Dishers, happy Friday! Where did you dine and what did you eat this week? Here is what you reported last week.
On Wednesday I joined a couple of friends for an impromptu visit to Nora, the lower Greenville sibling to Afghan Grill. We enjoyed a nice patio evening, and sampled our way through the small plate menu. We loved every dish we tried, including Aushak (leek dumplings), Kadu (sauteed pumpkin), Bulanee (leek pastries), Mantu (meat dumplings), Sambosa Ghoshti (beef/chickpea pastry) and Badanjan Buranee (eggplant). At the owner’s recommendation, we paired our meal with a bottle of Kavaklidere Cankaya (Turkish white blend)–a perfect choice for the food. We finished with an order of baklava, which had a nice savory flavor and not as overly sweet as many places insist on making it. A great addition to the neighborhood.
Wednesday went to Boulevardier in Bishop Arts. First night the patio opened. Beautiful night outside, so we sat there. Although service was a little lacking, the food made up for it. Had the cassoulet; it was very tasty, but a very heavy dish for the season. Would be perfect in winter. Wine list very nice, lots of choices, especially by the glass. Will be back!
We tried “Tried and True” and it was very, very good. We ordered a little bit of everything but the hit of the table were the Brisket Tacos. Some of the best we have had. The burger is also ourstanding, much like my fav from his other spot Off Site Kitchen. The Ham Sampler was interesing– a change from your normal apps. I loved the saltiest of the three hams— and the toast points served with it were so good. Not sure why- but I loved those darn toast points. I thought we had ordered a ton of food- but when Dean Fearing and Michael Chiarello and some friends showed up– their table had a non stop parade of food. Heck they still may be eating and bringing plates out.
Also, while the pool table is a nice touch— it should takes up a lot of room which could be used for some bar dining. Overall- a great vibe and good solid food. Drinks were well priced and wait staff was friendly but just a touch slow. But we were in no hurry so no big deal.
Headed down to Austin last weekend to see a concert and stay with family. Quick Austin tour:
The County Line – huge BBQ joint serving huge plates of BBQ. Brisket and sausage we’re both on point, but the beef rib was a little tough, though it tasted darn good. The star was the house bread. Available for an upcharge, the house bread comes out in a massive warm sandwich-style loaf, white or wheat (or half-and-half). The culinary equivalent of warm blanket; absolutely delicious. Their humongous (picking up on the theme) patio overlook a river with dozens of turtles hanging out nearby.
Trento – slightly upscale Italian. As as party of six, we received a beautiful center table unlike any of the others, so that was kind of cool. Unfortunately, two of our party don’t have a lot of experience going to “nicer” places, and they felt passively castigated for ordering water, not getting the expensive menu items, no wine, etc. Dunno, I order cheaply too, but I guess I’m used to it. My carbonara (with guanciale!) was delicious but the portion was laughably small.
Blue Star Cafe – my hosts assured me this was a local favorite, and it felt like it. All of my company ordered breakfast and we’re rewarded with beautiful, if traditional, plates of french toasts, eggs benedict, that whole thing. My reuben was also quite good, with house-made Russian dressing. Hipster factor went to 11 at this place. Curly handlebar mustaches as far as the eye could see.
Z Tejas – a five-state chain of “Southwestern” cuisine restaurants with a super-eclectic menu featuring everything from enchiladas to fettuccine. Wild mushroom enchiladas were very good, and the free corn bread served hot in a cast iron skillet was a definite plus. Some of the best black beans I’ve ever had, too. So nice to get a firm, not mushy, texture on a bean in a restaurant.
That was the Austin tour. On our way back, we added a detour to make our first ever Lockhart pilgramage:
Black’s – We tried to pace ourselves in order to visit mutliple spots, so we only order a little fatty brisket and the hatch chili sausage. The brisket was good, moist and smoky, but it was the sausage the sang to us. A little looser than I like, but the flavor was beyond compare. Salty, smokey, rich and with just enough kick from chilies. I liked my potato salad, too.
Kreuz’s – After a quick walk around the gorgeous county courthouse, we headed to Kreuz’s. For me, Kreuz’s stole the day with its fatty brisket. The bark on this thing was half an inch thick (a GOOD thing, in my opinion). This was “close your eyes and let the flavor take over” good. The sausage was only okay. I liked the firmer texture, but it lacked seasoning. Really kind of bland. That’s surprising to me because I LOVE the sausage at Lockhart Smokehouse here in Dallas, and I think it’s the same stuff.
We wanted to add Smitty’s to the trip, but we were so stuffed after the first two stops that we just couldn’t do it. No one wants the meat sweats on a 4-hour drive.
Overall very happy with the Lockhart excursion, though I will say that I didn’t have a single piece of BBQ that stands up to the best I’ve had at Lockhart Smokehouse or Pecan Lodge. That’s almost a relief, in a way.
Ali Baba last Friday with a group of six. My fave low-key place to eat in Dallas. No wait for a table, shared plates, you can hear yourself talk. Haloumi and hummus plates, incredible vegetable dishes (spinach, cauliflower), grilled chicken skewers, I love it all. And the baklava sounds like what Alyb described above, not overly sweet but intense flavor. As an added bonus someone takes home a really good lunch with the leftovers.
Had a delightful lunch at rise no.1 for mamasitas birthday. The server was outstanding – a true credit to both the restaurant and her profession. I had the steamed artichoke to start and my mom had the onion soup. The sauce served with that artichoke would make an old boot taste pretty darn good! The onion soup was, of course, outstanding. We split the mushroom souffle and a pumpkin souffle for dessert (OMG) I have a feeling I’ll be glaring at my pumpkin pie on Thanksgiving and cursing its inadequacy.
Went to “Oak” and really don’t know what all the fuss is about. Had the calamari and pork jowl + a salad for starters – sent back the calamari dish – cold(was supposed to be a hot dish) salad was very bland(leaves on the verge of being frozen), still trying to find the dates and so called smoked almonds…. Main course – duck confit was dry, served with once again cold sausage. Server was slightly irritated with me – probably not used to someone complaining. Husband enjoyed the “risotto” special for a starter, found his main course “stewed” beef to be tasteless. Sides: spaetzle was supposed to be with gruyere – did not taste the gruyere at all – texture was good. Brussel Spouts very good. The dessert was excellent : Chocolate Panna-cotta. Won’t be back in a hurry, if ever…..
Gipson, I must have been right behind you on the highway. Went to Smitty’s, Black’s and Kreuz’s, and completely agree…the brisket from Kreuz was unbelievable and the best part of the trip. Forgot how good Kreuz was, what with Franklin’s getting all the press lately.
Had a pleasant surprise at hibiscus. They have a new blackboard hanging in the front room with some specials listed. Had the short rib, potatoe, and bacon croquette. The richness from the house cured bacon melted with the creaminess of the potatoe and the short rib really brought the hole dish together.This was amazing and a great surprise to see the bar friendly menu, but to still obtain the quality that I love about hibiscus.
@Jonathon n: (LOL) There is no “e” at the end of potato, Dan.
[...] Dishers, happy Friday! Where did you dine and what did you eat this week? Here is what you reported last week. [...]
Get SideDish delivered to your inbox weekly.