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Convince me to move to Dallas to eat...

colonelnola Sep 7, 2013 11:47 AM

Having spent the last 3 years eating my way through Seattle after 20 in New Orleans, I'm considering moving to Dallas. Feel like I've got a handle on area BBQ but would welcome help from you DFW 'hounds as to where else to dine. Looking at apartments in Old East, Lower Greenville and the Oak Cliff area this coming week so recommendations in those neighborhoods for eating as well as making groceries would be wonderful. Thinking more everyday dining than Michelin meals right now, though I'm not immune to 4 star pleasures. I am somewhat concerned about leaving the Pacific Rim: any Korean, Viet or Indian recommendations? Any fish markets not to miss? And how about Tejano in the DFW?

  1. LewisvilleHounder Sep 7, 2013 07:08 PM

    I would avoid any Korean places here in Dallas. I have not had very good success and I wait for my return to LA.

    Vietnamese is very good and would say it is better than Seattle. With the availability of seafood in New Orleans you might have had better Vietnamese seafood dishes. Houston has the second largest Viet population outside of Orange County, so that is always a draw.

    Indian I would say we are getting better each year on that front. Not that we are lacking by any means but the food especially the Gujarati (all vegetarian) style is becoming more prevalent. If you have any particular style you are looking for we have a place that makes it.

    Not sure what you mean by Tejano? Tejano is a style of music from Mexico. Do you mean regional Mexican or Tex-Mex?

    You are coming from two areas of the country that are prized for their seafood so it will be very hard for Dallas to compete on that front. We do make up for it in other ways though.

    As far as everyday eating I would say staying in a central location is ideal, if in Dallas that would be Old East or Lower Greenville. If you like more ethnic foods you will want to consider the suburbs Plano or Richardson.

    If you really enjoy food I would say sticking around Richardson would be ideal. If you are into other activities (music/art/theater) then you will have to weigh those options against your restaurant options.

    11 Replies
    1. re: LewisvilleHounder
      colonelnola Sep 7, 2013 07:29 PM

      Thank you for the encouragement. Any Vietnamese or gujarati restaurants that stand out in particular?

      1. re: colonelnola
        LewisvilleHounder Sep 10, 2013 06:16 AM

        Vietnamese - La Me, Nam Hua, Pho Huong Nam, Saigon Block, Doan, and Pho Bang

        I am not sure if you want only Gujarati or any other Indian/Pakistani/Nepalese that stand out?

        Here is what I like:
        Lal Quila (Pakistani)
        Al Markaz (Pakistani)
        BBQ Tonite (Pakistani)
        Apna Grill (Pakistani)
        Saravanaa Bhavan (Indian Veg)
        Taj Chat House (Snacks and Veg)
        Mughlai (Upscale Indian)
        Bwarachi Biryani Point Signature (Weekend Buffet)
        Everest (Nepalese)

        1. re: colonelnola
          nocomicsans Oct 23, 2013 11:09 AM

          There's a hidden gem in Irving (downtown Las Colinas, to be specific) that focuses on North Indian Peshawari style dishes. Here's their menu:

          Since you've already had your first visit to Dallas, I'm curious to know what you thought!

          1. re: nocomicsans
            LewisvilleHounder Oct 28, 2013 08:26 AM

            The menu looks very similar to a Pakistani restaurant or even the former Ziyaafat in Plano.

            What are sone of the dishes you have had, the dishes you've loved and the dishes you thought were terrible/hated?

            I live here and curious to know your review of this place! Is it worth the trip from Lewisville (keep in mind I have to pass up some really great Pakistani restaurants and Saravanaa Bhavan in Valley Ranch to get to this place)

        2. re: LewisvilleHounder
          gavlist Sep 9, 2013 08:37 AM

          what Gujarati restaurant have you been to?

          1. re: gavlist
            LewisvilleHounder Sep 10, 2013 06:10 AM

            Saravanaa Bhavan.
            I believe Taj Chaat House and Royal Sweets also serve some Gujarati dishes.
            I know that the buffett at Royal Sweets while limited is veg only and claims to be Gujarati..

            1. re: LewisvilleHounder
              gavlist Sep 10, 2013 11:31 AM

              Saravana Bhavan is definitely south Indian (Gujarat is in the west). And I think that chaat is predominately North Indian, although some specific dishes have Gujarati roots. Where does Royal Sweets claim to be Gujarati? I don't see anything on their website...

              I ask mostly because, as far as I know, I've never eaten an Gujarati meal in Dallas. And, of course, I'd like to try it at some point. My understanding is that the dishes tend to be somewhat sweeter than South Indian.

