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Best of Dallas-- Ethnic

c
ChristineR Nov 18, 2009 04:02 AM

I'm a-comin’ to the big city this week (ok, full disclosure, I'm from here and have lived in much larger cities but now I live in a mid-sized and now feel like I'm coming in from the country or something), and looking for great ethnic cuisine.

I noticed a few posts on Afghan Grill, and plan to make it a priority unless advised otherwise, but also looking for great bahn mi, Pakistani, Thai and maybe even Russian. I'm especially interested in niche specialties and/or unique places from under represented countries. I am totally open so let me know where to go!

Thank you for your help.

-----
Afghan Grill
17370 Preston Rd Ste 490, Dallas, TX 75252

  1. DallasDude Nov 30, 2009 01:47 PM

    Had an opportunity to stop in La Me for a banh mi and pho. Wonderful as usual. New owners have added some great new items to the menu, and well worth a new visit. English spoken well and extremely cordial service. (pic 1&2)

    This weekend I was also able to hit King's Noodles. Love that place and their wonderful beefy broth and the best noodles I have experienced in many months. Are these hand made? Very little english spoken there. (pic 3)

    What is the wonderful Chinese restaurant that is in King's area that we spoke about a few months ago. I am losing track of some places... eek.

     
     
     
    11 Replies
    1. re: DallasDude
      kuidaore Nov 30, 2009 03:04 PM

      You must be talking about First Emperor.
      http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/542126

      1. re: DallasDude
        air Nov 30, 2009 03:04 PM

        Forgot about zha jiang mein at King's Noodles, it is great. Has anyone run across it at a different restaurant in Dallas?

        1. re: air
          kuidaore Nov 30, 2009 03:13 PM

          Yes, at Chef Hsu (ja ja mein), but it's more of a Korean version, I guess.
          http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/437961#3240669
          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jajangmyeon

          We don't like it, but almost everyone else raves about it and I see a lot of people ordering it there.

          1. re: kuidaore
            DallasDude Nov 30, 2009 05:24 PM

            I know for a fact Chef Hsu hand stretches his noodles. Amazing stuff. Don't forget that King's only takes cash... I did and had to run across the street to an atm.

            Thanks kuidaore for the First Emperor, forgot all about it.

            1. re: DallasDude
              LewisvilleHounder Nov 30, 2009 06:37 PM

              Don't forget that most ethnic Asian restaurants would prefer cash if not give you a discount also.

              1. re: LewisvilleHounder
                j
                J.R. Dec 2, 2009 12:04 PM

                Well, paid a visit to King Noodle today due to snow and cold and the Beef Noodle Soup with Shrip/Pork Wontons is really, really hard to beat. I eat alot of Asian noodle soups of different varieties and this one is genious for it's simplicity.

                1. re: J.R.
                  LewisvilleHounder Dec 2, 2009 12:17 PM

                  Most people swear by First Chinese here in Dallas for the Shrimp Wonton Soup. I have tried it several times. I guess I am missing something? I am sure the soup you (J.R.) had at King's Noodles was much better and cheaper. It is good to have competition for First Chinese especially across the street.

                  Just about any Asian soup sounds good during snowy weather, from Soondubu (Korean tofu stew) to Pho, to Canh Ca (Fish Stew) to Tom Yum (Sour Tomato) and Tom Kha (Coconut and Galangal), to Curry Laksa

                  1. re: LewisvilleHounder
                    j
                    J.R. Dec 2, 2009 12:22 PM

                    The Shrimp Wonton Soup is good, but somewhat bland IMO. Hounder, need to get over to King's and give it spin. The noodles, themself are what make it. I'm lucky that my office is close to Beltine and Greenville just for ethnic lunch dinning. I live in town and there isn't much ethnic around there. Richardson/Garland is hard to beet for ethnic.

                    1. re: J.R.
                      LewisvilleHounder Dec 2, 2009 12:28 PM

                      I am actually glad I work where I do also, in Lewisville at 121 & 35. I am surrounded (in Carrollton) by Pakistani, Kerala style Indian, Mlaysian/Singaporean, Korean, Vietnamese, Chinese, Cuban, Colombian, Latin, Mexican and now Portugese. Those make the chains in Lewisville look bad, real bad!

                    2. re: LewisvilleHounder
                      air Dec 2, 2009 02:26 PM

                      Don't forget about niku tofu and nabeyaki udon at Sushi Robata. That stuff'll warm you up.

