After months of delay, Sylvan | Thirty is finally breaking ground at 10:30 this morning. The Mayor and a variety of other local business people are supposed to make an appearance. Personally, I’m more looking forward to seeing Teiichi Sakurai, since he’s opening a fish market there. I’m still wondering what he’s going to name it.
The DMN reported that the George W. Bush Presidential Center’s restaurant is going to be called Cafe 43. “Dallas-based Culinaire will run the complex’s food operations,” writes Tom Benning. And former first lady Laura Bush will be very involved with the design of the restaurant, as well as selecting the chef. The space will be open for lunch every day.
Trader Joe’s is (probably) moving into Inwood Village. Cantina Laredo closes to make room. Teresa Gubbins on CultureMap has the scoopage, and it turns out that our little birdy from last September was correct after all. There’s just one problem: parking. But TJ’s is good at navigating impossible parking situations. So, there’s hope.
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The debate is officially over. Sorry, East Dallas; sorry, Lakewood, North Dallas, Far East Dallas, and everyone else who wants a slice of Jerrier in their neighborhood. Zoli’s NY Pizza Tavern, a place for pizza lovers who hate Cane Rosso, is moving to Oak Cliff, according to Teresa Gubbins. The “leader in the clubhouse” turned out to be Bee’s old space.
Have you visited the Trinity River Audubon Center? If not, please make an attempt to visit this special facility. I’m biased because I’m an avid birder and I support the center in as many ways as possible. Today, Bolsa/Bolsa Mercado Owner, Chris “Pileated Woodpecker” Zielke announced their exclusive catering program with TRAC. The facility is a perfect place for special events such as weddings, corporate meetings, and charity events. Chef Jeff “Blue Heron” Harris will make anything from box lunches to multi-course formal dinners. Both businesses are focused on sustainability, organic practices, and commitment to community. Here’s a link to learn more.5 Comments »
While I’ve been hiding in my Netflix cave these last couple days, the world has kept spinning. A crazy amount of things have happened. For example, did you know that McDonald’s is releasing its line of Fish McBites early this year for a limited time only? Yes, I know. Life changing.
And then there’s this cool little fact about my favorite Dallas baker/tweeter. Joe the Baker, who is currently working as a consultant for Spoon and as an instructor at Le Cordon Bleu, has competed on Food Network’s Sweet Genius. Anyone who make make snazzy gingerbread man cookies (here’s the recipe, c/o Entree Dallas) is more than a-okay in my book. The show airs on January 3 at 9 p.m. CST. Set your DVRs, SideDishers. This episode looks pretty intense from the summary.
Chef Ron introduces the chefs to his rock-and-roll first inspiration: an electric guitar. It’s crunch time when the chefs get a fruity cereal as their mandatory ingredient. In the second test, the chefs learn that there is no place like Chef Ron’s World of Desserts as they make candy confections from a strawberry drink and a yellow pepper. For the cake test, the finalists get a fiesta favorite as an inspiration, but will they be partying when they see the mandatory ingredients?
Competitors: Joseph Baker, Caroline Braslow, Taria Camerino, Joey Glaser
Chef Jeffery Hobbs will be the executive chef at American F+B, the new comfort restaurant in Fort Worth opening in 2013. Teresa Gubbins is all over it. She says that Hobbs will not be opening his own restaurant, like he promised us after he left Sissy’s back in September. My dreams of a potential restaurant called Hobbity Hobbs, to open in conjunction with the premier of The Hobbit, are now dashed. Sad day.
Babb Bros BBQ and Blues opens this Thursday on November 29 at Trinity Groves. Nancy said it would open in early November, but you know how restaurant timelines work. There’s always some kind of delay. The important thing is that Midwestern-style barbecue has found a home in Dallas at the Babb Bros. And once the TABC license arrives, according to Thrillist, there’ll be plenty of drinking to be done in West Dallas.
Heinz has a new jalapeno ketchup. I don’t know how I feel about this. It feels like a betrayal on the original.
Usually Bradford nails his posts on Frontburner, but his ranking system for best Hostess products is completely out of order. I get it; he’s honoring Hostess products now that the company is shutting down after the union strike, but why in the world are fake orangey cupcakes his favorite Hostess snack? Twinkies are classic. Twinkies have books written about them. If there is ever a nuclear war, Twinkies are the snack you’d stuff into your survival bag and eat with the stub of your leftover right hand.3 Comments »
Okay, I lied. There’s no booze in this post, but if you’d like to win one of four pairs of tickets to Deep Ellum Brewing Co.’s Anniversary Party, go enter your heart out before tomorrow at noon. Some entrants apparently have their love lives hanging on the line.
