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Okaeri Cafe’s Seriously Adorable Bento Boxes Debut Soon in Richardson

Plus, Korean fried chicken lands in McKinney and more DFW dining intel

a bento box filled with rice shaped to look like two puppies, alongside carrots cut in the shape of bones
Adorable pop-up Okaeri cafe will get a permanent home in Richardson
Kathy Tran

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Popular pop-up restaurant Okaeri Cafe gets permanent home in Richardson

Ultra-cute Japanese pop-up Okaeri Cafe, known for its adorable bento boxes, will soon open a permanent restaurant in Richardson, on Terrace Drive. According to CultureMap, the restaurant is expected to open this fall.

Operated by Gene Tran and Michelle Pepping, Okaeri Cafe was in the works for about a year before the pandemic hit. After launching last year, the pop-up quickly gained a cult following, selling out on a near-daily basis. The restaurant’s menu, which was typically posted online the day of sale, included dishes like omurice, Japanese curry, and of course, the wildly popular bento boxes.

Mad for Chicken brings Korean-style fried yardbird to McKinney

Mad for Chicken, a Queens-born Korean-style fried chicken restaurant, is opening its first location in Texas — also its first location outside of New York — in McKinney this weekend. The restaurant, at 216 West Virginia Street, will open on Friday, July 23. In addition to extra-crispy double-fried chicken brushed with Mad for Chicken’s signature soy-garlic sauce, the restaurant is also known for dishes like sizzling hot stone kimchi, bulgogi bowls, and kimchi quesadillas.

Bill inspired by South Dallas urban farm signed into law

The Bonton Farms Act is now an official Texas state law. The act, signed into law earlier this month by Gov. Greg Abbott during the Texas legislature’s special session, helps formerly-incarcerated Texans re-entire free society by forgiving fines incurred before or during a person’s incarceration. The forgiveness program makes it easier for formerly-incarcerated people to get a driver’s license, pass a background check, and overcome other hurdles on the way to finding a job and place to live post-prison.

The bipartisan law was sponsored by state Rep. Scott Sanford, R-McKinney, and state Sen. Royce West, D-Dallas. It was named after Bonton Farms in South Dallas, which helps employ formerly incarcerated Texas and provides fresh produce to one of Dallas’s many food deserts.

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