Imagine for one second that you happened to forget that it was Valentine’s Day next week. Maybe you were busy at work, maybe you were simply swamped with World of Warcraft, who cares. You forgot and now your wife is giving you the what for. I know how you feel, I’ve been there before. There’s a reason the arms of my micro-fiber couch have sleepy-drool stains on them.
Fear not compadres, there is a foolproof way to get yourself out of the dog house and back on that lovely pedestal.
Step 1: Flowers (they are all suckers for dead plants).
Step 2: Learn the value of a good-ole, tear jerkin’ apology.
Step 3: Surprise her with a night out at Stephan Pyles.
You wife will be putty in your hands.
Anyone who appreciates sizzling flavors should head over to the 10th year of ZestFest, a food festival featuring some of the spiciest exhibitors and products from all over the country. Celebrity chefs like Jon Bonnell (Bonnell’s Fine Texas Cuisine) and Lou Lambert (Lambert’s) will be answering those burning questions of yours during their cooking demonstrations. Heck, what beats a weekend full of crazy people participating the Wing Stop Atomic wing competition or the jalapeño eating competition? Nothing. (Except maybe drinking tea with the Queen of England.) The blood, sweat, and tears from participants should be a pretty close second.
Jump for details.
UPDATE: We have winners. Thanks for playing everyone.
We are giving away two pairs of tickets for this weekend’s Travel & Adventure Show at the Dallas Convention Center—an event that, apart from being a trade show, is also home to the Fiery Foods Challenge on Saturday and a cooking competition with the grand prize of a Yucatan vacation on Sunday.
The travel show starts on Saturday at 10 am with The Fiery Foods Challenge running from 1:30 to 3:30 pm. The format: three North Texas chefs will compete for audience votes with their signature dishes. Kenneth Patrick from Cedar Hill, owner of Ken’s Texas Catering, will whip up his habañero shrimp (1:45 p.m.); Prajakta Remulkar, who writes at spiceupyoursoul.blogspot.com will come out swinging with spicy gambas (2:15 p.m.); and Barry and Darryl King, founders of Brothers Sauces will blow the lid off their “Beat The Heat” crockpot brisket (3:15 p.m.)
jump to find out how to win tickets… Continue reading "Free Tickets To This Weekend’s Fiery Foods Challenge and A Chance To Win A Yucatan Vacation"1 Comment »
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 »
‘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 »
Central Market’s annual Hatch Chile Recipe Contest is drawing to a close. If you haven’t come forward with an idea for a starters, entree, desserts, or drink, now’s the time. “From five ingredients to 50,” says CM, “nothing’s out of bounds if it involves a heavenly helping of Hatch.” Recipes are due via the website by Monday, August 22, at 10 am. Central Market will select eight winning recipes—one for each store. Each of the eight winning entries will receive 75 pounds of Hatch chile peppers and a $100 Central Market gift card. Plus, all entrants receive one-time offer for a coupon for $5 off a $25 purchase just for entering.
While you’re at it, enter to judge the contest. Just prepare a brief statement about your best chile memory to qualify. Central Market selects one judge for each store. Limit one entry per person. Entries for this also close on Monday, August 22, 2011, at 10 am.
Lots of questions coming in this morning. This one arrives via Twitter:
dallasbeerweek dallasbeerweekHelp me oh @Dsidedish, what is the best hangover cure? Burgers? Tex-Mex? Hemlock? <head pounds>
I’ve had more than my fair share of vegetarian entrees placed in front of me by chefs beaming with anticipation of converting me to a meatless lifestyle. It never took. Not one of the dishes offered that X-factor I need in order to feel satisfied, probably because in addition to being vegetarian, most of them were shunning salt, fats, and oils in an attempt to also create something healthy.
Last night, at Madras Pavilion, I felt like I finally discovered the best of both—a veggie feast spiced to the gills and custom made for my hearty appetite. Not only was the food piping hot, fresh, plentiful, and affordable ($34 for a five-course chef’s feast for two), but it drew a crowd that was 90 percent Indian, always a good sign (apart from the two of us, the only other non-Indian table was a family of observant Jews, most likely there because the restaurant is also Kosher).
Course #1: Mulligatawny soup
Course #2: veggie fritters
Course #3: potato and vegetable dosai (I was already stuffed at this point.)
