Imagine you are the owner of a restaurant. Feel the hot sweats? Yeah, it’s a scary business. There are many pleasures such as pleasing customers with great food and service. But there are many potholes. Some of which you don’t see coming until you hit them head on. Utensils get swiped, servers get stiffed, and people complain. But lately I’ve heard a couple stories from restaurateurs that have actually stunned me. Some people have a lot of nerve. Here is one scenario.
A large table of office mates celebrating their annual holiday feast. Lots of food and drink flowing. Gal gets up to use the restroom. Wobbles on high heels towards the door. An employee happens to be in said restroom when Wobbly Gal slips. Said employee catches Wobbly Gal in mid fall. In the process, Wobbly Gal’s hand gets scratched. Wobbly Gal goes back to table. All is well.
Forty eight hours later, the Not-So-Wobbly Gal returns to the restaurant. She asks for the manager and demands $350 to pay for the jeans that were ruined when Wobbly Gal tried to get the blood out by using bleach. Oh, and she wants money for her shirt too. She has no receipts for anything. She looks like she could “throw a wobbly” at any moment.
You may think this answer is easy. Just say no. But restaurateurs are people pleasers and they don’t want to do anything to hurt the oh-so-important “word of mouth” publicity their business depends on. Many restaurants fork over the dough.
So how would you solve this problem?13 Comments »
If I ever want to get a good sleep I have to turn my computer off. If I don’t, I run the risk of passing it in the middle of the night and noticing the little green light next to Teresa “Gubbshoe” Gubbins’ name on gTalk. For while I am making a middle-of-the-night bathroom run, Gubbshoe is scouring Facebook, Craig’s List, Angie’s List, and this list, and beating stories out if the internet bushes. I swear she is a vampire.
This morning she shines a beacon on the big news in East Dallas: Jay “The J” Jerrier is opening a second location of Cane Rosso at 7328 Gaston Ave. at Grand Avenue, near White Rock Lake. (I know something about Jay that she doesn’t but I’m not telling!)
Anywhoo, it begs the question: Does North Oak Cliff have a hipper food scene than East Dallas? Or vice versa?
Do you like the Goodfriend-Mecca-Matt’s-Barbec’s sensibility of East Dallas or the Oddfellows-Bolsa-Boulevardier-Smoke-Hattie’s vibe of Bishop Arts District and North Oak Cliff? And WTF, Marc Cassel? Will you ever open?14 Comments »
Both Christophers, Zielke and Jeffers, of Bolsa Mercado confirm the shop opening up in Arlington has nothing to do with Bolsa Mercado in Bishop Arts. So, there you have it. Call anyway and ask them if it is true: 214-367-9367.
Monica Greene has never been afraid of change. Moments ago she told me she is leaving the business of Monica’s Aca Y Alla in Deep Ellum to her partners who will close the restaurant at 2914 Main Street, remodel the space, and reopen as a yet-to-be-named Mexican restaurant. Monica is moving all of her energy over to the iLume Building on Cedar Springs where she has been in the planning stages of opening Tajin. When the Sushi Axiom closed, Monica decided to take the space and open up the walls of Tajin into the space and create a new concept. The 7,600-square food space will now be Monica’s Nueva Cocina and ME Lounge. It was a difficult decision for Greene to leave Deep Ellum where she has been a major player for over 20 years. More on the food later. Monica has written a letter to YOU. It’s below.
UPDATE: Monica is on her way to Houston. I got lucky when she answered her cell phone. “This [move] has been a real struggle for me,””Greene said. I’ve always been committed to urban development. I believe in Dallas but unfortunately the area [Deep Ellum] has taken a long time to develop. It’s time for me to expand and open my doors to a larger audience.”
I say, you go girl. It’s a great move. She has been in, what I would call, an abusive relationship with Deep Ellum for a long time. It’s time she made a fresh start. That girl has some balls. Oh, wait. Nevermind.22 Comments »
We had so much fun the first time we played this game. Let’s play it again. Can you guess the name of this restaurant?20 Comments »
Thai-rrific was a North Dallas favorite until it moved to Oak Lawn last year. And since I live around there, I am sure glad it did.
Despite the Cedar Springs address, the restaurant fronts Throckmorton Street. Big windows provide a view of the well-lit dining room and its diners: concrete floor, tables topped with white paper over white clothes and black banquettes, two-tops and four-tops of boys from the hood drinking bottles of wine they brought in themselves.
We were seated at a half banquette/half table set up in a cozy corner and proceeded to fill our bellies.
We started with the pik gai yut, or stuffed wings. Our waitress said it was the house specialty. Essentially it was two large chicken sausages shaped like wings. What I mean by that is that ground chicken was mixed with cilantro, onions, rice, and lemongrass and kind of formed into wing shapes before being roasted and sliced and presented in a brown sauce. Lip-smacking good.
