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.
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.
In honor of the third anniversary of their Bishop Arts location, Cafe Brazil‘s filling bellies fo’ free. Just stop by this Wednesday (17th) between 6:30 am and 6:30 pm for a free order of chicken crepes, pasta de tigre (rowwwrrr), pumpkin pancakes, or the wine country salad. Save room for the free slice of red velvet cake or banana cheesecake. Extend your good fortune by wearing a Cafe Brazil t-shirt; do so and your drink will be on the house as well.
I’m starting to think that Jay Jerrier is basically the culinary King Midas. Everything the man touches is nothing less than gastronomic gold. It’s not good enough that, essentially, the entire city of Dallas is certifiably psychotic over his pizza. (Personally, I have had at least three auditory hallucinations while eating his pizza, in which my “Paulie Gee” spoke to me, telling me to give all my money, the deed to my home, and my first-born child over to Mr. Jerrier) Jay continues to offer this city a seemingly endless string of brilliant dishes including hot, succulent sandwiches, house-made pastas, and rich, creamy gelato. With the addition of the burly, bearded wunderkind, Matt Reddick, to the Cane Rosso kitchen, there is no telling what adventures are in store for diners able to painfully pry themselves away from the pizza.
Matt has been charged with running “the left side of the menu,” and while he may not be the big man up front, sweating in front of the scorching pizza oven, he is no less working miracles in the back.
Read on! It only gets better from here.
If you ever decide to become a restaurant critic be prepared for the inevitable question: “What is your favorite restaurant in Dallas?” It’s a hard question for me to answer. Not because I’m evasive, it’s because I feel like I have to quantify my choice by answering “well, if I’m in the mood for Mexican then I would consider this place or that place. If I want casual then I head here.” And so on and so forth. Pick one out of 6,200? That’s tough.
Ten days ago I took my mother, brother, and sister-in-law to dinner at The Grape. I wasn’t going to do a review. I wasn’t even hungry. I’d just spent a long week and a half eating tricked up fancy food at a new restaurant in Dallas and I just wanted to kick back and enjoy time with my family. Two and a half hours later, I emerged renewed. Just when I thought I couldn’t be impressed, I was impressed. I can now say, without hesitation, that The Grape is currently my favorite restaurant in Dallas.
I decided to call chef/owner Brian Luscher, who I’ve never met in person, and talk to him about my experience at his restaurant and discuss some of the details he pursues in his kitchen. I combined the interview with a quick review.
Jump for the glory of The Grape.29 Comments »
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 »
In case you missed the Flippin’ Out Crepes teaser a few weeks back, back in June, we had a nice little daisy chain going on with Nancy reporting on Teresa Gubbins coverage of the press-release announcement of Flippin’ Out Crepes drive-thru creperie in Addison (for the record, Teresa Gubbins reported the story in May and added the press release when they issued it in June).
This morning I stumbled upon a Thrillist video (thanks, guys) giving us a visual.
Sounds like a trip through a drive-thru is in order, pronto.
Last evening, Chef David McMillan invited us down to One Arts Plaza to taste some of Screen Door‘s new summer dishes and cocktails. What follows is a visual journey through that tasting.
jump for a visual journey through Screen Door’s new menu items… Continue reading "Screen Door—A Summer Menu Tasting in Pictures"
Ladies and gentlemen, this week’s discovery by Daniel Walker.
There’s a reason everybody loves weekend brunch. It’s our way of sticking it to the alarm clock and proclaiming, “No longer will I be obligated to wake up before noon in order to enjoy pancakes! I’ll sleep in as long as I please and still have my six-egg omelets, thank you very much.” Brunch is a liberating adventure, the perfect morning pick-me-up for the vigilant weekend warrior. Screw the early bird, let him have his worm. I’ll take the 1 PM waffle any day.
We are fortunate to have many superb options for brunch in Dallas, but Oak Cliff residents are graced by the presence of Jonathan’s, which offers one of the city’s brunches. This renovated home is a cozy, clean, and fresh culinary outlet for chef Jonathan Erdeljac to prepare his creations.
I met with a group of fellow dedicated brunchers this weekend to sample a wide array of intriguing dishes offered by Chef Jon’s menu. Once the food arrived, it was not long before the table was filled with joyful expletives, food moans, and fist pumping as each person was delighted with their selection. Forks and knives flew across the table like a scene from a Chinese Kung Fu cooking show, as each diner attempted to sample their neighbors highly praised dish. No one was harmed in the making of this write-up.
