Fried Pie

I’ve just arrived in Dallas, Texas and I’m hungry. My friend Lana and her mother suggest we get some lunch at Peggy Sue’s Barbecue near Southern Methodist University. I’ve never been a big fan of BBQ – but when in Rome, do as the Roman’s do.

“Get the chopped brisket sandwich,” Lana says, as we slide into a booth. “It’s really good here.”

“I had brisket in New York recently,” I say, grimacing at the memory. “It was awful.”

“You’re in Texas now,” Lana replies. “The barbecue’s good here.”

“I’ll take your word for it.”

“Do you want to get an appetizer?” Lana’s Mom asks.

“Maybe,” I say, perusing the menu.

“How about onion rings?’ Lana’s Mom says. “Peggy Sue’s makes the best onion rings.”

“How about the Texas Torpedoes?” I say, pointing at the menu. “Six cream cheese filled, batter fried jalapeños. Yum, yum.”

”That’s a little heavy for me,” Lana says. “I’ll pass.”

“Don’t worry,” I reply. “I packed my Lipitor. You can have some.”

“No thanks.”

When the waitress swings by with our sodas we order a plate of fried onion rings, three brisket sandwiches, and two sides of fried okra. The food comes out quickly. The onion rings are superb and the brisket sandwiches are moist and delicious. A far cry from the rubbery excuses I ate several months ago in Manhattan. The okra’s not bad either.

“Mmmm,” I say, between dripping mouthfuls. “This is delicious.”

“I told you,” Lana says. “Barbecue’s a religion in Texas.”

“This stuff could make me convert.”

“So what do you think about Texas so far?” Lana’s Mom, a lifelong resident of the Lone Star State, asks me.

“I was a little disappointed when I got off the plane,” I reply.

”Oh really? Why?”

”I thought I’d see a steer grazing near the runway.”

”They’re around,’ Lana’s mom says, laughing softly. “Just a little further out from here.”

“Sorry to be stereotypical,” I say. “Truth is you don’t see a pimp ten minutes after you get off the plane at La Guardia either.”

“True enough.”

I’m starving and we eat the rest of our meal quietly. If the good barbecue’s any indication of things to come, I like Texas already. After we finish our sandwiches and onion rings the waitress clears our plates and asks if want dessert.

“What do you have?” I ask.

“We have peach cobbler, root beer float, or fried pie,” the waitress replies.

Fried pie?” I ask.

“Yes, sir.”

“You take a pie and deep fry it?”

“Yes, sir,” the waitress says, acting like deep frying a pie is the most natural thing in the world.

“What kind of fried pie do you have today?’

“Apple or apricot. We’re all out of chocolate today.”

“Well,” I say, glancing at my dining companions. “I am in Texas.”

“You’ve got your Lipitor,” Lana says, “Go for it.”

“I’ll have the deep fried apple pie,” I say.

“Would you like vanilla ice cream on that, sir?’ the waitress asks.

“Sure,” I say, shrugging. “This meal’s already shaved a year off my life. Why not?”

“Yes, sir.”

The fried pie comes out, piping hot and delicious. The vanilla ice cream provides a nice counterpoint to the deep fried flaky crust. Seconds after I finish the pie, I can feel it starting to line the inside of my arteries.

“Man, that was good,” I say, wiping my mouth with a napkin. “I’m telling all my cardiologist friends to move down here. Texas is a gold mine.”

“Wait till you have to chicken fried steak over at The Black-Eyed Pea,” Lana says. “Then you’ll be in trouble.”

“I’m already in trouble,” I say, patting my stomach. “I’ll be feeling that fried pie for three days.”

“You still got a week here, honey,” Lana replies. “Maybe you should pace yourself.’

“Let’s stop at the drug store on the way home,” I say. I need to pick up some Alka-Seltzer.”

”Really?”

“I’ll never survive Texas without it.”


Comments

Fried Pie — 154 Comments

  1. TasTeeKake of Philadelphia and Hostess (national brand), have both been making fried pies since the late 50’s…and both brands are available in New York. I grew up in Brooklyn and then Long Island(50’s and 60’s), so I know this personally….mmmmmm, dutch apple Tasteekake pie!!

  2. Hi Waiter!

    I’m from Dallas and if you want good steak and a “Texas” atmosphere you should check out Billy Bob’s or this steakhouse in the middle of nowhere, Southern Junction.

  3. At the fair here (NC) they have deep-fried candy bars. Take a snickers dipped in funnel-cake batter, deep fry it and cover with powdered sugar. Mmmm. Most people like the deep fried Oreos… but I think the candy bars are better. I’m not sure if it’s a local thing or not.

    (goes to bed hungry)

  4. I’m from Dallas too, and if you want good Mexican food (it’s not hard to find!) try Tupinamba’s on Inwood road and order the Tupi tacos. Delicious!

