So, an interesting corollary to this In-N-Out debate would be “well, what other restaurant institutions in Dallas are over-rated”?
I’d throw the sacred Campisi’s on that burning altar. Why do they consistently pack them in?
Perhaps Primo’s. Don’t get it.
Definitely Goff’s before Harvey sold it. Why would anyone put up with his sh*t?
Burger House, an institution with an ordinary burger.
Snuffer’s. I just don’t get the attraction of those nasty cheese fries.
What About Harry’s: I like Harry himself, but darn, it stinks in there.
Mi Cocina. $8 to $10 margaritas? And people pack the place.
Patrizio’s … bad service, generic pasta, great location. And still proclaimed as a great date place. Really, I don’t get this one at all.
Wow, I’m handing my keyboard over to this dude. He sure asks a lot of questions for a guy from New Jersey. Go. Fight. Wynne!72 Comments »
My good friend Evan and I like to go to In-N-Out Burger. On a slow news day Evan half-heartedly encourages me to “throw up a post” on In-N-Out to get SideDish moving. It’s a hot topic and it keeps Twinwillow busy.
Rumors about In-N-Out Burger coming to Dallas have been swirling for years. I am sick of calling headquarters and getting the usual corporate retort: “At the moment we have no plans, blah, blah, blah, but that doesn’t mean that blah, blah, blah in the future.”
So last week when I shared a meal with a commercial real estate dude who promised me he was “on the inside” of the deal, I kept quiet. He gave me specific sites and growth plans and business strategies. I thought, wow I’m finally going to get confirmation and this is really going to happen.
Then I started to think. If In-N-Out Burger came to Dallas, where would I eat when I go to Las Vegas? Or Phoenix? Or Napa Valley?
Any of you remember the craziness that surrounded Krispy Kreme Donuts when they opened in Dallas? It was like an intense rescue scene from Season 7 of 24: A helicopter hovers over an urban Krispy Kreme store where thousands of innocent customers wait for hot donuts. Inside, a Russian terrorist inserts tiny nuclear rods into the cinnamon twists rolling off the line. Jack Bauer dangles on a rope from a helicopter. Spoiler alert: He kills ten terrorists and hands a small Middle Eastern child a bag of warm glazed donuts. Fade out.
Sorry, I got a little off track there but the point is that even Jack Bauer couldn’t save Krispy Kreme. Last year they closed nearly half of their Dallas-area stores.
I love the thrill of hitting an In-N-Out when I’m out of town. It’s a guilty pleasure. Perhaps putting an In-N-Out Burger location by Bachman Lake would ruin the allure, mystique, and fascination of procuring an animal-style double double. Should we be careful what we ask for?64 Comments »
I wasn’t going to say anything about this semi-official word on the street but The Advocate posted a note about it yesterday. They are reporting In-N-Out has six locations under contract. (No word on the commissary property.)
The commercial real estate dude I had dinner with last week who is “in on the deal” said it was nine locations with most of them “not in Dallas.” In other words, the folks at In-N-Out were interested in locations in the suburbs. So, there is all the sorta kinda news that just might fit one day.40 Comments »
In a post below, Andrew Chalk reports on the opening of ALDI market in Frisco. As usual, the conversation in the comments section steered off course and ended up with several readers obsessing about Trader Joe’s. The ubiquitous Twinwillow says, “Ahh, if only we got a few Trader Joe’s, I’d be a very happy camper!”
This statement brings up two questions. One: Are people who camp really happy? Two: Does Dallas need a Trader Joe’s? I recently revisited my old TJs in SoCal and I was not overly impressed. Sure it’s a cool store, but it’s no longer unique to the food scene. There was a time, not long ago, when I would have agreed with the Willowman. But the culinary winds in Dallas have shifted. Now we have more options for funky groceries. It may not be ALDI, but I’d love to see an H-Market open inside the loop. I be happy as an animal-style camper if they’d open an In-N-Out next door.
UPDATE: Whoopsie, Kim Pierce is talking TJ’s too.8 Comments »
My inbox is filling with messages from former employees of Popolos, the popular restaurant owned by Steve Hammond that closed on January 30. Of course, they are screaming one side of the story—they got screwed out of a job.
However, there is one common thread to their tales—apparently a long-time customer was in the house on closing night and he/she asked the manager what kind of severance package Hammond was handing out to the employees. From what I can piece together, the customer went nuts when he/she found out there was no severance package in the works. So, he/she handed the manager his/her credit card (Black American Express) and told her to charge $10,000 on the card and distribute the money to the staff. Several former staffers report that owner Hammond wasn’t too happy about that and a argument broke out in the dining room and the police were called.
