I’m a bird lover and a lover of fried chicken. Yes, it’s an anomaly I shove to the back of my brain when I dine. I’m also a dog lover but, because I consider them pets, I don’t eat them. Yes, it’s a fine line or stone’s throw (insert your favorite cliche here) away from hypocrisy. Many people are raising chickens in their backyard and their reasons for doing so are varied. Some like to eat a lot of eggs. Others raise and sell their chickens. It’s a marvelous way to keep in touch with the food supply and an excellent family project.
In this month’s D Magazine, photojournalist Misty Keasler profiles several families who raise chickens in their Dallas backyards. You’ll see gorgeous hen houses, eco-friendly backyards, and cute kids gathering eggs. However, I can’t get that famous Thanksgiving scene in the movie Giant out of my brain.
Monica Greene has never been afraid of change. Moments ago she told me she is leaving the business of Monica’s Aca Y Alla in Deep Ellum to her partners who will close the restaurant at 2914 Main Street, remodel the space, and reopen as a yet-to-be-named Mexican restaurant. Monica is moving all of her energy over to the iLume Building on Cedar Springs where she has been in the planning stages of opening Tajin. When the Sushi Axiom closed, Monica decided to take the space and open up the walls of Tajin into the space and create a new concept. The 7,600-square food space will now be Monica’s Nueva Cocina and ME Lounge. It was a difficult decision for Greene to leave Deep Ellum where she has been a major player for over 20 years. More on the food later. Monica has written a letter to YOU. It’s below.
UPDATE: Monica is on her way to Houston. I got lucky when she answered her cell phone. “This [move] has been a real struggle for me,””Greene said. I’ve always been committed to urban development. I believe in Dallas but unfortunately the area [Deep Ellum] has taken a long time to develop. It’s time for me to expand and open my doors to a larger audience.”
I say, you go girl. It’s a great move. She has been in, what I would call, an abusive relationship with Deep Ellum for a long time. It’s time she made a fresh start. That girl has some balls. Oh, wait. Nevermind.22 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"
I am addicted to Shark Tank. And because I am too lazy to jump through the hoops to get on the show and present my idea, I’m using the power of my pudgy fingers to reach you. Let’s pick and roll:
I walk on the set of Shark Tank. “Daymond John, you are so out,” I say. “Barbara, if I wanted to sell my cellulite-reducing sous-vide hot dog you’d be my best friend, but I’m keeping it to myself. You’re out.”
I watch the other sharks glance around, really scared at this point, and go for the kill. “Kevin, don’t even open that ugly mouth. You’re out. Robert, you can buy me dinner after the show but, for now, you are dead to me.”
Cameras swing: Close-up of Cuban. Music swells.
Mark. We live in the same city. We love the same teams. More importantly, we eat in the same restaurants. Last night, our city’s finest chef, Bruno Davaillon of the Rosewood Mansion on Turtle Creek, lost Best Chef in the Southwest at the James Beard Awards in New York City to a young chef in Austin who appeared on Top Chef. It has been 18 years since a Dallas chef won this title. We need a local version of Shark Tank geared towards Dallas restaurateurs. That way, you and I can work together to tighten up our game and turn it around. We have the talent, we need the exposure. And that exposure shouldn’t have to come from the Food Network or Bravo.
I propose we put together a panel of experts and ask restaurateurs to pitch their ideas BEFORE they decide to sink their life savings into an upscale seafood and sushi restaurant in a bad location. Let’s kick the steak house wannabes to Fort Worth. Mark, I’m asking you to invest whatever it takes to help us bring the talent of the Dallas restaurant community to the international scene. In exchange, I offer you fifty percent of my idea. Oh, and you can keep the Mavs.
Looking forward to hearing from you,
Nancy12 Comments »
John Tesar will not be stopped. The former (fill-in-the-blank) chef has inked a deal to take over the former La Tramontana space on Westchester in Preston Center. In January, Tesar announced he would be opening Spoon Bar & Kitchen in another space. However, the landlord killed the deal and Tesar moved his operation down the street. Tesar has a signed lease, architect, and contractor and is scheduled to begin later this week.
Spoon will seat 68 and feature a 15-seat bar with a built-in raw bar and small plate menu. Tesar will be center stage in an open kitchen whipping up “three unique dining experiences”: an a la carte menu that will change weekly; two nightly tasting menus (one from the land and the other from the sea); and a private chef’s table for 10. Cooking classes! Wine maker dinners! Eight seats almost in the kitchen! He plans to open fall 2012. Bring it, Tesar! Let’s Spoon! According to JT’s PR machine: Spoon is “ranked number seven on Eater National’s “25 Most Awaited Restaurant Openings of 2012.”5 Comments »
Freakin’ Oak Cliff. They think they are so much cooler than the rest of Dallas. I think it’s time they consider seceding from the city. Case in point: next Tuesday, April 24, Driftwood, the new seafood-centric spot on Davis, is offering 50% off the food tab for any resident of OC who can show up with proof. Here is the fine print for “Residents Day”:
We would like to show our thanks to the community. Tuesday the 24th of April will be Residents Day at Driftwood - All Oak Cliff Residents will receive 50% off ALL food for the night. You must make a reservation (reservations will ONLY be taken on Monday the 23rd from Noon – 2pm). This offer is good only for Oak Cliff residents – MUST provide an electric or water bill showing the 75208 zip code to receive the discount. Limited seating’s and times because we are so small.
I can only imagine what would happen if Marquee Grill hosted a “Residents Day” and only allowed customers with water bills stamped with 75205. Oh, wait. Everyday at Marquee is “Residents Day.” No proof required. Cool. Hey Driftwood, when is 75201 day?