Course #4: naan and rice with pots of yellow dal, saag with cheese, vegetable curry
Course #5: cheese disc in sweet coconut milk and topped with crushed pistachios
But I fell down on the job, readers. I only took one picture, and it was after we had done serious damage to the fourth course of our five-course, $34 marathon.
jump for the not-at-all helpful picture… Continue reading "Forget the Shorts, The Only Madras I’m Interested in Today is the Pavilion"1 Comment »
We already know that parsley, as a garnish, is out and micro greens are in. Also, a hamburger is not a hamburger unless it has a pickle or cornichon skewered to the top bun. Today, I predict the demise of the jalapeno and the rise of the guajillo pepper. I know it’s a bold statement, but I’m feeling bold and douchey today. So, if you have anything better to suggest, I’m all (deleted).3 Comments »
This week I attended a media lunch at Pho Colonial Authentic Vietnamese Diner on Frankford Rd. in Far North Dallas, and while I’m generally not a fan of fast food, and while Pho may at first look like it belongs under that banner, what owner/creator Khanh Dao has created here has very little to do with the fast food milieu. Think handcrafted pork and shrimp dumplings for $3.50, two large fresh spring rolls for only $3, or Bun (grilled meat over rice vermicelli) for between $6.75 -$9.50. Bonus: the rice noodles that Pho uses throughout the dishes are naturally gluten free, which means you can enjoy a protein-rich feeling of fullness without the bloat.
Dao, a Dallas restaurant veteran and sassy addition to the North Dallas casual dining scene, has chosen to go with the second-nature dishes of her youth. Her signature Pho—so rich and customizable—requires that the eater wield both chopsticks and spoon and packs a low calorie count thanks to grilled meats and clear broth. The combination is as good for an afternoon shopping stop (especially when you’re needing a pit stop after Ikea) as it is for curing a cold. My leftover pho tai chin (thinly shaved beef & brisket in broth with bean sprouts and fresh rice noodles) knocked my hubby’s head cold out of the park by morning.
Best news of all, both locations (Frankford Rd. and the soon-to-open downtown location in the Wilson building) deliver (keep an eye out for their pink mopeds). So you can settle in with some shaken beef or banh mi at home tonight and have enough left over for lunch tomorrow.
According to their Facebook status, the long awaited Good 2 Go Taco (formerly of Green Spot Market & Fuels) soft-opened today. Head on over to their new location at 1146 Peavey Rd. 1146 Peavy Rd. for lunch and let us know what you think!
Not just a euphemism anymore, Fire in the Hole was the name of Medical City’s entry in Sunday’s chili cook-off at The Dallas Farmers Market where pro (and semi-pro) teams from Le Cordon Bleu, Northwood Club, Chef’s Pete’s Catering, The French Room, and El Centro Culinary School, faced off against contenders from Mama D and Medical City (as well as an enthusiastic entry calling themselves The Chili Chicks) to benefit the Texas Chefs Association and Friends of the Dallas Farmers Market.
Jump here for the photo gallery… Continue reading "Fire in the Hole at Sunday’s Smashing Chili Chowdown"
Can’t get enough of the Blazing Saddles campfire scene? Then head to the Smashing Chili Chowdown this Sunday from noon-4 pm at the Dallas Farmers Market shed 4 (Wholesale Produce Building) to watch local chefs, culinary school instructors, student culinarians, and fabulous foodies from all over the Dallas battle it out for the bragging rights to the best chili in town. $10 gets you 10 samples, so taste judiciously and don’t leave without casting your vote for the People’s Choice Award Winner.
(Proceeds benefit the Texas Chefs Association and Friends of the Dallas Farmers Market.)
Like everyone, I tend to overlook the restaurants out there that have been around forever, imagining a tired menu and service worn thin by too many years of sameness.
So, when a restaurant in this category actually wins me over, I tend to springboard in the opposite direction and spread the good news like Scrooge on Christmas morning. All of which is to say that while I may have slogged through the door at Taj Mahal last night, I emerged transformed.
jump for the rest of the story… Continue reading "Taj Mahal Surprises With Outsider Charm and a Mystery Woman"
I’d love to kick this off with a cliché like, “I’ve never met a taco I didn’t like,” but I’d be a big, fat liar. I’ve met a number of tacos that rubbed me the wrong way. (For the record, I’ve met an equal number that I don’t even remember because they made so faint an impression.) Top of the list (sublime): the calamari soft taco from Taco Loco in Laguna Beach. Bottom of the heap: the Nebraska-truck-stop, E. coli time bomb of ’93 that stranded me in a deserted campground for 30 hours straight.
