On the front page of the Dallas Morning News today, right above the fold, is a story about the Dallas Farmers Market that’s going to change what we now know as downtown Dallas. Scott Reitz of the Observer has written extensively on this topic before (it’s almost a mini novel; set aside some time to read it), so it’s not news that City Hall has sold the Dallas Farmers Market to DF Market Holdings for $3.2 million dollars. Earlier this week, though, the transaction became official.
Changes and renovations might start as early as this winter. Shed 3 and 4 are getting demolished to make room for new apartments, and the city will still be taking over Shed 1, which is “scheduled to have some 60 booths, or twice the current number of spaces,” says Robert Wilonsky. Shed 2, which houses the line-crazy Pecan Lodge, is also getting some work done. But, according to owner Justin Fourton, Pecan Lodge might not remain at the Dallas Farmers Market. He’s been on the prowl for a new space since last year. From the DMN:
Jack Gosnell, a partner in UCR, a nationwide retail leasing and management company, said the new operators are hoping to create an “autonomous retail venture that can be its own entity for a while” in front of Shed 2.
“We’ve said to Justin, ‘Why would you abandon where everyone knows you and you’ve got a line 200 miles long? Let us fix it for you,’” he said. “We think we can save him. Pecan Lodge is an anchor for us.”
Lines are great for businesses, but don’t feel so great on all of our calves. It might not be such a bad idea to move out of Shed 2, Pecan Lodge.
On Monday night, Lark on the Park hosted its first beer dinner by teaming up with one of the most celebrated breweries in the United States, Founders Brewing. Dave Engbers, the co-founder of Founders Brewing made the trip all the way from Grand Rapids, Michigan, to celebrate this feast with everyone that attended. (I was invited as a media guest.) His presence, friendliness, and cheerful storytelling warmed the evening alongside the beers and made everyone feel like they were a part of his beautiful beer family. He stopped by each table to answer questions and talk about his beers with charm and eloquence. And while I didn’t feel the beer pairings were as adequately explained as they should have been (nor were the pairings that intriguing), the evening was still a great success for the restaurant and the brewery. Founders’ beers have only been in Texas for the last few months, and I don’t think they’ll be leaving anytime soon. The Centennial IPA is breathtaking, and it’s easy to see how it’s one of the highest rated IPA’s ever to land on this planet. The Kentucky Breakfast Stout, also highly rated and coveted by beer nerds all over, was an entrancing, deeply emboldened stout with so many layers of flavor and texture that I almost considered coming back after Lark closed to load up my growlers in an illegal fashion. The chefs from Lark also dazzled us with exquisite tastes and ingredients, never failing to include the highest of culinary vocabulary in their choices, i.e. fricassee, rillettes, confit, clafoutis. You may not know what the hell you’re eating, but it sure is delicious. Enjoy the pics, and don’t miss the next one.
We’ve all been waiting forever for The Joule Hotel finish its renovations, and now we can almost taste the day when we won’t see ugly construction barring us from our downtown gem. The new Joule has expanded its lobby to provide entrances from Commerce and Main streets. If you enter from Main, you’ll spot a familiar front desk in the lobby entrance, but look ahead past the bar and elevators, and you’ll see a welcoming addition: Weekend Coffee.
Weekend Coffee is a bright and cheery coffee shop, brought to you by TenOverSix people, with friendly baristas and servers that open its doors to the public tomorrow (Wednesday).
Not much to say, except that Pakpao – the Thai restaurant you’ve all been waiting for = is opening this Friday. Yaaaaaaaaaaay.
Last year a new film called appropriately “Somm” debuted at the 2nd annual Napa Valley Film Festival, a perfect place to debut a film all about the path a handful of hopeful sommeliers go through in order to become a Master Sommelier. In the world we live in today, earned credentials aren’t always necessary to advance in your career. Thousands of jobs in all industries are awarded annually to people with passion, but not necessarily qualifications.
The Master Sommelier certification is one of the toughest, most intense testing processes anyone in the wine and hospitality industry will go through, all to become a part of a prestigious (and small) group of wine lovers, educators and professionals. The exclusive Court of Master Sommeliers was formed almost 40 years ago and to this day less than 200 individuals have reached the Master Sommelier level.
