Articles about Hot Links!
I’m a little late to this celebration but I’m here now to repeat the headline: Matt McCallister (FT33) and Omar Flores (Driftwood) are two of the 100 chefs nominated for Food & Wine magazine’s The People’s Best New Chef (Southwest) Award. The promotion, I mean announcement, of the talented chefs was released yesterday and reported on DallasEater and Eatsblog (what happened to their comments option?). The success of these two Dallas chefs depends on your dedication to voting for them from this moment until March 18. Last year you failed nominees Tre Wilcox (then Marquee Grill & Bar) and Tim Byres (Smoke, Chicken Scratch). Here is the link click it and vote.
I don’t know where or how Tim found this video of Megan Lucas, the woman entangled in the Phil Romano-Frank Zaccanelli lawsuit, but here it is. Warning: this has nothing to do with food. There aren’t any hot dogs in this video, but there is a hottie (you know, objectively speaking).
Timmy has an update on the story we reported yesterday: Phil Romano is suing Hofmann Hots CEO Frank Zaccanelli for misuse of funds. . Apparently, Zaccanelli was supporting Megan Lucas, a former hostess at Nick & Sam’s. The first Hofmann Hots, at 340 Singleton Blvd.,will open in ten minutes. Should be a bobby dazzler.
UPDATE: Timmy is just off the phone with Megan. She claims they used her to oust Zaccanelli. Stay tuned.
First, though, about that mugshot: Lucas says she got a ticket in Highland Park for throwing a cigarette butt out a window. When she didn’t pay that ticket, she was arrested.
Now the lawsuit. In short, Lucas says it’s all bunk, that Romano et al. were trying to use Lucas to squeeze Zaccanelli out of the business. She says that she met Zacanelli while working as a server at Nick & Sam’s. She says she went through three interviews before Zaccanelli hired her as the director of social media and marketing, disciplines she studied at the Art Institute. Lucas says her relationship with Zaccanelli has always been a professional one.
Jeana Johnson and Colleen O’Hare. (Photography by Kevin Marple)
Teresa “Gubbshoe” Gubbins reports Colleen O”Hare and Jeana Johnson of Good 2 Go Tacos took over the former York Street space just days after Rene Peeters,who operated Bistro Watel’s in the space for nearly two years, closed the doors.
The couple has been searching for another space since they severed ties with Acme F& B last October. (Has anybody been there lately?) The tiny kitchen will feel like home to O’Hare, she worked alongside chef Sharon Hage for a couple of years.
According to TGubb, the duo won’t be doing fine dining or hot dogs.
No tongues, no cheeks, just throats. Snapper throats.
Wow, what a day for East Dallas in the race to be the hippest section of Dallas. The Kaufman’s of Urbano Café have teamed up with Captain Jon Alexis of TJ’s Seafood Market and together they have scored a batch of snapper throats. “Some say it’s the best white meat on the planet!, says chef Mitch Kaufman. “TJ’s Seafood helped us find this delicacy and we’re cooking it up tonight, lightly dusted with flour and sauteed with lemon, garlic, salt and pepper.”
Listen to Bud Kennedy. He knows all the back roads to Trader Joe's.
The landscape of grocery shopping in DFW may or not transform on Friday when Trader Joe’s, the Jimmy-Buffet-Meets-The-Beach-Boys-Before-Brian-Wilson’s-Melt-Down-esque food store born in Pasadena, California in 1967, opens its doors at 2701 S.Hulen St. in Fort Worth. (The Trader Joe’s Lowest Greenville Dallas is now scheduled to open in Spring 2013). Like their In-N-Out Burgers’ brethren, California transplants are psyched out of their Two-Buck-Chuck-wasted minds that this Hawaiian version of Aldi is finally a reality.
Will you don a Hawaiian shirt and make the 72-mile (from downtown Dallas) round-trip drive to load up on cheap wine, pistachios, and Trader Joe’s Coconut Water Fruit Floes? Not me. Especially since Mr. Fort Worth, Bud “Propagandist” Kennedy sends this notice:
Please warn everybody that half of Fort Worth is under construction. The back way to Trader Joe’s is to exit I-30 at University and wind around the Colonial golf course. If you can’t find that, use I-20 and come north.Do not try to go over the Hulen bridge south of Central Market, and do not try to take Berry through TCU.
