10 Great Global Restaurants on DFW's Most Diverse Street
Mofongo (mashed plantains) with fried pork and salad at Adobo.
Puerto Rico: Adobo Puerto Rican Cafe
3013 N. Belt Line Road, Irving, 214-783-4858
Can’t make a spring break trip this year? Stop by Adobo, a welcoming and beautifully decorated restaurant specializing in the food of America’s almost-bankrupt almost-state. Mofongo is a house specialty, and they make their own sofrito, too. Pastries and a variety of excellent grilled meats, including octopus, round out the menu.
Side note: Everest, Rudy’s, Hanaki, Mr. Max, African Village and Adobo are all on one jam-packed street corner, where Belt Line intersects Rochelle. Is it the most eccentric street corner in all Dallas dining? You decide.
The brisket empanada from Empa Mundo is small enough you could probably try sneaking it into a movie theater. We do not condone this.
Argentina: Empa Mundo
3977 N. Belt Line Road, Irving, 972-746-4516
A tiny slice of Argentina that's best for takeout, Empa Mundo is one of the friendliest restaurants in Dallas. Two visits and you’re already good friends with the owners, who focus on a short but satisfying list of empanadas. There’s a fantastic chorizo pastry with peppers and cheese and an excitingly fresh tuna empanada, but the real show-stealer is the Texas brisket empanada, which does the family’s adopted state proud. Oh, and you need to pick up one of the dessert empanadas with fruit filling like guava or sweet potato. Even if you’re full now, you’ll need the guava 'nada later.
An APN-certified pie. Can you tell the difference?
Southern Italy: Cavalli Pizza
3601 Regent Blvd., Irving, 972-915-0001
A handful of DFW-area pizza joints, like Il Cane Rosso, are certified by the Associazione Pizzaiuoli Napoletani as serving authentic Neapolitan pizzas. Cavalli, way out in the north stretches of Irving, was the very first, with Paolo Cavalli seeking out the certification as part of the growing process for himself and his chefs. And Cavalli Pizza hasn’t rested on its laurels: These are still terrific pies, with crisp thin crusts and flavorful topping combinations.
The po'boy at Po Melvin's. Rich boys don't know what they're missing.
Dallas Observer file
'Murica: Po Melvin’s
4070 N. Belt Line Road, Irving, 972-255-3919
In our world tour, let’s not forget home. Po Melvin’s is good old soul cooking from the heart of the South. Smothered fried pork chops? You bet. Simple, purist gumbo? You got it. A big basket of fried catfish, hush puppies and French fries? Hell yeah, and your catfish will be flawlessly cooked.
Po Melvin's appeal is best explained in this true-life exchange with a waiter: "Should I get my pork chop grilled or fried?" He snorted and asked, "What kind of question is that?" Fried it is.
Come at noon on a weekday and Po Melvin’s will be jam-packed with the office lunch crowd, for good reason. It’s a comfort food classic, and after a whirlwind global tour along the rest of Belt Line, maybe you’ll need it. Followed by a nap.
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