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Al Markaz

1205 W. Trinity Mills Rd.
Carrollton, TX 75006
Critics' Pick
Al Markaz +

Alison McLean Chicken Karahi


  • 11 a.m.-10:30 p.m. Monday-Thursday 11 a.m.-11:30 p.m. Friday-Saturday 10 a.m.-10:30 p.m. Sunday
  • $
  • Wheelchair accessible, Kid Friendly, Takeout
  • Lunch, Dinner
  • No Alcohol
  • Parking Lot Available
  • Reservations Accepted, Reservations Not Necessary
For more than 23 years, Al Markaz has been an institution in the Dallas-area Indian and Pakistani communities. Some of the original employees are still here, and the lunch combo deal is still an outrageously good deal at just $7.50. The restaurant has expanded to include a spacious grocery with an excellent selection of South Asian snacks, spices and sodas. It’s especially fun to visit in the evening during Ramadan and watch dozens of families arrive simultaneously, ordering mountainous baskets of fluffy naan, bowls of lentil stew, nihari (slow-cooked beef shank) and probably the best butter chicken within a dozen miles.

Top pick: That $7.50 lunch combo includes a piece of naan and appetizer portions of three different main courses. You choose the mains; we recommend the nihari and dal palak (spinach and lentils).

The downside: Al Markaz’s pastry items, like samosas, are good when they’re fresh. Problem is, they’re very rarely served fresh. Also, if you ask a dozen regulars about the biryani, you’ll get a dozen different opinions about whether or not it’s worth ordering.

Fun fact: Al Markaz is one of the oldest restaurants on this list. When it began, the pick-three lunch combo was just $6.

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