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"
White Rock Local Market at Green Spot Market and Fuels kicks off its fourth season of markets on Saturday March 24 (8AM 1PM). White Rock Local Market is a non-profit 501(c)(3), independent farmers market offering a venue for local farmers, ranchers and artisans to bring what they grow or make and sell directly to the East Dallas neighborhood.
To get things rolling, they are hosting a chili cookoff on Saturday. So far judges for the contest include Jeffery Hobbs (Sissy’s, Suze), Graham Dodds (Central 214), and Brian Luscher (The Grape). Winners take home vintage trophies and gift certificates for market products.
Jump for the market’s awesome vendor list and how to sign up for the cookoff. Continue reading "White Rock Local Market in East Dallas Needs Chefs for Chili Cookoff"1 Comment »
Cajun food is soul food. There’s nothing better than chowing down on a bowl of gumbo or crawfish etouffee that makes your insides feel warm and gooey – which is exactly how I spent Mardi Gras in New Orleans last year. I ate fried oyster po’ boys and laughed at all the drunk people. I scarfed down beignets at 2 am sitting next to a table of old grandmas wearing inappropriate clothing for their age. And mine, for that matter. Since you can’t get the whole Mardi Gras experience here in Dallas (and let’s face it, who doesn’t like watching debauchery sometimes?), here’s where you should go to get a taste:
Jump for some Cajun cravings
My plea: I can’t write it, sing it, dance it, or say any better than Neil Sedaka. You can help save Nana by writing your stories about your experiences at Nana. Put on your go-go boots and come-a come-a, down dooby do down, down to the comments.
Kinky Friedman showed up for his gig last night at AllGood Café with comedian Ruth Buzzi. Yes, the Ruth Buzzi from Rowan and Martin’s Laugh-In. Buzzi lives west of Fort Worth on a 220-acre ranch where she and her husband raise cattle and quarter horses. Here is a brief note from Allgood Café owner Mike Snider:
In the course of a 1 hour + show, Kinky referenced: Zorro, Batman, Johnny Cash, Willie, Lone Star Cafe in NYC, albinos, Rick Perry (of course), Molly Ivins, Barbara Jordan, Jim Nabors, Muhammed Ali, Townes Van Zandt, Ira Hayes and so many more I can’t remember. He brought Ruth Buzzi onstage from the audience to tell the story of how she once cut Kinky’s hair back in the 70s.
Kinky is in town promoting his Man In Black tequila. SideDish reporter Haley Hamilton is meeting with him at 2PM for a tasting. Good times.
“This is not New Age Mexican Mouthwash like some of the stuff that has reached the market over the past 20 years or so,” Kinky said. “It is not smoothed out by multiple filtering and tailored to what some marketing guys think Americans want. It’s the real deal and naturally smooth because we start with mature agave.”
Did he just say “mature?” If you’d like to taste Kinky’s tequila and hear him sing, head over to Allgood Café on Sunday, February 12. All I know is that it is an “evening performance.” Deets to follow. Check out Kinky’s liquor here.2 Comments »
I dropped in to get a quick look at Hid In 2612, Michael Martensen’s newest pop-up bar in Deep Ellum. It’s gorgeous and fun and full of groovy people. The space is divided into four or five differently decorated spaces and some of Dallas’ finest bartenders are taking shifts at the bar. Food is available from Cane Rosso next door. I didn’t have time for a drink but I plan to get back before their last night which is Saturday Friday, February 10. They open at 8PM.
Go. Drink. Report.
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.
SideDish photographer Desiree Espada roams the roads with her camera looking for good things to eat and shoot. Check out her photo essay of Bolsa Mercado. Then feast your eyes on what to expect when the Jerry Garcia of donut making, James St. Peter, opens Hypnotic Donuts on Sunday, January 29.
Glory be to the donut. Continue reading "Desiree + Camera: Photo Essay of Hypnotic Donuts in East Dallas"
How long before Oak Cliff secedes from Dallas county to form their own little republic? Think how cool that would be for the business folk: the restaurateurs and funky food shops could make their own rules, they could charge a toll to enter and exit, and fine customers not wearing flannel.
Obviously either Tim Byres, Christopher Jeffers, or Chris Zielke (or all three!) would rule the roost. Today the triumvirate announced two more projects. The owners of Smoke and Bar Belmont took over the 3-acre plot of land that used to be Jack’s Backyard. (Fort Worth Avenue and Pittman St.) First up: Chicken Scratch, a family-friendly restaurant serving—wait for it—“cast-iron fried and wood-fired rotisserie chicken with wholesome handmade sides.” It’s “slow fast food.” (Wouldn’t it be fast slow food? I’ll leave that one for someone else like Jack Perkins.)
Next door to The Scratching Chicken, I mean Chicken Scratch, will be The Foundry. Sounds serious, right? Nope. The Foundry will be a bar offering simple drinks. (Drama! Do I sense a struggle between mixolgists v bartenders?) The drinks with be simple and strong. (I could say something about my ex-husband here but I’ll let it pass.) There will be beer—lots of drafts and bottles and microbrews plus “usual suspects.” Affordable! Live music! And, if they can swing it: the property will be able to “host food and merchandise trucks, drive-in movies, and other community themed events.”
The Foundry is scheduled in early January 2012 and Chicken Scratch “soon after.” (I still think they should have named it Petticoat Junction. Wouldn’t you eat chicken at the Shady Rest? Such a duh.)
Trending: “Scratch” in a restaurant name, fried chicken, and regular bartenders without pork pie hands and mutton chops.” Somebody get me a Realtor.