Every year, the football field-turned-We Over Me Farm at Paul Quinn College puts on a fundraiser that I mark into my calendar with a bright pink highlighter. Not even two free tickets to the Dallas Symphony’s April 11 concert (featuring Liszt’s Piano Concerto No. 2, by the way) can sway me from my commitment to attend “A Community Cooks” on Thursday at 6 p.m. Here’s why:
I love farm manager Andrea Bithell, and the work study students who work side-by-side in the fields with her do too. Spend five minutes with her, and you can see that she genuinely cares about the community and her kids.
There will be peacocks. The Greenhill School of Addison recently donated Bonnie and Capone, a 6-month-old brother and sister pair, to Paul Quinn College Farm. They act as security guards to keep snakes and other pests away from the produce that’s growing. Apparently, the peacocks are also befriending the farm’s resident chickens: Dizzy, Lady Bird, and Irva.
The food is killer. Eddie “Lucky” Campbell is shaking up some fun cocktails, while a sexy lineup of Dallas’ best chefs are gathering on the field to cook their signature recipes with locally grown ingredients. (Participating chefs include: Randall Copeland, AVA; Garreth Dickey, DISH Restaurant & Lounge; Graham Dodds, Central 214; Jason Ferraro, Hibiscus; Jeff Harris, Bolsa; Chad Houser, Café Momentum; Orazio LaManna, Legends Hospitality/Dallas Cowboys Stadium; Dan Landsberg, Dragonfly; Brian Luscher, The Grape; Jason Maddy, Oak; Matt McCallister, FT33; Janice Provost, Parigi; Anastacia Quiñones, Komali; Jim Severson, Sevy’s; Nathan Tate, Boulevardier; Sharon Van Meter, 3015 at Trinity Groves; and Mark Wootton, Garden Café.)
Tim “Pied Piper of Peavy” Rogers lives in East Dallas. He loves East Dallas. He is a frequent customer at Goodfriend. In this month’s D Magazine, Timmy writes a nice piece on Marc Cassel and the special camaraderie that exists between the chefs, cooks, beer folks, and restaurateurs of East Dallas. Some of the history goes way back to the dark ages of Deep Ellum. Let’s here it for Timmy.
One night several weeks before the January opening of their East Dallas restaurant, 20 Feet Seafood Joint, Marc Cassel and his wife, Suzan Fries, tested their new fryer for the first time. Fries wore a blue apron and a short haircut suited to kitchen work. She squeezed a pastry bag, producing a series of chocolate “20”s on parchment paper, while Cassel, in matching apron, his long white goatee giving him the appearance of a birthday party magician, gingerly laid a piece of battered cod into hot oil. First he tried a yeast batter, then tempura. Brined fish, then unbrined. Much experimentation lay ahead as the couple worked toward a menu.
About nine years ago, Gina Paterno Villalobos was diagnosed with high-risk breast cancer. To combat the disease, she completely changed her diet and turned to organic whole foods. She witnessed amazing results.
After training at the Kushi Institute Center for Natural Healing and getting certified at the Natural Gourmet Institute for Food & Health, Villalobos is now known as The Organic Coach in Whole Foods circles. This week, she opened Gina’s Organic Kitchen, which delivers to your home or office food that is both tasty and healthy. The best thing about it? Her food truck used to be an old SWAT ambulance.
“This is a way of being able to impact more people and make more of a difference in people’s lives,” says Villalobos. She puts it very simply: “All people have to do is order and eat.” Right now, she’s delivering to the Preston Hollow, Uptown, and Knox-Henderson areas, but plans for expansion are underway. Guests can also pick-up food or sit down at Gina’s commissary kitchen at 10870 Plano Road in Dallas to eat. Villalobos hopes to have a storefront and dine-in location open early 2013.
“I think Dallas is ready for healthy,” Villalobos says.
So, there you have it, Dallas mommies. Dinner just got easier. There’s no need to cook when you have Gina’s Organic Kitchen around. For first time customers, Villalobos suggests trying the springy sweet pea soup, wheatberry delight, miso-glazed wild salmon, or blueberry pecan baked tart.
The ninjas over at Deep Ellum Brewing Co. have been making some amazing beer since the brewery launched in November of last year. For the DEBC’s first birthday, there’s going to be a huge birthday bash for friends and family on Saturday, November 17 from noon to 3 p.m.. Tickets are now sold out. However, we’re giving you the chance to attend this anniversary celebration. Yes, there will be beer. And, yes, there will be food trucks and live music. Cody Foote and The O’s are playing on the stage, and you can taste DEBC’s newest beer, Pollenator, at what DEBC calls “an historic event.” To see the rest of the beer list, go here.
