at home. My brunch ennui could also be attributed to the fact most places serve standard, similar-tasting omelettes, brief stacks, plus eggs Benedict. But , the Montreal Long term — with duck lower-leg confit, a blue hammer toe butterscotch hot cake, scrambled ovum, and tater tots — at Oak Cliff’s Encina is worth making plans for. The particular airy and creamy scrambled eggs are a result of technique, as is the particular duck leg confit along with crisp edges cloaking sumptuous dark meat. If you can eat it all, the plate goes back plus forth within flavors and textures. A soft bite of not-too-sweet pancake can be chased with crunchy tots, then delicate eggs, followed by juicy duck, and maybe just one mimosa. — Amanda Albee , contributing writer
$27 with Encina; 614 W. Davis Street, Based in dallas. encina. possuindo .
Pork Dumplings and Smashed Pickled Cucumber at Hello Dumpling
I’m calling this the best combo meal ever? June Chow’s dumplings at Hi there Dumpling are one of those things you just crave, and I got a big craving the other day when the weather hit just right. I stopped by her newest location on Walnut Hill Lane, a casual spot very similar to the girl to East Dallas area, for a dose of Beijing soul foods. I ordered the Pig and Cabbage Dumplings ($9. 50 for 10, pan-fried), a side of Broke Pickled Cucumbers ($3. 50), and a to-go cup associated with hot green tea. The dumplings are so perfectly sized and the right combo of crispy and chewy that I mowed down the entire row of 10 in about 5 minutes. And the cucumbers are just the refreshingly delicious pairing. Simple, comforting, tasty. Combine that with Chow’s wonderful hospitality and conversation, and this lunch time visit fed my soul as well as my tummy. — Erin Booke , food editor
Hello there Dumpling is situated at 8041 Walnut Slope Lane, Suite E815 (walk down the sidewalk in between Bellagreen and the climbing gym) plus 1146 Peavy Road. hello-dumpling. com .
Braised Beef Short Rib on Good Graces
Finally, temperatures dipped enough to enjoy fall menus al fresco. A highlight of our food on Good Graces’ patio in Uptown was the new braised meat short rib. Although served boneless, it’s seared and braised bone-on in a rich, house-made beef jus. The savory, fork-tender rib is topped with piquant, pickled mustard seeds and a tiny dollop associated with apple-infused horseradish emulsion (horseradish fans should ask for extra — the kitchen will gladly oblige). The particular beef nests on a bed of tender, apple cider-braised red diet programs — another fall preferred. Brightening the plate was a pretty pea-tendril leaf. We happened to dine before happy hour ended (6 p. m. ), plus enjoyed our meal along with $4 craft beers, upon draft. — Tina Danze, contributing author
$24 in Good Graces Modern Brasserie, 3033 Fairmount St ., Based in dallas. goodgracesdallas. com .
Fata Special at Moderena Bakery and Cafe
In Lake Highlands, Moderena Bakery and Café brings more than just your everyday coffee and pastries. Recently opened this year, this bakery will be Eritrean-inspired and family-owned. If you’ve never experienced Eastern African cuisine before, this is a great place to introduce yourself to some classic meals. Owner Robel Tsegay recommended that I try a popular fata special, which consists of more the fata itself. For those who aren’t familiar, fata is usually chunks of bread that are cut plus combined with spicy tomato sauce. At Moderena, Tsegay says the special is made with the café’s own modern (as the restaurant’s name suggests) twist. A whole loaf associated with bread is definitely cooked with an in-house spices and dressed with chopped tomatoes, onions, green peppers, eggs and yogurt. The particular spices paired well with everything, as well as the yogurt plus tomato sauce was rich and creamy. One by one, I savored each and every piece of bread. I couldn’t believe that this was on the breakfast menu because of how filling it is. It’s a dish that can be enjoyed anytime of the day, though. The regular fata comes without the yogurt and ovum, but I recommend going with the particular special. We look forward to trying more of their Eritrean dishes. The kicha fit-fit can be next on my list. — Tina-Tien Nguyen , contributing article writer
Moderena Bakery and Cafe, 9310 Forest Lane, Collection #362. Dallas. moderenabakeryandcafe. possuindo .
Beef Rib at Cattleack BBQ
It’s not often I actually stand in line at 9: 50 in the morning to eat a tray of smoked meats, but sometimes circumstances (like an ambitious all-day-and-night bachelor party for your friend) necessitate such things. That’s how I found myself waiting with a few dozen other people for the doors at Cattleack to open last Friday. Once inside, we filled our trays with brisket, three kinds of sausages, a couple beef ribs and a handful of sides. It was not a light meal. This is top-notch barbecue, and the brisket and sausages deserve their own praise, but nothing proved quite so memorable as the meat rib. This two-pound behemoth with a protruding bone is certainly topped along with well-seasoned bark, and the meat is wealthy and succulent, providing the beefy quality you want when holding the Flintstones-size bone in your hands. It all conspired to produce one of the better breakfasts I’ve had in a while. — Kevin Gray , contributing writer
Margarita Flight at LSA Burger Grandscape
Tasting flights add an element of flavorful fun to any eating or drinking experience. I have had plane tickets of wine, beer, whiskey and even bacon, but I boarded a new sort of flight this past weekend at the recently opened LSA Burger within the Colony. Six different frozen margaritas, arranged and labeled on a tray with each adorned having a skewered lime wedge, made for a lovely visual. The prickly pear and pomegranate options were on the sweet side while the mango, strawberry, plus blood orange entries hit just the right bright, tangy notes. The white peach marg offered the particular closest experience to the traditional lime-flavored margarita for a nice little surprise. The mini-margarita flight ($18. 25) was a colorful, festive and icy treat, ideal for battling the suburban sprawl madness that is the Grandscape development on a Saturday afternoon. — Kelly Dearmore , contributing writer
LSAENGINE Burger with Grandscape is located at 4545 Destination Drive, The Colony (inside Grandscape). lsaburger. possuindo .
Garlic noodles at Mot Hai Ba
On a date night at Gentemot Hai Handbag in Eastern Dallas, it is a good idea to obtain the daily special and an order associated with shaking beef — this particular Vietnamese eating place rarely misses on the entrees. But the best bite each time is always a part dish, the particular garlic noodles. Though they’re listed for less than $10 on a corner from the menu, they are no afterthought. Chef Peja Krstic’s garlic noodles are full of umami and a near-perfect mouthful of slippery, salty goodness. They sound like they’d make for great leftovers, cold the next day as you stand hungry in front of your fridge. But We wouldn’t know: I always plan to take a few home, but there are never any left. — Sarah Blaskovich , senior meals reporter
Mot Hai Ba is at 6047 Lewis St ., Dallas. Dinner only, closed Mondays. I suggest making reservations in advance ; the restaurant is small and can get packed upon weekends.