Located next door to a gas station in Far North Dallas is Cris and John, an affordable new restaurant serving Vietnamese street food with a twist. The menu features traditional fare like fried rice cakes, cheesy corn and skewered meats. But it's also making a name for itself with unusual fusion items like phorrito (a pho and burrito hybrid) and ramenrrito (ramen in a burrito).
It's run by married couple Cristina Mendez and John Pham. Pham was born and raised in Ho Chi Minh City in Vietnam, where he learned to appreciate the local street food.
The restaurant has perks for vegans: Any protein on the menu can be substituted for tofu, which is cooked on a separate fryer. All noodles are made out of wheat or rice. Mendez doesn't eat meat and says they've already served plenty of vegans and vegetarians since the restaurant opened in November.
The restaurant also sells dumplings, banh mi and pho, and tacos filled with ingredients such as chicken-fried Spam and spicy, honey-glazed fried chicken.
And then there's the phorrito and ramenrrito, internet-famous dishes that have been showing up in cities like Los Angeles and New York in recent years. But the Dallas version of these popular dishes are not turning Cris and John into a Chipotle for stoners. Their fried tortilla, stuffed with Vietnamese ingredients, is surprisingly delectable.
The phorrito (see video below) is a burrito stuffed with noodles, grilled steak, basil, bean sprouts, jalapenos, hoisin and Sriracha. It comes pan-fried like a Chinese green-onion pancake. A side of broth is optional.
The ramenrrito follows the same method: a tortilla stuffed with ramen, grilled chicken, kimchi, fried shallots and cilantro.
Customers seem to be divided on these two items. "People either love the phorrito or the ramenrrito," Mendez says.
5555 Preston Oaks Road, Dallas. crisandjohn.com. Closed Saturdays; no alcohol.