              1. re: gavlist
                air Sep 10, 2013 12:07 PM

                Some places like Udipi Cafe or Saravanaa Bhavan emulate thalis done by Gujarati places - they tend to have "Gujarati-style" dishes, if you will. To be honest the concept of where exactly a thali is from can be pretty confusing for anyone who may not have a solid understanding between regional varieties of Indian food (and I certainly wouldn't know). Haven't had the buffet at Royal Sweets so can't speak regarding that.

                The places I know about are in Houston:

                Googling around led to this in the area, could be a promising lead:

                1. re: air
                  gavlist Sep 10, 2013 12:35 PM

                  thanks. There's also another called Gopal, which also says that they serve Gujarati cuisine. But I haven't seen anyone comment (outside of yelp) about either restaurant.


                  1. re: gavlist
                    Jon G Sep 24, 2013 08:09 PM

                    The Gujarati Thali at Gopal is one of my favorite lunches in town.

                    1. re: Jon G
                      tango7000 Mar 4, 2014 11:34 AM

                      My wife and her fam are Gujarati... Gopal is definitely one of their faves (mine too).

        3. f
          foiegras Sep 7, 2013 01:09 PM

          In Oak Cliff, try Bolsa, Bolsa Mercado, Mesa, Boulevardier, Lucia (see about getting there as it opens & sitting at the bar), and Dude Sweet Chocolate (next door).

          On Greenville, don't miss The Grape.

          Old East, I'm not sure where you're talking about ...

          I will also say that if food is your sole criterion, you may want to polish up those research skills. That said, none of us are starving or lacking for good food to eat.

          2 Replies
          1. re: foiegras
            twinwillow Sep 7, 2013 05:05 PM

            I like to take advantage of all of Dallas' many ethnic restaurants. We are lucky to have amongst other's, Indian, Chinese, Korean, Vietnamese, Japanese, and Thai restaurants. Some of which I would consider, world class.

            We are also lucky to have a few of the best Texas BBQ restaurants in the state, they include, Pecan Lodge, The Slow Bone, and, Lockhart Smokehouse.

            For imaginative cooking we also have Spoon, and FT33. I'm sure others here will fill in the blanks.

            And, Dallas is also home to the best Neapolitan pizza in the US in the form of Cane Rosso in Deep Ellum and Lakewood.

            We also have some first class seafood stores.
            TJ's Seafood Market in Preston Forest and TJ's Seafood Market and restaurant in Highland Park. As well as Sea Breeze in Plano. Many like the seafood at Central Market while I personally prefer the seafood at Wholefoods in Highland Park on Lomo Alto. Where across the street is Nonna. One of the absolute best Italian restaurants in Dallas.

            if you're serious, you'll soon get the picture.

            1. re: twinwillow
              Mike C. Miller Sep 11, 2013 01:22 AM

              And flee at the first opportunity back to Seattle!!

          2. mrbigshotno.1 Sep 7, 2013 01:02 PM

            Ever see the movie "Last man standing"? Christopher Walken gets shot and his last words are "God I don't want to die in Texas". Wise words.

            1. g
              genoO Sep 7, 2013 11:51 AM

              Are you planning to move to Dallas for the food or are you worried about the food in Dallas because you are moving there? It could make a difference in knowing the bottom line.

              4 Replies
              1. re: genoO
                colonelnola Sep 7, 2013 07:24 PM

                Considering a move to Dallas on a number of counts. I'm eager to explore a new culinary region but... also a little concerned about living away from the ocean for the first time in a long time and, perhaps, more generally about food in general. I like to eat. I'll be staying downtown next week but looking around Lower Greenville, Swiss Ave, North Oak Cliff, and some other areas before heading south for bbq.

                1. re: colonelnola
                  foiegras Sep 7, 2013 09:35 PM

                  I think you are right to be concerned about living away from the ocean, since that's what you're used to. Not only is it an extremely different natural environment and different food, but you have only to look at a map of the US to see the strong cultural connection with the terrain.

                  IMO Houston is going to be the closest thing Texas has to offer to New Orleans, and Austin the closest to Seattle.

                  Just want to second what twin is saying about BBQ. What I've had at Pecan Lodge (specifically the brisket) beats what I've had at the historic central TX places. There's a line, but it sure beats an 8-9 hour drive. Check out Texas Monthly's recent state-wide BBQ rankings.

                  1. re: colonelnola
                    Mike C. Miller Sep 27, 2013 08:56 PM

                    Gen. Phillip Sheridan, the Union general who was put in charge of Texas during Reconstruction, was reputed to have written, "If I owned Hell and Texas, I'd live in Hell and rent out Texas."

                    I suspect that he was talking about the climate. But one never knows. Food in Seattle is orders of magnitude better than in Texas. And I say that as a live-long Texas native who ismore fond of Texas cuisine than the average Texan.

                    1. re: Mike C. Miller
                      foiegras Sep 28, 2013 08:43 AM

                      To the general, I have only this to say ... I hear the company is better in Texas.

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