Articles for December 8th, 2011
D Magazine’s Loren Means loves to watch Top Chef: Texas. Therefore, she volunteered to watch all of the episodes this season and write a recap. She’s reviewed episode one, two, three, four, and five. Today she reports on episode six which takes place in Dallas. Go, Loren.
Continue reading "Top Chef: Texas, Episode 6 Recap"
Lisa Garza juggles relationships to get Sissy's Fried Chicken open.
At this moment, Lisa Garza
is doing a walk through of her new space on Henderson Ave. The former Hector’s on Henderson will soon be transformed into Sissy’s Fried Chicken
. La Garza’s idea is to serve “low-country” food in honor of her Southern roots in a “Billy Reid” dining room. Tea-infused vodkas (trending!) and specialty cocktails (a must have) will be featured.
Although La Garza is all about sisterhood (“I am Sissy,” Garza says. “Sissy is southern slang for “sister” and I am developing every aspect.”) there will be no sissy in the kitchen. La G has plucked Jeffery Hobbs and named him “leader of the kitchen.”
Oh, it’s a tangled tale—an episode of As the Restaurant Turns. Here’s the synopsis: Lisa was married to Chef Gilbert Garza. Together they operated Suze Restaurant, the cozy spot on Midway and NW Highway. At some point, Jeffery Hobbs joined the happy couple to work on the kitchen team as chef and partner. Hobbs and Gilbert ran a great restaurant. Lisa concentrated on catering. Lisa was picked as a contestant on Next Food Network Star. The experience was devastating, as most former TV reality participants will admit is generally the case. The Garzas divorced and Lisa retreated for a couple of years. She emerged as a fancy caterer. Found a new guy. Got re-married and is now pregnant with new restaurant.
After eight years at Suze, Hobbs splits to partner with burgeoning bully restaurateur, Jack “Maple & Motor” Perkins. They’re consulting on taco joints. Then La G calls Hobbs and asks him to be the “leader of her kitchen.” According to La G, Gilbert has given his blessing to the deal. See, there can be happy endings. Or beginnings. Stay tuned.
Randy Wolken and Dain Pool, the operators behind Gandolfo’s NY Deli and The Butcher’s Son, have engineered a coalition of Food Trucks called “DFW Street Foods.” Their intent is to be able to provide a more unifying voice among the many new business owners. Besides advancing their political agenda in order to make it easier for food trucks to operate, they have put together several food truck events in Dallas.
Truckin’ Through The Holidays Food Truck Rally
The first coming up is “Truckin Through The Holidays Food Truck Rally” at 3309 McKinney in Uptown Dallas on Saturday, December 10. That’s the parking lot across from Primo’s. They’ll start at 4pm and trucks include Ruthie’s Rolling Cafe, The Butcher’s Son, and Gandolfo’s NY Deli, and The CupCakin Machine.
Big D NYE at Victory Park
Multiple food trucks, including City Street Grille, Nammi, Ssahm, Gandolfo’s, and The Butcher’s Son will be in attendance directly in the venue for Big D NYE. Multiple bands, fireworks, and the food trucks will entertain and feed the thousands of party-goers. The food trucks will be serving from about 6pm until well after midnight. In the past, there has been only one vendor, but now the 5 trucks will provide a nice variety for those out on the streets.
More Events, More Venues
Going forward, the DFW Street Foods coalition will be organizing more events at the Primo’s parking lot location. They’ve also secured use of the old Hard Rock Cafe location for events over the next few months. Stay tuned for more details.
Lange Twins Family Winery and Vineyards
was in town this week to present their wines to the general public and the trade at Dragonfly
at Hotel Zaza. I was an invited guest at the event. Lange Twins has an interesting history. They started out as grape growers and continued as such for five generations. During that time, they were the unheralded suppliers of grapes for some of the best known wineries in California. In 2006, they decided to branch into winemaking as well. As a result, they now have a full range of wines from big-hit grapes like Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay, through to specialties such as Tannat
. Their push towards premium wine is somewhat brave considering that their winery, and most of their vineyards, are located in Lodi
, the high-volume wine capital of California. When you pick up a Texas wine in a liquor store and find the grapes come from California, Lodi is probably where they came from. There’s a move afoot to elevate the quality of the region’s grapes and wines, and wineries like Lange Twins are in the forefront of that movement. Hence, the promotional tours outside their home area and the tasting events for potential customers.
Continue reading "Lange Twins Wine Tasting at Dragonfly in Dallas"
Off-Site Kitchen: These goodies will be available for consumption by "the end of this year."
Well folks, it has been a year since Nick Badovinus leased the former Danny’s Chicken spot at Wycliff and Irving Blvd. for Off-Site Kitchen, a mostly take-out spot featuring “light industrial food” inspired by “what line cooks eat.” Basically the menu is simple sandwiches, breakfast burritos, quality roasted meats by the pound.
Badovinus went silent for a long time. In September I dropped by Off-Site Kitchen to see WTF was up. Badovinus is a tough dude to find when he doesn’t want to be found. But there he was, deep in R&D, curing sausage, flipping burgers, trying out different meat combinations for sandwiches.
This morning, I called Badovinus for an update. As Badovinus talked about the opening date, menu, and concept, I enjoyed listening to him spin off on how the dynamic of opening this restaurant changed as it came to life. It’s almost trite to say that many entrepreneurs start with a grand design and find that once their plan goes from paper to brick and mortar, some details have to change. However, one thing I’ve learned over the years is this: those who allow the on-the-fly changes to overwhelm their original vision rarely succeed. Staying the course can be the difference between success and failure. And what Badovinus has already discovered about his little soon-to-open Off-Site Kitchen is unique and could prove to be a model for others.
Jump for it. Continue reading "Restaurant Update: Off-Site Kitchen by Nick Badovinus"