Man, if I could marry Meghan Adams’ strata, I would. The first time I ate that breakfast egg strata with brie, bell peppers, and potatoes, I had three whole helpings . We were at a D Academy class day, and I barely listened to the speakers that morning because I was so focused on all the food Adams was providing for us. (The strata, in particular.)
I’m excited (giddy, really) to announce that The Hospitality Sweet, Meghan Adams’ storefront, is opening inside the historic Post Office at 400 N. Ervay St. on Monday. Most of you who don’t live or work downtown probably don’t know the dearth of good, inexpensive food we have in this section of the city. If you want a quick, cheap meal, you’re forced to go into the tunnels for junky stuff like Kuai Dumplings. But now, downtown workers, you can say, “Screw the tunnels! I’m going to The Hospitality Sweet.”
On February 19, the day after an episode of Kourtney and Kim Take Miami aired, the phone line at International Bakery Cuban Dulceria blew up. The two sisters/owners, Rita and Sara Vazquez, began receiving a flood of calls about their coffee. “Ever since that show where Khloe Kardashian got a cortadito, we’ve had clients asking if we have them,” says Sara.
When a male customer of theirs – one who doesn’t come regularly – drove all the way from Dallas to their small bakery in Carrollton just for a morning cortadito, that’s when the Vazquez ladies knew something was up. “We went online and researched it,” says Rita. As soon as she read about Khloe’s crazy caffeine rampage for cortaditos on the “B**ch Slapped” episode, everything began to make sense.
Cortaditos are Cuba’s version of cortados. They’re usually served in a glass, but International Bakery Cuban Dulceria’s version comes in a yellow foam cup. Ascension Coffee would probably deem this practice blasphemous (they don’t let you take their cortados to-go because it ruins them, they say), but the sisters claim that their cortadito sales have increased 85% since the show aired. This small cup – with a half shot of espresso, steamed milk, cottony foam, and sugar – has brought cortadito fame to Carrollton. The ladies are right about their coffee, too. It’s good. A little sugary for me, but I can see why other people would drive 30 minutes for this. A two dollar cortadito paired with a flaky guava pastry? Muy bueno. What an excellent breakfast for less than three dollars.
Happy early part of January to all. I’m going to cut to the chase: I got a new waffle iron. I know; I’m as giddy as you are. Good riddance Year of Gangnam Style*, bring on the Year of the Waffle!
See, my parents, my siblings, my nephews, me, my dog – we’re a waffle eating people**. Several years ago, my brother gave me a waffle maker for Christmas. We lived together at the time, so the waffle maker was a kind of symbiotic gift. Made a lot of sense for both of us. And for awhile there, it was what academic-types often refer to as a ‘waffle bonanza.’5 Comments »
In my twenties I lived with a young vampire east of Italy, Texas. In some of the most heated battles over our lovesick differences, we came to the conclusion that a riddling philosophical rift beset our passion. The vampire believed his people’s origins were born out of medieval blood barons kidnapping Wiccans and sacrificing them to their own gods, and out of revenge, the Wicca gods made them vampires to suffer in eternity. Sure. The reality is that they are spawned from attorneys. Well, this battle often led to me getting bit and Mahon, as was his name, going underground to sleep for several days. Fidelity waned but we could always find our common ground with food. Yes, vampires can eat, and for some reason Mahon always loved this little spot in Lakewood called Legal Grounds. I shall now impart upon you a small preview into the fantastic enchantments spawned from this charming little café.
In July, when we announced restaurateur Shannon Wynne’s plans to open Lark on the Park, we also uncovered the name of the investor behind the “official” restaurant to operate at the park which will officially open October 27 with a Polyphonic Spree concert. John Muse, partner and chairman of HM Capital Partners and a member of the Woodall Rogers Park Foundation, is partnering with chef John Coleman, formerly the executive chef and director of food and beverage at The Ritz-Carlton Hotel in Dallas, to create and operate Savor.
Savor won’t be open for at least six months, but in late October or early November, Coleman will debut Relish, a food truck dedicated to solving the “common burger problem” by creating burger combinations with the ingredients mixed into the patty and grilled. Relish will eventually evolve into the park’s permanent, casual-food kiosk which is scheduled to open in mid-2013.
