So the permit sign in the window at 1404 Main Street reads “The Garden Bar,” but that’s not the real name. However, the address is the site of the soon-to-open bar manned by mixologists Michael Martensen and Eddie “Lucky” Campbell. The dynamic duo have held the space vacated by Dr. Bell’s BBQ for some time, but it looks like things inside are ramping up. These guys know how to keep a secret. None of my snitches are snitching. However, I thought I heard somebody “say” the name of the joint will contain the name of a brown liquor. Oh, let’s name it. Free round of cocktails to the person who makes the best guess!20 Comments »
[Ed. note: George poses this, in my opinion, stupid question. I am challenging him with, in my opinion, a smarter one.]
George: A couple of weeks ago, a Zagat survey reported that 60% of dinners in New York supported a time limit which allows the restaurant to boot you from your table so they can seat another party. But we’re not New York. So let’s ask the question to Dishers. Would you mind a time limit?
Nancy: George, you ignorant cluck. You are right on one point: we are not New York. I hate rushed service. Take MiCocina (beat, beat). Those waiters aren’t servers they’re animal trainers. They can turn a table of six in 40 minutes. It drives me nuts. I get the same vibe at Houston’s. Every time you sit down you can feel the beat: water, menus, drinks, order, eat, dessert, BOOM. Maybe, just maybe, we are eating out to have a conversation that doesn’t fit into the restaurant’s time frame. I think no time limit is best for the customer.
George: You can’t have a conversation in under 2 hours? Are you sitting with your fork in one hand and Blackberry in the other? Talk, talk, tap, tap. Assuming your waiter greets you in a timely manner, takes your order, and serves you your drinks and food, you really can’t finish in 2 hours? If not, move to the bar. I think it’s good for business.
Who is right?46 Comments »
This just in from a very creative disher. Talk about throwing down the gauntlet:
I liked your post about Labor Day-themed cocktails yesterday and was wondering if anyone had ideas. I have come up with some names, but feel at a loss when it comes to actually concocting an interesting drink. Anyone want to come up with a drink to match the following names?
Grover Cleavland’s Compromise
The Pullman Strike
The Haymarket Affair
End of Summer Swizzler
Samuel Gompers Dream
The New Deal
White Shoe Sayonara
Jimmy Hoffa Locator
C’mon people. It’s the Friday before a long weekend. Let’s procrastinate by designing some drinks in the comments section! I will personally concoct the best of the best and detail the expereince in words (and pictures if possible) on Tuesday.1 Comment »
Alma‘s execuchef Anastacia Quinones tipped us off to an event that she (rightly) assumed would be right up our alley. On Sept. 4, from 6 to 10 pm, the Bishop Arts District plays host to the Hotter than Hell Margarita Meltdown, a block-party-style competition for bragging rights to the best margarita in Dallas. Restaurants from all over town will be on hand mixing up their finest agave fare. Hacienda on Henderson, Neighborhood Services Tavern, and Alma will be mixing it up in honor of Henderson Ave. Maximo from North Dallas will be on-hand defending their title. Wild Salsa, Iron Cactus, and Ten Sports Grill make up the Downtown Dallas contingent. Bolsa, Smoke, Nova, Mesa, and Veracruz Cafe will show up representing Oak Cliff. Finally, Sfuzzi from Uptown/Las Colinas will shake it up bi-partisan-style.
Here’s how it’s going to go down:
All participants will be required to make 1 specialty margarita at least 50 times. All contestants will be judged by the public. A total of $1000 will be awarded. $500 for 1st place, $300 for 2nd, and $200 for 3rd place to the bartender with the most votes. Join us for $20 per person to taste and vote for your favorite margarita meltdown. You get a wrist band to taste each entry and a chip to vote for your favorite one.
Just be sure to save some money for cab fare. This one sounds like a humdinger.
To learn more, visit the Dallas Margarita Fest website.