Onto the news…
Chuck E. Cheese announces new gluten-free pizza and cupcake options. Since November is Gluten-Free Diet Awareness Month, Chuck E. Cheese is getting mighty fancy with its new Bake-in-Pizza bag from a gluten-free facility in New Jersey. I don’t know how appetizing that sounds, but I guess if kids like it, that’s all that matters.
Mockingbird Taproom opens early December. The new burger and sports bar will open at Mockingbird Station with 40 beers on tap and 20 plasma TVs. The menu items are typical gastro-pub fare (burgers, wings, salads, and Tex-Mex style tacos), and certainly nothing to go crazy about, but the names of these items are… well, let’s just say… unusual. A signature starter called “Suicide Fries” is not the least bit appealing, even if it does come with queso. (For one thing, why would you pair a word as serious as ‘suicide’ next to ‘fries’?) And a burger named “The Love Shack” will probably have Tim Love trying to break down the Taproom’s doors. Let’s not also forget that one of the wing sauces is called Y.G.H.U.T (you’re gonna hate us tomorrow!). It’s not only a pain to type out, it’ll be a pain to say out loud inside a noisy bar with 20 plasma TVs.
UrbanDaddy Dallas does not like the $62 nachos at Max’s Wine Dive. The editors of UrbanDaddy launched a skeptical investigation of Max’s nachos topped with caviar. They came back, disgusted. Now that they mention it, I’m thinking of hiring a nacho intern myself. Or maybe we should just share one, UrbanDaddy.1 Comment »
Every once in a while, usually in a doctor’s office, I come across a magazine article that compels me to tear it out and save for future reference. Thankfully, this piece titled “The Truth Behind Food Labels” is not only in print, you can read it online. In the May-June issue of Audubon magazine, Gretel H. Schueller writes a straightforward guide, for lack of a better word, to the labels on food items that promote an array of feel-good, environment-friendly assertions. You see “cage free,” “hormone free,” “all natural,” “organic,” “fair trade,” and “biodynamic” in stores everywhere. Which designations are authentic? Schueller details the good, bad, and the ugly truths behind the label and the greenwashing of food items. Bullet points:
Free Range: When it comes to “free range” and “free roaming,” all a poultry farmer needs to show is “that the poultry has been allowed access to the outside,”… The animals may get only short periods outside in a cramped area—the USDA considers five minutes adequate to approve use of the claim. There are no restrictions regarding what the birds can be fed.
American Humane Certified: A program of the American Humane Association, this label permits both caged and cage-free options for egg-laying hens. A caged hen can be crammed into a space the size of a sheet of paper. Forced molting through starvation is prohibited, but beak cutting is allowed.
Dolphin Safe: This is a partially certified claim because the National Marine Fisheries Service verifies only tuna caught from a specific region—the eastern tropical Pacific Ocean—and not all tuna. Tuna from this designated area might bear a label that includes the additional phrase “US Department of Commerce.” Tuna caught outside this area and labeled “dolphin safe” has not been independently substantiated. To muddy the waters further, the dolphin-safe label is not licensed by any single organization, so there are no universal standards in place and most companies have developed their own logos.
The bottom line: If you see Cruelty Free, Cage free, Environmentally Friendly, Nature’s Friend, No Chemicals, Vegetarian Fed on a package, disregard it. The vague labels mean nothing and have no standards to back them. Anybody can say any of those things about anything. Trust is gone. (This post was written in a certified caged and toxic environment.) READ THIS NOW.7 Comments »
I’m a sucker for birds. So is Mexican artist Luis Sottil. You may have seen his work in other Mi Cocina restaurants: he currently has paintings in six other restaurants. The mural at the new Mi Cocina in Lakewood, in the old Matt’s space, is scheduled to open in July. Sottill uses only natural pigments such as cochinella, mother of pearl, minerals, vegetables dyes, and14kt gold in his paintings. For this painting he was inspired by these birds: “Hooded Oriole, Altamira, Golden Cheeked Warbler, Painted Bunting, Texas Hummingbirds, and the Northern Mockingbird.” Tex-Mex for Twitchers!
