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High Dallas Style

MUSEUMS HIGH AND LOW The Nasher Sculpture Center Garden doesn't open until October, but culture vultures can still get their fill at two decidedly different museums. Even after all these years, Dallas aches over the assassination of John F. Kennedy. The Sixth Floor Museum at Dealey Plaza (411 Elm St.; 214/747-6660; admission $10), located on the very floor of the former School Book Depository from which Lee Harvey Oswald allegedly fired his fateful bullets in November 1963, bears witness with an extensive, edifying collection of photos, news clips, firsthand accounts, and other evidence from the event that forever changed Dallas—and the nation. • Join the 400,000 other tourists each year who drive 20 miles northeast of downtown to tour the 8,500-square-foot estate of Southfork Ranch (3700 Hogge Rd., Parker; 972/442-7800; admission $7.95), site of the endless internecine squabbles of the Ewing clan of the eighties TV series Dallas (go on, admit it: you watched every week). You can walk through Sue Ellen's mirrored bathroom, grab a sandwich at "Miss Ellie's Deli," and even see the gun that shot J.R.

Even as macadamia nut crusts and towering stacks of "architectural" food have become old Dallas standbys, steak, Tex-Mex, barbecue, and "country grease" still provide the most tang for your buck. Four top spots:

Real estate deals are cut over 28-ounce slabs of beef at Bob's Steak & Chop House (4300 Lemmon Ave.; 214/528-9446; dinner for two $100), the best of the city's countless steak houses.

Fans of big breakfasts—and we do mean big—will adore Mecca (10422 Harry Hines Blvd.; 214/352-0051; breakfast for two $15; no dinner), where Dallas's finest chicken-fried steak comes with eggs, hash browns, biscuits, and cream gravy so thick you can almost chew it.

Mia's Tex Mex (4322 Lemmon Ave.; 214/526-1020; dinner for two $20), a boisterous joint with a devoted following, serves a chile relleno that includes beef, cheese, potato, and—strangely enough—raisins and almonds.

Unconcerned about cholesterol?Head for Sonny Bryan's Smokehouse (multiple locations; the original is at 2202 Inwood Rd.; 214/357-7120; lunch for two $15) for fall-off-the-bone barbecued pork ribs and beef brisket.

Dallas resident Jim Atkinson writes for Texas Monthly.


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