This week, we add My Cupcake Garden to our schedule. Owner Pamela Boyd offers standard and unique flavors such as red velvet, apple, zucchini, and strawberry/banana. I’m happy for Pamela to get her enterprise rolling. However, if there are any other truck-a-preneurs out there, hear my plea: No more cupcakes! Between Dallas and Fort Worth, we’ve now got My Cupcake Garden, TrailerCakes, Cupcakin’ Machine, Cravetopia, Red Jett Sweets, Hummingbird Sweet Shop, Auntie AM’s Sweet Stop, and Sweet Grooves.
There are fewer big food truck events this week. There are a few, maybe 2-4, food trucks showing up at various outings, but nothing like the “Allen StrEATs” event last Saturday. I’ve highlighted a few directly in the schedule.
Jump for it, but be sure to check Facebook and Twitter before going out.8 Comments »
In case you’ve been living in a cave, I just wanted to reiterate that Bobby Flay and Paula Deen were in Dallas over the weekend for the Metropolitan Cooking and Entertaining Show. Bflay – the Food Network star of countless TV shows (some hot, some not) – rocked my Saturday morning in the Celebrity Theater by doing what he does best: grill the heck out of meat. He decided to do a thick ribeye steak and make a Southwestern potato salad since he was in the company of Dallas people. Nobody complained. In fact, everyone loved him. So, despite rumors that Mr. Flay, in real life, is a bit of a jack… o’ lantern, he managed to woo Dallas and make everyone in the audience (even the skeptic food bloggers I sat next to) drink the Flay Kool Aid.
Big fans of Bobby probably already know this information I’m about to reveal to you. If you stalk him, these details won’t come as a surprise. If you don’t, then enjoy these five little tidbits about Bflay, the red-headed chef.5 Comments »
Attention, all you TJ’s fans: Trader Joe’s peanut butter might have possible salmonella contamination. The grocery chain is recalling its peanut butter and will, according to the Associated Press, provide refunds.
When The Lumen at SMU had its grand re-opening celebration last Thursday, it debuted its new pool, new rooftop terrace, and new restaurant to the public after some major plastic surgery. The Front Room: A Park Cities Diner, the newest eatery at The Lumen, provided the light bites at this uppity event. Its upscale take on traditional diner fare fit perfectly with all the women’s five-inch heels and cocktail dresses. Really, who can resist French toast with bacon and marscarpone cheese, decadent chocolate cake, and raspberry-covered donuts? No one. To dislike chocolate cake is blasphemy.
Central 214′s Graham Dodds is currently the interim chef for The Front Room: A Park Cities Diner. Back in August, we heard that Scott Townend was supposed to be executive chef. Guess that didn’t work out. Now The Lumen is on an executive chef prowl.
Jump for the pretty food photos by Melisa Oporto. Continue reading "Monday Food Porn From The Front Room: A Park Cities Diner"1 Comment »
I don’t know how the chefs/owners of ACME F&B, Colleen O’Hare and Jeana Johnson, have been running their restaurant without an execuchef until now, but you gotta hand it to them. When I wrote my First Take on ACME F&B back in June, I realized these women are beasts in the restaurant business. But praise the Universe, because now they have help en la cocina. Norman Grimm (no relation to the Grimm brothers, unfortunately) is now joining the ACME F&B team. He was most recently at Texas Spice in the Omni Hotel, and before that, he’s worked at The Mercury and York Street. Welcome to ACME F&B, Mr. Grimm.
In the current edition of D Magazine, I review Urban Rio in Plano. As Leslie Brenner would say, “I quite liked it.” However, La B did not. Last week, she granted Urban Rio one lonely star (paywall may apply). I felt she took points off the place for the wrong reasons. She notes the ubiquitous TV screens (it’s Tex-Mex in Plano!) but dismisses the efforts the kitchen takes to produce fresh ingredients such as grinding corn into masa on site and making sophisticated, time-consuming sauces (inspired by Mark Miller!). She fails in Tex-Mex once again for stating: “For dipping, there are baskets of sturdy, not particularly addictive tortilla chips. The unnatural-looking bright green ones? They’re made from cactus, a server tells us.” Leslie, that’s a good thing.
And shame on you Mr. Scott Reitz. In his Dallas Observer review he types: “Sure, there’s an endless procession of store-bought chips you can dip in a tomato-heavy salsa or runny black beans…” Huh? Didn’t you spot the workers hand cutting the tortilla chips in the open kitchen? I’ll give Reitz three stars for grasping the history of Plano and noting the significance of Urban Rio. TVs or no TVs, Nathan and Bonnie Shea, who also own Urban Crust down the street, are responsible for adding a chef’s touch to the food served in historic downtown Plano.
Guys, I understand you are both from out of town, but in Dallas we take our chips and salsa seriously. Oh, I see a best chips and salsa post. Come on gang, tell these two where to go. For chips and salsa, that is.
For your consideration:
There have been plenty of prospectors who have talked about developing historic downtown Plano into a vibrant, hip destination. The Fillmore Pub and Vickery Park, two spinoffs from trendy Henderson Avenue in Dallas, sparked the fire when they moved in among the vintage clothing stores, furniture markets, and quaint embroidery shops that have populated 15th Street for many years. The little old ladies who lunch at Jörg’s Cafe Vienna began sharing the sidewalks with tattooed barflies.
But Nathan Shea is the one who fanned the flame. He has opened two thoughtful and successful restaurants, turning East Plano into a destination for diners from as far away as Oak Cliff. Plano doesn’t seem remote when you sit at a table in the second-story bar at Urban Rio and watch the twinkling lights of Reunion Tower in the distance.
Jump for more and fabulous food porn. Continue reading "Brenner Wrong. Reitz is Close. Urban Rio in Plano Features Great Chips and Salsa"12 Comments »
On Friday, I snuck into Brian Black, Benjamin Crosland and Chef Eric DiStefano’s newest restaurant creation in Preston Center. Ocho Kitchen and Cocktails officially opens today for lunch and dinner. It’s Black and Crosland’s eighth restaurant together (hence, the name “Ocho”), and also the first time Coyoto Cafe’s Chef DiStefano is joining the duo. Ross Demers is the lucky man who gets to be executive chef.
DiStefano, a champ when it comes to Sante Fe cuisine, has designed a two-page menu of what Black likes to call “Santa Fe Tex-Mex.” Every table starts out with a generous portion of hot, homemade tortilla chips that arrives on a plate with two kinds of dips: a roasted tomato and chipotle combo (a stereotypical salsa) and avocado tomatillo (smooth and creamy). Expect plenty of hatch chile flavor in the specialty tacos and the kobe beef burger($13). What’s more, there’s everything from Eric’s New Mexican meatloaf ($14) to a chipotle and agave basted pork tenderloin ($14).