  5. Welcome to Texas, Waiter! Hope you can make it down to Austin and try some of the local TexMex — talk about artery-clogging. :-) Enjoy your stay…

  6. Ask around and see if anyone can recommend a good place for fried dill pickles! I’m telling you, they are not to be believed (or rejected) until you’ve tried one. *Much* better than okra! I too was a skeptic — don’t even *like* dill pickles to begin with. But, hoo boy am I ever glad they don’t make those here in California. You’re sure to be a convert too :-)

  7. Ho, hey! Re: fried dill pickles…turns out you can get them right in the middle of NYC. Look what I just found on Gawker:

    “You can’t find them at a lot of places in town, but newish eatery Soho Park (Lafayette and Prince) does a creditable job: $5.50 gets you a batch served with mustard (but, really, all you need is a beer and a copious amount of salt). We’ve found that fried dill pickles also do an excellent job to settle stomachs that are in discomfort from the previous evening’s indulgences.”

    I rest my case :-)

  8. Good fried dill pickles are to die for. If you try TexMex, make sure there are lots of Mexicans in the restaurant. Mexican food places with all white people (Mamacitas, Los Cucos) are not really that great compared to local establishments. Try mole (pronounced mo-le, not like the animal). It’s one of my favorites.

  9. Waiter, while you’re in town, get a real burrito (not a crappy Chipotle or Qdoba) and hit up Freebirds! Best ‘fast food’ you’ll ever have.

    Also, if you can, go to El Fenix. Delicious!

  10. Welcome to Texas! I actually just left but oh well… My advice is don’t count the calories and enjoy everything while you’re there. The BBQ is great and yes, they do fry everything, but it’s okay. It tastes good and that’s what matters.

    And, on the plus side, the distances between everything make walking around enough to burn off any extra calories. :o)

  11. Oh, that brings back memories! I lived in Texas for about three years when I was younger, close to Dallas. I remember eating fried catfish at Catfish King. When our family visited once, my cousin ordered chicken friend steak everywhere we ate, as you don’t find that too often in Southern California. I’ve since happily returned to SoCal, but fondly recall the unapologetic Texas fare. Of course, I’ve just returned from my first European vacation, and already miss the gelati in Rome (it’s just not the same here). Guess I’ll just have to back…

  12. Love and War in Texas in Plano for the chicken fried steak and fried dill pickles and you can get a real original Dr. Pepper.

    Lots of good food to be had, Enjoy!

  13. dont LISTEN to that whack job you do NOT go to Texas and get CFSteak at a fucking Black Eyed Pea (they cater to geriatrics so they wouldnt know seasoning if they were buried in it to their necks.

    Go to a independent place -email me if you get over to Fort Worth my employer makes a CFTenderlion (used filet instead of round steak)

    one the best in north texas is Mary’s near Thubur Texas on I 20 west of the DFW area

  14. I live in Dallas, and I always take people to Peggy Sue’s (the chocolate fried pie is my favorite). Having grown up with fried pies, it’s always weird to find that not everyone knows what they are — I think they expect a whole, giant pie, fried in a deep-fat fryer. Same with chicken-fried steak. (It’s steak … fried like a chicken! With some cream gravy ladled over it.) CFS at the Black-Eyed Pea is really good. Next on the artery-clogging must-have list: chiles rellenos – long green chiles stuffed with cheese, battered, and deep fried. We like our food fried. Enjoy your stay!

  15. Man, story of my life. I moved from Connecticut to Oklahoma, and the guy I was dating moved to Texas for a while, so I was making that drive all the time. For a while my most overused phrase was ‘we don’t do that where I come from’. And now we’re both back/still in Oklahoma and looking to stay out here. I still miss a lot of things from CT, but I’m getting used to it out here.

  16. Real Texan here. Welcome!!! My husband rode with his motorcycle friends over to Snook, Texas, a few weeks ago for … chicken fried bacon! And yes, CareerWaiter is right, while round steak is traditional chicken fried, tenderloin is much better. If you get to Waco, I think the Elite Cafe has fried pickles and fried green tomatoes. (If it’s still there after the construction.) Wish you were staying longer …. your arteries obviously need a thorough dose of plaque-eating fried foods. grin.

  17. Welcome to Dallas. I agree with the “gentleman” about going to an independent restaurant for CFS. My favorite and therefor the best independent, Tex/Mex hole-in-the-wall is Cafe Navaro. It is on the southeast corner of Marsh Lane and Forest Lane.

    Walk around White Rock Lake (9 miles) to burn it off. Better yet walk the Katy Trail; it goes through the Knox Henderson area, Turtle Creek and the theater district, the West Village and ends at American Airlines center at Victory Park. The newst hip spot in Dallas.

    Have a great time in Dallas.

