In 2002, I accompanied Harvey “Goff” Gough, former Goff’s Hamburgers owner and certainly one Dallas’ most “colorful” restaurateurs, to Afghanistan and Uzbekistan. Our mission was to cook 2,000 steak dinners for the soldiers who had just been deployed to the area. It was quite an experience.
Since then, Harvey and his band of loyalists have completed similar missions in Kuwait, Iraq, Afghanistan, Dibouti, and the USS Nimitz. Harvey’s Steak Team Mission has new marching orders. This time the feast will be served closer to Dallas—Harvey is organizing a dinner for 10,000 soldiers and their families at the Army base in Fort Hood, Texas. The event is scheduled for early March. Harvey is looking for some local help. Donations for his project—food or money—is always welcomed, but he really needs the a local caterer to assemble 10,000 bacon-wrapped jalapenos for the appetizers.
Steak Team Mission will supply the meat, jalapenos, bacon, and toothpicks and pay labor costs. A bus will go down in the morning and return later the same day. “Media pukes,” as Harvey would say, are not welcome but publicity for the event is encouraged. I’ve signed up for another tour of duty. I say, “Hooah! y’all. Fire up the grills.”4 Comments »
Once upon a time, Bob Sambol’s partner was Bill Lenox. Together they built a powerhouse of a restaurant on Lemmon Avenue. Bill and Bob continued their excellent adventure and planted locations in Denver, Plano, and San Francisco. Then Bob and Bill parted ways. For a while, Bill teamed up with Steve (Cool River, Bob’s Grapevine) Hartnett. In January, Omni acquired a 50 percent stake in the Bob’s Steak & Chop House brand after helping to expand to new Tucson and Fort Worth locations within Omni Hotels.
I ran into Lenox the other night and he seemed happy with the fact that all of the BS surrounding BSCH has been settled. Today the company announced that the partnership between Omni Hotels & Resorts and Bill Lenox which owns the restaurant’s brand – has reached an agreement for the original Bob’s restaurant to “continue to operate as a Bob’s Steak & Chop House. Omni and Lenox have met with the new owners and agreed to carry on the name.”
What does the Omni Hotels’ president, Mike Deitemeyer think? “We are pleased that the original location will continue to operate as part of this great steakhouse brand and believe the new owners have a great passion for the restaurant,” said Mike Deitemeyer.
“This location set the mark for exceptional steaks, ambience and service, and we look forward to it upholding that standard.”
Equal time to Jessica Smith, owner of Lemmon Avenue Holdings and managing member of Bob’s on Lemmon Avenue in Dallas: “I’m thrilled that the restaurant will stay within the Bob’s family,” said Jessica Smith. “We look forward to carrying on the tradition of excellence Bob’s has established.”
What a great Christmas story! The only restaurant with a real guy named Bob can call it Bob’s.
I dropped by Ocean Prime last night. The place was packed. The mood was festive and celebratory. Over a dry-aged rib-eye and blackened snapper, we attempted to answer the question of why people in Dallas pick fancy steak houses to celebrate a special occasion. For some, it’s a once-a-year date; for others it’s once-a-week. If you have a theory, leave it. Otherwise, go buy me a Christmas present.15 Comments »
Today, Bob Sambol is one happy restaurateur. His current state of bliss comes from the fact that a, for now, secret group of investors stepped up to the auction house plate and outbid Del Frisco’s and BSCH Management, owned by Sambol’s former partner Bill Lenox and Omni Hotels. Super-sleuth, Robert “Bob” Willonsky, has the full story.
I just spoke with a giddy Sambol. “I am so %*#k*@g happy,” he said. “It worked out really well. Of course, the deal has to be legally approved on December 7, but for now, it’s business as usual.” Sambol also says, “I’m ecstatic because these guys aren’t going to change a %*#k*@g thing. I am going to continue running this place like I have for the last 16 years.”
