I’m a lot crabby today. It started last night when I arranged to meet a colleague for drinks at The Establishment, the new craft cocktail lounge on Travis. The place opened a week or so ago and is owned by Brian Williams and Michael Martensen the boys behind Cedars Social. I arrived at 5:45PM and found the doors locked. Of course, they are too cool to put up a sign but I’d seen the picture of the entrance on Facebook so at least I was in-the-know enough to know which of the five doors into the space to knock on. Using my iPhone, I went to their Facebook page for hours.
Apparently they are too cool to list their hours. From reading older posts it looks like they randomly decided when to open: Sometimes 5PM; sometimes 7PM. Also, the bar isn’t called The Establishment—that will be the name once they get the kitchen open. The bar/lounge is actually called Smyth. Unless you are on Facebook 24/7, you wouldn’t have a clue. I called the phone number which was answered by some space cadet at Cedars Social who couldn’t help me one bit. Strange business model if you ask me. Maybe it works in New York, but this is Dallas and I think Tristan Simon taught us a while back at Sense that private or reservations-only bars don’t work here. The ‘80s are over.
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One of our most loyal and lovely SideDish readers popped into Cindi’s Deli to buy a lemon meringue pie. When she got home, she tore off the Cindi’s wrapper and found another: Chef Pierre, a division of Sara Lee. The menu promotes “Fresh Baked Goods Daily” but it doesn’t claim the pie is homemade. A whole pie is $14. According to Sara Lee, the pie is made with “real imported lemon oil.”18 Comments »
I have never understood the popularity of chicken wings. The majority of the ones I have tried are just masses of fried dough swimming in a hot or sweet sauce. Sometimes there is even a wad of what looks like chicken meat on the inside.
This Sunday, Super Bowl watchers will consume 1.25 BILLION chicken wings. PETA reports 600 million chickens are killed just to satiate football fans for one day. I’m not a card-carrying PETA member, but of all of the animals we consume, chickens get the shaft. And it makes me crazy when people refuse to eat red meat because they consider the action unethical, but have no problem eating chicken. Especially when you can do a little research and make better choices of the meats you do choose to consume. However, there is nothing good about chicken wings.2 Comments »
In case you missed Tim’s announcement last month:
D Magazine Partners (the magazine’s parent company) and London Broadcasting have announced a partnership that should make the local television landscape look a little more interesting. London, a local firm, owns a unique property called KTXD. It is an independent, must-carry station in a major media market. That means it is not beholden to a network like CBS or NBC, and the FCC requires that local cable providers carry it. Right now, KTXD broadcasts a lot of old classics but it plans to transition to all local programming. That’s where we come in. The station will rebrand itself as D-TV one show at a time.
So far we have several shows in production and the staff is encouraged to submit ideas. I pitched a couple of food-related shows to our publisher, Wick Allison, and he refuses to listen to me. I have emailed, called, and left voice mails with ideas. I need your help convincing him SideDish deserves a show. The possibilities are endless. Get creative and we’ll put you on TV!30 Comments »
My first thought: a hundred reasons and more than a dozen years would prevent me from reviewing Monica’s Nueva Cocina & Mi Lounge. I have known the owner, Monica Greene, since before I became a restaurant critic. Despite my closet full of disguises, I figured there was no way I could sneak in without being recognized.
One late-September morning, though, I called Greene to ask her how the restaurant was doing. She outlined many of the changes she went through during the year it took to open. Her original plan for the space was to create a 70-seat, chef-driven, regional Mexican restaurant called Tajin. At the time, Greene was itching to get back in the kitchen and cook the food she grew up eating. She chose the name to honor Mexican history. At the El Tajin ruins near Veracruz, archaeologists uncovered relics from the Olmec people, the first major civilization in Mexico.
After neighboring restaurant Sushi Axiom closed, Greene changed her concept. She incorporated that space and geared her food to a more mainstream audience. She doubled the original fl oor plan to 7,600 square feet that include two dining rooms, two bars, room for 200 guests, and the sushi bar left by Sushi Axiom. She changed the menu from fried grasshoppers, venison carpaccio, frog legs, and no chips and salsa to “real Mexican food with a respect for Tex-Mex.” Greene hired chef Hector Hernandez from Alma and Hibiscus, and she put herself in the front of the house.
