Ali Bahramian wanted to combine the casual atmosphere and quick service of a coffee shop, a diner, and a fast-food eatery, so he decided to start his own from scratch. He developed his own menu built on sandwich, salad, and soup recipes he created himself, enlisted the help of his architect wife Mariam to design a space, and selected soothing jazz and blues music as a backdrop for his eatery.
Within the fully realized Orange Lunch Box, Ali and his staff bake fresh sandwich bread in-house each day and chocolate-chip cookies each hour to pair with cups of coffee. The culinary crew serves salads and sandwiches topped with a range of meats and cheeses, Italian-inspired spreads, and local produce. Orange Lunch Box's interior eschews the presence of television and instead captures diners' attention with a color palette of warm orange, cool green, and room-temperature purple.
Tucked away under a flight of stairs lies a family-owned eatery where meaty sandwiches and wraps reign supreme. Yorktown Deli's chefs layer grilled chicken, fresh avocado, lettuce, tomato, and pesto in the italian chicken sandwich, which arrives fresh from the kitchen in the shape of Italy. Other sandwiches include tuna melts and the Avocado Heaven, a colorful portrait of avocado, lettuce, tomato, red pepper, and cheese. To create each of the deli's eight wraps, chefs roll meats such as grilled chicken, turkey, and salami with veggies, condiments, and cheese, and diners can wash down meals with iced coffee, lattes, and espresso.
Central Market cooking schools enlighten the epicurean masters of tomorrow with instruction from the gourmet gurus of today, having previously hosted guest instructors such as the renowned Cat Cora and Mario Batali. Meal mentors post classes in both Dallas and Plano every four to six weeks, usually providing 26–30 options per month. Whether it's your first time holding a skillet or you're looking to polish your sushi skills after finally discovering how to uncook fish, Central Market provides coaching for every experience level. Curious foodies can peruse an array of informative options, including sharpening your knife skills ($55), making indulgent desserts ($50), creating one-dish dinners ($55), and fine-tuning a soufflé filled with an event horizon. Running roughly 2.5 hours each, sessions are offered most days of the week. Most hands-on classes can accommodate about 18, while demonstration classes can accommodate up to 48, depending on location. See Central Market's frequently asked questions pages (click here for Dallas, here for Plano) for more information.
Lankford Grocery & Market was neither when it first opened. Nona and Aubkrey Lankford first set up a small fruit stand in 1938, which they later moved across the street and transformed into a small mom and pop grocery store. By the time the 70s had rolled around, they were making sandwiches as well, but it was the 90s that catapulted the shop into the spotlight when the Zagat-rated burgers first started showing up. Before long, the family gave up the grocery side of the business, putting all of their attention and focus into those burgers, which the Houston Press called, "huge, greasy burger masterpieces". Food and attitude coalesce in the firehouse burger, a thick patty smothered in habanero sauce, cayenne butter, and jalapenos. The Philadelphia cheeseburger doffs its hat to that eastern city with mozzarella, red and green bell peppers, and spicy mayo, while the grim burger is a creative combo of mac and cheese, bacon, and a fried egg. In the mornings, french toast, slices of bacon, and breakfast tacos leap off the griddle and onto the plates of hungry diners kick starting their days, while plates like waffles and biscuits and gravy are only available on Saturdays or any other day preceded by a Friday.
Lisa Patel was at a crossroads; she knew she wanted to pursue a career in healthcare, but she didn’t know which one. After getting into a car wreck that injured her back, she discovered the benefits of chiropractic medicine and, ultimately, the solution to her dilemma. She went on to pursue a doctorate from Texas Chiropractic College and today treats all manner of pain and ailments with spinal adjustments, acupuncture, and rehabilitation techniques at Precision Chiropractic. She works alongside a team of massage therapists, who strive to complement her practice with a variety of bodywork techniques designed to recalibrate the muscles of semiprofessional athletes, marathon runners, and chauffeurs who have to pack up their car and take it home in their backpack after every shift.
Try not to be distracted by the giant conveyor belt of piping hot and freshly-baked flatbread snaking its way around the deli area when you enter Phoenicia Specialty Foods. And don’t be surprised to see people carting entire grocery baskets full of their own steamy, hot bread to the checkout lanes. The baked in-house bundles are a bit of a store specialty, but by no means is it the only thing Phoenicia Specialty Foods’ Westheimer location has going for it. Tucked between the Westchase District and the Energy Corridor, Phoenicia stocks homemade yogurt, freshly baked desserts and a full deli of hot and cold dishes to eat on the patio or take to go. With high ceilings, lots of natural light and plenty of long, tall shelves, there’s a good bet you can find anything you need at this specialty outlet, including fresh produce.