Category Archives: Restaurants

Something to taco ’bout

When life gives you lemons, eat tacos.

But not just any tacos. Head to La Nueva Fresh & Hot on Webb Chapel Road in Dallas. While you wait for your tacos, watch the tortilla machine crank out a never-ending supply of those super-soft carriers of all manner of fillings, those foldable wonders that feed the soul.

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My tasty trio: rajas (roasted poblano peppers), frijol refrito (refried beans) and papas (potato). The one with the green chile peeking out is the rajas taco. Choose from corn or flour tortillas. I went with corn. Yummm ūüėÄ

I eyed these for next time: nopales  (cactus) and Mexican papas!

On the chalkboard you’ll find several vegetarian and vegan choices (unusual for an authentic Mexican spot) as well as meat-based ones. The other board lists a ton of meal options.

Take home tubs of fresh red or green salsa and cactus salad from the refrigerator case. And a stack of tortillas, of course.

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Just two bucks!

La Nueva Fresh & Hot has a few tables and chairs if you want to eat in. I’m not a bit surprised it has 4.5 stars on Yelp. I give it five.

So laugh off the lemons and tuck in, my friend.

 

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Ethio-paean

The friendly folks at the family-owned Merkato Grocery and Cafe, an Ethiopian spot in Murphy, Texas, seem keenly aware of the adage that you eat with your eyes first.  Proof: their Vegetarian Sampler!

20170715_192154Three kinds of lentil dishes, collard greens, beets, a potato/carrot stew, green beans, and cabbage sit atop a fluffy injera, a pancake made from fermented teff batter. And the basket holds even more injera, all rolled up and ready to eat.

The injera’s soft, porous texture makes it perfect for scooping up the various heaps of serious yum. Plus, its similarity to the Indian¬†dosa¬†puts it in the category of comfort food for me.

 

Lunch for lexophiles

Downtown Dallas offers quite the array of dining options. Three restaurants stand out for their very creative names.

Tortaco, on Ross, melds torta (sandwich, in Mexican cuisine) and taco (a folded, filled tortilla) for a playful portmanteau.
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Living up to its name, the restaurant serves tortas, tacos, and more.
wp-1488242032506.jpgThe Relleno and the Cali Breakfast sans bacon make for a tasty two-taco lunch.

Which Wich uses alliteration to delicious effect.
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Which wich would you like? Step in, grab a brown bag and use the red Sharpies provided to customize your order. Give the cashier your bag, pay, and wait for your just-the-way-you-like-it wich.

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While you can’t go wrong with any of the veggie wiches, the menu includes¬†other types — Turkey, Chicken, Italian, and more — if you’re so inclined.

Finally, the punny gem that inspired this post.

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The Hospitality Sweet, on Ervay
Their tagline: Sweet cakes. Good food.
Based on their chow-worthy Chipotle Black Bean Quinoa Wrap, I’m willing to bet their desserts are equally delish.

Sweetness permeates every aspect of this lovely place.

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Roll with it, baby!

For most problems in life, I like to use my noodle. But sometimes, it takes another’s noodle‚ÄĒor¬†noodles, to be precise‚ÄĒto soften a tough situation. Enter Master Wok. This family-owned Plano restaurant at¬†the southeast corner of Plano Parkway and Jupiter Road¬†cranks out consistently good¬†Chinese. Among the best I’ve had.

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I’ve tried the Vegetable Lo Mein (noodle-icious), Vegetables With Hunan Sauce (loaded with zucchini, broccoli, celery, carrots, water chestnuts, baby corn), and House Bean Curd (pictured). For just a bit more coin, I ordered¬†extra broccoli and an egg roll to up the¬†ooh-mph.

House Bean Curd! So damn delicious and deeply satisfying. What yin-yang technique gives the tofu its crisp exterior and pillowy interior? How is the broccoli bright green but the food blistering hot? How do the brocco trees soak up and hold just enough sauce to then rain salt and spice and other things nice on my taste buds?

I’m afraid I don’t have answers. I’m rich nevertheless. Just look at my good fortune:

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Come wok with me.

Seriously seeking stir-fry? Or stuck in a bit of a soup? Get a roll with it, baby!

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Post title inspired by this Steve Winwood hit