According to Chef Aaron Staudenmaier’s Facebook page his last night of cooking at Abacus is tonight. Staudenmaier has been in the Rathbun organization since Abacus opened in October, 1999. Word is he is headed to work at a resort in Fredericksburg, Texas.
It always makes me laugh a bit when international wineries make “Rhone Style” wine; I certainly get it…if you’re drinking a red wine from Rhone it is often a Syrah, or Syrah blend with Grenache and Mouvedre, sometimes even with a little Viognier blended in. However, as delicious as those “Rhone style” wines are, sometimes it is better to just go straight to the source, the gorgeous wines from Rhone.
Rhone Valley is a 150 mile region located in the southeastern portion of France filled with sunshine and le mistral (strong, cold) winds in the north and Mediterranean conditions in the south, creating ideal growing conditions for grapes like Syrah, Grenache, Viognier, Roussanne, and many more.
These wines make the perfect marriage of strength and power with elegance and finesse, utilizing the ability to blend to their best advantage when able. Here are a few suggestions for delicious Rhone wine. A few selections were sent for editorial consideration. Continue reading "What To Drink Now: Rhone"2 Comments »
TGIF TGIF TGIF TGIF TGIF. That’s all I have to say.
My friend, Alex, looks forward to the Greek Festival every year. He says it’s the one chance he gets to eat loukoumades, a fried dough pastry soaked in syrup or honey and cinnamon. Holy crap. I am so excited for this festival. It starts today and runs until Sunday at the Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church on Hillcrest. Bring cash and a hearty appetite. There’s free parking and a big shuttle that leads you to the church, so search for a lot on the west side of Hillcrest. (Thanks for the tip, Alex!)
It’s Spaten Mug Night at Holy Grail Pub starting at 6 p.m. Each mug is one liter. Wow.
Okay, if you haven’t gotten your tickets yet to the Dallas Chocolate Conference in Addison, this is your last chance. The schedule has been announced forever ago, but there are still spots left in the afternoon classes. Make chocolate with Dr. Sue Williams of Dr. Sue’s Chocolate. At 1 p.m., she’s going to make three of her amazing (and by amazing, I really mean addicting) barks in 30 minutes. To purchase tickets, go here.
Kudos to the State Fair for trying to add some ethnic stuff to its lineup of fried foods and people-watching this year. The Chinese Lantern Festival looks like Asian eye-candy from what photos I’ve seen. But let’s get our cultural facts straight, folks: The State Fair of Texas is celebrating the wrong holiday at the wrong time. The Chinese Lantern Festival traditionally occurs at the beginning of the Lunar calendar, which is in February. What we should all be celebrating right now is the Mid-Autumn Festival.
This year, the Mid-Autumn Festival (Zhongqiu Jie) falls on Sunday, September 30, a day when there’s a guaranteed full moon. In the month leading up to the Mid-Autumn Festival, friends and family in Asia exchange rich Chinese pastries called mooncakes (yue bin).
Do the jump for a lesson on mooncakes.
Dishers, happy Friday! Where did you dine and what did you eat this week? Here is what you reported last week.3 Comments »
If my arteries could talk, they’d be screaming in half-pain/half-joy because tomorrow, my friends, is the FIRST DAY of the State Fair. When those beautiful Fair Park gates open in 19 hours, 20 minutes, and 45 seconds, we’ll finally be able to enter Fried Food Heaven and rest in buttered peace. But enough of this chitter chatter. We’re wasting time and breath whenever we’re not talking about fried food.
Deep fried jambalaya by Abel Gonzalez*
This winner of “Best Taste” at the 2012 Big Tex Choice Awards is a Cajun mix of rice, shrimp, sausage and seasonings that’s spicy even if you don’t dip the ball into the spicy ranch sauce.
Jump if you know what’s good for ya.16 Comments »
Tuesday, I wrote a post warning restaurants to “just say no” to people who introduce themselves as food writers and expect a free meal for a write up of their restaurant. I thought the “conversation” that took place in the comments section was, for the most part, an intelligent sharing of thoughts between readers, bloggers, restaurateurs, and anonymous commenters. Yesterday, I received phone calls and emails from people across the industry. At the end of the day I realized we have an ugly can of worms swarming around Dallas and I think it’s time we start to clarify some issues and try to make peace.
On the subject of free meals to bloggers: I received emails from PR people ratting on restaurateurs and emails from restaurateurs ratting on PR people. PR people say it’s the restaurants fault; restaurant owners blame the PR people for not vetting bloggers. My five cents? Restaurateurs, if you want to give away free food to any blogger that is your prerogative. I agree that people who are paid to bring business to a restaurant need to do a better job of bringing qualified bloggers to the table. And that means learning how to say no.
Yesterday, I stumbled upon this blog post. The author of the piece that appeared on the blog for PR Newswire is Victoria Harres. Ms. Harres is Director of Audience Development at PR Newswire, the main voice behind @PRNewswire, social media lead for @Business4Better, and a frequent speaker and writer on social media for business.
