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 »
I posted a piece over on FrontBurner earlier today about the contribution of Frito Pie, and its forbears, to the history of Western civilization.
So, of course, a reader decided to share with me the above photo of her brother’s Frito Pie Pizza. She writes:
I know it’s a Boboli crust and then I assume Frito pie ingredients. I haven’t had it but he says it’s amazing.
My brothers and sisters, we are truly living in an age of decadence.
In August 2008, I traveled to Savannah, Georgia where I dined at Paula Deen’s restaurant Lady & Sons. We ran a post titled “Paula Deen Wants to Kill You.” I wrote:
I can still smell the rancid butter that hit us in the face when we walked in the door. I’ve got to find the pictures I took of the food I ate–everything was dripping in butter. I remember the chicken pot pie was big enough for four and almost everything was fried. OK, she admits she’s “not your cardiologist,” but she really is contributing to the delinquency of dieters. The night we went, at least 75 per cent of the diners were beyond overweight–they were obese. It was sad–like people watching at the slots in Vegas–everyone was gambling with their lives.
Last week Paula Deen confirmed the rumor: she has Type 2 diabetes. I wonder how many of her dedicated fans also suffer from Type 2? This really chaps my sass because two members of my family didn’t have a choice: they both were diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes when they were young. They have to continually monitor their diet and control their blood sugar. However, Ms. Deen, and other people who put on blinders and continue to fill their body with fat and sugar, had an option. Like not eating a burger made with Krispy Kreme donuts. It’s now rumored that Deen may become the spokesperson for Novartis, a company with a drug designed to treat diabetes. If she personally profits from developing Type 2 diabetes (Hey yáll, I’m your endocrinologist!), I’m going to go berserk. I can already see the talk show circuit lighting up. It makes me sick.81 Comments »
Several years ago I met a man for lunch at Stephan Pyles. It was the first time we’d met. We sat down and ordered. When the food arrived, he grabbed my hand and asked me to join him in prayer over our lunch. I bowed my head but kept my eyes open. Diners all around us were watching us as the very nice man prayed. And prayed. And prayed.
I admit I was extremely uncomfortable. Not because he was religious and blessed his every meal and minute on earth, but, and I don’t know how to put this gently, because I felt he was imposing his beliefs on me. Now don’t go all crazy on me, I am being honest. Looking back at it, I realize it wasn’t that big of a deal. However, I would like to hear what you think about this situation. Should he have asked me if I would have liked to join in prayer or was it “fair” that he grabbed my hand and assumed it was okay?
Hey, hosers! How’s it going, eh? What are your plans for Boxing Day? Betcha Yanks a toonie you didn’t know SideDish is freakin’ huge in Canada! Yep, it’s true, eh? Last time I was in Toronto (Toronnah) I spied some Canadian idiot sporting a toque (two-k) with a big red D on it! My brother-in-law went all Don Cherry on me and said the D stood for Detroit (dee-troi-e-ot). What else would you expect from a pansy Red Wings fan? (Q: What do you call 5 Detroit Red Wings players standing ear to ear? A: A wind tunnel!)
I love Boxing Day, the first business day after Christmas. All of Ontario closes and we sit on the chesterfield and chow down on donuts, beer, macaroni and cheese, and watch hockey. The NHL pretty much owns Canada on Boxing Day now. They have TEN GAMES scheduled. My friend’s mum puts out (uhoot) a hellofa buffet (boo-fay). And k.d. lang always sends me a fruit cake. Go Leafs! (Q: Why don’t the Leafs drink tea? A: Because the Canadiens have all the cups.) And hello Peterborough!9 Comments »
Three years ago, I introduced you to Charles Phoenix, the “Ambassador of Americana.” More importantly, I introduced you to his “recipe” for the Astro-Weenie Christmas Tree. (I made several for the D Magazine holiday party in 2008. Co-workers still stalk me for my secret herbal ingredient.)