So, how do you win one of these four pairs of tickets? Leave a comment below. Tell us what your favorite DEBC beer is, and maybe, if you’re really desperate to go, why you love DEBC. We’ll pick four winners from the pile on Thursday at 12 p.m.
On September 19th, a collective “oh, nooooooo” went up from the many food truck owner/operators who have parked in the Dallas Arts District. On that date, it was announced that their leader, their protector, their mentor, Veletta Forsythe Lill, the Executive Director of the Arts District would leave after her post. Lill spent the last four years overseeing significant changes in the Arts District. She also spent eight years on Dallas City Council. Since the food trucks first started showing up in the Arts District in mid-2011, Ms. Lill has carefully vetted each one to ensure that visitors were receiving the highest quality fare. I’ve seen her work tirelessly, even during vacations, to ensure agreements among the food trucks, permits departments, and Dallas City Hall.
I thought Executive Director to revitalize the Dallas Farmer’s Market would be a great new challenge for Ms. Lill. Jump for Love Letters from a few of the food truck owners, where Randy Wolken pleads for Mayor Lill. Continue reading "Love Letters from Dallas Food Trucks to the Arts District’s Veletta Lill"2 Comments »
There is rarely a time when it is common to see a group of people congregated outside of a grocery store at the brink of dawn…that is unless a Trader Joe’s is opening in your neighborhood. Actually, it doesn’t necessarily even have to be in your neighborhood, as residents from Duncanville, Denison, Ellis, and Allen will attest while they stand in line at the opening of the new store in Plano.
There is an energy brewing amongst the excited patrons that feels celebratory and relieved at the same time. The store is decorated outside with balloons and employees can be seen inside setting up for the opening, dressed in their classic Hawaiin print shirts. Carts are lined up to perfection and ready, the grand opening banner is being put up, and it’s just a matter of hours before opening.19 Comments »
Yesterday Café Pacific turned 32-years old. But, according to owner Jack “Knucklehead” Knox, the storied restaurant’s real birthday is today. He says:
It has been thirty two years since we quietly unlocked the front door to Cafe Pacific for what we hoped would be an unannounced soft opening. Nothing worked. The servers couldn’t serve, the bartenders couldn’t tend, the cooks couldn’t cook, and the owner was unqualified to own. I saw no advantage to our staying open longer so that we would have more time to offend the maximum number of first time customers. We closed at seven. We opened again twenty fours hours later to only slightly better results.
He sends the original dinner menu below. Continue reading "Happy Birthday Cafe Pacific"
Last year, Amy Severson, co-owner of Sevy’s, blogger, and all-around smart person, and I had what we thought was a great idea. We decided to write a book on the history of Dallas food. We began collecting bits and pieces of information and interviewed grandchildren of long-lost Dallas restaurants and food businesses. What we have found is unique and amazing and over the year we have published several almost-lost stories.(Links to past posts at the bottom of this page.) Today we file the short version on the formation of Glazer’s Distributors and the popular soft drinks they created and sold all over Dallas. Like the Woosie.
Mention the name Glazer around anyone in the restaurant or hospitality business in Dallas (or Texas) and many of them would immediatly associate the name with a stiff drink. Over the last 100 years, the Glazer family has created one of the largest wholesale beverage distributors in the country. Glazer Distributors now operates in twelve U.S. states and generates more than $3 billion in annual revenue.
The family business didn’t start by delivering the hard stuff.Brothers Louis and Jo Glazer opened a soft drink company in St. Louis in 1898, ten years after moving to the United States from Russia. They moved their company to the DFW area at the turn of the century. Jo began the Uncle Jo Bottling Company in Fort Worth, initially selling their own recipes of drinks called Uncle Jo’s and Aunt Ida’s. The Uncle Jo was replaced by Grapette and the Uncle Jo Bottling Company began distributing other brands such as Red Rock Cola, and Chero Cola. Louis started the Jumbo Bottling Company in Dallas, which eventually became The Real Juice Company in 1909. Louis’ wife Bessie and their children all worked at the plant or sold bottled drinks from the back of a horse-drawn wagon. One of their popular flavors was a root beer soda called Woosie, named after their grandson, Robert Samuel Glazer, whose nickname was Woosie.