Whatevs, Bud. I’ll await reports from the good folks of Fort Worth and the dedicated food coconuts in Dallas who make the trip. Me, I’m headed for some real fun.
UPPITY DATE: Teresa Gubbins compares Trader Joe’s with other local grocery stores.
Gubbshoe Gubbins is armed and dangerous.
Dallas is a city full of buddy-buddy chefs and owners. For the most part, these talented folks leave their knives in the kitchen. (We, the media, have a different set of weapons but that is another story.) This morning comes word from Teresa Gubbshoe Gubbins: “A new restaurant will open in the old Lumi Empanada space on McKinney Avenue in Uptown Dallas, from a pair of restaurateurs who own two of the more exciting places in Dallas: Campo and Oak.”
How do you know that Gubbshoe?
Gubbshoe: “Campo co-owner John Paul Valverde has partnered with Oak co-owner Richard Ellman to develop the Lumi space into a fast-casual restaurant where the price point will be low — $6 to $11 — with cocktails and craft beer.”
I bet the focus will be on local ingredients, but bringing it to a more approachable, more casual restaurant and it’ll be the same thing we do at Campo, the same thing at Oak, but a little easier to approach and at a different price point as well. We want to show that you don’t have to pay a lot of money to get quality food. (You can find her other knowledge and some quotes about how these dudes are going to get this place open by the end of July here.)
And what is the name Miss SmartyPants? Oh, you don’t know? Well I’m going to call it Camp Oak. Or CampOak. Folks, lets name it for them. You guys are so good at this.
The Avner Samuel; The Bailey. En fuego.
Whirling dervish chef Avner Samuel and his sidekick chef Jon Stevens are ready to open Snack, their “street-food-inspired-low price-points-small-plates-daily-chalkboard-special restaurant on Henderson in the space formerly known as Horne & Dekker. (Whew!) There will be three bar areas: one with cocktails, wine and beer; the second is a raw bar, but also includes a charcuterie element and hot small plates; the third, features a large wood-burning oven for made-to-order flatbreads and distinct hot dishes. (Whew!) Listen up:
From the age-old market-squares and bazaars to today’s street food vendors, SNACK is the creation of a street-to-table inspired menu. The menu includes dinner items such as short rib tacos with pineapple habanero and cilantro crema ($8), pork shumai dumplings ($9), chicken shawarmas with cucumber tahini and pickled onion ($8), and smoked oysters escabeche served with wood oven toasted bread ($7). The brunch menu features items from a pan-fried egg sandwich with Serrano ham and avocado ($13), to a charcuterie flatbread with pan-fried egg, arugula and herbs ($14); and “street tacos” a la carte with a small assortment of sweeter entrees, like coconut griddle cakes ($11), to choose from.
Bizarre is right! Let’s see, Samuel-Stevens now oversee two locations of Nosh Euro Bistro, Snack, the transition of Bailey’s Prime Plus from steak joint to a chef-driven kitchen, and the addition of the lavish Aurora Room to BPP. My guess is Samuel and Stevens already have their paws on the menu at The Chesterfield. What? You hear there will be more Nosh Euro Bistros if this relationship lasts? Oh, glorious Dallas dining. Are you coming back to life or going crazy?
UPDATE: Snack will have it’s own valet parking.
Are you ready for some hot dogs?
Yesterday, Merritt Martin of Eater Dallas, linked (ha!) to a story reporting Dallas-based Zaccanelli Food Group’s acquisition of the 133 year-old Hofmann Sausage Company in Syracuse, New York. She writes:
“Wait, what? Dallas-based Zaccanelli Food Group acquired Syracuse’s Hofmann Sausage Company in a multimillion dollar deal that means sausage expansion (well beyond Hot Haus rests, even into Texas groceries, gasp!) and, linking (ha) seemingly random investors the likes of Oneida Indian Nation, former Dallas Cowboys quarterback Roger Staubach and others.”
