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dallas - melrose hotel- oak lawn ave

Maryland chowhound will be in dallas staying at the melrose hotel 3015 oak lawn ave thursday night 11 Jan. I am interested in ethnic food ie thai, vietnamese, korean preferably within walking distance. I am also interested in mexican again within walking distance. please advise.

If no ethnic restaurants within walking distance what is close by and what dishes would you order.

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  1. in that area, the best ethnic place would be Zaguan, a Venezuelan restaurant/bakery. I haven't been in a while, but I remember some tasty dishes.

    You're also close to a Vietnamese restaurant - Green Papaya - but I'm not a big fan... it's fairly americanized. Next to Green Papaya is Sushi Sapporo - also not my favorite, although I've heard that their lunch sushi buffet (something I usually avoid) is good.

    You should check out Eatzi's (north at the corner of Oak Lawn and Lemmon). It's not really ethnic per se - a market-type restaurant with lots of prepared foods.

    If you go north to Lemmon ave and take a left you can get to Tio's Tortas... delicious mexican sandwiches - but this might exceed your idea of walking distance (perhaps 1.5 miles?).

    1. Walk to the Quadrangle and eat at East Wind. Best Viet in DFW area. Great spring rolls, all fish is good....Mike

      3 Replies
      1. re: hhhill

        I think the Quadrangle is a bit of hike from Oaklawn.

          1. Daniele Osteria is just a few blocks away. Probably Dallas' best Italian.

            1. I stay at the Melrose regularly and have worked for years out of the Centrum building across the street. Here's my list:

              Walking distance:

              Steel in the Centrum (the stairstep-looking building kitty corner from the Melrose) has good Pan-Asian and sushi in a trendy atmosphere. I especially like the Korean beef.

              While not ethnic per se, my absolute fave lunch spot in the area is Parigi, maybe three blocks north of the Melrose on Oak Lawn. This neighborhood institution has a menu that changes both seasonally and weekly with certain standbys. I've lunched there regularly for over a decade and have never had a disappointing meal.

              I agree that Zaguan, a couple blocks south of the Melrose on Oak Lawn, is a wonderful, casual spot for Venezuelan hallacas (tamales wrapped in banana leaves), Colombian empanadas, arepas, and killer pastries.

              For good Tex Mex, you need to go a few blocks further to Lemmon Avenue (you'll want to hitch a ride for any of these, especially at night). I always go to Uncle Julios when I'm in town to get my Tex Mex fix. Stick to the meat dishes--the fajitas, shrimp diablo, and ribs are wonderful. Go with an appetite and a couple other people and order the Plato Gordo, an assortment of their meat dishes. I also have a weakness for their margarita Swirls, crispy chips, nachos, queso, and table salsa. A couple other fab Tex Mex bets are Mias and Mannys (the latter recently opened by the son of the owner of the former). Classic Dallas-style Tex Mex. I like Manny's festive patio on nice days, too. Expect a long wait list at lunchtime at Mias. There's also Mi Cocina in West Village and Gloria's on Lemmon (actually Salvadoran and Tex-Mex).

              Finally, don't miss La Duni on Oak Lawn (again, not really walking distance, but a very short drive north). Wonderful Latin American fare and scrumptious pastries. A local favorite.

              1. If you're going to bother to go to the West Village (and it's not far, although I wouldn't walk), I prefer Taco Diner to Mi Cocina. I'd also take Primo's a block or two south of West Village, over Mi Cocina. As far as Uncle Julio's, I'd rand Taco Diner, Primo's, and Mi Cocina (and Gloria's) head and shoulders about UJ's.

                1 Reply
                1. re: Mike C. Miller

                  Regarding TexMex, it depending what you're hankering for. Mi Cocina has some great dishes, like their Tacos Habana. But Uncle J's is far superior when it comes to fajitas, nachos, shrimp, queso, chips, and margaritas. Every time I've ordered nachos from Mi Cocina they've been served COLD. That's just WRONG. Primos is just ok, in my book. Taco Diner is good, but when I'm hankering for real Tex Mex its fru fru version doesn't do it for me.

                2. if you are craving thai, go to toy's on lemmon ave.

                  214 528 7233

                  1. I almost forgot to mention Cosmic Cafe, a wonderfully funky vegetarian Indian restaurant across the street from the Melrose. It's my second favorite lunch spot in the area.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: laurie

                      good call, laurie - Cosmic Cafe is a great lunch spot.

                    2. Gotta chime in and recommend you head less than a halfmile south on Oak Lawn, turn right and head about a block away on the left to Herrera's for a dose of quintessential TexMex.

                      Recently awarded "Best Chips" in a D Magazine issue dedicated to TexMex. Their salsa borders on nuclear hot, but still has fantastic flavor. Their TexMex staples (cheese/onion enchilada in chili gravy, soft cheese taco, rice, beans, tortillas) are exemplary.

                      They are the creators (at least in Dallas) of Crazy Nachos, individually constructed with beef, beans, chicken, cheese and a jalapeƱo ring. A half order with guac (also exemplary) and sour cream is a meal for many, and a more than ample enough starter for 2. The place is BYOB, so pick up your favorite bottle(s) or cans and a cheap cooler.

                      It doesn't get any more real.

                      Personally I would avoid any upscale places a la Mi Cocina. TexMex is a down-and-dirty, blue collar/peasant cuisine. Tablecloths and/or cloth napkins have no place in a true TexMex restaurant.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: GroovinGourmet

                        Gosh, I have't been to Herrera's in years! Their enchiladas de chile con carne are about as quintessential Dallas Tex Mex as it gets.

                        I would add that another down-home Tex-Mex joint that in my book beats Herrera's, and worth the drive, is Avilas on Maple Avenue. When I need a chile relleno fix, that's where I go!

                      2. Excellent call on Herrerra's. I haven't been there in years -- I don't eat a lot of Tex-Mex when I'm in Dallas -- but it is very authentic and very good.

                        2 Replies
                        1. re: Mike C. Miller

                          To each his/her own but I personally don't understand the appeal of Herrera's. Tex-mex can be great indeed and it doesn't need cloth napkins or tablecloths. But, it also doesn't need store-bought taco shells and high-performance cheese either. I think sentimentality creeps into rec's for Herrera's more than the actual quality of food.

                          1. re: JordanB

                            I have no idea what you are referring to with your store-bought remark. I always have the Jimmy's Special which includes a beef taco. It always arrives in a freshly fried corn shell. And what pray tell is "high performance cheese"?

                        2. Well you could just go to maple and turn right, once you get past Wycliffe there are many authentic Mexican joints. You can get a great taco or other "real food". You may have to point if you don't speak Spanish.

                          1. Hardly walking distance, though!

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: Kirk

                              Yep that is true but easy taxi distance.