Irving’s rich diversity offers visitors a variety of cultures and authentic foods from around the world. From Thai to Mediterranean, Vietnamese to Turkish, and many other points in between, visitors can travel the world with their taste buds and never leave Irving. Satisfy the most unique cravings with one of these restaurants, or try something new that you didn’t know you loved, just leave your passport at home.
We begin our day in Argentina with a Chorizo empanada from Empa Mundo. Filled with sausage, potatoes, peppers and onions, it’s a hearty brunch that’s easily paired with a Banana & Nutella empanada for the road. Not far away is the Argentina Bakery where we stop by for some Espresso and a Mini Rosquita, a delicious puff pastry with whipped cream and fresh strawberries. Traveling up the coast to Peru, we stop at El Tesoro del Inca for some fresh juices and their national specialty, papa rellena. For dinner, Brazil is the place to find churrisco-cooked meats that are carved tableside. In the historic Heritage Crossing, Villa’s Grill is a quaint family-owned Brazilian steakhouse, complete with a huge salad bar and attentive staff, all at very reasonable prices. Rounding out our Brazilian choices are Vila Brazil, Rodizio Grill, and Boi Na Braza.
Irving is home to a very vibrant Indian community, and a variety of Indian and South Asian restaurants. To experience them all would take weeks, but on this day we’ll sample a few. First off is lunch in India at Shawarma Press for a Tandoori Masala Shawarma, a wrap filled with chicken, tomatoes, onion, and lettuce in a spicy masala sauce. Their Baklava and authentic Pistachio Ice Cream are tempting as well. Afterward, we’ll stop by the Mahatma Gandhi Memorial at Thomas Jefferson Park. The sculpture of Gandhi is evocative in its simplicity and silent eloquence, just like his words of wisdom. Next, it’s off to Nepal at Everest Himalayan Restaurant for some Lamb Saag, cooked with cumin seeds, herbs and spices. Or perhaps we should visit Thailand at Yummy Thai for some spicy Yen Ta Fo. Their Orange Sesame Chicken is much less spicy, and just as tasty. Or we could sail on to the South China Sea for some Vietnamese cuisine at Pho Empire. Their chef will recommend some Mi Thap Cam Nuoc or Pho Ap Chao, either dish is fresh, tasty and healthy.
To taste the Mediterranean is to savor an array of simple, wholesome, fresh foods that are naturally healthful. That’s what Zoe’s Kitchen says about their menu. For lunch we begin with a Steak Kabob, a hearty skewered charbroiled steak topped with peppers, onions and tomatoes, paired with Italian salsa verde. Next we travel to Turkey for Zeytin Mediterranean Grill’s all-you-can-eat lunch buffet. Or for a lighter meal, try the Shepherd Salad, made fresh with ingredients a shepherd might have from the field. Next stop is Venice where we dine aboard an authentic gondola traversing the waterways of Mandalay Canal. Gondola Adventures offers gourmet dinner cruises complete with a three-course meal on a 1.5 hour long cruise. Fall in love all over again with these Mediterranean excursions, without ever leaving Irving.
Fortune has smiled on us today as we travel to Shanghai at Fortune House Chinese Cuisine. Their elaborate menu, handpicked by the owner who grew up in Shanghai, offers favorites like Steamed Pork Juicy Dumplings and Scallion Pancakes. Everything on their menu is a palatable delight. Next port of call is Japan at Jinbeh, where a true Japanese dining experience awaits, including removing our shoes and sitting on a bamboo mat. Their authentic Japanese dish, Shabu-Shabu, a thinly sliced steak, assorted vegetables, and tofu cooked in a boiling hot pot at the table, is perfect for lunch or dinner. No trip to the Orient would be complete without some fresh sushi. Little Katana offers a variety of sushi dishes that are like pieces of art. So why not try them all? The Katana Deluxe features tuna, salmon, shrimp, and yellowtail sushi, with tuna and salmon sashimi, rounded out with Katana’s own version of California rolls. Practice those chopstick moves and prepare your taste buds, the S.S. Irving sails today.