Yeah, don’t come crawling to me with nothing to do. There are plenty of events, activities, and tummy rubs available this weekend. I say this with love: get off your lazy bum and hop to it. Shoo, fly, shoo!
Friday, April 5
Eh, nothing really going on (that I can find). Get some beauty rest before you head out on Saturday. Wait, never mind, I forgot about the Deep Ellum Arts Festival from 5 p.m. to 11 p.m. Food from Buzzbrews, Fuzzy’s, and Mama Fayes will be there.
Saturday, April 6
I know, I know. Where did March go? That’s the same question I’ve been asking myself every day. April’s here, and that means the 2nd annual Big Texas Beer Fest is happening inside the Fair Park Automobile Building. There’ll be food trucks, food, free cheese samples, and – of course – beer. Lots of it. Buy tickets here.
Chef Jim “Sevy” Severson (of Sevy’s Grill) is leading a cooking class from 11:30 to 1 p.m. at the Dallas Farmers Market Resource Center. Seriously, you should go. He’s been doing these classes since 1993. I’m sure it’ll be funtertainment. To buy a $25 ticket, go here.
Promise of Peace Garden is having its 4th annual EcoFest from 10 to 2 p.m. “with live music by the Ackermans and friends on a solar powered stage.” It’s completely free, and you get to learn about gardening.
You may recall back in 1989 the muscly, taut action/drama, Roadhouse. It caused the nation to swoon and wrestled in a new era of gritty/bar brawling/martial arts/tai chi/poignant sprawling epics that flooded theaters the following years. It was an exciting time to breathe and an even more exciting time to be a Hulk Hogan-loving 6-year-old, fresh out kindergarten in Missouri. My interest in Marxist/Morrison philosophy has swayed to some exponential degree, but my love and Swayze-induced hot sweats have endured and even strengthened. While the new Lakewood restaurant, The Lot, doesn’t possess the threat of a rib stabbing or a powerful roundhouse boot kick from a brutally apt martial arts henchman, it does appeal to our American Roadhouse desires and hopefully beckons to the late Mr. Swayze’s iconic “Dalton” and his passion for a friendly, lively and safe roadhouse gathering.
The Lot, which opened this Monday, has covered a great deal of space with its robust remodeling of the old Backyard Beach Bar. Its countrified barn house appeal is friendly and welcoming. There are two playgrounds (one for kids and one for adults), an outdoor stage, and an outdoor bar that will serve burgers, Hoffman hots, tacos and beers. Plenty of communal picnic tables are there for you to rest your bum while you indulge in the sights, sounds and tastes that surround you. I normally avoid the kid zoos that call themselves restaurants, but this place was surprisingly tempered thanks to the playground and the well-designed acoustics of the interior. The bar area is separated from the main dining hall by glass garage doors, which helps maintain its adult-necessary privacy.
This chic is twisted, flip city. That is why we love her. This Valentine’s Day Clapner, of Dude, Sweet Chocolate, is designing 300 limited-edition chocolate hearts. Real hearts. Life size. Solid dark chocolate filled with waffle cone, Cocoa Puffs, and her chocolate crack. They are $45. I’d say hurry.
I spent most of the weekend perfecting my brush flow, diminishing concentrics, and dancing with the spirit that moves through all things, so pardon any tiresome attitude with which I convey my most recent lunchtime excursion at Sammy’s Bar-B-Q.
I know most of you are familiar with Sammy’s. It’s been here a long time, and it’s no recluse. It’s a lunchtime institution for all walks: the suits, the boots, the scrubs, and the domestics. We all come to this open, brick palace of meat for all things barbecue. The cafeteria-style dining lends itself to the casual effort we all strive to allow ourselves in that short hour we take from the clock. There’s a festive patio, lots of sunlight, and plenty of space to stretch your belt. It’s a neighborly American powerhouse of smoked meats and backyard side dishes, and the clatter of dishes from the kitchen, the jubilant conversations of the diners, and the wooden comforts all wrap their arms around your waist, offering whatever level of squeeze you desire. You will certainly smell of Sammy’s meats and smoke after you leave, and that’s a good thing.
After I finished putting together my mother’s almond milk bubble bath, I left her a note to tell her I’d be skipping out on her chili lasagna with bologna sugar cube wraps. She’s a bit of an artisan when it comes to dining combinations, but tonight was going to be my night. I had to break free from form and let loose the hair that I couldn’t grow because of a microwave accident I suffered in my late teens. My friend Jason has a second cousin who knows a guy that works at the post office, and he said that he overheard a couple of his customers raving about this new mecca of hipster grunge called Serious Pizza. It sounds like just the place for me to launch my shamisen one man band and show the world my brand of cool, while also absorbing a little of theirs.
Jump and get more serious.
The only thing that’s wrong with Dallas is the brevity of fall. It lasts all of three weeks. Maybe four, if we’re lucky. But whatever God-sent perfect weather we have now is making want to devour everything that’s remotely pumpkin-related. If you’re crazy about pumpkins, too, jump here for the list of pumpkin favorites. Feast your eyes on these food beauties.
