Meetings can be the absolute worst. Unless there’s food. If you have to work (and who doesn’t?) – food makes it better. And lunch meetings are the best. Not the kind with wilty sandwiches and cold soup, we’re talking OFFSITE lunch meetings. Ain’t nothing finer than making deals happen over fancy salads and wood grilled goodness.
Of course, you know the second worst thing that could happen? You have to decide where to go. The first worst thing asking your work BFF where they want to eat on Friday. Don’t get into the viscious cycle of “where do you want to go? I don’t know. Where do you want to go? I’ll go anywhere. But not that place you just named.”
Seriously, don’t fret– I got you covered.
When you have to take some clients out to lunch or need a central place to meet vendors or just need to impress your coworkers with a new Friday lunch spot – check out these great gems in Far North Dallas. It’s the perfect middle between downtown and the new companies moving to Plano and Frisco. We’re talking about the area running along the Dallas North Tollway between 635 and the George Bush Turnpike. This area has really been booming since the Cowboys moved their training facility to Frisco. Super easy to get to and great food to stuff in your faces when you’re trying to act all professional and stuff – take a look and make your reservation now – you’ll be the hero.
1 If you need to really impress, look no further than Chamberlain’s Fish Market.
Located about 3 blocks west of the Tollway on Beltline, you and your dining companions will feel completely at home. Chef Richard Chamberlain has created stellar dining experience – all the seafood is flown in fresh daily – which is why they are consistently ranked by both TripAdvisor and OpenTable as a best local restaurant. It’s amazing at dinner and equally amazing at lunch. The tables are well spaced so you aren’t crammed up next to other people and can converse freely. The staff is super knowledgeable and offer up an infinite number of ways to customize a dish if you have any food allergies or dietary accommodations. We recommend starting off with the Pei Steamed Mussels – great for table to share – they are freakin’ divine. Perfectly steamed and sitting in a buttery sauce so tasty, you’ll have to refrain from snatching up all the bread to sop it up with. The crab cakes and the seafood gumbo are perfect for a smaller lunch portion.
Or grab the baby iceberg wedge and the clam, crab and corn chowder. You can still talk and eat without getting all encumbered. They have a couple of other standouts for lunch that will hit the spot, check out the Orange roughy fish and chips – they aren’t your regular chips, you’re getting some amazing truffle fries and a housemade tartar sauce. The Coconut almond crusted shrimp with a thai chili dipping sauce has just the right amount of kick without being too hot. And if you’ve want something truly amazing, try the Gulf coast redfish – it’s Cajun grilled over their seafood gumbo and steamed rice. What? What? Yeah, it’s OVER gumbo. So good. So good.
2 If you need a place with a cool vibe, you need Maguire’s
If you’re closer to the Plano side, hop over to Maguire’s. We LOVE this place for brunch, with their make your own Bloody Mary bar and sticky buns – but they also have some amazing lunch options. The atmosphere is perfect for the business lunch. Great table settings and a large dining room with large tables – which works well if you’re needing to chat with 6-8 of your closest work friends. They feature a daily special Monday through Friday – we totally love going there on Mondays for their Trout Amandine. It has a Chardonney Lemon Butter sauce – which is as close to drinking at lunch as I can get. Delicate and delicious. You need some of this. They also have a Southwestern Cobb Salad with a spicy fried chicken, avocados and a chipotle lime vinaigrette. It’s got so much going on in the salad – you forget that you’re eating leafy greens. We also love their Santorini Pita with blackened chicken, dill-tzatziki sauce and super crisp cucumbers. They have some great sandwiches and salads and you’ll be tempted to stay way longer than you should. Is that bad thing? No. Not at all.
3 When you want high style mixed with fantastic food, check out the 2nd Floor
Located in the Westin Galleria Dallas and attached to the Galleria Mall, it’s totally easy to forget that this awesome place is great for lunch with your work cohorts or with your clients. It’s part swanky hotel bar and restaurant, so the vibe is cool. The décor is light with a modern touch – with super comfortable chairs. If you can, check out their scotch/bourbon flights if you’re down for a late lunch/happy hour.