Well, thanks to SideDish, Phoenix’s career and has catapulted over hosting grade school field trips and roller skating parties to doing national TV spots with Martha Stewart and commenting on NPR. (Rawlins in drag?) I think it’s time to bring back the Astro-Weenie recipe. Remember, as they say in England, you can always make one suitable for vegetarians. Mind your head.
An eagle-eyed Disher sends word: the signage at Four Sister’s Café in Richardson has been changed to read “Texas.” The restaurant, owned by Del Frisco’s founder Dale Wamstad, opened last June. I called the restaurant to get details. A nice lady answered the phone and I asked her about the change. However, as soon as I identified myself, she hung up on me. Mr. Wamstad does not like food critics. And I’m pretty sure he didn’t like what Sarah Reiss wrote about Four Sisters. Maybe Texas will be different. The name has a certain ring to it. Texas.10 Comments »
We’re suckers for any press release that contains the following sentences:
It seems a couple well-intentioned entrepreneurs have teamed up with J&D’s Foods to create a little something they’re calling baconlube—the world’s first bacon-flavored, water-based, American-made, personal lubricant.
Billing itself as the “gold standard of meat-flavored massage oils” (natch) baconlube, they say, is like the McRib of sex: it’s delicious, makes men crazy, is here for a limited time, and is in short supply.
If you’re thinking “stocking stuffer!” (let’s stay on track here), we’re right behind you. But the boys only made 3,000 bottles of this pork-flavored nectar. It hit the interwebs yesterday at www.baconlube.com. How much, you ask, for a product that promises such a satisfying holiday season? Only $11.99.
you know you want more. jump for it… Continue reading "This Little Piggy Went Downtown"13 Comments »
Forgive me Master Sommeliers and wine collectors around the world, I have sinned. I am here to confess my deepest darkest wine secret: I improperly stored four bottles of fabulous wine. For nearly 35 years.
Look at the photos and weep with (for?) me. I recently uncovered these bottles in a box buried beneath a pile of old Christmas decorations in my garage. Yes, my garage, where it sat for close to 35 summers, winters, springs, and falls. I am a human species of Phylloxera.
I could have pulled another Billionaire’s Vinegar and called Sotheby’s and claimed the wine was given to me by Richard Nixon and I’ve kept it hidden in a bricked-up Paris cellar. Instead I’m posting pictures of my crime. Perhaps there are others who have committed the same dirty deed.
Full confession below. Continue reading "Confession: I am Guilty of a Heinous Wine Crime"22 Comments »
According to several attendees of Sunday’s XX Caesar Salad Competition, the charity event ended with a quite a bang. SideDish reporter Andrew Chalk was leaving the Westin Galleria tonight when he heard emcee Scott Murray yelling from the Senate floor stage. “At first I thought it was the live auction and somebody had just made a big buy,” Chalk said. “Then I realized he was shouting abuse at some guy in the audience.”
I contacted AIWF rep Freda Ballas. “We did have some people complain about him [Murray] using the f-word,” Ballas said. Both Ballas and Chalk tell the same tale. Murray was onstage pulling names from the raffle bowl and announcing winners. You buy a ticket and a number is called. Simple. Tonight, a nice little girl put her hand in the bowl and pulled out a ticket and handed it to Murray. Instead of announcing a number, Murray read out a name.
Some dude near the stage yelled something to the effect of “This is rigged,” and Murray went nuts. From various reports Murray say words to the effect of: “If somebody thinks I have control over the tickets I pulled, you can meet me outside right now and I’ll give you a check for $500.” Meanwhile, Del Frisco’s chef, David Holben, was busy packing up his knives. He won the competition.