If my arteries could talk, they’d be screaming in half-pain/half-joy because tomorrow, my friends, is the FIRST DAY of the State Fair. When those beautiful Fair Park gates open in 19 hours, 20 minutes, and 45 seconds, we’ll finally be able to enter Fried Food Heaven and rest in buttered peace. But enough of this chitter chatter. We’re wasting time and breath whenever we’re not talking about fried food.
Deep fried jambalaya by Abel Gonzalez*
This winner of “Best Taste” at the 2012 Big Tex Choice Awards is a Cajun mix of rice, shrimp, sausage and seasonings that’s spicy even if you don’t dip the ball into the spicy ranch sauce.
Jump if you know what’s good for ya.16 Comments »
I like fried pies. They remind me of, well, eating fried pies and enjoying it.
Like Snakes on a Plane, “fried pie” kind of says what it needs to say — even without the very loud help of Samuel L. Jackson — which is perfect because I don’t have much else to say about them, other than aah-(indecipherable)-hom-nom-nom, which is the self-congratulatory sound of bulldozing one into my face. Sadly, it loses something in print.
Plums are at the tail end of their harvest, hence the plums. Also, the weekend forecast is calling for highs around 80, basically winter, perfect pie frying weather. Now, I realize I’ve done a lot of frying here lately (exhibits A and B), and I won’t apologize for that. I will, however, offer an excuse — Nancy tortures me if I miss a deadline* — and a promise that I won’t do anything fried for awhile. Sigh. I guess.
I’ve been eyeing Epic Cones’ pizzas-that-come-in-cones ever since Scott Reitz gushed about them last month, but the thought of potential heartburn kept me from ever ordering them. The Epic Cones website finally convinced me. Any home page with a wall of CAPITALIZED TEXT and two or three exclamations after every sentence (!!!) tends to do the opposite of scaring me away.
Plus, there was the enticing fact that Epic Cones also makes dessert in a cone.
The author of those homepage words is owner Chris Martinez, a very enthusiastic cone-ist (if there is such a thing) who started his small business in April 2012. Ever since then, Martinez has been working tirelessly in his Deep Ellum kitchen as the chef, owner, and delivery guy. His mother helps him make the dessert cones and curry chicken salad, but the dough is his baby and he makes it from scratch. “Everything’s from my head,” he says. “I don’t get the recipes anywhere else. I just try to make a good product that’s affordable and fresh.”
Jump if you want to get coned. Continue reading "Epic Cones Makes Chocolate Chip Dessert Cones That’ll Knock You Out"2 Comments »
Kobayashi, excuse me, Kobi (小林尊), is the “Japanese eating sensation” who has claimed “dozens of competitive eating titles, including downing a world record 69 hot dogs in 10 minutes in July 2011.” That is not a typo. SIXTY NINE. (He also inhaled 337 chicken wings in 37 minutes.)
This morning Hofmann Sausage Company of Syracuse and the Zaccanelli Food Group of Dallas signed Kobi (please don’t confuse him with this loser) “as a business partner and brand ambassador.” Kobi joins, wait for it, the “Dream Team of Hofmann ownership which includes Roger Staubach, Frank Zaccanelli, Phil Romano, and Jim Boeheim and drives the creation of a new business division designed to expand the U.S. and international reach of Hofmann Hot Dogs.”
In other words, Hofmann Hot Dogs, the oldest hot dog company in America, are now posed to become the new hamburger. If Dallas restaurateur Phil Romano has his way, every child in America will eat 2,000 pounds of Hofmann hot dogs a year. Romano plans to roll out hundreds (thousands?) of Hofmann hot dog restaurants across the country. First one is set to open in Trinity Groves.
If you don’t believe me, you can just jump.
If you don’t want to jump, you can watch Kobayashi eat…6 Comments »
Blue Mesa’s 5th annual Corn & Peach Festival is two-months long (running from June 1 to the end of July), and it’s featuring a special menu with dishes prepared from locally grown corn and peaches. The bi-color corn comes from David Jones Farm in Hondo and Jack Produce in Pearsall, while the peaches are plucked right from the property of Lightsey Farm in Mexia and Cooper Farms in Fairfield, Texas. In addition to the special menu, Blue Mesa is also hosting a Corn & Peach Festival Buffet Tequila Party on June 20 from 5 to 9 p.m. For $14.95 per person, you can get pulled chicken and smoked corn enchiladas, BBQ pork and sweet corn chile rellenos, crab and fire roasted corn cakes, and peach pandowdy with cinnamon ice cream. Reservations are highly recommended.