  18. 7th generation Texan here! The Black-Eyed Pea?!?!? That’s like recommending Sonic for a milkshake. . . Sorta okay, but not exactly worth a trip if you’re a tourist. Career Waiter is right about it appealing to geriatrics too.

    Also, I’m surprised no one has mentioned the pride of the Texas State Fair–deep fried Dr. Pepper!

    They’ve got a really nice exhibit at the Kimbell art museum right now, if you have a few hours to kill!

  19. My suggestion (if you’re brave enough) is to find a good Mexican independent restaurant and order the Tripas (pronounced “three-pa’s”). Cow intestine never tasted so good.

  20. I’m a seminary student at SMU; this is what I would recommend in the area for some good old fashioned cheap, greasy, college food fair.

    Hit Snuffers or Balls for a tasty burger.

    Do Stromboli’s for a good pizza.

    For dessert, go to Pokey-O’s for some ice cream smooshed between two home made cookies.

    These four locals helped me put on 10 lb. while writing my credo this past semester. Luckily, SMU has a good gym, or it’d been 20.

  21. fried pickles and everything else delicious:
    Angry Dog on Commerce St. in Deep Ellum.

    best queso in history:
    the “Bob Dip” (off the menu) at Mattito’s. unfortunately that’s the only good thing about Mattito’s…

  22. If you’re around Arlington you can get excellent sushi at Sushi Zone off of Collins and Road To Six Flags and some great Italian food at Piccolo Mondo off of Collins and Lamar. :)

    There’s a Black-Eyed Pea not 10 minutes away from my neighborhood, too… great pot roast.

  23. Southern Junction is steak heaven! For a chain, Black-Eyed Pea is terrific. However, if you want to experience the truth behind the chicken fried steak, go to Billy Bob’s. I wish I could remember the names of those other little out of the way places that taste like the real heart of Texas. Also, Lipitor and all other medications be damned, if you get a shot at a chocolate cream pie, dig the heck in! You really won’t forget the experience.

    Enjoy Texas and let’s eat!

  24. Dude! Enough with the Black-Eyed Pea mentions ya’ll – Texas has so many local, non-chain restaurants.
    Thanks and Waiter, ya’ll come back to Texas now, ya hear??? (only time I would ever use ya’ll in my posts here but it feels good!)

  25. Before you leave our state, Waiter, make sure you get some Dublin Dr. Pepper. Oldest DP bottling plant in Texas and made with pure cane sugar…Dublin is only a couple-three hours south of DFW so come on down! Also, for steak, go to Thurber. The steakhouse is about all that’s left, but it’s worth it. :)

  26. Haha! I absolutely had to post – I’ve been reading your site for ages – at least a year, and never commented before now, but…

    January of this year I moved to Dallas, Texas, and got my first job as a waiter at none other than the Black Eyed Pea! I’ve been a waiter for just over five months now, and I have an all new appreciation for your blog. I’d like to think that reading your blog has made me a better waiter in some small ways.

    … Don’t get the chicken fried steak though, the chicken fried chicken is better. Trust me.

  27. By L:
    “At the fair here (NC) they have deep-fried candy bars. Take a snickers dipped in funnel-cake batter, deep fry it and cover with powdered sugar. Mmmm. Most people like the deep fried Oreos… but I think the candy bars are better. I’m not sure if it’s a local thing or not.”

    Its not. Deep-Frying Mars bars in batter was invented in the fish & chip shops of Glasgow, Scotland. A lot of places will fry basically anything you ask them to for a small price, as long as it will fit in their fryer.

    One place famously makes a deep-fried Xmas dinner – all the major parts of xmas dinner: Turkey, stuffing, veg etc mashed up with gravy to hold it together, shaped into pattys, then deep-fried. Kinda like a Hash-brown. With a nice Deep-fried Xmas pudding to finish it off.

  28. Your friend’s mother may be a life long resident of Texas, but she obviously isn’t. Recommending Black Eyed Pea for a chicken fried steak is like recommending McDonald’s for a hamburger. Seriously…find some people who know what they’re talking about (I’m from Houston, so I can’t help you in Dallas) and find out where the good chicken fried steak is. And don’t listen to the person that told you to go for the chicken fried chicken. She’s obviously not from here either.

  29. Seriously? This was the post we’ve waited a few days for? What you ate for lunch and what anacids you need? Yep, I’m done. For other readers: I spent the last few days rereading posts in archives….they are really good, I highly recommend, since Waiter is apparently all done.

  30. I’m a 5th generation Texan and a 25-year Dallas resident. You scored a home run at Peggy Sue’s, a regular haunt for us. The apricot fried pie is my favorite there.

    But forget Black-Eyed Pea…much better CFS elsewhere, such as the Lakewood Dixie House. Matt’s (either Mattito’s or Matt’s Rancho Martinez, my fave, is a great place for Mexican food (and don’t forget to ask for Bob dip, not on the menu).

