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The interior at Char'd, a new healthy fast-casual spot in RichardsonEXPAND
The interior at Char'd, a new healthy fast-casual spot in Richardson
Paige Weaver

Southeast Asian Fast-Casual Hits Richardson With Char’d

Diners in Richardson have a new option for a quick, budget-friendly meal. Char'd offers customizable bowls based on Vietnamese, Japanese and Korean cuisine; think Chipotle with Asian flavors. Located in the CityLine area, this is the second Char’d restaurant in DFW.

Char’d is family-owned. Martin Doan opened the first location in Mansfield in May 2018. Doan has been in the restaurant business since graduating college with a marketing degree. He also owns the Draft House and the Crab Station.

Doan found inspiration for Char’d from Chipotle, as well as the flavors he grew up with. “I like the model that Chipotle has. You get fresh food fast,” he says.

In building the menu, Doan took traditional Vietnamese flavors and edited them slightly to make sure everything meshes.

Char'd fancies itself the Chipotle of South Asian food.EXPAND
Char'd fancies itself the Chipotle of South Asian food.
Paige Weaver

“We’re trying to stay true to the authentic flavor, but we don’t want it to clash,” he says. "We want our menu to where it’s foolproof because it’s build-your-own. People can do it any way they want and it’ll still taste good."

At Char’d, you can create your own bowl, choosing a base, protein, vegetables, sauce and toppings. Bases include white and brown rice, salad, vermicelli noodles and cauliflower rice ($1.99 extra). Order steak ($9.95), chicken ($8.95), pork ($8.95), tofu ($7.95), tuna ($9.95) or salmon ($9.95) for your protein.

Choose from vegetables like kimchi, charred corn, Napa cabbage, crab salad, pickled carrots and daikon, seaweed salad and more. Finish your bowl with things like Gochujang, peanut sauce, Thai chili, red curry, crispy shallots and green onion oil.

If you aren’t feeling adventurous, you also have the option of choosing from five composed bowls. Char’d serves a Thai red curry chicken bowl ($8.95), a poke bowl ($11.95), a Tantali tofu salad ($8.95), a Vietnamese grilled pork bowl ($10.45) and a bibimbap bowl ($10.95).

The Vietnamese grilled pork bowlEXPAND
The Vietnamese grilled pork bowl
Paige Weaver

Start your meal with egg rolls (two for $2.50), bao buns (two for $4.95), edamame ($3.95) or nom fries ($8.95). Doan has also brought banh mi ($7.95) to the Richardson location. Try pork, chicken, tofu or beef.

Doan chose every flavor and every option on the menu with intention.

“I’ve been tinkering with it for two years,” he says. “Even after we opened up the Mansfield location, we still had some changes. I really tried to think it through clearly.”

When asked, Doan couldn’t choose his favorite dish. "I do like the Vietnamese grilled pork. It’s something we grew up eating; it’s traditional," he says. "We wanted to take it and change it, make it a little more trendy.”

Doan eventually wants to expand Char’d to the franchise model.

“I want to make sure everything is as close to perfect as possible before we do that,” he says. “The work is going to be ongoing.”

A third location of Char’d is opening in Fort Worth later this summer.

Char'd, 3661 N. Plano Road, Richardson

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