See the picture of the nice man? His name is Bob Derian and he is a chef. His official title is Director of Food & Beverage Innovation at RaceTrac Petroleum. His job is to create a delightful food experience in a gas station convenience store. We love good food in gas stations, especially tacos. But a chef-driven gas station is unique.
Brace yourself, Bertha. On June 21, Little Elm will debut the first RaceTrac’s RT6K store in our area. The 6,000-square foot gasoline convenience store will feature a 24-hour Swirl World Yogurt frozen yogurt shop with more than 40 toppings to choose from, a walk-in beer cooler, free Wi-Fi, tasty breakfast items, premium coffee, and outdoor seating. I can’t wait until John Tesar gets his hands on this concept. A free sous-vide burger with every fill-up. Oh, the possibilities are endless. (2100 FM 423. Little Elm, TX 75068)2 Comments »
Every once in a while, usually in a doctor’s office, I come across a magazine article that compels me to tear it out and save for future reference. Thankfully, this piece titled “The Truth Behind Food Labels” is not only in print, you can read it online. In the May-June issue of Audubon magazine, Gretel H. Schueller writes a straightforward guide, for lack of a better word, to the labels on food items that promote an array of feel-good, environment-friendly assertions. You see “cage free,” “hormone free,” “all natural,” “organic,” “fair trade,” and “biodynamic” in stores everywhere. Which designations are authentic? Schueller details the good, bad, and the ugly truths behind the label and the greenwashing of food items. Bullet points:
Free Range: When it comes to “free range” and “free roaming,” all a poultry farmer needs to show is “that the poultry has been allowed access to the outside,”… The animals may get only short periods outside in a cramped area—the USDA considers five minutes adequate to approve use of the claim. There are no restrictions regarding what the birds can be fed.
American Humane Certified: A program of the American Humane Association, this label permits both caged and cage-free options for egg-laying hens. A caged hen can be crammed into a space the size of a sheet of paper. Forced molting through starvation is prohibited, but beak cutting is allowed.
Dolphin Safe: This is a partially certified claim because the National Marine Fisheries Service verifies only tuna caught from a specific region—the eastern tropical Pacific Ocean—and not all tuna. Tuna from this designated area might bear a label that includes the additional phrase “US Department of Commerce.” Tuna caught outside this area and labeled “dolphin safe” has not been independently substantiated. To muddy the waters further, the dolphin-safe label is not licensed by any single organization, so there are no universal standards in place and most companies have developed their own logos.
The bottom line: If you see Cruelty Free, Cage free, Environmentally Friendly, Nature’s Friend, No Chemicals, Vegetarian Fed on a package, disregard it. The vague labels mean nothing and have no standards to back them. Anybody can say any of those things about anything. Trust is gone. (This post was written in a certified caged and toxic environment.) READ THIS NOW.7 Comments »
Greetings from Spiceman,
In case you haven’t heard, Mitch Kauffman at Urbano and I are throwing down what looks to be a sold-out wing ding in my garden at FM 1410. There may be some sections C (compost bin) seating or section R (red ant pile) seating available but I’m not certain about that. The event is next Thursday May 24th BYOB, 6:pm doors open, 6:30 pm Food (buffet) 7:pm Music, some seating (chairs) available but bring a blanket for sitting down on the garden floor. Some Urb-an’ Spice in the garden so to speak. My gumbo, his Chef Ke’o is pitt roasting a pig (w/out lipstick) and we’re both coming up with sides a couple of which I plan to make ala vegetarian (fresh shelled peas, salads, corn bread and mo’) .Ladies, please where garden flats/shoes, and dudes…. please, no spike heels and certainly no leather chaps cuz it may be a bit too warm.
Unedited inventory list below. Continue reading "From Tom Spicer’s Keyboard to Your Eyes: Spiceman’s FM 1410 Report"
This Thursday, eatZi’s is opening its third location along West State Hwy 114. Phil Romano’s gourmet market and bakery is expanding its chain just north of Dallas where suburbanites can also get a taste of simple comfort foods made fresh daily.
At the eatZi’s preview night yesterday, the new store swung its doors open for some local shoppers. Its storefront, which had previously been plastered with a Luby’s Cafeteria sign, looked like a carbon copy of the Oak Lawn location. The inside is also exactly the same as the other two locations, with a few exceptions. “What we did was we took the best of both stores and combined them,” says Elis Droubi, the General Manager. A coffee bar greets you in front because eatZi planners noticed that it did well there in the Lovers store, and salads and sandwiches have a big presence at the Grapevine store.
Jump for preview photos.
West Dallas is about to become the culinary epicenter of Dallas. Phil Romano, Stuart Fitts, and Larry “Butch” McGregor are hard at work on Trinity Groves, the 13-acre restaurant-retail-artist-and-entertainment development at the base of the west end of the Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge. Just around the corner is Sylvan| Thirty, a project geared to attract local food artisans and restaurants. Both developments have a culinary incubator in their plans. Romano & Co. have already announced his first successful operator: Mike Babb is scheduled to open Babb Brothers Barbeque this summer.