The “others” Martin omits are significant players that are anything but randomly linked. Like the “Zaccanelli” behind the group: Frank Zaccanelli, a native of Syracuse, is the former team president of the Dallas Mavericks. He was the minority owner to Ross Perot Jr.’s majority. Together, they sold the team to our (foodie) hero, Mark Cuban. Before that, Zaccanelli was a big wig at Perot Jr.’s company and they did some big deals like Alliance Airport and large real estate developments all over the state. (Huge overstatement in the interest of time.) Zaccanelli Food Group received majority funding from the powerful central-New York based Oneida Indian Nation Enterprises, a group dedicated to “re-investing in Central New York.” Other investors include former Syracuse Police Chief and two-time Syracuse University All-American basketball player Dennis DuVal, Syracuse University Head Basketball Coach Jim Boeheim, Dallas Cowboys quarterback and businessman Roger Staubach, and several high-profile restaurateurs and sports figures.
The until-now family-owned and operated Hofmann Sausage Company is a well-respected name in the restaurant business. They make some fine sausages and hot dogs. Call me crazy, but I swear I ate a Hofmann dog at Fuddrucker’s a century ago. Oh, that brings me to another “other” in this multi-million-dollar-dog deal: Phil Romano, the creator of Fuddruckers®, World’s Greatest Hamburgers®. Secret fact: Romano ALSO grew up in Syracuse eating Hofmann dogs. He loves them so much he sells them at Eatzi’s! Now he’s going to show the world just how much he hearts Hofmann dogs. Romano is in charge of creating a national chain of Hofmann’s World’s Greatest Hot Dogs restaurants. (I’m sure the ® is still at the attorney’s office.) I, for one, can’t wait. Hot dogs are the new hamburger.
Update: Hofmann products will be available in 64 Texas Albertson’s stores, including those in DFW, this weekend. That was fast.
Gromer Jeffers Jr, a reporter for the Trail Blazers Blog at the Dallas Morning News, states the facts:
1. Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins is in the restaurant business. He owns a small stake in Mr. Mesero, an Uptown Mexican spot that opened late last year.
2. Dallas County Commissioner Elba Garcia, Jenkins’ Democratic ally on the commissioners court, also has an ownership stake, along with her husband, former state Rep. Domingo Garcia.
3. Jenkins said he was brought into the deal by Mico Rodriguez, who gave Dallas the popular Mi Cocina restaurants.
Nothing wrong with that. Gromer goes on to quote said judge: “We’ve got the best steak dish in town,” Jenkins boasted.
Whoa, judge! That is quite a ruling. Then Gromer points out: DMN dining diva, Leslie Brenner, gave the joint one star. If I were Gromer or Rodriguez, I would demand a retrial. I don’t know about the steak, but the food I’ve eaten at Mr. Mesero is four-star. Whoops, I don’t do stars. Therefore, I call on a jury of my peers.
Hooray for hot dogs! One Mr. Ludwig Sawicki is almost ready to open his new hot dog restaurant, Bite the Weenie. “We are making at least 20 variations and styles of hot dogs and sausage sandwiches,” Sawicki said. “We should be ready to go next week.” Sawicki moved to Dallas from Chicago almost 15 years ago and “has been craving hot dogs since then.” Sawicki spent many years working in restaurants before a career in the firearms business. He’s pretty dang excited about his new hot dog store and hopes to populate Dallas with more locations. So far, the menu includes classic Chicago and New York-style dogs. Other cities with dogs include Pittsburgh, Atlanta, Tokyo, and Vera Cruz. There is a Saigon Dog and a foie gras dog. Here is the working menu. 9143 Boulevard 26, Suite 650. Richland Hills. 817-514-2313.
That is what Mike “Quick Draw” Hiller is reporting. The green and white building on the North Dallas Tollroad, just north of Frankfort, closed over five years ago. I can’t imagine the condition of the interior. Wonder if they are going to tear it down and start over. I’d watch that wrecking party. That place is ugly from the front.
Good luck to you, dear sir or madam, if you haven’t already made your Valentine’s Day reservation. Life might really suck tomorrow. Luckily, I’ve updated this fabulous list of 65+ restaurants for procrastinators like yourself who are the future leaders of tomorrow. Check out this complete listing with phone numbers, addresses, and menus all included.
Click here for the list that will save your relationship.
