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Apr 26, 2011 09:10 AM

Looking For Suggestions in the Plano Area

We are moving to Plano from NYC and we are taking a house hunting trip Mother's Day weekend. Would love to try out some nice restaurants that are:

1. In Plano or a 20 minute or less drive from Plano

2. Affordable, about $25 or less a person

3. A place for Sat lunch & dinner, Sun brunch, Sunday dinner or happy hour.

4. Monday lunch in Dallas as we are going to checkout where Hubby is going to work on Stemmons Frwy.

So far I'm looking at North Main BBQ, Cru, Ra Sushi, La Duni, Suffer's, Twisted Root and Hattie's but would love some suggestions.

La Duni Cafe
4620 McKinney Ave, Dallas, TX 75205

Ra Sushi Bar Restaurant
7501 Lone Star Dr Ste B130, Plano, TX 75024

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  1. For Plano, I'd recommend the corner of Independence/Parker where Blue Ginger Garden and Pho Mac is located, some interesting places there. You should also search around for recommendations for Richardson, which is a close drive and you'll find plenty of feedback on good food there.

    Japanese food will be a big downgrade in general especially compared to what can be found in NYC, but the answer to your question also depends on what kind of sushi are you interested in. Buffet? Rolls? Cheap? A top notch itamae? What I might recommend might not be eye to eye with what you're looking for, especially if you're considering Ra.

    Pho Mac
    3100 Independence Pkwy Ste 310, Plano, TX 75075

    3 Replies
    1. re: air

      I actually don't like sushi. I wanted to check out the Shops at Legacy and I noticed that Ra has a Sunday night happy hour. So, I figured it would be a good place to have a few beers and munch on some edamame.

      1. re: jreeves628

        Thanks for the clarification. For the drinks/happy hr, Ra will be fine. I just wouldn't recommend the sushi there. Gingerman is also in Shops of Legacy and they have a pretty good beer selection, no food though. Also consider Whiskey Cake which is a short drive down the Tollway. You could check out Shops of Legacy then head down to do dinner/drinks there. West Plano really lucked out getting a place doing good beer and cocktails.

        Oh yeah, search around downtown Plano too. I like a few places there like Kelly's Eastside (casual American, pretty good chicken fried steak - you'll see that abbreviated as CFS), the German fare at Jorg's (like the sausages and weiner schnitzel there) and the burger at Ye Ole Butcher Shop (good for Sat. lunch).

        Now that I have CFS on my mind, Love and War also does a good CFS but be warned portions there are massive.

        Poor Richard's has a good breakfast too.

        1. re: air

          Thanks for the reccomendations!

    2. Try Isabella's at Legacy and 121. They had a good lunch and dinner menu but it has been a while since I have been there because I moved across town 2 years ago. We also liked Zorba's for Greek. It is a rare BYOB place in DFW. I wouldn't drive 20 miles for it but it is reasonably priced for good food and if the weather cooperates we enjoy their patio. Good luck with the house hunt.

      2 Replies
      1. re: vstock

        Not sure when was the last time you went, but Zorba's had really gone downhill once the restaurant changed owners. I haven't personally been, but I've read and heard positive feedback about Platia Greek Kouzina in Frisco, which was opened by the former owners of Zorba's sometime last year. Also BYOB.

        1. re: air

          Thanks, air. I will give it a try next time I am out that way.

      2. Welcome to the suburbs... Here's a shotgun blast of names you'll see regarding Plano food places:

        West Plano:

        Shops at Legacy is bunch of upscaled Americanized places: Jasper's (American), Fireside Pies (Pizza), Samui Thai, Nicola's (Italian), Cru Wine Bar, Bob's Steak and Chophouse, Naan (Japanese), Main Street Bakery, Village Burger Bar. Nearby on Preston is Holy Grail Pub which is a pretty good pub, just north is Blue Mesa Grill (Southwestern)

        There are a whole bunch of chains and better quality places all along Preston from

