Whoa! You don’t get just some stringy bits when you order chicken and dumplings at Dot’s Place; you get whole pieces of baked chicken. The dumplings, somehow fluffy and substantial at once, may be the world’s best use of white flour. The heavenly nutmeg-and-clove-laced mashed sweet potatoes are not to be missed at unpretentious Tony’s Southern Comfort, which has UT linebackers and downtown lawyers for customers.
You can peruse the framed presidential portraits while standing in the often-long serving line at Casa Linda Cafeteria, but special rewards include the finest squash casserole in existence. Plentiful doses of butter coddle the big, tender chunks of beautiful yellow squash. A fine, fresh squash casserole with green bell pepper and onion also stars as a side dish at Kel’s Kitchen, whose interior is a cheery green-and-cream. At South Dallas Café, a holiday spirit envelops diners dressed in everything from suits to work coveralls; that may be because of the extraordinary whipped, cinnamon-spiked sweet potatoes, worthy of Thanksgiving dinner, with toppings of marshmallows and chopped pecans. For 38 years “Mrs. Vern”—Suvern Freeman Simmons—has been making a diverse crowd of comfort-food addicts happy with her lush short ribs, served off the bone in a silken brown gravy, at Vern’s Place. Nearly as winning are her big white lima beans, long-stewed with salt pork. And do not miss the sweet, moist lemon pound cake. At always-comfy Celebration, diners dig into copious servings of tender, juicy pot roast, made from