    I will enthusiastically second the recommendation of Angry Dog (on Commerce) for incredible hamburgers. We took my 23 year-old nephew on a search for the best burger in Dallas, and that place won out.

    And I’ll also second the recommendation to try a real Dr Pepper from Dublin. You can get them at Central Market (Lovers & Greenville). They’re what soft drinks used to taste like back in the day.

    And if you want laid back patio dining, give Ozona’s (on Greenville) a try. The menu is pretty good (for a cardiac plate, try the Mas Mejor, sort of a bacon chicken sandwich). They have some awesome CFS too. Worth a visit, but make sure you sit in the shaded part of the patio.

    Most of all, enjoy your visit here, and always know where you can find some air conditioning.

  31. Welcome to Dallas! For even better BBQ, try Sonny’s, in Uptown. For great Mexican, try Ojeda’s. Enjoy your stay here :)

  32. What is it with all the Waiter bashing? Just because he’s not posting about what’s happening in the restaurant at this very moment, delivering his insight and witty observations; does this mean he’s not allowed to have a life?

    Don’t forget, he’s not getting paid to entertain you. Plus he is also going through a monumental change in life… Here is a man who has entertained thousands for free – and in a matter of days, he’s going to be one of the few who can truly call himself a published author! Trust me, his publisher will be working him rather hard at the moment, attempting to monopolise on his time and popularity so his book will achieve desirable sales in the first few weeks of publication.

    To ‘Waiter’ himself – enjoy your break as much as I’ve enjoyed your posts so far. I can’t wait to get my copy of your book (the Brit version of course!) and look forward to your future posts; be they about what happens during the book launch, or if you encounter something when you next take out your order pad.

  33. Hey man, welcome to Texas!! It’s true, football and barbecue really are the second and third religion here in the Lone Star State. And don’t worry, I’m sure you’ll see some cows soon.

    Enjoy your trip, and all the food! (There is some healthy stuff here, you know … after all, Whole Foods originated here in Austin. :) )

    ~Brea

  34. Welcome to TX!

    Shoot on over to Roanoke TX to Babe’s. They have 2 things on the menu; chicken or chicken fried steak. You’ll love the box of baby rattlers they carry around for the customers.

    It’ll add another layer to those arteries.

    Enjoy your visit!

  35. I’d like to thank you for ruining my day. I am a native Texan who followed my wife to Georgia after having lived in Texas and eaten Texas food for 30 years and now only get it when I go visit or cook it myself. I’m glad you got some good beef BBQ to start your trip and I am appalled that someone suggested a chain for “good” CFS. Eat some breakfast tacos for me.

  36. Waiter,
    While you are in the area, get some B-B-Q at Rudy’s, 520 South IH-35 E in Denton. It’s the real deal. Order some sliced brisket and get your self some ’nanna puddin’ too for a real Texas dessert!
    McMike

  37. Damn-it !
    Reading this column is making hungry for some REAL food, the kind you can only get in Texas, and I’m sitting here 900 miles from Dallas!

    Road trip – road trip !!!!

  38. So…

    You gots a new girlfriendly? :0)

    I’m glad you liked the BBQ. Southern BBQ is much better than that glorified ketchup indfested crap we call BBQ up here in New England. I love Okra too. God bless you for the deep fried pie though.

    I am looking forward to your book, but I am afraid you will not tell stories here anymore. I hope you still throw us an a bone here on the internet every now and then.

  39. Hello Waiter, welcome to Texas. I’m a life long resident of Tarrant County (that’s just west of Dallas) and only just moved to Dallas last year to be closer to the girlfriend. For good Mexican food try Chuy’s on Knox Street and then for dessert walk over to Harry’s for the best custard in town. Sounds like you might also need to do a few laps along the Katy Trail, just to keep the waistline in check.

  40. I agree with Career Waiter who wrote on 07/2/08 at 12:37 am :

    “Dont LISTEN to that whack job you do NOT go to Texas and get CFSteak at a fucking Black Eyed Pea (they cater to geriatrics so they wouldnt know seasoning if they were buried in it to their necks.”

    I’m from Alvin (20 mintues from Galveston) and Joe’s BBQ on Highway 6 has the best Chicken Fried Steak in this area. BUT NOT BLACK EYED PEA!

    Someone wrote to try Tripas! I love that stuff a little too rich but I can do 3 pieces on a hot soft flour tortilla…and don’t forget Menudo. Talk about clogging the system up this will do it! And don’t let them serve you manufactured tortillas! Get someone to do some homemade ones!

    I love you waiter! I so proud you came to see us Texans!

    Coming to you from Texas!

  41. I’m in the part of Texas where there are a whole lot of steers, a ton of barbecue and fried pies–well, they sell them at the farmer’s market. Yum! Be sure to get some pecan pie while you’re here!