We are lucky in Dallas to have several, namely one of the finest in James Tidwell, Beverage Director at The Four Seasons Resort and Spa, Las Colinas, and Co-founder of TexSom with his fellow Master Sommelier Drew Hendricks, now Vice President of Sales and Marketing for Napa’s Rudd Winery and based in Houston, and Master Sommelier Barbara Werley of Pappas Bros. Steakhouse. Through a lengthy process of training and testing each of these individuals earned their certification, bringing their knowledge and education to their guests daily. Continue reading "See Somm at Angelika Film Center on Wednesday"
If you aren’t familiar with Dishcrawl, a food tour concept that started in California, don’t fret. It’s basically a pub crawl, minus all the alcohol. (Well, okay, there’s some booze if you pay extra.) An ambassador leads a group of hungry eaters through a particular neighborhood, and these people restaurant hop and feast for the next two hours. Pretty appealing, eh?
Dishcrawl Dallas’ ambassador John Griffing thinks so, too. He is just one of many, many Dishcrawl ambassadors who plan events and organize prix fixe dinners in tons of cities around the nation. (This includes Plano. It has its own ambassador.) Dishcrawl launched in Dallas in January. Today, Griffing’s leading a Knox-Henderson crawl for $45 at 7 p.m. I think there’s only one ticket left. Usually he keeps the restaurants on the tour secret, but he’s already told us that two of the places are on Nancy’s 100 Best Restaurants list.
Griffing and I met at Ocean Prime, where we split the ahi tuna tartare. He dished about Dishcrawl Dallas, his favorite places to eat, and even – yes, really- his hair.
Hayden Harrison: How did you get involved with Dishcrawl?
John Griffing : LinkedIn. When I graduated college, everyone was like, “Hey, you have to jump on LinkedIn.” I waited a long time before I did. I put my profile on LinkedIn and through there – I had also seen (Dishcrawl) on TheLadders – I got an invitation to look at this job. I read it and I thought, “Man! That actually sounds like something I want to do.”
HH: What do you love about the Dishcrawl concept? Continue reading "People We Love: John Griffing of Dishcrawl Dallas"
Another day, another schedule.
The biggest event this week is the Summer Block Party in the Dallas Arts District on Friday from 6pm to Midnight. There will be somewhere between 20-25 food trucks, at present including: Bombay Chopstix, Cajun Tailgators, Coolhaus, CupCakin Machine, Easy Slider, Enticed Shaved Ice, Little Greek Food Truck, Lucky Ducky Dogs, Mr. Snowie, Nammi, OinkNMoo, Pompeii, Rock and Roll Tacos, Rockin Ricks, Ruthie’s, Trailercakes, Tutta’s Pizza, and others.
On Tuesday, there will be a very good lineup of food trucks at The Village Apartments from 5:30pm to 8:30pm, including Rockin Ricks, Simply Dosa, Rock and Roll Tacos, Nammi, Jack’s Chowhound, Enticed Shaved Ice, Ssahm, and The Butcher’s Son. This event will take place every Tuesday with a different lineup each week.
Wednesday brings the usual Sigel’s/Greenville “Food Truck Experience”. The lineup includes Easy Slider, Rock and Roll Tacos, The Cup Cakin’ Machine, and Simply Dosa.
Here’s your schedule for the week. Your weather report does call for a bit of rain, so be sure to check Facebook and Twitter feeds before venturing out. Jump…. Continue reading "June 17 Food Truck Schedule and News in Dallas and Ft. Worth"
Inside the tent at the 33rd annual Auction Napa Valley the energy reaches peak level as one of 46 highly anticipated auction lots goes up for bid…this one happens to be from Dana Estates and includes three 3 liter bottles of their highly acclaimed wine and a trip for two couples first class to South Korea as guests of Dana Estates proprietors Hi Sang Lee and Jae Chun ….$100K, $200K, $300K, $500, $510K… Keen auctioneers Fritz Hatton, Humphrey Butler and Ursula Hermacinski stop bidding, saying once the bid got to this level Dana Estates owner Mr. Lee agreed to double the lot and give two complete packages away to the two highest bidders if they agreed? With a slap of a gavel the numerous children’s and healthcare charities that benefit from Auction Napa Valley just received over a million dollars, $1.2 to be exact, from one prestigious lot.