        Spring Creek: Mignon (French), Ziziki's (Greek), Bread Winner's Cafe
        Park: Blue Goose (Tex-Mex), Snuffers (Burgers), Yao Fuzi (Chinese), Awaji (Japanese), Kosta's (Greek)
        Plano Pkwy: Zorba's (Greek), Red Hot and Blue (Memphis BBQ)
        GWB: Lavendou (French)
        Frankford: Cadot (French)
        Tollway and Frankford: Sushi Robata (Japanese), Bene Bene (Italian)

        Central Plano:

        Mr G's (Deli, Wine, Beer), First Chinese BBQ, Umeko (Taiwanese?), Sichuanese, Fred's Downtown Philly, Jasmine Thai (Custer & Spring Creek - avoid other locations), El Norte (Tex-Mex), Picasso's Ristorante (Italian), Kosta's (Greek, another location) at Parker and Alma.


        Down 75
        Legacy: Chitos (Mex-Mex, attached to a gas station), 99 Ranch (Chinese bakery, supermarket), Little Sichaun
        Parker: Chettinad Palace (Indian)
        Park: Big Easy (Cajun)
        Downtown Plano: El Torito (Mex-Mex), Jorg's Vienna (Austrian), Fillmore Pub, Fish Shack, Kelly's Eastside
        GWB: Pure New Orleans

        Into Richardson along 75:
        Campbell: Mumtaz (Indian), Sawadika Thai, Sushi Sake, Twisted Root (Burgers), Taqueria El Fuego (Mex-Mex), Ali Baba (Lebanese), Casa Milagro (Tex-Mex)
        Arapaho: Betchee's Brasil, Veggie Garden (Chinese Vegetarian), Suma Veggie Cafe (Chinese Vegetarian)
        Belt Line / Main: Masami (Japanese), Kirin Court (Chinese), Maxim's (Chinese), Royal Sichuan, King Noodle (Chinese), First Chinese BBQ, Pho Bac (Vietnamese), Nam Hua (Vietnamese), Afrah (Lebanese)

        McKinney is a nice visit if you have a reason to go north along 75 (skip Allen). Square Burger, Gregory's Bistro (Continental?), Cavali Pizza, Rick's Chophouse.

        Plano Super Markets:

        Central Market
        99 Ranch (Chinese)
        Minoya (Japanese)
        Whole Foods
        Asia World (Chinese)

        Stuff I'm particularly fond of from above:

        Central Market, Minoya, Sushi Robata, Kosta's, First Chneses BBQ, Umeko, Sichuanese, Jasmine Thai, Kostas, 99 Ranch, E Torito, Mumtaz, Sushi Sake, Taqueria El Fuego, Ali Baba, Casa Milagro, Suma Veggie Cafe, Kirin Court, Pho Bac, Nam Hua, Afrah, Square Burger, Gregory's Bistro, Cavali Pizza.

        A short trip down the tollway gets you to Addison which has a few interesting options and a ton of chains. Dallas dining character is generally concentrated in Oak Cliff, Knox Henderson, and Uptown with smaller pockets scattered around.

        Kelly's Eastside
        1422 K Ave, Plano, TX 75074

        19009 Preston Rd. Ste 200, Dallas, TX 75252

        First Chinese BBQ
        111 S. Greenville Ave., Richardson, TX 75081

        Veggie Garden
        510 W Arapaho Rd, Richardson, TX 75080

        Suma Veggie Cafe
        800 E Arapaho Rd, Richardson, TX 75081

        Pho Bac Restaurant
        153 N Plano Rd, Richardson, TX 75081

        Kirin Court Restaurant
        221 W Polk St, Richardson, TX 75081

        El Fuego
        1891 N Plano Rd, Richardson, TX 75081

        11661 Preston Rd Ste 309, Dallas, TX 75230

        Cru Wine Bar
        7201 Bishop Rd Ste E2, Plano, TX 75024

        Fireside Pies
        5717 Legacy Dr, Plano, TX 75024

        4701 W Park Blvd Ste 101, Plano, TX 75093

        Big Easy
        1915 N Central Expy, Plano, TX 75075

        Fillmore Pub
        1004 E 15th St, Plano, TX 75074

        Fred's Downtown Philly
        1144 N Plano Rd, Richardson, TX 75081

        Ali Baba
        2103 N Central Expy, Richardson, TX 75080

        Casa Milagro
        1403 E Campbell Rd Ste 110, Richardson, TX 75081

        Cadot Restaurant
        18111 Preston Rd # 120, Dallas, TX 75252

        Chitos Restaurant
        301 Legacy Dr, Plano, TX 75023

        Main Street Bakery
        7200 Bishop Rd Ste D11, Plano, TX 75024

        Fish Shack
        700 E 15th St, Plano, TX 75074

        Sushi Robata
        4727 Frankford Rd, Dallas, TX 75287

        Jasmine Thai
        2050 Spring Creek Pkwy, Plano, TX 75023

        3 Replies
          1. re: amokscience


            Very impressive list and very informative!

            What do you like at El Torito and at Suma Veggie Cafe, both of which I haven't been to? What do you order that is consistently good? What if any specials do they have that you look forward to?

            What do you like at Mumtaz? I have been there just wasn't blown away by it. I have certain dishes that I like at a few different places. Naan is great at Al Markaz and Pasand in Irving. Dosas are great at Royal Sweets in Valley Ranch and Taj Chaat House. Idli and Sambar is great at Aahar and Royal Sweets both in Valley Ranch. Those are some examples...just curious is all what you like

            Royal Sweets
            219 W Airport Fwy, Irving, TX

            Taj Chaat House
            1057 W Rochelle Rd, Irving, TX 75062

            Suma Veggie Cafe
            800 E Arapaho Rd, Richardson, TX 75081

            El Torito
            3132 Fall Creek Hwy, Granbury, TX 76049

            1. re: LewisvilleHounder

              I'm usually eating lunch at these places, often with a coworker or three:

              El Torito - I've enjoyed the chilaquiles, puerco, al pastor (burrito/quesadilla), potatoes, pretty much everything except the tacos I've liked and the prices and (sometimes huge) portions make it a great deal. El Fuego is a better overall but this is not bad for a local rotation.

              Suma Veggie Cafe is a small Chinese buffet. I really don't know how to describe the food except it tastes little different from normal Chinese food, replacing the meat with tofu and tempeh type items. I'm a bit curious about the nutritional differences when the taste and texture difference is minimal (to me at least). I pretty much can't stand most of the Chinese in the area (including Mr Wok... gave it a few tries) unless I hop north to Umeko or further south to the main block in Richardson. And since I am usually alone but prefer a variety... the little veggie buffets pull me in. There's the International Buddhist Society building nearby and they have a sparse cafeteria style lunch buffet as well... a bit plain to my taste. Also a "tea room" which looks elegant but I've never dined there.

              I probably do not like most 'authentically' seasoned Indian food. I understand a lot of it is Americanized (blander but richer) and that's probably what I'm eating. Mumtaz - I enjoy the chicken masala, spinach, (fresh) naan, the beef (!) meatballs and the desserts. At Chettinad Palace I love the spicy dosas. My Indian coworker has both good and mediocre things to critique the dishes at times, rarely bad, but fresh naan and one or two dishes I can fill up on are usually good enough for me until I'm ready to try diving in deeper.