  42. As a southern boy, I can really dig the food you’re talking about!

    You need to have more BBQ, Waiter. Go over to NC and get some vinegar based and tell us how you like it!

  43. Great food abounds, as the above comments attest. No matter what you’re shoving into your (fried) pie hole, wash it down with an ice cold Shiner.

    (I know you’re a mixed-drink kinda guy, but as you said, when in Rome…)

  44. Dear Waiter,
    You should check out the Dinosaur Barbecue in Syracuse NY when you come back from your trip. It is the best barbecue I have ever tasted (which doesn’t mean much as I am French and living in NY).
    I have been reading your old posts. I love your site and I cannot wait to read the book.

  45. I enjoy reading about food, so thanks for this. Well-written as usual.

    But ya know, Lipitor can only do so much. After 40, deep-fried food is like hard liquor or good drugs — best only once in a while. Unless you burn 5000 calories a day loading trucks or something!

    Even so, the Call of the Onion Ring is hard to resist.

  46. Dallas is a blast. Another great place to eat there is the Cosmic Cafe on Oak Lawn: great carrot cake and ice cream, and a lot of other vegetarian tastiness – in case you need a break from all things deep-fried.

  47. NO BLACK EYED PEA. And honestly, not Billy Bob’s for CFS either. If you are in FW, have CFS at Massey’s.

    Help me out Dallas-ites– Mama’s Daughter- is that the right name? Babe’s is good. Also try Gloria’s for Salvadoran, Herrera’s for Tex-Mex, Ojeda’s for Mole,

  48. Welcome To Texas Waiter!
    If you feel the need to get out of the city a nice 3 hr drive to the west to Abilene. Stop on by and I’ll grill a sirloin tip to die for.

  49. The first time my Canadian husband went down to Texas to visit my family he said “There are a lot of overweight people here!” I just laughed and told him to wait until he ate something- then he would understand.

    Don’t forget to try biscuits and gravy for breakfast!

    Each and every morning we are in Texas my grandma makes a big platter of biscuits and gravy for her favorite grandson-in-law!

  50. Please, Waiter, for the love of all that is good and Texan, don’t go to Blackeyed Pea for anything. If you want good chicken fried steak, go to Ozona on Greenville just south of University.

  51. I noticed that the word “Alka-Seltzer” was in a bigger font than the rest of the text… subliminal advertising?

  52. You simply MUST be in The South for proper comfort food. There’s just no point in eating anything deep-fried or butter-soaked or barbequed unless you’re down there.

    Of course, stay for too long, and you’ll die young.

  53. OK– I am crying here reading about all the good Texas food! I now live in Canada, and would just about kill someone for some decent Mexican food. Mexican food here should be called MexiCAN’T!

  54. Pingback: SideDish » Blog Archive » A Waiter Rants About Peggy Sue Barbecue

  55. Give that Guy Clark song “Texas Cookin'” a listen sometimes (“we’re all gonna need brand new jeans”). As a native NC girl I’m supposed to claim that the vinegar sauced pulled pork is the only true barbeque, but sadly (not really) I am a barbeque slut.

  56. Don’t feel too bad about “stereotyping” Texas. When my family moved from Michigan to Texas, I have to admit that I expected to cross the state line onto something like the set of a John Wayne move. Cattle, saloons, maybe an oil rig or two, tumbleweeds.

  57. Welcome to Texas, Waiter! Glad to have you here, and very glad you like the food. Although I’m not a native Texan, I got here as fast as I could! :)

  58. Oh, Madonn’ fried pie. (Cue Homer Simpson drool) The Varsity in Atlanta. If you ever go there try the peach one. Thank Jeebus two guys dropped out of college in like 1929 and opened that place. Also the best hot dogs you’ll ever have, and an entertaining counter staff.

  59. Interesting.

    I’m honestly surprised that you didn’t make any observations about the wait service; the waitress could have been any nameless, faceless person. Anyone can go to a restaurant and enjoy the food, but you have a talent for seeing something in the interaction between diner and waitperson that the rest of us don’t always see. I was hoping to read about that; it’s the thing that would set this post apart from, say, my uncle Bob’s experience eating in Texas.

  60. Connie – It’s “Mama’s Daughters’ Diner”

    For TexMex and people watching, can’t beat the O’Jeda’s on Maple. Sometimes possible to see celebs there.

    Or, try La Calle Doce in the Oak Cliff area. Great Mexican food and Mexican seafood. Great patio area.

    Eating a CFL at BEP is a sacrilage to a real Texan. And Tupinamba’s? WTF? Gringo

  61. Deep fried pickles are outstanding. When I take my family camping the first thing they ask for is the pickles,deep fried over an open fire.My kids also love dougnuts fried over an open campfire for breakfast.AWESOME

  62. texas is awesome, yeah? :P

    hope you enjoy your stay…if you ever make it to austin, definitely try out kerbey lane cafe. its a 24hour cafe and its completely awesome. :) kinda like a diner…

    love reading your stuff!

