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Non-chain Plano/Frisco restaurants?

  • c

Would love to find some good non-chain restaurants both for dining as a couple and with my kids. Burgers, Italian, Asian, Tex-Mex in Plano/Frisco. I'd love any suggestions! The chains are fine too, but want to try some non-chains too.


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  1. In Plano:

    Burgers -- Snuffers (just barely a chain)

    Italian -- Covino's

    Tex-Mex -- Aparicio's, El Norte and Luna de Noche (also just barely a chain)

    Asian -- First Chinese Barbecue (also just barely a chain)

    Locations and descriptions -- www.guidelive.com

    12 Replies
    1. re: Kirk

      In Plano, I would add to the above:
      Max Grill for the adults.
      Mario's Chiquita for Mexican

      1. re: Plano Rose

        Never tried either, Rose, but I will now. Thanks.

        1. re: Plano Rose

          Thanks for the suggestions, Rose. I have never even heard of Max Grill. Love finding out about places completely new to me. I'll guidelive it and check it out!

          Haven't been to Mario's in ages. Time to give them another spin. Thanks for the suggestion!

          1. re: Christiannie

            Oops! When you Guide Live, the correct name is Mac's Bar and Grill.

        2. re: Kirk

          Thanks for those ideas, Kirk.

          We are fans of Snuffer's from the Greenville days, but don't think of the Plano location. We'll have to go by there again. We frequent Scotty P's for burgers mostly these days. I also heard of a place called JC's or something that is supposed to be good. Any experience with that?

          Sadly, we are not Covino's fans. I wish we were since it is a perfect "neighborhood" atmosphere. Any other Italian ideas like that? I'm sure there have to be some.

          Never tried First Chinese or El Norte. We'll have to give those a try. Just tried Dos Charros at the recommendation of a friend as a "little spot". It was decent, not great though and the service the night we went was terrible. Aparacio's is a place we just tried too. Yum, getting hungry just thinking about it. And next door to the tortilla factory too...

          Thanks for your suggestions!

          1. re: Chrisitannie

            There's always Maggiano's for Italian which is technically a chain I suppose, but it's kid friendly!


            1. re: TheSmarterGourmet

              I do love Maggiano's - but it is definitely a big company chain (Brinker)! :)

              1. re: Christiannie

                What makes a chain a "chain"? Is it corporate ownwership, multiple locations, central management, commissarying (I don't have time to look that word up)ingredients? I mean, is "Bob's a "chain" because there are three of them? I'm just curious.


                1. re: TheSmarterGourmet

                  Ideally, I am looking for restaurants where the decisions are made by the small group of owners, not a big company. I am not opposed to multiple locations at all (just makes it more convenient!) as long as the feel of the place is still personal. I definitely see and enjoy the benefits of chains, but would love to support some smaller "mom and pop" (for lack of a better description) restaurants. For example, we supported Santa Rosa (Spring Creek & Coit) for quite some time simply b/c they were run by a friendly husband and wife trying to make a go of it - and the food was pretty good. We haven't gone there in the last several months though b/c the food had really gone downhill in our opinion (and the ownership changed too). We go to Soprano's in that same area trying to support the "little guy" some too. We eat at chains just as much, but would love some little hole in the wall places (even with multiple locations)that are actually good food too. I'm thinking Herrera's in Carrollton as an example.

            2. re: Chrisitannie

              We have a JC's in Allen (as well as a Scotty P's) and the original is in Plano. I like JC's much, much, much, much better than Scotty P's. The meat tastes better and the people are mucho friendly.

              Try it and see what you think.

              Mr. Bean

              1. re: Mr. Bean

                Thanks for your recommendation. I will have to give that a try. I like the idea of Scotty P's (meets my wish to support "the little guy") but am ready to try a new place for burgers too. I'm assuming it's kid friendly? Seems almost everything in Plano is....

              2. re: Chrisitannie

                Let me guess ... You're not from New York, are you? New Yorkers, of a certain age at least, find that Covino's is like the food they grew up with.

            3. s

              How about Naan and Penang for Asian. Both are tasty and right up there near/on the edge of Frisco.

              11 Replies
              1. re: simply_victoria

                I've been really disappointed with Penang on my last couple of visits. But Naan is good...if you can commit to 90 minutes for lunch.

                Other good Asian places: Jin Beh and Korean Garden (for Korean), and Pho Que Huong for Vietnamese.