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The corn(y) dog holds a unique spot in the canon of local food traditions. Unlike its contemporaries — brisket tacos, Fritos, frozen margaritas, etc. — said battered and fried hot dog wasn’t born here in Dallas (not that I would admit that outside city limits). It was, however, perfected here*, and that’s just a straight up scientific fact. Go ahead, try arguing with science.
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Hopefully, the above video made by YouPlusDallas.com of the 2011 expo gave you a taste of this upcoming expo. Gluten-sensitive people with your restricted diets, take heart! There are other people like you, too. In fact, these other people are organizing a whole two-day Gluten and Allergy Free Expo with over 100 vendors providing samples of foods you can actually eat. On September 8 and 9 at the Westin Park Central, chefs, cookbook authors, and known health experts and nutritionists will be there to assist with preparing healthy meals without some of the most common allergens. Buy your tickets here.
Deep in a forest beyond the douchiness of Dallas lives free spirit, forager, and my fellow Firesign Theater fan, Tom Spicer. He’s the head fiddlehead over at Spiceman’s FM 1410. Today he sends this gorgeous photo and a note. I quote:
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Do you… verjus? Harvested early this morning at Spiceman’s FM 1410 garden, Cabernet Sauvignon grapes that I bare rooted from canes brought to me from Benziger’s biodynamic vineyard in Sonoma County, CA. by my dear friend, Beat Kotoun of Korbrands Wine importers/marketers.3 years later, we are basking in their glow and so can you @ $10# CHEERS Spiceman, aka “Larence of Lakewood”
Last night I drove past a Luby’s Cafeteria and had a random memory flashback. Anybody out there remember Miss Inez? She played the organ at Luby’s Cafeteria in Casa Linda. She also played for at The Dallas Eagles baseball team in the ‘40s and ‘50s and for The Dallas Black Hawks when I worked for them in the mid-‘70s. I did a quick internet search and found Miss Inez (Inez Lackie Teddlie) still has fans. She passed at in 2002 at the age of 91, but she has a Facebook page full of posts written by her many fans!11 Comments »
Although La Garza is all about sisterhood (“I am Sissy,” Garza says. “Sissy is southern slang for “sister” and I am developing every aspect.”) there will be no sissy in the kitchen. La G has plucked Jeffery Hobbs and named him “leader of the kitchen.”
Oh, it’s a tangled tale—an episode of As the Restaurant Turns. Here’s the synopsis: Lisa was married to Chef Gilbert Garza. Together they operated Suze Restaurant, the cozy spot on Midway and NW Highway. At some point, Jeffery Hobbs joined the happy couple to work on the kitchen team as chef and partner. Hobbs and Gilbert ran a great restaurant. Lisa concentrated on catering. Lisa was picked as a contestant on Next Food Network Star. The experience was devastating, as most former TV reality participants will admit is generally the case. The Garzas divorced and Lisa retreated for a couple of years. She emerged as a fancy caterer. Found a new guy. Got re-married and is now pregnant with new restaurant.
After eight years at Suze, Hobbs splits to partner with burgeoning bully restaurateur, Jack “Maple & Motor” Perkins. They’re consulting on taco joints. Then La G calls Hobbs and asks him to be the “leader of her kitchen.” According to La G, Gilbert has given his blessing to the deal. See, there can be happy endings. Or beginnings. Stay tuned.8 Comments »
Back in the day, The Pyramid Room at the Fairmont Hotel was a top destination restaurant for Dallas diners. Over the years, corporate priorities changed at the hotel and the restaurant turned into a JAHR (Just Another Hotel Restaurant). However, in the last two years, and somewhat under the radar, the pendulum has swung back. The restaurant underwent a major remodel to keep the class but remove the starch. The last chef, J.W. Foster, left a large herb garden growing on the rooftop patio. Now André Natera, an experienced hand in Fairmont circles, is the executive chef and he has performed a major shakeup in the kitchen. Incoming sommelier, Hunter Hammett, has vastly increased the number and quality of wine selections. There are now 235 selections and the list has a Wine Spectator Award of Excellence.
The interior of the restaurant is accented the dramatic wine cellar that line the walls at each end of the main dining room. Hundreds of bottles lay behind glass partitions in a climate-controlled environment. These are all the signs of an establishment on the move. It is clear that the Pyramid Restaurant and Bar (as it is now called) is aiming to rejoin the top flight of Dallas restaurants as a destination for Dallasites and visitors alike. At a media event last week, I was fortunate to try the best and certainly the most unusual experience one can have at the Pyramid (as I will shorten its lengthy name to from now on): Dining in the garden on the terrace, several floors above street level. Continue reading "Special Report: Fine Dining Returns to the Pyramid Restaurant at The Fairmont in Dallas"
Don’t plan on showing up at the 17th Annual Hoedown tonight without a ticket. They must be purchased in advance here.
