A Guide to Eating in Carrollton, Which Is Much Nicer Than It Sounds
As a resident of Carrollton, I feel like we get a raw deal in the media. We're not in any of those fancy things about the neighborhoods, because there are apparently just too many regions of Plano, our sprawling neighbor. Bizarrely little is written about our thriving K-Town, our downtown is walkable, and it's a 20-minute commute if you ignore rush hour and your car's suspension can survive I-35.
Kimchi: Stylish Korean Kitchen via Facebook Kimchi Kitchen's cold-smoked pork belly
We also, among the many, many chains, have some hidden gems of restaurants that you might not have visited. While the downtown has a couple of decent local chains (Twisted Root and Babe's), the sprawling northern 'burbs, where Carrollton meets Lewisville meets Plano meets Coppell, is where the real action is.
First of all, you would have to be literally insane not to enjoy Omi (2625 Old Denton Road #326) and its dazzling array of Korean barbecue, all of which you cook yourself at your little table-grill thing. They even have an all-you-can-eat meat buffet, which suggests this is a chain-style quantity over quality. That is not the case. The brisket, pork, chicken, and so forth is all marinated beautifully and brought to the table needing only the lightest little bit of heating. Oh, and it's $18.99 per person. For infinity delicious meat. One of the bargains of DFW.
Next door to Omi is the recently opened Kimchi: Stylish Korean Kitchen, which has a cold smoking unit built into the front of the restaurant, and subsequently a delicious smell that's not quite barbecue but not quite not barbecue. Or something. They serve a lot of things that, with my somewhat limited knowledge of Korean, I cannot pronounce or indeed understand, but several visits there have been winners every time, with some weird fusion on top, such as bulgogi tortillas, and my stepson's favorite, tuna-mayonnaise Korean fried rice. No, me neither. Their cold smoked pork belly, which features in many of the dishes, is freakin' delicious.
Just over the other side of many, many lanes of PGBT is Al-Markaz (1205 W Trinity Mills Rd, #112), an Indian/Pakistani grocery store with a little restaurant built into the back. You can order a curry and, while you're waiting, walk slowly through aisles piled high with whatever the hell these aisles are piled high with. My tip at Al-Markaz is the chicken tikka masala, which is just addictive, but for the more adventurous there's a brain masala too. You'll find yourself going back a lot, especially as a curry will only set you back about seven or eight bucks.
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