                      1. re: LewisvilleHounder
                        p
                        pgwiz1 Dec 3, 2009 10:31 AM

                        I agree about the Wonton soup at FCB....saw raves about it and got it. Eh, it's okay.... If I was craving soup on a cold day, I'd much rather go to Pho95 in Garland (Audelia & Forest I believe). Simple an delicious broth. Or get me some nice Tom Yum soup... :)

          2. p
            pgwiz1 Nov 24, 2009 08:29 AM

            Throw in some other cuisines - for Chinese, I will say First Chinese BBQ in Richardson is just awesome. Haven't been disappointed with anything we've gotten yet. Their BBQ pork soft noodle is just delicious.

            If you like Biryani (more Indian, but I think Pakistani places have them too), I have really enjoyed Chamelli in Richardson (right across the street from First Chinese BBQ). Everything else I have tried in this restaurant is not that good, but their Chicken Biryani is just great. My dad is quite the Biryani connoisseur, so I got him some last time he was in town and he really enjoyed it a lot!

            I recently checked out Lion City Chinese Cafe in Plano. I ordered off the white board, and got their black pepper crab (they also have chilli crab). It was just amazing. Even tho it's called "Chinese" cafe, it's more of a singaporian styled cuisine. I am taking my family here for lunch one day when they are here for thanksgiving. Can't wait for them to have the delicious crab!

            4 Replies
            1. re: pgwiz1
              LewisvilleHounder Nov 24, 2009 09:19 AM

              I am currently writing up the Chinese, Indian and Pakistani portion of my post but I have to refer back to my menu collection for specific dish recommendations/names so I don't lead you astray.

              I should have that written up by tonight. First Chinese was on my post along with others.

              1. re: pgwiz1
                kuidaore Nov 24, 2009 11:18 AM

                There were times we thought FCB was the best Chinese in Dallas (right after we moved here). However, the Chinese cuisine here has dramatically improved since, thanks to an influx of Chinese people. (Also, there're places I would never have found without my Chinese food master, who would not go to FCB--at some places you'll never find certain dishes unless you go with a native who would order off menu!)

                LewsvilleHounder's list will include most of my favorites so I'll save my keystrokes :-) , but one of the newest additions is Golden Joy BBQ in Richardson. I didn't think their BBQ pork was that good, but their Roast Pork (no comparison to FCB's), Soy Sauce Chicken and Salty Chicken were excellent. They cook the vegetables very well, too. I never dreamed that the Chinese food in Dallas would reach this level! (Their dim sum isn't good, though.)

                There's also Royal Sichuan, a new Sichuan place in Richardson next to Tian Tian Supermarket, which has good reviews.

                1. re: kuidaore
                  air Nov 24, 2009 11:29 AM

                  I can't wait to try Royal Sichuan's hot pots when it gets colder!

                  1. re: kuidaore
                    DallasDude Nov 24, 2009 12:01 PM

                    In complete candor, I think Hong Kong Royal is wonderful. They have dim sum round the clock and wonderful white board special written in Chinese. They speak wonderful English and are extremely helpful.

                    They also sell whole or partial crispy duck and red bbq pork to go and they hang in a case near the front by their lovely necks.

                2. LewisvilleHounder Nov 23, 2009 11:20 AM

                  Vietnamese:
                  Bon Mua
                  3030 N Josey Ln Ste 113
                  Carrollton, TX 75007
                  (972) 820-6220
                  http://www.bonmuarestaurant.com/
                  So I never knew they had a website until I was writing this post, actually they are still working on it. I have had great luck (especially for Carrollton) with this restaurant. The Mi Quang is one of my favorite dishes. It is an egg noodle dish with shrimp and pork and the side of typical veggies (mung bean sprouts, cucumbers, lettuce, jalapenos, cilantro or culantro, Holy basil and mint). The sauce for this dish is served on the side as it is a salty broth and served with a rice cracker. The sauce is great just on its own. I am sure I butchered what this dish is all about but I am sure a Vietnamese poster will chime in. I also really like the avocado smoothie. Just about all of the dishes of any Vietnamese restaurant is available at Bon Mua.

                  The Carrollton Plaza Supermarket
                  3040 North Josey Lane
                  Carrollton, TX 75007
                  (214) 731-8584
                  This place has a great selection of items if you wish to cook any cuisine from SE Asia. I usually stock up for my Vietnamese and Thai ingredients there. I noticed this past week when I was there that they also now carry Indian ingredients. The little deli there has some passable banh mi but I like the pate’ chaud (pate inside a pastry). It is worth a stroll around before or after Bon Mua.

