J. Pepes on Greenville is closed for renovations. A loyal SideDisher and J. Pepes fan writes in:
J Pepes is closing for “renovations” after Sunday (2/3). Don’t know anything else about what they’re doing, when they’re reopening, etc., but the many regulars are despondent at the loss of their local.
Eater National calls Pizza Hut’s new pizza sliders a “monstrosity.” I call them fancy bagel bites.
Winning the “Grossest Super Bowl Foods” category, these chicken wings cupcakes from a New York bakery are truly, deeply nasty. ABC News says that “the cupcake itself is made of cornbread then topped with blue cheese frosting and accented by an actual chicken wing on top.”
Bonus: It’s National Pancake Day at IHOP tomorrow (Feb. 5). FREE pancakes, my friends. Free pancakes.
I was excited to try Max’s Wine Dine. I love Champagne and fried chicken. Been pairing them together since college. Monday night I unofficially dined at Max’s with some dear friends. Good News: The Henri Billiot Brut Rose Champagne was a lovely way to end a day. Bad News: The pan borracho (“drunk bread) is a disgusting mess of torn sourdough bread, prosciutto, and thyme soaked in a savory white wine custard and baked with Gruyere, provolone, and Parmigiano-Reggiano. It, unlike the fried chicken, is not meant to be paired with Champagne. This dish is a culinary crime and felony charges ought to be filed. Can I get a witness.
Hey, wanna play a guessing game? Go below.6 Comments »
I guess Whataburger is tired of contributing to America’s obesity problem, because starting on Monday, July 2 at 3 p.m., its new menu design is going into effect. Yet don’t listen to the PR mumbojumbo and be fooled by this new 550 Calories or Less section since Whataburger’s really just re-arranging its old offerings to look new. You know how some thrifty people can take their old clothes, dress it up, and make it look new again with a belt here and a necklace there? That’s exactly what Whataburger is trying to pull off.
The only thing that’s new seems to be an apple and cranberry chicken salad with two different choices of low-fat vinaigrette dressings.
In case you’re curious, here’s what the skinny part of the menu looks like:
550 Calories or Less Menu
• Whataburger Jr. with Bacon & Cheese, 400 calories
• Double Meat Whataburger Jr. with Cheese, 470 calories
• New Grilled Chicken Melt, 460 calories
• Grilled Chicken Sandwich, 510 calories
• Chicken Fajita Taco, 420 calories
• Whatacatch Sandwich, 450 calories
Whataburger breakfast choices under 550 calories include:
• Cinnamon Roll, 390 calories
• Bacon & Egg Taquito, 380 calories
• Bacon or Sausage Biscuit, 350 to 540 calories
• Egg & Cheese Biscuit, 450 calories
• Biscuit & Jelly, 340 calories
• Egg Sandwich, 310 calories
I once made my opinion of the (worthless) honeydew melon very clear. Today I bring up the yucky chicken wing. They have never appealed to me but apparently I am in the minority. This morning comes word from the National Chicken Council: “More than 1.25 billion wings will be consumed during Super Bowl weekend (100 million pounds!), and, if they were laid end-to-end they would circle the circumference of the Earth – more than twice – a distance that would reach approximately a quarter of the way to the moon.”
My initial response is: if you can circle the earth twice, why don’t you just drop off a few million pounds in places where one chicken for a village causes more excitement than the Super Bowl.
My secondary response is actually a question: How many chickens does it take to make 25 billion chicken wings. Hah! You say: do the math dummy; one chicken has only two wings. But your assumption would be wrong. I turned to the Wing-onomics department (true!) at The National Chicken Council for an answer.
You’ll have to jump because you, like chickens, cannot fly.6 Comments »
In August 2008, I traveled to Savannah, Georgia where I dined at Paula Deen’s restaurant Lady & Sons. We ran a post titled “Paula Deen Wants to Kill You.” I wrote:
I can still smell the rancid butter that hit us in the face when we walked in the door. I’ve got to find the pictures I took of the food I ate–everything was dripping in butter. I remember the chicken pot pie was big enough for four and almost everything was fried. OK, she admits she’s “not your cardiologist,” but she really is contributing to the delinquency of dieters. The night we went, at least 75 per cent of the diners were beyond overweight–they were obese. It was sad–like people watching at the slots in Vegas–everyone was gambling with their lives.
