Wednesday night Andrew Ormsby, Randall Copeland, John Tesar, Janice Provost and more showcased seductively sweet desserts to raise funds for Best Buddies Texas in the first annual Life is Sweet Pastry Chef Showcase at Victoria Hall inside Andrew Ormsby Catering. Continue reading "Life is Certainly Sweet When Dallas Chefs Help Best Buddies"
We eat a lot of cupcakes around the office. In fact, our office is divided when it comes to Sprinkles lovers, Tart fans, and Dimples devotes. However, we started getting messages from unhappy Dimples workers and assigned freelancer Pam Kripke to check it out. Here is her story.
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The cupcake is a remarkable thing. It is, in the ways that matter most, a flawless invention, a treat for both body and mind. Elegant in its simplicity, yet playful, a sentimental nod to birthdays past. And cute—so delightfully, deliciously cute.
Around town, the cupcake has had a renaissance, lining up in bakery cases like pearls on a strand. People buy them with abandon, gleeful, embracing the frosting on their noses and little change back from a 10. It is okay. It is a cupcake. It is the way it should be.
Until, it isn’t.
Early last year, two men in Dallas decided that they, too, would join the parade of bakers who now specialize in cupcakes. They had a plan to open one, and then a string of shops, fast, calling them Dimples, like the thing your face does when it grins. The problem, though, for Chad Sorrells and his business and life partner, Bryan Owens—who are, by the way, not bakers—is that few people are smiling. In fact, a lot of people would like to see them iced. In court, no sprinkles on top.
Starting on Halloween and continuing on select Sundays through December, The Ritz will trade the finger sandwiches and scones of its traditional afternoon tea for festive cupcakes. Mini cupcakes in Texas-inspired flavors will come with hot tea, coffee, chocolate, and cider selections. Or you can go for pink champagne. Chef Morgan Wilson’s Halloween cupcake flavors include Go Longhorns (citrus and burnt sugar cake with orange buttercream and tangerine marmalade), Texas Pecan Italian Cream, Don’t Mess With Chocolate, Red Velvet, and Peach Cobbler.
Find out the details here.
Like you need another excuse to go to Sprinkles: the cupcake shop has partnered with Hunger Busters to “provide Dallas schoolchildren who participate in subsidized breakfast and lunch meal plans with a nutritious and sustaining third meal of the day,” according to the press release. The benefit runs Monday through Friday (August 23-28) and 100 percent of sales from the vanilla milk chocolate cupcakes decorated with a gold star (pictured here) goes to the organization.
Maybe cupcakes have jumped the shark, especially when they start making reality shows about them. (Yes, I’m talking about Food Network’s Cupcake Wars. Yawn.) But, hey, when done right, they’re still tasty. And for a $1? Why the heck not? This week, Aston’s Bakery is hosting a week-long cupcake happy hour Tuesday-Friday 4-6pm. Red velvet, chocolate, carrot, Texas pecan — all the usual suspects. Go get your frosting fix.2 Comments »
Here’s something for the whole family that involves eating something good for a good cause.
WHAT: Take the kids to meet the Cupcake Queen (no, not me), sample cupcakes until their stomaches ache, get their faces painted, play games, and more to benefit Musical Angels, which gives kids in hospitals access to musical instruments.
WHEN: Sat., Aug. 14, 2-5 p.m.
WHERE: South Side on Lamar, 1409 S. Lamar St., Studio 101.
HOW MUCH: Admission is free, and so are the cupcakes. Donations will be accepted.
More info at www.MusicalAngels.net.
I feel badly that I didn’t get this up sooner. But what can I say? A carton of frosting fell on my head.1 Comment »
Sometimes a sweet tooth cannot be stopped. When Dimples One Arts failed to open yesterday, I found myself with a raging craving for cake and frosting. So I dropped by The Cupcakery on McKinney to see if I could silence the sugarmonster. I was delighted to find many flavors sitting like jewels in a case. I took the recommendations of the counter guy and walked out with ganache (vanilla cake with chocolate frosting with a chocolate truffle inside), Kir Royale (raspberry cake with vanilla frosting), and strawberry (strawberry cake with strawberry frosting). I also got a vanilla/vanilla, which is the real test for any cupcake shop.6 Comments »
Trends come and trends go. Some of us witnessed the frozen yogurt craze in the 80s and early 90s. Now it’s back in a big way. Or is it gone already? Are we really, as DMN’s Leslie Brenner contends, in the midst of a taco uptrend? Or is she very late to the taco party that has been happening here for decades? How long before all of the cupcakes stores are empty waiting for the next cupcake? Oh, it’s here! Cake balls. I guess I should ask what is the next cake ball?