Muse and Coleman decided Savor would be a gastropub with “emphasis on fresh food and a shared experience.” The restaurant’s revenue will help support the operation of the Park. The exterior of 6,000-square foot restaurant pavilion and the performance pavillion, constructed through private donations, was designed by architect Thomas Phifer. Bill Johnson of The Johnson Studios in Atlanta is designing the restaurant’s interior which will include floor-to-ceiling glass walls, skylights to capture the changing light, and a sculpted ceiling designed to give the appearance of “sitting lightly” on the walls. Savor will have 320 seats, some of which will be in the covered patio.
This morning I spoke with John Coleman, an avid hiker and rock climber, to get some details on the food vibe of the project.25 Comments »
The Mecca, as their slogan goes, has been “Waking up Dallas since 1938.” It’s an institution. People love it. Even people who don’t really love it talk themselves into loving it, because it’s one of those things you’re supposed to love: an old diner that has been around forever, an authentic joint. All of which I mention because I’m about to say some bad things about The Mecca. You need to know that I understand that you love The Mecca, and you need to know that I, too, love The Mecca. I’m certain that in a few weeks (if not sooner), The Mecca, ensconced in its new East Dallas location, will get its act together and be running as smoothly as it has for the last 74 years.
The Mecca, as you might know, moved from Harry Hines to a new location on Live Oak, where Molly Maguire’s and the Tipperary once did business. It opened Friday evening for dinner. Saturday morning was the first breakfast in the new spot. Playing the “I need to do this for work” card, I dragged my wife, two kids, and my son’s sleepover guest to a late breakfast. I figured it would be busy. I figured wrong. It was slammed.
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"
It’s Hatch green chile season, or so I’ve heard (can’t remember where), so I thought I would pander to that crowd this week, in the form of grilled grits with poached egg and Hatch chile cream.
As usual, when I do food from New Mexico, I like to throw in something shaped like Texas — people find that kind of thing “cute,” whatever the hell that means, and, though I can’t prove it, I’m pretty sure foods shaped like Texas are more nourishing than those shaped like other states. If the picture didn’t give it away, eggs get the Texas treatment this time. Of course, you can poach your eggs like normal (I guess), just, whatever you do, don’t try to shape them like Delaware. That would look and taste bad.
P.S. I threw in some fried stuff for no real reason. Enjoy!
Continue reading "Look What I Made: Texas Shaped Food Part II"
I’m a cereal eater. I also like to eat my cereal with 2% milk, soy milk, and rice milk – chilled or not chilled. It doesn’t matter. Sometimes when I visit my grandmothers in Taiwan, I’ll have a small panic attack because there’s no milk and cereal to be found within a ten-minute radius. When I do have access to my usual glorious boxes of Kashi or Fiber One, I’ll pour my milk until it touches the bottom of my floating flakes, quickly eat my breakfast before it becomes a soggy mess, and then slurp up the leftover milk in a hurry because it is always unsettling to find solid, sugary bits camping out in my bowl. It feels like my milk has been violated.
While I was catching up with a college buddy the other day, my friend was eating a bowl of late night cereal and gushing about his cereal milk. This has happened to me so many times before. Can someone please explain this phenomenon to me? (Though, I must admit, this cereal milk recipe doesn’t look half-bad after you strain all the solid bits out.)
What are your cereal habits? Do you like to eat it dry? Are you a cereal mixer? Do you not eat cereal at all? Hopefully, that’s not the case. That would be too much crazy talk.8 Comments »
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 »
Jonesy’s gone, but five chefs are left
In fair San Antonio, where we lay our scene.
It’s still unclear whose knife skills are best,
At least we know Ed sleeps in suits, not blue jeans.
Jump for the rest of sonnet.5 Comments »
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"
It’s hard not to feel cooler when you are eating at SMOKE. The place reeks of hip. It’s the kind of place James Dean would meet Jay-Z for brunch if the opportunity presented itself. But attitude can only go so far if you ain’t got the goods to back it up. Luckily, as most people know, Tim Byres, owner of SMOKE, dishes up some truly big flavors, matched only by Byre’s apparent love for capitalization.