Sylvan | Thirty is busy fielding applications from interested tenants and is currently working with a select group which includes a baker, confectioner, a fishmonger, and a yoga studio. There are also three restaurant concepts in the works as well. Sylvan| Thirty hopes to be 75 percent leased before they start construction. So far they have announced Cox Farms Market, The Pearl Cup, Matador Meat & Wine and the culinary incubator with Culinary Curator Sharon Hage.
This morning comes an update: “We’re now on track to break ground early summer, which means you’ll be seeing construction activity by late July.” Sylvan| Thirty plans to open in Spring 2013.
I made fresh country gumbo if you want to know what gumbo should taste like, get yourself down here fast. South Louisiana tomatoes are here, fresh goose and chicken eggs too. Radishes and baby mixed color arrots are beginning to po in the garden out back. Fresh shrooms landing this afternoon along with stinging nettles, ramps, fiddlehead ferns and Verpa Morels.What else do I need to say? I done said it, so…
This note just in from the father of foraging, Mr. Tom “Spiceman” Spicer, over at FM 1410. Hear him type:
“Here are few quick peaks at my annual “Easter Grasskets: (living wheat grass in an basket with assorted colors of carrots, rainbow chard and a goose egg). Get ‘em while they’re hot. I have also reserved the artichokes and enough Easter Grasskets for my “Adopt-a-plot” peeps. (peep peep).”
Peep,peep yáll. Easter Grasskets is pretty good. Jump for all of the goodies Spiceman has in his garden. And adopt one of his plots. It’s cheaper than a dog. Continue reading "Spiceman Has The Goods: Get Your Fresh Produce Now for Easter and Passover Cooking"
See those goodies in the picture? If you live in Southlake and Grapevine they are only an online order a way from being delivered to your door. Artizone, the growing online and food shopping community that features a wide selection of local artisanal shops and food businesses, has just expanded their delivery service to the ‘burbs. “We will continue to expand our reach which already includes Dallas, Oak Cliff, Richardson, Plano, Addison, Carrollton, Las Colinas, Farmers Branch, Irving, Coppell, Allen, McKinney and Frisco as well as grow our selection of artisanal shops and local businesses,” said Amber Dietrich, Associate Vice-President of Market Operations. Artizone recently added Gio’s NY Deli, Three Happy Cows, Texas Honeybee Guild, Texas Olive Ranch, and Luscombe Farms Specialty Foods.
“Shepherd’s Pie” with turkey, Tom’s turnip mash, Bibb salad with chopped winter vegetables and Meyer lemon vinaigrette. $19.99
Her recommended wine pairings are:
Red: Casamatta Toscana 2009 (11.99)
White: Tranquillo Texas White Table Wine 2010 (13.99) Drew Hendricks Wine.
Wines available Bolsa Mercado. No phone orders. They’ll be ready to purchase at 4PM.
Bolsa Mercado is officially a talent hog. It’s great if you happen to be cool (rich?) enough to live in The “fabulous” OC. However, it sucks for those of us who have to walk half a mile through a huge chain grocery store to buy a carton of milk. Or beer.
Deep Ellum Brewery has just released their first (only?) production of “Love Runs Deep” Cherry Chocolate Double Brown Stout (deets below). Think you’ll find it at Tom Thumb? Nope. Bolsa Mercado bought the entire batch. Each 22-ounce bottle is individually numbered and made with red tart and dark sweet cherries and Organic/Fair Trade cocoa nibs. Expect to find all 300 of them on the shelves of Bolsa Mercado during their next Open House on February 11.
If you can’t wait until the 11th to get a food fix from The ‘Cado, head over on February 8. If you are lucky, you may be able to look past talented chef chefs Jeff Harris and Matt Balke and spot the rare, elusive chef Sharon Hage in the kitchen. She will be creating a “Take Home Dinner For Two.” Who knows, by then Bolsa Mercado may have Alan McClure creating Fudgesicles or Grant Achatz doing dishes. Could happen. Pigs fly in Oak Cliff.
According to Teresa “Gumbshoe” Gubbins, a representative for Trader Joe’s told the told the DMN a store will open in the old Arcadia Theater space on Lower Greenville Avenue in the fall of 2012. A Plano location, in an old Kroger at Preston and Park, will open in the spring. The Fort Worth store at 2701 South Hulen Street and a location in a the Woodlands near Houston will open this spring. I have not been able to confirm the rumor that developer Ray Washburne plans to move the Santa Monica Pier to Highland Park Village.13 Comments »
Carbone’s Fine Food and Wine. Construction on Julian (Nonna) Basotti’s much anticipated deli, grocery store, and mini-restaurant on December 2. It’s going into the space formerly known as Talbot’s on Wycliff and Oak Lawn. Barsotti says he anticipates opening in March 2012. The store’s logo was inspired by the sign of his family’s restaurant on the East Coast. It opened in Manhattan before moving to Harrison, New Jersey. It was open for 75 years and closed in 1993.
Central Market Preston Royal. According to a loyal Disher, construction workers were on duty last night inside the Central Market going into the former Border’s space in Preston Royal. The store is scheduled to open in February 2012.
