First Look

Maple Street Food Hall Is a Foodie’s Heaven Near the Medical District

Anisha Holla
Vegetable tacos with prickly pear cactus at La Calle.
Maple Street Food Hall near the medical district offers tacos, Lao cuisine and even a full-service bar all under one roof.

Right as you walk in you'll see the colorful La Calle. The Mexican restaurant serves classics like tacos, bowls, burritos and quesadillas. Start with a glass of agua fresca ($3), which comes in flavors such as  tamarind and Jamaica. Once you’ve settled down with a drink, order a cup of the cheese elotes ($4.50). The shareable starter comes with corn kernels mixed into a creamy white cheese sauce topped with a layer of crumbled cotija cheese to add some nice texture contrast.

Try the nopales tacos next, mini corn tortillas stuffed with sautéed Mexican prickly pear cactus. The suadero tacos are another popular menu item, which come filled with fried pork belly. Tacos here are sized for the individual and are just under $2 each. You may want to order two or three for a full meal.
click to enlarge
The red curry from Mai Eats inside Maple Street food hall.
Anisha Holla
Mai Eats Lao Kitchen is another vendor at the food hall, which first became popular at the Dallas Farmers Market. Founded by Anita and Marcus Dangerfield, the Laotian restaurant offers a standard menu with less-common cuisines rotating in and out.

“We’ve traveled all over the world to five different continents,” Marcus says. “We just wanted to bring all the flavors we’ve tried back to Dallas.”

Whatever your preferences are, try Mai Eats’ red curry, a traditional Lao dish that comes with a serving of rice in a bowl of spicy red coconut curry.
click to enlarge
Fried spring rolls at Mai Eats
Anisha Holla
The spring rolls are also a specialty Mai Eats and come deep-fried and stuffed with beef or vegetables. Once you’ve tried the staples, venture off and try some of the other globally inspired dishes, like a plate of Indian wings or a bowl of Filipino macaroni salad. Just don’t get too attached; dishes are switched out weekly.

click to enlarge
A pineapple mocktail is make with soursop, guava and pineapple juice.
Anisha Holla

Mai Eats also doubles as a juice bar, with an interesting array of tropical fruit drinks. The pineapple mocktail is an icy blend of soursop, guava and pineapple. You might also like the watermelon juice, a blend of whole watermelon and crushed ice. All drinks are served in the fruit and most are around $10 to $15.

A full service bar by the name the Crooked Tree Bar and Beer Garden also sits inside the food hall, serving up a large collection of internationally inspired beers and unique drinks. If your drink fix hasn’t been satisfied yet by the other two vendors, try a frozen and spiked pink lemonade here.

The newly opened food hall has plans of expanding with more vendors, including a sushi place that’s set to open by mid-August. With a prime location in Dallas’ medical district, Maple Street Food Hall is perhaps the perfect solution to your cravings: for Mexican, Laotian or even just some after-work drinks.

Maple Street Food Hall, 4711 Maple Ave., 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday - Saturday, Closed Sunday