I was already intrigued and interested in the wine of Dana Estates, made by Philippe Melka and Cameron Vawter in the heart of Rutherford on an expansive organic certified estate. Seeing this outpouring of excitement about the consistently highly rated wine (Parker gave the 2007 Lotus Vineyard Cabernet 97/100 points) made me set an appointment to visit, taste and interview with Vawter immediately. Continue reading "What To Drink Now: Dana Estates"
The signage is up at the Alamo Drafthouse in Richardson and they are getting ready for their free outdoor movie series (July 13, 20 & 27). I don’t have a hard opening day, but if you’d like to work at this groovy place, they are hiring. Check out these jobs!
I wasn’t going to post anything on this news until I sat down with Judy Dunston Kissel tomorrow, but I’ve received several emails from readers who are hearing different reports. All I can tell you at this point is that Judy, who has been working at Dunston’s Prime Steakhouse Lovers Lane for 40 years, and her brother Gene Dunston, who operates the family location on Harry Hines that opened in 1955, are at odds. “It was a forced buyout,” said Judy.
Judy and I are sitting down tomorrow to discuss the details.
UPDATE: There will be no updates on this situation for a few weeks.
Hawk-eyed SideDisher, Brad Twitty, just informed us that Luna’s Tortillas has just battled with a large-scale fire. Looks like the roof is pretty much gone. A Dunston’s Steakhouse employee, working across the street, confirms that the fire happened within the last hour.
Luna’s Tortillas on 8524 Harry Hines Blvd. was founded in 1924 by Maria Luna. It’s known for its tortillas and breakfast tacos.
Friday evening, D Magazine’s lifestyle editor, Raya Ramsey, and D: The Broadcast’s Courtney Kerr headed over to Le Biboquet for cocktails. The restaurant opened last week and Carol filed a report on the French bistro in the former L’Ancestral space at Travis Walk.
Here’s Ramsey’s report:
Courtney and I decided to pop in (no reservations) at 5 pm for drinks. No food, just wine. We were the first outside diners in the restaurant. There was a table outside eating with the hostess and a table of kitchen crew eating in the corner. We had three rounds and eventually split an order of fries. The food plates were cleared. We ordered a fourth glass of Prosecco at 7 pm and instead of bringing us drinks, our waiter brought us the check. At this point, the restaurant was still pretty empty. He told us we needed to leave because of reservations coming in. He was clearly uncomfortable asking us to leave but cited “he’s getting nervous about incoming reservations.” Not sure who “he” was, but okay. The odd thing was that the restaurant was still empty. I mean, there was only one, maybe two or two tables of diners. I totally get a brand new restaurant preparing for a reservation-packed night, but no one was there. Why couldn’t we stay for one more glass and then wrap it up? We weren’t asked to move outside, where I doubt anyone would be dining, we were asked to leave. It was the strangest experience and it was uncomfortable for all three of us. The owner was there, bustling around, but never stopped by about this.
Is this a normal thing to happen? I guess I just don’t like the way in which it was executed. The server felt weird about it, which made us feel weird about it. Maybe he could have told us at 6 pm, “Hey guys, at 7 pm, the tables are reserved for tonight’s dinner rush,” instead of just kicking us out on the spot.
Hmm. If I’m a new restaurant, I’m not asking anyone to leave. Especially those two. I’d love to hear how other restaurants handle this.
Jake King-Gilbert is a Connecticut-native living in Dallas, and he’s done something most people haven’t: he’s turned his entire apartment living room into a hydroponic system that’s 8 ft. tall, 6 ft. long, and 4 ft. wide. Hydroponics is a way of growing plants in water without soil.
He chuckles when I ask him the dimensions of his living room. “About that big,” he says.
King-Gilbert has had such a good time farming in his own living room and giving his coworkers fresh produce in December, he’s decided that he wants to do it for all of Dallas. He explains it best on his Kickstarter page:
Terra Tech Farms will be an indoor farming facility. Using hydroponics farming methods, we will be able to provide sustainable produce on a commercial scale, utilizing less land and water than conventional farming. Our produce will be local, pesticide free and grown year around.
We believe in sustainable produce that is able to be grown in an urban environment, that is what we plan to bring to the Dallas community.
Terra Tech will occupy a building at 4412 Elm St. in Deep Ellum, which used to be a car repair shop.
“I wasn’t going to stay in Dallas, to be honest, but what stopped me is I think Dallas is just really getting started with the green movement – people are getting really passionate – and I want to help out with the beginning,” says King-Gilbert. “Once up and running, we’ll be looking for volunteers to help us get to as many farmers markets as we can.”