Contributor Brooklynne Peters landed a one-on-one interview with NOSH line cook and Hell’s Kitchen, Season Nine contestant, Carrie Keep. The two sat down at Coal Vines Pizza and Wine Bar in Uptown last week, during which time Keep dished about the show’s behind-the-scenes drama and how she only has eyes for “cheffy.” Take it away, Brooklynne…
“I did not sleep with Brendan,” Dallas chef and Hell’s Kitchen, Season Nine contestant Carrie Keep clarified over calamari and bruschetta as she cleared the air about her (non) relationship with Brendan, girl drama on the show, and why she ultimately felt like she let chef Gordon Ramsay down.
Keep, who has a little over two years of cooking experience and a brand new degree from Le Cordon Bleu, beat out 20,000 applicants to become one of 18 final contestants on Hell’s Kitchen, the reality cooking show that banks on aspiring chefs’ ambition (and vulnerabilities) and chef Gordon Ramsay’s volatility. As of this week, she’s worked her way into to the final 10 and has a lot to say about how she got there.
The upcoming 2011 Great American Beer Festival (GABF) sold out just seven days (gulp). No need to drown your sorrows if you aren’t already a ticket-holder, you still have another chance to be part of the mile-high fun. CraftBeer.com is giving away a trip for two to the festival. One randomly selected registrant will receive the ultimate GABF trip, including lodging during the Festival (September 29 – October 1, 2011), round trip airfare for two, and two tickets to all four sessions of GABF. Contest ends August 31, 2011 at 11:59 am, so enter now or forever hold your empty glass.
Harrison Smith brings us the report on this week’s Master Chef. Unfortunately for me, I don’t have cable, thus watch it a day late, thus didn’t know Ben Starr was kicked off.
Well folks, I guess all good things must come to an end. Ben Starr, Lewisville’s lovable baker of all things pumpkin and creator of all things tasty, was eliminated from Master Chef after making the show’s top five. Give the guy a hand, everyone, give the guy a hand—he’s made it through the Gordon Ramsay gauntlet.
Details after the jump.3 Comments »
Last night John Tesar played a 53-year old geezer chef on a thrilling episode of Food Network’s Extreme Chef. He faced two younger chefs: Joe, a douchey New York dude who was once a private chef for Donald Trump; and Greg, a Portland chef who couldn’t cut it in medical school so he quit and went to the CIA.
Tesar was confident from the start. “I run 10 miles a day,” Tesar gloated. After that, he works all day and night. The competition took place on a 60-acre farm in Malibu Canyon and the premise had the chefs running all over the place to source ingredients.
HEARTY BREAKFAST was the segment. To obtain eggs, the chefs had to conquer a “crop-stical course” made of bales of hay formed into various tunnels and towers. Tesar, a virtual Jack LaLane, was first to the eggs (he picked duck!) and he won the first competition soundly with his ginger and duck egg French toast. (I think there was a fruit salad and some whiskey involved, but I can’t read my notes, and I refuse to rerun the show.) It only matters that when the Simon Cowell wannabe (and lookalike) host announced Tesar as the winner, Tesar took a modest Zen-like bow. Tesar is now the master of “the unconventional use of an egg.”
No, it’s not over. There are still 45 minutes left in the show. Here we go.11 Comments »
The Whole Foods resignation letter of doom fiasco of 2011 did little to dampen the store’s national cleaver-slinging face-off: the Whole Foods Market’s Best Butcher Competition. In short, Whole Foods Market butchers from around the nation competed in each region, ultimately participating in the 2011 Amstel Light Meatopia event in New York City. Why do we care? Because Dallas’ own Hans “Grizz” Van Der Enden won the coveted title, which comes with a cleaver trophy and bragging rights, as well as an all-expenses-paid trip to Iceland to be part of that country’s festive fall lamb round-up event, réttir.