Somewhere, both Julius Caesar and Caesar Cardini are smiling. Holben’s victorious salad was an extra-garlic-and-anchovy version of Cardini’s original. Murray battled like a gladiator.11 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 »
The Office Grill’s Michael Costa, Texas Bear and Bull, LLC, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy on September 26, 2011, six days before he was to appear at hearing to determine if he’d breached his lease agreement. The next day, the Texas Comptroller revoked The Office Grill’s sales tax permit for lack of payment. Legally, The Office Grill can’t operate as a restaurant, yet, as of ten minutes ago, they were open for business.
On September 30, the landlord, 18020 N. Dallas Parkway, LTD filed a motion to convert the Chapter 11 filing to a Chapter 7. Chapter 11 means creditors are held off until reorganization or refinancing is obtained. Chapter 7 means there is no hope for reorganization and assets are to be distributed to creditors. A meeting of the creditors is scheduled for November 7.
The chef left right after Costa was arrested by the TABC on September 20 and Costa’s liquor license is suspended. He’s operating without a sales tax license, liquor license, and a chef? I’ll say this, the guy doesn’t go down easy.8 Comments »
Dear Chef DAT,
Who are you? I’ve been getting press releases from you for a long time but for the life of me I can’t remember meeting you. I do understand that you live underground and you cook a lot there as well, but do you ever actually come out during the day?
You talk funny. I mean, you write funny. You “sound” like you are totally hip and in with all of the IN people which explains a lot about our relationship. It’s so cool that you are throwing a birthday party for yourself on October 23! You must have lots of friends! Three LIVE bands, CAJUN food, and BYOB! Totally bitchin’. And Thursday, you only have 20 seats left for your super secret dinner in Deep Ellum. Have you done the math? Do you think you can get that many people under the ground in Deep Ellum? It must be so freakin’ dark, dude. Six courses for $66? That dinner is like so effin’ New Testament! And payable in “unmarked, untraceable cash only”? Brilliant.
Keep it up and maybe you’ll get your own restaurant one day. Oh, wait. My spirit is shaking. I’m getting an incoming subliminal message from, wait…oh…I can’t quite make out the voice, I can only hear pigs squealing. Oh, now it’s clear. It’s Steven Doyle LIVE from the State Fair. He says you have a “concept portfolio” for a future restaurant called Twenty-Seven. Far out, it sounds so Satanic! Will you take American Express? Awesome. Keep us posted.
Nancy Nichols43 Comments »
So, I’m avoiding real work and searching for the scoop on Sissy’s Fried Chicken on Henderson. We all know the general rules of posting CO permits: The name on the permit in the former Hector on Henderson spot could be the real name of a home cooking or “place holder” for a gay bar. We won’t know until somebody either calls me back or I get lucky on the internet. Owners change names all the time after they’ve applied for a permit.
Anywhoo, I’m digging away and get off task. Oh, look! I find a permit pulled for a restaurant at 624 642 W. Davis. I’m not telling you the name of the LLC because Teresa Gubbins will be all over it like hot on fried bubblegum. I contacted several HIGH PROFILE restaurant people in The OC for info. Oh yes, they all know who and what it is, but none of them are talking. Okay, guys. I’ll remember that the next time you send me a press release about your new bartender or your fall brunch menu. Hah! Two can play this game. Grrr.17 Comments »
I got a semi-frantic email from a semi-frantic restaurant owner. “Savor Dallas is moving to the Irving Convention Center this year. We got our invite to participate and apparently they are moving to broaden their appeal.” I went deep into Savor Dallas’ Facebook page and found this:
Savor Dallas announces the 8th Annual event will be held March 30-31, 2012, and expands regionally. Participants can enjoy wine, food, spirits and the arts in the Dallas Arts District, and the new Irving Convention Center at Las Colinas, 500 W. Las Colinas Blvd.
Hey, Jim White! What is up? Are you changing the name to Savor Dallas and Irving? Have you ever heard of a basketball tournament called “The Final Four?” Dude, give us the news.