                  La Me
                  Suite # 140
                  9780 Walnut St., Dallas, TX 75243
                  (972) 669-8515
                  Not sure where to begin with this place. I haven’t had a pate’ banh mi any better. The Banh Mi #1 (with cold cuts) and #2 (just pate and butter) are some of the best sandwiches ever. They also have the best avocado smoothie. Again it sounds not so good until you drink one then you are hooked. La Me grinds the ice all the way smooth making this one just a bit better than Bon Mua in Carrollton. The Bun Cha Ha Noi is a highly rated dish also. Grilled pork with a grilled pork patty served in an addictive dipping sauce, with a side of rice noodles and veggie plate. Some other can chime into other dishes but I have always had great results with these dishes.

                  Pho Bang
                  3565 W Walnut St
                  Ste A
                  Garland, TX 75042
                  (972) 487-6666
                  As air had stated Pho is on a different level here. They take pride in it and the broth shows. I also have seen a great deal of people here getting the Bun Cha Ha Noi. I believe another foodie in town rated it the best.

                  Saigon Block
                  2150 E Arapaho Rd
                  Richardson, TX 75081-3147
                  (214) 575-6400
                  http://www.saigonblock.com/
                  The Ca Dut Lo (baked whole catfish) is a specialty. Everyone gets it. It is a great dish no doubt and it can be fun with a bunch of people. I have heard the frog legs are very good here but I have yet to try them. Also the seasonal hot pots are good (Ta Pin Lau). I like spicy so I like the Lau Thai Lan (the Thai style).

                  Nam Hua
                  3112 N Jupiter Rd # 305
                  Garland, TX 75044-6564
                  (972) 414-8638
                  http://namhua.com/
                  Website doesn’t work quite well but check it for their hours! I love the Banh Xeo (a crispy filled crepe), Crab Rangoon, Seafood Hotpot and the baked Green mussels. The service can be a bit slow but very friendly. Ask for items off the Specials menu on the back (the only part not translated). Ask a lot of questions if you are not sure of what is in a dish. They don’t mind telling you.

                  Saigon Mall
                  3212 N Jupiter Rd # 201
                  Garland, TX 75044-6581
                  (469) 326-2300
                  http://saigon-mall.com/
                  This is the area’s premier Vietnamese market. It is the newest of the bunch. It is between Saigon Block and Nam Hua. If you are in the area drop in for sure. It is huge in its selection. There are vendors surrounding the market on the inside. I really like the stand at the very back left if you enter the store from the front doors. She has a fresh squeezed cane juice with a bit of fresh squeezed orange juice that is great. Last time I was there the adjoining stand had some great sticky rice desserts one was the typical orange (mixed with fruits) and the other a corn rice with a salt/sugar and peanut topping you can add at your discretion.

                  I would probably rate Nam Hua and La Me my favorites. They are worth the drive from Lewisville.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: LewisvilleHounder
                    kuidaore Nov 23, 2009 11:33 AM

                    Nam Hua is in the same shopping center as Saigon Mall on Beltline/Jupiter. Saigon Block is on Arapaho. Yes, their fried frog legs are very good.

                  2. twinwillow Nov 22, 2009 10:20 AM

                    Without checking all the above posts, I would highly recommend Noodle Wave for excellent Thai food. Had dinner there last night with a large (18) group and, despite the fact that the restaurant was packed, they took excellent care of us. And as always, the food was sensational. A must have dish: Spinach tempura. The best part about Noodle Wave? It's, BYOB!

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: twinwillow
                      DallasDude Nov 22, 2009 01:06 PM

                      I sent some friends over to First Chinese this past Friday. They loved it, even though they weren't too adventuresome. They wanted a byow spot, and First Chinese BBQ fit the bill, right down to the location they wanted. They had only one complaint. As soon as their meal was finished they were pretty much scooted out, and wanted to finish a bottle they had opened. The place gets crowded.

                      1. re: DallasDude
                        twinwillow Nov 23, 2009 09:20 AM

                        Yeah 'Dude, it gets very crowded at certain times of the day. We (5 guys) meet there for lunch every Thursday at 1:00 and have done so for the last 20 years. Btw, after all this time eating there, curiosity got the best of us and we enquired about some of the (Chinese) dishes that are handwritten on the walls. We never realized it but, they do Peking duck with all the trimmings including the soup! $30.00 total for 5 of us. It was, delish!!!

