Julian Rodarte had a busy 2018. From competing alongside his father, Beto Rodarte, against celebrity chef Bobby Flay on his Food Network program "Beat Bobby Flay" and celebrating the two-year anniversary of Beto & Son to becoming the official ambassador of the Margarita Mile, there's not often a lull in his schedule. The youngest restauranteur in Trinity Groves found a few minutes to talk to us about his local favorites and what might surprise your palate during your next getaway to Dallas.
Cooking and creating in the kitchen is such a big part of your life. When you're not the one preparing, where do you go to indulge?
Royal China in North Dallas is probably my favorite go-to spot. Asian cuisine is my favorite food to eat and Royal China has some of the best Chinese food I have ever had. I love sitting at the bar and talking to the owner George. He has turned into a mentor of mine and is one of the most hospitable people I have ever met. The soup dumplings and dumpling sampler are always a must for me.
I also like Town Hearth in the Design District for a nice steak. They have a casual millennial flare that I think is great for date night as well.
What's your favorite Dallas neighborhood and what do you love about it?
I don't think there is one spot I love more than another in Dallas – every part of the city offers something unique. Trinity Groves - and West Dallas as a whole - is quickly becoming my favorite neighborhood, but it could also be the fact that my restaurant is there. The view from the patios are gorgeous and you can try something new at every restaurant.
If I'm looking to grab a drink, I love Uptown. My favorite spots are Parliament, Tipsy Alchemist, Standard Pour and the Rattlesnake Bar at the Ritz-Carlton.
You're hosting a group of friends for a weekend visit to Dallas. What's on the agenda?
Food trucks at Klyde Warren Park are definitely a win for everyone thanks to the variety of food options. The Dallas Farmers Market is another great place to take friends and family. The liveliness of both spots are a nice getaway on a Saturday morning.
Experiencing Dallas through the Margarita Mile is a MUST. It not only has amazing margaritas, but also great food at each of the stops.
Trinity Groves has something fun almost every night of the week. There's Salsa Night at Beto & Son on Wednesdays, and live performances at Souk on Friday nights. On Sundays, you should make your way to Luck for their beer and brunch pairings.
What should a first-time Dallas visitor experience?
Explore as many neighborhoods as possible! There are so many photo ops in every corner of the city and they are great additions to your social feed. It's crazy that it's something we do these days but hey – I'm a millennial and its always on the top of my agenda in a new city.
Eat at as many places as possible! There is no need to fill up at just one restaurant. I highly recommend picking a neighborhood and doing your best to eat your way through it!
What's something about Dallas that would surprise a first-time visitor?
How progressive our food scene is. I would put many of our local Dallas chefs up against any of the best in the other foodie destinations. Everyone knows we have amazing barbecue, Tex-Mex and steakhouses, but I think Japanese restaurants like Tei-An and Uchi or Italian restaurants like Sasetta and Lucia would surprise visitors that would not think of eating those cuisines here.