Hmm. When I had him on the phone, I didn’t want to suggest that he might want to change a few of his tactics because he was so %*#k*@g happy. Sambol has made a few questionable decisions and he’s paid a high emotional price for the resulting business problems—many of his regular customers and friends deserted him. “I really learned who my friends are,” said Sambol. “There are some really nice people in this town and they have been very loyal to me. Some of the people who you think are the most ruthless people in town have really helped me. And I am deeply indebted to my regular customers and staff who have stayed with me. Right now everything is great. Business is great.”10 Comments »
Guess what, gang? Here comes Ocean Prime, a swanky seafood and steaks restaurant with a gorgeous outdoor patio with a fireplace, a cocktail lounge and piano bar, and private dining rooms. OP is an import. The concept comes from Cameron Mitchell Restaurants which is based in Columbus Ohio. The company operates 17 restaurants with under seven different concepts. Yes it’s a chain, but I’ve heard from several folks they do a good job. We’ll see won’t we. Ocean Prime (2101 Cedar Springs across from the Rosewood Crescent Hotel) will open Thursday. Wonder if they’ll have crème brulee.7 Comments »
There is an interesting article in today’s Wall Street Journal about USDA Prime beef. Costco and Wal-Mart shoppers are finding USDA Prime cuts of tenderloin, porterhouse, and rib-eyes in the meat department. Also, prices for Prime at high-end stores such as Whole Foods are dropping. Why? Business is down in big dollar steak restaurants? Sure, business is down in almost every restaurant. I can’t help but wonder if perhaps some big name steak joints have lowered the quality of what they are selling as USDA Prime. It happens. Why do you think many top steak houses lock their dumpsters? Competitors have been known to dumpster dive and expose the “choice” evidence.
But I’m off task. The WSJ author, Katy McLaughlin, interviewed Steven Raichlen, host of public television’s Primal Grill and author of The Barbecue Bible. Raichlen talks about grass-fed beef and why it is rarely (sorry) graded Prime.
By contrast, grass-fed meat, which comes from cattle that haven’t been fattened on grain towards the end of their lives, rarely earns the prime grade because it tends to be less marbled. But it can have a more complex flavor, with herbal notes that reflect the grass diet, and it is also healthier than corn-fed beef, with more omega-3 fatty acids and less saturated fat. This meat benefits from a sprinkling of melted butter or olive oil. For the ultimate garnish, Mr. Raichlen recommends making a cup of aluminum foil, filling it with a piece of beef fat, and placing it over a cooler part of the grill until it melts. Pour a little liquid fat over a cooked steak for a beefy enhancement, he recommends.
In case you don’t read the whole article or the link doesn’t work, here is the money quote: “Man, oh man, it couldn’t be any tenderer” he says. “You chew it with your tongue.” Yummers, that could be a big seller at the Cheesecake Factory.15 Comments »
Seriously. Earlier this morning I walked into Buzzbrews on Lemmon and as I approached the table where sat one Harvey Gough, he reeled his hand back and threw a frozen steak at me. AGAIN.
It seems like yesterday that I was sitting in a cargo container on an isolated Air Force base in Uzbekistan with an ice pack on my eye after Harvey had hit me in the face with a frozen sirloin. In case you missed the escape, it’s all here in black, white, and red.
Anywhoo, Harvey and I never kissed, but we made up. He’s now happily married and has a gorgeous 4-year old daughter who looks just like her mother. Besides our trip in late 2002, Harvey has taken many missions overseas to feed the troops.
Harvey and I met today to discuss another (im)possible mission. I’m sure it will never happen, but it’s always fun to listen to “Harvey Stories.” I know, you either love him or hate him—the stories of his abuse to customers at his Goff’s Hamburger store are almost (he wishes) legendary. But he has some tales that, if published, would be a best seller. (Oh, let’s cast the movie!) I can’t tell you all of the things going on with Harvey—he’s got a few irons in the fire. But stay tuned. There will be news. Hey Harvey, DUCK!8 Comments »
Rusty Roth of East Texas’ Rusty’s Grass Finished Foods visits Flavors From Afar this Saturday 10am-3pm to tout the benefits of grass-finished beef. The handsome cowpoke will offer cooking tips and plenty of samples of his steak, burgers, and various sausages (chorizo, Polish, Italian, and more).9 Comments »
Last night our editorial intern, Kellyn Curtis, headed over to Central Market for a tough assignment–a cooking class led by, “The Thomas Keller of South America,” Francis Mallman. His recent cookbook, Seven Fires: Grilling the Argentine Way is gorgeous. Here’s what went on at CM on Lovers last night:
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Dallas cooking enthusiasts got a little taste of Argentina Monday night at Central Market’s cooking school. Chef Francis Mallman, one of South America’s biggest culinary stars, prepared three dishes the Argentine way and paired them with some great wines.
