I woke up in a tree this morning, coated my feet in honey, and started off the day with a light stroll through an ancient fern meadow I found last year in the back of my closet. It’s kind of like Narnia, but with more nudity and less heroism. Also, there weren’t any speaking animals. That would just be weird. After some solid Qigong breath work, I glided into my car seat and headed up north to try out this neighborhood café that Carol told me about. It’s called Coffee House Café, and they apparently take great care in selecting and delivering their coffee. Alright, I’m game.
On February 19, the day after an episode of Kourtney and Kim Take Miami aired, the phone line at International Bakery Cuban Dulceria blew up. The two sisters/owners, Rita and Sara Vazquez, began receiving a flood of calls about their coffee. “Ever since that show where Khloe Kardashian got a cortadito, we’ve had clients asking if we have them,” says Sara.
When a male customer of theirs – one who doesn’t come regularly – drove all the way from Dallas to their small bakery in Carrollton just for a morning cortadito, that’s when the Vazquez ladies knew something was up. “We went online and researched it,” says Rita. As soon as she read about Khloe’s crazy caffeine rampage for cortaditos on the “B**ch Slapped” episode, everything began to make sense.
Cortaditos are Cuba’s version of cortados. They’re usually served in a glass, but International Bakery Cuban Dulceria’s version comes in a yellow foam cup. Ascension Coffee would probably deem this practice blasphemous (they don’t let you take their cortados to-go because it ruins them, they say), but the sisters claim that their cortadito sales have increased 85% since the show aired. This small cup – with a half shot of espresso, steamed milk, cottony foam, and sugar – has brought cortadito fame to Carrollton. The ladies are right about their coffee, too. It’s good. A little sugary for me, but I can see why other people would drive 30 minutes for this. A two dollar cortadito paired with a flaky guava pastry? Muy bueno. What an excellent breakfast for less than three dollars.
If you haven’t picked up a copy of D Moms yet, we need to talk. Editor Joslyn Taylor has done an amazing job with the premiere issue, and it’s pretty darn chic. I don’t plan on raising children for another ten years, but D Moms still appeals to me, a non-mother. It’s for anyone who loves food, design, and other beautiful things that make this world go ’round. When Joslyn commissioned me to write an article on how to get kids excited about good food, I happily complied. Winter break is on the horizon, so some of you mommies out there can use some of these ideas to keep your little ones occupied.
— Step No. 1 —
Hit the Coppell Farmers Market on a Saturday.
Buying local is a great way to meet the people who actually grow and produce the food we eat (good for modern kids to know: food doesn’t just magically appear at Tom Thumb). Chat up the easy-going folks at Rehoboth Ranch and take home some of Robert Hutchins’ all natural, antibiotic-free chicken. Chick-Fil-A will never taste the same again.
793 S. Coppell Rd., Coppell. 972-304-7043. coppellfarmersmarket.com. Open each Saturday, 8 a.m.–noon. Schedule changes during the winter.1 Comment »
In July, when we announced restaurateur Shannon Wynne’s plans to open Lark on the Park, we also uncovered the name of the investor behind the “official” restaurant to operate at the park which will officially open October 27 with a Polyphonic Spree concert. John Muse, partner and chairman of HM Capital Partners and a member of the Woodall Rogers Park Foundation, is partnering with chef John Coleman, formerly the executive chef and director of food and beverage at The Ritz-Carlton Hotel in Dallas, to create and operate Savor.
Savor won’t be open for at least six months, but in late October or early November, Coleman will debut Relish, a food truck dedicated to solving the “common burger problem” by creating burger combinations with the ingredients mixed into the patty and grilled. Relish will eventually evolve into the park’s permanent, casual-food kiosk which is scheduled to open in mid-2013.
Muse and Coleman decided Savor would be a gastropub with “emphasis on fresh food and a shared experience.” The restaurant’s revenue will help support the operation of the Park. The exterior of 6,000-square foot restaurant pavilion and the performance pavillion, constructed through private donations, was designed by architect Thomas Phifer. Bill Johnson of The Johnson Studios in Atlanta is designing the restaurant’s interior which will include floor-to-ceiling glass walls, skylights to capture the changing light, and a sculpted ceiling designed to give the appearance of “sitting lightly” on the walls. Savor will have 320 seats, some of which will be in the covered patio.
This morning I spoke with John Coleman, an avid hiker and rock climber, to get some details on the food vibe of the project.25 Comments »
On September 19th, a collective “oh, nooooooo” went up from the many food truck owner/operators who have parked in the Dallas Arts District. On that date, it was announced that their leader, their protector, their mentor, Veletta Forsythe Lill, the Executive Director of the Arts District would leave after her post. Lill spent the last four years overseeing significant changes in the Arts District. She also spent eight years on Dallas City Council. Since the food trucks first started showing up in the Arts District in mid-2011, Ms. Lill has carefully vetted each one to ensure that visitors were receiving the highest quality fare. I’ve seen her work tirelessly, even during vacations, to ensure agreements among the food trucks, permits departments, and Dallas City Hall.
