Chicken Scratch


We halfway expected Willie to amble through the door of this counter-order space shared with the Foundry, the bar next door. The north Oak Cliff eating emporium comes to us courtesy of Tim Byres, the guru behind Smoke. The menu’s signature chicken is offered either fried or cooked rotisserie-style over pecan wood; we tried the latter and gnawed half a bird down to its bare bones. The sweet-and-salty fries proved to be plain russets dusted with sugar and salt; we thought we’d be disappointed—we ended up addicted. Moist chicken tamales (above) were wonderfully zesty, and the accompanying red sauce added a powerful pop of flavor. There’s a fabulous outdoor courtyard, and it’s kid-friendly to boot. Bar. 2303 Pittman (214-749-1112). Open 7 days 11–2 & 4–10. $$–$$$ W+


Papi Tino’s


It’s hard not to throw around words like “cute” and “adorable” at this place; outside, white tables adorned with jaunty pink napkins, fresh flowers, and veladoras evoke a garden party, while the inside of the creaky old house feels like a cross between a hunting cabin and a saloon, complete with upright piano. The menu is a small collection of frequently changing dishes; we were taken with tender carne a la tampiqueña elevated by an addictive garlicky sauce and with spicy enchiladas suizas stuffed with tasty shrimp. Be sure to sample one of the many mescals, served with sprightly wedges of orange and rusty-hued sal de gusano (yep, worm salt). Bar. 1306 E. 6th (512-479-1306). Dinner Tue–Sat 6–11. Brunch Sat 11–3 & Sun 11–4. Closed Mon. $$ W+