At the Buddhist Center of Dallas, One of Dallas' Best-Kept Noodle Secrets

The dining scene at the Buddhist Center of Dallas strikes me as one of those things you either haven't heard about or wish you revisited more often, if you could ever remember that it existed. The temple doesn't have a PR engine, they're only open for noodle slurping one day a week, and the location is buried in a residential neighborhood off of Forest Lane. But as soon as you walk through the gate you'll wonder why you don't come here more, especially when the smell of fish sauce tickles your nose while trailing a breeze.

There's a garden to one side, with a pond filled with koi, but you won't notice -- your nose is dragging you like a little kid to the back parking lot, trying to figure out what that fish sauces ended up in. It turns out, everything. And most everything is delicious.

The pork on a stick you see pictured about is straightforward and honest, but the sausage is a bit more interesting. It's filled with pork as most sausages are, but there's also some sticky rice folded in, which gives the whole thing a more substantial chew.

I tried wide noodles stir fried with beef that had a bit of heat, and some fried rice that was plenty moist and had real personality. If you're a fan of bubble tea, it's here too, and this version is a bit less candy-sweet than the cups you'll get at most strip malls.

Yes, why don't we come out here more often? The answer is likely the place is only open for dining on Sunday from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., a narrow window consider when you first open your eyes in bed. If you can manage, though, the spread is worth dragging yourself out of the house for. You'll know I'm right as soon as you step out of your car to people milling about everywhere and you catch your first whiff.

Buddha Center of Dallas, 8484 Stults Rd., (214) 349-1998, watdallas.com

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