UPPITY DATE: Savor Dalling Irvas Dallas organizer, Jim White, responds below. He is on top of the whole situation. All good. Jump for it.12 Comments »
In 1971, I spent most of my Sunday mornings in a line around the original Herrera’s on Maple Avenue. My friends and I would sit under a dripping window AC unit for hours, waiting for our turn at one of the nine tables inside the tiny, lard-based Tex-Mex restaurant. Once seated, you popped open the six-pack of Coors you brought with you and watched founder Amelia Herrera hand-pat flour tortillas by the front door. The food was such a religious experience for me that, 17 years later, I got married at Herrera’s, which by then had moved into a bigger building across the street and expanded into more locations all over Dallas. Recently, they moved into a newer building down Maple.3 Comments »
I was talking with a friend of mine who loves the fried food madness of the Texas State Fair. Obviously many other people share her passion for fried strawberry waffles, fried margaritas, fried butter, and fried bubblegum. The recent “winners” for this year’s State Fair were announced Wednesday and the local blogs comment boxes have lit up like fried Christmas trees.
I hate it all as much as I hated eating in Paula Deen’s restaurant in Savannah. I can still smell the cloud of burnt butter that met me at the door of Lady and Sons Restaurant. The portions were obnoxiously huge and I had to shower when I got back to my hotel.
The last time I visited the Fair, I sat at one of the picnic benches and watched a family of three eat their way through a pile of food. The husband and wife, maybe in their early 40s, were obese. The woman was in a wheel chair with an oxygen tank. The husband, who weighed at least 350 pounds, was shoveling food in his mouth using both hands. The saddest sight was their son. He couldn’t have been 12 years old and already on the verge of obesity. He was listlessly staring at the ground and gnawing on a huge turkey leg.
I can hear you crying: “It’s only once a year. Live a little. Have some fun.” I can’t. That isn’t fun or funny to me. It’s gross.32 Comments »
Earlier this morning, I received a link to a Seattle Weekly blog post written by former Dallas Observer “critic” Hanna “Sudafed” Raskin and planned to write a rebuttal. Eater “Up at Dawn” Dallas beat me to the punch. However, I would like to throw a few more. Her post– “Professional Food Critics Not Needed in Portland”– is embarrassingly amateur. Read it, I’ll wait.
This quick assessment from a professional food critic who reviewed Dallas restaurants while taking copious amounts of sinus medication? After my ENT doctor read about Raskin’s sinus problems, he called me and said: “She had no business reviewing restaurants. Her palate was dead.” If I were a restaurateur who was reviewed during her reign, I’d be demanding a redo. No wonder she called Dallas a “dining nowhereville.” She wasn’t able to taste anything. She blathers on:
I shouldn’t be surprised that the imagined relationship between rigorous professional criticism and good food doesn’t hold up. I moved here from Dallas, a city that’s covered ruthlessly by established food critics, including the Dallas Morning News‘ Leslie Brenner, D Magazine‘s Nancy Nichols, and Texas Monthly‘s Pat Sharpe. The food there isn’t any better for it.
Hanna, you take one trip to Portland and declare “Portland appears to have entered the post-professional critic era, and the food scene hasn’t suffered.” Oh my. I need a Xanax. Writers in Portland were sadly laid off by print publications. Raskin should be next.21 Comments »
‘Scuse me while I saddle up my high horse. Am I the only woman who is concerned about the sudden surge in Breastaurants. I mean really 35 additional Twin Peaks? A bar opening in downtown called The Spread Eagle? Seriously boys? How would you like to take your daughter into one of the restaurant’s the gals in our office just conceptualized. We call them Peteries.
Hunky Town, Twin Pricks, Tooter’s, Pecker’s Hot Italian Sausage, Tube Steak Junction, Cake Balls to the Walls, Nuts and Butts, Quickies, Long Dong Silver, Tally Whacker’s, Love Mussels, Wee Willie’s, Twig and Berries.
Ladies, the floor is open.53 Comments »