Ron Guest, the nice man who gave us Café San Miguel on Henderson Ave. (R.I.P.), is back in business in Richardson. Natch Teresa “GubbShoe” Gubbins is all over the story like truffle oil on fries. Gubbshoe writes Guest’s new spot, Taco Republic, is “an intriguing new spin on gringo tacos.” Expect catfish tacos, “smoky brisket with chipotle barbecue sauce topped with fried onion rings,” and other “whimsical” tacos. Always on alert for the underdog vegetarian diner, Gubbshoe assures us all they don’t have to worry. Quotes and more details here. Taco Republic in located in the space formerly known as La Paloma at Central and Spring Valley. (Next up: Taco Republican. Now, there’s a concept.)
Brisket sandwich at Jack Daniel's Saloon. Photo by Daniel Vaughn.
Slow-cooked brisket (sometimes “advertised” on menus as “smoked”) is trending in Dallas along with sweet potato tots and green chilies on anything. Last week the self-proclaimed BBQ Snob, Daniel Vaughn, policed a few fancy restaurants which claim to serve “smoked brisket.” He covers Texas Spice at the new Omni Convention Center, Jack Daniel’s Saloon, Holy Grail Pub, Torchy’s Taco, and the unpleasantly named Asador in the Renaissance Hotel. As usual, it’s a great read.
Mi Dia: The best bite I put in my mouth in 2011.
There’s a common sentiment among restaurant critics: We have to eat a lot of poor quality and mediocre food before we taste something memorable. But, oh baby, when that over-the-top bite hits your mouth, you know you’ve found it. Something about the drink, dish, or dessert pushes it above the hundreds of thousands of other bites you’ve taken over the year.
The following items rocked my senses in 2011. In no particular order, and off the top of my head, they are:
- Italian “English” muffins at Eatzi’s. (Extra points for the McCutcheon’s preserves.)
- The Scarf Dancer cocktail at Marquee Grill and Bar.
- Fried avocados at The Commissary.
- Ox eyes stacked enchiladas at Mi Dia From Scratch. (Blue corn tortillas, beef, cheese, and onion enchiladas, topped with New Mexico red & green chile sauces, crema & fried eggs. (The best bite of the year.)
- Lemon cake at Del Frisco’s Double Eagle Steakhouse.
- Steamed swordfish with a salad of fresh summer greens at Lucia.
- The salad of chopped iceberg lettuce, diced tomatoes, crumbled blue cheese, avocado, and crispy prosciutto at Maggiano’s. (A good chopped salad is hard to find.)
- A double-double animal-style burger at In-N-Out Burger. However, the fries are forgettable.
- I got straight past the pizza and Cane Rosso and dive face first into a Cuban sandwich: a magnificent mess of tender Berkshire pork shoulder braised with beer and onions; layered with prosciutto, baby Swiss cheese, and horseradish pickles; and piled on puffy, hot bread spread with spicy mustard and Calabrian chile aioli.
- The green curry chicken served in an iron pot at Malai Kitchen.
- The charcuterie plate at The Grape.
- The slow-cooked oxtail scented with hoja santa and served with a cob of roasted corn and masa dumplings at Mesa.
Most Pleasant Meal of the Year: Dinner at Lavendou. Sometimes the taste of the food is elevated by the overall dining experience. Usually it happens spontaneously. One cold, rainy evening I went to dinner at Lavendou with two dear friends. The dining room was crowded and festive, but not loud. The service was friendly, but not in-your-face. The food was delicious and the French wine stimulated our conversation for hours. We left full of more than food. We shared a meal that was more than just a sum of its parts on a cold, rainy Monday night.
Sigel’s Addison. Saturday, December 10 from 11AM to 3PM. Sigel’s Cheesemonger Teresa McGee and Brazos Valley Cheesmaker Marc Kuehl will be at Sigel’s-Addison to taste Marc’s award winning raw-milk cheeses. More below.
Slow Food Dallas and North Haven Gardens. This very cool partnership will present a series of classes for novices and experienced gardeners. Mark you calendars. Here’s the linky dink.
