I loves me some Tony Montana, so I’m extra bummed that I wasn’t at Nobu on Tuesday night to lock eyes with Al Pacino, in town to appear at the Brinker International Forum.
Just in case you were wondering, he of the discomfiting stare was seen dining on yellowtail jalapeno, rock shrimp tempura, and salmon karashi sumiso, all of which are Nobu originals (like the man himself) created by Chef Matt Raso.
I hate lemons in my water. Especially when they are huge slices. I can deal with a thinly cut layer, but for the most part, I like my water to taste like water. Last night I was served a big glass of water in a plastic tumbler and there were four lemon seeds floating around between the ice cubes. I wondered how much an average restaurant spends to add lemons to tap water. Seems like a great way to cut costs. Waddaya think?23 Comments »
Those wacky Brits are going nuts over squirrel meat! Yuck, you say? Have you ever eaten squirrel?
I’m no Tony Bourdain or Andrew Zimmern, but I have had my fair share of quirky meals. Once, on safari in Zimbabwe, I made nachos with the meat of a warthog and I’ve eaten most of the big game in Africa such as lion, giraffe, zebra, etc. Lately, I’m hearing a lot about insects as a new source of protein in the US market. Makes sense—I killed about 750,000 grasshoppers on my drive to East Texas last night. I might as well have harvested them and made chili or something (birds like them live). Bugs are great on salads. And you, how far will you go? Would you eat a crow? I want to know. And I don’t feel like working!14 Comments »
I’m pleased to become one of SideDish’s new guest bloggers with a series called CuriousDish. My goal is to explore food memories: the smell, the visual, the surroundings, and the people you dine with. No in-depth reviews on food and wine. I want to get you thinking and talking about dining in Dallas.
Almost 20 years ago I arrived in Dallas, legendary for oil, technology, and women with big, beautiful hair. A 30-something single man, originally from elsewhere in Texas, but most recently expatriated to Europe, I was back in the U.S. and starting a new era in my life in Dallas. Strolling down the aisle at Love Field, I noticed a nice, glossy magazine with a Big “D” on the top right corner. The cover story of the August 1999 isse, written by Mary Brown Malouf and others, was “The 100 Best Restaurants.” I bought my first D Magazine.
What better way to get to know my new home town than through visiting local restaurants? I vowed that I would work my way through the list.
My first stop was, number 28 on the list, Dakota’s, described by Mary as “seriously handsome.” However, I would never make all 100 as some closed soon after I arrived. I missed Scott,s – A Seafood House (#23) on McKinney where La Duni now has a location and many more in cursed locations and are now closed. Of the original 100, about half are still open. Of course, that means half have closed.
Over the course of the last 20 years, I have huge memories of many of these places. For many years, I circled each of them in my old copy of D as I crossed them off of my list. I remember the disappointment when Café America (#30), one of the sexiest on the list, burned down. And in the early 90s, many a Thursday night was spent at Arcodoro/Pomodoro (#25). I’ll bet everyone has a special memory of The Grape (#29).
I never did make it through the entire list. Too many had shut down. Seven years after my stroll down the Love Field aisle, when my then-fiancé found the 7-year-old D Magazine, I faced serious questioning. What did those circles mean? Fortunately, The Mansion and The Riviera had not been circled. I had “saved” the best for her.
So what are your favorite taste memories from this list. I’d like to know. I’m curious.
Complete list below the jump. Continue reading "CuriousDish: Exploring the Food Experience in Dallas"13 Comments »
The next SideDish Supper Club is in the works and it’s going to be a doozy! And I’m not talking about the sandwich! Space will be limited. The price will be low. And the fun, well, will be priceless. If you haven’t already signed up to receive the first e-mail announcement of the event, please type your e-mail address in the box under the SideDish Supper Club logo on the right side of this page. See you there! Feel free to guess where the event will take place. I’ve got a big prize for the winner. Go.12 Comments »
Yow. Zah. Check out the vendor list (below) for this weekend’s Four Seasons Market at Firewheel. Great show! Wonder if they’ll have space for this after In-N-Out opens. Continue reading "Four Seasons Market at Firewheel Market in Garland: That’s What a Weekend Market’s All About"
I thought it would fun to approach this debate from the other side. What are some of your favorite spots that don’t get the recognition they deserve? Maybe they’ve been in business for a while, but you don’t hear much about them. The Bronx? City Café? Suze? Ferrari’s Italian Villa? Mignon?
Do you have a favorite restaurant that deserves a shout-out? Shout it out. Go, East Dallas.49 Comments »
My good friend Evan and I like to go to In-N-Out Burger. On a slow news day Evan half-heartedly encourages me to “throw up a post” on In-N-Out to get SideDish moving. It’s a hot topic and it keeps Twinwillow busy.
