Quirky Food Finds in Dallas

Anybody considering attending SMU has heard the selling point that Dallas is a food city. Dallas takes a lot of pride in its culinary scene and is home to diverse restaurants, award-winning chefs and the newest food trends.

According to the Dallas Morning News, North Texas had 13,763 restaurants in the fall of 2015, almost 2 percent more than fall of 2014. Dining out is a popular pastime among Dallas residents, and the variety of restaurants in the metroplex reflects that. While Dallas is known for Tex-Mex and barbecue, it’s also home to ethnic restaurants, vegan spots and more.

It also has its fair share of quirky restaurants, where chefs prepare foods that go beyond the normal palette.

Here is a roundup of some weird foods you can try at popular places around Dallas.

Chocolate marrow cake – The Blind Butcher

This American gastropub on Lower Greenville specializes in sausage and small bites. But it’s also home to some dishes not normally on menu: pastrami egg rolls, a mug of bone broth and a Canadian dish of French fries covered in gravy.

The Blind Butcher's chocolate marrow cake
But the quirkiest dish on the menu is the chocolate marrow cake dessert. Chef Oliver Sitrin came up with the idea in the middle of the night and made the concept a reality.

The cake is baked in a bone split in half and served warm with ice cream on the side. Diners use a spoon to scrape the gooey chocolate cake out of the bone. While the marrow flavor isn’t detectable, it adds richness to the cake.

Marrow bones – Henry’s Majestic

Uptown restaurant and bar Henry’s Majestic also utilizes bone marrow in a quirky item on its menu. Here, the bone marrow is the main component of the dish.

“I consider marrow to be amazing ‘beef butter,’ perfect for spreading on crusty bread as a starter to a great meal,” said chef and creator Adam Kovac.

The bones are topped with a mix of panko breadcrumbs and oregano, which provide an earthy complement to the marrow, according to Kovac. The dish is served with fig compote for a sweet addition to the fatty, creamy marrow texture. It’s garnished with lightly dressed greens to cleanse the palate.

A Daily Campus reporter tried the dish and echoed Kovac’s thoughts: the texture was similar to butter and the taste reminiscent of beef broth.

Calf fries – The Rustic

The Rustic is a casual spot that serves hamburgers, sandwiches, and other American fare. But one standout item on the menu you might not have tried is the calf fries. The description on the menu simply says: “If you have to ask…”

But it’s easy to deduce that the offering is a batch of fried calf testicles. Served with a buttermilk dip, the calf fries are crunchy, salty, and a little bit sweet.

“I think it’s funny that calf fries are on the menu,” said Jack Coon, a regular diner at the Rustic. “I had them once and they tasted like chicken nuggets.”

Rabbit pot pie – Meddlesome Moth

This gastropub boasts an impressive selection of over 140 beers, but also has a noteworthy menu. The quirkiest dish? Rabbit pot pie. This item is a twist on the classic pot pie and is a popular choice for adventurous diners. Swiss chard, fennel and brown beech mushrooms complement the rabbit and make the pot pie a hearty meal.

Diner Joanna Luter orders the rabbit pot pie every time she’s at Meddlesome Moth. “The rabbit is really tender and the chunks are really big,” she said. “I can’t even finish it; it’s a lot of food.”

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