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Norma's Cafe

1123 W. Davis, Dallas, TX - (214) 946-4711
Posted By Michael Stern on 10/20/2012 5:53:00 AM
Norma's is all about excellent pie. The peanut butter chocolate slice I tried is an exquisite balance of those two oh-so-complimentary elements, neither layer hogging attention, both cool and silky, their frothy white crown dotted with enough nutmeat to provide flavor and crunch.

Biscuits look bogus -- too perfectly tan on top -- but they are not. Loaded with gnarled chunks of sausage, the gravy you can get to top them is light on pepper and heavy on cream. When you order a chicken-fried steak, it comes in a separate bowl for you to pour on the steak or dip forkfuls as you wish. The hale crust on this chicken-fried steak, which is an agreeably tenderized slab of meat, doesn't wilt or soften even after it is smothered with gravy. It retains welcome crunch and lardy luxury that elevates the dish's cheap-meat essence into something admirable.

Dining alone, I took a seat at the counter, which turned out to be an excellent choice; for here I got to palaver with nearly all of the waitstaff and also look into the kitchen's pass-through window, where cooks were busy cutting up fatback for cooking vegetables, icing cinnamon buns, and seasoning pots of soup and gravy destined to be lunch.

There is a second Norma's Cafe in North Dallas at 17721 Dallas Parkway (214-946-2101). The Norma's in Farmer's Branch is not related.

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Scorecard

4 - Overall: One of the Best - Worth a Trip
Overall: One of the Best - Worth a Trip
Pie
Hash Browns
Chicken Fried Steak
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Reviewers Photos [Upload Your Photos]

Norma's meringue pies are impressive. This tall beauty is peanut butter chocolate, its silky cool layers so beautifully abetted by their ethereal crown and its scattering of crunchy nutmeat.
"Norma's meringue pies are impressive. This tall beauty is peanut butter chocolate, its silky cool layers so beautifully abetted by their ethereal crown and its scattering of crunchy nutmeat."
Michael Stern





A real Lone Star cafe breakfast: chicken fried steak, a pair of sunnyside-up eggs, hash browns, pepper gravy, and biscuits. In the background: my check, delivered with the meal.
"A real Lone Star cafe breakfast: chicken fried steak, a pair of sunnyside-up eggs, hash browns, pepper gravy, and biscuits. In the background: my check, delivered with the meal."
Michael Stern


A close-up suggests the crunch of the crust and the richness of Norma's sausage-dotted gravy. The beef is a well-tenderized cube steak, easy to cut with the edge of a fork.
"A close-up suggests the crunch of the crust and the richness of Norma's sausage-dotted gravy. The beef is a well-tenderized cube steak, easy to cut with the edge of a fork."
Michael Stern


Nice spuds, although next time I am going to ask the waitress (hoping she won't hit me) to have them well-done. Those crunchy outside parts are divine.
"Nice spuds, although next time I am going to ask the waitress (hoping she won't hit me) to have them well-done. Those crunchy outside parts are divine."
Michael Stern


Note the sign hanging over Norma's dining room. The counter is to the right of the photo.
"Note the sign hanging over Norma's dining room. The counter is to the right of the photo."
Michael Stern


Morning in Dallas: the sun turns Norma's an inviting shade of gold.
"Morning in Dallas: the sun turns Norma's an inviting shade of gold."
Michael Stern


From my seat at the counter, the view at breakfast was of fresh pies getting sent forth from the kitchen.
"From my seat at the counter, the view at breakfast was of fresh pies getting sent forth from the kitchen."
Michael Stern


Unfortunately, we were at Norma's Cafe too early for most of the pies.  Which means we had to 'settle' for this cool lemon pie, with meringue twice as tall as the filling.
"Unfortunately, we were at Norma's Cafe too early for most of the pies. Which means we had to 'settle' for this cool lemon pie, with meringue twice as tall as the filling."
Cliff Strutz


The migas is a combination of scrambled eggs, cut up bits of tortilla, jalapeno peppers, tomatoes, onions, jack and cheddar cheese.  In the background is the crispy hash browns and the homemade salsa.  A couple of hot tortillas came on the side.
"The migas is a combination of scrambled eggs, cut up bits of tortilla, jalapeno peppers, tomatoes, onions, jack and cheddar cheese. In the background is the crispy hash browns and the homemade salsa. A couple of hot tortillas came on the side."
Cliff Strutz



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