Urban Acres. Holiday Market 2011. Need creative gift ideas? Or just want something fun to do with friends and family this weekend? Please join us this Saturday, December 10th for a Holiday Artisan Marketplace at Urban Acres! We’ve invited our favorite local craft and food artisans to share their goods in our fun, community-based setting. Each artist will showcase handcrafted artwork or artisanal foods that we just know our Urban Acres friends will appreciate! Check out the vendors here!
Smoke Camp at Lockhart Smokehouse. Smoke like a pro after “Smoke Camp.” The pitmasters at Lockhart Smokehouse will share some trade secrets such as: choosing the right meat, dry rub vs. wet rub practices, smoking techniques, proper trimming and carving, plus the art of “Burnt Ends.” Class includes dinner, cold beer, and a t-shirt. “Smoke Camp” will be held Tuesday, January 17 from 6:30-8-30pm. Cost $75. Space is limited, so call us to make your reservation early. 214-944-5521.
White Rock Market. The 3rd Annual Holiday Market takes place on Saturday, December 10 from 9AM to 3PM at Green Spot Market in East Dallas. (702 N. Buckner Blvd. 2140797-4989) Music, local food and handicraft vendors galore. It’s free. Venodors listed below.
Nosh. Black Winter Truffles from Perigord are now at NOSH. Fresh Capelini or Risotto with shaved Black Winter Truffles $25!
Details. Continue reading "Bits & Bites: Things to Do and Chew in Dallas"
Off-Site Kitchen: These goodies will be available for consumption by "the end of this year."
Well folks, it has been a year since Nick Badovinus leased the former Danny’s Chicken spot at Wycliff and Irving Blvd. for Off-Site Kitchen, a mostly take-out spot featuring “light industrial food” inspired by “what line cooks eat.” Basically the menu is simple sandwiches, breakfast burritos, quality roasted meats by the pound.
Badovinus went silent for a long time. In September I dropped by Off-Site Kitchen to see WTF was up. Badovinus is a tough dude to find when he doesn’t want to be found. But there he was, deep in R&D, curing sausage, flipping burgers, trying out different meat combinations for sandwiches.
This morning, I called Badovinus for an update. As Badovinus talked about the opening date, menu, and concept, I enjoyed listening to him spin off on how the dynamic of opening this restaurant changed as it came to life. It’s almost trite to say that many entrepreneurs start with a grand design and find that once their plan goes from paper to brick and mortar, some details have to change. However, one thing I’ve learned over the years is this: those who allow the on-the-fly changes to overwhelm their original vision rarely succeed. Staying the course can be the difference between success and failure. And what Badovinus has already discovered about his little soon-to-open Off-Site Kitchen is unique and could prove to be a model for others.
Jump for it. Continue reading "Restaurant Update: Off-Site Kitchen by Nick Badovinus"
Anthony Bourdain on stage at the Majestic Theater in Dallas. (photo by Elizabeth Lavin)
Last night, Anthony Bourdain fans packed the Majestic Theater. Baseball be damned, the worshipers of All-Things-Anthony showed up to lay themselves at the cowboy-booted feet of their hero.
Tony walked onto the stage at 8:10 and greeted the audience: “I am a whore. I am in every way compromised, jaded, bought and paid for, including my nice f—ing jacket.”
For the next hour and 45 minutes, the crowd hung on his every word. He was loose, casual, at ease, good-natured, straight forward, no bull. He was exactly the guy you see on TV, except, in person, you could see just how fine he wears boot-cut jeans.
After the show, we got to hang out with Tony and watch him sign books and greet his fans. Hundreds of folks bought books and stood in line to get his autograph. He walked into the VIP room and he very calmly said, “Look, I’m here and I’m not leaving until every book is signed, every picture is taken. I’m not in a hurry, so grab some food, have a drink, relax.”
I plan to write a longer report, but my day job calls. In the meantime, I’ll post the pictures that Tony most graciously allowed our photographer, Elizabeth Lavin, to shoot. Oh, and John “Jimmy Sears” Tesar was there. I mean everywhere. If you notice him in every shot, it is because he tried to get in every shot. At one point I thought he was going to start signing copies of Bourdain’s Medium Raw. He could have. That’s how he serves his burgers.
On to the show.
Continue reading "Anthony Bourdain Kicks Some Serious Sass in Dallas"