Rumors about In-N-Out Burger coming to Dallas have been swirling for years. I am sick of calling headquarters and getting the usual corporate retort: “At the moment we have no plans, blah, blah, blah, but that doesn’t mean that blah, blah, blah in the future.”
So last week when I shared a meal with a commercial real estate dude who promised me he was “on the inside” of the deal, I kept quiet. He gave me specific sites and growth plans and business strategies. I thought, wow I’m finally going to get confirmation and this is really going to happen.
Then I started to think. If In-N-Out Burger came to Dallas, where would I eat when I go to Las Vegas? Or Phoenix? Or Napa Valley?
Any of you remember the craziness that surrounded Krispy Kreme Donuts when they opened in Dallas? It was like an intense rescue scene from Season 7 of 24: A helicopter hovers over an urban Krispy Kreme store where thousands of innocent customers wait for hot donuts. Inside, a Russian terrorist inserts tiny nuclear rods into the cinnamon twists rolling off the line. Jack Bauer dangles on a rope from a helicopter. Spoiler alert: He kills ten terrorists and hands a small Middle Eastern child a bag of warm glazed donuts. Fade out.
Sorry, I got a little off track there but the point is that even Jack Bauer couldn’t save Krispy Kreme. Last year they closed nearly half of their Dallas-area stores.
I love the thrill of hitting an In-N-Out when I’m out of town. It’s a guilty pleasure. Perhaps putting an In-N-Out Burger location by Bachman Lake would ruin the allure, mystique, and fascination of procuring an animal-style double double. Should we be careful what we ask for?64 Comments »
Kevin Smothers of Pulse Publicity in Austin sent out a press release about Nova yesterday. In it, he referred to the neighborhood as Kessler X+. Today, he sends an email to explain the origin of the moniker.
I promise we didn’t make up the Kessler X+ moniker on our own. Here’s a little background: KERA Arts and Seek blog.
Kevin also promises to update us on J. Black’s Feel Good Lounge on Henderson. Or SoEaHen. What’s the quirky name for your neck of the woods. Hmm, let’s see I live near Northwest Highway and Midway…NoWay? Go.11 Comments »
In a post below, Andrew Chalk reports on the opening of ALDI market in Frisco. As usual, the conversation in the comments section steered off course and ended up with several readers obsessing about Trader Joe’s. The ubiquitous Twinwillow says, “Ahh, if only we got a few Trader Joe’s, I’d be a very happy camper!”
This statement brings up two questions. One: Are people who camp really happy? Two: Does Dallas need a Trader Joe’s? I recently revisited my old TJs in SoCal and I was not overly impressed. Sure it’s a cool store, but it’s no longer unique to the food scene. There was a time, not long ago, when I would have agreed with the Willowman. But the culinary winds in Dallas have shifted. Now we have more options for funky groceries. It may not be ALDI, but I’d love to see an H-Market open inside the loop. I be happy as an animal-style camper if they’d open an In-N-Out next door.
UPDATE: Whoopsie, Kim Pierce is talking TJ’s too.8 Comments »
Anybody else out there still struggling with Friday’s (March 5) New York Times crossword puzzle? Let’s talk about 23 across. The clue for the eight-word answer is dessert fruit. We A frustrated Disher has the answer starting with a “k,” but we they could be wrong.9 Comments »
Yesterday, all the gals here at D headquarters were jonsing for frozen yogurt. We wondered why there wasn’t a froyo shop across the street (we are very lazy). Then we got into a spirited discussion about frozen yogurt. No secret I am addicted to chocolate Pinkberry. Raya and Ryan also like Pinkberry. Jennifer loves the zum flavor at Orange Cup (I think it sucks and their packaging for to-go-froyo kills many trees). The smart girls, and by smart I mean they are grammarian copy-editor types, Allison, Kristiana, and Krista, swear by Yumilicious. Allison loves the red velvet and cake batter; Krista goes for the raspberry and plain.
So here’s the (cheap) question: Name your favorite shop and flavor. (BTW, I don’t think any froyo should taste like a cake or a raw cookie. Bad food cross-dressing.) Also, why don’t boys like frozen yogurt?47 Comments »
I’m a little late to the PegasusNews party hosted by Teresa “Gumshoe” Gubbins. She has written an enlightening essay on the proliferation of food photography in public restaurants. It’s a great subject for debate. Apparently some restaurants have a “NO PHOTOS” policy while others are “flattered.” Gubbins is now my heroine—she managed to get thrown out of a frozen yogurt store in Richardson and used the “copyrightable” on the same day. That is just pure awesomeness. How about you? Do you take pictures of your meals in restaurants? Do you believe a plate of brisket tacos is copyrightable? Have you ever been thrown out of a restaurant?11 Comments »
This question comes from Meg Fullwood, Public Relations Manager of KERA-TV, KERA-FM, KXT-FM.