                    2. twinwillow Nov 18, 2009 03:15 PM

                      I would definitely try the Carrollton branch of First Chinese BBQ. Although I personally think the Richardson location is a bit better, Carrollton will do just fine. It's the best ethnic Cantonese Chinese in the area. If you're not Asian, you'll probably be the only non-Asian in the place. Now, that's ethnic!
                      www.firstchinesebbq.com

                      22 Replies
                      1. re: twinwillow
                        twinwillow Nov 18, 2009 03:23 PM

                        Further to my post about First Chinese BBQ. Please note: CASH ONLY!

                        1. re: twinwillow
                          c
                          ChristineR Nov 22, 2009 06:01 AM

                          OK, LewisvilleHounder, I'm anxious to hear your list!

                          What about Thai? I'd love a great flat noodle dish.

                          1. re: ChristineR
                            twinwillow Nov 22, 2009 08:04 AM

                            Beef flat noodle with green pepper in black bean sauce at First Chinese BBQ in Richardson.

                            1. re: ChristineR
                              air Nov 22, 2009 08:27 AM

                              I don't typically order dishes like rad na/lad na, or pad see ew since I prefer curries or other spicy dishes - but I have heard that there are Lao variations of rad na that are spicier. You can't go wrong ordering flat noodle dishes at Thai Soon or Thai Garden in Richardson, or Jasmine Thai in Plano.

                              1. re: air
                                y
                                yummyrice Nov 23, 2009 02:20 AM

                                "Lad na" (wet chowfun) and "pad see ew" (dry chowfun) are Chinese dishes in Laos and Thailand that were brought over by Chinese immigrants. Though they're common dishes in Chinese communities in both countries, the Thai versions tend to be less spicy than the Lao versions.

                                1. re: yummyrice
                                  kuidaore Nov 23, 2009 06:45 AM

                                  I love Pad See Ew. Yummyprice, where can I find a not-so-sweet version of it? Many dishes at Thai restaurants here (and elsewhere in this country) are way too sweet. (I love Thai food in Thailand!)

                                  The owner of Thai Garden said many restaurants here add sugar to Pad Thai and other dishes to cater to American tastes. Sounded like at least she doesn't add sugar. Thai Soon's dishes are so sweet that I can't eat them.

                                  1. re: kuidaore
                                    air Nov 23, 2009 07:00 AM

                                    I think it was Robb Walsh who said that good Thai food requires a balance between sweet, sour, salty and hot/spicy. On the subject of sugaring up pad thai, have you run into any restaurants in DFW that use tamarind paste? It wouldn't surprise me if Thai Garden or Jasmine Thai do it.

                                    Just asking since this is how V (in Houston) makes her pad thai. The tamarind provides a deeper and more complex flavor than the lime juice/sugar combo.

                                    1. re: air
                                      kuidaore Nov 23, 2009 07:26 AM

                                      You know, the owner of Thai Garden said she uses something, but I can't remember. It might be tamarind paste. We don't go there because they don't serve pork... Jasmine Thai's Americanized Thai dishes are as bad as at other restaurants (and their newest location on Coit serves the sweetest dishes). Without their Thai-language menu (or if LewsvilleHounder didn't insist that we tried it), I wouldn't have gone back.

                                      I just read Yummyrice's post on Thai and SE Asian food. Very interesting. http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/645687

                                      1. re: air
                                        LewisvilleHounder Nov 23, 2009 10:25 AM

                                        If it is an authentic preparation they wouldn't put any cane sugar in the dish at all, but I would imagine some people like it sugary. They would use palm sugar, fish sauce for the salty component, and lime juice/tamarind paste for the sour component. I have made several dishes at home using the pastes available at the Vietnamese stores with great success. Those cans of paste cost around $.75-$.80.

                                        1. re: air
                                          f
                                          foiegras Feb 1, 2010 07:49 PM

                                          River Spice has a triple tamarind sauce on the menu (it's good).

                                        2. re: kuidaore
                                          y
                                          yummyrice Nov 23, 2009 11:45 AM

                                          Hmmm well Thai cuisine tends to mix sweet and savory. If most Thai restaurants serve sweet foods, then that should be a sign that Thais enjoy their foods sweet. In Thailand, northern/northeastern regions of Thailand are typically considered separate cuisines apart from Thai cuisine since many ethnic Laotians live there. So the foods in those regions tend not to be both sweet and savory.

                                          I've already mentioned this before, but if you prefer sweet then eat Thai food...if you prefer salty, then eat Lao food. Since you're asking me where you can get Chinese dishes like Pad See Ew that's not too sweet, then you can either go to Lao restaurants and order those same Chinese dishes or go to a Thai restaurant and politely ask the waiter to make them Lao-style versus Thai-style. Though there are Chinese populations in both Laos and Thailand, Chinese-Laotians have acquired the Lao affinity for salty, whereas Chinese-Thais have acquired the Thai affinity for sweet. Try both Lao and Thai styles and choose whichever one that suits your palate.

