First, a few St. Patrick’s Day fun facts:
St. Patrick wasn’t Irish.
Almost 37 million Americans claim Irish ancestry. (The rest just pretend on March 17.)
Nearly 13 million pints of Guinness are consumed on St. Patrick’s Day.
There are four towns in the United States named “Shamrock.” Texas has one of them.
My sister used to eat all the marshmallows out of the Lucky Charms box growing up.
Now, without further ado, we present a guide to boozing on the mean green holiday, organized by our favorite ‘hoods. We know we’ve left off some great bars that will be hosting great times (great time = green Irish beer, Celtic jams, and corned beef and cabbage), but this is just a little taste from a few different DFW territories.
Daniel Vaughn, known to most of you as BBQ Snob and the man behind the blog “Full Custom Gospel BBQ”, is sitting at a table at Franklin Barbecue in Austin with Anthony Bourdain. Vaughn is filming a No Reservations episode on barbecue. Doubtless Vaughn has introduced Bourdain to the delicate terms–snot, smoke rings, sugar cookies–he uses to describe the delicacies of barbecue. Still waiting to hear Tony’s opinion of Texas barbecue. (Sitting pretty close there, Daniel!)
As Carol told you a couple of weeks ago, Bourdain’s Ecco publishing company has optioned Vaughn’s book-in-process, Prophets of Smoked Meat, a full-color tour of the best Texas barbeque joints he’s visited since he first got hooked on the ‘cue. Rock on BBQ Snob. Send us at least a text when you get your own show.18 Comments »
Cathy Barber has the news: Chef Katie Natale has left Cafe on the Green to teach at Le Cordon Bleu in Dallas. That’s a shame, she has done a great job at Café on the Green. Hmm. This makes for an interesting opportunity for one talented Dallas chef. Perhaps former Nana chef Anthony Bombaci should check it out. How lovely would his cooking pair with James Tidwell’s wine list. I’m just saying.
It’s been a year since I wrote about the opening of Asador, the restaurant in the Dallas Renaissance Hotel. The report announced the arrival of chef/proprietor Dean Max and, a young, talented and energetic chef with a focus on farm-to-table (or “farm-to-fire” as Asador would rather term it) principles. Ditto for onsite chef David Trubenbach. I also noted Marriott corporation’s commitment to a destination restaurant in the Dallas Renaissance Hotel, a promise they backed up with an extensive Tequila collection. As downtown Dallas restaurants convert, seemingly like flies, to steak houses, I decided to check-in, so to speak, at Asador to see if they are staying true to their original mission. Here is what I found.7 Comments »
Have any of you experienced dining in the dark? The movement swept through Europe and is currently “playing” in cities in the US. In some cases, the darkness is designed to encourage patrons to experience food tastes without a visual. In other cases, the waiters are blind and the interaction between diner and the waiters is the main appeal. Several of my friends have dined in the dark. One was so disoriented and dizzy, she had to leave. Both reported bumbling around with utensils. Now you have a chance to see how you relate.
Foundation Fighting Blindness is hosting Dallas Dining in the Dark on April 12. Their mission is give you a glimpse into the lives of the blind while specially trained visually impaired servers share their stories and help you navigate your plate. Visionaries (sorry) Margaret Crow and Dr. David Birch will be recognized for their accomplishments at this fundraiser. Check out the details below.
How many times have you returned from a vacation and rushed to your favorite restaurant for a fix of your favorite food? For almost 20 years, I drove from the airport to Mi Cocina in Preston Royal and went face down in a plate of nachos. Then came In-N-Out. Okay, so Andrew doesn’t love it. He’s British. He ingests cans of Spotted Dick Sponge Pudding and Vegemite, a nasty paste I use as a bug killer.
I lived in California for 11 years so perhaps I am experiencing the reverse-home-town-food-nostalgia syndrome that affects older people because when I returned from vacation last week, I drove straight to In-N-Out and devoured a DDAS (double-double animal style) like a rabid coyote. EVERYBODY knows you order the fries crispy at INO. Everybody but Andrew.
Anywhoo, where do you go when you re-enter your life in Dallas?
On Saturday night, I popped into Bolsa Mercado an hour or so before closing. Everything was fine. All was still. Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse.
Little did I know that five hours later, at 2 AM on Sunday morning, owner Christopher Zielke would receive a call in the middle of the night because someone broke into his store. “It was just a cash register and broken glass window,” says Zielke. Nothing to cry about, but the thief had also stolen a huge sum of cash from the register. Usually Zielke empties the register and leaves it by the window to tell wannabe burglars, “Hey, look, no money for you,” but that night he forgot this habit of his.
“I think it’s the same person who’s been stealing from Oddfellows, Eno’s, and Bolsa. He goes directly for the cash registers and doesn’t touch anything else. He’s in-and-out within 30 seconds,” says Zielke.
Zielke, who wanted something positive to come out of this, collaborated with Elliot Munoz to make a short video immortalizing the Bolsa Mercado burglar forever. That’s the story of how an every day thief turned into an advertising star in Dallas. Enjoy.
I got sick of the long lines at the Frisco’s In-N-Out Burger location. It has become the only fast food place where I lose weight because of the time I spent queuing. I decided it would be quicker to fly to California, the ancestral home of In-N-Out, and eat at one in the land where residents consider it another fast food chain, not a place to worship an animal-style burger like a bunch of dazed zombies.
This is my new branch of In-N-Out. It is at the Pinole exit of I-80 (ICBM coordinates: 37.9894758, -122.3098301). For my In-N-Out induction I ordered a “double-double animal-style” ($3.25) along with fries animal style ($3.30) and a chocolate shake ($1.99). Let’s go through each: Continue reading "How To Avoid The Lines At In-N-Out Burger in Dallas"9 Comments »
Not the white stuff….though I did see White Zinfandel used in a recipe on a cooking show recently, but the hearty, spicy, often robust red wine that pairs so beautifully with so many of our Texas food traditions, like barbecue ribs, smoked sausage and brisket, juicy hamburgers, spicy chili and delicious carne asada. Though not the typical go to red for me, I have a friend who loves a good Zin, so I often find myself enjoying a bottle or two when dining with him, which has really opened my eyes to how great and refined some Zinfandel can be. Here are a few favorites I have tried recently. Some selections were sent for editorial consideration.
Sbragia 2008 La Promesa Zinfandel, “the Promise” in Italian, named for the promise Ed Sbragia made to his father to continue the family’s winemaking traditions, eventually under the family name. Made from grapes grown in the La Promesa vineyard adjacent to the winery and planted just a handful of years ago, creating subtle flavors of blackberry, boysenberry, peppercorns, baking spice and cedar notes from 18 months of new French oak aging. Continue reading "What To Drink Now: Zinfandel"