Word comes straight from Chad Houser’s mouth that he’ll be saying sayonara to Parigi, his home-away-from-home for the last five years, in order to be the executive director and chef of Cafe Momentum at the end of August. He’ll be making this announcement to the public at the pop-up dinner tonight with guest chef Graham Dodds. We feel bad for Janice Provost losing her partner-buddy, but this means that Cafe Momentum, a nonprofit restaurant concept aimed to transform the lives of at-risk youth, is moving in the right direction, and we can’t wait to see where it’s headed. Even though the movement is still a baby and celebrated its one year anniversary just a month ago, Houser, Cafe Momentum’s co-founder, has plans to find a permanent location and to expand the program even further in order to include more boys from the Dallas County Youth Village since what Cafe Momentum’s doing is already working so well.
In a blog post announcing his Parigi departure, Houser says:
“Cafe Momentum reminds me why I fell in love with cooking in the first place. It’s familial. It nurtures souls and bodies. Regardless of their background, when these young men come into Cafe Momentum, they speak the same language: food. I’m very grateful to Janice for being such a supportive partner and friend, and to the Cafe Momentum board for believing in me.”
Provost says she isn’t looking for a new Parigi partner, but she’s looking for help in the kitchen. And even though this is the end of the Parigi dream team, she’ll continue working with Houser on their vision for Cafe Momentum, so this ain’t a real goodbye, it’s just where love goes…
D Magazine intern Teo Soares braved the heat to attend a two-hour culinary tour on Saturday, June 2.
When I stepped out of my car, the thermometer on the dashboard read 89°. At that moment, the idea of a walking food tour in Uptown Dallas seemed misguided.
The concept came to Jodi Phillipson during a trip to Chicago two years ago. “I was looking for things to do, I got on TripAdvisor, and I saw this food tour thing … and I thought, ‘Why doesn’t Dallas have one of these?’” she says. Back in town, Jodi founded Food Tours of America with two friends. The company will debut its Uptown tour on June 9th. Tours will cost $45 and will run on weekends and occasionally weekdays.
Last Saturday I joined Jodi and a handful of food writers and bloggers for a preview tour. We began our jaunt with miniature chimichangas, brisket nachos, and stuffed jalapeños at Primo’s Tex-Mex Grille. Sfuzzi, our next stop, served savory portobello fries and three frozen drinks, including a blueberry mojito that tasted of bright mint. At Bailey’s Uptown Inn, we tried two items from the Stand: Mac Daddy Dogs that came stacked with chili, bacon, onion rings, and mac-and-cheese; and brownies that were made with pork and beans but tasted like carrot cake.2 Comments »
I just returned from a 16-day vacation. The food, scenery, and activities were superb, but the best part for me was going that long without technology. I admit the first five days were hard. My hand twitched nervously without a cell phone in it. My heart palpitated at the sight of my laptop. It was difficult to turn the on/off switch to off because my brain works on a dimmer. Finally, I forgot about the cell. Mainly because nobody around me had one. I went to meals and actually spoke with strangers. There is a noticeable difference in the dining experience without technology.
Upon arrival at Miami International Airport, I was stunned to find 92 percent of the people attempting to go through immigration, luggage retrieval, and customs while texting. I felt like I landed in a world of zombies. People ran their wheeled Tumi bags over my feet without noticing. They held up lines because they were distracted. I vowed not to go back to that.
Texting at the dinner table is not a new issue. I have a friend, oh we’ll call him Belevan, who texts in the car, in a movie, and at tables in fine restaurants. His defense is that he has to be available at all times. It’s a horrible emotional tornado that whips up when you text, Facebook, Tweet everything you do. I’m guilty. My job is time sensitive and dependent on instant information, but I am drawing the line now at the dinner table. There is nothing worse than talking to the top of someone’s head while they text in their lap.