I’ve spent a good deal of time exploring the biscuit and gravy scene around town. I’ve generally found that a few places can produce an excellent biscuit, but an exemplary and hearty gravy is really where most fall short, often producing a lifeless blend of flour and water which does more to detract from the biscuit than complement it. However, the handmade biscuits with spicy sausage gravy from SMOKE, have managed to remain a frontrunner in my mind’s race for best B&G in the city.
I don’t know if I told you, but I have a thing for donuts. Maybe that’s a bit of an understatement. But it’s rare, in this city, to find a place that is willing to push the limits when it comes to these tasty morsels of fried dough and sugar (obvious exceptions excluded). Therefore, any donut news is good news in my book, and any upstart entrepreneur that is daring enough to risk their livelihood, families, pets, and entire life’s savings on the humble donut is A-OK with me.
When the buzz around Denton Square Donuts began to surface a number of months ago, I was intrigued to say the least. The obviously non-traditional shape of these donuts is enough to rouse one’s attention, but most donuteers will recall similarly shaped offerings at the mighty Doughnut Plant in NYC. The toppings which adorn DSD’s baked goods are also enough to get the salivary juices flowing: Brie with Apricot Jelly, Cream Cheese and Jalapeno Jelly, Apple Pie, and the nearly-ubiquitous Bacon and Maple. Yet still, some may argue that places like Hypnotic, Gourdoughs in Austin, and Voodoo in Portland have been offering up equally ambitious donuts for years.5 Comments »
I’ve followed the popular Bishop Arts restaurant since its birth. Great coffee and pancakes. But the omelettes? Meh, not so much. They were more like frittatas and always had those dry, crispy edges that I detest in egg dishes. “Plus, they take the kitchen way too long to make,” confided a server. So, begone, dry lackluster omelettes, and hello, scrambles and duck hash. Scrambled egg dishes include salmon with goat cheese, truffled egg with mozzarella and asparagus, and — my favorite — eggs scrambled with roasted pork shoulder, hatch chiles, mozzarella, and tortilla strips served with a side of salsa verde. Another new addition: duck hash with two over easy eggs, ranchero sauce, and hollandaise. The only bummer? You can’t get those wonderful fried green tomatoes for breakfast anymore. Sigh.
If you’ve traveled through Thailand, Cambodia, and Vietnam then you are familiar with this popular dish. Although pho hasn’t quite made it to the mainstream breakfast menus in Dallas, it’s the common way to start your day in many countries. Recently Sarah Reiss ate pho for breakfast, lunch, and dinner and several bowls in between and files this story on pho.
Though pho (pronounced fuh) is far from new to North Texas, the recent surge of openings has reintroduced the signature soup of Vietnam to the mainstream. For newbies, let us explain the allure. It’s a savory broth (generally beef, chicken, or pork) seasoned with coriander, basil, star anise, and green onion; ladled over flat rice noodles and paper-thin tenderloin, brisket, chicken, or pork; and garnished with fresh bean sprouts, herbs, lime quarters, and varying quantities of hot chili paste. It might not sound much different than any other soup, but it tastes like magic.
Here is a a pho primer and a list of our favorite places. Tell us yours.4 Comments »
Late yesterday afternoon Steven “ubiquitous” Doyle sent me a link to a post he wrote about Company Café. He wanted me to link to it. Here’s a clip:
We spoke to Stephen White today, owner of Company Café, the relatively new restaurant on lower Greenville Avenue that brings to its clientele fresh, gluten free food with an organic twist, and he confirmed what we had heard about his new location which has broken ground across from the Katy Trail Ice House at 3136 Routh Street in Uptown Dallas.
I just called the restaurant and they quickly jumped to “no comment” when I asked about the move. The dude on the phone didn’t sound too happy. “No deals finalized. I’m not allowed to comment on this.” Curious. However, I just reached White and he says “it’s months away but we have city approval.” He didn’t sound too happy.2 Comments »