She writes a report on a monthly meeting organized by the Social Media Club of Dallas. The event “Bloggers: Truth, Lies & How to Work with Them” consisted of a panel of local bloggers and a room full of PR people. The discussion was to help clarify the air on what bloggers would like from PR people and vice versa.
I read Harres’ report at least ten times and I followed links to the bloggers sites. What I found is this: Nobody has defined the difference between a blogger and a journalist, nobody really understands the FTC guidelines for bloggers, and many bloggers feel that they are entitled to respect and special treatment because they do it for passion. Two restaurateurs told me yesterday that they were “talked down to” because they failed to recognize several local bloggers and give them special treatment.
Let’s break it down.71 Comments »
Andrew Ormsby is one of the busiest men in the food business. His successful Andrew Ormsby Catering has just been appointed as the new catering team for The Tower at Cityplace. He will now plan and implement weddings, corporate parties and more through Andrew Ormsby at Cityplace Events. In July, he opened Southern Comfort, a neighborhood bar with live music and buttermilk fried chicken, burgers, and appetizers. He’s also the force behind Ku De Ta , a members-only day resort that is also available for events.1 Comment »
Does anyone else get excited when there are five Saturdays in one month? There’s something special about an additional weekend to be out and about, and I can’t think of a better way to spend this weekend than shopping for some delicious food for the coming week. I am trying to get in the habit of using my fresh ingredients on Sunday evenings to prepare meals for the week. Once Monday evening rolls around, all I want to do is watch Law and Order marathons, and the last thing on my mind is cooking. Does this ring a bell? It looks like rain this weekend, but hopefully that means temperatures will cool off and shopping outside will be more enjoyable.
Celebration Farmers Market: There are two Saturdays left in Celebration’s regular season, so go while you can. Having difficulty eating gluten-free? The Market store will be offering samples of locally made gluten free cheese breads, sold frozen. Flavors include jalapeno, bacon, sundried tomato, cheddar cheese, and basil.
4515 W. Lovers Ln.
Saturday, 8:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
The State Fair starts tomorrow. I can’t compete with that. But I always say if you can’t beat ‘em, become a third party candidate, say a bunch of crazy stuff and ride the wave of publicity. So this week I’m going the opposite direction of fair foods. Anti-fair fare. Cheap, not fried, and meatless. Don’t worry, though; it’s filled with ricotta so you won’t become dangerously thin from eating it.
I don’t write a lot about pasta, because I almost never eat it. I’m continuing this trend, considering that this “ravioli” is made from wonton wrappers, not pasta. It’s a substitution that works well – especially if your ambition level lies somewhere between pasta from scratch and pasta from a box. I’ll be the first to admit that this is perhaps not the most attractive ravioli. (It’s in that awkward phase between being ravioli and being a steamed dumpling). In fact, you may run the risk of ridicule if your “cool” friends come by and catch you hanging out with this dish. Adults can be so cruel. But the joke’s on them because this ravioli is delicious, quick and surprisingly light for something made of dough and stuffed with cheese. Plus, it has freaky powers and will enact revenge. Enjoy.
Yesterday, one of my nerdy-in-a-great-way friends asked me to recommend “a good read” about food. I told her to read Much Depends on Dinner by Margaret Visser. It was published in 1988, long before Michael Pollan ever typed a word about the history, mythology, and taboos behind what we eat. Visser’s style is elegant and she takes simple ingredients such as rice, salt, olive oil, lemon juice, butter, and corn and traces the history and importance of these, and other, elements in our food chain. Do you have a favorite you’d like to recommend? We’re all eyes and ears.
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This is a sponsored post.
Redwoods, crisp breezes, ocean views, and of course, fantastic food and wine. Who wouldn’t want to get away to California’s Central Coast? Well, it’s not quite Big Sur, but on Tuesday, October 9, four lucky winners (and a guest) can experience the Central Coast right here in Dallas, sponsored by D, Crú, Union Bear, The Fish, Malai, and Robert Mondavi Private Selection.
Just click here to be in the running for the exclusive Robert Mondavi Central Coast Wine Crawl. It’s an exclusive guest list, and believe me, you want to be on it. This experience will include samplings from some of the West Village’s tastiest venues. You’ll also get to sip matching wines from Robert Mondavi Private Selection. Drop-dead delicious.
We’ll pick one winner per week and send you an email with instructions if you’re one of the lucky ones.
Oh, and swag bags for all!
You all know the Austin-based Alamo Drafthouse is under construction at Richardson Heights Shopping Center. The groovy movie and brew joint is expected to open in Spring 2013. Today comes word that Addis Ababa, the Ethiopian restaurant that has been open since 1982, has renewed its lease with the center. Also, Frank Bulluck, executive vice president at SRS Real Estate Partners, reports the center is “currently negotiating with several iconic restaurants out of Austin to join Alamo Drafthouse.” Hmm. Anyone have a clue?