The indoor farmer needs help raising money for supplies and paying off the lease. King-Gilbert needs about $3,000 more dollars to get his project started. That’s not too much for a huge positive impact for the Deep Ellum/rest-of-Dallas community, right? Alright, guys. Ready, set, FUND.
We dispatched Brad Murano, otherwise known as The Brad as in The Brad’s Adventures in Food, to the Food & Wine Classic in Aspen this weekend. He files a photo essay of the glamorous event.
The Food & Wine Classic in Aspen isn’t just about the chef demonstrations, informative seminars, and massive Grand Tastings, it’s about parties. Press, trade, chefs, attendees and fence-jumpers jocky for placements on the coveted lists. Here are some snaps from various F&W shenanigans and some famous peeps from Dallas with famous peeps from around the world.
Chris Ward, the executive chef of The Mercury, texted me the news: Eric Anderson, the executive chef at T/X in The Stoneleigh Hotel, died Friday after an incident involving a car. I called the Le Méridien Dallas, The Stoneleigh but there was no manager on duty available to comment. However, one employee confirmed the tragedy. According to the employee, Anderson joined the kitchen “three or four” months ago.
“Eric worked with Danielle Custer at Laurel’s. When she closed, he came to me right after I opened citizen 1989 or 1990,”said Chris Ward. “He was at The Mercury for eight months and as far as I know, he left here and opened his own place out in the country.”
Anderson’s profile on LinkedIn indicates he worked as executive sous chef DFW Marriott Hotel & Golf Club fro 2003-2007. Ward, who knows a family member, says Anderson was 42.
There will be a memorial service for Eric on Wednesday at 7:00Pm at the Le Meridian Dallas, The Stoneleigh. The family welcomes friends and colleagues to celebrate Eric’s life and meet his three boys. The family encourages anyone to bring pictures, videos, or any other items relating to Eric. If you have any questions, email me firstname.lastname@example.org.
We dispatched Brad Murano, or The Brad as everyone calls him, to cover this year’s Food & Wine Classic in Aspen. The Brad also has a blog.
While you suckers are toughing out the Texas heat, I’m all up in the Aspen Food & Wine Classic – dispatched by Nancy to report on the Texas contingent. Bruno Davaillon (Mansion) and Tim Love (Lonesome Dove, Woodshed, Queenie’s) are both doing demos, but there are a number of other familiar characters hanging out – John Tesar, Kent Rathbun, Michael Martensen & Brian Williams (Cedars Social and Smyth).
I’ll be looking for them. In the meantime, here area some photos from the insanely well-produced Grand Tasting (the first of 5 scheduled during the event) that took place Friday. Continue reading "Dallas Does Aspen Food & Wine Classic"
A sign announcing the opening of Waldron Lodge appeared overnight at 408 W. Seventh St., just around the corner from Bishop Street Market. Over the past few weeks, workers have been making quite a transformation to the 1930′s-era converted residence, restoring the porch to a rustic beauty fit for summertime people-watching.
But it wasn’t my imagination; general manager Kenneth Cross (a Bishop Arts native) confirmed that the restaurant had its grand opening last night. Chef Beau Johnson of Iron Chef fame is leading the kitchen, which promises “wild game, wild fish, and world-class drinks to all of its welcome guests.”
The menu is loaded with exotic offerings: pulled boar chilaquiles, duck tacos, rabbit sausage stew, and something that’s sounds like the grandaddy of all entrees: a 12-ounce ribeye with blue cheese potato galette and roasted carrots in a bourbon sauce.
Waldron Lodge plans to open for dinner service every day except Saturday, when it will open for lunch.
Meet Marvin. He is my undercover snitch. Marvin knows a lot about the Dallas restaurant business. He’s socially awkward and therefore people feel comfortable feeding him information. They trust him with their secrets. Marvin has two qualities I love: he has a big mouth and my phone number. Marvin, who resembles a Black-footed Albatross, called this morning. He is convinced the space formerly known as Ocho will become a second location of Mi Piaci.
Could be. Brian Black, one of the principles in The Hatch Partners Team that opened Ocho, is the owner of Mi Piaci. Ocho closed abruptly on June 3 and put up a note that they were closed for renovation. I’ve left messages for Black and Ocho chef Joel Harloff but they aren’t returning my requests. So I can only guess Ocho’s managing partner Eric DiStefano is back in Santa Fe. Sounds like a good plan to me.