If you missed last night’s second annual Bastille on Bishop celebration in Oak Cliff’s Bishop Arts District, you missed a tasty, sweaty good time. The 100+ degree heat didn’t deter the crowds from enjoying street side crepes, wine from Calais Winery, and mussels from local chefs such as John Tesar (The Commissary), Marc Cassel (Peavy Road), Tim Byres (Smoke), and others. In the end, former Stephan Pyles chef Matt McCallister won first place in the best mussels competition with Scott Romano of Charlie Palmer at The Joule taking second.
Another day, another TV reality show with a contestant from Dallas. This season’s MasterChef, on Monday and Tuesday nights on Fox, features two local heroes: Jennie Kelley, a singer with Polyphonic Spree, and travel writer Ben Starr. Intrepid intern, Harrison Smith, is all over the show like hot on fries. Each week he will file his take on the show. Go:
Is Gordon Ramsay a raging lunatic? I’m not sure—this is reality TV, after all, so who can really say who the nice guy is or who the mean-tempered award-winner is in real life. Maybe all the cursing and screaming he’s done in eight seasons of Hell’s Kitchen and now two seasons of MasterChef is just an act put on by a kind Scottish soul who loves to cook.
Or maybe he’s just an…
(Oh, you have to jump.) Continue reading "Two Contestants From Dallas Compete on Gordon Ramsay’s MasterChef"10 Comments »
If you are creative, adventurous, love a good cocktail or are passionate about the flavors found in a glass of wine there are a few contest opportunities that were made for you.
If you always wanted to be a bartender, or are ready to dust off your apron from the days you were, Sandeman Founders Reserve Porto has created the Sandeman Mix Up Challenge. Now through June 15 submit your original cocktail recipe and photo here for a chance to win a trip to Portugal with a visit to the 200+ year old Sandeman Cellars. Recipes must include Sandeman Founders Reserve Porto and the winning cocktail will be based on originality, creativity and of course, taste.
Or, if wine is your passion and describing the flavors flows like water out of you grab a bottle of Brancott Estate wine from New Zealand and enter their “#Whatif” Twitter contest to win two tickets to the land of the Kiwis describing their favorite Brancott wine. The contest runs through June 13. More details here.
Perhaps I have a soft-spot in my heart for Oak Cliff’s Brew Riot Homebrew Festival because it was the first Dallas beer event I attended after moving here to town last May. Or perhaps it’s because Brew Riot is such a grass-roots, neighborhood kind of event. Either way, I get thirsty just thinking about it.
The third annual event is set for next Sunday, May 22 from 4 to 8 pm, and will draw hundreds of homebrew lovers to the Bishop Arts district to sample some amazing homebrews.This year, organizers are adding the Backyard Burger Throwdown. Bring your own grill and 10 lbs. of meat and see if you’ve got what it takes to be named the Bishop Arts Backyard Burger Champ.
Last year, Blockhead Brewing Company won the People’s Choice Award, and St Canterbury Home Brew Club walked away with two prizes: Best Dark Ale and Best Pale Ale. This year’s homebrew judges will include for-real microbrewers as well as our own Todd Johnson.
jump for the categories… Continue reading "More Brews News: Oak Cliff Brew Riot Homebrew Festival, May 22"2 Comments »
If you have volunteered with your local community garden for at least 2 years and are over 21 years old this could be your day! Robert Mondavi’s Woodbridge wine has partnered with the American Community Gardening Association to create the Giving Through Growing program in which they will award prizes totaling $40,000 to a local ‘Heroes’ who have a passion for gardening and a desire to improve their community while increasing the ability of fresh fruits and veggies in their neighborhoods. Applicants should apply here with their ideas on how to positively impact and enrich their neighborhoods through community gardens. Applications will be accepted until May 22 so don’t delay your submission. I love this idea as we see more and more community gardens popping up all around town with our continued slow food focus on eating locally sourced products and garden fresh ingredients.
