Old School Pizza and Suds (603 W. Abram) The ever-revolving door of restaurants that has been through here is dizzying. But, I think Old School has staying power because, well, they have pizza and beer and they're literally a stone's throw from campus. Like a 5-year-old could stand on the sidewalk, throw a rock and nail it. More important, the pizza is thick and gooey, and the place has a wall of beer taps that change out seasonally, because we all know that broke college students want to make sure their beer has fresh hops, right? The place is funky because it's still just an old house -- they haven't bothered with tearing down walls to open the place up, so the bar is one room and the dining area is at least two different rooms, plus there's a big patio out back.
Pho Palace (2126 S. Collins) The banh mi chicken here is not only fantastic, but most amazingly, it cost only $2.75. Yes, $2.75. Yes, it's real chicken. Yes, the bread is fresh. And, yes, it's actually enough for a full meal! Deep breath ... There is one bit of bad news though; it's not actually a palace (I know you're disappointed). But, in terms of east Arlington strip mall, it's not too bad. The folks who run the place are very friendly. Plus, the pho is great, as is the bun. As is everything else that passes by that makes me want to ask, "Oh! What's that?"
La Taqueria Original (1822 S. Cooper) If you want amazing, authentic, keeping it so real it's a bit intimidating if you're not fluent in Spanish street tacos, then try La Taq on Cooper, just north of Pioneer. There's not any Tex-Mex here. It's Mexican all the way through. An order of the tacos al pastor is a simple yet, amazing meal. The tender meat wrapped in bold spices topped with cilantro, onions and a squeeze of lime, all wrapped in fresh tortillas is as good as it gets.