I meant to post this copy earlier in Desiree’s photo essay, but I am running behind schedule. Yesterday, I asked the folks at Bolsa Mercado to give me a list of the top ten products they sold during their first week. Curious to see what the folks in the OC bought? Read on. Continue reading "Bolsa Mercado in Oak Cliff: The Top 10 Sellers"5 Comments »
Just dropped into the new Bolsa Mercado this morning for its public debut and — wow — this place is a game changer for anyone shopping for quality groceries south of the Trinity. It fulfills the market part of the original Bolsa vision offering Tom Spicer greens, local cheeses, organic meats, house made sausage and pastries, a boutique wine/beer selection, gourmet dry goods, and more. Bolsa Mercado also offers sandwiches, panninis, gourmet to go items, and a first-rate coffee bar. Eventually, chefs Jeff Harris, Matt Balke, and team want to make as much in-house as possible and will offer catering from the market’s enormous kitchen, more than double the size of the tiny one at its sibling restaurant located two doors down. Happily, there’s enough diversity and everyday goods to encourage repeated visits. In fact, I’m already plotting my lunchtime return to try the wild boar tart.20 Comments »
This holiday season I would like to devote some time and energy to supporting our hard-working small food businesses. We all know you can get great local products packaged together at Whole Foods and Central Market, but I’d like to create a post dedicated to those who need a little free advertising. Do you make a jelly, jam, chocolate, apron, coffee cake, ham, table linen, turkey, casserole, wine opener, olive oil, or brownie? Items you can purchase for gifts or to serve at a gathering. If so, send me an email with your information and a picture if you have one. If not, drop a sample by the office and we will photograph it. Some examples of businesses I am referring to are Dude, Sweet Chocolate, Crumbzz, Mozzarella Company—products made in the DFW area or close by. Send your sales pitch and contact or ordering information along with address, phone number and website. We’ll do the rest.
If you happen to miss the September “come as you are” wine dinner at The Grape which featured the highly rated Domaine Serene winery from Willamette Valley in Oregon you are in luck. This Friday, December 1st, Bailey’s Prime Plus on Park Lane will host an exclusive wine dinner featuring some of the best made by the winery, including the 2008 Coeur Blanc and the 2006 Monogram. Dinner starts at 7pm and there are only a handful of seats left, reservations required – (214) 750-8100.
If the “come as you are” wine dinner is a little more your speed, this month The Grape will host second generation winemaker Fernando Frias of Napa Valley’s Frias Family Vineyard and their estate grown, single vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon on December 7th. As always with The Grape, reservations start at 5:30pm and go until 9pm, you come when you like. With this guests have an opportunity to have one-on-one discussions with both the winemaker, and owners Chef Brian Luscher and Sommelier/GM Courtney Lusher, while enjoying the tasty pairings. Reservations – (214) 828-1981
If you prefer to enjoy some of the many artisinal products we have in Dallas in the comfort of your own home without having shop for it, and live in Frisco, Allen and McKinney, Artizone has now expanded their delivery area of their Dallas specialties including Scardello, Empire Baking Company, Hirsch’s Specialty Meats, Rex’s Seafood, Holy Ravioli, La Duni, Dude, Sweet Chocolate, JJ&B – Jams, Jellies and Butters, Busy B’s Market (100% Organic-fed, free-range eggs), and many more, they can even deliver wine from their partner Dallas Fine Wines. Artizone’s delivery area also includes Dallas, Oak Cliff, Richardson, Plano, Addison, Carrollton, Las Colinas, Farmers Branch, Irving and Coppell.2 Comments »
Yeah! A new locally-owned, custom-cut butcher shop, Matador Meat & Wine, is scheduled to open soon in Fall 2012 at Sylvan|Thirty, the North Oak Cliff/West Dallas mixed-use development at the corner of Sylvan and Fort Worth Avenue. The shop, founded by husband-and-wife team Matt and Colleen Peterson, will offer high-quality Certified Angus Beef and Prime grade beef. Want your steak cut 3-inches thick? No problem. They will also offer “seasonally available free range chicken, premium pork, gourmet sausages and hamburger patties, smoked meats (brisket, baby back ribs, etc.), more than 75 labels of wine and home delivery services.” This will be Matador Meat & Wine’s sister location to its first store on Preston Road in Plano. They will share space with Cox Farms Market.4 Comments »
Teresa Gubbins is reporting the Fort Worth Star-Telegram is confirming Trader Joe’s will open a “12,500-square-foot store at 2701 S. Hulen St., which is between West Vickery Boulevard and Bellaire Drive South.” Go nuts.7 Comments »
When I contacted Central Market this morning for an update on their Preston Royal store, I was told there was a press release going out today. It just arrived. Since I have to work at my real job this afternoon, I’m going to copy and paste it.
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Wondering how to send a sweet gift – without going to the store? Know a college student hungry for snacks before finals or have a homesick Texan who needs a pick-me-up? Looking for unique ideas for holiday gift giving? Get ready to ship delicious treats from Central Market – just by shopping on the web!