                                          1. re: yummyrice
                                            air Nov 23, 2009 12:39 PM

                                            To add, a Laotian friend mentioned that Thai-Riffic on Webb Chapel/Forest Ln is owned by Laotians. She also told me the owners said they add a Lao flair to some of their Thai dishes. Forgot to ask her whether or not they are willing to serve Laotian dishes.

                                            1. re: air
                                              DallasDude Nov 23, 2009 01:45 PM

                                              I have been recently and not the same quality as it has been in the past, unfortunately. However, extremely nice people.

                                              1. re: air
                                                y
                                                yummyrice Nov 23, 2009 02:05 PM

                                                >>To add, a Laotian friend mentioned that Thai-Riffic on Webb Chapel/Forest Ln is owned by Laotians. She also told me the owners said they add a Lao flair to some of their Thai dishes.

                                                I'm not surprised by that since some Thai restaurants that seem "different" from the many typical sugar-loving Thai restaurants are actually owned by Laotians and they tend to serve some dishes in the Lao-style (i.e. spicier, but less sweet, less creamy). Lao people dislike sweet foods with the exception of desserts. We never ever mix sweet with savory. However, Thai people have their own preferences. Even dishes that are of Lao origins, many Thai restaurants have modified the original Lao recipes and typically serve sweeter versions of those Lao dishes.

                                                Some Thais don't like going to Laotian-owned Thai restaurants because they prefer the authentic sweetness of their Thai cuisine. So to each his/her own. Everyone prefers their cuisine to be authentic. That's quite understandable. When eating Lao cuisine, I prefer going to Lao restaurants because I like my foods spicy and not so sweet. Thai restaurants tend to make Lao dishes too sweet IMO.

                                                Again, if you prefer salty over sweet, then go to a Lao restaurant, but if you prefer sweet over salty, then go to a Thai restaurant.

                                                1. re: yummyrice
                                                  LewisvilleHounder Nov 23, 2009 02:15 PM

                                                  Actually the only devoted Laotian restaurant I have found is Nahlinh Market on Irving Blvd & Irving Heights in Irving. They do have a small restaurant in the rear of it but it is when they want to cook as it is just a 1-2 person shop, so the hours might be spotty. The dishes though can be extremely spicy (even with my tolerance). I only have tried one dish the Lahb there.

                                                  1. re: LewisvilleHounder
                                                    y
                                                    yummyrice Nov 23, 2009 02:32 PM

                                                    "Lahb" as in Laab/Larb/Larp/Laap? =) There's so many ways to transliterate the name of that Lao meat dish.

                                                    Anyway, I'm happy to hear that there are some Laotian restaurants out there that still keep the heat very authentic. I've read many comments from people who mentioned that they thought Laotian dishes weren't spicy only because they didn't realize that they were being served "safe" versions of those Lao dishes. Safe as in the waiter noticed that the customer wasn't Laotian, so he/she would instruct the chef not to make the dishes too spicy. However, since I'm Laotian and know how to speak Lao, I'm always served authentically spicy dishes without fail. That's usually why my non-Laotian friends prefer to have me with them when ordering at a Laotian restaurant since the waiters know not to cut back on the chiili peppers since I'm also Laotian.

                                      2. re: ChristineR
                                        kuidaore Nov 22, 2009 12:46 PM

                                        LewisvilleHounder's favorite Thai restaurant is Jasimine Thai in Plano, but he orders from the Thai menu. You'll get non-Americanized Thai dishes.
                                        http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/597988

                                        The prawns were good, but I think what everyone liked most was the salad if I remember correctly. Everything was Thai hot!

                                        1. re: kuidaore
                                          LewisvilleHounder Nov 23, 2009 10:19 AM

                                          That is correct Jasmine Thai is my favorite. I would highly recommend the Crispy Water Spinach Salad, the Grilled or Fried Prawns (about 13 the size of small lobsters), or the Catfish Soup with Turmeric and Fermented Bamboo Shoots (or you can get non-fermented Coconut Shoots).

                                          Jungle curry is probably my favorite. Bataba (a bread dish) is worth a try. Thai Herbal Chicken, Po Tak (a soup), Som Tum (Green Papaya) Salad when in season, and I actually like the Green Curry for its herbal notes, any the steamed whole snapper (can get it fried) anyway you want it...I like mine with basil, extra ginger and thai chilies. All are great dishes

                                          Pad See Eew or the Kuay Teow Tom Yum are both good noodle dishes. I am not that into noodles at a Thai place but those would be good suggestions. If you are still hungry after dinner definitely try out the Black Rice Pudding. My wife and I love it at Jasmine.

