Dallas and its suburbs: More than just national food chains

This post is going to deviate a little from our usual topics of entrepreneurship and Laotian cuisine. It is still about food, though; that much will always remain true about us. 

I recently read an article from the Atlantic. The author wrote about coming back to her hometown in the suburbs of Dallas and recounted her culinary experience while traveling through North Texas. She mentioned of a couple of local spots and chains and recommended must-stop places like Taco Bell, Chick-Fil-A and In-N-Out Burger.

I'm sure the author's heart was in the right place but her article painted a picture of North Texas as this urban sprawl that is devoid of culture or diversity of experiences, which couldn't be further from the truth. In fact, I truly believe that we have one of the best culinary scenes in the country. The juxtaposition of ethnic restaurants next to delicious BBQ joints is the new face of Texas that should be highlighted and celebrated.

I have my own list of must-eat places if you ever find yourself in the Dallas-Fort Worth area suburbs.

LA Burger - This local burger chain, mostly in the North Dallas suburbs, was founded by two brothers who happen to be LA transplants. Their mission was to introduce Texas to the LA Korean fusion food scene and they do not disappoint. They fly a little under the radar as far as recognition but they are easily one of my favorite burger places to frequent. I recommend getting one of their burgers along with their K-style fries.

Meat U Anywhere BBQ - Pecan Lodge or Heim BBQ would be my top 2 BBQ spots in DFW but Meat U Anywhere is also right up there. Keeping with the suburban theme, this was an easy choice to include in my list as they have two locations that are 15-20 minutes from DFW Airport (Trophy Club and Grapevine).

Whataburger - The Atlantic reporter would like you to go to Taco Bell when you're in town but if I had to pick a fast food joint that is quintessentially Texas, it would be Whataburger. I would be willing to wager that 99 out of 100 times, other Texans would agree as well. It's so much more than just a burger joint, too. You can have a chicken biscuit or a taquito, and you can build a burger "just like you like it." Whataburger is ubiquitous in Texas, so you can find them in almost any suburban city.  

Carrollton - This is a city and not a specific restaurant. I chose this suburb because it has literally hundreds of Korean restaurants in a very concentrated area. Not many people realize that North Texas has one of the largest Korean-American populations in America. There is also an older "K-town" in Dallas but the newer Korea Town in Carollton is easier to navigate, in my opinion, since there is so much packed into one area. FYI, you haven't lived life if you haven't tried Korean BBQ or Korean Fried Chicken.

Of course, there many other places in the DFW area that I could have listed. We have every continent represented in our culinary melting pot, and we encourage you to branch out and fall in love with something new!

-Cliff Douangdara