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.
Arti Sharma, D Magazine intern and a grant writer for Promise House the nonprofit that receives a portion of the proceeds from Bar 828, visited the popular pop-up bar last weekend and files this report.
Driving along the 800 block on the west side Davis Street, you may notice something particularly peculiar about the venue that sits on lot 828. At first glance, you will see a tattered building that shells what may have been a forgotten afterthought, abandoned in the midst of what perhaps was meant to be an idea. You may not further heed its quaintness, and will write it off as an empty nest. But you see, inside an oyster, sometimes there is a pearl. And inside 828, is something just as precious and rare: Bar 828.
Last night Avi S. Adelman, the Cesar Millan of Barking Dogs, walked the streets at midnight with Dallas Code Compliance officers as they “educated” business owners on new regulations that start tonight. Basically bars and restaurants must to have a late-night permit to be open after midnight. If they don’t, they get a ticket and this happens. Cesar, I mean Avi, has the whole story with pictures.
The man who loves to be hated. (Photography by Maxine Helfman)
Okay Haters, don’t blame me. I’m playing Phidippides in this decision-making process. The physical September issue of D Magazine will be in the mailboxes of subscribers today and on newsstands tomorrow. Most of the content is now online. Here is a link to a portion of “The Most Hated Chef in Dallas” story about John Tesar, but if you want to read the full story you have to get your hands on a magazine. (Perhaps you can schedule that doctor’s appointment you’ve put off.)
I hear through the TextVine that chef Tesar is organizing a Hater’s Party next Monday night outside of The Commissary at One Arts Plaza. He promised to send details but so far he texts that he will be giving away free tacos and wine to anyone who shows up with a copy of the September issue of D Magazine. (This is his promotion, not ours.) Latest text: “The Camarena taco truck with a special menu and free tap wine and some beer. It’s official. Monday 7-9PM. Haters Party.”
Christopher “Grant Achatz” Wynn reports that Mike Hiller reports that Julian Barsotti is opening a new restaurant called Carbone’s Fine Food and Wine in the former Talbot’s spot at the corner of Wycliff and Oak Lawn. There will be roasting and grilling of meats and artisinal Italian-inspired treats. Sounds like the concept behind SimonBarsotti the place Julian once planned with Tristan Simon. Hiller sez Carbone’s is scheduled to open in January 2012.
Miguel Vicéns and John Paul Valverde owners of Coevál Studio, a firm that recently designed and built two Mexican restaurants in Fort Worth, is taking over the former La Carreta Argentine space on North Beckley in Oak Cliff. They will rework the space and open it as Campo Modern Country Bistro. This news comes from Steven Doyle of CraveDFW. He sends a hot link and a note:
I interviewed a design group that does restaurants and found out that Matt is their consulting chef and opening soon in Oak Cliff. This isn’t his main restaurant that will open most likely first quarter 2012, but one he will consult on and have a presence indefinitely.
Matt is Matt McCallister. You know Matt. The execuchef at Stephan Pyles left his high profile gig to “Play” in kitchens around the world. Currently he is popping up in restaurants around town, like Café Momentum. He’s got a chef’s fantasy job. If you’re not his Facebook friend, you are one uninformed Dallas diner.
Reader Reviews for KRLD Restaurant Week start next Tuesday!
Dishers! It’s that time of the year: KRLD RestaurantyearmonthWeek. The event kicks off on Monday, August 15 and beginning Tuesday, August 16, we will have a daily post dedicated to your reviews of the restaurants you sample during RW. We know a lot of chefs will be cooking their butts off for you and many servers will do double shifts. We ask you to send in the names of servers who treated you to over-the-top service and we will honor them on SideDish. (Take their picture!)
Last year KRLD Restaurant Week raised $605,500 for its supporting partners — the North Texas Food Bank (NTFB) in Dallas and Lena Pope Home in Fort Worth — with more than 100,000 prix fixe dinners served in 138 restaurants across Collin, Dallas, Denton and Tarrant County.
In case you were born yesterday:
KRLD Restaurant Week presented by Central Market, which showcases North Texas’ thriving culinary scene, features tasty three-course prix fixe dinner combinations priced at only $35/person (tax, tip and drinks billed separately). What’s more, consumer patronage helps support local fine dining establishments and two great charity partners. For every prix fixe meal purchased, participating restaurants will make a $7.00 donation to either the North Texas Food Bank in Dallas or Lena Pope Home in Fort Worth. Reservations are required, and diners should specify “KRLD Restaurant Week” when booking.