                                          1. re: LewisvilleHounder
                                            kuidaore Nov 23, 2009 11:30 AM

                                            That's right--the Crispy Water Spinach Salad was the dish everyone raved about!

                                            1. re: LewisvilleHounder
                                              amokscience Feb 1, 2010 04:15 PM

                                              I went a couple weeks ago on a frigid night and ordered the whole fried fish (sea bass that night). I'm not a cooked fish person but this is my favorite thing on the menu. Unfortunately, the fish tasted ... chemical. I normally never send stuff back but there was no hope of it heading anywhere but the trash can. They said it had been delivered that day but we sent it back and the chef agreed it was off.

                                              Happily, they took it off our check and we got a half order of garlic prawn (still a huge portion) and fried quail in addition to our fried rice, appetizers, and tea. The garlic prawn was terrific but be warned, it's not named garlic prawn for nothing. There have been a few misses or off nights but I really enjoy (the original) Jasmine Thai over the years.

                                              1. re: amokscience
                                                LewisvilleHounder Feb 1, 2010 06:40 PM

                                                Amok thanks for that recount of your meal. It is good that they took it off and good to know they are not perfectand do have some flaws. Believe it or not the staff really does take time to memorize who comes in there on a regular basis.

                                                My wife and I went about two weeks ago now and ordered Yum Nuea salad and the Southern Yellow Curry Soup (Keang Lang Tay (waitress translation or Geang Leung (from the Best of Regional Thai by Chat Mingkwan) on the Thai menu. The soup is supposed to be spicy and have the essence of fresh tumeric, ours was toned down on this night. Jasmine is the only place I know that has this dish. Just as we were finishing our meal there was a party of 20 Indians along one wall and a party of 8 at the front windows. You could say it was a bit packed that night.

                                                With advance warning though I am sure the chef at Andaman (he is from the South but not muslim) and perhaps the chef at Siam both in Denton could prepare that dish.

                                          2. re: ChristineR
                                            LewisvilleHounder Nov 23, 2009 10:10 AM

                                            Ok here is what I have so far on Mexican:

                                            Mexican (not Tex Mex)
                                            Taqueria El Fuego
                                            1891 N Plano Rd
                                            Richardson, TX 75081
                                            Go for the Saturday brunch buffet. Everything is made from scratch in house, including the delicious corn tortillas (which are made to order). You can try your fix of huitlacoche (corn fungus) quesadillas and flor de calabaza (squash blossom) quesadillas. All the salsas are top notch and the guisos (stews) are as well. I would personally like the squash blossoms used in other ways (e.g. a corn, squash and squash blossom soup) or the huitlacoche used in a more delicate way. The owners are from Mexico City but really are talented chefs. Both ingredients are used everyday in Oaxaca, one of the southernmost states, void of touristy places. I went a year ago and enjoyed it immensely.

                                            El Paisa Cocina Mexicana
                                            2008 N Interstate 35E (NEC of Sandy Lake and 35)
                                            Carrollton, TX 75006-3201
                                            (972) 242-4300
                                            This place generally has a very large following at lunch. The lunch specials can prove to be very good. Enchiladas are $3.99 everyday for your choice of two shredded beef or chicken in either red chile sauce or tomatillo sauce. I personally like the costillas de puerco en salsa verde (pork riblets with bones in a green sauce) it is $5.99 and is the Friday lunch special served with your choice of tortillas. The condiment bar can not be missed. I believe they have three to four fresh salsas made daily and one avocado salsa that is unique. They also have a great escabeche (pickled veggies (typically carrots, jalapenos, and onions) and condiments for your tacos/dishes. Breakfast tacos are also very good.

                                            Tipicos
                                            2007 E Belt Line Rd
                                            Carrollton, TX 75006-5701
                                            (972) 820-9946
                                            You will probably be hard pressed to find any patrons in this restaurant and I am not exactly sure why. The restaurant by the same name on NW Hwy in Dallas is always packed. I have tried many a cheese enchiladas and I like Tipicos the best. It is the chili gravy that smothers these bad boys that sets them apart. It is not spicy but rather a nice medium even tempered gravy. The rice is nicely done red rice and the refried beans, well they are another story in of themselves. Tipicos uses flor de mayo beans for their refried beans, which results in a creamier mash and smooth texture. They get my vote for best refrieds in the area. The menu is pretty typical (hence the name) but they are on par with Gonzalez. The salsa calor (hot – temperature) and salsa fresca are some of the best I have had in a non-taqueria.