Jump for the best stuff. Continue reading "Eat This Now: Brunch at Jonathon’s in Oak Cliff"9 Comments »
It used to be that the parents could go away to golf, chill, and dine in luxury or they could take the kids to the place where little ones are given the impression that the whole world was designed for them. The JW Marriott San Antonio Hill Country Resort combines both options. Golf predominates for adults, with not one but two TPC (Tournament Players Club) 18-hole courses designed by Pete Dye and Greg Norman exclusively serving resort guests. The centerpiece of activities for kids is a six-acre water park named the River Bluffs Water Experience where you’ll find a 650-foot rapid river ride, multiple water slides, 1,100 ft. lazy river, children and adult pools, whirlpools, and an expansive activity pool. These, and a host of other amenities (about more of which below), are not only the province of families, who tend to fill the weekends. During the week, the resort switches identities to become one of the leading corporate retreat locations in Texas. It is one of the few places where a Hewlett Packard, or a Yahoo, can bring thousands of employees. Continue reading "Weekend Trip: JW Marriott San Antonio Hill Country Resort"3 Comments »
We do so love a good brunch in this town. We love planning for it; we love that first read through the menu; we appreciate a good presentation; and, of course, we love talking about each bite while we’re eating it. So when Chef Jon Stevens invited me over on Sunday to check out the latest version of NOSH‘s weekend brunch menu, I was anxious to see how many of the aforementioned points he and his staff would be able to make good on.
We sat at the kitchen counter so that we could watch preparation. From this vantage point, I had the opportunity to photograph a couple dishes (the watermelon tomato salad at right and the slice of baby ice below) that I did not have the opportunity to taste. If you have tasted either one, be sure to chime in in the comments section.
Forgive me as I step up on my soap box for a minute. Last Sunday, I took my family to lunch at Pecan Lodge Catering in Shed 2 of the Dallas Farmers Market. I’m a long-time supporter of local farmers and both D Magazine and SideDish have promoted many of the events, cooking classes, and developments that take place at DFM. But I’ve got to say, I’m very disappointed in the progress inside Shed 2. The air-conditioned space designed to encourage local, artisanal food vendors and local handicrafters is still half-empty. At 1:00PM last Sunday, the cavernous space was sparsely populated. Unfair Park’s Robert Wilonsky wrote a great piece on the economic reality the vendors face: high month-to-month rents and little security as vendors can be moved at any time for any reason. (It’s all here.)
(Stepping down) Anywhoo, despite what goes on behind the scenes, we had a great time hanging in Shed 2. First, we feasted at Pecan Lodge Catering. As I mentioned earlier today, the barbecue side of PLC’s menu was “closed” because they were putting the finishing touches on their new smokehouse. Instead of going for the usual burnt ends, we explored other items on the menu. And you know what I found? The best piece of fried chicken in Dallas. The guy in line behind me said, “I drive all the way from Balch Springs every weekend to eat this chicken.” Who is going to argue with that?
Jump for more goodness. Continue reading "Quick Report: Shed 2 at the Dallas Farmers Market"9 Comments »
Word on the street is that the Deep Ellum/Commerce St. location of Cowboy Chow is being taken over by D’s Best Breakfast favorite, Buzzbrews. In fact, this weekend is the Chow’s last one in that location. Look for Buzzbrews to start slinging their hash to downtown brunchers, the 2 am Adair’s crowd, and hungover hipsters sometime in July.
Like many people, I don’t make a habit of indulgence, in fact, I allow myself only semi-annual immersions into the world of brexcess (breakfast excess, so clever). Last Sunday, with a mountain of home improvement projects ahead of me and the delusional idea that I could rechannel all those carbohydrates into kinetic energy, the hubs and I headed to Crossroads Diner to roll around in what many have referred to as the best %$*& pancakes around.
jump for brekky pics… Continue reading "Who Doesn’t Love an Old-Fashioned Carb Overload on a Sunday Morning?"
Has it escaped anyone’s attention that Mother’s Day is
next THIS Sunday TOMORROW?
Mom may be around constantly, but Mothers’ Day comes but once a year. Treat her right by taking her out to brunch. Ladies’ choice.
jump for the menus… Continue reading "Mother’s Day Cometh, Dallas!"2 Comments »
Mom may be around constantly, but Mothers’ Day comes but once a year. Treat her right by taking her out to brunch. Ladies’ choice.
jump for the UPDATED menu list… Continue reading "Bunny Hop, Part Deux. Your Easter Brunch Awaits."
So you’re out for drinks, dinner, brunch, whatever, and the check comes. All parties reach for their wallets, but one magnanimous soul says, “I’ve got this.”
Cue the obligatory back and forth:
“No, no, let me.”
“No, no, I insist.”
“At least let me get the tip.”
“No, really. I want to.”
and on and on it goes.
I especially dislike being on the giving end of this merry-go-round because when someone argues against letting me treat them, it dampens the moment. I can’t do it often, and if I’m trying to be nice, who are you to block my mojo? What we all really want is for the receiver to say, “Wow, thanks. What a nice surprise.” Or something to that effect.
But when the shoe is on the other foot, I’m just as guilty as anyone. So, a few years back I decided that I needed to get better about accepting generosity when it comes my way. I adopted a two round rule. When I’m on the receiving end of someone else’s generosity, I give it two solid, back and forths, after which I smile and love them up with a warm and heartfelt thank you.
But I want to know about you. How many rounds do you think is reasonable?
(I know all of us have encountered a special someone who never reaches for his or her wallet—those cads who expect the world to cover their bar tab. Let’s not talk about those people. They’re tools. This is about acknowledging generosity.)6 Comments »