              Some additional dishes:

              Afrah - molokhia (and chickken) in the lunch buffet. Seasoning can be off at times but that's the main reason I go. Pistachio baklava (don't particularly care for the others).
              Ali Baba - the rice at the buffet... something about it is great.
              Blue Mesa - Sunday Brunch desserts (start there, work your way backwards). Will probably be packed from opening
              Sushi Sake is a bit pricey but very good across the board. Also very crowded and popular!
              Pho Bac - pho or bun with grilled pork... Pho Bang has better pho but is randomnly closed and further away.
              First Chinese BBQ - Beef flat noodles
              Sushi Robata - the unique/chalkboard appetizers and seasonal fish. Mori-san doesn't cook as much anymore but (as air notes elsewhere) everything is best when he's doing the work.
              Jasmine Thai - whole fried fish (usually snapper or bass) with either curry or thai sauce.
              99 Ranch bakery - baguettes and french bread (not always out), the puffed fruit pastries, milk buns. Don't care for the savory stuff.
              Casa Milagro - the brisket, chicken, and puerco (pork) chile rellenos.
              Umeko - minced pork w/ bean curd and hot peppers
              Kosta's - not crazy about the food in general (enjoyed the gyros) but the hummus was very different and blew me away on one visit. Need to repeat.
              El Fuego - lunch special with almost any of the non-beef items. I always get black beans and green rice and never miss out on the homemade corn tortillas.


              More scattered thoughts follow...

              Abuelo's, Carolina's, Luna de Noche, Aparicio's and many Tex-Mex joints are acceptable Tex-Mex in nice surroundings at slightly inflated prices. There are several local chains that are pretty poor. There's an amusing stretch along 75 with 4 or 5 tex-mex joints nearly one after another.
              I think Tampopo is a good value for the Japanese food they serve, nothing out of the ordinary but generous portions of food.
              Italia Village is your typical Russian run neighborhood American Italian / Greek joint staffed by Hispanic and/or Arab workers (ever find that mix amusing?) and surprisingly served one of the best ribeyes I've ever had. The guy just said he had good meat that day and I should try it.
              Maggiano's is great for groups looking to be gorged. Some dishes are misses but plenty are good enough.
              Sambuca360 is setup to be a cougar bar / music venue but the food was surprisingly good... of course everything is overpriced so don't be going there for the food!
              Old Town Creamery - has some exotic flavors that I like, not as exciting as I want it to be though.
              Henry's Homemade Ice Cream is a local place that many like. To me it taste like... ice cream.
              Paciugo - gelato chain that will sometimes rotate in some interesting flavors (different for every location).
              Jamal's Convenience Store has pretty tasty, greasy tacos if you like that authentic hole in the wall type experience.

              May need to try:

              Ferrari's Pizza, Sea Breeze Fish Market and Grill, Cafe Roma, Urban Crust, Simon's Sushi

              Forgot to mention:

              Hirsch's Meats for a local butcher. Not exactly convenient hours for working folks but quality meat, real butchers, friendly people.
              Lucky Layla Dairy Farm is over in east Plano where you can buy raw cow's milk, yogurt, cheese, etc. if that sort of thing is of interest. Some of their products make their way into local groceries.
              Plano has light alcohol in shops, you get to head north to The Colony or south to Addison for hard liquor. Centennial, Sigel's, Goody Goody are the bigger local places.

              LH: RE the burger thread: I was at that strawberry farm you mentioned in a thread last year. Strawberries weren't too much improved over supermarket but the experience and drive out to the countryside was refreshing. Friendliest lady too.

              Pho Bang Restaurant
              3565 W Walnut St Ste A, Garland, TX 75042

              Mr Wok
              2600 14th St, Plano, TX 75074

              Cafe Roma
              151 W Spring Creek Pkwy Ste 509, Plano, TX 75023

              Old Town Creamery
              6205 Coit Rd Ste 344, Plano, TX 75024

              Henry's Homemade Ice Cream
              2909 W 15th St, Plano, TX 75075

              Simon's Sushi
              810 N Central Expy, Plano, TX 75074

              Ali Baba
              2103 N Central Expy, Richardson, TX 75080

              1001 18th St, Plano, TX 75074

              Urban Crust
              1006 E 15th St, Plano, TX 75074

          2. For sushi, there's a new place at Spring Creek and Coit called Densetsu. Excellent sushi and they have a large menu of non-sushi items, although I have not tried those.

            1. Mignon has an excellent brunch and is within your price range.