Dallas' Most Interesting Restaurants No. 17: Zaguan

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Leading up to our annual Best of Dallas® issue, we're counting down the 50 most interesting restaurants in Dallas. These spots bring something unique or compelling to the city's dining scene, feeding both your appetite and soul.

Zaguan is an interesting restaurant and café for many reasons, but the best of them is the arepas, which are hard to come by in Dallas, especially when they're cooked this well. Grab a seat, order a beer and get ready for one of the city's best and most diminutive sandwiches.

Instead of bread, expect masa, like a thick tortilla with a crunchy crust. Once the masa cakes are griddled, they're sliced open and stuffed with your choice of sandwich innards before they're toasted again. Choose from rich, stewed beef, chicken or meaty mushroom with plenty of cheese. The best is the reina pepiada, a chicken salad bound with avocado an mayo.

Arepas make the perfect light lunch, but if you're hungrier there are larger sandwiches waiting at Zaguan. Their namesake stuffs that same strewed beef in a freshly baked roll with cheese, lettuce and tomato. It's served with a thin salsa that makes a fine sandwich condiment. Use all of it.  

Zaguan opens at 7:30 a.m. every day for something called "morning people." These early risers have access to a case full of baked sweets, croissants and other baked goods, and strong, no-nonsense coffee that's best consumed black. Morning, noon or night, you'll never be bored here.

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