I thought Executive Director to revitalize the Dallas Farmer’s Market would be a great new challenge for Ms. Lill. Jump for Love Letters from a few of the food truck owners, where Randy Wolken pleads for Mayor Lill. Continue reading "Love Letters from Dallas Food Trucks to the Arts District’s Veletta Lill"2 Comments »
2012 marks the 40th anniversary for one of Dallas’ best and consistently voted “most romantic” neighborhood bistros, The Grape. Throughout the past 40 years and through an ownership change, this little gem has stayed true to their opening idea of being a restaurant that celebrates classic bistro style cuisine with impeccable quality, while staying affordable, most recently coming from Chef/Owner Brian C. Luscher and his talented Sommelier/GM wife, Courtney Luscher.
I am a fan and visit The Grape often, as it is in my neighborhood and I am always guaranteed a fantastic meal and a great bottle of wine, usually involving their mushroom soup, a staple item that has been on the menu since the beginning, a gorgeous cheese and house-made charcuterie board, and whatever nightly special Chef Brian, or his talented sous-chef and Bravo Top Chef Season 10 star, Danyele McPherson, create in their Greenville Ave. kitchen. Here is what we had to say about The Grape in our October 1974 restaurant listings.
1 Comment »
The Grape. A unique and always crowded restaurant boasting 25 varieties of cheese and a menu of light entrees that changes daily. The tournedos bearnaise are a favorite. For a touch of pure excellence, try any of the homemade soups (fresh mushroom is the specialty). During busy hours, which is most of the time, service can be painfully slow. Unusual wine list. No mixed drinks. (2808 Greenville Ave./ 823-0133/ Lunch: Mon.-Fri. 11:30-2:30, Dinner: Tues.-Sun. 6-10:30, open later on Fri. & Sat. for wine and cheese only/ No reservations/ No credit cards/ $$)
D Home editor Joslyn Taylor had this brilliant idea of doing a cross post. Since the weather has been kind of wunderbar, we thought it’d be fun if I picked out my ideal picnic basket foods while Joslyn paired them with pretty basket accessories.
Jump if you can’t wait for this weekend.
On March 4th, the dynamic ladies of the Dallas Chapter of Les Dames d’Escoffier host their annual raiser grazer and silent auction at Union Station from 5pm-8pm, with this year’s theme being “Dames In The City.” Les Dames is truly a one-of-a-kind organization, dedicated to supporting and promoting the achievements of women in the culinary profession. The Dallas chapter, which started in 1985, is filled with some of the finest women in the city whose passion for the food, wine and hospitality professions shines from deep within, including Grande Dame Caroline Rose Hunt, Janet Cobb, Janice Provost, Courtney Luscher, Rachel Gaffney, Sharon Hage, Kathryn Hall, Gina Puente and so many, many more. In celebration of Julia Child and what would have been her 100th birthday, the event will also feature a cake walk in her honor. Their annual event raises funds for their many endowment, scholarship and grant programs focused on helping women interested in food, wine and hospitality professions. Tickets are available here.
New Orleans : Mardi Gras ::
Germany : Fasching Fest ::
If you didn’t understand that, retake the SATs and jump below. Continue reading "Drink Beer, Eat Sausage at the German Fasching Fest this Sunday"1 Comment »
Holy Anchovy! The AIWF Caesar Salad Competition may be an annual event in its 20th year but the organizers behind the event have no intention of letting the format get stale. So this year, the organization that brought you the competition that often leads to a winner who wins for an ingredient that is far removed from any ingredient in the traditional Caesar salad is mixing it up. The competitors will all be previous winners of the competition. The winner will a kind of Grand Fromage of Dallas Caesar Salad Competitions.
Of the 19, 12 are still in town and this week the AIWF introduced them at the Westin Galleria Hotel, which is where the competition will be held. Without further delay, the role of honor.. Continue reading "AIWF Launches the Mother of All Caesar Salad Competitions"
The drought and soul-killing temperatures have done a number on my zucchini this year. The lush, ground-hugging vines that should have taken over my entire plot by now, look like dead snakes that tried to cross a desert highway. You, too? In years past, I’ve had such a viney bounty that I’ve used this holiday to not only unload my stash, but commit notable acts of agricultural mischief. There were the brown bags on doorsteps, the twine-tied bundles in mailboxes, the Jenga-stacked sculptures, and, of course, the zucchini I hung individually from my neighbor’s tree. The fun was in convincing their kids that they were alien fruit pods that could explode at any moment.
Memories. Like the corners of my mind…
To distract myself, I’m looking ahead and thinking about creating some new arcane traditions. Here’s the list of upcoming unusual holidays. Some have to do with food, but not all. And I left out the boring ones. Any ideas for ways to commemorate? Continue reading "It’s “Sneak Some Zucchini Onto Your Neighbor’s Porch Day.” Insert Heavy Sigh."
Tweeter up, Dishers! Tomorrow is the MLB All-Star Game. Don’t give a twit about the game? Me either! But Evan Grant, the Dallas Morning News Rangers beat writer and The Ticket contributor, and I are going to auction a special dinner for two to raise money for the family of Shannon Stone, the Ranger fan who died tragically on Thursday night. You will have a chance to bid on having dinner with Evan and me which is funnier and more interesting than any reality TV show.
