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People rush to Mai's for its traditional Vietnamese fare, like the warming bowls of noodle soups -- among them, traditional beef meatball soup with cilantro, bean sprouts, lime, and jalapeño on the side. The various skin-burning clay pots, such as the combo curry pot (rice topped with shrimp, chicken and mixed vegetables in a coconut curry sauce) are also specialties. The dinner specials are gargantuan, affordably priced platters that are accompanied with one fried roll, two butterfly shrimps, chicken soup or chicken salad, stir-fried vegetables and steamed rice. There is an extensive array of vegetarian dishes at this dark and Spartan space that is basically a selection of other specials sans meat.
Bars on a restaurant's windows = lunch costs less than 10 bucks. It's just a theory, but if a restaurant's cheap-ass owners went for bars over an actual alarm system, there's no way they're gonna charge you an arm and a leg to eat lunch. I... More »
As a countdown to the Dallas Observer's "Best of Dallas" 2010, City of Ate is serving up 100 of the favorite dishes we crave, savor and hope to scarf down again soon. These dishes are in no particular... More »
Let's be absolutely clear on this point: Do not touch the sizzling clay pot of curry at Mai's. Yes, it is as hot as it looks. Here's a clue: Your food is still bubbling 10 minutes after it landed on your table. Rice stuck to the bottom of the pot melds into a blackened cake with a satisfying crunch. It's just one of the standout dishes at this unassuming house on Bryan Street. Some swear by the northern suburbs' pho shops, where the mood lighting is fluorescent, and "branching out" looks... More »
The first time you pull up to the dump that is Mai's, you think, "No way in hell I'm going in there. I'm too young to die." Oh, but once you actually risk it...Yes, there are plenty of authentic hole-in-the-wall spots in Garland serving great pho or bun mang vit. But Mai's is across-the-board wonderful, from rich noodle dishes, steaming clay pot creations, the delicate rolls, the fiery spices to, well, everything on the menu. There's a reason the place has become a Dallas dining mainstay.... More »
How do we love Mai's? Let us count the burn scars on the roofs of our mouths from all the times we couldn't wait to dig into our chicken clay pot because it smelled too damn yummy. Yeah, we're stupid that way, especially when it comes to Mai's fiery baked blend of vermicelli noodles, black mushrooms and spicy chicken, which comes out of the kitchen at approximately 875 degrees. We just can't wait. Luckily the burns heal in a couple of weeks, and in the meantime we can take a break from the... More »
We make the trip over to Mai's at least once a week for the clay pot, a devilishly hot (in every sense of the word) mixture of rice, Asian vegetables, rice noodles and, in our case, tofu. (It works just as well with chicken and shrimp.) We'll accept no arguments when stating that it is, without a doubt, the best thing we've ever eaten, Vietnamese or otherwise. Seriously, don't test us on this one. The only strong competition comes from the other items on the menu; may we suggest the supple... More »
How do we love Mai's? Let us count the burn scars on the roofs of our mouths from all the times we couldn't wait to dig into our chicken clay pot because it smelled too damn yummy. Yeah, we're stupid that way, especially when it comes to Mai's fiery baked blend of vermicelli noodles, black mushrooms and spicy chicken, which comes out of the kitchen at approximately 875 degrees. We just can't wait. Luckily the burns heal in a couple of weeks, and in the meantime we can take a break from the pain by making a meal on two or 20 of the shrimp imperial rolls, fat tubes of soothing crunchy lettuce, rice noodles and chilled shrimp in rice paper wrappers. A little agony, a little comfort, a lot of spicy deliciousness—a meal at Mai's is like love.
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