Luckily, today’s lunch of fish and crawfish tacos at Fuzzy’s Taco Shop on Mockingbird did not fall into the latter category, nor did it fall into the former (admittedly, that bar is set pretty high). Where it fell instead is in the “old-reliable” category, which means I’d go there again and order the same combinations again but not stray too far from my choices (my companion was not so fortunate and marked hers in the “feh” category). Take my suggestions or not – nothing about this is life-or-death – but you can trust me that these combos won’t disappoint:
What’s your favorite taco joint in town? I really would like to know, but feel free to leave out your graphic tales of woe; I’ve amassed plenty of those on my own.32 Comments »
Disclaimer: Let me preface the following by saying that I was raised by Pennsylvania Dutch parents, which explains a lot about what I’m about to say:
When I was growing up, the list of what my parents “didn’t believe in” (mayonnaise, private cars, food made by strangers, and tuna from a can) was almost as long as the list of what they actively feared (avocados, botulism, spices of all kinds, and activities that attracted more than four people). That being said, both going to the State Fair and eating spicy foods were completely out of the question. (My only experience of going to a Fair came in 1976 when our elderly neighbors staged a pity-abduction and took my brother and me in the back of their wood-paneled Travelall. Sidenote: once we got there, I was both too thrilled and too afraid to eat anything.)
So, imagine the illicit charge I got (as both a food writer and Fair virgin) as I noshed my way through the tastings at last night’s Fair Food sneak peek in the Food & Fiber Pavillion. From this year’s bumper crop of TX commestibles, three standouts made my list for best bets for stocking the goodie-corner of my pantry.11 Comments »
Anyone who’s said “I do” can tell you that marriage is as filled with pros (having a special someone who’s legally obligated to listen to you complain about Valentine’s Day, ingrown hairs, and the jackass who ate your sandwich/onion rings/pudding cup at work) as it is with cons (having someone who you’re legally obligated to do the same for, knowing all the while that even that single guy who ate your onion rings is getting laid way more often than you are).
Thankfully, there’s something new to add to the Pro column: having someone to double team the menu at Lalibela with. For those of you who have yet to fling yourselves headlong into the gustatory joy that is Ethiopian cuisine (and a sad, sad lot you are), Lalibela provides one of the finest examples of the style that I’ve found in my extensive research (read: gluttonous eating) in New York, Los Angeles, and many many points in-between. (Take that, Little Ethiopia).
If you’re new to the genre, do as I say and order one vegetarian sampler and one meat sampler. What arrives at your table will be a round platter of spongy injira bread topped with assorted piles of stews, lentils and mashed vegetables. Using your hands (no utensils here), tear off a two-inch square of injira and use it to grab from the piles. Pop the bundle in your mouth and prepare for speechlessness. This is a cuisine best eaten slowly with a Zen-like attention to flavor, texture and stomach fullness, which will creep up on you with surprising speed, so keep your wits about you and make note of every flavor. I promise, you’ll forget about those onion rings in no time.5 Comments »
In the upcoming July issue of D, we’ll be discussing all things suburbs: best schools, lowest crime, and home values among others. Ambiance factors in as well, and, in my opinion, McKinney’s downtown historic square is about as charming as it gets. Pretty tasty too. Great restaurants (Rick’s Chophouse, Spoons Cafe with its amazing homemade coconut cream pie) and one epicurean shop that’s worth the 40 minute drive from my modest Oak Cliff abode: Loco Cowpoke. Does dirty jalapeno olive relish sound tasty? Then jump for the savory details. Continue reading "Crazy for Loco Cowpoke’s Salsa in McKinney"1 Comment »
Just found out that the sweet folk at Thai-rrific — great Thai food in Northwest Dallas — are serving their popular stuffed chicken wings at the State Fair this year for the first time. For the fair, they’re serving a barbeque variation, stuffing the wings with beef, potato, onion, and noodles and then smoking them. You can find them at Smoky John’s BBQ booth.3 Comments »
Too hot to cook or just plain lazy? Either way, these places can ease your pain. Thanks to our editorial intern, Jonathon, for his roundup of ready-to-eat chicken. Around the world flavors in alphabetical order.
Ali Baba Café
$10.00. Whole Middle-Eastern rotisserie chicken served with garlic sauce, rice, and pita bread.
Each bird cooked 1 hour and fifteen minutes
Garlic, olive oil, Middle-Eastern spices.
Each bird is cooked for about an hour.
Flavor options: Classic, Beijing (seasoned with fiery and pungent spices such as sugar, garlic, salt, ginger, cayenne, star anise), Citrus Peppercorn, Herb, Sonoma, Spice Trade, Spicy Thai, Tuscan, Vanilla Pepper.
Chic from Barcelona
$14.95 for whole chicken with roasted apples
Family special pick-up:
$39.95. A whole chicken, a half chicken,
a quarter gallon of gazpacho,
choice of two salads
“Secret chicken recipe” Continue reading "Price Check: Rotisserie Chicken in Dallas Roundup"