Chef Mallman became Argentina’s best-known chef by preparing haute-French cuisine. But he soon got bored and decided to go back to the basics by cooking with wood fire and cast iron – the way the gauchos used to do it. The change paid off. He owns three South American restaurants and has written several cookbooks.
The class entitled Seven Fires/Three Winds started off with a salad. Sounds simple enough, but according to the chef even the simplest things can be difficult to do well. But he made the burnt carrots with goat cheese, parsley, arugula, and crispy garlic chips salad look easy. He paired it with a Trivento Torrontes Select, a crisp wine with flavors of tropical fruit and citrus.
The next item on the menu was a whole boneless rib eye with chimichurri served with a Patagonian potato galette. Chef Mallman pointed out that chimichurri is the most Argentinean sauce for meat. Chefs have tried to make variations of the original, but Mallman says there is only one true chimichurri. He waited until the last minute to coat the rib eye with the sauce so that the two different flavors would remain separate. For this course, he chose a red wine – Trivento Malbec Select.
He finished off the night with burnt oranges and rosemary paired with a Trivento Pinot Noir. This is one of his simplest recipes but the flavors and texture were intense and complex. Warning: don’t attempt this dish indoors – it will engulf the kitchen in smoke.
It’s hard to believe VonGeertsem Butcher Shoppe in Uptown has been open three years. Greg and Kathy Geerts must be doing more than just a little something right, they are adding to their inventory. Besides excellent cuts of corn fed beef, they now offer high quality North Texas Black Angus grass fed beef. 3527 Oak Lawn Ave. 214-219-3700.5 Comments »
Ed Bailey, the man who sold/is selling his McDonald’s franchises to become a fine-dining restaurateur will open Bailey’s Prime Plus on Wednesday, April 29 at Uptown Village at Cedar Hill. Menu? Prime steaks, side dishes, decadent deserts, and fine wine. (Attention Judd Fruia, possible job opening.)
Anywhoo, Bailey’s, the restaurant, is next door to Bailey’s, the man’s, other restaurant , Patrizio. For all of you city slickers, Uptown Village at Cedar Hill is at Highway 67 and Pleasant Run Road. Still lost? Go here . 469-272-3331. (Website coming.)
If you’re looking for a restaurant on date night and your lady likes to eat (like me), take her to The Grill on the Alley for a petite Prime filet, half-pound of Alaska king crab legs, and a loaded baked potato for $29.95 on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday nights after 4 pm. If prime rib is more your thang, the Slow-Roasted SundayPrime Rib Dinner is now available on Saturday, too, for $29.95.2 Comments »
When the food editor of D Magazine and SideDish tells you to eat at Relais de L’Entrecote, and then several people second that motion, you cannot help but check into your hotel and run immediately for the nearest red awning. (In our case, it was the restaurant on rue Marbeuf, near the Champs-Elysees.) Besides, we were STARVING, so we couldn’t wait to fill our bellies with a simple salad topped with walnuts, that beautiful steak frites with magical buttery sauce, and vin rouge. There was a line out the door (always a good sign), the waitress barely spoke English, and I barely speak French. (About the only thing I’ve retained from my years of French in high school and college is je vais a la piscine!) But it didn’t matter. We had what amounted to an amazing meal–made all the more amazing because we were famished. Well, here I am, back in my hotel, barely lucid enough to type because I’m in a food coma. So what do I do? I eat macaroons, of course. Ah, Paris in springtime. Until tomorrow, dear Dishers.7 Comments »
SURPRISE, Ariz.–SideDish is a food-oriented blog, so I won’t go into the finer points of Nolan Ryan’s baseball career. The other day I sat down with the retired hard-throwing right-handed pitcher to talk about something other than baseball. We talked about cows.
The eight-time MLB All-Star has been a rancher for most of his life. When he isn’t busy being the President of the Texas Rangers, he’s moving cattle on one of his two ranches. In between, he sits in a board room, discusses global meat markets, and makes decisions for his company Nolan Ryan’s Guaranteed Tender Beef.