  63. Glad you had a good time in Dallas. Hope you post more of your experiences here. Let us know when you are coming back. I’m sure that there are more than a few people who would love to meet you.

  64. it’s half eleven at night here in england & reading your post waiter & all the comments now means i am INCREDIBLY hungry! i somehow need to justify a kitchen raid (: xx

  65. Thanks waiter for the great post. Texas has some amazing food. Try it all, and I agree, if you can get your hands on a deep fried candy bar, go for it, they are the best, but your arteries clog just looking at those…

  66. Um, no. I’m sure that you’re having a lovely time in TX, driving down the highways and the access roads, but you have not had real barbeque since you have set foot off your plane.

    True barbeque is to be found in North Carolina. Period. Full stop.

    Yes, you can travel to TX, you can swing through Memphis (and swim through all their vinegar), you can even make visits to other regions. You may eat well, you may be graciously received, you may drink all the sweet tea that you can hold, but you will not be eating barbeque.

    TX “barbeque” is made from beef. Enough said.

    True barbeque is made in North Carolina, and is made from a pig that has been smoked and basted for hours. Pulled pork. This is the only kind of barbeque fit to eat. The rest of those people are living like animals.

    Go to DFW. Book a flight to Charlotte (it’s a USAir hub, so there are plenty of flights). Rent a car and drive to Greensboro. Go to Stamey’s on High Point Road. Don’t worry…this isn’t Deliverance country. Greensboro has 6 colleges and universities, so there are plenty of hipters around.

    After you finish there (you must also order hush puppies), you will refuse to recognize that Texas swill as barbeque.

    I post this comment as a public service.

  67. well, if you *really* want to know where the good bbq places are in texas, hit up the local bookstore for texas monthly, their last issue was, you guessed it, ALL about that bbq, Texas style!…so glad you could hit up Dallas, now come to the Western part of Texas and get some bbq done the right way *wink*…oh and…to hit your stereotype button…this is where the tumbleweeds are! LOL

  68. Thanks, Dennis, for saying what I was thinking…who is this Lana that you are visiting all the way in Texas…must be someone special…I’m always glad to see nice people happy!

  69. Welcome back Waiter!!! I had stopped checking at was nice to get to read your last posts. Congrats on the book I hope it will be available in Asia soon :)

  70. I was reading through all the posts since my first one and my glucose went up 40 milligrams! I hope nobody gets the impression that all the food in Texas is deep-fried! There are also grilled goodies and just plain home cookin’ without all the fryin’.

    You can always go where your hosts take you and just have fun with it.

  71. There are 2 things we are known for in the south..one is our stupidity (we call it pride), the second our food.
    Sure, we could live 10+ more years if we watched our diet, but to be honest, I’d rather die happy and younger.

    I hope you enjoy your stay in the south Waiter! You should track a little east and come to Louisiana. That is where the flavor’s at!

  72. Hi Waiter! So glad to see you in the Lone Star State. I used to work at SMU, and let me tell you, just about everything over there is good (If you’re in the mood for a good sub, Jimmy John’s is teh shit).

    A lot of people will recommend that you go outside the city for good food, and without any disrespect intended, you really shouldn’t have to do that. Dallas is a wonderful place with a lot of awesome culture and food.

    One thing I will recommend is to visit the JFK memorial downtown. If you stand right in the center and focus on the walls, it feels like you’re the only person in the world.

  73. If you want to get to some good BBQ you should make your way north to Tioga (Birthplace of Gene Autry) and go to Clark’s. People drive for miles to enjoy the food. They have BBQ to die for and the chocolate pie (meringue is at least 6 inches high). Babe’s in Roanoke is pretty good for CFS. And go to the Ponder Steakhouse in of course, Ponder. Meatloaf used the location for a video and there are several stars that will fly into Ft. Worth and make a trip up to Ponder. Yummy!

  74. I admit to being hooked on Freebird’s burritos. The Black Eyed Pea isn’t bad, but there’s better out there. Greenville Ave and Deep Ellum are the funky parts of the city, with some truly entertaining results. The Blue Goose is low brow mexican, Del Luna’s is higher brow; go for El Fenix over El Cheapo… er, El Chico. Oh, and if you have the cash, Del Frisco’s (if they’re still around) served a wonderful steak.

  75. I live in Dallas near the SMU area. Glad to hear you’re enjoying our state! You should try eating at Watel’s Allen street cottage, they have GREAT food and an amazing view of Dallas. It’s in the uptown area. Let me know if you try it and if you enjoy it.

