Hey UTA! Here's Your Guide to Cheap Grub in Arlington
Classes at UT Arlington started late last week and everyone is excited about the new fancy-pants $160 million College Park District, which includes a 7,000-seat center for sports, concerts and general hoopla (like commencement ceremonies). The 20-acre area on the east side of campus also has new dorms and "lofts" flanked by small restaurants, and since it's a state-mandate to teach kids about commuting, there's also a huge parking garage.
LDD Chicken Schawarma at Prince Lebanese
With more than 33,000 students each semester, the area around central Arlington is growing out of its pants so quickly you honestly wouldn't even recognize it. In what use to be a row of used car lots and furniture shops (well, there are still a lot of those), there's a bevy of new restaurants, like Twisted Root, Flying Fish, Babe's and soon, a Torchy's and Freebirds. All are within walking distance of UTA. Not that anyone would walk, we're just saying they could.
But, in an effort to make UTA and central Arlington feel more like home to all the displaced eager-to-learn young souls, we've put together a rough guide to some off-the-beaten path restaurants that will be kind to their thin wallet, or insufficient debit card.
Shipley's (501 E. Abram)
Everything you'll ever need to know about nursing a hangover can be found for about $3 at Shipley's Donuts, which is just north of campus. And the drive thru is so very handy. If they're not sold out of the apple fritters, buy five. Thank me later.
Beirut Café (1201 S. Cooper)
Aesthetics might not be a high point at this slightly beaten-down restaurant that hugs Cooper just south of campus, but don't let that cloud your judgment. You must go here, and you must have the lentil soup. You're like, "What? Lentil soup? C'mon!" Trust me on this one; something magical is happening in this light green elixir. Unicorn tears? Perhaps. Once I sneaked a peek in the kitchen to see if there really was a unicorn, and all I caught a glimpse of was a full black burka cooking up a storm. Take a boatload of breath mints and start with the soup, and then anything else that grabs your attention on them menu, because it's all great.
Bethany: Boba Tea House (705 W. Park Row)
This is both a tea house and restaurant, but the big draw is the boba tea, which is also sometimes called bubble tea, pearl tea or milk tea. Or, how about boba milk tea with tapioca pearls? The menu has more options than a Scantron. The owners are really nice and they update the menu often, keeping things fresh. This spot gets crowded at lunch and on the evenings, but the boba milk bubble pearl tea-thingies are worth it.