Bolsa Mercado is officially a talent hog. It’s great if you happen to be cool (rich?) enough to live in The “fabulous” OC. However, it sucks for those of us who have to walk half a mile through a huge chain grocery store to buy a carton of milk. Or beer.
Deep Ellum Brewery has just released their first (only?) production of “Love Runs Deep” Cherry Chocolate Double Brown Stout (deets below). Think you’ll find it at Tom Thumb? Nope. Bolsa Mercado bought the entire batch. Each 22-ounce bottle is individually numbered and made with red tart and dark sweet cherries and Organic/Fair Trade cocoa nibs. Expect to find all 300 of them on the shelves of Bolsa Mercado during their next Open House on February 11.
If you can’t wait until the 11th to get a food fix from The ‘Cado, head over on February 8. If you are lucky, you may be able to look past talented chef chefs Jeff Harris and Matt Balke and spot the rare, elusive chef Sharon Hage in the kitchen. She will be creating a “Take Home Dinner For Two.” Who knows, by then Bolsa Mercado may have Alan McClure creating Fudgesicles or Grant Achatz doing dishes. Could happen. Pigs fly in Oak Cliff.
Forgive me Master Sommeliers and wine collectors around the world, I have sinned. I am here to confess my deepest darkest wine secret: I improperly stored four bottles of fabulous wine. For nearly 35 years.
Look at the photos and weep with (for?) me. I recently uncovered these bottles in a box buried beneath a pile of old Christmas decorations in my garage. Yes, my garage, where it sat for close to 35 summers, winters, springs, and falls. I am a human species of Phylloxera.
I could have pulled another Billionaire’s Vinegar and called Sotheby’s and claimed the wine was given to me by Richard Nixon and I’ve kept it hidden in a bricked-up Paris cellar. Instead I’m posting pictures of my crime. Perhaps there are others who have committed the same dirty deed.
Full confession below. Continue reading "Confession: I am Guilty of a Heinous Wine Crime"22 Comments »
So, I’m avoiding real work and searching for the scoop on Sissy’s Fried Chicken on Henderson. We all know the general rules of posting CO permits: The name on the permit in the former Hector on Henderson spot could be the real name of a home cooking or “place holder” for a gay bar. We won’t know until somebody either calls me back or I get lucky on the internet. Owners change names all the time after they’ve applied for a permit.
Anywhoo, I’m digging away and get off task. Oh, look! I find a permit pulled for a restaurant at 624 642 W. Davis. I’m not telling you the name of the LLC because Teresa Gubbins will be all over it like hot on fried bubblegum. I contacted several HIGH PROFILE restaurant people in The OC for info. Oh yes, they all know who and what it is, but none of them are talking. Okay, guys. I’ll remember that the next time you send me a press release about your new bartender or your fall brunch menu. Hah! Two can play this game. Grrr.17 Comments »
Leave it to Teresa “Gumshoe” Gubbins to find a snitch in Trader Joe’s camp. Since the grocery chain announced they were planning locations in Dallas last May, they have been quite secretive about their locations. According to TG, you can rule out the former location on Greenville Ave. Her Deep Throat coughs up three possible locations: Walnut Hill and Central, Knox Ave., and Fort Worth. All of the details are here.
There was a time when Trader Joe’s was cool and funky and carried stuff you couldn’t find elsewhere, but I think the company is now running on a tired image. In the 70s, Two Buck Chuck played a significant role in nursing wine drinkers off the Spanada bottle but the last TBC I sampled burned the enamel off my teeth. So, Trader Joe’s? Yes or no? Why?20 Comments »
‘Scuse me while I saddle up my high horse. Am I the only woman who is concerned about the sudden surge in Breastaurants. I mean really 35 additional Twin Peaks? A bar opening in downtown called The Spread Eagle? Seriously boys? How would you like to take your daughter into one of the restaurant’s the gals in our office just conceptualized. We call them Peteries.
Hunky Town, Twin Pricks, Tooter’s, Pecker’s Hot Italian Sausage, Tube Steak Junction, Cake Balls to the Walls, Nuts and Butts, Quickies, Long Dong Silver, Tally Whacker’s, Love Mussels, Wee Willie’s, Twig and Berries.
Ladies, the floor is open.53 Comments »
When Park Restaurant closed last month, veteran chef Garreth Dickey found himself without a job. Starting Monday, he will start his new gig as chef du cuisine at Dish. Dickey moved to Dallas to work for Stephan Pyles at Star Canyon. He also worked at the original Green Room, Jeroboam, The Porch, and Hibiscus before he replaced Marc Cassel at Park.
