Nick Badovinus just emailed the news. He’s opening a second location of Off-Site Kitchen in “the blue building on Singleton” in the fall. He says he’s glad to be back in business with Phil Romano, co-owner of Trinity Groves. Romano gave Badovinus his first job as an executive chef at the ill-fated We/Oui or was it Oui/We? I don’t really know. I wasn’t even born then.
I have just completed D Magazine‘s June cover story: The 100 Best Restaurants in Dallas. Yes, I wrote 100 restaurant reviews and ranked the top 100 restaurants in Dallas. To complete the task, I had to toss out Fort Worth, Grapevine, and the mid-cities. Maybe next time. (Which will not be in my life time.) I’m so tired I thought it would be a great idea to throw a party and celebrate the 100 best restaurants in Dallas. The marketing people agreed.
Join me and many of the 100 best restaurants in Dallas for a giant soiree on May 22 from 6-8PM at Sharon Van Meter’s 3015 Trinity Groves. The festivities will feature food from the top chefs in Dallas and the fare will feature an eclectic mix of haute cuisine, off-the-beaten-path barbecue, and a variety of dishes from ethnic restaurants. This is a one-of-a-kind opportunity to mingle with an unprecedented gathering of chefs and restaurateurs from the top restaurants in Dallas. Along with the food tastings, there will be cocktails by Brugal Rum, beer by Trumer Pilsner, DJ Jose Guevara, Land Rovers on display and a See’s Candy buffet. Additional sponsors include Express Working Capital and Poggenpohl.
I’m thinking about doing a “Throw a Cream Pie in Nancy’s Face” booth to raise money for my favorite charity. Could happen. Buy your tickets here.1 Comment »
Really? Holy cow. I just flipped over to EaterDallas and saw the headline: Hofmann’s CEO Gets Sued for Using Company Money as His Personal Slush Fund.
Frank, I know you’re a tough guy but, dude, you don’t ever want to piss off Phil Romano. (Right Dotty?) Especially on his home court of Trinity Groves. Allegedly, Zaccanelli used $34,000 to pay for non-business expenses that include $1,ooo at a Dallas nightclub, a house and a job for his mistress, and other ditties for his wife. Romano and several other investors are suing Zaccanelli.
Excuse me for being naive but how do people think they are going to get away with crap like this? Really? A house lease is considered a “facility payment?” Oink.
The first Hofmann Hots opens tomorrow at 11AM in Trinity Groves. I bet it will be packed now.9 Comments »
What the heck is a permanent pop-up restaurant one might wonder? According the news release I just received it is a “restaurant, rotating up-and-coming chefs and design talent every quarter.” Like seasonal chefs.
Kitchen LTO, a concept created by Casie Caldwell founder and owner of Greenz Salads, will open sometime in May. Here’s a brief rundown on how it works:
Chefs and interior designer apply for its “permanent pop-up” restaurant. A screening committee will review applicants and post finalists each quarter. The public will have final vote via Kitchen LTO’s website and social media channels.
Chefs must have at least five years of kitchen experience and be highly organized, possess strong leadership skills, and have a solid grasp of food costing. Chef applicants must also be creative, able to handle pressure and ready for center stage. Culinary training is a must.
Up and coming designers, independent or with a design firm, that are detail oriented, energetic, professional. Must be able to apply design style to match a culinary concept. Design degree preferred, although current design students encouraged to apply.
“Essentially, it’s a limited time offer (“LTO”), where a new restaurant is born every quarter,” Caldwell says. “I designed the restaurant for food lovers like myself who are always exploring new trends and searching for the next best culinary adventure. I can’t think of a better way to do that while fostering the great culinary talent available on a local, regional and national level.”
Good luck, Casie. It sounds like a lot of work to me.
Full press release below. Continue reading "Permanent Pop-Up Restaurant Kitchen LTO to Open in Trinity Groves"6 Comments »
It’s been awhile since we’ve heard anything about Uno Immanivong, the Dallas woman who owns the boutique food company, Foodie Couture. I asked Nancy if she knew her, and Nancy goes, “Sounds familiar… Mico Rodriguez?” Yep, apparently the two worked on a restaurant concept together back in 2010. It was going to be called Pinky Chan – China Town. Immanivong and Rodriguez created this elaborate backstory about Pinky Chan, an Asian concubine who loved sewing and Parisian life, for the restaurant. (I refrain to comment on this. Must. Bite. Lip.)
Since then, Immanivong told me she’s been pretty busy. She’s been trying out for reality shows. None of them worked out until… ta da! The Taste happened. The Taste on ABC is a ripoff of NBC’s The Singoff The Voice, except they cook instead of sing, and there’s Anthony Bourdain instead of Cee Lo. The “Auditions Part 2″ aired on Jan. 29, and whaddyaknow, Immanivong was chosen to be on AB’s team because of her lap gai with minced gizzards. ”I have to come in first place because the name says it all: Uno,” says the single mother of an eight-year-old girl. ”I would say I’m a home cook almost on the border of a professional chef.”
In the meantime, while we wait to see whether she wins and lives up to her name, Immanivong is also getting ready to open her first restaurant at Trinity Groves. It should be open by May. She and her partner, Adrian Berdin, are planning to do Asian-Latino food. “It’s an eclectic mix of both of our styles, smaller proportions, it’s about sharing family meals, and we’re going to focus on cocktails.” Those are all the details she’s releasing for now (besides the fact that it’s basically going to be the Americanized version of Asian street food). Think: “lemongrass and fermented fish and all those great things and making it palatable,” says Immanivong.
The restaurant will also be called Chino. I wasn’t sure if Immanivong was naming her first restaurant after pants or the Spanish word for “Chinese.” Either one would’ve been a little… odd. ”Chino means Latin China Town,” she told me. Interesting definition of Chino, but let’s focus on the more important things: Asian street food is making its way to Trinity Groves. And if you’re dying to try some of Immanivong’s food, you can attend her Chino preview/pop up event on February 9 for $80: http://cravechino.eventbrite.com/7 Comments »
A little weenie in the Hofmann Hots organization in Trinity Groves just told me the first “store” is getting ready for a soft opening on February 8.They will feature smoked kielbasa quarter pound or natural lamb casing German franks on housemade buns. Expect to see a Fajita Dog (grilled red and green bell peppers, grilled sweet onion, pepper jack cheese, chipotle ranch, grilled half jalapeno); Himalayan Dog (sweet onion chutney, toasted curry aioli, fried onion straws with fried curry leaf dusted with garam masala); Sweet and Smokey Dog (maple glaze, smoked gouda pimento cheese spread, chopped bacon); and a Bruschetta Dog (balsamic tomato compote, fresh basil, and shredded mozzarella cheese).1 Comment »
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 »
West Dallas is about to become the culinary epicenter of Dallas. Phil Romano, Stuart Fitts, and Larry “Butch” McGregor are hard at work on Trinity Groves, the 13-acre restaurant-retail-artist-and-entertainment development at the base of the west end of the Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge. Just around the corner is Sylvan| Thirty, a project geared to attract local food artisans and restaurants. Both developments have a culinary incubator in their plans. Romano & Co. have already announced his first successful operator: Mike Babb is scheduled to open Babb Brothers Barbeque this summer.
Sylvan | Thirty is busy fielding applications from interested tenants and is currently working with a select group which includes a baker, confectioner, a fishmonger, and a yoga studio. There are also three restaurant concepts in the works as well. Sylvan| Thirty hopes to be 75 percent leased before they start construction. So far they have announced Cox Farms Market, The Pearl Cup, Matador Meat & Wine and the culinary incubator with Culinary Curator Sharon Hage.
This morning comes an update: “We’re now on track to break ground early summer, which means you’ll be seeing construction activity by late July.” Sylvan| Thirty plans to open in Spring 2013.
The efforts to privatize the Dallas Farmers Market have been futile and the city of Dallas’ efforts to energize the DFM have been quagmired in chaos. I’d love to see someone swoop in and make the DFM a destination for residents, framers, and visitors. However, the emergence of Phil Romano’s Trinity Groves project in West Dallas could be the final nail in the coffin of the Dallas Farmers Market if they don’t get their shiitakes together. Romano’s grand plan calls for vendors of all shapes and sizes and he and his partners have the backing to get it done.
