Tim and Zac have been off frolicking in Atlanta these past few days for the City Regional Magazine Association awards banquet. Last night, on behalf of the D team, they accepted two top honors: General Excellence for D Magazine in our circulation category (huge deal) and best e-newsletter in the country for SideDish. We beat out publications like Atlanta Magazine and Los Angeles Magazine for this spot. Insane!
SideDishers, this calls for a huge celebration. How about signing up for our newsletter? (There’s a little widget in the top right corner of this page that says SUBSCRIBE.) Or you could join us at our 100 Best Restaurants Party tomorrow? Nancy has a huge surprise waiting for you guys…
Back on topic: This award goes to all the awesome people who make sure our newsletter looks PERFECT before it goes out every week. Thank you to Nancy for your eagle eyes and awesomeness, web editor Jason Heid for fixing all my copy errors and headlines, Ricky Ferrer for his design and being patient even when I screw things up, Melissa Chowning, Lauren Cureton, and – most importantly of all – Enya.
Thank you for that song you wrote for Lord of the Rings. Couldn’t have done the April 24 newsletter without ya.Be The First To Comment
I almost didn’t do this post. Making my own bacon was a learning experience. And not the cool kind. I’m into learning experiences where I either learn that I’m immediately good at something or I learn because documentaries are educational.* This wasn’t like that.
I figured bacon makin’ would be a challenge, of course, but I also assumed that there would be a vision-quest type of aspect to it. I mean, seeing a pork belly transform into bacon – how can that not be a spiritual enterprise? I thought that through the bacon, I would connect with my spirit animal** and learn some universal truth about life. No dice. I did learn some things – many of which could safely be filed under the header “How Not to Make Bacon at Home Properly.” If only an emoticon existed to express my feelings.5 Comments »
The State Fair of Texas may be over, but that doesn’t mean we’ve seen the last of it.
Even though he’s said that he’s “quite done with food challenges,” Adam Richman can’t seem to separate himself from food. The host of the cult classic, Man vs. Food on the Travel Channel, was at the State Fair on Saturday, where he teamed up with Bounty Paper Towels and Napkins to discover the tastiest messes in Texas.
Five dishes and six judges (including Richman) engaged a throng of fans in the greasiest and most deep fried of taste tests.
Bounty paper towels were also on deck to soak up the Texas-sized messes.
I’m not one of these wide-eyed, narrow arteried, “bacon makes everything better” optimists. Admittedly, bacon does, in fact, make most things better (notably life), but things like bacon cereal, bacon vodka and chicken fried bacon are all best left, well, uninvented.
I grew up in a bacon loving house, among a bacon-loving people,* and while I usually enjoy bacon in the standard, plated form, I can’t help but think from time to time, “Oooh, bacon on that would be good.” As such, I can relate to the sometimes ill-advised inclination to overdo a good thing (or disguise a bad one**) by adding bacon to it — the line between bacon decency and bac-insanity is so vague, you may not know it when you’ve crossed it.
Continue reading "Look What I Made: Maple Bacon Glazed Donuts Recipe"
At this very moment, I am shooting the breezes with Nick Badovinus. He is on my speaker phone. He is laughing so hard and spouting Nick-isms so fast I can’t take them all down.
It all started when I noticed a Bud Kennedy tweet: “@eatsbeat Dallas’ retro Off Site Kitchen burger grill opening 2nd loc[ation] at 2405 N Henderson, Dallas.” What “shocked” me is Bud is a real reporter. He’s been in the business for a long time. He doesn’t gossip at media dinners, he makes phone calls and asks questions. I spoke with Nick a couple of weeks ago about his “renno” at NHS Tavern and he had no idea what he was going to name it. He had a new sign and some groovy new décor items, but he had no name.
He still doesn’t have a name of the place that will reopen soon. But it is NOT going to be Off-Site Kitchen. Why? Because Off-Site Kitchen is basically a commissary with a food service element. Badovinus has all of his food orders sent to Off-Site Kitchen (hence, the name) and from there, they are portioned and distributed to his other restaurants. It’s a smart business move that pays for itself by serving bitchin’ sandwiches.
