Tuesday, July 2, 2013
Full and frugal: 10 restaurants in Dallas that won’t wreck your wallet
Tell us what your favorite restaurant deals are.
According to a 2012 study, Dallasites lead the national average in dining out almost twice as much as second-ranked New Yorkers. But you probably can't blow a bundle every time you let someone else do the cooking. Here are 5 spots to fill your belly without wrecking your wallet this summer -- plus 5 places to try next time.
Barbec's: Get ready to step into another dimension. This establishment near White Rock Lake looks like something out of the 1950s, as does its primary clientele. An American diner, Barbec's serves items from stick-to-your-ribs breakfast platters to chicken fried steak and catfish -- with all the fixins, of course. But the real draw is actually free: Beer biscuits come with nearly every entree. Like at Grandma's house, you're going to get more food than any human should possibly consume, and entrees average about $8 before daily and weekly specials kick in. (Order a chicken fried steak any day after 4 p.m. and a second is just $2.99.) Cash only. See also: Mama's Daughter's Diner
Fuel City Tacos: There is no shortage of walk-up taco huts in Dallas. Many places run specials, but one of the best all-the-time deals -- that's 24/7/365 -- is Fuel City's tacos, which start at $1.40 a pop. Nestled within a gas station (which also, oddly, has a pool), the restaurant's actual name is Super Tacaso, and its menu is simple but sumptuous. Cash only. See also: 9 other taco temptations
Keller's Drive-In: Keller's burgers start at $2.20 (well, $1.40 for a junior burger). Add on as you will -- does a $1.60 chili dog count as a "topping?" And take in the scenery which includes hotrods, hogs, and a very non-Dallas vibe. Don't expect luxury, but do expect a hearty haul in a unique setting. See also: Dairy-Ette
Kalachandji's: Produce is not cheap, so getting in a healthful, nonviolent nosh can be a challenge. But one of the city's best secrets is the buffet within a Hare Krishna temple in East Dallas. Choose between the Salad Bar or the Hot Buffet with Salad and have your pick from an ever-changing selection designed to, according to its website, "provide vegetarian cuisine that delights the palate, promotes good health, makes the mind peaceful, and elevates the consciousness." Buffet prices vary from $8.95-12.95, but that's a suggested donation: Feel free to give more if you have it. See also: Spiral Diner
Highland Park Soda Fountain: So maybe you didn't expect a good deal in HP. Well, drive your Lambo over to this Knox Street staple, which has been serving up old-fashioned comfort food for a century. Whether you want a grilled cheese, egg salad sandwich, grilled PB&J, or chili dog, 80 percent of the menu has dishes for less than $5. Plus, there's ice cream. Bonus. See also: Wild About Harry's
We're just scratching the surface here. What are your favorite strapped-for-cash spots?
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