Never been to one? Well, get off your butt and head to at Fair Park’s Food & Fiber Pavilion tonight at 6:30PM. This is a special celebration presented by the Dallas Farmers Market Friends for the Dallas Farmers Market. Not only does it mark the DFM’s 70th, it will also be held as a tribute to one of Dallas’ more dedicated civic servants and the 1991 Founder of the Dallas Farmers Market Friends, Ida Papert, who sadly passed away in January of this year. If that isn’t enough, then here’s a bonus: The Lil’ Blue Pills are playing!1 Comment »
Last night, Amy Severson couldn’t sleep. She turned on the light, grabbed a pen and paper, and started doodling.
First, a few things to disclose. I talked to Dean Fearing’s about this endeavor because my memory isn’t what it used to be. Second, when you see “Sfuzzi,” it refers to the original, not the current (for the youngsters in the audience). Third, I know there are bound to be errors, too bad. This was the best I could do at 3:30 in the morning. Fourth, I have tried to update locations, but some are questionable, thus the “?”
Remember this chart is the first draft of a larger project. Looking forward to adding more names and connections.25 Comments »
A friend just called and told me Mai’s Oriental in Snider Plaza had closed. I looked up some old reviews of the spot which was opened by Mai Phom in 1994. Then I realized that sometime within the last two years, the name of the restaurant was changed to Jiang’s Cuisine. I had no idea the restaurant had switched hands until this moment.
I feel horrible. Mai Phom was Dallas’ primary Vietnamese cuisine evangelist. She opened the city’s first popular Vietnamese restaurant in 1980. The original restaurant in East Dallas still bears her name but she moved to the tiny spot in Snider Plaza where she could be found every day. My former colleague Mary Brown Malouf once wrote:
“Those were the days when ethnic food meant Mexican food, unless it meant Szechuan. Now Vietnamese is practically mainstream and even has at least one almost upscale representative. Mainly, it has become habitual; many of us go out for Vietnamese as often as we go out for Mexican. So it seems strange to me that Mai, who was a pioneer, is now relatively unknown. Her little restaurant in Snider Plaza is practically a secret.”
I tried to reach someone with the restaurant to get a clear picture of what has transpired, but they have already closed and there is no voicemail. If anybody out there has the story, I’d love to know it.
UPPITY DATE: Jiang’s Cuisine has moved.11 Comments »
Inspired by the first two episodes of Ken Burn’s Prohibition on KERA, Amy Severson and I did a little digging into some of the details of what was going on in Dallas before, during, and after prohibition. The third, and final, episode is tonight at 9PM. It’s been a fascinating documentary. Today, we scratch the surface of prohibition in Dallas.
Dripping Dry Dallas. That was the name earned by our city after the repeal of prohibition in 1933.
If you’ve watched the first two episodes of Ken Burn’s historical presentation, Prohibition, our country’s brief love affair with forced sobriety, you already know the national temperance movement came about as a reaction to the despair brought on families affected by alcoholism.
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In 1992, Renie Steves, a food and wine writer in Fort Worth, wrote a book called Dallas is Cooking. In the forward, Caroline Rose Hunt reminisces about the Golden Pheasant. “The steaks served at the Golden Pheasant located on Commerce between the Adolphus and Neiman Marcus were the best in town. A stuffed Chinese golden pheasant looked down on the diners, many who came fro out of the city to engage in the booming oil business.”
This week, Amy Severson and I continue our History of Dallas Food series on SideDish with a look at The Golden Pheasant, a French restaurant known for their sizzling steak platters. If you would like to take a look back at some of our earlier reports, here are the links: La Tunisia, Ida Chitwood. and Eltee O. Dave.
The Golden Pheasant Restaurant was a Dallas institution for over 45 years. If its story were a play, it would be a tragedy filled with mobsters, mysterious murders, and fires. The opulent restaurant opened in 1915 and operated under four different owners in four locations until it burned to the ground in 1964 and left four firemen dead. The last location was in the grassy lot which now sits next to the valet stand at the Magnolia Hotel. The fountain behind the hotel is a silent memorial of what was, even to this day, the worst loss in the history of the Dallas Fire Department.
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