Besides Happy Hour prices all night, there will be trivia games and prizes. Rangers swag and baseball tickets, and FREE garlic fries…Check it out. It’s all happening at Gordon Biersch in the Shops at Park Lane. Hope to see you there. Deets.
Full disclosure: Dean Fearing knew I was coming. I’d set up my lunch ahead of time with Lauren Lapeyre, who does PR for the Ritz, because I knew that Fearing’s schedule doesn’t afford him the time to work his downtown restaurant every day, and I needed him there. In order to cross this one off my list, I not only had to eat at Fearing’s, I had to meet the man, too. So let’s concede that the amount of attention I was paid during my visit wasn’t typical, and I might not have gotten quite so much face time with one of Dallas’ most renowned chefs had I just wandered in off the street.
But that’s not to say that Fearing isn’t plenty charismatic with all his clientele, whether you carry cash by the briefcase or have to scrape your pockets for spare change just to pay for your meal. He’s sort of a ubiquitous presence around the restaurant: working frying pans in the kitchen, keeping his cooks and servers privy to who’s-sitting-where, strolling through the dining room to schmooze customers. And he doesn’t just check on his diners once — he heads back for seconds and thirds, learning names and getting laughs and making sure that everything is oh-so-perfect.
For my 12th stop on the list of Things Every Dallasite Must Do, I went to Mattito’s for some of their Bob Armstrong dip. Armed with insider knowledge, I planned to impress the waiter with my Dallas savvy when ordering the off-menu dip.
As soon as we were seated, our waiter offered to get us drinks and asked if we would like to order some Bob Armstrong dip. My bubble was burst. I convinced myself that merely saying, “yes please,” instead of asking what it was still gave me an aura of being in the know, but it was far less satisfying.
All of my disappointment melted away when he came back with a bowl of queso, guacamole, ground beef taco meat, and a dollop of sour cream, ready to be thoroughly mixed with the accompanying spoon. Though probably not the most original mixture of ingredients, it is delightful, and much better than just plain queso. I had to remind myself to eat it with tortilla chips instead of digging in with a spoon.
I’m not sure how Teresa Pullen managed to eat 2 pounds and 14 ounces of the mixture in last year’s Bob-eating contest on Cinco de Mayo. Today’s happens at 5 p.m. After sharing a bowl — along with more than a few baskets of tortilla chips and one of Mattito’s unsettlingly bright blue Rumbaritas — I could not bring myself to order an entrée.
I did, however, finish by ordering a plate of two sopapillas dusted in cinnamon sugar with a dish of honey to dip them in. Sounds like a balanced meal to me.
Lisa Collins is a D Magazine intern.
I’m not sure if living in Texas for more than 10 years makes me qualified enough to be considered a Texan, but I do know I have acquired quite a few Texan traits over the years, especially having to do with my palate. I now understand what queso means, stomach jalapenos, crave tacos, and every now and then I need a good margarita. Typically I satisfy my Tex-Mex and tequila cravings by making the rounds between Mi Cocina, Mattito’s, Javier’s, and Taco Diner.
When reading that every Dallasite must drink a frozen margarita from Mariano’s Hacienda, I knew I was up for the job. It would be my 11th stop towards completing the Things Every Dallasite Must Do. I headed to Skillman Avenue, not knowing if I should expect a small family-run operation or a busy restaurant. What I found was surprisingly large and festive, though quite empty.
In our April issue, as you might have heard, we published a list of “52 Things Every Dallasite Must Do.” One of the things was eat Bob Armstrong dip at Mattito’s Tex-Mex, which does not list the concoction on its menu. Unfortunately, our art and editorial departments had a communications snafu, and to illustrate the dip item, we ran a picture of the Bob Armstrong dip not from Mattito’s but instead from Matt’s Rancho Martinez. Mattito’s, you see, was once affiliated with Matt’s, which originated the Bob Armstrong Dip. But not long after Mattito’s opened, the two organizations parted ways — and not altogether amicably. Estella Martinez, Matt’s widow, politely explained all this to me. She said that she and her staff were delighted when a D Magazine photographer came in to take pictures, but when she saw her dip next to the Mattito’s writeup, her delight turned into something else.
We regret the error.2 Comments »
After a few fierce rounds of pub trivia (read: drinks) at Lee Harvey’s recently, a friend from out-of-town asked me where he could fill up his car. “Why just get gas,” I said, “When you can get gas and tacos?” So off we went to Fuel City to cross the 12th item off my list of Things Every Dallasite Must Do.
Pulling up to the oversized fueling station, I glanced at a swimming pool sitting across the parking lot. A mirage? Perhaps. Nearby, a red neon “TACOS” sign shone like a beacon. As we walked through the sliding door, a shimmering beer island greeted us — offering a prolific selection of cold ones packed in ice. This was but a minor distraction, and we made our way to the taco window. Continue reading "The Dallas Must-Do List: Tacos at Fuel City"