They have a Kale and Quinoa Salad that you can add chicken, shrimp, salmon or steak. It’s basically the best base for any protein you’re craving. Plus, it has roasted butternut squash in it – and that’s just magical in a salad. We also love the Herman Marshall Smoked Brisket Sandwich – with a whiskey au jus on a jalapeno cheddar sourdough. That some serious flavor in your mouth – and it works. It totally works. Another one of our favorites is the Grown up grilled cheese – brie, sweet tomato, pickled red onions, arugula, Dijon on a ciabatta. I love all grilled cheeses, because nothing soothes like creamy cheese wrapped between two slabs of carb. It’s the perfect comfort food – and 2nd floor raises the bar (or would that be the floor?) and makes it fancy-awesome. The pickled red onions make it sing. Get it. You want it. And if you’re looking for something to split – check out their grilled pizzas. Sometimes I think if I get a a side salad with my pizza – that counts as a balanced meal. Don’t kill my buzz, man.
4 When you’re craving one of Kenny’s amazing popovers
Who doesn’t love Kenny’s? They always get me with their popover. It’s a giant, crispy, buttery, carby piece of perfection. This place is always hopping for dinner, but they do a brisk lunch trade – and you know why. From their addictive side dishes, like the mac-and-cheese, to the filets charred perfected on the outside and tender on the inside – you just can’t go wrong.
We have spent many a Friday lunch over atKenny’s looking longingly at the Grey Goose on tap and wishing it was 5 o’clock already. But I digress. They are a wood fired grill, so if you’re wanting to get super specific, get the wood grilled chicken with the sundried tomatoes and artichokes. The chicken is tender like your mama’s love. Grab some of that mac and cheese to round this meal out. If you’re looking for a burger, don’t get the regular one, get the French Onion Burger with caramelized onions and Kenny’s secret sauce. It’s way tasty. Pair it with their French fries. French fries here are the freaking best. And I love French fries so I wouldn’t say that if I didn’t mean it. In fact, order one for the table to munch on while you’re waiting for your meals to arrive. The other standout is the Wedge and Tenderloin Salad. It’s a salad. And it’s got steak on it. What more do can you ask for? Nothing. You can ask for nothing more.
5 When you need some pasta in your life, you need Ferrari’s Italian Villa
Sometimes you need a little pasta in your life. For me, that would be every damn day. But I also have to fit into my pants, so there’s that. Whenever I get the hankering for some amazing housemade pasta, I head over Ferrari’s Italian Villa. Located off of Midway road, you’ll love this family owned place where the recipes are phenomenal and an authentic brick oven is front and center.
They don’t just throw some tired rolls on the table, you’re getting wood grilled focaccia bread – straight outta that brick oven. It’s served with a spicy marinara that will have you fighting for the last slice. And you’re not going to be late for your 1pm meeting. Don’t even get me started on why people have 1pm meetings. That’s almost as bad as the 8am meeting. Have they not driven in Dallas before? It’s 20 minutes to anywhere here. BUT, Ferrari’s has a master plan fo this. They have some really amazing lunch specials that are served under 10 minutes after you order. What? You heard me. And there are some mouthwatering options like the Rigatoni Nonna in a Bolognese sauce and a pizza primavera with fresh ingredients and the perfect char. If you have a bit more time, check out their Lasagna al Forno or the Eggplant Parmesan with BOTH provolone and mozzarella cheese. That’s like three cheeses. Three glorious cheeses I’m not crying. I have something in my eye.
So you really have no excuse when your work BFF asks you where you want to go for lunch or you boss wants you to wine-and-dine your latest client. Well, unless you’re having to decide between all of these fine options. Come on, I can’t do everything for you.