Houston gal on business in Mesquite, per diem...where to go?
My company is sending me to the Dallas area for Monday thru Friday, breakfast and lunch will be provided by our hotel and conference, but they are providing a $40 per day per diem.for dinner.
It's not much but I'm looking for affordable chow worthy eats to show my associat/travel buddy.
We are also staying at the Homewood Suites Hilton on Markeville Dr in Dallas, about 10 miles (im told) from our conference in Mesquite.
Chowhounds, do your best!
I'm not a huge fan of Bolsa, although it has plenty of admirers. But if you have a car, I second the idea of heading down to Bishop Arts. You can try to get a last minute seat at Lucia, Boulevardier or Driftwood. If you're willing to supplement the per diem, $40 should take you most of the way at any of these places - I'd say that I typically spend about $60 or so. Note that all of these are closed on Monday.
If you go down to the Bishop Arts area in Oak Cliff and, I heartily recommend you do, Try, Nova. A not so well known secret gastropub where you can eat fabulous food and drink like a big shot for less than your per diem.
Great bar atmosphere with comfy booths and mostly locals in attendance.
Lunch Monday - If you are anywhere close to Garland/Dallas - La Me for a Pate Banh Mi. I know Houston has good banh mi, but I have yet to find one better than La Me. Get there early before they run out or call ahead. Audelia @ Walnut - $2.25 + tax per sandwich - get 6.....you buy 5 and get one free. Roughly $15 total for both of you. Trust me you will want at least two!!
Dinner Monday - Ethopian - Not sure if Houston has any Ethopian places but I have tried to find them when I was there, many of which in very rough locales. The ones in Dallas not much better as we had a recent tragedy at Desta. It was nice, clean and very good food. The next best is Ibex.
http://ibexcuisine.com/ - I would say this would use up your per diem
Lunch Tues - La Me - Bun Cha Hanoi - I believe $8.75 + tax
Dinner on Tuesday - Nam Hua. Since it is cold you will want the Vietnamese seafood hot pot. If you are bringing friend then order the banh xeo or the cream chees mussels. Soup is around $20-$25 and feed two heartily and four comfortably. Banh Xeo is around $7-$9
Wednesday lunch - not sure??
Wednesday dinner - Royal Sichuan in Richardson Chinatown. Not sure if you had a chance to eat at Mala in Houston but this will rival it. If real cold start off with the Dan Dan Noodles; get a plate of the seaweed, soy beans and bamboo shoots at the back (can try the pig ears or chicken livers - both are exceptional); and then take your shots at any of the dishes off the menu (I have had a good majority and about 85% are awesome). I usually go for a fish dish. Dan Dan Noddles "Szechuan Flavor Noodle" $4.95 and cold appetizers $6 a plate can get two or three options, Fish dishes $10.95 - Market Price for whole fresh fish.
Thursday Lunch - ??
Thursday dinner - Il Cane Rosso for a pizza. You will want to save you money as anything this place puts out is awesome, be it pizza or entrees.
Friday Lunch - Pecan Lodge - It can get pricey as all BBQ places can....but this might be you only meal you will need. Blows anything in Houston out of the water and the closest to Austin/Hill Country we have.
Unfortunately, Pecan Lodge is only open Thurs - Sunday 11-3, so it looks like you will miss out on some fantastic BBQ, since you won't be needing lunch options. But I give Cane Rosso a third thumbs up!
Houston gal, I used to live in your city. I miss Berryhill and Niko Nikos the most!