We are not a chain restaurant type of family but there’s some on our regular rotation when we need dinner in a hurry. I don’t know about you, but some days we can’t get it together so we grab a quick bite from these favorites. From yummy banh mi to farm-to-table fast, here are four chain restaurants we love to eat at.
Modern Market: Since this Colorado chain landed in Dallas, we’ve been frequenting Modern Market like crazy. Their menu uses simple, whole, unprocessed foods. They use real ingredients like farm fresh eggs, nitrate-free bacon, fresh salads, real butter (yay!) and no preservatives or artificial sweetener. My 7 year old, Lollo has never liked tomato basil soup before until he tried Modern Market’s and now he’s hooked. The pizzas are phenomenal. Our favorite is the Wild Mushroom with Crème Fraiche, Gorgonzola and Arugula. Kids eat free on Sunday and Monday night dinner and wines are just $2 a glass. We love that the Preston Hollow Village location is opposite Trader Joe’s so we can hit both spots at once. This is not your typical chain restaurant and tops our list for fast and farm fresh!
Bahn Shop: “I love this bread!” my Itty Bitty Foodies declared. We’d never expected a fast food chain to dish out decent bahn mi: Vietnamese sandwiches. Owned by YUM brands (Taco Bell, KFC) Bahn Shop was certainly a big surprise for us. It’s a hipster haunt with modern décor, craft sodas and beers. Bahn Shop offers sandwiches, noodles, and soups. The flavorful pork meat ball bahn mi were our favorite. Flat meat ball patties tucked in a crusty, soft baguette with fresh cilantro and Thai basil, cucumbers, ribbons of carrots and a creamy aioli. The chargrilled pork belly came a close second. The family also enjoyed the chicken soup in a clear broth, with grilled chicken, bean sprouts and noodles.
Torchy’s Tacos: Whenever we have friends from out of town visit, Torchy’s Tacos is always on the list. It’s such a Tex Mex experience. My kids love the “Wrangler” with scrambled eggs, potatoes, smoked beef brisket and cheese. There’s a taco for every taste it seems and the names definitely play into our dinner conversation: Democrat (beef barbacoa, queso fresco and avocado), Republican (grilled jalapeno sausage, shredded cheese and pico de gallo), Independent (fried Portobello mushroom strips, roasted corn, carrots and refried beans), Trailer Park (fried chicken, green chilies, poblano sauce). Most tacos come with a spicy salsa or hot sauce, so take note and tell them to hold it for the kids if they can’t eat spicy.
Zoës Kitchen: Zoës Kitchen is an easy, go to place for us. This Greek Mediterranean-style chain just opened it’s 36th location in Texas at The Shops at Park Lane. This location has a big balcony and an adjoining public garden space that looks like a baby Klyde Warren Park. The new menu item, Mediterranean Chicken is a favorite of my 2 year old. Grilled chicken breast comes with white bean soup and a Greek Salad. The bonus is that Whole Foods Market is in the same retail development so dinner and groceries can be done at the same time.
Road Tripping: Whenever we’re on the road, the three spots we do like to hit. KFC tops the spot. Well because who doesn’t like fried chicken especially with eleven secret herbs and spices. For a frosty mug root beer float, it’s A&W all the way. And for all the times in between, there’s always a Starbucks for a break so the kids can get some Naked juices or a fresh warm milk.
Tell us what your favorite chain is and what you like to eat there!
Till our next Happy Meal!