UPDATE: Scott from dallasfood.org brings up a good point in the comments section. Several of the birds listed above would be a rare sighting at White Rock Lake. The press release reads:
This is the first time Sottil has studied the local natural environment and incorporated it into his Mi Cocina murals. The artist has chosen to feature birds including the Hooded Oriole, Altamira, Golden Cheeked Warbler, Painted Bunting, Texas Hummingbirds and, of course, the Northern Mockingbird.
Luis Sottil was inspired by his research of the history and “exuberant beauty” of White Rock Lake and the Lakewood area, and it reminded him of the lush biodiversity on his native Tampico, Mexico. In particular, Sottil was drawn to the many colorful birds that are common inhabitants of White Rock Lake which reminded him of home.
Hmm. Methinks Sottil should seek the advice of JR Compton and switch out the golden cheeked warbler for a monk parakeet. If you truly want to represent the “exuberant beauty” of White Rock Lake.
I once made my opinion of the (worthless) honeydew melon very clear. Today I bring up the yucky chicken wing. They have never appealed to me but apparently I am in the minority. This morning comes word from the National Chicken Council: “More than 1.25 billion wings will be consumed during Super Bowl weekend (100 million pounds!), and, if they were laid end-to-end they would circle the circumference of the Earth – more than twice – a distance that would reach approximately a quarter of the way to the moon.”
My initial response is: if you can circle the earth twice, why don’t you just drop off a few million pounds in places where one chicken for a village causes more excitement than the Super Bowl.
My secondary response is actually a question: How many chickens does it take to make 25 billion chicken wings. Hah! You say: do the math dummy; one chicken has only two wings. But your assumption would be wrong. I turned to the Wing-onomics department (true!) at The National Chicken Council for an answer.
You’ll have to jump because you, like chickens, cannot fly.6 Comments »
Raya has told you where to go if you want to watch the game in public. However many of us prefer to view the game from the comfort of our own couch with a few friends and dogs. A commenter, who wants to party at home, asks what she can cook to represent each team. I know you will be tempted to say roasted a few Northern Cardinals. There are six of them in my front yard this very second. You can buy Nolan Ryan’s beef at Kroger and maybe do some toasted ravioli.
I say we get this party started! Get creative. Go Rangers!4 Comments »
The opening reviews for Sutra in Plano coming across our Twitter feed are, to say the least, mixed. Some followers are raving while others are swearing they will never go back. Anybody out there have anything to say? If you want to read the feed, DSideDish.10 Comments »
If your birdbath is frozen, please de-ice it and fill with fresh water. Repeat as it freezes. Your backyard birds will thank you.6 Comments »
Last Friday I was staring out of my window when a rose-breasted grosbeak landed on my safflower feeder in East Texas. I’d never seen one before–they are migrating through Texas to the cool summer climates in the Northern US and Canada. He’s a stunner with a dark black hood, thick beak, rose-colored chest, and white belly. It and it took me half a day to get this short clip. I ended up taping my iPhone to the raccoon baffle and letting it film until he showed up again. Surprise ending. Enjoy.
A loyal Disher with a head for grammar and a bod for cycling reports a sends this picture for identification. He/she reports “thousands” are currently in his/her yard. They are cedar waxwings. I think they are lovely and fun to watch. Some people around this office hate them because they eat all of the berries in the bushes and poop on their car. If you see a flock of this distinguished bird in your yard, cover your windows. The berries ferment in their stomachs and they “get drunk” and will crash into anything.
Also, several people have noted the sudden invasion of a “big brown bird with an orange breast.” American robins. I still have goldfinches at my feeders. Anyone else? They’re about to split the scene.8 Comments »
Because I firmly believe that procrastination is part of the creative process, I will take a break from working and share this video with you. I filmed it last summer in Frankston, Texas. It stars Bill, an Eastern Bluebird, who has been living with his “wife” Hillary at my family’s lake house for four seasons, and one of his sons, Sonny Jim. “Together,” Bill and Hillary and I have “raised” around 48 fledglings. In the process I have spent hundreds thousands of dollars on mealworms. Why? Because the second I walk out of my house and whistle, they show up. And it makes me happy.6 Comments »
I know this is a food blog but I am home sick and bored. And Amy Severson just commented that her neighborhood is full of cedar waxwings. So is mine! Here is a post I wrote last year on cedar waxwings. So far today I also have seen American goldfinches, house finches, titmice, chickadees, downy woodpeckers, great blue herons, great egrets, red-bellied woodpeckers, ruby-crowned kinglets, and white-winged doves from the window in my home office. Okay, I’ll shut up now.15 Comments »