It's said that heat curbs the appetite. There's even a scientific study. Not only does food intake create heat, but you also get hot and perspire after eating. To stay cooler, the common advice is to choose food that's light and hydrating.
To that end, our Where to Eat for August consists of places where you can grab just a bite. A light snack. Something hydrating. Something cooling.
It's easy to take Bistro N for granted, since it's hidden away on the third floor inside the Nordstrom's restaurant at NorthPark. It's worth making a trip, and if you want to see it in prime time, that means lunch. The menu includes carefully composed, showpiece salads as well as surprisingly good pizzas with thick, billowy crusts.
Market-restaurant at Sylvan Thirty from chef Daniele Puleo is super-casual in a European mode with an easy-come, easy-go vibe. Grab a seat at the bar, have a glass of wine and some snacks like the charcuterie board or a thin-crust pizza.
This side-project restaurant to Clark Food & Wine Co. next-door specializes in light snacks like tacos, salads, quesadillas and of course ceviches made with choice of scallops, tuna, shrimp or a combo. There's also margaritas and sangria, and an ultra-cooling atmosphere that evokes a beach-side cantina.
El Come Taco
East Dallas taqueria has become a foodie destination thanks to rock-solid tacos and edgy specials such as chapulines, aka fried grasshoppers. The atmosphere is bright, the staff is friendly and the food's bright-tasting and skillfully prepared.
Lakewood bistro in the former Legal Grounds space comes from chef Karin Porter, who worked at the Grape restaurant in Dallas, then ran her own catering business. There's a bountiful brunch, homey dinner and late-night bar snacks such as the deconstructed sandwich plate with ham, jalapeño pimiento cheese, pickled apricots and baguette.
Neighborhood favorite is doing better than ever since the makeover chef-owner Thanh Nguyen executed following a fire. Golden wall tiles from Italy and oversized lighting fixtures give the place a bump up in atmosphere, but the prices are still reasonable on the unusual Asian-fusion menu of sushi rolls, hot pots and sweet-and-sour shrimp.
This Italian oldtimer is newly opened in Uptown after closing at its longtime post at Highland Park Village. Chef Ryan Carbery is overseeing the lengthy menu that includes appetizers, pastas, sandwiches, entrees, salads and pizzas. The thing that's "light" about Patrizio is the price: For fairly fancy dining, it's light on the wallet.
Cajun seafood restaurant takes up in a former gas station in Oak Cliff. Most of the menu's pretty stick-to-your-ribs with dishes like the chicken fried steak served with a side of fried shrimp. But there also po'boys, nachos with fried oysters and crawfish, crab cakes and oysters on the half-shell. Even the name is beachy.
Pints & Quarts
Super casual drop-in from Brooke Humphries features burgers, hot dogs, French fries, shakes and cold beer. It's less about what they serve and more about how and where: in a former tire shop at the center-of-the-universe intersection of Ross and Greenville Avenues, which you can observe from their friendly, airy patio.
Cedar Springs spot from husband-and-wife Francisco and Patricia Cabrera specializes in Mexican street food, with a menu of small, casual bites. There are tacos in versions with meat, seafood and vegetarian, which you can get on corn or flour tortillas, or alternatively a large lettuce leaf. But the cool thing is the signature "quesa," an empanada-like pastry enclosing fillings such as meat, beans or cheese.