If you are a wine drinker, I’d like to know your level of knowledge of wine: casual connoisseur (CC), I-know-more-than-Pinot-Merlot (IKMTPM), or I-wannabe-a-master-sommelier-when-I-grow-up (IWBMSWIGU). I’d also love to the average price you pay for a bottle of wine you consume at home. Thanks.31 Comments »
We have been working on a redesign of SideDish for almost a year. Now we are down to arranging our new ideas on the webpage. Before we take the next step, I thought I’d ask readers and restaurateurs what features you’d like to see (or not see) on SideDish. Hit us with your best shots.24 Comments »
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 »
Yesterday I lunched with Nick and Kelli Barclay, the dashing couple who once operated Barclay’s, the popular modern Euro-British restaurant in the once darling Victorian house on Fairmount Street. The house went on to house Van “Morrison” Roberts’ Lola, where David (Lucia) Uygur was a chef, and The Common Table. The Barclays left Dallas in 2000 and returned to Cornwall, Nick’s homeland in the southwestern tip of England. There, in the small town of Looe, they built their dream hotel/restaurant, The Barclay House. They sold the hotel in 2006 and have been having a blast with their Blueplate Restaurant near Looe.
During our barbecue feast at Lockhart Smokehouse in Oak Cliff, we discussed the possibility of Nick coming back to Dallas. Twelve years is a lifetime in the restaurant business and I wondered if Nick felt his cooking style was still relevant. “Relevant?” Barclay said with a laugh. “I’ve been doing farm-to-table cooking all of my life.”
This is true. Barclay’s was a special place and Nick’s menu was always filled with local ingredients. “If we were going to make a move back, now would be the time,” Kelli said. “Our kids would be very excited.” The Barclay’s have a 15-year old daughter, Hanna, and 12-year old twins, Nick and Lucy. They still own a home in Dallas, Kelli’s home town.
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 »
Eater National has released the cover of Daniel Vaughn’s book, The Prophets of Smoked Meats. It’s the first book published by Anthony Bourdain’s Ecco line. Congrats BBQ Snob, may you remember us when you are on CNN. Book due in stores in late spring 2013.6 Comments »
Don’t be alarmed if on Nov. 1 and 2 someone wishes you “Feliz Día de los Muertos,” or Happy Day of the Dead. The Mexican holiday of Día de los Muertos is a sacred time celebrated for millennia (In the modern era, the Day of the Dead corresponds with the All Souls Day and All Saints Day). But it’s by no means macabre. Día de los Muertos, with its roots in Aztec tradition, is a joyful time. Beloved ancestors return to the realm of the living to mingle with loved ones—and eat. The journey from the afterlife works up an appetite.
Like any holiday worth its salt, Día de los Muertos is heavy on the feasting. And, like the energy spent during the trek from the hereafter, the ritual preparation of the food associated with the holiday is labor intensive and best undertaken with family.
Tamales, an Aztec staple, are perhaps the most significant of the Día de los Muertos comestibles. Its elements (filling, masa, and cornhusk or banana leaf wrapper) correspond to the innards and skin of the individual and his/her petate, a straw bed-mat. In pre-Hispanic times the petate represented a death shroud. Simply put: Death nourishes. I say, find said nourishment at tamale factories across Dallas-Fort Worth.
The tamale’s piping hot deliciousness is matched by a big pot of mole, the most common of which, at least stateside, is the dark mole poblano, a complex sauce of chilies, nuts, spices and chocolate of legendary origin. It can take up to a day and whatever number of ingredients you care to use to make a mole, and they can be green, red, yellow, black, or any color of the earth to which we will all return.
Carol hates the deep fried Girl Scout cookies at the State Fair. What about you? Tell what you love or loathe.
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Last night I dropped by Tried and True, the newest bar/restaurant creation by Nick Badovinus. I don’t know how this man does it, but he has pulled together another unique and spirited concept. Badovinus has a loyal team of chefs who helped him construct yet another ingenious food menu. It’s short, but oh so cool: whiskey pate, flat top pork chop and country ham sandwich topped with smoked cheddar and house made apple butter ($13); peppered beef nachos ($11); and platters of country hams from Broadbent (Kuttawa, KY), Meacham (Sturgis, KY), and Benton (Madisonville, TN). The full menu is here!
Cocktails feature 86 Company Spirits, founded by Jason Kosmas. The beer selection is divided into Texas, American, and International. The whiskey program at TNT is vast and includes bourbon from some of Kentucky’s legendary distilleries such as Woodford Reserve’s small batch, Makers Mark ‘46’, and Four Roses’ small batch listed alongside a Old Rip Van Winkle (aged for ten years) and the 100-proof Rock Hill Farms single barrel straight bourbon.