Here’s what Badovinus is saying between sobs of laughter and disbelief: “Where does this s*&t come from? I mean who are these people who know more than I do? It has never come out of my mouth that there is going to be another Off-Site Kitchen. Never. How does somebody write that? I mean, do people just make these things up? Tell me, please. How does this get started? I mean people are already bitching to me that Off-Site Kitchen is too small so I’m, what, gonna take a place that sells a $3.75 cheeseburger and stick it in a high-rent location with valet parking? ( a 30-second guffaw) I mean do people think I’m stupid. It makes no business sense. Off-Site Kitchen is not a brand, it’s a place. (Oh, I see a t-shirt in the works!) It’s a real commissary not named Commissary. I mean why can’t people just call and ask me? I’m sorry this just makes me so crazy. I don’t know how you do this s*&t for a living. You must be freakin’ exhausted.”14 Comments »
I think it’s safe to say that the whole bacon craze is going to stick around whether you like it or not. Five years ago, GrubStreet was one of the first (at the time) to complain about the whole bacon madness. Here we are, years later, still moaning and groaning about our favorite breakfast meat when it shows up in on a plate with scallops or something. It’s time to accept the fact that bacon isn’t just bacon anymore. It’s bacon with _____. If that concept is hard to grasp, think about people who get hitched. A married woman isn’t just Sally anymore. She becomes a “we.” A pair. A unit.
This has all just been a long introduction to say that the rumors are true. Burger King has added a new bacon sundae to its summer-special menu, and it’s only a whopping 510-calories, which is really nothing compared to those bacon milkshakes from Jack in the Box. The sundae comes with a bacon slice with bacon crumbles on top of fudge, caramel, and vanilla ice cream. People who call themselves foodies might be tempted to stick their noses up in the air at this announcement, but NPR published a really intelligent piece on how the Internet buzz over this trendy meat is shaping the bacon narrative.
“I come not to praise the Burger King bacon sundae, nor to bury it. I come merely to point out that sometimes, the particular flavor of contempt with which you choose to address something is as important as the contempt itself,” writes Linda Holmes.
She makes a good point. Who cares whether the bacon trend is so 2007 or not? What matters is whether or not food tastes good. Trends be darned.7 Comments »
I thought the bacon craze might have hit its low with Jack in the Box’s bacon milkshake, but I couldn’t have been more wrong. Now Burger King is jumping into the fray with its very own bacon sundae. According to Internet chatter, there’s no word on whether this item will be officially added to BK’s menu, but it definitely looks like its not ruling that option out. BK displayed this lovely bacon sundae ad in Nashville.2 Comments »
Few restaurants have received as much pre-opening buzz as Nick Badovinus‘ highly anticipated Off-Site Kitchen. As a fan of his work at the Neighborhood Services ventures, I’m not ashamed to admit that I was as giddy as a school girl every time a shred of news regarding its opening surfaced. Naturally, when Off-Site Kitchen did open, 98% of the blogosphere rushed to see what kind of magic Badovinus and crew had been brewing up for all those months, and appropriately, nearly every food writer got right to work gushing about it all over the internet. And honestly, it deserved every bit of praise that has been thrown at it.
Now that some of the early chatter has started to simmer down a bit, it seems only appropriate to express my love for the humble, working-man’s menu at Off-Site Kitchen, particularly through praise of one of my favorite items on the menu board, the 48-hr cracked pepper brisket sandwich. It took a few visits to be able to mentally pry myself away from their excessively delicious burgers, but when I was finally able to take the plunge into non-burger territory, my efforts were so handsomely rewarded, I no longer fear to stray.