I thought Wednesday’s program [Think with Krys Boyd] at 1:00 p.m. might be of particular interest. Here’s a description: What does your choice of beverage say about you? We’ll explore the arcane world of personal distilling, legal and otherwise with journalist and Guggenheim recipient Max Watman. His new book is Chasing the White Dog: An Amateur Outlaw’s Adventures in Moonshine (Simon & Schuster, 2010).
My choice of beverage says I’m clear, room temperature, and my butt covers about 70 percent of the earth’s surface. Et tu?1 Comment »
Usually I avoid eating fattening foods when I am not reviewing a restaurant. However, I have to tell you I let my guard down about three weeks ago and ordered a hot stack of pancakes and since then I have been eating them every two to three days. I can not stop. I love the Mecca’s cakes. Currently I am in Colorado and I have eaten pancakes every morning. My stomach is swollen up like a poisoned dog. Let’s talk pancakes!! Screw Pinkberry, I’m moving on. Breakfast is the new dinner. Tell me where to go. (Down, Kirk.)29 Comments »
Do you hate the hype of Valentine’s Day? Or do you like paying triple the regular price for a dozen roses and mediocre chocolate? Yes, I know it’s great for the restaurant business and I encourage all lovers–young and old– to dine out. Get engaged. Spend hours making love. Make Hallmark happy.
But what about those of us without a date? Why don’t we get a night? Restaurateurs and barkeeps, I see a niche with an burning itch. Call me a hopeless unromantic but I do the same thing every year for VD: Two nights of pure bliss. And you, what do you do?19 Comments »
I am really sick today and I am not thinking clearly. However, I have started this contest and I’m going to finish it. Tuesday, FIVE lucky Dishers will get a chance to make Dallas seafood history by participating in our “I Scuba for Scallops” contest. Contestants will use their palates to see if they can taste the difference between an expensive hand-harvested scallop and a dry-packaged U-10. I’ve just returned from the doctor and the doctor said I need rest so I’m going to lie down for a couple of hours.
While I snooze, you have to find some lyrics to one of my favorite songs. I buried them in this post. The first five of you to reveal the band and the song will be invited to the tasting. If you are going to play, PLEASE make sure your schedule is clear from 1-3:00 p.m. on Tuesday. Go now. It’s Friday and Google is standing by.
Winners announced at 5:00 p.m.
UPDATE: Time and date of this tasting may change. Developing.13 Comments »
So, you all know Leslie Brenner is on a diet, right. She is on one she very cleverly invented called The Restaurant Critic’s Diet. Good stuff. She has lost 9 pounds without sacrificing her dedication to her job as a dining critic.
In an article written by Teresa Gubbins, the skinny bitch over at PegNews, demands more details from La Brenner. TG wants to see before and after shots of Brenner’s project and Brenner’s starting and ending weight. Methinks not happening.
However, as she always does, Teresa brings up an interesting topic: Is Mathew McConaughey as good in bed as he is on his surf board. Wait, that wasn’t Teresa. TGub believes that people want to know insider-y details about restaurant critics: What do we look like? Where do we eat on our own dime penny? Where do we live? Whom do we date? What language does our husband speak? How many cats do we have? You know, very intimate things about our secret lives.
To satiate your curiosity, and to keep you away from Pinkberry, I thought I’d share a “morning after” picture that I accidentally snapped last year. It is not staged. I like to call it “Banana Cream Pie at Midnight.” (Click on it to make it bigger.) If you can tell me where the pie was paid for, I’ll tell you how much I weigh.22 Comments »
While I was in Nicaragua last week, I visited a remote field where workers were busy harvesting lovely yellow pods from cocao trees. I sat with them as they hacked the fruit open and extracted the seeds. Of course, I couldn’t resist sucking the delicious white pulp inside the pod and spitting the seeds at my fellow compadres. Delicious fun. More on that later.
Anywhoo, as the sun set, we headed to do some bird watching among the mangrove forests on the coast. (Tiger herons!) One of the guys on the trip, Jerry Garret, a writer for the New York Times, stayed behind and took this photo of us as we left the dock. He’s holding an unofficial caption contest with no prizes. I figured we’d have our own. Winner gets a bag of powdered cocoa (drinking chocolate) from a plantation outside of Leon, Nicaragua. (My entry was: “A pork in the river.”) GO!26 Comments »
Disher Wes Mantooth just sent me a love letter. “The D-Empire blogs are all boring as spit today,” he says. Anyway, he wants to talk about Top Chef, and I know there are several TC fans out there. His thoughts are below.
10 Comments »
Top Chef is coming to a close. Who’s not going to make it? We’ve got 5 left: Kevin, Jennifer, Eli, and the Brothers. The easy call is that Jen and Eli both wind up packing their knives, but we’ve seen in the past that it only takes one little slip for an otherwise more-talented chef to get packing before their time was due, resulting in a less-talented poseur to take the crown (i.e. Josea). So, here’s my handicapping on who makes it to the Final Table: