I’ve been doing some work behind the scenes updating our restaurant directory. We have a bazillion Japanese/Sushi restaurants in our files. There are almost as many burger joints. I have to wonder: Do you people eat sushi every night? If not, give me an average of how many meals a week you eat sushi.13 Comments »
For those of you who don’t remember Dallas native Alex Stein from ABC’s The Glass House, that’s probably a good thing. The villainous 24-year-old (now 26) was at the center of the show’s first-and-only-season’s drama – and he paid for it. Stein was kicked off the show in the second week and, according to him, even received death threats (which, weirdly, he takes as a compliment). Don’t worry, though. Stein is back with a vengeance in the Food Network’s Worst Cooks in America, and he wants people to know one thing: he’s here to entertain. The new season premieres on Sunday, February 17 at 8 p.m.
Christina Colavecchia: What motivated you to try out for Worst Cooks in America? Are you actually a horrible cook?
Alex Stein: I’m not a great cook. One time I was at Lake Cyprus Springs, literally 20 people, 10 girls, 10 guys and I was like, “Oh, I’ll cook the burgers.” Sure enough, I got every single girl sick. The only people that didn’t get sick were the ones that had the hotdogs, and you can’t really get sick from a hotdog.
The way the show works is someone has to nominate you. I made my roommate in L.A. some chicken wings. I literally just put them in a pan, I cooked them, and I got him deathly ill. We had to go to the urgent care clinic. So he nominated me and once [the producers] had me in there, I brought this video of those girls I got sick. [The producers] liked my personality and they said “Bam! We want you on the show.”3 Comments »
3 Comments »
Eater National just announced on Twitter that Food Network’s Queen of Semi-Homemade, Sandra Lee, is launching a new eponymous magazine that’ll ”cover all aspects of living well — from cooking and entertainment to fashion and style.” Frightening. Let’s just cross our fingers and hope this woman doesn’t commit any more cake crimes.
Jason posted a version of this on Frontburner last week, but he forgot to add that most of the worst write-ins for Best of Big D voting were found in the Food and Drink categories. Anyways, here are the answers that gave us the stitches. Some of these people should probably learn how to spell the name of their favorite restaurants…
Who makes the best burger in Dallas?
What is the best pizza place?
Jump for more laughs.4 Comments »
The M Crowd has announced an agreement with The Chevy Chase Land Company to open a Mi Cocina restaurant at The Collection at Chevy Chase, a luxury shopping destination located just ten minutes from downtown Washington, D.C. I’m sure former President George W. Bush wonders why his good buddy Ray Washburne, founder and part owner of Mi Cocina and Highland Park Village, waited to move Dallas Tex-Mex to D.C. until he was out of office. Perhaps Washburne is planning to spend more time in the nation’s capitol and I don’t mean making tacos. Could happen. He’s the kind of guy politicians like to court over strong margaritas. Today MCrowd owns 21 restaurants in Texas, Oklahoma, and Atlanta. Tomorrow, the world?
[Fun Fact from co-worker: "As someone who lived not far from The Collection at Chevy Chase, it would probably take at least 25 minutes to get to downtown DC from there."]1 Comment »
We live in a strange world with strange food fads. First, there was edible dirt, which birthed out of Copenhagen’s Noma. Then, in 2011, London had its own scary bout of breast milk ice cream called “Baby Gaga” that sold for $22 a scoop. According to a WSJ article that came out yesterday, now that it’s the height of barbecue season, some chefs are getting all kinds of crazy with edible ash made from hay and several kinds of burned vegetables.
Boston chef Frank McClelland, for instance, coats his food in ash and “sees potential for vegetable ash as a kind of breakfast spread—a wake-up call that could work better than jelly atop a buttered English muffin. ‘You need a little caveman in the morning,’ he says.”
Ashes on top of English muffins and bagels?? I’d rather eat my jelly and cream cheese. Ashes belong at the bottom of barbecue grills and in David Bowie songs.3 Comments »
I’ve cruised past the construction site of John Tesar’s new restaurant, Spoon in Preston Center, several times this month and noticed zero activity. The permits were not on the windows and there was no construction taking place. Yesterday I checked Tesar’s Facebook and Twitter accounts, then texted and called him, and nothing. Last night I spoke with his rep, Bev Garvin. She says all is well and construction is “back underway.” They are preparing to knock down the front of the space and, after that, “expect a six-to-eight week turnaround.”
I asked her Tesar’s whereabouts and she giggled a bit. “I can’t tell you,” she said. “I only get to talk to him when they allow him access to phones or when they let him have phones.”