Nothing exciting ever happens in my hometown of Carrollton, except for, say, maybe a new water tower being built every now and then. But now that Quaker Steak & Lube, a popular wing franchise in the Northeast, has decided to park its first location right on Hebron Parkway next to 121 (behind the Burger King), I think my quality of life just jumped ten points higher.
‘Tis sad but true.
Jump and flap your wings. Continue reading "Flap Your Wings: Quaker Steak & Lube in Carrollton Opens Today"4 Comments »
I just came back from Taiwan where, for 10 days, I ate things like pigs feet, fish heads (yes, including the eye balls), and other animal organ parts I probably shouldn’t mention this early in the morning. I’m no Andrew Zimmerman and there’s no way I could ever swallow the contents of a bile sac, but I consider myself a brave-ish eater with a high food tolerance, especially compared to a guy I knew in college who ate nothing but bread and cheese in all its various forms. No joke.
A bunch of you out there are savvy eaters who surely top me on my eating habits. Some of y’all have mentioned eating bizarre foods already on that Bazaar giveaway post back in July, which (btdubs) was highly entertaining to read. So, friends, let’s play a game to make this Wednesday spicier. Tell me about the scariest, hairiest, weirdest food you’ve ever eaten before Friday, August 24, at 5 p.m. Be detailed in your descriptions! The more cringe-worthy, the better. The winner will be declared “The Bravest Eater on SideDish” and win the following:
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I love SideDish & hope you and your readers can help me out. I am in search of good eclairs in Dallas. Really good ones with a chocolate filling & topping. My 80+ year old Dad grew up eating them from McKenzie’s Bakery in New Orleans & I’d like to surprise him with some. La Madeleine used to have them but not anymore.
Vices! Getcha vices! Vices all with one call! The Stand, the upscale concession style restaurant on McKinney Avenue is now offering cigarettes and beer with your delivery order. They claim: “Date night just got more convenient and safer.” I’m asking: “How long do I have to wait for a Mac Daddy Dog, carton of Camels, six pack of Coors Lite, and a date?” That would be more convenient for me.
After Brad Perkinson was laid off from his corporate job, he did what any young, responsible man with degrees in Business and Finance would do, he decided to make beer. His FireWheel Brewing Company in Rowlett is already delivering brews to some of the top brew spots in town: The Common Table, Ginger Man, and Flying Saucer. Starting Saturday, August 25, Perkinson and company, which includes two dogs, will open the brewing for tastings and tours. For only $10 you’ll get a pint glass and three tastings of limited batches. The doors are open from 11AM to 3PM. I’d suggest you get there early and get a taste of their fine Texas Style Pale Ale.
Our photographer Elizabeth Lavin just happened to be in the neighborhood on Saturday when she caught this fire at Villa-O on her iPhone. After trying to reach someone at Villa-O over the weekend, someone from corporate finally told us there was a (supposedly) teeny tiny fire over the weekend, and Villa-O will be closed for the rest of the week due to renovations. She didn’t tell us how the fire happened or how big it was, afraid that we’d leak a story that’d freak people out and have them wondering if it was the Second Coming. The restaurant is telling everyone it’s closed this week and will probably open this coming Monday.
Jump for a glimpse of this small fire.
We called it here: Hot dogs are the new hamburger. It’s raining wieners all over Dallas. Phil Romano and Zaccanelli Food Group are readying to roll out Hofmann hot dogs. Today we learn Chef Brian Luscher of The Grape is throwing his dogs in the fight. On August 11, “Da Lusch” will debut Luscher’s Post Oak Red Hots at White Rock Lake Market. What are Luscher’s Post Oak Red Hots? They are house-made, all-natural, Post-Oak-wood smoked, South-of-Chicago- inspired sausages which will be served with pickles, sport peppers, mustards and other condiments made from scratch resting on fresh-baked buns from Garland-based bakery, La Francaise. Whew!
Will they be available at Eatzi’s? Probably not. For now, you can find them at White Rock Lake Market which operates the 2nd and 4th Saturday of each month from 8:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. at The Green Spot Market and Fuels. Need another Facebook “like”? BTW, all of you Chicago skeptics, and you know who you are, Da Lush is from hog-butcher-to-the-world town. And use guys, brush up on yah 588-2300, and git intada market beesfour yah beeyatch.5 Comments »