Lunch in Uptown
Since we don't usually eat in Uptown, I am coming to the experts. Where would be a good place to eat lunch with a new acquaintance in this area? I am looking for some place that is mid-priced but has a little bit of a "wow -- this is really good" factor. So focus is more on the actual food and much less on the surroundings (other than ease of parking -- we are in Texas). We are very familiar with Oishii but there might be something new.
Lewisville Hounder, in particular, what do you suggest?
Grimaldi's, Coal Vines and Campania are all in uptown and are very good pizza places. If you'd be interested in having brunch, I suggest Dream Cafe. Manny's is also there, and they're always being pit against Mia's as the best place in town for brisket tacos. Gloria's on Lemmon is also good for Mexican and Salvadorian.
Yes, LH, what do you like in Uptown. ;)
Dallas Alice, not Uptown per se, but Samar is now open for lunch as well as dinner. You will find many great exaltations on the place, and in all fairness a few not so good remarks. I have always been pleased personally, and the place is ever so reasonable.
I also love Craft for brunch and lunch. So simple and so good. Located in Victory at the W.
Arcodoro and Pomodoro for exquisite Italian. For lunch I like the wild mushroom risotto as well as the fig and quail risotto. The trout is perfect for lunch.
Salum is very much worth a consideration, too. I enjoy the fish, including the flounder and snapper. Very fresh and breezy place. Well run.
Lumi Empanada and Dumpling is very different and unique. Who doesn't love a dumpling?
I love mussels, and Toulouse on Knox serves them five ways, and you can add pommes frites. The Nicoise is also very wonderful for a nice luncheon.
Charlie Palmers at the Joule has a very nice selection on the prix fixe menu for lunch (28 dollars).
I could go on for a while, but will yield the floor to my esteemed collegues. The LH remark was because LH has made a point to state that he doesn't enjoy the Uptown area of Dallas. But would love to see any rec he has. Brilliant man, for sure.
Don't forget Hook, Line & Sinker for terrific fried and grilled seafood. Corner of McKinney and Lemmon (East direction)
I recommend the Village Burger Bar in the West Village and Mint on Oak Lawn. The both have excellent food and really good cocktails.
I live near Uptown, and unfortunately there aren't too many mom and pop ethnic places to choose from that have that "wow" factor. I'm no LH, but I'll try to sum up the best ethnic bets around here...
For Vietnamese, there's Green Papaya. The grilled pork/shrimp Papaya salad is really good here. The grilled meat vermicelli bowls are better here than at Oishii. Avoid the Pho - Oishii is much better. From what I understand, Lumi only serves Pho on weekends, so during the week they just have a few Vietnamese dishes that are good quality, but honestly a little bland for me. I'd probably just stick to their empanadas and dumplings.
For Thai, The Mint on Oak Lawn is probably the best bet. Just avoid their soups and expect Pad Thai to be VERY sweet. I love their Crab Fried Rice - just get it with the way too sweet orange sauce on the side. Lumi has this dish also, but it's not as good. Next suggestions would be Toy's on Lemmon and then Thai Lotus on Cedar Springs. Both have very nice owners and are cheap, but the food is nothing too special. Again, I'd avoid the soups at both places. Wai Wai kitchen on Lemmon is good if you're in a hurry. Food is fast, hot and cheap, taste - eh.
For El Salvadorian/Tex Mex there is both Gloria's and Mario Sabino's. Both these places can be hit or miss. I like the Salvadorian Sampler plate at either place. They are different, so it's worth it to try both.
For Tex-Mex, I'd have to go with Manny's over Mia's, but I'm sure others would choose the opposite. Manny's is a bit more expensive, but I like the quality better. I'd also pick Avila's on Maple over Mia's. Further on Maple are quite a few Taquerias like La Paisanita that are worth trying.
For Indian, it's tough out this way. There's Bengal Coast which is fusion, so don't expect anything to taste like you'd expect it to. This can be good or bad depending on what you like. I really like the Mumbai Street Chaat Salad. I'd probably stay away from their currys and try some of the more nontraditional dishes they have. If you MUST have Indian buffet, there's Taj Express. There's also Roti Grill, but it's hard to recommend since I've only had their Biryani and it was way too bland.
For Korean, there's Gui on McKinney Ave. They have just a few Korean dishes and mostly sushi. I've only had their Hot Stone Rice bowl, which I liked since they do get their rice nice and crispy on the bottom.
For sushi, If you're willing to spend a bit, go with Yutaka. I've heard mixed reviews about their Bento boxes, so maybe keep it to sushi.
Seeing Avila's mentioned...... I was in there with 2 friends a couple of weeks ago and was looking forward to it as I've been intending to stop in for a while now.
Anyway, the order consisted of guac and queso as apps, entrees of pazole, chili relleno, and the 3 enchilada dinner. I found the guac pretty tasteless (I had read elsewhere that store bought was suspect, but thought I'd see for myself) as was the queso.
We all thought our entrees were very tasty, but in each case, they were pretty much room temp even though they were served very quickly; ie - it's not like they were sitting around waiting to be delivered and went cold. Pretty disappointing.
We were there around 4 pm on a Sat. and there were only 2 or 3 other tables occupied. Not sure what their problem was..... or maybe they just serve food at tepid temps??? I've read that their service can be hit or miss, but on this day, our service was as good as I'd expect. Has anyone else had problems with cold food?
I agree, their Guacamole isn't that great. I always get the chili relleno, my husband likes their tacos dorados.
I haven't had an issue with the food not being hot, but It does seem sometimes that they just don't add enough salt to the dishes.
Another thing we noticed - for a small hole in the wall place, their margaritas are surprisingly uptown priced.
Priced high indeed @ $7/ea and that's not top shelf. But to their credit, they do pack a small punch unlike the equally high priced Rita with a crappy pour across the street at Ojeda's.
I may give them another try at some point. As I said, the food was "good". I can only imagine what a little heat would do for the flavor enhancing characteristics - particularly for the aromatics that come with the pazole.