This week we’re taking things back to the basics with a food that most people can get behind, peanut butter. I picked up a variety of creamy, nutty pastes from area grocery stores. Some are all-natural, while others are packed full of added sugar and additives. So, which one is the best according to D Magazine staffers?Full Story
I recently revisited Jeffery Steingarten’s “Salt Chic” piece in “It Must’ve Been Something I Ate.” In the essay, the Vogue food critic explores the validity of exotic salts, and questions whether or not they’re worth paying extra for. “Now, every gourmet store sells costly varieties of salt in a rainbow of colors from the world over. Food fans who once brought back unusual olive oils to their friends back home now come bearing bags of exotic salts,” he writes. Later in the piece he conducts a salt taste test. I thought it would be fun to oversee my own salt taste test this week. The sea salts tasted included a Himalayan pink salt, black lava salt, fleur de sel, Brittany sea salt, Alaea red Hawaiian salt, and sea salt from Trapani. Unfortunately, not all of my co-workers felt the same. “We’re tasting salt?” one questioned. Another shot me a serious stink-eye and sneered, “this is gross.” I promised them something much more delicious next week.Full Story
Some tasters could tell the difference, others forfeited after the first sip, and a few got creative with their answers. Here’s what they thought.Full Story
Sparkling wine is fine for celebrating everyday occasions, but we at SideDish feel there’s something special about ringing in the new year with a proper glass of champagne. For this week’s taste test, with some help from a wine expert, I selected five bottles of champagne that cost less than $50 a piece. Some were dry, others juicy, but only one reigned supreme. Here’s what we thought.Full Story
The cheese log is as vintage as lava lamps and bouffants. The dish, which was once a party staple, is making a comeback with a little help from Pinterest and trendy DIY cookbooks. I stopped by multiple grocery stores in pursuit of log-shaped cheese, rolled in toasted nuts. Unfortunately, I only came across one log. The rest were spherical. Surely the shape doesn’t affect the taste, right?Full Story
So you’re running late to your sister’s boyfriend’s boss’ holiday party and agreed to grab a seasonally appropriate six-pack on the way. The beer aisle at the liquor store is littered with decorative packaging, each boasting its own brand of holiday delight. Every label taunts the palate with promises of pecans, nutmeg, ginger, vanilla, oranges, cocoa, and even toffee. How the heck are you supposed to choose?Full Story
The traditional holiday cake comes in a variety of colors and consistencies. Some are dark and rich with molasses, while others are flecked and sweetened with corn syrup. One commonality, however, is that every fruitcake is loaded with an assortment of nuts, dried fruit, spices, and if you’re lucky, brandy.Full Story
Iron your great grandmother’s fall foliage table runner and polish your turkey-shaped candelabras, Thanksgiving is merely a week away. How did it creep up so fast? Good question. Don’t worry if you haven’t had time to dust off your Williams-Sonoma cookbook, though. Area grocery stores are stocked full of ready-made, no fuss options for your holiday banquet. Some of which aren’t too shabby, either.Full Story
We’re trying a variety of store-bought Thanksgiving sides every week this month in honor of the impending holiday. We kicked things off last Thursday with cranberry sauce. Out of all the gelatinous mounds of crimson berries tasted, Pacific Whole Berry came out on top. This week we dug our forks into heaps of packaged stuffing.Full Story
Thanksgiving is fast approaching, and while your Pinterest board may be overflowing with mouthwatering recipes that you’ve been daydreaming about making since April, it’s important to keep alternative, quick options on hand. Let’s face it, life throws curveballs — especially around the holidays — and that heavenly turkey and cranberry strudel that you’ve been dreaming of might never materialize.
Over the next few weeks, we’ll be tasting Thanksgiving staples that can be purchased at grocery stores in and around Dallas. We’re kicking things off this week with cranberry sauce. The holiday side comes in a variety of flavors, shapes and consistencies. My personal favorite is the gelatinous blob that comes in the shape of the can. The more can rings imprinted on the mold, the better. On the other hand, there are some delectable whole-berry, organic sauces out there that are sure to delight even the snobbiest of dinner guests.
