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Making Dallas Even Better

Meet Your New SideDish Editor

Hi, SideDish readers, I’m the new online assistant dining editor. If you’re reading this, then I assume that you care about dining in Dallas. Let me assure you, I love food. I love learning about it. I love experimenting with it in the kitchen. I love photographing it. And, first and foremost, I love eating it. My father has worked in the food industry since before I was born and my mother donned an apron in the kitchen most nights of the week (my personal favorite was her magenta Pepé Le Pew number — although, the one I recently got her from the Design District Market is pretty nice). As a result, I was taught to appreciate a good home-cooked meal at an early age. But it wasn’t until a couple of years ago that my culinary awakening started to really take shape after a colleague slipped Jeffrey Steingarten’s “It Must’ve Been Something I Ate” into my hands. Until then, the marvels of exotic sea salts, bluefin tuna and coq au vin were foreign to me.

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4 Upcoming Food and Wine Festivals You Won’t Want to Miss

Spring is stunning in Dallas. It’s probably the best time of year to live in our great city. But if you have a little spring fever and you’re looking for a reason to get out of town on a long weekend, here are a few ideas over the coming months that are great excuses to hop on a plane or take a road trip.

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At the Fort Worth Food and Wine Festival, There’s Lots to Love

Restaurateurs, craft breweries, distilleries, and food artisans showcased their most savory treats to Fort Worth Food and Wine festival-goers this past weekend, bringing flavors of both Fort Worth and Dallas to the masses. I was lucky enough to attend two of the many events the festival had to offer, including the Grand Tasting and Sip & Savor events at the Renaissance Worthington. With enough food and drinks to go around, I can tell you I will not be eating for another week. But I will probably be hitting up one of the restaurants I sampled at the festival.

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Fast-Casual Chain Pollo Tropical Opens First Texas Location in Addison

Pollo Tropical is bringing Caribbean flavors straight to Addison with its first Texas location, which opens today. This Miami founded, fast-casual chain restaurant serves meats, vegetables, spices, and sauces all prepared in-house. With an extensive menu at such an affordable cost, you can pick up, sit-down, or drive through Pollo Tropical for a taste of the tropics.

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Rich Vana is Done With Entree Dallas

After almost four good years being the editor, Rich posted a letter last Friday, February 28, announcing his departure from the food blogging world. He is putting his publication to the side and focusing his energies elsewhere, on a project That-Will-Not-Be-Named-Yet. “It was a fun venture, but it was really, really time consuming,” says the one-man writing show. “It could’ve been a sustainable living, but the amount of work that it required and the potential instability was always in the back of mind.”

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Lead Your Own Food Tour: Dine Around at the Village on the Green

La Perla d’Italia, Pho House, Mughlai Fine Indian Cuisine, and Maximo invited me as a guest on Wednesday for a food tour at the Village on the Green. I was given a tasting at each restaurant (the opposite of little Costco-sized samples), all thankfully within walking distance of each other. Four restaurants and way too much food later, I think it’s safe to say I was stuffed. If you didn’t think it was possible to have Italian, Indian, Vietnamese, and Mexican food all in one night, it’s definitely do-able, as long as you exercise portion control.

For a fun night, try taking your own food tour at the Village on the Green with family and friends. Order one or two dishes at each place, and experience four different ethnic cuisines at its best. Follow my lead or forge your own path. Either way, you’ll leave feeling full and satisfied.

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Joel Salatin Preaches at Urban Acres’ Second Annual Steward’s Dinner

Urban Acres transformed its nondescript warehouse into a fair-themed event space for its 2nd Annual Steward’s Dinner on Tuesday night. While the true focuses were the creative dishes prepared by local chefs and a much-anticipated talk by farmer Joel Salatin, the décor set the stage for a fun evening. With a face painter and a man on stilts, nothing could go wrong. A sign greeting attendees proclaimed the dinner a “No Waste Event.” Urban Acres takes sustainability seriously. The theme ran throughout the evening with constant reminders that everything was compostable or recyclable.

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