On Tuesday night, Urban Acres partnered with Joel Salatin (the monumentally celebrated sustainable farmer and author from Virginia) and some pretty awesome local chefs to present a Steward’s Dinner at Four Cornery Brewery. We entered through the makeshift barn doors and an immediate wave of camaraderie passed over us. Everyone there was passionate about food. The Brewery – with its wide open warehouse space, bright metallic brewing containers, and beer posters adorning the walls – was filled with many attractive, clean faces. I don’t know if it’s because these people eat so well or maybe Urban Acres has a Handsome Clause in its member selection, but the room was brimming with good breeders. It seemed as though we were all on some magical food team together and couldn’t wait to share our encouragement and passion for sustainable living practices.1 Comment »
I almost didn’t do this post. Making my own bacon was a learning experience. And not the cool kind. I’m into learning experiences where I either learn that I’m immediately good at something or I learn because documentaries are educational.* This wasn’t like that.
I figured bacon makin’ would be a challenge, of course, but I also assumed that there would be a vision-quest type of aspect to it. I mean, seeing a pork belly transform into bacon – how can that not be a spiritual enterprise? I thought that through the bacon, I would connect with my spirit animal** and learn some universal truth about life. No dice. I did learn some things – many of which could safely be filed under the header “How Not to Make Bacon at Home Properly.” If only an emoticon existed to express my feelings.5 Comments »
Who needs CNN, Reuter’s, WSJ, Gallup, entry polls, and exit polls? We pretty much know who is going to get all of Texas’ electoral votes so we might as well have some fun with it. Ruthie’s Cheesesteak food truck is conducting their own informal poll. You vote by your purchase of The Obamarama or The Romninator. Get the results on Ruthie’s Facebook page. I’d like to say that this is one of the silliest things that I’ve seen in this election until I found this.
Mesa needs more love.
At the media dinner I was invited to last night, there wasn’t a single breathing soul in the restaurant besides the bloggers and writers tasting the new menu by Raul Reyes, owner and chef extraordinaire of Mesa Veracruz Coastal Cuisine. Sure, it was a Wednesday evening, but it was still surprisingly empty for a restaurant of such high caliber.
Perhaps Reyes’ new fall menu can persuade enough people to venture out to the adventurous side of Oak Cliff, where Mesa is squeezed between a pawn shop and bakery.
Jump for some sweet shots by Melisa Oporto. Continue reading "Mesa’s New Fall Menu is Spectacular"
I write to you today as a former food truck skeptic. I’d eat every doubtful word that ever crossed my lips if there were any room left in my stomach after my Saturday night chow-down at the grand opening of the Cedars Food Park at Dallas Heritage Village.
Eighteen of the city’s most popular food trucks gathered in the clearing in Dallas’ first city park to feed hundreds of hungry patrons, most of whom were already avid food truck diners. Folk band The Sicklies played tunes best enjoyed from one of the many rocking chairs on front porches of 19th century homes. I chose to enjoy them from the front porch of the saloon, staffed by the bartenders of Lee Harvey’s, with a pilsner from Deep Ellum Brewing Company in one hand and a pulled pork po’ boy from Rockn’ Rick’s in the other. The classic combination of tender pulled pork flavored by a tangy, sweet barbecue sauce and dill pickle chips in a buttery toasted roll changed the way I will think of mobile cuisine. I won’t say it was the best pulled pork I’ve had in Dallas, but it was one tasty sandwich.
Jump if you love mobile munchies.6 Comments »
Celebration Farmers Market: I have good news and bad news from Celebration this week. There were some inquiries as to whether Holleman Farms made it last week at all, or would ever make it with the Red Wattle pork. The good news is that they did make it out with the pork last week and it was extremely popular, so it will return. The bad news is that if you loved it, and want more, you’ll have to wait. They’ve left town on vacation and won’t be at the market at all. They’ll be back next weekend with the Red Wattle pork, and all the farm fresh chicken and eggs that they usually have. Do not despair. Jerry from Joy Farms will have all his usual produce and herbs, including pepinex seedless cucumbers, fresh basil, tomatoes, fireball peppers, and squash. Mozzarella Company will have fresh and pecan smoked mozzarella cheese to soothe your porkless soul.
4515 W. Lovers Ln.
Saturday, 8:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
Frisco Farmers Market: Mary B Cakes will be out with her fantastically moist loaf breads including my beloved bread pudding loaf – available for a limited time. After having tried nearly all of them (and then running five miles to stave off the guilt), I came to realize that what I like about her loaf breads is that with the exception of the chocolate flavor, they’re not too sweet to have for breakfast. Even the Madagascar vanilla makes a nice compliment to a bowl of fresh fruit which can be easily obtained from D-Bar farms. Strawberries are still in and melons are plentiful enough to cause concern that one might roll over on their table and squash squash. Buy a melon and save a squash, or just buy squash, slice them, and toss them into a skillet with some butter over medium heat until the middles are translucent and the edges are slightly brown. Dust lightly with sea salt and enjoy as a side item with dinner. Not only is that the easiest side item you’ll ever make, it’s a much better fate for a squash.
6048 Frisco Square Blvd.
Saturday, 8:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.
Jump if you like markets. Continue reading "Farm to Market Report: Weekend of July 14-15"
I’ve done a decent amount of travel around Dallas as part of my own personal taco crusade. But unfortunately, my taco radar is pretty much dark across the taco dense region just east of Harry Hines and north of Northwest Highway. A few establishments have crossed my path in this area, but one experience in particular which involved a tiny, no-name roadside taqueria, lack of electricity and refrigeration and a putrid, spoiled pork barbacoa taco, has left such a sour taste in my mouth that I rarely adventure there these days.