I’m not at all ashamed to profess my love for donuts. Some may label these decadent morsels of fried dough a “guilty pleasure,” but when I sink my eager teeth into the perfect donut, I feel no guilt at all, simply a euphoric rush of gustatory satisfaction which no other breakfast pastry can provide. Last year, I presented my list of the Best Donuts in Dallas, but since that time, we’ve seen some notable changes on the Dallas donut frontier. The beloved Hypnotic Donuts traded in their inconspicuous habitation of a pizza joint in North Dallas for a vibrant new shop in East Dallas. Other donut shops, such as Pookie’s Donuts on Lemmon Ave, who donut bombed D Magazine a few weeks ago, and Denton Square Donuts who I visited previously, are also getting in on the donut love currently wafting through the air around Dallas.
Jump for a hole lot more…8 Comments »
That’s right, Keller. While it may be known as a nice bedroom community to Dallas and Fort Worth commuters, and the home of a million chain restaurants and some average BBQ, Keller has not, hitherto, been a fine dining destination. That could all change. The Milk & Honey Co. is an offbeat lunch spot, tea room, fine dining restaurant and supper club based in an old clapboard house in the original 40 acre deed for the town. At lunch, it serves straightforward soups and sandwiches. In the afternoon it becomes a refined tea room. In the evening, the owner’s son Joshua Harmon takes over the kitchen and that is when the sparks begin to fly.25 Comments »
I think I may be the last person in Dallas to dine at NOSH Euro Bistro. There was a wine dinner at Nosh in Dallas, and I was fortunate to have a media invite. That meant that I got to sit at the counter at the front of the kitchen. I had a cockpit seat into the pandemonium and work that is a meal of this size. Here is some of the action as the team served the diners (every seat sold, and a waiting list, BTW!):
Believe me, you’ll want to jump for some serious food photography by Desiree Espada. Continue reading "NOSH: Finally!"
I woke up this morning craving two things: donuts and a Big Breakfast from McDonald’s (don’t ask me why). The universe must really love me, because I walked into work this morning only to discover a big box of donuts sitting on my desk. It came with a mysterious note from Rinny & Joaquin Lewis: “Mark suggested we bring these by. Thank you [insert smiley face].”
Er, thanks for the donuts, guys, but… who are you?? Have we met before? And what did I do to deserve these fatty donuts? Three weeks ago, I gave a random man my extra DART ticket, but that was the latest act of kindness I can remember…10 Comments »
Tuesday night, pizza lover and baseball writer, Evan Grant, and pizza maker and baseball lover, Jay Jerrier held the finals of the “Name a Pizza for Mike Napoli” contest at Cane Rosso. Four of the five finalists showed up to sample their until-then-never-tasted pizza recipes. Jerrier went to great lengths to make the pies. “We don’t make an Alfredo sauce, so I had to create one for Jason Joseph’s “Angel Tears” entry,” Jerrier said.
I slinked in at the end of the evening to try the pies and I’ve got to hand it to all who were picked in the finals. It was a tough decision. My favorite was Doug Fusella’s “The Cane Rosso Napoli Experience” with Jimmy’s sausage, meatballs, sopressata, spinach, and jalapenos. But Grant and Jerrier picked Joseph’s “Angel Tears,” a pie of Italian sausage, salami, sweet onion, jalapenos, roasted garlic, spinach, Roma tomatoes, and mozzarella dusted with Romano. Jump for all of the recipes and the rationale behind the ingredients below. AND PHOTOS!
The world is going pig-crazy.
On Friday, I heard that Jack in the Box was offering a very limited number of bacon milkshakes as a secret menu item. Did anyone get a chance to try one? I almost dropped everything to go search for one, but then I remembered my sanity. Now I’m lying deep in the trenches of regret.8 Comments »
A few years ago, when the whole “elevated comfort food” movement really started to take shape, it seemed like every restaurant in the city was creating their own version of the fancy-fied mac-and-cheese. I must have tried them all. Various iterations typically called for elegant or exotic cheeses or expensive luxury proteins, each dish doing its best to push as far as possible from the childhood version, that slop in a blue box. Many dishes were highly successful, indeed, many restaurants began to claim this as their signature dish. Now that the novelty of a $15 mac-and-cheese has begun to wear off, there are really only a small handful that, to me, have weathered the trend and continue to be a completely crave-able dish, and Victor Tango’s version, the Crab, Mac and Jack Gratin, still sits on top of my list.
