When people talk about Allen, they mostly talk about that stupid Allen Eagles football stadium. Which is understandable, given that they spent $60 million on it and the concrete wasn't even poured right. But Allen is more than football, no matter what people say. More importantly, it is where the closest Super Target to me is.
Also: There's lots of great food.
The place I hit up most frequently is probably Pho is For Lovers (939 W Stacy Rd). A lot of Allen pho enthusiasts swear by Crystal Pho, but I swear that Pho is For Lovers has the hottest, tastiest pho and the crispiest egg rolls. I get an order of each to go, plus one of their delicious Vietnamese iced coffees for the road. If pho isn't for you, try the bahn mi. You really can't go wrong.
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Silver Thai (906 W McDermott Dr.) dishes out delicious curry both in their well appointed dining room and for carry-out. Look for the "Bags of Gold" (potato, chicken, carrot, and yellow curry in a wonton wrapper), and make sure you order up a notch on their spiciness scale. I made the mistake of ordering my curry at a 5 on a scale of 1-7 (7 being the hottest). The woman convinced me that a 6 was very spicy, and I got nervous and bumped it down. The 5 was tame. Never underestimate yourself, people.
Maybe you've found yourself burning money down in Watter's Creek and just need a place to chill for awhile before spending what's left of your paycheck. Park yourself inside Frogg Coffee Bar & Creperie (832 Market St.). Their espresso drinks are excellent, and there are free drip coffee refills if you plan on staying for awhile. They sling crepes and other baked goods, too, and have a charming outdoor seating area that looks out over the Watter's Creek lawn. If you're still in Watter's Creek later in the day, hit up the Allen location of Village Burger Bar (957 Garden Park Dr.) for a beer and something more substantial than crepes.
A far cry from the carefully manicured appearance of Watter's Creek, La Finca Chiquita (107 N Butler Dr.) is a sketchy-looking taco joint in a less-traveled part of town. But it delivers some of the best Tex-Mex this side of the PGBT. Oscar, son of the original owners of La Finca, is always hanging around to make sure you're happy. And you will be. They hand-roll their enchiladas and bring three of their homemade signature salsas out with your chips. It's Tex-Mex heaven.
Besides all of the above options, Allen is also home to outposts for some of the best Dallas-based restaurants. La Duni and Twisted Root have both been doing well for several years in The Village at Fairview, and more recently Liberty Burger and Cane Rosso have opened new locations. There's also a Rudy's Bar-BQ, where I take out-of-state guests to experience Texas. They serve everything in crates and you eat off of butcher's paper and one friend was so overwhelmed by the amount of meat and sheer Texas-ness of it all that she loudly proclaimed "This is AMERICA!" at the cash register. Little pink houses and giant beef ribs for you and me.