People ask me what Nancy looks like all the time. Usually I make sh*t up and hem and haw my way past that question until we start talking about the weather. Well, the truth is Nancy has pink skin, hooves for hands, and big cartoonish eyes. She’s got a tail that wags when she’s happy and a snout that can sniff out truffles three feet underground. If you put an apron on her, she looks exactly like a Piggly Wiggly.
So my favorite part of this video isn’t even the part where Nancy talks about her 100 Best New Restaurants list and threatens Lisa Pineiro’s life after she asks for Nancy to divulge a secret or two. Watch Lisa’s face at 3:23. It. Cracks. Me. Up.
If you look really, really closely (or maybe you can’t see it with all the editing they did), you’ll see Nancy wearing pigtails. And her last words on local television? “Eat it, Tim!”
Join us at our 100 Best Restaurants party tonight at 3015 Trinity Groves. We’re revealing which restaurants are on the list tonight. Nancy will be there wearing her piggy suit again. You’ll be in for a shock, I promise.
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I began my stroll through the Shops at Park Lane, and without my henchman, I initially felt some lightness in my loafers amidst all the concrete and retail fountain spouts. I approached the new boutique bowling arena, Bowl & Barrel, with a giddy, girlish glee. My fingers were ravenous with nostalgic muscle memories of 12 pound glistening balls launched gracefully down greased lanes. My toes tapped along the sidewalk, and spritely into the alley I leaped.
Bowl and Barrel has an intensely hip and lively interior. The restaurant area is adorned with large wooden tables straight from Renaissance-era Scotland, enchanting earth toned walls, and shelves laden with all sorts of pastoral accoutrements above the open kitchen: barrels, jugs, bottles, books, boxes, and copper. The bowling area rises out from the restaurant and bar, and possesses an equally well-crafted space to unhinge your bowling demons. The vintage-style leather bench seats sit across from each other at each lane, and the rustic brick and extended soft tones greet you with casual esteem. It’s a cozy den reminiscent of something Christopher Nolan’s Bruce Wayne might construct and allow only the hippest of friends to enjoy. The tables are shared between two lanes and might run a little tight on space if everyone is ordering, but there is plenty of room away from the lanes to drink while you wait in this fantastically boisterous bowling den. And as my fingers probed the glistening neon balls for the right fit, we ordered some drinks and settled in for what I hoped to be a record breaking pin smashing.
Last night I fell in love with HumBotanical, a sexy 70 proof herbaceous liqueur made with organic rum, fair trade hibiscus, organic ginger, green cardamom and kaffir lime. The drink was featured as the Seasonal Smash at FT33. If it isn’t on the ever-changing cocktail list when you go, ask them to make you one. It’s a gorgeous concoction of Ketel One Oranje, Hum, muddled cranberry, lemon, and habanero simple syrup, apricot, and fresh thyme poured over clear cubed ice (my favorite!). The drink is made with organic rum and is pungent with pepper, fragrant with lime, and finishes with a slightly sweet and spicy kick of cardamom. One of my very experienced dining partners said she’s never seen it for sale in Dallas and wondered how FT33 managed to smuggle the booze in from it’s epicenter in Chicago. However, one quick visit to Hum’s website informed me the spirit is alive and well at Pogo’s. BTW, the bar at FT33 opens at 4:30PM. See ya later.
Uppity Date: Jasper Russo of Sigel’s says: “Hum Botanical was introduced to the Dallas retail market by Sigel’s in April.It has been stocked in at least 4 of our stores continually since that time ($44.99): Greenville Ave, Fitzhugh, Addison, The Quadrangle. We are also the class B wholesaler responsible for supplying FT33.
I don’t imagine anyone ever accusing Avila’s Restaurant of being too complicated. That being said, its simplicity embodies the heart that makes this restaurant sing. All of my chakras tingle every time I come here. Tucked away on the bustling Maple Avenue, Avila’s has been serving delicious, authentic Mexican fare for the last 25 years. It’s precious, comforting, and a relaxing experience away from the hustle of this brain crazy city life we stomp through during the work hours.
Go for the tuna, stay for the tuna.