Near the end of our chat, Greene said something that I now wish she hadn’t. She told me she was leaving forNew York in a couple of days and, after that, she was taking a vacation inTurkey. I decided to write the review. I could eat anonymously, and, if it came to that, I figured our friendship could survive a negative review.
Kobayashi, excuse me, Kobi (小林尊), is the “Japanese eating sensation” who has claimed “dozens of competitive eating titles, including downing a world record 69 hot dogs in 10 minutes in July 2011.” That is not a typo. SIXTY NINE. (He also inhaled 337 chicken wings in 37 minutes.)
This morning Hofmann Sausage Company of Syracuse and the Zaccanelli Food Group of Dallas signed Kobi (please don’t confuse him with this loser) “as a business partner and brand ambassador.” Kobi joins, wait for it, the “Dream Team of Hofmann ownership which includes Roger Staubach, Frank Zaccanelli, Phil Romano, and Jim Boeheim and drives the creation of a new business division designed to expand the U.S. and international reach of Hofmann Hot Dogs.”
In other words, Hofmann Hot Dogs, the oldest hot dog company in America, are now posed to become the new hamburger. If Dallas restaurateur Phil Romano has his way, every child in America will eat 2,000 pounds of Hofmann hot dogs a year. Romano plans to roll out hundreds (thousands?) of Hofmann hot dog restaurants across the country. First one is set to open in Trinity Groves.
If you don’t believe me, you can just jump.
If you don’t want to jump, you can watch Kobayashi eat…6 Comments »
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 »
It seems like only yesterday we were all marveling at the new wave in techno cooking: the process of sous-vide. The circulators and gadgets looked fancy and complicated and the results were certainly impressive.
Fast forward to the real yesterday and the story in the Huffington Post: How Sous Vide Went From Haute Cuisine To Casual Dining. Writer Carey Polis tells us how large franchises such as Chipotle and Panera Bread have embraced the sous-vide technique and are now featuring boil-in-a-bag items on their menus.
Anybody else out there remember Stouffer’s or Banquet boil-in-a-bag dinners? If so, perhaps your mom was also an early pioneer (Tomasina Keller?) of sous-vide cooking when she slit open a thick plastic bag and poured chipped beef or Chicken ala King over semi-burnt toast.
Jay Jerrier is either the smartest restaurateur when it comes to using social media effectively or a total social media whore. The distinction doesn’t matter. He has 5,000 “likes” on his Facebook page and, to celebrate, he “doing $1 pizzas tonight at Cane Rosso from 6pm – 9pm.” His goal is to real 10,000 “likes” and do it again. Rules:
Tonight only at our Deep Ellum restaurant
- $1 Marinara, Margherita, or Focaccia…no additions or substitutions
- Dine In ONLY
- 6pm – 9pm…we open at 6pm!!
- Be nice to your servers (i.e. please tip them like you paid full price…a $0.25 tip is not cool)
- It is NOT BYOB tonight
Who knows what will happen if Facebook adds a “love” button. Let’s get this party started.3 Comments »
I can’t believe anyone would fall for this, but I’m throwing it out there just in case someone is tempted to believe this is real. The email address is firstname.lastname@example.org. I’m pretty sure those guys at Bolsa type better than this and they don’t know what Skype is.
Hello how are you doing today,My Name is Mrs Candy Moore , I will like to make an Order for Chicken Salad OR Sandwiches to feed 150 people is needed on the 15th JUNE is for my Mothers Birthday Party ,and it will be pick up 3pm on the event date Go ahead and get me the Total cost now..And also i want you to get back to me with your Information such as Full Name ,Restaurant Address and Phone Number or Cellphone Number so that i can text you as well …so that i can have it forward to the Private Carrier that will be coming with there Cold and Warmer Truck to pick up the Order …You can also talk to me on my Skpe … enrique.martinez310
Can anyone provide enlightenment on how this would ever work? I don’t get it.11 Comments »
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 »
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 »
Krista Nightengale discovered breastaurant-ish Spread Eagle Saloon last August, and since then we’ve been eager to see how its marketing team would deal with such a, uh, wonderful name. Turns out today is owner Scott Scripps’ Grand Opening Party featuring $3 drinks and live entertainment starting at 8pm. I’d rewrite the rest of the press release, but it’s more effective if you read it yourself. Couldn’t have said it any better.