                                            Gonzalez Restaurant
                                            365 W Jefferson Blvd.
                                            Dallas, TX‎ 75208
                                            (214) 946-5333‎
                                            http://www.gonzalezrestaurant.com/
                                            Since the closing of two better restaurants along Jefferson recently, Gonzalez has seemed to come to the forefront as of late. The flour tortillas are huge here. If you love thick flour tortillas this is probably the best place that I know of that makes them fresh. Just a warning though if you eat more than one you will have a hard time finishing your meal. They have a pretty general Northern Mexican menu but it is done a bit better. They also do have guisos that fare pretty well. **You will need to ask for the salsa fresca as Gonzalez has the worst table salsa ever.**

                                            El Ranchito
                                            610 W Jefferson Blvd
                                            Dallas, TX 75208-4724
                                            (214) 946-4238
                                            http://www.elranchito-dallas.com/
                                            This is the sister restaurant to La Calle Doce, which is just a few blocks away. The specialty at El Ranchito is northern style grilled meats, which are Fajitas, costillas, salchicha and the like. The two things I really like are the grilled sweetbreads (mollejas) and the grilled cabrito. I don’t think the cabrito is actually grilled but rather baked in the oven/pit, not grilled in the since of fajitas. I happen like it though as it comes out tender and is rather a show on its own grill stand. I would skip the salchicha (summer sausage) and the costillas as I remember them not to be anything special. The fajitas were quite good and the salsas were also very good make sure you ask for the other salsa besides the one you get when seated….I believe salsa fresca is the one to ask for.

                                            Perhaps someone could chime in about La Calle Doce as it has been sometime since I have last been. A link to their website is provided below. I know Dallas Dude has been there recently.
                                            http://www.lacalledoce-dallas.com/

                                            For other Mexican treats
                                            Elotes (E-Loh-te) stands – Roasted Corn
                                            Taqueria El Si Hay (NWC of Davis and Lewellyn in Oak Cliff
                                            )601 W Davis St
                                            Dallas, TX 75208
                                            (214) 941-4042
                                            The stand is across from the highly popular Bolsa in Oak Cliff, which is just down a bit from the Bishop Arts District. Taqueria El Si Hay has been highly rated but the guy with elotes stand is often over looked.

                                            Dallas Farmers Market outside Shed 1
                                            http://www.dallasfarmersmarket.org/
                                            If you don’t get your fill of fruits or veggies this would be a great snack. I am not sure of the vendor name I just know he is on the Southwest corner of Shed 1

                                            La Paloma Taqueria
                                            14035 Coit Rd
                                            Dallas, TX 75240-3705
                                            (972) 934-1175
                                            SWC of Spring Valley and Coit
                                            I am sure the elotes stand is just called Elotes La Paloma.

                                            El Tacaso
                                            10025 Harry Hines Blvd
                                            Dallas, TX 75220-4405
                                            (469) 335-9055
                                            I have heard great things about the tacos and elotes. I am putting it on my rotation to get to. That area has several good taquerias so I am sure the elotes wouldn’t disappoint either.

                                            Paletas
                                            Paletas Frutitas
                                            539 W Jefferson Blvd
                                            Dallas, TX 75208-4723
                                            (214) 942-1255
                                            http://paletasfrutitas.com/default.aspx
                                            There are probably a hundred paleta (ice fruit popsicles) stands across the metroplex. This happens to be my favorite. The flavors are seasonal and even the helados (ice cream) are unique. I have had corn and avocado ice cream but were unique and worth a try. Rompope is also another unique ice cream (egg nog). My favorite though is a single frozen mango dessert, a mangonada. This consists of mango frozen into a solo cup with tamarind syrup on the bottom. On the top is a sprinkle of chile powder. At the register counter you can put more chile powder and also Chimayo, a chile sauce.

                                      3. LewisvilleHounder Nov 18, 2009 07:26 AM

                                        First before I begin an epic post (as you hit on my specialty) how long are you going to be here? Second are you looking for only banh mi or other Vietnamese dishes? Third are there any restirctions? (e.g. can't drive past 635, only in Richardson, only lunch, etc)

                                        7 Replies
                                        1. re: LewisvilleHounder
                                          c
                                          ChristineR Nov 18, 2009 08:33 AM

                                          Great questions- I'm going to be there from this Saturday to next Friday, and fairly open to geography but I will be staying near the intersection of Josey and Hebron near Carrollton.