I spent the better part of half of last month examining the migration habits of the Adama bird, and have thusly determined that there will be no more crustless jiffy and jellies for this gentleman. The most affably anointed of you will offer more than a soupçon of foggy skepticism any time I discuss food criticism, and yet I battle on.
Naked and thirsty in a hunky alley in Deep Ellum, a sudden tickle came between my toes. I lifted my head from my foggy narcissism and noticed a lively blue brick wall calling to me from yonder.
Though I may be the last to the party, St. Pete’s Dancing Marlin let me into its awe-encompassing arms with a gentle and unencumbered full body squeeze. The beautifully rambunctious interior solidified my joy with a hefty greeting from the man at the bar, who most certainly owned a boat. “Sit where you like…that’s what Rex would tell you,” he said. Rex worked his hands behind the bar, unable to attend my seating needs at the moment, yet still giving a friendly hello and welcome. Musty animal magnetism aside, Rex was gentle and friendly, astute and ever available.
Last night I dropped by Tried and True, the newest bar/restaurant creation by Nick Badovinus. I don’t know how this man does it, but he has pulled together another unique and spirited concept. Badovinus has a loyal team of chefs who helped him construct yet another ingenious food menu. It’s short, but oh so cool: whiskey pate, flat top pork chop and country ham sandwich topped with smoked cheddar and house made apple butter ($13); peppered beef nachos ($11); and platters of country hams from Broadbent (Kuttawa, KY), Meacham (Sturgis, KY), and Benton (Madisonville, TN). The full menu is here!
Cocktails feature 86 Company Spirits, founded by Jason Kosmas. The beer selection is divided into Texas, American, and International. The whiskey program at TNT is vast and includes bourbon from some of Kentucky’s legendary distilleries such as Woodford Reserve’s small batch, Makers Mark ‘46’, and Four Roses’ small batch listed alongside a Old Rip Van Winkle (aged for ten years) and the 100-proof Rock Hill Farms single barrel straight bourbon.
As seen in our August 2012 issue.4 Comments »
Here’s a little photo-loving to help you get over Hump Day. Today also happens to be the day Oak is starting its new lunch menu. There’s pan seared trout, baked goat cheese with lavosh and marinated olives, and a ham and cheese croissant that looks so fine.. I’m not even going to finish this sentence. Jason Maddy’s new menu is designed to reflect the changing season and what’s available to him from purveyors and small farms.
Alan “Patric” McClure, owner of Patric Chocolate, is the kind of guy who blushes when you tell him, “My editor sent me here because you’re famous.”
We’re standing in the middle of Central Market’s busiest intersection – a place where people and grocery carts collide – and it takes him a couple minutes to recover from my forward introduction. When McClure gathers his thoughts, he launches into his insane foodie-ism and then does something completely unexpected: he starts modeling with his chocolate. Tyra would be proud.
Jump for some funny photos.
A couple of weeks ago I gushed about my love for the burgers at Kenny’s Burger Joint. One of our Sidedishers, “Kirk,” commented that they offered “the closest facsimile of poutine in the DFW area.” When I heard this, it was not long until I found my way back to sample the Kenny’s version. As you likely know, “poutine” is a classic Canadian dish, traditionally composed of crispy French fries, cheese curds, and a brown gravy. The most successful variations of poutine are able to serve the fries thick and crisp, the cheese curd soft but not so completely melted that they lose all their texture, and the gravy incorporated into each bite, but not so much as to turn the whole thing into a soup or make the fries overly soggy. However, this dish is incredibly hard to find in Dallas. I don’t understand why this is so. Perhaps it’s our distance from our neighbors to the North? Perhaps there are not enough Canadians here in the Lone Star State? It really is a travesty.14 Comments »
SideDish photographer Desiree Espada roams the roads with her camera looking for good things to eat and shoot. Check out her photo essay of Bolsa Mercado. Then feast your eyes on what to expect when the Jerry Garcia of donut making, James St. Peter, opens Hypnotic Donuts on Sunday, January 29.