    When I first moved here (I’m a Texas adoptee) I thought the predilection of the South for frying things was pretty strange. Fried pie, fried EVERYTHING. They take something fried and then they fry it again. Quite strange, but also quite good.

    I try not to eat like a Texan too often, though…I don’t want to become some cardiologist’s best customer, um, patient.

  76. Oh, Watel’s is a French Bistro, by the way, not a typical Southern-cuisine restaurant. Just in case you didn’t want to clog your arteries any further.

  77. im a born and raised dallasite, lived here all my life, i work at sonny bryans bbq and that i tell ya is the best bbq in the world, worked there for a year and i still eat it almost everyday, chop beef sandwich with mac and cheese and onion rings, good stuff, with some peach cobbler and some ice cream on top, good stuff, lol

    oh and ive read on your comments about billy bobs, its a great place, been there many times, almost a twice monthly event for me and my friends, theres also cowboys in arlington, not too far fromt 6 flags, cowboys got a mechanical bull, big dance floor, pool and alot of cool stuff, i love cowboys and i love texas!!!

  78. I was going to leave a post of where some great places to eat are here, but after reading about 10 posts I wanted to kill myself.

    As a professional chef It makes me sad to read most of the posts about places you just have to eat in Dallas.

    I want to cry.

    Also, Doughmonkey. Snider plaza near SMU.
    http://www.doughmonkey.com

  79. Welcome to the great state of Texas, Waiter. I hope you have a great time. I live south of Fort Worth, and there are so many things to see and do in the DFW area. I would recommend going to the Six Floor Museum as did someone else above me.

    Hmmm wow, fried pickles! I don’t know if they have a Razoo’s in Dallas, as that is a bit of a drive…but to me they make the best fried pickles.

    I wonder how many people raided their fridge after reading all these comments and your blog…

  80. Never really wanted to visit Texas…but might want to now that I know about it’s culinary delights. Have fun!

  81. You want Chicken Fried Steak do Texas Roadhouse if you’re in Texas or…Mama’s Daughter’s Diner. It’s a whole in the wall but tasty.

  82. Hey, Waiter… New York has some wicked tasty BBQ. Check out Virgil’s on 44th Street. The brisket is great. Moist? Check. Delicious? Check.

  83. I grew up in Alabama and fried pies were a staple. My great-grandmother made them all of the time.
    Haven’t had one in about 40 years but you sure brought back fond memories!

  84. OMG these comments and your story made me hungry! I’m preggo and am now craving fried pickles (which I’ve never had) and brisket! Live in Houston, but lived in Dallas before. Miss the barbecue in Dallas. Used to eat at Clark’s in Tioga.

    I think you might have another career option as a food critic, Waiter!

  85. Welcome to Tejas from a transplanted Houstonian…

    Try breakfast at The Mecca on Harry Hines! A “Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives” kinda place.

    Keller’s Drive-In on Northwest Hwy for lunch… A classic.

    Tex-Mex at El Fenix on McKinney for lunch or dinner. Another classic.

    Enjoy your stay. Stay out of the HEAT!

  86. Yep, BBQ and fried pies are definitely things best ordered/eaten in the South, no doubt about that! My Nanny (grandmother) used to make fried apple pies for us all summer long in Tennessee…yummy!
    Oh, and I haven’t eaten at a Black-Eyed Pea for years…used to love those restaurants!

  87. Yum! I’d almost forgotten about fried pies. In Georgia, we used to go to the apple festival in the fall and the only thing that beat the fried pies was the fresh, fried pork rinds! (Oops, I think my Southern roots are showing!)

  88. Chopped beef sandwiches? Black-eyed Pea? First, having lived in Dallas, they don’t have good ‘cue, and good ‘cue isn’t usually chopped into a sandwich. BEP is a chain, like saying Olive Garden is good Italian. If you want some real Texas food, come on down to Austin and we’ll take you out to the hill country for good ‘cue and chicken fried steak.

  89. Wow, I find it hard to believe you never had a fried pie before (said in a southern drawl, of course, so pie is almost two syllables). You’re been missing out!

  90. Well I hope you are enjoying your vacation waiter dear. I must say this is the most up beat thing you have written in quite a while and maybe you just needed a break. Hopefully things will look a little brighter at the cafe after a well deserved and much needed break from the hum drum. Enjoy the rest of your vacation Waiter and eat another slice of that pie for me!!! Yum!!

  91. “but when in Rome, do as the Roman’s do”

    Waiter?! You of all people should know that the apostrophe has nothing to do with forming a plural noun!

  92. “I’m telling all my cardiologist friends to move down here. Texas is a gold mine.”

    Eat watermelon for breakfast my friend, and any time you eat red meat, drink red wine.

    My darling father-in-law (RIP) grew up near a fried pie bakery on the northeast side of Houston. He ate two fried pies every day (for 5c each): one on the way to school and one coming home from school.