I just dropped in to visit with Alfonso Miller who was busy setting up his new wine shop, Art of Wine, in the northwest section of Preston Forest
Shopping Center Square. It’s a retail outlet in front and a wines-by-the glass bar in back. He picked a great location: He’s right next door to Mercury and he’s already talked to them about doing some light food items for wine drinkers. He plans to open the doors on Saturday, September 29. 11909 Preston Rd. 214-514-2784.
Sisu may look like a quaint little house on the outside, but on Saturday, its inside was a snazzy uptown resort flowing with poolside cocktails and sharply dressed people. Our photographer, William Neal, took snaps of the food at the pre-opening party before Sisu officially opened this past Monday. So here’s the lowdown on this place: three bars, a large pool, and two stories. But if you’re not into amenities, no big deal. Take a second to consider the brunch menu. I’ve never had tiramisu French toast before, but those three words in succession are bells to my ears.
In summary: Brunch looks killer, and this will probably be the ultimate party destination for Uptowners. These are exciting times we live in, aren’t they?8 Comments »
It’s only taken eight years for Clint Cooper to finally listen to all his Village Baking Co. groupies hollerin’ at him to open an actual storefront for his artisan breads. Thank the calories that he’s finally gone and done it. Now you don’t have to do your best five-year-old pout when the pear croissants are sold out at the local farmers markets.
In an email that Village Baking Co. sent, Jasmine Gonzalez writes:
Clint’s philosophy and passion for bread was cemented during his training at the San Francisco Baking Institute where he learned the fundamentals of age-old bread-making. To use only natural, as well as organic ingredients - unbleached flour, ground wheat, whole grains, filtered water, and sea salt – and absolutely no chemicals or preservatives. All of Village Baking’s Artisan breads are baked in small batches on hearth deck ovens giving our bread the distinctive melt-in-your mouth goodness and golden crust that is its signature.
Now, after operating our wholesale bakery supplying breads to restaurants throughout the DFW metroplex and bringing our goods to the local farmers’ markets on the weekends, we’ve decided to open a retail shop. Over the years, the overwhelmingly enthusiastic response we’ve received from our passionate and ever-growing farmers’ market customers, has inspired Clint to expand his initial vision and open a store-front that will make his breads and pastries available to everyone year-round.
The new store (5531 East University Blvd.) opens officially on October 4, and it’ll be open Thursday through Saturday from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m., with plans to expand hours in the future. On September 29, though, the Coopers are hosting a “soft” opening for friends and family.
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Eater National just announced on Twitter that Food Network’s Queen of Semi-Homemade, Sandra Lee, is launching a new eponymous magazine that’ll ”cover all aspects of living well — from cooking and entertainment to fashion and style.” Frightening. Let’s just cross our fingers and hope this woman doesn’t commit any more cake crimes.
There are very, very few events that would make me clean my bike and fight with the air pump machine, but Eden’s Garden CSA Farm has one on Sunday, October 14 that’s making me reconsider. Barn Aid 2012: Le Tour de Farms mixes everything that’s good (healthy eating, exercise, grocery shopping, and philanthropy) into a single afternoon of fun and bike riding. Here’s how it works: You check in to Lake Highlands Community Garden at 1 p.m. Then, over the course of the afternoon, you either bike or drive your way through 32 miles of roads. On the way, you’ll be making pit stops at places like Urban League’s Community Garden at Parkland on Elam and the We Over Me Farm at Paul Quinn College, where you can harvest produce and pick up some organic veggies. Once you reach your destination at Eden’s Garden CSA Farm, sit down to a community-style, three-course meal prepared by the bearded chefs of Dallas (Mark Wootton of Garden Cafe, Graham Dodds of Central 214, and Chad Houser of Café Momentum). Pretty simple, right? But I’m not done. At dusk, doors open to the public, and everyone’s invited to watch a free screening of Urban Roots and listen to Lorynn the Redhead play angst-ridden folk music.
To attend, buy your tickets here. If you’ve read this post all the way down to this sentence, and you’re still on the ticket-buying fence… well, consider this: A portion of your money is going to the Youth Village Resources of Dallas’ gardening program. Charles Plummer, the guy who teaches teenage boys at the Youth Village how to grow organic crops, will put that money to good use. He might even make more of his compost tea with it.
Ed Bailey’s empire continues to fall. Head honcho Ken “Kesey” Kuczwaj confirms both were “under performing.”9 Comments »
Never having been to a chili cook-off before, I wasn’t sure what to expect when I walked up to the parking lot at Fair Park on Sunday, September 23. One thing was predictable, though: the scorching Texas heat at an unforgiving 91 degrees. This was one of the few chili cooking competitions before the long awaited Terlingua International Chili Championship on November 3. The scores from the State Fair of Texas Chili Cook-Off could add to the points needed to qualify at Terlingua. As I walked through all the different cooking tents, I was constantly reminded of just how dedicated these competitors were as they spiced, stirred, and simmered their recipes to perfection.