Steven “Ubiquitous” Doyle is reporting he spotted Guy Fieri scouting locations for restaurants today in Uptown. Doyle says definitively:
It was only a matter of time before restaurateur and television game show/ Food Network host Guy Fieri moved his mammoth machine to the North Texas area. We spotted Guy today checking out locations for one of his two restaurants (maybe both) in Dallas.
The Steven promises updates and pictures. Whatcha think?
I know very little about Yelp. I see it when I am searching for restaurants but I have never stop to read the reviews. Anywhoo, several people emailed me this week with complaints and concerns about Yelp. One loyal Disher sends this post found on Cavilli Pizza’s Facebook page. (Cavilli, that will be $15 for the link.)
Fans, just wanted to let you know that YELP has been removing our 5 star reviews for our McKinney location, we have talked to them and they have told us we can’t do anything about it. YELP has been unfair and removed 24 reviews all of which were 4 and 5 stars. But they keep calling us to advertise, and told us it would get better if we advertised. It’s all about making money, what a shame they used to be a great site.
Ouch! Maybe their cyber technicians can detect comments left by the same person. I don’t know. However, this morning comes a note from another just-as-loyal Disher.
I think you’d better take a seat and get ready for this rumble. Oh, and if you know Jack Perkins of Maple & Motor, you might want to text him a link. Okay? Let’s go.
Who needs Gordon Ramsay? Carrie Keep is hardly in hell.
We told you chef Carrie Keep was hot. Last night her bosses at Nosh Euro Bistro, Avner and Celeste Samuel, hosted a season-premier watching party for Hell’s Kitchen. Carrie, a line cook at Nosh, is one of the contestants. The restaurant was full of loyal patrons and friends when–POOF- a knob on one of the gas valves fell off and a small fire flared in the open kitchen. Always the problem solver, Celeste Samuel picked up the phone and calmly called the Highland Park Fire Department and moved the guests outside. When the firemen arrived, they were greeted by a glamorous crowd having cocktails in parking lot. With the fire out When the danger was gone, the TV-watching party turned into a photo op. The show? Who knows what happened. The reality of the parking lot was much more fun. Jump for photos taken by Lindsey Miller.
The glasses aren't the only thing that's sweating. Ball and Chain (left) and Belleview (right) cocktails at The Cedars Social.
In her June review of The Cedars Social, Nancy described house mixologist Michael Martensen as someone who, “has spent the last eight years redefining cocktails as a culinary art, and his thoughtful, exhaustive drink menu at The Cedars Social celebrates almost 100 years of drinking… ‘It’s a cocktail den. It’s all about imbibing. We don’t have olives or Red Bull, and we don’t make dirty martinis. We need people to get out of their comfort zone.’”
Given that breaking out of my comfort zone is my favorite hobby, I called some pals to meet me for a cocktails-only visit last Friday afternoon/evening. There, at the corner of Lamar and Belleview, we lucked into some threadbare velour chairs in the bar area, ordered some cheese, and settled in for the long haul.
OMIGOD,OMIGOD you guys! Our sistah-pub Park Cities People has the news: “If you live anywhere near the intersection of Caruth Haven and Central Expressway, prepare yourself: In-N-Out Burger is opening at 9 a.m. Thursday. That’s according to a memo that was sent to the tenants of 8080 North Central Expressway, the high-rise just north of the fast-food joint. The memo details how much security the restaurant will have on hand, and how the restaurant’s staff has assured the high-rise’s management that tenant parking will not be disrupted. Read it for yourself.
Dale Wamstad is opening Four Sisters Café in Richardson. The food will be “True American.” Mr. Wamstad was once a huge force in the Dallas restaurant scene: he founded Del Frisco’s Double Eagle Steakhouse, III Forks, and Silver Fox. Those are just the business highlights.
In 2000, Mark Steurtz, then of the Dallas Observer, wrote a feature story on Wamstad titled “Family Man: Dallas restaurateur Dale Wamstad portrays himself as humble entrepreneur and devoted father. The family he abandoned in New Orleans has a bone to pick with that.” Wamstad sued the Observerbut lost.
