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