  93. As a native Texan now living several states away from her beloved BBQ …I’m jealous! I’m so glad you enjoyed the brisket!

    Though …I’ve never tried fried pie. But at the North Carolina fair, there was fried Coca-Cola. I didn’t try that either.

  94. Oh man, I haven’t eaten at the Black Eyed Pea in thirteen years. JEALOUS!!

    (I was nine. I am aware it’s Texan Applebees. But I remember it as delicious!)

  95. Ah, Peggy Sue’s BBQ (AKA Peggy’s Beef Bar). It’s one of the things I miss about Dallas. My sister left a comment above praising the chocolate fried pies. Yeah, they’re all good. But, man, the apricot kicks ass!

  96. <a href=“http://www.foodnetwork.com/food/recipes/recipe/0,,FOOD_9936_34925,00.html`title=“Paula Deen`s deep friend butter balls“.

  97. Sounds yummy.. I feel the same way about barbeque. It not the first thing I think of (or even the 100th) when I’m hungry. Currently, I’m in KC, and it’s difficult to leave without barbeque first. :)

  98. hehe. i love this post. and i love visitors to texas! sounds like this may be your last day in dallas… or maybe you’re home now. it’s fun knowing i shared a city with you for a few days. hope your trip was fun and delicious!

  99. I don’t mean to be insulting – but are you employing a ghost writer for this and the previous post?

    The tone is different, and the grammar isn’t as tight as it usually is. I know I sound pedantic, but I really noticed a difference.

  100. Sugar, Texas is a country all to itself. Enjoy the wonderful foods. Yum! Fried picle slices. Yum! Barbecue brisket. Yum! Tex-Mex ooey-gooey cheesy enchiladas. Black-Eyed Pea restaurants have great veggie sides. If you were to swing over to Foat Wuth, Joe T. Garcia’s is classic. I lived in FW for about 25 years and loved the truly awesomeness of real Texas hospitality.

  101. you shoulda had CFS at Babe’s, and BBQ in south Dallas (hardeman’s) also i can’t believe they didn’t take you to La Calle Doce in Oak Cliff for Mexican food…Oak Cliff=Mexican Food!

  102. Yeah, yeah, we all know how great the Texans are at everything, but BBQ was invented in Kansas City, where it’s still the best, so don’t get too cocky. :)

  103. MMMMMM Peggy SUE’s!!!! (misses Peggy Sue’s BBQ)

    You lucky dawg. Did you get down to Deep Ellum at all? Go out anywhere besides eating?

    Dallas really is an awesome town. I miss it.

  104. Skip Black Eyed Pea and head over to H3 Ranch in the Fort Worth stockyards. THAT’s a real chicken fried steak!

  105. Hey,

    As a former waiter, I generally enjoy your fiction. I especially enjoy how your talk of Texas establishments includes The Black Eyed Pea out of Englewood, Colorado. Sure sounds legit!

  106. if you haven’t had chorizo and eggs..you should. they make a great meal, especially with/wrapped in flour tortillas..is there really a place in texsas that serves armadillo? i am curious ( not hungry )

  107. Leonie–Ghostwriter? No, of course not! He’s on vacation, in the South. He’s RELAXED, as he should be. We’re all relaxed down here. Enjoy yourself, waiter, and keep chillin’

  108. @Nicefiction….

    Just because there’s a place here in Colorado named “Black-eyed Pea” doesn’t mean there may not be another one located elsewhere. If you’ve ever been there, you may actually know that they have several locations in Colorado AND Texas.

    As a former service industry worker myself, in everything from the bottom on up to even being an owner, I have enjoyed the stories in this blog, having read them in chronological order from the start. While the writing itself flows brilliantly, I can also relate to the stories in their basic form.

    Although I have read almost all the blogs and will continue to do so, I will surely be buying the book as well. I can’t wait, these stories have kept me laughing and I imagine the book will have more stories that have not been related here. Even if they are all the same stories, I imagine they will be expanded upon. And if they’re not? At least I will have a hardcopy of all the wonderful adventures and heatwarming moments.

  109. ^Screw you Milander. Not all of us are fat, that’s just plain rude to say. Some, if not most, of us actually eat in moderation and exercise regularly.

    Anywho…

    I’m up in OKC, and I love the bbq there. They have these pieces of chocolate cake that I swear are five pounds a piece haha. It’s nuts.

  110. the whole state of texas sucks ass. i should know, i grew up in san antonio, vacationed in corpus christi, family owns a factory in laredo, spent 2 years in that god-forsaken hell-hole they call dallas, escaped to the west coast and you couldn’t pay me enough to go back to live there. dad’s got the factory in laredo and wants me to move out there and take over the business. fuck that. i’ll stay here in cali waiting for my inheritance.

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