                                          I'd love some good banh mi but I'm totally open if there is something that you think I should try. Thank you!

                                          1. re: LewisvilleHounder
                                            kuidaore Nov 18, 2009 05:19 PM

                                            I know LewisvilleHounder will give you a huge list, so I'll keep mine short.

                                            For Banh Mi, there are several good places, but the best is a matter of opinion.
                                            http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/616200

                                            We like Ba Le's best, but many people like La Me's.
                                            In any case, Garland is the place for Vietnamese.

                                            Our favorite Vietnamese restaurants are Nam Hua, Huong Ly (Richardson) and Saigon Block (Richardson). And people love La Me (their Bun Cha Hanoi is the best in town.) Each place has its own specialties so it depends on what you are looking for.

                                            For Pakistani, BBQ Tonite (Carrollton).
                                            http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/4390...

                                            There are also a couple of good Ethiopian restaurants in town.

                                            1. re: kuidaore
                                              air Nov 22, 2009 08:55 AM

                                              Great recs. Nam Hua and Saigon Block both have many good dishes, but as said, it depends on what you're looking for. Can't say enough about the banh xeo and the crab rangoon at Nam Hua, and I believe Saigon Block is known for their hot pots?

                                              Pho 2006 and Pasteur are good places in Carrollton for pho, but since you are willing to drive, go to Pho Bang or Doan, both are in Garland and have outstanding broth unlike others around town.

                                              The two both have broth with minimal amounts of grease and do a good job of balancing flavors, but they have some significant differences too. To get to the point, it depends if you want a cleaner taste or something rich. Pho Bang's broth is one of the lightest I have ever had and it isn't very complex, while Doan's is a lighter, and significantly less greasy take on the darker, richer, "multi layered" broth.

                                              Considering they are literally across the street from each other, in order to narrow down which one I prefer the most, I should do a side by side comparison of the two one of these days. Both are on Walnut/Jupiter, Doan is on the SW corner, just a couple doors down from Ba Le and they have a big red sign, while Pho Bang is on the NW corner.

                                              Unless another one has opened up in the past year, I believe The Russian Banya is the only Russian restaurant in Dallas:
                                              http://www.russianbanyaofdallas.com/n...

                                              1. re: air
                                                kuidaore Nov 22, 2009 01:14 PM

                                                Saigon Block is known for its oven-baked whole catfish. You go there on the weekend and that's what EVERY Vietnamese family has on the table.
                                                We like BÒ 7 MÓN better at Huong Ly. Huong Ly has the best beef congee in town! David also loves their curry.

                                                1. re: air
                                                  LewisvilleHounder Nov 23, 2009 10:49 AM

                                                  I would agree with both Kuidaore and air. Pho Bang is better than any place in Carrollton for Pho. I would note that Bon Mua and there is a great place a few doors down from Bon Mua, both are great. I would recommend these now over Pho Pastuer and Pho 2006.

                                                  The Mi Quang (originating from Quang Nam and Da Nang) is a great mixture of shrimp and pork (no mystery bits) with fresh egg noodles, bean sprouts, etc. It comes with a rice cracker and a side of dipping/salty sauce. I know it is part of the dish but instead of making a soup you can dip your noodles into it or take a bit on a soup spoon with each bite. Both Bon Mua and the other place will have this dish. I have provided a bit of info from Wiki on the dish.
                                                  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/M%C3%AC_...

                                                  At Bon Mua I also enjoyed the Banh Bot (a sticky tapioca appetizer). Interesting texture but the flavor was very good. My wife and I liked the pork ones the best.

                                                  That should serve you well for Carrollton though. I will be working on Chinese and Vietnamese in Richardson/Garland tonight

                                                  1. re: LewisvilleHounder
                                                    DallasDude Nov 23, 2009 10:54 AM

                                                    For a good look at pho, here and abroad, check out this unique perspective on City of Ate (Observer). The blog is generally on the silly side, but this is a cute but serious look into pho and the full article is on the stands now until Thanksgiving.

                                                    http://blogs.dallasobserver.com/cityo...

                                                  2. re: air
                                                    j
                                                    J.R. Nov 25, 2009 07:42 AM

                                                    I tried Pho at Doan yesterday and it was definately tasty and the broth was excellent. Also, I tried the grilled pork rolls which I like for a change from the usual spring rolls with boiled poprk and shrimp. I usually eat at Pho Bac several time a week. How would you Pho experts say it compares? I did like Doan as the menu was a little more broad. Also, has anyone tried the crepes with shrimp there?

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