Meanwhile, Hammond has opened reworked his Park Cities Prime into Preston’s, a chef driven (Jon Schwarzenberger) restaurant centered around local and organic ingredients with a Texas twist.20 Comments »
This is a weird coincidence. Yesterday, I wrote the post below about Peter Tarantino and scheduled it to run at 9 this morning. Before it was live, I got a phone call from a well-place source informing me that “there was a real Mexican revolution at Avila’s on Sunday.” Here’s the story: Ricky Avila, one of the nicest guys in the restaurant business, has been running his family’s restaurant for years. Ricky’s mother owns the building on Maple Avenue and the place has just been on steady cruise control. It turns out Peter Tarantino has been working with Ricky for the last year and Peter’s nephew, Michael, has been waiting tables.
Yow. Zah. Enter Avila’s debut on Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives. After host Guy Fieri left town last April, Avila’s business more than doubled. Apparently the uptake in money coming into the business fueled a real family feud. According to several former employees, Ricky and his wife left early Sunday morning for a two-week vacation in Hawaii. As the plane took off, Ricky’s brother Octavio “stormed into the restaurant on Sunday morning and fired almost everyone.” Both Tarantinos were let go (they are not a source for this post). One witness says, “Octavio said ‘I have a gun, and I will use it’” during the takeover. It sounds like Octavio staged his revolution a little carelessly. The liquor license is in Ricky’s name so legally Octavio can’t sell liquor. Also, Ricky found out about the fiasco before he boarded his connecting flight. Instead of hitting the beach in Hawaii, he turned around and came back to Dallas and called his lawyers. Stay tuned.11 Comments »
I was just catching up on the Dave-less City of Ate and found this line in Dallas Dude’s latest Toque To Toque report.
My health insurance at the Observer hasn’t kicked in yet. And I ate a lot of burgers.
Am I the only one who is curious about Dave’s departure? He was there on Friday and gone on Monday. Well, if Dallas Dude is the next Dave, then then a couple of male chauvinist pigs (wow that came from the dark recesses of my brain) over at Dallasfood.org will be happy as, well, pigs in slop. Some bloggers over there—Luniz, I’m looking at you—are hoping a male fills the Observer job. Luniz hopes “they don’t replace him with a chick.” Perhaps you men should subscribe to the Star-Telegram. Your boy is back doing reviews. Cue the Boss.13 Comments »
I had a brief conversation with Eddie “Primo’s” Cervantes. He confirmed that he is out of Hully & Mo’s and is going forward with a new Tex-Mex restaurant.1 Comment »
Yow. Zah. The boomerang has come back. Or will be coming back according to Mike “Scalp ‘Em” Hiller over on Escapehatch.com. On December 16, Hiller reported Mathew Antonovich, the chef behind III Forks, Sipango, and Antonovich’s Tuscan Grill in Far-North-maybe-Plano Dallas is returning to our city to open a spot called Tie Restaurant and Tie Bar. Hmm. Very interesting.
I can still taste a steak cooked at the gaudy-but-good Antonovich’s which was open for a nanosecond. The dude can cook. But he split town in the middle of the night to avoid creditors a few years ago and, according to one of my super-secret sources, reconciled his bad behavior with the Big Guy Upstairs.
Amywhoo, unsubstantiated vicious gossip aside, Hiller reports that Tie Restaurant will feature “Melting Pot Cooking.” “Fusion is not the right word,” reports Hiller. Apparently the menu will feature “a blend of cultures and cuisines that includes Thai, Vietnamese, Japanese, Chinese, Indian, and Middle Eastern.” No deets on the location. However, Ellis Island, birthplace of “Wretched Refuse Cuisine,” is not a possibility. Matt, give me a call. 214-939-3636.2 Comments »
So, you all know Leslie Brenner is on a diet, right. She is on one she very cleverly invented called The Restaurant Critic’s Diet. Good stuff. She has lost 9 pounds without sacrificing her dedication to her job as a dining critic.
In an article written by Teresa Gubbins, the skinny bitch over at PegNews, demands more details from La Brenner. TG wants to see before and after shots of Brenner’s project and Brenner’s starting and ending weight. Methinks not happening.
However, as she always does, Teresa brings up an interesting topic: Is Mathew McConaughey as good in bed as he is on his surf board. Wait, that wasn’t Teresa. TGub believes that people want to know insider-y details about restaurant critics: What do we look like? Where do we eat on our own dime penny? Where do we live? Whom do we date? What language does our husband speak? How many cats do we have? You know, very intimate things about our secret lives.
