Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Dallas - Fort Worth >
Jan 15, 2009 11:50 AM

DFW - $20, 2 People, Tarrant County Where to Eat? - DFW

Ok, so times are tough even for myself who has been out of work for some time now (fingers crossed). My wife and I love food and love a great meal. I am starting a series of posts especially for these hard times. Since we don't get out there much we want to see what Tarrant County has to offer. Rules are simple $20 limit, 2 people no drinks (just water), any cuisine. We would like to see what Ft. Worth, Arlington, NRH, Keller, etc has to offer on a dime. The more off the beaten path and hole in the wall would be appreciated. Like if you know a lady pushing a cart of tamales on N. Main in Ft. Worth a church selling Vietnamese goods after service, some guys selling BBQ along a busy street, tell us what they have, what you like and what the hours are. Hours and approximate location would be good also.

The only stickler it better be worth the drive from Lewisville!

One place I really like in Arlington is Ba Le on Browning for Banh Mi...the bread is freshly baked in house and the sandwiches are $2 - $2.50 I believe.

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. Though not necessarily street vendors or holes-in-the-wall, these are the places that come to mind when I think relatively inexpensive eats. Though the tip may tip the balance in some cases......

    Snooty Pig – Grapevine location. Great hash browns and 3% fat homemade muffins which are excellent though a bit crumbly due to low fat content. (they serve lunch but have not had it, though I’ve been told it’s nothing exceptional.


    Dixie House Café – (NOT related to Dixie House in Dallas.) Multiple FW locations. Euless location (SEC - 183 @ Westpark Way) Mon-Fri – Breakfast special used to be 4.99, but they’ve raised it about a dollar. Includes 2 eggs, cubed fried potatoes, BIG biscuit w/gravy, bacon or sausage and coffee. “Blue Plate Special” lunches similar to what is offered at Mama’s Daughters – same format of daily options – ½ plates available, but not value friendly at only a dollar or so less. Call about lunch prices. They may tip the scale. No evening service except Fri. – I believe they close at 2:00 and are not open on Sun.

    Paris Coffee Shop – FW - - Just good breakfast and probably lunch food.

    Lupe’s Tex-Mex – Bedford – SEC 183 @ Central

    Thai Papaya Garden – Euless – SWC 183 @ 157/Industrial Blvd – I’ve eaten here a couple of times, but am no authority on any Asian cuisine. I’ve been told that TPG offers up some fairly authentic fare and excel on the curries. Check menu though as the seafood will be a budget buster.

    Taste of India – Southlake – Southlake Blvd in the Kroger shopping center. My Indian neighbors like and recommend this place as authentic, but say there is nothing fancy about it. See coupon discounts at web site.

    Al’s Hamburger – Arlington – NEC 157 @ GreenOaks – Best drive-in style cheap chili cheese burger ever!! Chili cheeseburger, house-cut fries (very non-greasy) and a Shiner - $8.39.

    Chef Point Café – Watauga – I don’t recall the $$$, but I’m fairly certain that MOST dishes are under you $10/person limit if you forgo apps – fish mains may be a little more. Unfortunately, the online menu doesn’t list the prices. Like someone else said in a different post, the bread is disappointing and unremarkable.

    Love Shack – FW - Stockyards – Excellent burger, but as I’ll repeat from other posts, it is outdoor seating only, so pick a nice weather day. Though I haven’t had them, a neighboring shop-keeper said Chili Parm Chips are the best item on the menu although I love the skinny onion rings.