Meanwhile, the debate on privatization of the Market and surrounding the Market with permanent housing continues. If you would like to show your support the Dallas Farmers Market, you can join the Dallas Farmers Market Friends. They also have a petition you can sign to try to influence city officials to consider other options for the housing solution. Their goal:
…is to present both sides of the story (via links on the DFMF.org website) so people can get a feel for everything going on. In the end, they’d love to have people speak out, sign the petition and hopefully convince city officials to alter their decision about the supportive housing. They’ve added links to the petition itself to the DFMFriends.org site, and have the links to both sides of the story there, as well.
There is a public hearing this Thursday. Do your homework here, decide which side you’re on, and show up at the J. Erik Jonsson Central Library (1515 Young Street) on Thursday, April 5 at 6 PM.11 Comments »
Yesterday, I was invited to lunch at Trinity Groves. I sat at a large table surrounded by the partners involved in the massive project and several members of the Food and Concept Advisory Committee. As one of the partners, Phil Romano, chewed my ear off with details, Mike Babb filled my plate with barbecue.
Babb is the first “graduate” of the Trinity Groves Restaurant Incubator program. In short, Trinity Groves is the 13-acre restaurant-retail-artist-and-entertainment development at the base of the west end of the Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge which developers Phil Romano, Stuart Fitts, and Larry “Butch” McGregor expect to be what Silicon Valley is to high tech or what Ghirardelli Square is to San Francisco.
As Romano eased back on his sales pitch, Babb told the story of how he ended up snagging the first restaurant to open in Trinity Groves. It’s a classic tale: Man with boring job loves to smoke meats on the weekends. He delivers it to church functions. Somebody at the function asks him to cater her daughter’s wedding. Someone at the wedding has to have Babb’s ‘cue for a family reunion. Babb loses his job and becomes a caterer. His friends love his barbecue and urge him to open a restaurant. Babb hasn’t a clue on what to do. Somehow he found Phil Romano. BAM!
“I love barbecue and the blues,” said Babb. “My place is going to be indoor and outdoor. It’s going into that space right over there.” He points toward a 2,500-square-foot space which is currently a hollowed-out purple building. The name of the restaurant hasn’t been finalized.
I was honored to be the first media person to taste the first “product” to come out of Trinity Groves. It wasn’t the best barbecue I’ve ever tasted but it was also cooked someplace else and delivered to the project offices in tin pans. The ribs were tender and the accompanying sauce was more sweet than hot. The cole slaw was the best part of the meal. Babb admits he’s still tweaking his banana pudding recipe. But that is what the incubator program is all about.
As the plates were cleared, Romano wound up for his next pitch: “We’re going to have a food center and entertainment zone. We’ll have a brewery [Four Corners Brewing], a 10,000-square foot cooking school, ice cream shop where we will put extra protein in the ice cream to make it healthier, a fish market bigger than Pikes [in Seattle] with a major player coming in to do it, an oyster bar, a butcher shop making sausages, a German market, a local cheese maker and I’ve already talked to Paula, a chocolatier, a South American florist, a coffee roaster, a baker. You’ll see artist galleries and designers, jazz clubs, belly dancers, and Luna tortilla is moving their tower here and we’re putting in a glass wall so you can watch. Real diversity.” (Yes, belly dancers. Remember, this is Phil Romano I’m talking to!)
Stay with me…18 Comments »
See the nice looking man in the picture? That is Phil Romano. See the painting in the background? That is one artist’s interpretation of Phil Romano’s brain when he is working on a project. Phil Romano, Larry “Butch” McGregor, and Stuart Fitts are working on Trinity Groves an enormous development on the west side of the Margaret Hunt Bridge in West Dallas. Today I took a grand tour of the 13-acre proposed “restaurant, retail, artist and entertainment” site which will also be home to the partnership’s restaurant incubator program. I met the first approved restaurateur and tasted his food. Tune in tomorrow for a full report. I can’t decide if these are the smartest guys in the world or the craziest. It’s wild. Clear out some head space.1 Comment »