Michael Costa has made a lot of enemies. Costa has made a lot of enemies. Illustration by Sean McCabe.
Remember the saga of Las Colinas Prime? It’s a sordid tale of TABC raids, bounced paychecks, and unpaid vendors. At the time, Michael Costa and his Rainmaker Consulting Group were working with LCP owner Bill McCrorey to get the business on track. If you need to catch up on the trail go here, here, here, here, and here.
Two weeks after The Office Grill opened, my phone started ringing. Employees and vendors were not being paid and checks were bouncing. It’s sounded all too familiar. I called a lot of people who have been in business with or worked for Michael Costa. I called Michael Costa. He claims that all of his accounts are in order. It still sounded shady to me—where there is billowing smoke there is usually a fire–so I checked (hah!) into his criminal records. What I found was rather interesting. I have written a story in the June issue of D Magazine. It’s all here. Have a nice weekend.
I was having dinner with some friends the other night who write a blog. They don’t do it because they want to, they do it because their company makes them. That usually isn’t the case with people who blog about food. Chances are people are motivated to blog about food because they are passionate about food and the cooking, baking, or eating of said food. Most food bloggers start out all warm and fuzzy and write until their fingers are done to a crisp. Slowly, they lose momentum. Why? Because it’s hard. Not just the writing, it’s tough to come up with fresh ideas and new words to describe fish without using succulent forty ways to Sunday. Once you write a blog, learn how to take pictures, and conquer whatever program you are attempting to post from, you’d probably like to get someone outside of your immediate circle of friends and family to read it. Or maybe you’d like to make some money or get a book deal. If you figure any of that, please feel free to pass it along in the comments section.
Anywhoo, this morning I came across an interesting post on Sarah Henry’s Bay Area Bites blog. She offers advice for struggling (succulent) food bloggers. Henry maintains “talent and ideas count, so does experience, connections, timing, and, frankly, a bit of luck.”
To that I would add: have an opinion, get a good therapist, and find someone to sell you wine wholesale. Questions?
However, I went out to Frisco this morning and talked to a corporate person who said “sometime this week” about 20 times. I introduced myself to a nice man with a nice Southern Californian tan and told him I was too old to drive to Frisco every morning to see if they were opening. He smiled and said, “All I can say is sometime this week.” I offered him money. “No, I can’t take that. It’s sometime this week.” I asked him if he was in fact Carl Van Fleet. He said, “No, Carl will be here sometime this week.” By the time I got back to the office, Miss Kellyn had an email from Carl Van Fleet. So, all I learned is that the guy I was talking to was not Carl Van Fleet because he didn’t have a phone on him.
Ann Althouse is a law professor in Dearborn, Michigan. She writes a blog about politics and law. Yesterday a bird-watching Disher sent me a link to to her website. It’s a pretty amazing piece of video. A friend of Ann’s, armed with a video camera, spent a great deal of time filming a red-tailed hawk as it devoured some poor critter. I asked Ann if I could share the footage with the bird watchers of Dallas. She says there is quite a debate on the species of the dead critter. (h/t PK)
Last night the Chefs for Farmers dinner at the Highland Park Cafeteria was the talk of the town. Over 250 folks showed up to support farmers, raise money, and bow to local producers and everything organic. All the current politically correct buzzwords were in place until reporter Teresa Gubbins noticed the huge number of half-eaten plates left on the tables. She writes:
I didn’t eat. I was too stunned by the rampant waste. Given the nature of the crowd — one that seemed heavy on foodies — I was flabbergasted to see how much food got thrown away, and how little respect it seemed to show for the work the chefs did, and the very nature of the event itself, with its emphasis on farmers and reverence for food.
I thought the idea of holding the event in a cafeteria was a great idea–it could have been a teaching experience. Instead of piling on globs of food, the chefs should have dished out smaller tasting portions. One diner quipped: “I paid $92 and I’m going to get my money’s worth.” Dude, it’s a fundraiser. You aren’t supposed to get your money’s worth. Stay true to the movement, chefs. Gubbins, you rule #WINNING.
SideDish is a food-related discussion among editors at D Magazine about the Dallas-Fort Worth dining scene -- everything from good meals to bad service, kitchen gossip to restaurant news, chefs' secrets to culinary trends. Bon appetit.