Eating diverse cuisines can broaden your palate and that of your children. Your family can also experience a little bit of culture that’s different from your own. That’s why eating out at a local ethnic restaurant is a good family bonding experience and lesson in cultural appreciation. Here are five local restaurants that serve ethnic cuisines in and around the Plano, Texas, area.
The Latin Pig
The Latin Pig opened in 2012 to serve up delicious, authentic Cuban and Puerto Rican food. This family-owned and -operated joint uses home recipes from the owner’s mother, who’s also the restaurant’s chef. Come here for mouth-watering combinations of Caribbean, Native Latin American, and Cuban flavors.
Start with tostones (fried slices of plantains), chicharron (fried pork), or fried yuca. If you’re here for lunch, you can order lunch platters full of delicious meat, veggies, and rice. Or, opt for one of their amazing sandwiches, like a Cuban sandwich, a ropa vieja sandwich that’s brisket with peppers and onions, or even a Cuban burger, that tops a juicy burger with the ham, pulled pork, Swiss cheese, and other fixin’s from the Cuban sandwich.
For dinner, try ropa vieja in platter form, served with beans and rice, camarones al ajillo (garlicky shrimp with beans and rice), or mofongo (mashed plantain with veggies, herbs, and spices).
You can dine at the Latin Pig Wednesday through Saturday from 11:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. They’re located at 3131 Custer Road in Plano, near the Kroger.
If you’re feeling sushi and Japanese food, then you have to try Densetsu, one of the best sushi places in the Plano area. Here you can get fresh sushi and sashimi, and you can order a few rolls or a platter of rolls and sashimi to share with the table. Some of the best rolls on the menu include the spicy scallop roll, the rainbow roll (a sampling of fresh fish atop a California roll), and the cherry blossom roll (salmon and avocado wrapped with tuna).
You can also choose from a wide variety of yummy appetizers like edamame, gyoza (fried pork and veggie dumplings), shumai (steamed dumplings), tempura, or hiyayako (Japanese tofu with green onion and fish flakes). Then, consider ordering a house salad or seaweed salad before you dive into your entree. For the main course, you can order ramen, yakisoba, or udon noodles, rice bowls, teriyaki, or combination platters. For lunch, order a bento box, which has an assortment of items, like cooked meat with sauce, soup, salad, rice, and gyoza.
Head to Densetsu at 4152 W. Spring Creek Parkway Unit 176 in Plano. They’re open Sunday through Thursday from 11:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. and Friday through Saturday from 11:30 a.m. to 11 p.m.
Eat the best of Peru without ever leaving Plano when you dine at Lima Taverna. This place doesn’t use American substitutes to keep the meals as authentic as possible, and, instead, they import many vital ingredients directly from vendors in Peru.
Start your meal with empanadas, pastries stuffed with beef, raisins, olives, and sweet peppers, or ceviche, which you can get made with sea bass, shrimp, and calamari that’s seasoned with lime juice and cilantro. Or, order the anticuchos, which are grilled meat skewers that are inspired by food carts in Peru. For your entree, you’ve got to try the Pescado A Lo Macho, which is a seafood feast of salmon topped with shrimp, calamari, scallops, and mussels all cooked in a delicious sauce and served with rice. Or, try Saltado de Pollo, which uses Peruvian-Chinese-inspired flavors to cook skirt chicken.
Lima Taverna is located at 621 W. Plano Parkway Unit 247 in Plano, and they’re open Tuesday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Zorba’s Greek Cafe
Get authentic, home-style Greek food at Zorba’s Greek Cafe. Start with spanakopita, a classic spinach and feta pie, or dolmades, grape leaves stuffed with ground beef and rice. Or, get the feta and olives plate for something on the lighter side. For something super sharable, order a homemade spread like hummus, tzatziki yogurt sauce, tirokafteri, whipped feta with peppers, or a combination platter with a little of all three. Eat these delicious spreads up with fresh pita.
For your main course, you can opt for a hearty salad, including one topped with gyro meat. Or, try a classic like moussaka, which is a casserole-like dish made of potatoes, roasted eggplant, ground beef, and tomato sauce topped with Bechamel. If you want a handheld meal, order a classic lamb gyro or a falafel pita sandwich.
What makes this restaurant special is that you can bring your own beer or wine to enjoy with your meal, a fun adult-friendly dining option for when you’ve got the babysitter at home. Head to 1501 Preston Road Unit 150 in Plano to eat at Zorba’s. They’re open Monday through Thursday from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m., Friday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m., and Sunday from 12 p.m. to 9 p.m.
Desta Ethiopian Restaurant
Desta Ethiopian Restaurant is another restaurant that uses ingredients directly from its cuisine’s country of origin to keep the dishes as authentic as possible. This local spot serves fantastic Ethiopian meals, and its welcoming atmosphere makes it a great place to try new flavors and experience a different culture.
Start with Sambusa, which are crispy fried pastries stuffed with seasoned lentils and jalapenos. One dish you’re sure to love is Doro Wot, which is slow-roasted chicken leg with an onion berbere sauce. Try any of the meat tibs dishes, thick pieces of chicken, lamb, or tilapia sauteed with onions, tomatoes, jalapenos, and fragrant herbs. If you want something to share with the whole family, you should order Kintot, a combination platter of Doro Wot and other specials that’s enough food for up to four people.
Desta is located at 12101 Greenville Ave. Unit 105 in Dallas. They’re open every day from 10 a.m. to 11 p.m.While Tex-Mex is a Plano staple, trying new cuisines can be a fun way to taste different foods and even find some new recipes to try at home. Did we miss any of your favorite ethnic restaurants? If so, let Crème de la Crème of Plano know, and we’ll be sure to add it to our list!