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Where We’re Eating near Bachman Lake

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The ceviche tostadas at Seafood Shack. (Photo by Rich Vana)

The ceviche tostadas at Seafood Shack. (Photo by Rich Vana)

Caddo Lake being the single exception to the rule, every lake in Texas exists solely to the fact that someone put a dam in the way of a bit of flowing water. It’s convenient, of course, making a lake that way, if only because the person building the dam gets to choose where the lake’s going to be. In the case of Bachman Lake, though, the problem wasn’t so much with location as it was with size – more than 100 years ago, it was sufficient to fill the water needs of a small town called Dallas. Not a decade later, White Rock Lake was filled to replace it. Of course, today Dallas doesn’t draw water from either lake, and they’re both purely there for recreational purposes. At Bachman, the shores around the lake provide a well-kept park and plenty of places to eat, and as this week rears its head, we head that way to find a little bit of what the area around Bachman lake has to offer in the way of something to eat.

Seafood Shack

One of two Seafood Shacks (the other is near Webb Chapel and Forest), Seafood Shack takes a Tex-Mex approach to seafood. Slightly different that its predecessor, the second location is has a bright, welcoming interior with a full bar and a large, screened-in patio out front with multiple HDTVs in various corners. But the food, rest assured, remains unchanged. Fish backets, shrimp in myriad sorts of servings, crab cakes, crab legs, oysters raw or fried – they call it Seafood Shack for a reason. But if the sea’s bounty proves too large to make a decisive decision, we’re happy to help: the ceviche tostadas are winners every time.

Stratos

The gyros at Stratos are loaded with lamb, tomatoes and tzatziki. (Photo by Rich Vana)

The gyros at Stratos are loaded with lamb, tomatoes and tzatziki. (Photo by Rich Vana)

By night the large White and Blue building on Northwest Highway may sport belly dances, a DJ, customers on the dance floor and drinks flowing freely – by day, though, it’s a perfect spot to grab a gyro and a Greek salad. The low lights of the large interior give away Stratos’ double life, and the bar along the back wall is loaded with alcoholic beverages of all sorts. But the menu’s our draw, and whether it’s traditional Greek or Greek-American (Greek hamburgers are a featured item) you’re looking for, you’ll find it there.

La Nueva Fresh & Hot

The guisado tacos at La Nueva should be respected by those with a taste for a bit of heat and a love of pork. (Photo by Rich Vana)

The guisado tacos at La Nueva should be respected by those with a taste for a bit of heat and a love of pork. (Photo by Rich Vana)

You wouldn’t tell from just seeing the nondescript strip mall on Webb Chapel near Bachman Lake, but the shop beneath the La Nueva Fresh & Hot sign turns out D Magazine’s favorite tacos of 2012; their impossibly soft, house-made corn tortillas surely account for some of the recognition.

“The tortillas are very close to the type we had in Mexico, so that’s why a lot of our customers come here – the flavor is just totally different from what you can buy at the big stores,” says Gloria Vazquez Martínez, owner of La Nueva.

But the care and attention that owner Vazquez Martínez puts into every bit of these Zacatecas-style tacos are what put them over the top. From the piquant guisado verde – that’s a meaty stew with loads of tomatillos – to the borrego (braised lamb) La Nueva dishes out tacos not seen in many of Dallas’s more highly popularized taquerias and taco-focused restaurants.

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