Luckily, I was redirected back to the area by the highly respected taco tycoon, Jose Ralat-Maldonado of Taco Trail fame. When this dude tells you to make a trip somewhere, it’s best not to question his authority. This particular outing brought me to a previously unheard of joint called La Nueva Fresh and Hot. I am a sucker for fresh, I’m a sucker for hot, I’m even a sucker for neuva. How could I go wrong? I couldn’t.
Read on amigos…1 Comment »
I’ll be quick and to the point: Canary By Gorji is the most underrated restaurant in Dallas. Every time I eat there I am seduced by the creative cooking and I fall in love with Chef Mansour Gorji.
I took my family to Canary By Gorji for dinner last night and we had a comfortable, laid-back dining experience. (I don’t have pictures because I didn’t use my cell phone.) The music, service, food, and atmosphere all work together to produce a calm atmosphere. We left happy and I didn’t feel like I’d just worked a review.
If you’ve eaten at this small, mostly Mediterranean-inspired restaurant, you have met Gorji. When he isn’t at a market buying fresh ingredients, he is in his kitchen creating unique dishes or visiting with customers. He was the first chef to champion the pomegranate, which he still uses as a garnish on steaks and in sauces. Last night, I devoured a celery root (trending!) and carrot salad that was so fresh it tasted like it was just plucked from the garden. The filleted trout served with a just a touch of white wine and lemon sauce is topped with tart barberries and capers. His food is so clean; so delicious. My mother claimed the pork chop as “the best she’s ever eaten.”
Gorji is a hard working chef. Not only does he cook every night, he supports local charities and produces a line of products which are sold online and in local stores. I’ve never seen him without a smile and a good-natured laugh. Go visit him. He will dazzle your taste buds and your heart.
Some months ago I took a look at Social 121 shortly after its opening. I recently returned for a media event to see how the place is progressing. The Social 121 concept was always bold: create a restaurant and nightclub as hip as any in town out in the exurbs at the border of Plano and Frisco. But would it be able to sustain enough business? Is the hippest demographic well-represented way up north, or are the cool kids of Dallas willing to travel that far? Almost one year after its opening, I can report: it’s solid, man.
Nick Badovinus and chef Dan Riley have been hunkered down for over a year developing the menu and creating all kinds of delicious roasted meats for Off-Site Kitchen. Today he is finally opening the doors!
Now, hold your horses. The dining room is tiny. Off-Site Kitchen is basically a take-out restaurant with a few stools inside and some picnic tables outside. Here are some pictures of what you can expect. The food, inspired by “what line cooks eat,” is basically simple sandwiches and breakfast burritos made from quality roasted meats. Roll the Badovinus quote of the year:
“It’s light industrial food,” he said. “It’s the kind of food you want to eat before you go solder something.”
Off-Site Kitchen will be open for lunch only from 10:30AM until 3PM for the next two weeks. Then the breakfast menu will kick in and they will begin serving at 7AM and will remain open until 7PM. “After we hit our stride, we’ll start rolling out the meat-by-the-pound program,” Badovinus said. “I’m so excited. This place is a real man cave.”
The original date for OSK’s opening was February 14, 2011. After Badovinus missed his mark, he decided to workshop the place and open on Valentine’s Day this year. “You see how many financial sacrifices I made to pay for my original vision,” Badovinus said. “I mean I’ve got a wheelbarrow of pork rinds down here. Who doesn’t love that?”
Badovinus was only half-joking about the Valentine’s Day opening. He and chef Dan Riley have used the Off-Site Kitchen space to tweak the menus of Badovinus’ other restaurants (Neighborhood Services, Neighborhood Services Tavern, and Neighborhood Services Bar & Grill). They also use the huge kitchen as a commissary for the other restaurants. The receive, portion, and distribute all of the meat and seafood at Off-Site Kitchen.
SOLDER, EAT, REPORT. No call-in orders. Plan to show up and wait.
[Also, Neighborhood Services Bar & Grill in Preston Royal will open for lunch in two weeks.]
The menu and photos are below.
I swiped this photo off chef Tim Love’s own Twitter feed; I doubt he’ll mind. He’s laid back like that.
Word on the street is that, in his new Woodshed smokehouse on Riverfront Drive in Fort Worth, he’ll be serving six to eight meats per day and have more than 30 beers on tap. We hear that wild boar and banh mi will feature prominently on the menu.
Back in August, June Naylor over at dfw.com talked about it here. At the risk of beating Tim’s horse to death (note: we can guarantee that horse, dead or otherwise, will NOT be on the menu), let us just say that we are excited to see how it all smokes out.2 Comments »
Anthony Bourdain will be at The Majestic tonight. Tickets are still available. I understand there will be a Q&A segment in the show. Can’t go? Send me your questions. I’ll try to get them answered.
Oh, and Tony. Tonight is the sixth game of the World Series. Our Texas Rangers could be champions before your show is over. You’ve will have hard core Rangers fans in the audience with DVRs recording the game. Please do not give game updates. That goes for you fans in the audience. If I see one of you on your cell phone getting game results, I WILL CUT YOU.8 Comments »
Monday afternoon Plate Magazine, a chef and restaurant publication out of Chicago, brought a group of local chefs, and a few writers, together for a lunch at Lucia in Oak Cliff honoring the beloved pig and featuring products from Italy, including Speck ham, Asiago cheese and wine from Alto Aldige. Continue reading "Lucia Welcomes Chefs for a “Plate”d Lunch"