Katrina Markoff of Vosges Haut-Chocolat, the woman who sells bacon chocolate candy bars for $33 a box and probably makes a darn good living from it, is holding two truffle classes (making bacon truffles?? maybe??) in Central Market for a pre-Chocolate Festival event on February 4. The real Chocolate Festival kicks off on February 8 when Central Market hosts some of the hottest chocolatiers at their Dallas, Fort Worth, and Plano locations to show what these superstars can do with mighty fine cocoa beans.
At least now I know what I want for V Day: bacon freakin’ chocolate candy. Whoever mails me a box, wins.
Jump for dates, times, and locations. Continue reading "Chocolate Festival at Central Market, Feb 8-14"
SideDish photographer Desiree Espada roams the roads with her camera looking for good things to eat and shoot. Check out her photo essay of Bolsa Mercado. Then feast your eyes on what to expect when the Jerry Garcia of donut making, James St. Peter, opens Hypnotic Donuts on Sunday, January 29.
Glory be to the donut. Continue reading "Desiree + Camera: Photo Essay of Hypnotic Donuts in East Dallas"
Hey, hosers! How’s it going, eh? What are your plans for Boxing Day? Betcha Yanks a toonie you didn’t know SideDish is freakin’ huge in Canada! Yep, it’s true, eh? Last time I was in Toronto (Toronnah) I spied some Canadian idiot sporting a toque (two-k) with a big red D on it! My brother-in-law went all Don Cherry on me and said the D stood for Detroit (dee-troi-e-ot). What else would you expect from a pansy Red Wings fan? (Q: What do you call 5 Detroit Red Wings players standing ear to ear? A: A wind tunnel!)
I love Boxing Day, the first business day after Christmas. All of Ontario closes and we sit on the chesterfield and chow down on donuts, beer, macaroni and cheese, and watch hockey. The NHL pretty much owns Canada on Boxing Day now. They have TEN GAMES scheduled. My friend’s mum puts out (uhoot) a hellofa buffet (boo-fay). And k.d. lang always sends me a fruit cake. Go Leafs! (Q: Why don’t the Leafs drink tea? A: Because the Canadiens have all the cups.) And hello Peterborough!9 Comments »
We all know that making a decent grilled cheese doesn’t require a membership in Mensa. I mean, I was making them at 7 years old…sure they were more often burnt to a black crisp than a nice golden brown, but I just called it “extra toasty.” A number of joints around the country have popped up, determined to push the grilled cheese sandwich where it has never been before, including places like Cleveland’s Melt Bar and Grilled, Austin’s Chedd, and NYC’s Melt Shop. So when I first heard about Ruthie’s Rolling Café, one of Dallas’ freshest food trucks dedicated to the humble grilled cheese, I was intrigued. Personally, I love the idea of dedicated cuisine. If you do one thing, do it right, I always say…okay, I don’t actually say that very often, but if you are only doing one thing and you suck at it, you may want to reconsider the direction your life is heading. I digress. I hoped that with Ruthie’s, this would not only be the beginning of a long, fruitful relationship between me and some beautiful sandwiches, but that Ruthie would pave the way for a grilled cheese revolution.
I am happy to report that Ruthie’s makes a mean grilled cheese. Perhaps you have been reluctant to jump on the food truck bandwagon. I know I have been, as I typically prefer, you know, chairs, air conditioning, and tables, but I can put all those niceties out of mind for some Ruthie’s. Even if I had to eat her sandwiches in a dark alley behind the Wal-Mart while lying on a bed of nails inside a dumpster, I would have no complaints.2 Comments »