It must drive restaurateurs nuts. Service people as well. It’s rude and disrespectful to the people you are eating with and the food you are eating. Anybody have a suggestion for how to stop the madness? Perhaps restaurants should add a phone usage charge to the bill.20 Comments »
In what feels like a dessert response to all of the overtly suggestive taco joint names we’ve seen in the last year, Sugar Box officially opens tomorrow night in Uptown at the Mondrian. The grand opening fete runs from 5 to 9 pm and features freebie selections from the new dessert bar’s palate of cupcakes, French macarons, and cake balls with espresso, latte, and cappuccino chasers (for those of you who, unlike me, can drink coffee after 4 pm and still sleep at night). Free tasters, live music, door prizes. Why not?1 Comment »
Oh, no. I hate it when this happens. The best food blog in Dallas just announced a break in the action. Daniel Vaughn, the leader of Full Custom BBQ is taking some time off to perhaps pen a book. It’s called “Carrots Have Soul.” Not really. I remember meeting Daniel when he first got the blog up and running and have enjoyed watching him grow into a well-respected statewide authority on ‘cue. Daniel will still post on his blog from time to time and hopefully still review new spots for D Magazine. Until then, let’s all wish him well.3 Comments »
Just when I think I’m pretty hip to high tech I get a press release that blows my mind.
Here is a sample from one:
When tourists and travellers arrive in a new city, one of the first things they often look for is a place to grab a bite or get a good drink. Now, if they want to know where to find their favorite bar scene before they head out, they can turn to SceneTap, which shows the following in real time:
· Number of people in the bar
· Male-to-female ratio
· Average age of patrons in the bar
· Food and drink specials
SceneTap is a free app for iPhone, Android and the Web, and it gathers this information anonymously using facial detection cameras and “people-counting” technologies in participating bars.The app launched in Chicago in July and is expanding its network to a number of other major cities soon. More than 250 bars around the U.S. have signed up so far.
Here’s a stupid question. Is this a good thing or a bad thing?2 Comments »
‘Tis the season for bucolic forays into Napa, Sonoma, and Tuscany (who are we kidding, that kind of travel’s always in season). And while I don’t generally write about products, this one caught my eye. Even thought I employ Ziploc bags, bubble wrap, and a sophisticated layering of socks and brassieres, many’s the time I’ve stood at baggage claim praying that the wine/olive oil/rum I’d brought home hadn’t “seasoned” the inside of my suitcase. This simple prophylactic system puts one more layer of barrier between your vintage and your dainties. A note from their press release:
VinniBag is a versatile travel accessory that suspends items in an air cushion, providing protection against impact and leakage of wine and olive oil to antique tea cups while traveling or on the road. Both the sophisticated design and material of VinniBag easily tolerate significant changes in air pressure and temperature, thereby allowing for safe travel by air, car, rail, bike, backpack and much more. What sets this bag apart from the rest is that it is reusable, recyclable, and only $28.
So, while I’m confused by the distinction between “traveling” and “on the road,” and while I don’t usually travel “by backpack” (unless I’ve had one too many el diablos and it’s the only way of getting me out to the car), I can’t help but think this is one of those simple yet ingenious ideas that could save my socks once and for all.1 Comment »
Every time the mr. goes on a business trip, I get these pie-in-the-sky ideas of calling up friends and making dinner dates all over town. But, after a day in the editorial trenches, I’m often too beat to even pick up the phone. Flash forward to dinner time when instead of swanning all over town, I end up laying on the couch with a bowl of leftover spaghetti or (as I did last night) standing in front of the refrigerator eating Skippy with a tablespoon.
I never said this was going to be pretty.
Now, I don’t have a problem going to a restaurant by myself, in fact, I love eating at the bar—it’s friendly, communal, and usually comes with some great people watching.
So tell me, where are your favorite places to eat when you’re flying solo? Do you know of any restaurants with true community tables where singletons can dine together? (No fast food, though. I do have to draw a line somewhere.)15 Comments »