I ran around to a handful of grocery store in town and picked up a few varieties of cranberry sauces, and a handful of helpful D Magazine staff members tasted them. Here’s what they thought.Full Story
Dill Pickles, they’re versatile and delicious. You can slice them, fry them, stick them in a sandwich, or use their juice to chase down a shot of whiskey. There’s nothing quite like the briny zing of a dill pickle. But like most things, they come in a variety of shapes, colors and textures. There’s kosher, organic, spicy, sweet, garlic-infused, all of which flaunt the title “dill pickle.” For this week’s blind taste test, D Magazine staff tried a handful of store-bought spears. Here’s what they thought.Full Story
It seems everybody has an opinion when it comes to chips and salsa in Dallas, and more often than not, the opinion is a strong one. It’s one of those heated issues that can be uncomfortable to bring up in a room full of people — like religious views, or whether or not David Lynch is a sellout for endorsing a line of women’s athletic wear (I recently had a friend storm out of a cocktail party in a huff over that particular topic). People hold their favorite chips and salsa combos near and dear to their hearts. And truthfully, the quality (or lack thereof) is enough to lead someone to a specific restaurant, or steer them away. Ideally, we would have tasted all of the chips and salsas in town for this week’s blind taste test, but there was simply not enough counter space, or room in our bellies. So I narrowed down the selection to seven. Here’s what happened.Full Story
Last week a colleague asked me where he could find a delicious French baguette in downtown Dallas. I sat there for what felt like an hour with my mouth open while my eyes glazed over. I finally answered with a long “uhhhhhhh….” Truth is, I had no idea. Ridden with an overwhelming feeling of inadequacy, I hopped on Google and started searching. While I couldn’t find anything in the downtown area, I did come across plenty of information on the usual suspects: Empire Baking Company, eatZi’s, Whole Foods, Village Baking Co. and Central Market. It seems each bakery has its own version of the classic French loaf. But which one is the best? A handful of conscientious D Magazine staffers stuffed their faces with bread for this week’s blind taste test. It was a tough job, but somebody had to do it. Here’s what they thought.Full Story
October is National Apple Month. What is National Apple Month, you ask? I’m not entirely sure. But I do know that I like apples. And more than apples, I like pie. I’ve yet to find a flaky, succulent circle of happiness that I wasn’t eager to shovel into my mouth; from rhubarb to arguably the best pie on earth — chicken pot pie. So, for this week’s taste test, D Magazine staffers tried a handful of apple pies from grocery stores in town. I didn’t think it would be fair to include luscious, gourmet pies — I’m talking to you Emporium — in the ranking. The pies varied in texture, flavor and price (ranging from $3.99 to $14.99) but only one reigned supreme. Here’s what happened.Full Story
I grabbed a shopping cart at Spec’s this past weekend and loaded it up with every single gourd-infused brew that I could get my hands on. It was apparent that my enthusiasm for drinking all of the pumpkin beers had taken over when it came time to check out. I had to put some back. With help from a lovely beer aficionado, I narrowed down my selection to ten. Surely, ten was a good number? Wrong. It was still too many.
I made a final cut on the day of the taste test, squeezing it down to six, pumpkiny beers. Yes, Lakewood’s Punkel was axed. But everybody already knows how delicious it is, right? I wanted to feature some lesser-known brews. So, for this week’s installment of Taste Test Thursday D Magazine staffers sipped on (and chugged) a selection of pumpkin libations. Here’s what they thought.Full Story
Our contestants hail from Carrollton, Lewisville, and Dripping Springs, TX.Full Story
We put chocolatey treats from four local bakeries to a blind test. Is crunchy or gooey better?Full Story
We put the classic dessert from four local eateries to the test, and we had a clear winner. Head to Park Cities and try it for yourself.Full Story
Slow Bone, Sonny Bryan’s, Lockhart & Off the Bone: whose potato salad reigns supreme?Full Story
They all have the same ingredients. So which one does the plain potato chip best?Full Story