4 Upcoming Food and Wine Festivals You Won’t Want to Miss

Spring is stunning in Dallas. It’s probably the best time of year to live in our great city. But if you have a little spring fever and you’re looking for a reason to get out of town on a long weekend, here are a few ideas over the coming months that are great excuses to hop on a plane or take a road trip.

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At the Fort Worth Food and Wine Festival, There’s Lots to Love

Restaurateurs, craft breweries, distilleries, and food artisans showcased their most savory treats to Fort Worth Food and Wine festival-goers this past weekend, bringing flavors of both Fort Worth and Dallas to the masses. I was lucky enough to attend two of the many events the festival had to offer, including the Grand Tasting and Sip & Savor events at the Renaissance Worthington. With enough food and drinks to go around, I can tell you I will not be eating for another week. But I will probably be hitting up one of the restaurants I sampled at the festival.

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Fast-Casual Chain Pollo Tropical Opens First Texas Location in Addison

Pollo Tropical is bringing Caribbean flavors straight to Addison with its first Texas location, which opens today. This Miami founded, fast-casual chain restaurant serves meats, vegetables, spices, and sauces all prepared in-house. With an extensive menu at such an affordable cost, you can pick up, sit-down, or drive through Pollo Tropical for a taste of the tropics.

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Rich Vana is Done With Entree Dallas

After almost four good years being the editor, Rich posted a letter last Friday, February 28, announcing his departure from the food blogging world. He is putting his publication to the side and focusing his energies elsewhere, on a project That-Will-Not-Be-Named-Yet. “It was a fun venture, but it was really, really time consuming,” says the one-man writing show. “It could’ve been a sustainable living, but the amount of work that it required and the potential instability was always in the back of mind.”

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Lead Your Own Food Tour: Dine Around at the Village on the Green

La Perla d’Italia, Pho House, Mughlai Fine Indian Cuisine, and Maximo invited me as a guest on Wednesday for a food tour at the Village on the Green. I was given a tasting at each restaurant (the opposite of little Costco-sized samples), all thankfully within walking distance of each other. Four restaurants and way too much food later, I think it’s safe to say I was stuffed. If you didn’t think it was possible to have Italian, Indian, Vietnamese, and Mexican food all in one night, it’s definitely do-able, as long as you exercise portion control.

For a fun night, try taking your own food tour at the Village on the Green with family and friends. Order one or two dishes at each place, and experience four different ethnic cuisines at its best. Follow my lead or forge your own path. Either way, you’ll leave feeling full and satisfied.

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Joel Salatin Preaches at Urban Acres’ Second Annual Steward’s Dinner

Urban Acres transformed its nondescript warehouse into a fair-themed event space for its 2nd Annual Steward’s Dinner on Tuesday night. While the true focuses were the creative dishes prepared by local chefs and a much-anticipated talk by farmer Joel Salatin, the décor set the stage for a fun evening. With a face painter and a man on stilts, nothing could go wrong. A sign greeting attendees proclaimed the dinner a “No Waste Event.” Urban Acres takes sustainability seriously. The theme ran throughout the evening with constant reminders that everything was compostable or recyclable.

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Dallas’ First Lionfish Dinner

Lionfish, an exotic native of the Pacific Rim boasting bright scales and long protruding spines, became a popular trophy pet during the 1980’s in the aquariums of the Western affluent. Sadly, to the horror of their new owners, it became readily apparent that lionfish are inhospitable neighbors with voracious appetites. After ravishing any and all cohabitants, many were re-introduced to a “natural habitat” (read: Atlantic Ocean or Gulf of Mexico).  This quick fix did not come without consequences as the absence of their natural predators in the South Pacific led to unchecked growth, which currently threatens the existence of many native Atlantic species. Solution? Eat them. Fortunately, the present concern happens to be a very, very tasty one.

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Let Half Pint Palates Help You Raise a Gourmet Baby

The charismatic founder of Half Pint Palates, a direct-delivery frozen-baby-food company that began service in 2013, started her culinary education on a livestock farm in western Kentucky. Growing up with a garden that produced most of the veggies her family ate exposed her to quality you can’t get at most grocery stores. “That’s where I learned my passion for food and flavor,” Anderson says.

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7 Reasons Why You Should Attend Flavor! Napa Valley Next Year

Let’s be real, now. There’s no better place for a serious getaway trip than Wine Country. Napa may be a small, touristy town, but it’s one of those rare parts of the world where time stops and people start aging backwards. I’m quite serious. The trees and leaves turn orange-yellow-red when it’s fall, there’s a […]

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The Local Oak Makes Spam Sliders a Signature Comfort Food

At The Local Oak, a new neighborhood hangout, you can get Texas Surfers—these sliders made with grilled Spam, house-made pineapple relish, and slaw. It’s gutsy for a chef to bring Spam into Oak Cliff, but The Local Oak has some pros in the house. Chef Aaron Courtney just came from Nick and Sam’s Steakhouse, and […]

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Dallas Restaurants: What Do We Need? Ctd.

Last night, our food truck reporter, and all-around good guy, George Lewis sent me a link to a story I posted in October 2009. I posed the question:  The inside-the-loop-outside-the-loop foodie argument drives me nuts. There is great food all over this area if you are willing to drive. But if you had one restaurant wish, what […]

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Food News and Booze (9/19/13)

Happy Mid-Autumn Festival, SideDishers! According to the lunar calendar, today is the day the moon is the biggest and brightest. Chinese people exchange and eat mooncakes filled with red bean, egg yolks, and a bunch of other sweet and savory flavors leading up to the festival. You can still buy mooncakes at Jeng Chi in Richardson. […]

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Into Shelley’s Belly: The Truck Yard Adds Coolness to Greenville Avenue

It’s happening, witches.* However you pipe the pony, there’s good news for all of you. The Truck Yard is now open and it’s so cool that people visiting Austin will start saying, “This feels like Dallas.” Lower Greenville is blossoming like a case of the chilly-willies after a moonlight mushroom dance with Edgar Cayce. Great restaurants […]

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