Last night the 14th annual Rising Stars Chefs’ Awards Dinner celebrated exceptional food and flavors created by some of the cities best up and coming chefs. The second event in the five day Dallas Wine and Food Festival, this event has become one of the most anticipated for lovers of great food and supporters of our local chefs.
With Executive Director Nikki Miller at the helm, a tasting event was held in early April where various chefs presented their creations to the Dallas Wine and Food Festival judging panel, and last night at the Nasher Sculpture Center the winners were honored, with lucky attendees enjoying the tasty winning dishes with wine pairings from Napa Valley Artesa Chardonnay and incredible Pinot Noir from Domaine Serene in Willamette Valley. A special treat this year, a reception cocktail of Makers Mark and lemonade. All the food was decadent with one common theme…butter. Follow the jump for pictures of the festivities.1 Comment »
A while back, we told you about a certain cocktail contest going on at all of the Rathbun restaurants. Throughout April, bartenders at Abacus, Jasper’s, Rathbun’s Blue Plate Kitchen, Zea WoodFire Grill, and Shinsei have been squaring off in a tequila-based cocktail contest. It’s finally time for the winners to compete for the grand prize. On Sunday, May 1, from 3 – 5:30 p.m, the shaken and the stirred will duke it out at Kent Rathbun’s Party Room at The Heights at Park Lane. Here’s a preview of the drinks and dishes:
jump for the preview… Continue reading "Details On the Rathbun Cocktail Showdown"
From the press release department:
On April 23, Brackets will host a FREE adult Easter egg hunt and bunny costume contest (6 and 8 pm, respectively). Guests can enjoy drink and shot specials while hunting eggs filled with grown-up prizes such as gift certificates, drink tickets, tokens for free game play, candy, and one golden egg containing a voucher for one lucky participant to throw a keg party for 25 of his or her best buds. Throw on your favorite bunny suit or Easter gear because at 8 pm the best dressed bunny will receive a $100 Brackets gift certificate.
Intern Katie Minchew spent part of her morning recently watching Michael Scott prepare for a timed cooking competition. Read on to see what happened.
On a warm morning in March, I met chef Michael Scott, seasoned culinary artist and executive chef at Northwood Country Club, and his mentor and coach, chef Andre Bedouret, a charmingly disheveled Frenchman who pronounces words like “list” as “leest.” I was there to witness one of Scott’s many practices for the American Culinary Federation Chef of the Year competition that will take place next Wednesday.
The kitchen is freezing at the early hour of seven. Steaming cups of coffee, black for me and Andre, creamy for Scott, line the stainless steel counter. Chef Scott is rushing around the room, pulling pots from here or there, asking an assortment of technical questions of his coach. This is his third practice run before the competition. (Today, a week before the competition, he’s done nine test runs.) Scott sifts through the competition packet, reviewing the rules. He hopes to achieve a perfect execution. He will have 15 minutes to set up, 60 minutes to “fabricate and cook four portions of their dish,” which must incorporate a whole bone-in duck, 10 minutes to plate the dish, and 15 minutes to clean his cooking area.1 Comment »
Blue Mesa threw down the following gauntlet to each of their restaurants’ bar crews: Come up with the best tequila cocktail using one of Cabo Wabo tequilas or die a slow and soused death trying (I made that second part up). On Weds., April 20, from 5 to 9 pm, all Blue Mesa location will be throwing Cabo Wabo Tequila Master Cocktail Contests & Parties during which they will present the best five cocktails (half-size) for guests to taste and judge. A $25 fee gets you drink (all five cocktail samples and a full size version of your favorite) and food (steak and Chimayo corn taco cones, spinach and goat cheese tarts, smoked chicken tostaditas, tenderloin mesa panna rolls, dessert bars and more).
The winning drink will be featured in all Blue Mesa Tequila Bars and the winning recipe will be posted on the Blue Mesa website. The winning bartender will get prizes and rewards, and the recipes for all five drinks will be given to all who attend the party.
Price does not include tax and gratuity.