Dallas' Most Interesting Restaurants No. 34: Buddhist Center of Dallas

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. 

Calling the Buddhist Center of Dallas a restaurant is a stretch, since seating is limited and it's open only one day a week, on Sundays. But if you can fit a visit into your schedule, and you don't mind eating outside, a meal on the well-manicured grounds of this temple can yield one of the most interesting dining experiences Dallas has to offer.

The scene is stunning: a pond filled with dancing koi; the temple's brightly colored facade; stalls set up selling colorful trinkets and steaming delicious food. Grills smoke and spit as pork skewers cook above the flames and a giant mortar and pestle turn out papaya salad loaded with fish sauce. Another stall sells stir-fried dishes with fresh vegetables adding bright pops of color to every plate. Walking through the parking lot is like shopping many restaurants at once.

Whatever you end up buying, take your haul to some quiet corner of the temple grounds and enjoy a meal with unprecedented serenity as the trickling fountains and architecture make for a unique backdrop for your Sunday supper. When you leave, duck your head into the temple. If you're lucky you can listen to the monks chanting before you leave the temple grounds and snap back to reality.

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