Eat This

Five Great Lunch Buffets to Keep You Away From CiCi's Pizza (Even When It's Free)

If you happen to be in the area Skillman and Northwest Highway, you may notice a bunch of hoopla over at a new CiCi's Pizza. This newest member of the chain is celebrating their grand opening, throwing a party with balloons, face painting -- the usual crap kids love -- including their pizza. As part of the promotion, they're also giving away free pizza once a month to the first 100 customers starting at 11 a.m.

Also, per the Lakewood Advocate, CiCi's promised to drop 100's of wallets "in the area" for residents to find a free coupon tucked inside. Imagine your palpitating heart when you find an orphaned wallet and think, "Payday! This is it!" and you get a CiCi's buffet coupon. That would just make me mad.

If you can't make it over nor do you find a wallet below in a hydrangea bush, consider yourself ... what's the word ... lucky? Instead, try one of these five buffet options, which are far more adventurous and, dare we say, yummy:

1. If pizza is what you're hankering for, try Johnny's Pizza House at 4145 Belt Line Road in Addison. Originally out of Monroe, Louisiana, the Johnny's Hog Heaven specialty pizza (photo above) should be all the inspiration you need -- it's loaded with ham, bacon, sausage, andouille and jalapeños. And the salad bar, for balance, is full of fresh veggies. Their lunch buffet is $6.99 for adults.

2. A couple of months ago, Whitney Filloon, who drew the shortest stick for being our Meatless Monday subject, wrote about Mumtaz's Indian lunch buffet at 216 W. Campbell Road in Richardson. Filloon swooned about the pillowy naan, expertly cooked rice pillau and "intensly tangy, neon red tamarind chutney and its emerald green mint counterpart." Plus, there are ample carnivorous options including, "chicken, chicken, goat and more chicken." The buffet rings in at $5.99 on Mondays and is two bucks more the rest of the week.

3. If you're into the old-school Dallas thing, Angelo's Italian Grill at 6341 La Vista in Lakewood is a quaint neighborhood spot and their lunch buffet will make you fat and happy. In addition to pizza, they always have lasagna, spaghetti and daily specials such as shrimp fettuccine or pork chops. Staples include Caesar and Greek salads, fresh fruit and desserts all for $8.69. Grab their lunch card and after six stamps, the seventh is free.

4. When talking about the old East Dallas joint Vietnam at 4302 Bryan Street, usually pho takes center stage. Their lunch buffet is also a great option. They carry traditional Vietnamese dishes, all made from family recipes.

5. When the weather is phenomenal, like it is today, then you should hit Kalachandji's at 5430 Gurley Ave. Actually, last time I went it was a sweltering hot summer day and I still loved it. This restaurant is tucked inside a temple and offers an opulent, peaceful courtyard to dine in. The people are wonderful and while they stick to strict vegetarian fare, you won't realize it because the food is great. The experience is like no other in the city. The lunch and dinner buffet varies and is updated on their site daily.

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Lauren Drewes Daniels is the Dallas Observer's food editor. She started writing about local restaurants, chefs, beer and kouign-amanns in 2011. She's driven through two dirt devils and is certain they were both some type of cosmic force.

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