Friday night’s soirée, TACA Lexus Party on the Green, took place on the lawn at the Rosewood Mansion on Turtle Creek. There were cars up for winning, a cork pull, fabulous trips and dinners in the silent auction, and food. Oh, so much food. More than 30 chefs gathered in the courtyard to offer up some of their best fare. And it was all going really well, too, that is until Mother Nature got involved. It was a bit muggy at first, then there were sprinkles—little ones that grew—and then it rained. Partygoers and chefs headed toward the doors of the Mansion. Within a couple minutes, Mansion employees walked around offering umbrellas to those who stayed outside. But within maybe 15 minutes, it all cleared up, people and chefs returned to their stations, and the party continued. Continue reading "TACA Lexus Party on the Green Gets a Taste of Mother Nature"
Few restaurants have received as much pre-opening buzz as Nick Badovinus‘ highly anticipated Off-Site Kitchen. As a fan of his work at the Neighborhood Services ventures, I’m not ashamed to admit that I was as giddy as a school girl every time a shred of news regarding its opening surfaced. Naturally, when Off-Site Kitchen did open, 98% of the blogosphere rushed to see what kind of magic Badovinus and crew had been brewing up for all those months, and appropriately, nearly every food writer got right to work gushing about it all over the internet. And honestly, it deserved every bit of praise that has been thrown at it.
Now that some of the early chatter has started to simmer down a bit, it seems only appropriate to express my love for the humble, working-man’s menu at Off-Site Kitchen, particularly through praise of one of my favorite items on the menu board, the 48-hr cracked pepper brisket sandwich. It took a few visits to be able to mentally pry myself away from their excessively delicious burgers, but when I was finally able to take the plunge into non-burger territory, my efforts were so handsomely rewarded, I no longer fear to stray.
How many times have you returned from a vacation and rushed to your favorite restaurant for a fix of your favorite food? For almost 20 years, I drove from the airport to Mi Cocina in Preston Royal and went face down in a plate of nachos. Then came In-N-Out. Okay, so Andrew doesn’t love it. He’s British. He ingests cans of Spotted Dick Sponge Pudding and Vegemite, a nasty paste I use as a bug killer.
I lived in California for 11 years so perhaps I am experiencing the reverse-home-town-food-nostalgia syndrome that affects older people because when I returned from vacation last week, I drove straight to In-N-Out and devoured a DDAS (double-double animal style) like a rabid coyote. EVERYBODY knows you order the fries crispy at INO. Everybody but Andrew.
Anywhoo, where do you go when you re-enter your life in Dallas?
Mark Bittman, the New York Times Magazine lead food writer, NYT’s Opinion columnist, blogger, and book author will speak at Temple Emanu-El in Dallas on May 10. His topic, Food Matters: A Guide to Conscious Eating, will be the focus of the Rabbi David Lefkowitz Memorial Lecture at 7:30PM in the Olan Sanctuary. A reception and book signing will follow the lecture which is free and open to the public.
Bittman will talk about he lost 35 pounds, solved health problems, and reduced his personal impact on the environment. The lecture is FREE and their will be a book signing opportunity after the event. To RSVP for Mark Bittman’s appearance at Temple Emanu-El, contact Nancy Rivin at 214-706-0000, or email@example.com.
“I’ve always wanted to move back to Dallas ever since (going to) SMU,” says Tully Lewis, owner of Tu-Lu’s Gluten-Free Bakery. Today, Lewis opens her first store in Dallas after enjoying success in New York City for the last two years. (For instance, the ladies and gents of Vogue loved her sweets so much, they admitted their latest obsession with gluten-free goods in this February article.)
Jump for eye candy.
We could all use a little more whoopie in our lives. This Friday, Dallas will see the launch of its first whoopie pie truck brought to us by the fine people at Rockstar Bakeshop. Of course, Rockstar is not new to Dallas by any means, as they have been camping out behind a whoopie-strewn table now for months in conjunction with some other trucks around town. Rockstar, which specializes in rock-themed whoopie pies, have finally put the finishing touches on their new digs and will be cruising the streets starting this week. And to kick it all off, they are throwing a party this Friday, March 9 from 5-8 PM at Dowdy Studio (located just behind Good 2 Go Taco). Rockstar has decided to christen their sweet new ride “Layla,” after the legendary Clapton tune. (Apparently “Cocaine” was not quite sending the right message.)2 Comments »
This past weekend may have been rainy and overcast, but a beacon of sunshine poured down upon the Bishop Arts District, resting on a quaint little renovated house painted brightly with hues of violet and blue. Within these walls rested Dallas’ first “pop-up” pie shop, brought to us by the wonderful women at Emporium Pies, partners and co-owners, Mary Gauntt and Megan Wilkes. Wanting to test the waters a bit and see what kind of response the Dallas diners would have to a dedicated pie shop, they moved into the space at 314 N. Bishop Ave. over the weekend to provide this city with some of the finest pies it will ever see.
Walking inside, the space is small but cozy, with no more than a few chairs, a sales counter, a couple tiny tables with three stands displaying the day’s pie options. On one rests a French silk chocolate pie with a crunchy pretzel crust, another holds a bourbon pecan pie with shortbread crust, the last displaying a streusel topped banana pie. I ordered a slice of each, which were then all neatly packaged in small wicker baskets with a wooden fork and tied up with string (these are a few of my favorite things). The entire presentation is so insanely cute, it makes fluffy baby bunnies look like swamp trolls. I took a seat on the porch and dug in.
Jump for a whole lotta pie porn…