For our May cover story (not online yet), Nancy ranked the top 20 steakhouses in town. I’m doing a TV appearance tomorrow on Fox Channel 4 at around 8:30 a.m. to talk about the story because Nancy gained 10 pounds in the process if writing it, and now she refuses to go out in public. Kidding. Not about the weight. She did gain 10 pounds. But that’s not why she’s camera shy. Nancy has to maintain her anonymity (as much as that is possible) for professional reasons. So no TV appearances. Plus, I helped devise the overly complicated algorithm on which the ranking was based. So I’m super qualified to go in her place.
In any case, some of the top steakhouses are bringing their stuff into the studio bright and early. If you want to see a bunch of meat and a guy with a handsome beard eating that meat, be sure to tune in.2 Comments »
Writer Randy Potts and Chad Houser (Parigi) are in Lebanon cooking with Chef Kamal Mouzawak. Potts has filed two reports. Today he sends the following update:
Lunch in the Garden
In the morning, I am up at 6:30 making fish kibbeh with Kamal – a beautiful bowl is filled with translucent white fish, cayenne peppers, cilantro, onions, saffron, cinnamon, zest of lemon and tangerine, fine wet bulgur. Kamal grinds the mixture using his Kitchen Aid grinder attachment and the result is pressed and laid across a bed of onions, pine nuts and salt and baked slowly. Later, Houser is making his contribution for lunch – grilled zucchini, stuffed with grated halloumi cheese, topped with a homemade mocajete — and watching the tomatoes grill beside a whole octopus.
Lunch today is for 20 people in the garden: it is a simple affair. Continue reading "Eating Lebanon: The Adventures of Chef Chad Houser, Randy Potts, and Chef Kamal Mouzawak"1 Comment »
No indication as to when it opens.
This just in from Libertine:
Libertine’s next monthly beer dinner featuring Texas’ oldest craft brewery Saint Arnold with a very special tasting of the latest Divine 11.
On Wednesday, April 27, at 7 pm you can enjoy five courses paired with five Saint Arnold brews as well as a very special course with an extremely limited sample of the Divine 11 Double IPA. This is a very limited beer, part of a series of single batch beers each brewed with a different recipe and we are one of just a handful of venues with a keg.
1st Course: Mahi Mahi Ceviche with Plantain Chifle paired with Summer Pils.
2nd Course: Peanut and Chicken Thigh Soup paired with Amber.
3rd Course: Deviled Egg with Arugula and Chicharron Salt paired with Wheat.
Special: Saint Arnold Divine w/ Sliced Scallops and Peach Gastrique.
4th Course: Spicy Hot Pot of Soba Noodles, Vegetables, and Crispy Duck Breast paired with Elissa.
5th Course: Chocolate layered mousse cake with cherry compote, white and dark chocolate drizzle and french vanilla whipped cream paired with Farmers Brown Cask Ale.
Tickets are $50 and reservations are required. Call 214-824-7900 to reserve your spot.
I just hung up with Cane Rosso owner Jay Jerrier, who was returning from an airport run to drop off a special visitor. Giulio Adriani is a master pizzaiolo and an inspector for the Verace Napoletana Assocation (VPN), the U.S. arm of the Italian outfit that decides what is and what isn’t authentic Neapolitan pizza. Adriani spent five hours last night auditing every aspect of Jerrier’s Deep Ellum operation. Jerrier said the process was stressful and felt like “a five-hour proctological exam.” He says Adriani was impressed with the mozzarella, the oven, and the dough mixer (the latter two devices having been imported from Italy). But Adriani did suggest a couple changes. He wants Jerrier to open his dough a bit differently. That’s the process whereby a dough ball is transformed into a pizza disc. Adriani’s change will fill the crust with more air. He also suggested that Jerrier build a climate-controlled room to proof his dough. The Italian marveled at our weather — 93 and humid yesterday, 60 and dry this morning. That kind of fluctuation makes yeast behave schizophrenically.
In any case, Adriani gave Cane Rosso a positive recommendation for VPN certification, and now Jerrier just has to wait for the certificate making the designation official. “Now I can get some sleep,” he says.2 Comments »
So, every morning I drink my coffee and scan my favorite blogs. This morning Design*Sponge led me to MyLifeScoop, which led me to SketchChair, which led me to 100kGarages, which ultimately led me to MakeMagazine where I learned that, lo and behold, you can use an onion to charge an iPod.
Check it out: Charge Your iPod With an Onion
I’ll admit, it’s been a while since my high school Spanish class, but I’m pretty sure “Empa Mundo” translates loosely to either “world of empanadas” or “empanadas-so good-they’ll-melt-yourface-off.” Although this humble establishment may be a bit off the beaten path, this is one path is filled with richly rewards for those willing to traverse it.
Owner Raul Gordon is a man who understands one simple culinary concept: if you are going to do only one thing, then do it well. And when it comes to empanadas, Raul does his job superbly. His quiet dedication to the empanada has produced a nearly perfect little pocket of love.
Every empanada is hand-made to order and fried to order right before your eager eyes. The crispy exterior shell is light and flaky, never too oily, and creates a perfect vessel for each of the tantalizing fillings awaiting you inside.
There’s more…4 Comments »
You may have seen or heard recent press reports heralding the fact that the Food Truck culture is just around the corner. Er. not yet. The Dallas City Planning Commission has approved changes to some regulations that will allow trucks to operate in the Arts District. Dallas City Council will vote and likely approve the changes at their April 27 meeting. The specific areas are Planned Development zones 145 and 708. The Planning Commission voted to remove the requirements that food trucks must move every hour and that they need to provide a restroom. However, any service will be limited to parking on private property.
It’s a start, and I’m happy for the Arts District. But Greenville Ave., Deep Ellum, and Uptown will have to wait. Lest you think Dallas is lagging in “funk,” we are not far behind other cities. Portland is the clear leader and Austin is close behind, but Chicago, Nashville, LA, andDenver are all struggling with regulations changes.