I review theater, not food. Sometimes movies, but mostly theater. I get to see the show only once, and the measure is, would I like to go back, and see this again? Would I bring someone else to discover it, too, so I can watch their face instead of the stage? Of course, no matter what I think, someone, somewhere is going to think I’m wrong. But I hope we can all appreciate decent writing, and recognize good intentions and the desire to be fair.
Which brings me to Mark Vamos’ no-star review of Tillman’s Roadhouse, published at the end of last month in The Dallas Morning News. We don’t give stars here, and even if we did, I’d have nothing to do with that and no basis on which to award them. The last time we reviewed the Dallas location was in 2007. As I mentioned, I’m a theater critic, not a food critic, for many reasons (Exhibit A: I don’t like seafood, which my friend Michael—a cook—tells me repeatedly is like saying I don’t like sandwiches.). But to me, no stars means there’s absolutely no reason on Earth for anyone to set foot in that restaurant. I humbly disagree. For me, there are at least two. But I’ll leave a dissection of the main courses to the professionals (though the ones I’ve had have been just fine), and talk about the tater tots.
I woke up this morning craving two things: donuts and a Big Breakfast from McDonald’s (don’t ask me why). The universe must really love me, because I walked into work this morning only to discover a big box of donuts sitting on my desk. It came with a mysterious note from Rinny & Joaquin Lewis: “Mark suggested we bring these by. Thank you [insert smiley face].”
Er, thanks for the donuts, guys, but… who are you?? Have we met before? And what did I do to deserve these fatty donuts? Three weeks ago, I gave a random man my extra DART ticket, but that was the latest act of kindness I can remember…10 Comments »
We’re suckers for any press release that contains the following sentences:
It seems a couple well-intentioned entrepreneurs have teamed up with J&D’s Foods to create a little something they’re calling baconlube—the world’s first bacon-flavored, water-based, American-made, personal lubricant.
Billing itself as the “gold standard of meat-flavored massage oils” (natch) baconlube, they say, is like the McRib of sex: it’s delicious, makes men crazy, is here for a limited time, and is in short supply.
If you’re thinking “stocking stuffer!” (let’s stay on track here), we’re right behind you. But the boys only made 3,000 bottles of this pork-flavored nectar. It hit the interwebs yesterday at www.baconlube.com. How much, you ask, for a product that promises such a satisfying holiday season? Only $11.99.
you know you want more. jump for it… Continue reading "This Little Piggy Went Downtown"13 Comments »
I don’t know if I told you, but I have a thing for donuts. Maybe that’s a bit of an understatement. But it’s rare, in this city, to find a place that is willing to push the limits when it comes to these tasty morsels of fried dough and sugar (obvious exceptions excluded). Therefore, any donut news is good news in my book, and any upstart entrepreneur that is daring enough to risk their livelihood, families, pets, and entire life’s savings on the humble donut is A-OK with me.
When the buzz around Denton Square Donuts began to surface a number of months ago, I was intrigued to say the least. The obviously non-traditional shape of these donuts is enough to rouse one’s attention, but most donuteers will recall similarly shaped offerings at the mighty Doughnut Plant in NYC. The toppings which adorn DSD’s baked goods are also enough to get the salivary juices flowing: Brie with Apricot Jelly, Cream Cheese and Jalapeno Jelly, Apple Pie, and the nearly-ubiquitous Bacon and Maple. Yet still, some may argue that places like Hypnotic, Gourdoughs in Austin, and Voodoo in Portland have been offering up equally ambitious donuts for years.5 Comments »
If you’ve traveled through Thailand, Cambodia, and Vietnam then you are familiar with this popular dish. Although pho hasn’t quite made it to the mainstream breakfast menus in Dallas, it’s the common way to start your day in many countries. Recently Sarah Reiss ate pho for breakfast, lunch, and dinner and several bowls in between and files this story on pho.
Though pho (pronounced fuh) is far from new to North Texas, the recent surge of openings has reintroduced the signature soup of Vietnam to the mainstream. For newbies, let us explain the allure. It’s a savory broth (generally beef, chicken, or pork) seasoned with coriander, basil, star anise, and green onion; ladled over flat rice noodles and paper-thin tenderloin, brisket, chicken, or pork; and garnished with fresh bean sprouts, herbs, lime quarters, and varying quantities of hot chili paste. It might not sound much different than any other soup, but it tastes like magic.
Here is a a pho primer and a list of our favorite places. Tell us yours.4 Comments »
Dallas, consider this press release my Monday morning gift to you. You’re welcome.
6 Comments »
“Dallas, don’t be surprised if you see a Moose driving down the highway or floating in the sky. Dallas will have its share of “Moose sightings” this month due to the Grand Opening of Dallas’ first Smiling Moose Deli location in West Plano at Hebron Parkway/Park Boulevard, one block west of Midway. The Colorado based company will be one of Dallas’ hippest new delis providing patrons with breakfast, lunch and dinner selections, hearty portions and fresh ingredients far superior than their competitors…all served in a warm, (sic) décor with hints of both Colorado and Texas, as seen by (sic) their ski, snowboard and professional sports collections.
Grand Opening Day is this Thursday, September 15th from 8:00 am – 9:00 pm. Festivities will begin when Mo the Moose (the official mascot of Smiling Moose Deli) arrives as Dallas’ newest resident by air in a giant 6 story tall hot air balloon.
But wait, there’s more…
The donut is America’s unsung hero.
For decades these delicacies have been fueling this nation’s finest law enforcement officers, and without them your streets would be overrun with all kinds of riffraff. Countless early morning board meetings have been brightened by the magical combination of sugar and fried dough. And where would Homer Simpson be without his signature pink icing with sprinkles? Not season 587, I assure you!
Despite their iconic nature, frankly speaking, truly exceptional donuts are not easy to find in Dallas. I don’t think I am alone in my sentiments towards the Dallas donut scene. While this city is surely not lacking in the sheer number of independent donut shops, it is eerie how incredibly similar and mundane most neighborhood shops have become.
But for the valiant donuteer, all hope is not lost. I have scoured this land for three years searching for something extraordinary. Of course, it would be unrealistic for a person to try every donut shop in this city (and still live to tell about it). So I’ve hunted for suggestions from every corner I could think of (blogs, Chowhound, Yelp, Urban Spoon, magazines, newspapers, Twitter, Facebook, the cops at Waffle House) and ate my way through enough donut shops to personally ensure the future of Lipitor. Luckily, fantastic donuts do exist in this city.
Here I present to you, in no particular order, the five best places for donuts in and around Dallas.
In the history of time there are a few moments of brilliance that stand out in my mind. Newton discovers gravity. Galileo proclaims that the Earth revolves around the Sun. Einstein develops the theory of relativity. May I add one more? James St. Peter decides to put a donut in the freezer. You always thought the only good donuts were advertised behind a glowing neon “Hot Doughnuts Now” sign. Well, you were wrong. Mind, prepare to be blown.
You can’t stop reading now.