Glory be to the donut. Continue reading "Desiree + Camera: Photo Essay of Hypnotic Donuts in East Dallas"
When do you know that you have started to become a little too familiar with a restaurant? Well, if you pull into Kenny’s Burger Joint and your kid starts cheering, “Yay! Uncle Kenny.” And no, I’m not related to Kenny Bowers…and my kid hardly even recognizes his grandparents. Perhaps this familiarity could be seen as a problem in a city that offers so many burger options, but to be honest, its easy to get underwhelmed by the consistent stream of the newly minted burger joints. Seems like there are about 2 new openings a week, la-dee-frickin-da. These days, I can count on one hand the number of places I will actually patronize to in order to obtain a truly exceptional burger. Kenny’s has been doing things right since the beginning.
Kenny will tell you that he originally got such excellent feedback from his “Sterling Silver Burger” at Kenny’s Wood Fired Grill, that it was only natural to create a burger-centric restaurant. And we are all blessed because of it. Sure, it’s a bit of a pain for many to trek out to Frisco, but when quality and consistency intersect, the results can be something so enticing that nearly anyone can bust out of the north-of-635 bubble.
Lots of needy guys popping up in my inbox today. (beat, beat) This guy is looking for romance and a big steak.
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I’m celebrating my five year anniversary later this month with my steak-loving wife. Any suggestion on a steakhouse that also has somewhat of a romantic vibe?
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 »
Chef Hung Nguyen is one of only a handful of Level II sake sommeliers in the world. He is also one of the nicest guys in the world. Today, Chef Hung announces he is teaming up with another one of the nicest guys in the world, Teiichi Sakurai of Tei-An, to celebrate the annual opening of the saké brewing season in Japan, “Nihonshu no hi.” Here is Chef Hung:
On Sunday, Oct 2 at 7pm, I’m teaming up with Teiichi Sakurai and the Tei An staff to present a special dinner of authentic and progressive Japanese cuisine, paired with saké. Our emphasis this year will be on saké from the Tohoku region, which was devastated by disasters earlier this year. The overall effect of those events on the quality and availability of Tohoku saké won’t be known until at least next year, so we’ll savor these 2011 brews while we still can. As a side note, we’re drinking brews produced prior to the disasters–there should be no contamination concerns.
Menu and details below.1 Comment »
Our gal on the street, Julissa Treviño, attended Lightcatcher Winery’s Lucy Dance grape crushing party over the weekends. Behold her report:
Crowds of people—most of them in peasant skirts, peasant tops, and bandanas—lined up outside LightCatcher Winery in Fort Worth on Saturday at noon, waiting for their turn to participate in what the winery calls “the Lucy Dance.”
About 300 people showed up for the winery’s annual public grape crushing event, Crush Day, this weekend. Anyone dressed as Lucy (based on the I Love Lucy episode where she crushed grapes) got to take home a free bottle of the 2010 Texas Kiss Merlot Rosé.
jump for the report and messy pics… Continue reading "Lightcatcher Winery in Fort Worth Hosts I Love Lucy Grape Stomping Party"2 Comments »
What to expect: Meso Maya, the self-labeled “simple modern Mexican food” restaurant that opened in Preston Forest Shopping Center last week has success writ large from the kitchen to the curb. First, chef Nico Sanchez (The Porch, Hibiscus), whom owner Mike Karns (president of El Fenix) lured away from the Consilient Restaurant Group, is heading up the kitchen. Second, the management team is being wrangled, in part, by the lovely MCrowd veteran, Elizabeth Ruiz. Third, the menu is packed with abundant deliciousness from the fresh margaritas, to the guacamole, to the house-specialty budin Azteca.
We visited (undercover) last week and are still talking about it today. Here’s the scoop:
jump for pictures and details… Continue reading "First-Take Review: Meso Maya Rocks Preston Forest With Regional Mexican Moxie"6 Comments »
Anybody spotted Pecos cantaloupes in Dallas? I’ve been looking and I can’t find them. Need them. Today.7 Comments »
The Tesar is on The TV tonight. He will appear on The Food Network’s EXtreme Chef at 9PM. I believe The Tesar is hosting The Watching Party with specials on wine. Tonight’s episode “Survive The Farm” sounds exciting. Listen:
Three chefs travel to a farm to dig for their own ingredients, but a powerful dust storm stops them in their tracks. And one chef almost quits after a cow he’s milking goes mad.
Tune in to see which chef goes mad with the cow. Spoiler alert: It couldn’t be The Tesar. He’s already mad.