After I lifted my jaw off my desk, I asked, “Well, should I check the roster at Betty Ford Clinic or San Quentin?” She giggled again, nervously. “No, it’s all good I can’t tell you. If you poke around you might find out more.” She did say he would be back in Dallas on July 31.
I don’t feel like poking, so let’s play “Where’s John Tesar?” Prize worth $100 to the winner. (Some people, and you know who you are, are not eligible to play.)
I am going out on a long white oak limb here: Meditating in India.
Okay, your turn, GO!34 Comments »
In conjunction with July’s Best Suburbs issue, I’m traveling to 10 different ‘burbs in the DFW area for a semi-weird cross-city food tour. I’ll be documenting all my finds in these ‘Burbalicious posts that’ll be peppered throughout June and July. If you feel like your suburb deserves a shot at some SideDish love, email me and I’ll ask my Magic 8 ball if I should go. Last time, I went to Irving.
I didn’t think it was the brightest idea when Jason, the Web Editor, suggested that I find an ethnic restaurant in Sunnyvale, the whitest town in North Texas. Mary Dews, a previous counselor for the Dallas Tenants Association in the mid-1980s, filed a lawsuit against the city this year for perpetuating racial segregation and Sunnyvale’s maintenance of its all-white character. Memories of sitting across from skinheads in St. Petersburg’s subways suddenly came to mind when Jason told me to travel to Sunnyvale. It was one of the last suburbs on my list to visit. I dreaded the trip.
I figured it’d make big headlines if someone killed an Asian woman in Sunnyvale (or at least make it onto Frontburner), and Jason would inevitably feel terrible guilt for making me go there. That’s the worse that could happen, right? Yelp led me to a Wai Cafe, a restaurant that serves Chinese food and burgers. Entirely skeptical of this concept, Desiree and I drove 15 miles east of Dallas towards 3839 North Belt Line Road where we found the most fascinating Chinese restaurant I’ve ever had the pleasure of visiting… in the whitest town of North Texas.
In the mornings I listen to WRR Classical 101.1 FM on the way to work because I’m a nerd, so imagine my surprise when they followed Dvorak’s New World Symphony with a commercial interruption about – get this – dating. Apparently, there are pheromone parties where people grab t-shirts from a pile and date the person whose scent smells best. You think I’m joking? I’m completely serious. The real kicker was when the commercial guy started talking about weed dating. WEED DATING. For one night a year, Earthly Delights farm in Boise, Idaho opens its grounds to participants who haven’t been so lucky in love. This year 40 people showed up to pluck weeds from rows of tomatoes, zucchinis, and lettuce. Women stayed put while the men rotated like crops.
Sounds like it’s time to start flocking to farms instead of bars, all you single ladies. Right? Nothing is sexier than a 21st century man pulling weeds and sweating his glands out. Mmm. Those pheromones sure do smell good.1 Comment »
It’s 1 a.m. and you have a massive cupcake craving that’s ruining your entire night. What do you do? Suck it up? Brave the night, albeit cupcakeless, as man was designed to do since the very beginning of time?
No, because starting as early as fall, word has it that you can go to a cupcake ATM at Sprinkles‘ Plaza at Preston Center location for a late-night snack. The machine is supposed to hold 600 cupcakes at one time, and, according to Bradford Pearson on Park Cities People, “the cupcakes are cycled out to maintain freshness. All uneaten cakes go to a local charity.”
Pray, tell me which local charity would want stale Sprinkles cupcakes? The fresh ones are honestly scary enough. It’s a simple mathematical formula for those of you who understand equations. 1 Sprinkles cupcake consumed = 1 new cavity created.
Convenience has reached a whole new level of ridiculosity. I fear for future generations.18 Comments »
George Lewis already mentioned Deep Ellum Outdoor Market’s food truck rally that’s happening on Saturday, but researchers say that repetition is necessary for information to be stored in your short-term memory. That’s why, as a public service to you, I’m saying it again. See how kind I am?
A two year anniversary event may not seem like the biggest deal ever, but for Brandon Castillo, the Director of Deep Ellum Outdoor Market, it’s an achievement.
“I’m really proud of having been able to survive for two years, and being able to move out of my parents’ house is nice,” he says. Continue reading "Deep Ellum Outdoor Market Shuts Down Main Street for Two Year Anniversary Event"1 Comment »
I wanted you to be the first to get the good news. I know how much you love beer, especially those crafted in Bean Town, but pretty soon you’ll be able to get a taste of Texas beer, more specifically beer made right here in Dallas. Next week two dudes from Deep Ellum Brewing Company (DEBC, yo) will deliver da goods (Deep Ellum IPA, Farmhouse Wit, Double Brown Stout, Rye Pils) to two spots you probably already frequent: Deep Ellum, a bar in Allston rated by Draft Magazine as one of the top beer bars in America and Ale House in Amesbury. Hope all is well. Loved Ted, hate seeing the Sox at .500 (it’s a long season, bro), and tell Paul to send me that dessert recipe from Alma Nove. Y’all need to serve it at Wahlburgers. Hingham rocks!