Doug Brown is still the head chef in Dish’s kitchen and he has been busy making some changes. Brown and Dickey will debut a new menu which will be refreshed weekly. “One section of the menu will be unique to the week,” owner Tim McEneny said. “Our core items such as our roasted chicken and barbecued short ribs will remain.”
McEneny is also involved in the facelift taking place at Dakota’s. They are in the process of covering the patio and changing the menu. They roll out a new cocktail and wines-by-the-glass program on Monday.
A loyal Disher sends this sad news:
I’m a regular reader of the Side Dish blog, and I wanted to let you know that I got word today that Hector’s on Henderson is closed. My wife’s birthday is next weekend, and we had a party scheduled for approximately 18 people, but I got a call from Hector himself this morning letting me know of the closure. He didn’t want our party showing up next week to find a locked door. I’ve been there several times over the years, and I think it speaks to his credit that he called me personally.
I hate it when bad things happen to good people. Hector has been, and I’m sure always will be, a good Samaritan in the Dallas dining scene. Details to follow.25 Comments »
Give these gals some credit (sorry) for speaking up when they’re down on their luck. Kathy Jack and Susie Buck of Jack’s Backyard closed their popular indoor/outdoor venue on June 26. There has been some talk going around about why they closed and even though they’ve released the statement below, I’m still a little unclear on their message. Owner Kathy Jack writes “I developed a plan with the head of the creditors’ committee to repay our back debts and start repaying investors but ultimately, we were not given that opportunity.” By the landlord? By the bank? Whatever, I admire her courage and commitment to make things right. I’ve asked for more details. Below is the statement she released late last night.
With our ferocious invasion of the In-N-Out‘s double-doubles under control, we turn to face our next assault: conjugated linoleic acid from Murray’s Cheese on Bleecker Street in New York City. No, we don’t need any rope, conjugated linoleic acid is a good thing. It is one of the healthy fats (love it!) found in cheese. There are many New Yorkers who think Murray’s Cheese shop is the best in New York. And, like so many New York businesses, Murray’s had humble ethnic start. From their website:
“Murray Greenberg was a Jewish Spanish civil war veteran and communist who opened a wholesale butter and egg shop a few doors up Cornelia street in 1940. The old timers tell me [current owner Rob Kaufelt] that even though he was an old leftie, he was still a street smart capitalist who used to buy cheese cheap and trim it and sell it. In the 70′s he sold the shop to his clerk Louis Tudda, an Italian immigrant from Calabria.” Grab a Kleenex and continue here. (I’d cast Dustin Hoffman as Murray and Helen Mirren as Paula Lambert in the movie War of the Cheeses.)
Fast forward to May 17, 2011. Murray’s has two locations in New York where they sell a gazillion cheeses. They have a books, cured meat, crackers, dried fruit and nuts, and an olive and antipasto bar. Phew! And a serious online shopping site. However, you won’t need to order Murray’s cheese if you like Murray’s cheese because Murray’s cheese has made a deal with Kroger and soon their cheese will spread across North Texas. (They are already in Houston. What else would you expect from a communist cheese maker? No emails please.) It looks like a Kroger store in Irving (June-ish, not sure which location) will be the first outpost for Murray’s Cheese shop. I say shop because they are building little areas inside each Kroger to mimic the interior of the Greenwich Village store. (Twinwillow, I see a job opportunity in your future.) After that, it’s Katy bar the door– I hear the whole Upper East Side is relocating Frisco.
The first three shops to open in Dallas-Fort Worth are at the following Kroger locations:
-Irving 7505 N. MacArthur Blvd. Irving, TX 75063 (Opening Date: 5/25/11)
-Dallas 5665 E. Mockingbird Dallas, TX 75206 (Opening Date: 6/15/11)
-Fort Worth 3300 Texas Sage Trail Fort Worth, TX 76177 (Opening Date: 7/6/11)8 Comments »
Remember when we wished for In-N-Out Burger and we got it? Well, today comes word that those of you who yearned for SoCal’s Trader Joe’s will soon have one. Yes, Two Buck Chuck is coming to Dallas. Speak up, Dishers. What would you like to have next?48 Comments »
This lucky gal with a husband and two tickets to London writes:
My husband and I are going to England in May and would like suggestions on restaurants serving Italian, French, and Hong Kong-style Chinese. We will mostly be in London, but are also planning a trip to Bath.
I generally eat my way through Harrod’s. You must have a better plan.8 Comments »
My mom is sitting in the other room reading the Dallas Morning News. Suddenly, she burst into tears. “Oh my god, The Bronx is closing!” I jumped on to Eats where La Brenner posts about Karen Robinson Jacobs’ report. Oh my god is right. I remember hanging out there when Stephan Pyles was the chef and the quiche was the best in town. And the omelets. I am feeling old and sad right now.