And the favorite meals of 2018 are …

Clockwise from top left: Taco Heads, Local Traveler, Pho Bowl and Oni Ramen. 
Photos by Sara Newberry

By Sara Newberry

The year 2018 has been an interesting one for local restaurants. We lost Mamoun’s (after less than a year!), as well as local favorite Blind Butcher, and the legendary Highland Park Soda Fountain. On the flipside, we welcomed newcomers in Jaram’s Donuts, Jack’s Kitchen (review to come soon!) and Taco Heads. I’ve had great meals and terrible dishes throughout the year, but I definitely visited a few places in the past 12 months that really stood out. 

In no particular order, my favorite meals of the year are: 

Pho Bowl

Pho is a close second to ramen as a favorite cold-weather meal, and Pho Bowl makes a tasty one. But I like the non-pho menu options too: shaking beef and a vermicelli bowl are go-tos when it’s warmer out. Favorite dishes: Shaking Beef, Tom Yum-style Pho (2807 Commerce St., Deep Ellum)

Pie Tap

I am not a big pizza fan; it’s just not something I tend to seek out. But Pie Tap makes a pizza that I crave. The crust straddles the line between crisp and chewy, and the toppings run the gamut from traditional to innovative. Favorite dish: Prosciutto pizza (2708 N. Henderson Ave.)

White Rock Alehouse and Brewery

WRAB opened in late 2017 and has become a neighborhood fixture during the past year. There were definitely hits and misses on the menu, but the service is always great, and the Reuben is ridiculously good. Favorite dishes: Brewben, Fish & Chips (7331 Gaston Ave.)

Local Traveler

I had some issues with the dinner I had here, but the brunch was flawless, and the service is always excellent. The patio is pretty close to perfect when the weather is good. It’s become a regular in our weekend rotation. Favorite dish: Carnitas Benedict (7522 East Grand Ave.)

Oni Ramen

Dallas has some respectable ramen houses, but Fort Worth import Oni is hands down the best of them. Sit at the bar and order from a human or go full Tokyo and order from the screens located near the door. Favorite dishes: Karaage chicken, Signature miso ramen (2822 Elm St.)

Monterrey Tex-Mex

Our corner of the world is rich with Mexican and Tex-Mex restaurants, and each of them has its own distinct personality. Monterrey is where we go when we’re looking for extra-casual and extra-delicious authentic Mexican food. Don’t order barbecue. Favorite dish: Asado de Puerco (10920 Garland Rd.)

Easy Slider

I have been a fan of Easy Slider since they were just a food truck. The brick-and-mortar location is consistently good, and it’s nice to eat my sliders at a table for a change! Favorite dishes: Sweet and Lowdown, Loaded Tots (2701 Main St.)

Taco Heads

I really hope Taco Heads makes it. The space is light and welcoming, and the service is always friendly. Most importantly, the tacos are top-notch. There are a couple of missteps (I don’t love the elotes, which the staff seems to think is strange), but those warm chips and perfect lime-y guacamole make up for a lot. Favorite dishes: Guacamole, Brisket taco (1921 N. Henderson Ave.)

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