To satiate your curiosity, and to keep you away from Pinkberry, I thought I’d share a “morning after” picture that I accidentally snapped last year. It is not staged. I like to call it “Banana Cream Pie at Midnight.” (Click on it to make it bigger.) If you can tell me where the pie was paid for, I’ll tell you how much I weigh.22 Comments »
I am hard at work on the next issue of D Magazine. (Translation: I am perfecting the fine art of procrastination by reading every blog in town.) In a post on December 14 on Eatsblog, Leslie “Catch a Falling Pound” Brenner, announced that frequent foodie blog commenter Dallas Dude was “a real person” and was joining the Eatsblog as a community blogger. She writes:
You may know him from his comments as Dallas Dude, but Steven Doyle is a real person — one who, in his job in high-tech sales, does a lot of driving around the DFW. As he does so, he keeps an eye open for great-looking spots to eat. I’m pleased to tell you that Steven will be joining us as a community blogger… Steven Doyle loves Indian, Chinese, “other ethnic cuisines,” and taqueries; his favorite restaurants include La Calle Dolce, York Street and Kalachandji’s Palace and Restaurant.
A few minutes later I discover a City of Ate post written on January 4 by Mr. Dave “Fairies” Faries. Mr. F announces the new line-up for City of Ate 2010 which includes this:
On Thursday, newcomer Steve Doyle pits one restaurant against another in Toque To Toque. It’s a dish against dish battle for supremacy.
I’m confused. Is Dallas Dude a real person or is Steve Doyle a real person? Is the City of Ate Steve Doyle the same as the Eatsblog Steven Doyle? Do both Doyles love Kalachandji’s? Dallas Dude, (I know you’re there), what’s going on? How can you be two places at once when you’re not anywhere at all?9 Comments »
That is what I hear. Just south of the center next to the Centennial across from Houston’s.16 Comments »
|Moving the Four Seasons European-style market in Garland indoors was a bust for several vendors. “The building was too far away from the action,” said one vendor who threatened my dog’s life if I revealed his/her name. “The food people did okay, but there were some unhappy sellers.” I guess Dallas is not indoor European-style, we prefer to act European in the great outdoors.|
|According to a person who was really on the street, the valet service at Dish misplaced DMN dining critic Leslie Brenner’s car. Eventually they located it. Wonder if Dish will ever find their lost star? A snitch on a cul-de-sac reports Ms. Brenner had no problem with valet after any of her three visits to the Rosewood Mansion on Turtle Creek.|
|A musical-lovin’ diner and a group of friends went to see South Pacific this weekend. Before he/she/they had 101 pounds of fun at the AT&T Performing Arts Center, he/she/they dined at Screen Door, excuse me, Screendoor. In particular, they ordered the $30 pre-theater dinner package. “I love David McMillan,” said he/she/they. “And he was there but the food was way below average.” Sub-par shrimp and grits? I know what to get chef McMillan for Christmas.|
One of my snitches tells me that Abraham Salum (Salum’s) is sniffing around the local real estate for another location.10 Comments »
Yesterday I posted a Disher’s complaint about Zorba’s. Several commenters disagreed with the anonymous complainant and the owner, Pavlos Guiatas, posted a rebuttal. I thought, in the end, it was a discussion that provoked interest in Zorba’s.
I hate to say that I’m smart, but I receive a lot of e-mails from people trying to cyber-bash a restaurant. Usually I can tell if the note comes from someone on the inside or a disgruntled employee—they tend to know too much and the note is usually a personal attack and not a general complaint about an experience.
So, I ask you. I view this space as an open forum for discussion. Do I post anonymous complaints? Do I e-mail them back and say “I will post your complaint if you give me your real name?” Or do I hit delete? It’s your space. Define it.38 Comments »
Hmm, something fishy is going on at Preston Forest Shopping Center. Perhaps there are too many restaurants and not enough customers. (Living up to Tom Colicchio’s assesment of me as a “rumor monger,” I will whisper that Chic From Barcelona could be next girl out. But that’s just a rumor.) My last count of places to eat at PFSC hovered close to 25. Today Mike Hoque will close Fish Express at Preston Forest and look to reopen at a location near Preston and Northwest Highway. The press release spins:
“With the successful launch of the brand’s second store in Frisco at Warren and Dallas Parkway, owner Mike Hoque saw the potential of being located in a denser destination retail location and decided to pursue a new location in North Dallas. Hoque is looking at locations near Preston and Northwest Highway.”
Whatever. Semantics. The location didn’t work. Denser retail location? How’s West Village working out for you, Lazare?8 Comments »