Jump for the fascinating, decidedly unscientific data. And then tell us, what’s the best trend you’ve seen lately? What do you really enjoy? And which trend do you just shake your head at, and wonder, “Why?”11 Comments »
Last year we talked about Robin Ankeny’s Cake Ball Company in East Dallas. She swiped her mom’s recipe and started a small company in her house. Now she’s big time with a storefront, industrial kitchen, and a delivery service. You might say she’s balls to the walls. Or maybe you wouldn’t.
Anywhoo, one of the gals in our office, we call her Coors Light, has a sister in Austin. Her sister, Kathy Nickleburr, has just entered the dark and stormy business of making cake balls. Her Austin-based company, Belle of the Cake Ball, just delivered this pretty arrangement to the office. They are gone. We didn’t pay for them. I’m not being paid to write this. However, I want another one.6 Comments »
Teresa Gubbins takes a look at Kenny’s Wood Fired Grill in North Dallas, home of the “Hungry Cougars.” If you are a young man looking for a good meal, KWFG has everything you’re looking for in a restaurant. And some food too.1 Comment »
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Yes, yes, cupcakes are so last year. You told me that already. But I won’t be convinced. And clearly there’s a whole lot of cupcake eating going on. Proof: Dimples plans to open a fourth location at One Arts Plaza in June. That’s another 850 square feet of cake-and-frosting goodness to be located in the space now occupied by WRR, across from 7-11. Owner Chad Sorrells seems plenty excited. Until then, get your sugar fix with the just-launched ice cream-filled cupcakes. That’s right, Dimples is pumping homemade vanilla or chocolate soft serve into its oversize delights – available only at the Frisco location for now.
The wave of “Park Lane Whole Foods Grand Opening, Coming Soon!” hoopla has taken over the local news outlets, and I didn’t get what the big deal was until D‘s Krista Nightengale and I took a tour today. The new Who’Fo’ is basically like others around town, but it seems better-planned and more indulgent. If you can see past the fish oil and kombucha, Whole Foods is a fun place. The dessert bar is directly beneath an “Our Commitment to Health” sign, which is a few feet away from a frozen yogurt area and a design-your-own cupcake bar. (Look, Nancy! More cupcakes!) Another hands-on project: a bottle-your-own station with six varieties of olive oil and three balsamic vinegars. There are bins of loose-leaf tea, a dozen tubs of salt and pepper (I liked the chardonnay oak-smoked variety), more than 400 types of cheese cut to order, and more than 1,000 wine selections (most are less than $20, and there’s a good showing of unexpected options in splits). The store has a wine bar with one red and one white wine on tap; they’re still working on a handy way to fasten a wine glass safely in a shopping cart. And there’s the fancy touchscreen (above) in the produce department that Continue reading "Whole Foods on Park Lane Looks to Enable Alcoholics, Foodie Supremacists"14 Comments »
Some folks around here are nutso for cupcakes. I am not one but our grammarian and copy editor, Allison Hatfield, loves them. She loves them so much she got up early today to get a taste of Dimples. (That sounds gross.) Hear her purr.
The West Village finally gets its cupcakes due, and I was first in line this morning at the opening of Dimples. I got my free wedding cake cuppie (free to the first 50 customers) and purchased six more. They were still trying to get the show on the road — or the cupcakes in the case, as it were. The register wasn’t even plugged in yet. The owner reported a brutal commute from Frisco this morning, and I nearly volunteered to run the place I love it so much. I got them to package up the red velvet, chocolate mousse, and the chocolate cream cheese, but am most looking forward to trying the strawberry, which they didn’t have today.
