Bawarchi’s Biryani

Bawarchi’s Biryani is a popular Indian restaurant located 10 minutes away from campus. It takes a few extra minutes to find among all the other restaurants in the shopping complex, but don’t let that stop you – you’ll get the time back when you receive your food earlier than expected (and they give you free bottled water). My mango lassi ($3.50) and gulab jamun ($2.90) arrived almost instantly. The lassi was a little too viscous to be worth the price, but I had to stop myself from ordering more gulab jamun — it’s that good.

At Bawarchi’s, India’s classic chicken 65 appetizer ($8.90) can be ordered with an array of substitutes — I opted to have the trademark red chilies spice applied to cauliflower. Those with specific dietary restrictions need not beware: my meat-eating partner enjoyed his amaravati chicken ($13.90), which is  a curry that is best ordered at its normal spice level unless you want to torture your taste buds. The garlic naan that accompanied it (for an extra $1.50) was fluffy and delicious.

You order by scanning a QR code and selecting options from the online menu, which includes an array of other curries, biryanis, fried rice, and noodles. Instead of having to flag down a server, I was able to close out the tab using my phone and was in and out within 40 minutes. What interaction we did have with the staff — when they brought out the food and showed me where the to-go boxes were (you’ll almost certainly have leftovers!) — was pleasant and professional. And yes, I did order more gulab jamun when I returned a week later.

Jeng Chi

Jeng Chi is located in DFW Chinatown and is a 10-minute drive from campus. My first thought before entering was “this better be good”; the hour-long wait on a Sunday night, while a promising sign of the food quality, wasn’t exactly endearing. But then I walked in and was instantly met with delicious aromas. Even though the restaurant was packed, the kitchen (which is surrounded by a half wall so you can see the chefs hard at work) ensured that I received my green onion pancake ($4.75) within minutes of ordering. It was delicious — simultaneously crispy, flaky, and slightly chewy, like a cooler version of onion rings.

Soon after, the server dropped off our entrees, including my egg-fried rice ($8), which was incredible and also served as my lunch and dinner the following day. We also received the check, unsolicited, while we were still eating — but if that’s how we got our food so fast, then hey, I’m not complaining. I’m told that the shrimp and pork steamed dumplings ($13.25 for 8 pieces) are “pretty good, but a little too heavy on the pork” — my partner suggests that people try one of the other 6 dumpling options instead. Jeng Chi’s expansive menu also includes an array of soups, noodles, seafood, meat, and vegetable dishes. I’ll definitely be back (with a reservation next time!).