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8 Local Chains We Love in Dallas

By Farah Fleurima
August 7, 2014

Dallas loves its local chains. You know the ones — mini collections that started here and are embraced as the city’s own. Check out our eight favorites below. 

  • Mama's Daughter's Diner

    The Formula: A family-owned neighborhood diner known and loved for huge country breakfasts and classic Southern fare. 
    Number of Locations: Six
    Lunch for One: $9 for a meat-and-three plate
    Menu Highlights: Mama's Favorite Breakfast, featuring eggs and biscuits and gravy, and the chicken-fried steak.
    Tasting Notes: The menu features many blasts from culinary past like gravy-laden open-faced sandwiches and fried chicken livers.

  • Twisted Root Burger Co.

    The Formula: Crazy topping combos on burgers served in a kitschy environment.
    Number of Locations: Seven (eight if you count the DFW Airport)
    Lunch for One: $9
    Menu Highlights: The Frito Bandito with chili, guac, cheese and corn chips, and the adult milkshakes.
    Tasting Notes: As the menu notes, burgers come medium-well unless you pipe up, and we like them in medium mode. Sides are unforgettable, especially the fried green beans, fried pickles and nacho cheese Ballpark Fries. Don’t leave without a spiked adult milkshake.

  • Cane Rosso

    The Formula: Authentic Southern Italian-style pizza made in a custom oven.
    Number of Locations: Four (plus Zoli’s NY Pizza is an offshoot of the Cane Rosso family.)
    Lunch for One: $18
    Menu Highlights: The housemade Caesar with white anchovies, and the super-spicy sausage-bedecked Paulie Gee
    Tasting Notes: Jay Jerrier’s pizza induces swoons, and the same attention goes into salads, pasta and dessert.

  • Cowboy Chicken

    The Formula: Herb-coated rotisserie chicken, with many side-dish options.
    Number of Locations: 12, with seven in the DFW area.
    Lunch for One: $10 
    Menu Highlights: Besides the roasted chicken, the creamy chicken enchiladas are legendary.
    Tasting Notes: Vegetarians can make a meal out of the lengthy list of sides; standouts include saucy black beans, corn fritters and twice-baked potato, which can stand alone as a meal.

  • Gloria’s

    The Formula: A tasty menu mix of Salvadorean cuisine and Tex-Mex favorites.
    Number of Locations: 12 in DFW (plus two in Austin and one in Houston). 
    Lunch for One: $12
    Menu Highlights: The pupusas, plus tamales, juicy carne asada and steak nachos.
    Tasting Notes: We love perching on the patio during happy hour, pairing steak nachos with the frozen swirl margarita.

  • Babe's Chicken Dinner House

    The Formula: Fried chicken served a la carte or family-style.
    Number of Locations: Nine
    Lunch for One: $13 
    Menu Highlights: The epic fried chicken, along with chicken-fried steak, fried catfish and smoked chicken (when available). And the bevy of bacon-laced veggies.
    Tasting Notes: Don't miss out on the creamy, dreamy mashed potatoes. Waits can be long during dinner and on weekends.

  • Kenny’s

    ‎The Formula: Kenny Bowers pours his heart and soul into our favorite types of cuisine, all to delicious effect at Kenny’s Wood Fired Grill, Kenny’s Smokehouse, Kenny’s Burger Joint and Kenny’s Italian Kitchen
    Number of Locations: Four
    Lunch for One: $15 will do plenty of damage at all Kenny’s locations.
    Menu Highlights: The ahi tuna salad at the Grill; the three-meat Kinahora sandwich at the Smokehouse; Pepperjack Guacamole at the Burger Joint; and The Italian Grinder at the Italian Kitchen.
    Tasting Notes: The Kinahora may exceed your weekly meat quota (jalapeno cheddar sausage, brisket, pulled pork), but it's worth it.

  • Lombardi Restaurants

    The Formula: Casual, palate-pleasing takes on European cuisine at Taverna, Toulouse Café, Bistro 31, Sangria and Penne Pomodoro
    Number of Locations: Eight, including three Penne Pomodoros and two Tavernas in DFW (also a Taverna in Austin and Romagna Mia in Las Vegas).
    Lunch for One: $15 is plenty at Penne Pomodoro; $17 at Taverna and Toulouse; $22 at Bistro 31 (Sangria doesn’t serve lunch).
    Menu Highlights: Lasagna Bolognese at Taverna; Shrimp Club BLT at Toulouse; Ham and Gruyere Galette at Bistro 31; Pumpkin Ravioli at Penne Pomodoro
    Tasting Notes: Along with yummy food, the Uptown (Taverna, Toulouse) and Park Cities (Bistro 31) properties offer phenomenal people-watching. Order a glass of wine and gawk!

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Places Mentioned

Toulouse

French • Knox-Henderson

Food25 Decor22 Service22 Cost$37
 
 
 
Kenny's Burger Joint

Burger • Frisco

Food- Decor- Service- CostM
 
 
 
Kenny's Wood Fired Grill

American • Addison

Food26 Decor23 Service25 Cost$37
 
 
 
Gloria's Restaurants

Salvadoran • Uptown

Food24 Decor22 Service23 Cost$23
 
 
 
Cane Rosso

Pizza • Deep Ellum

Food26 Decor22 Service22 Cost$20
 
 
 
Twisted Root Burger Co.

Burger • Deep Ellum

Food24 Decor20 Service20 Cost$14
 
 
 
Food26 Decor21 Service25 Cost$16
 
 
 
 
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