Cuppie? Is that like sammie? Oh, no could “yummy” be far behind? Grrr.12 Comments »
This is the last post for Valentine’s Day dining options in Dallas. Open his link and you will find romantic options from restaurants, bakeries, and take-out spots. If you are a restaurant and you are not on this list, please post your information in the comments section.4 Comments »
Lookout cupcakes, here comes the whoopie pie craze. Are you familiar with Tart Bakery? You know, the little shop pastry chef Kristen Massad opened in 2004 where the storefront looks like a spray painted rah-rah sign for an upcoming football game? We never thought the place would make it, but make it they did—Massad’s little shop that turns out cakes, pies, and petit fours is turning five. (Thanksgiving tip: order one of their turkey wreaths (croissant rings stuffed with turkey) for your office party.) Or a couple dozen pumpkin-spice whoopie pies! Maple & Motors Burgers and Beer also makes a chocolate version of the whoopie pie called the chocolate gob. One more sighting and whoopies will become an official trend. 5219 W. Lovers Lane at Inwood Rd. 469- 335-8919.14 Comments »
Hmm. Looks like the cupcake industry is trying to beat the new FTC guidelines that go into effect on December 1. Once the rules kick in, I can’t eat a free cupcake without telling you I accepted a free cupcake. The same goes for other products such as food, wine, or free dinners. The revised rules require you to disclose how you received the products you review or endorse. So, I’m not going to review these—I hate cupcakes anyway. You can send all you want but I’m not eating any of them or writing about them. The cupcakes in the picture were sent, unsolicited, to our offices at 750 N. Pearl St. Suite 2100, Dallas 75201. They come from Citizen Sweet.13 Comments »
The Federal Trade Commission recently updated its “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.” If you are a blogger, freelance writer, advertising copy writer, or professional writer you need to read the document, especially if you accept complimentary products such as food, wine, or free dinners. The revised rules require you to disclose how you received the products you review or endorse. Scott, over at Dallasfood.org has a brilliant analysis of the document.
Let me give you an example what happens here at D headquarters on a regular basis. Let’s say a box of cupcakes, a package of chocolate, or bag of food samples arrives with a note from the store owner or publicist. Everyone in the office goes bonkers and whatever is delivered disappears in about 2 seconds. If we don’t post anything on SideDish, I generally receive a “follow-up” note like this:
Hi Nancy, I just wanted to follow up on the “Insert Name” “Insert Item” that we sent last week from “Insert Company” and get your thoughts/feedback on the new flavors. We think it would make an interesting post on SideDish or an article for your magazine. We’d love to hear what you thought of them and see if they might be a fit for an upcoming story or mention. “Insert Company” will be expanding and owner “Insert Name” is hoping to open more locations soon. We appreciate any comments you have!
If someone on the SideDish staff decides to write about the product, they now have to mention the fact that the food was not paid for by D Magazine. If we don’t, we violate the Federal Trade Commission Act and could receive a fine.
At the risk of calling in the food police, I will say that we have always run a tight ship around here. We’ve always paid for food we review and I do not attend media dinners or accept complimentary dinners. We have sent a copy of the FTC guidelines to our attorney to make sure we comply with all of the rules.
But here is one rub—I’ve already heard that some bloggers and indie food writers are finding ways to get around the rules by posting one small disclaimer somewhere on their webpage and not in the copy of the item. So readers beware. Ask questions. It’s a jungle out there.19 Comments »
I’m stuck at home in my little glass house. I see a few pebbles on the floor and I think I will toss them.
I just scanned through the Dallas Observer’s 2009 Best of Dallas® Food list. It reminds me of that Who song. What is it, Kirk? Something about the new boss and the old boss? YAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH! Bomp, bomp, bomp. YAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH!
Dave Fairies, I have a quick question: Does the Observer repeat “Bests” if, when the next year rolls around, no one else fills the category as “Better®?” (That’s mine, dude.) This is a serious question and I ask it because I have to deal with the beast of ‘Bests” and understand the difficulty at uncovering them. So, Mr. Fairies, do you roll over “Bests” from year to year by moving them into different categories or because they are the “Best” of their original category? Let’s go through the list together and see. Jump with me. It’s not far. Continue reading "Dallas Observer 2009 Best of Dallas® Food List: What do You Think?"17 Comments »