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cheap date: the language of food 

The Date: La Palmera at 7701 Midlothian Turnpike, located in an old Dunkin' Donuts. As soon as you walk into the place, you can tell that there's a lot more than doughnuts going on here. The wall is covered with old-school picture menus boasting over 30 mouth-watering items, and none of the prices is apt to break the bank. La Palmera serves up a mean Mexican tamale wrapped in a corn husk ($1.75) with a spicy sauce. There are also unbelievable dishes like succulent roast pork that comes with sides of rice and beans, and a smooth potato salad ($8.95). Also check out the crispy fried fish (head included, $8.95) and the zesty tripe soup ($8.95). Everything is fresh and exploding with taste, and the people who work there are some of the friendliest around, willing to help with any questions you might have. However, I'd like to give a word of warning for Dan Quayle fans: At La Palmera they don't speak Latin but they do know how to spell potato.

— Francis W. Decker

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