SideDish: When you were playing baseball, did you dream of being a meat purveyor?
Nolan Ryan: I’ve been in the cattle business for 35 years. I guess I’ve had the meat company for—hey, don’t hold me to it, but it’s been about six or seven years. I can’t say I really thought about getting into the meat business. I was much more involved on a day-to-day basis, you know all the marketing, before this job (President of the Rangers) came along. So now I head down [to the ranch] when the team goes on the road.
SideDish: So is pitching the beef business difficult?
Nolan Ryan: I really like the ranching part but when you first get on the producer’s side, you think you know what goes on in the end product. But until you get into that side of it, the marketing of the product, you find you really have to want to be in the business. You have to learn about what drives the demand for the end product. It’s a tough business. We’re going through a horrible drought right now, the worst in 35 years.
SideDish: Tell us about your cows and products.
Nolan Ryan: I’ve run personally myself 2,000 [cattle]. But the company has cattle from other programs and producers. We have five feed lots in South Texas, one in North Texas, and one in California. We use a composite Beefmaster and breed them with a red or black Angus depending on what we need. We graze on grassland and with grains harvested by area farmers and we don’t use added growth hormones or antibiotics during the last 100 days of the feeding period. We never feed meat by-products of any kind.
SideDish: I understand all of the burger stands at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington use your beef. I hear there are plans for a new, expanded concession area with tables and chairs that will feature more options.
Nolan Ryan: [Looks down at the ground, smiles, and shakes his head] Yes, they’re in the process of opening a new stand, a grill–a kind of destination type place with different products. I haven’t seen the final menu yet. I’ve got a lot on my plate.
Ryan’s beef is available at Kroger’s and other stores and restaurants in the Southwest. Here is more info on cuts and quality. Ryan’s new eatery at the Ballpark will debut on April 6th. I’m waiting for details from non-baseball PR types. (Photo courtesy of Nolan Ryan’s website.)
This is Gustavo Ibarra. He’s the new exec chef at Morton’s The Steakhouse. He comes from the Morton’s in SouthPark, which is probably not like South Park at all, but it would be awesome if it was. He was exec there too.
Also, Morton’s would like you to come drink there during happy hour. To intice you, they’ve added the word “power” to happy hour, and dropped drink prices to $4 for beers, and $6 for wine. You can also get a prime sirloin burger with fries for $15, which doesn’t seem low at all to me. But I’m cheap lately and I like free things. Anyway, go say hi to Gustavo, and have a big ol’ New York Strip for us (hi, Luniz!).2 Comments »
Last night I spoke to a packed room of eager food lovers who live at Edgemere on Northwest Highway. Besides discussing the current economic challenges of dining out, we got all nostalgic about Dallas dining. Oh, it was a grand march down memory lane—we traded tales about Il Sorrento, Jean-Claude, Patry’s, Ewald’s, Little Bit of Sweden, and the glamorous ice swans at the Pyramid Room. But in the end, the main question they wanted answered was, “Where is the best steak in Dallas?” I told them I would ask you. Go Dishers, the folks at Edgemere are waiting. And hungry.6 Comments »
Haven’t been to this West End stalwart in years, but by the looks of all the upscale autos parked curbside every night, The Palm is still popular with the money crew. If so, they’ll love this: lobster dinners for two starting at $95 for 4 lbs. Indulge now however. The deal ends this weekend.1 Comment »
Is there a meat market where can I buy a good skirt steak? I’m making a Latin dish for the missus. Also, what do you consider to be the best meat market in Dallas?
Used to be a time when only mom-and-pop markets like Rudolph’s in Deep Ellum or David’s Meat Market in Garland were the only reliable places for butchering meat to order. Now we have Central Market and Whole Foods plus a couple of indy butchers—the last time I chased a great skirt steak was at La Michoacana. Delish and inexpensive.
BTW, I have a bone to pick with butchers. I should say, I don’t find enough bones to pick up at butchers. Anyone else remember the good old days when you could go into any grocery store and get a bag of dog bones for almost nothing? Now the only bones I can find for my hounds are in the frozen section at Whole Foods. Yesterday I paid $8.79 for a package of beef marrow bones. Sure they’re excellent for making sauces and stocks, but pricey for my precious pooches. Oh, I take that back. Discuss.1 Comment »