                Another excellent mini-chain for hamburgers (in both Frisco and Plano) -- Scotty P's.

                1. re: Kirk

                  Two more Asian places we've yet to try! Guess I know what we're doing for dinner tonight!!! thanks for the suggestions.

                  We are Scotty P's fans too. Haven't tried the new location in Plano yet though. Have you? It's right by the Mama's Pizza that my kids love. At least the pizza's better than a Cici's!!

                  1. re: Christiannie

                    I grew up on Mama's pizza, I was in there the other day... I think it still looks the same. (Even the Beer signs haven't changed.) Good pizza.

                  2. re: Kirk

                    When I ate there tonight, I realized the restaurant is Jin Mi, not Jin Beh. And Simply Victoria, they do serve Bi Bim Bap in a stone bowl, with delightfully crisp rice at the bottom of the bowl. My only complaint about it is that the egg is cooked through and buried in the rice, rather than fried on top of the dish.

                    1. re: Kirk

                      Pho Que Huong has so many locations these days that I'd definitely consider it a chain. While it isn't corporatized, I repeatedly get served bland, mediocre food everytime I go. And even with my extremely low expectations - it still manages to disappoint me everytime.

                      1. re: Kirk

                        IMO the chain Pho Que Huong is not so good, I recently found Pho Mac parker/independence next to little ceasers pizza, and it is so much better!! from the pho to my fav bun, vermicelli noodles with grilled pork/egg rolls, veggies is so delicious and healthy.. only bad thing is they close at 9pm during the week and i eat late..

                        my fav for burgers in plano is fillmore downtown, open late, guiness cheese burger is very nice.

                      2. re: simply_victoria

                        Never tried either of those. We've been stuck in the Cathy's Wok and Pei Wei rut for awhile. I do love Japon though for the Hibachi fun with the family - and very reasonable lunches too.

                        I will add those to the list to try. Love all these suggestions. Thank you!!

                        1. re: Christiannie

                          If you like Pei Wei, then you might like this:


                          It's new from Paul Fleming, the man that brought us both P. F. Chang's & Pei Wei. There aren't any here yet, but I'm sure it's only a matter of time.


                          1. re: TheSmarterGourmet

                            Looks good. Thanks for giving me the heads up.

                            As far as chains go for casual family dining, we are always up for Pei Wei. Less likely to do PF Chang simply b/c of the wait with a Pei Wei right around the corner. Surprising for an asian restaurant, but PF Chang serves a great multi-layer chocolate cake - definitely split for 4!

                            1. re: Christiannie

                              Ahh yes, the "Great Wall of China"! Good times.


                            2. re: TheSmarterGourmet

                              "It's new from Paul Fleming, the man that brought us both P. F. Chang's & Pei Wei. There aren't any here yet, but I'm sure it's only a matter of time."

                              In my humble opinion, that would be the third of the four horsemen of the Apocalypse.

                        2. t

                          Mignons in Plano (off Preston). Nice decor, large patio and a good menu.


                          6 Replies
                          1. re: TheSmarterGourmet

                            Definitely not kid-friendly, though.

                            1. re: Kirk

                              No, but she did want a good "couples" place also. It's got a nice charm.


                              1. re: TheSmarterGourmet

                                Yes, I understood that from her first message and was simply pointing out that Mignon was not a place to take the kids.

                                Mignon is a good place, and their steak-frites is among the best in Dallas. Their fish can be superb, too.

                            2. re: TheSmarterGourmet

                              Yum. I haven't been to Mignon in quite some time. I am so glad you reminded me of that place!

                              In that same location, has anyone tried the new Cafe Italia yet? I'm ready to try it out.

                              I also went to Nicola's the other day (Shops at Legacy). Pretty good food, attentive service, fun atmosphere. Also nice for drinks at night. Their signature drink (per the server) of blood orange bellinis were pretty lackluster though.

                              1. re: Christiannie

                                Haven't been to Cafe Italia, but while we're on the subject of the Lakeside Center -- have you tried the weekend brunch at Kathleen's? The "Eggs from Hell" are really nice.

                                1. re: Kirk

                                  Haven't done brunch there yet, but have been there for both lunch and dinner. I am so glad that Kathleen's and many other good restaurants are moving up north!! I am really excited that Fireside Pies is going to open in the new phase of Shops at Legacy. Shops at Legacy in general has such a fun atmosphere and lots of good restaurants.

