For years we’ve been saying there’s something seriously lacking in Dallas’ Asian street food scene: Dad jokes.
Well, once Red Stix opened quietly over the holiday on Hillcrest Avenue across the street from SMU, our wish has been granted. And so many others.
From the brilliant, beautiful, sassy Uno Immanivong (Chef Uno for short), this fast-casual restaurant represents an expanded vision of a food stall of the same name she opened for a short stint at Legacy Hall. It also brings with it hints of her first restaurant, Chino Chinatown, which she sold to focus on Red Stix Asian Street Food. And as much as we miss seeing her smiling face at Trinity Groves, we’re thrilled to have this affordable, accessible alternative.
A few days before Christmas, she invited us in to gorge on nearly the entire menu, so we worked out extra-hard to work up a real appetite. We loved everything so much that we returned a few days before the New Year and worked our way through the entire menu all over again.
The nonstop cavalcade of Asian delights started with several appetizers, our favorites being chicken eggrolls, chicken dumplings, shrimp rangoon and some pretty damn amazing crispy rice-wrapped shrimp. We’d happily pop in after the gym for a few rounds of snacks and $8 mason jar cocktails without the need for an actual entrée.
Of course, we know we’re not kidding anyone with that proclamation. We have to bring friends to share several options, which range from drunken noodles and the so-spicy-you’ll-cry Damn! Damn! Hot Noods to create-your-own bowls filled with noodles, salad or rice and topped with your choice of toppings and proteins skewered and grilled over hot binchotan charcoal.
As promised in our opening sentence, in addition to authentic Asian flavors, you’ll also find an abundance of innuendo-laden puns throughout the menu. (You’ve already noticed she calls noodles “noods,” right?)
Our favorites mostly hail from the cocktail menu (other than t-shirts that proclaim how big their banhs are in reference to their massive Vietnamese sandwiches), the Young, Hung and Full of Plum, Bangkok Buck and Banana in Your Pocket are all as tasty as they are fun to order.
Best of all, everything on the menu with the exception of one fried-rice dish rings up at less than $10. Our last Bangkok Buck cost us way more than that.
Not including the trip to the free clinic afterward.
Red Stix Asian Street FoodPhotos by Kevin Marple Photo
6501 Hillcrest Avenue, Dallas