    Campania Pizza – Southlake – SL Town Square – Great Mon – Fri lunch deal of large individual pizza (I ALWAYS end up bringing ½ of it home) with basica or Caesar salad. 9 bucks. Super fresh ingredients. (scroll to bottom for lunch pizza choices


    Catfish Sam’s – Arlington – W. Division – I *think* it’s under $10.00. Excellent plump, corn meal crispy coated fried catfish. When you are seated, there is a small saucer and bowl on the table at each seat. Almost immediately, a tray of condiments/small apps are brought to the table for you to enjoy while looking over the menu. They include a bowl of pretty good, but not highly seasoned pintos (that’s what the individual bowls are for), sliced pickles, pickled okra, slaw (bland), sweet green tomato relish (has a good tasting little heat kick to finish), and raw wedges of white onion. The bread basket includes cylindrical hushpuppies (ehhh, nothing to write home about) and toasted baguette rounds that are sweet - odd. If you opt to make this you’re meal, they charge 4.99, but otherwise, it is complimentary with an entrée. They’ll bring more beans as you wish and probably other items as well.

    Fred’s Texas Café – more of a hang-out on the patio and enjoy the day with a cold one – and oh yeah – they have a decent ¼ lb burger, but the buns probably fit the larger ½ lb burgers better.

    Angelo’s BBQ – FW – White Settlement Rd. – ½ plate would be within budget and would be interested in your take on this long revered FW hallmark.

    1 Reply
    1. re: CocoaNut

      I really do not enjoy writing negative reviews, but sometimes there is a requirement for it. Today (Sat), a friend and I went to Campania and for the second time, I had a regular sized pizza (light ingredients: Margarite with prociutto) whose crust was soggy in the middle. Since it had happened once before, today we requested "crispy crust" at the time we ordered. When it came out soggy anyway, we complained, the waiter took it back to the kitchen (where they should have made another), about 5 min. later, it was returned with the prociutto dried out and the edge of the pizza charred black. And it was still soggy in the middle. Needless to say, this didn't go over well, the manager came out, comp'd the meal - which amounted to 2 basica salads and 1 tea - and we left still hungry and unhappy.

      Now if you can make it for the Mon - Fri lunch special, I'll stick by my original rec. as the pizza and salad is made from incredibly fresh ingredients. But the lunch special pizza is only about 7" so I suppose the heat is distributed more quickly to the center. So FWIW.

      I still can't believe we were served a black charred pizza.

    2. If you enjoyed BaLe, go up the street to the other strip mall, walk into Saigon Cali, and get an even tastier bread Banh Mi sandwich for the same price.

      1 Reply
        1. First Chinese BBQ in Richardson is worth the drive and doable for under $20 total. It's in the strip center at the southeast corner of Greenville and Main Street, just a few blocks east of 35.

          5 Replies
          1. re: David Pearlman

            Richardson is not in Tarrant County, far east Dallas County. I have been to First Chinese BBQ in Carrollton on several occasions.

            1. re: LewisvilleHounder

              There is a First Chinese BBQ in Tarrant County:

              2214 S Collins St
              Arlington, TX 76010

              You might also like:

              Pho 95
              2525 E Arkansas Ln # 223
              Arlington, TX 76010
              (817) 543-2295‎

              Thanh Thanh Restaurant
              2515 East Arkansas Lane # 150
              Arlington, TX 76010
              (817) 275-2449‎

              El Pollo Regio
              2356 E Pioneer Pkwy
              Arlington, TX 76010
              (817) 299-9606‎

              Mercado Juarez Restaurant
              2222 Miller Rd
              Arlington, TX 76006
              (817) 649-3324‎
              (817) 649-0307‎

              1. re: snatex


                What do you like at Pho 95 besides the obvious?

                Thanh Thanh what is good there???

                I have been to Mercado Jaurez and El Pollo Regio both in Dallas/Carrollton/Irving but thanks for the recommendation. If I am in the area I would try those but I am looking for places to seek out if driving from Lewisville for a foodie getaway to Tarrant county.

                1. re: LewisvilleHounder

                  I usually just get the Pho Tai at Pho 95. The Banh Mi are just ok there. Ba Le have better. Thanh Tanh is famous for Bo 7 Mon (7 coruses of beef). I have not tried it yet. But everything I have had there has been pretty solid. I don't know if either are destination spots though. But they are solid lunch choices near my work.

                  1. re: snatex

                    Also, Tolberts is another good spot. Best chili I've ever had.

                    423 South Main Street

                    Grapevine, Texas 76051