                                  I'll put Eggs from Hell on my list of to-dos. DH is a big brunch fan, so he'll appreciate your recommendation too. :)

                            3. Greek - Zorba's on the NW corner of Preston and Plano Parkway, Excellent!

                              Italian - Fortuna Grill, new place in Frisco on Gaylord Pkwy, next to the CompUSA. Really good and I know...I'm from NJ.

                              Sandwiches, misc. - Kelly's Eastside on Ave. K., I've never been disappointed. The smoke their own meats too.

                              5 Replies
                              1. re: Raynickben

                                Love your suggestions. I have eaten at Zorba's a few times for lunch and dinner and enjoyed it. Greek is good. :) Awfully small space though, so there can be a wait. Worth it. I also love that it is BYOB!

                                Along the lines of Greek, we also love Kosta's at Park & Ohio. They catered my sister's wedding years ago, and it was great. Dimitri runs it and he is super friendly and the food is always good. They are very nice to children too so that is good for couples or families. I also like Tasty Greek (or is it Greek Isles? forget the name)off 75/Parker. Very good dolmas and avagalemeno (how do you sp that delish soup?!)

                                Have not tried Fortuna - haven't even noticed it yet. I definitely will try it now though. Thanks for letting me know. If you're from NJ and telling me, it's got to be good! Is it more Terrilli's (adults!) or more Covino's (family)? Just like to know what type of place I'm headed to before we go.

                                In that same area, I really like Tres Meridas for lunch. It's named for 3 different cities named Merida and they have cuisine from all 3 - Venezuela, Mexican and I forget the 3rd. Their dinner menu is different and, for me, not nearly as good. Lunch is inexpensive and nice though. They even have misters on their patio, I think.

                                We are friends with one of the guys who owns Kelly's. I can't wait to tell him that they got recommended on chowhound! We obviously love the place. Glad you do too. :)

                                thanks for all your good ideas!

                                1. re: Christiannie

                                  Fortuna Grill is more Covino's then Terrilli's. It gets crowded early so if you are bringing the kids go around 5:30 (Friday and Saturdays). It's BYOB.

                                  I like Tres Meridas too. I hope they make it.

                                  1. re: Christiannie

                                    Have you been to Zorba's since they took over the space next door? They've more than doubled the size of the place, and it feels far less crowded these days.

                                    P.S. The third Merida (and the original one) is in Spain. My Spanish friends and I always laugh at the name ... a slight typo turns the name into a really shitty restaurant.

                                  2. re: Raynickben

                                    I can't believe nobody has mentioned Jaspers Gourmet Grill! Great food and bar! A very trendy and happening place for Plano.

                                    1. re: Foxyplano

                                      I'm not a big fan of Jasper's myself, which is actually turning into a chain. I believe one is going up in the Woodlands. My experience there was so middle of the road, I really have had no reason to go back.

                                  3. When I first moved to Plano, a friend suggested we go to Cafe Vienna, and I have to say it was delicious! My only gripe (other than I couldn't pronounce the dishes to save my life) was that the pretzel bread was rather chintzy for the price. But you order up the Butcher's plate and cold mug of Warsteiner, and you're certainly fgood to go.

                                    1. I love Jaspers! I didn't realize they were about to open their 4th location. But, my experience in Plano was great! The shrimp and grits and mac n cheese! yummy!

                                      1. Plano: Mango Thai (they have one other location in Dallas)-casual
                                        Olea (Mediterranean-upscale)
                                        Nicolas-Italian, upscale

                                        Frisco-Bonnie Ruths

                                        1. Kelly's Eastside has great burgers and BBQ.

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

                                          1. If I may tag onto this stream, we are late dinners and are having trouble finding places, independent, or chains if nothing else, that are open later, ie past 9pm during the weekdays... that is not IHOP. thanks!

                                            3 Replies
                                            1. re: lizlemon

                                              Mannys Tex-Mex Grill. Very old-school, located in a converted house on Main Street in Frisco. Just down the street from Randys Steakhouse, which is a high-end steakhouse and one of the best kept secrets in the Metroplex!!!

                                              1. re: lizlemon

                                                Kelly's Eastside in old downtown Plano is open until midnight or later.

                                                1. re: luniz

                                                  thanks for the suggestion.. went there late sat afternoon, very nice people, very attentive service, good salsa and queso, and pecan pie was great.. thanks!

                                              2. Martini Park is now open for lunch (and serves late) and is soo good. Not what you'd expect.