Where We’re Eating in Lakewood

The pastor at La Banqueta is a steal at $1.35. (Photo by Rich Vana)

The pastor at La Banqueta is a steal at $1.35. (Photo by Rich Vana)

As the prospect of another week rears its head, we set our sights on the comforting confines of Lakewood. This week, we’re going to let our imaginations wander into this East Dallas enclave’s wealth of dining options.  Whether you live in Lakewood or are just wondering what sorts of viddles might be found within its borders, we’ll suggest a few destinations that might help provide a little culinary light to the Monday gloom.

Gold Rush Cafe

Fancy and upscale weren’t used a whole lot when they were designing the Gold Rush Cafe, and the restaurant is all the better for it. It appears the effort went instead into the food, where their breakfasts satisfy and satiate. The John Wayne breakfast is an ideal illustration of this philosophy; this dish is no beauty queen – it’s all business. Two eggs covered with salsa verde ontop of extra crispy hash browns and chorizo (you get the choice between bacon, breakfast sausage or chorizo) all served on a flour tortilla comprise this breakfast of champions. But beware: the salsa verde isn’t there just to look good; it might put a little sweat on the brow, too.

The John Wayne at Gold Rush Cafe is no beauty queen; it means business. (Photo by Rich Vana)

The John Wayne at Gold Rush Cafe is no beauty queen; it means business. (Photo by Rich Vana)

Tacos La Banqueta

There are several Tacos la Banquetas around the Metroplex, but the quality of their tacos is certainly no worse for the wear. We give a nod to The Taco Trail as we mention La Banqueta; the suadero – or brisket – tacos are a thing of culinary beauty, and their  lengua and cabeza (tongue and head, respectively) round out their ‘holy trinity’.

But we shudder to think you’d stop at three tacos – they’re all worth a shot, and at $1.35 and a few bites each, trying all seven (tripe, bistek, pastor and chorizo round out the offerings) might leave you full and in need of some Tums, but it will have been a thoroughly enjoyable experience getting there.

Ali Baba Mediterranean Grill

Go from Mexican tacos to the Mediterranean if you feel like a little culinary world tour; at $12.99 a head, Ali Baba’s buffet isn’t cheap, but it’s one of the best around. Kofta kebabs (ground, seasoned lamb on a skewer) and stuffed grape leaves highlight this Mediterranean smorgasboard, where gyro meat, tzatizki sauce, baba ghanoush and falafel all make an appearance. The solid lunch crowd prevents the food from getting stale in the chafing dishes, where the variety is as impressive as the taste. They’ve got a sit-down menu for dinner, too (at all three locations), if your craving for tabbouleh hits later in the afternoon.

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