Guests will be able to order from the full menu which contains starters like the Pork Belly Stuffed Jalapenos with Honey-Bourbon Shiner Bock Glaze, Roasted Garlic Goat Cheese Fritters, or a Scotch Egg; Sandwiches like The Loaf (meatloaf with pickled shallots and Muenster cheese on a Ciabatta bun), or the Pig Press (smoked ham w/pork belly, sweet pickles, and Swiss cheese), or a “Traditionally Awesome” Turkey Club. In addition to the food, visitors to Spread Eagle Saloon can order from the distinct beer menu which features over 40 varieties of traditional American, Overseas, and American Craft Beers, all served cold in the can. A popular recent trend in craft brewing, canning provides for a fresh product uncontaminated by light and loss of carbonation and is environmentally friendly by means of recycling and lesser shipping weight.
Spread Eagle Saloon is owned and operated by Dallas native and SMU grad Scott Scripps. Scripps is a downtown resident as well and so is invested both personally and financially in the success of Dallas’ core neighborhood.
As for the name? Well, let’s just say there may have been some drinks involved.
Restaurant hours run from 4pm-2am on Monday through Sunday; kitchen closes at 11pm. Lunch and day-time hours will be added in mid-March.
My plea: I can’t write it, sing it, dance it, or say any better than Neil Sedaka. You can help save Nana by writing your stories about your experiences at Nana. Put on your go-go boots and come-a come-a, down dooby do down, down to the comments.
The world is going pig-crazy.
On Friday, I heard that Jack in the Box was offering a very limited number of bacon milkshakes as a secret menu item. Did anyone get a chance to try one? I almost dropped everything to go search for one, but then I remembered my sanity. Now I’m lying deep in the trenches of regret.8 Comments »
I was away from my computer most of the day yesterday and when I finally got around to reading the food news, I realized I missed some significant action. Here, in no certain order, are a few things I failed to report.
Teresa “Gubbshoe” Gubbins and Mike “Whole In One” Hiller tied in a race to be the first to report the closing of Horne & Dekker. Gubbshoe coaxed a quote from owner Flynn Dekker. However, Hiller has some bitchin’ discounts on laundry detergent you can download from escapehatchdallas.com.
Leslie “LaLa” Brenner ran the inside track and clearly beat the field on this announcement: Michael Sindoni, formerly of AGAINN restaurant in Washington DC, has taken the reigns as The Joule hotel’s Executive Chef and will be responsible for overseeing all food & beverage for the hotel including private banquets, room service, and the new Charlie Palmer food hall which is part of the hotel’s 2012 expansion. The restaurant will close for a short while and emerge as Charlie Palmer Steak which will be overseen by executive sous chef Joel Harrington. “LaLa” also admits she has a mild eating disorder when it comes to bread crumbs: “I am a sucker for bread crumbs,” she writes. “And they seem to be very much in the air these days. Or in the kitchen, anyway.” And I thought it was ragweed! (SideThought: Who thought the name AGAINN was a good idea?) Moving on.
EaterDallas needs a boost to their self esteem. This morning they use today’s warm weather forecast as a clever lead into the riveting announcement of Eater Hottest Chef Competition. Then they bash themselves over the head for doing so: “…while we’ve never been great at weather metaphors we are about to get real good at giving you some eye candy. Who is the hottest?” I think the metaphor worked beautifully. After all, it is as hot as Dean Fearing outside at this very moment and the forecast says late afternoon temperatures will be as cool as Matt McCallister. Good work, Merritt!
The 8th Annual Savor Dallas is almost here! March 30-31 to be exact. Cue the press release quote from Jim “Red” White: “We are excited to see Savor Dallas grow from its downtown Dallas base to include new events in Bishop Arts and Las Colinas.” says Jim White, Savor Dallas co-founder along with his wife Vicki Briley-White. “We’ve added a cool concert at the Kessler Theater, and created some great cooking and tasting opportunities that will benefit local food and wine groups like Les Dames d’Escoffier.” The White’s and company have lined up some big names in the business and have 400 premium wines to pour. It’s all here. Or call 888-728-6747.4 Comments »