Nancy4 Comments »
Ever since mixologist Jason Kosmas hit town in 2010, he’s been a busy guy. In less than two years he’s shaken and stirred at Neighborhood Services Tavern, Bolsa, and Marquee Grill. Today he told me he is starting The 86 Company, which introduce new brands of spirits. “I have been working on this for years but it is finally coming to fruition,” Kosmas said. “My partners, who are rooted in the craft cocktail movement, and I will collaborate with some of the best distillers in the world to make liquids and brands that are geared towards mixing in cocktails.”
So far, they have created four brands: Aylesbury Duck Vodka, Cana Brava Rum, Fords Gin, and Tequila Cabeza. “The products are all made to be tools for the bartender,” said Kosmas. “The informative and whimsical labels speak to that.”
Kosmas will remain in Dallas. “In fact, we are doing our initial launch in Dallas before New York City or California,” he said. He is still working at Marquee Grill but he is no longer a day-to-day manager on the floor. The 86 Company will make it’s debut at Craft Cocktail Texas which takes place June 14-17.
Kosmas elaborates below: Continue reading "Distilling Spirits: Veteran Bartender Jason Kosmas Launches The 86 Company"12 Comments »
We had so much fun the first time we played this game. Let’s play it again. Can you guess the name of this restaurant?20 Comments »
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 »
Several of you smarty pants sent me snarky emails about the not one, but two posts we ran yesterday on National Grilled Cheese Day. Apparently a couple of folks on our staff were so jacked up about NGCSD they couldn’t contain their joy. What’s the shame? Almost every food has a day, week, month, or a year. Like many other holidays we celebrate, these celebratory days are designed to keep marketing people employed.
In the spirit of supporting job growth in the United States, I bring you three foods you can eat this weekend that will stimulate gastric juices and the economy. (BTW, yesterday’s frenzy over the GCS overshadowed the fact that is was also National Licorice Day. Bummer for licorice, eh?) Today is National Peach Cobbler Day. I bet there isn’t a fresh peach in the northern hemisphere so you may have to celebrate Del-Monte style. Tomorrow is National Pecan Day! Dig that! And Sunday is National Glazed-Spiral Ham Day, not to be confused with National Baked Ham with Pineapple Day. You already missed that one.
I’m saving my calories for Eat Hot Chocolate Chip Cookies off George Clooney’s Belly Day! What day are you saving your calories for?5 Comments »
Last night, a beer-making man asked me for my opinion. He wanted me to listen to some of the names he is workshopping for a Dallas-brewed beer. I told him I get paid for my opinions. (In truth, all of his ideas were moronic and demanding payment for my golden ideas was an easy way out of stating the obvious.) After we hung up, I thought of you. All of you who are so devilish and clever. He should consider himself lucky I’m tossing his question out there for all of you to answer. Do it. I swear if he uses any of them, I will get paid. For you, of course. Go.4 Comments »
Yes, it’s a slow news day but that doesn’t mean we can’t make some up. We spend a lot of time talking pros and cons of the cuisines available in Dallas so let’s put some effort into daydreaming about new ideas. If you could move one restaurant here, which one would it be? If you could bolster the profile of one cuisine, what would it be? I don’t know if you consider hot dogs a cuisine, but I’d love to see, for lack of a better term, gourmet hot dog and sausage restaurants with great beer lists and inventive side dishes and salads. Also, soup! Hot or cold. Okay, your turn. Go.58 Comments »
How many times have you returned from a vacation and rushed to your favorite restaurant for a fix of your favorite food? For almost 20 years, I drove from the airport to Mi Cocina in Preston Royal and went face down in a plate of nachos. Then came In-N-Out. Okay, so Andrew doesn’t love it. He’s British. He ingests cans of Spotted Dick Sponge Pudding and Vegemite, a nasty paste I use as a bug killer.
I lived in California for 11 years so perhaps I am experiencing the reverse-home-town-food-nostalgia syndrome that affects older people because when I returned from vacation last week, I drove straight to In-N-Out and devoured a DDAS (double-double animal style) like a rabid coyote. EVERYBODY knows you order the fries crispy at INO. Everybody but Andrew.
Anywhoo, where do you go when you re-enter your life in Dallas?