Last week Paula Deen confirmed the rumor: she has Type 2 diabetes. I wonder how many of her dedicated fans also suffer from Type 2? This really chaps my sass because two members of my family didn’t have a choice: they both were diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes when they were young. They have to continually monitor their diet and control their blood sugar. However, Ms. Deen, and other people who put on blinders and continue to fill their body with fat and sugar, had an option. Like not eating a burger made with Krispy Kreme donuts. It’s now rumored that Deen may become the spokesperson for Novartis, a company with a drug designed to treat diabetes. If she personally profits from developing Type 2 diabetes (Hey yáll, I’m your endocrinologist!), I’m going to go berserk. I can already see the talk show circuit lighting up. It makes me sick.81 Comments »
UPPITY DATE: This link from a adult beverage wholesaler.9 Comments »
I was talking with a friend of mine who loves the fried food madness of the Texas State Fair. Obviously many other people share her passion for fried strawberry waffles, fried margaritas, fried butter, and fried bubblegum. The recent “winners” for this year’s State Fair were announced Wednesday and the local blogs comment boxes have lit up like fried Christmas trees.
I hate it all as much as I hated eating in Paula Deen’s restaurant in Savannah. I can still smell the cloud of burnt butter that met me at the door of Lady and Sons Restaurant. The portions were obnoxiously huge and I had to shower when I got back to my hotel.
The last time I visited the Fair, I sat at one of the picnic benches and watched a family of three eat their way through a pile of food. The husband and wife, maybe in their early 40s, were obese. The woman was in a wheel chair with an oxygen tank. The husband, who weighed at least 350 pounds, was shoveling food in his mouth using both hands. The saddest sight was their son. He couldn’t have been 12 years old and already on the verge of obesity. He was listlessly staring at the ground and gnawing on a huge turkey leg.
I can hear you crying: “It’s only once a year. Live a little. Have some fun.” I can’t. That isn’t fun or funny to me. It’s gross.32 Comments »
After the World Series, I asked you guys to tell me where to ease my depression by going face down in a plate of enchiladas. I took all of your suggestions to heart, but headed to one of my usual down-and-dirty favs, Escondido. As I drove down Maple, I passed Avila’s. I haven’t eaten there since the high-drama family feud that sent Ricky Avila to open Mextopia on Greenville erupted.
I’ve always liked Avila’s. One of my favorite things about the place is the smell that greets you when you open the door—fresh chopped jalapenos, onions, and cilantro. The “new” Avila’s, now run by one branch of the family, has an updated interior. The walls are a cheery blue and the enlarged Mexican Loteria cards hanging on said walls pop out like friendly greeters.
But grrrrrrrrr on the enchiladas! I ordered the “Anita’s”: one cheese enchilada, one soft cheese taco, and one meat taco. The ground beef in the hard shell taco was inedible, almost sour. The soft cheese taco was covered with a runny yellow queso that, save for the pickled jalapenos I threw on top, was void of flavor. Even an enchilada covered with a meaty chili sauce was bland. There were no crunchy onions in the center. No think gooey melted cheese oozing out. No comfort. Oh, and the guacamole was just a scoop of mashed avocado we had to dress with spoonfuls of salsa, salt, and lemon. The underlying lettuce was brown. I know they can do better than this, but next time I want to use up valuable calories, I will head to El Jordan or Escondido. Or, at this point, Mexico. So depressed.
Last year was the year of fried butter at the State Fair of Texas. What will this year be? You’ve got eight choices: Deep Fried S’mores Pop•Tart, Fried Chocolate, Deep Fried Frozen Margarita, Fried Lemonade, Fernie’s Fried Club Salad, Texas Fried Caviar, Fried Beer Texas, and Fried Frito Pie. Go here to find out more.
After two local email newsletters featured J. Black’s Feelgood Lounge in the same week, I had two friends ask me to go. One was seduced by the idea of the Bloody Mary bar; the other by the words “brunch” and “Austin” together in a sentence. I based my decision on the online menu, which looked like a solid field of tasty American dishes. And so with my Austin-loving friend I went for brunch on Sunday. It was a lot to, ehem, digest. Continue reading "Restaurant Review: Brunch at J. Black’s Feelgood Lounge in Dallas"5 Comments »
They also cut the fakafaka out of our copy.
This month I reviewed the Meddlesome Moth for D Magazine. Each month before I type the first word, I know I’m usually “allowed” around 1,600 words for a lead dining review. How much space I actually get is determined by many factors but the major word-killer is ad sales—too much or too little. I turned in my original review of MM at 1,894 words. There were so many interesting story angles and I tried to get them all in.
A few days later, my esteemed editor Tim “Slasher” Rogers says, “Dude, I’m cutting Moth to 1,100.” Tempers flared. “Why don’t you just cut my heart out while your at it, Rogers!” I screamed. I argued for every word and suggested cuts in other sections of the magazine which led to flaring tempers at other sections of the magazine. It’s not always fun and games around here.
Anywhoo, Tim pissed me off because he cut a whole section on a beer flight I sampled with the assistance of Matt Quenette, one of only four level-two Certified Cicerones in the state. And he snipped out the nugget on why Moth owner Shannon Wynne ended the names of his first restaurants and clubs with an “O.” (8-0, Tango, Rio, etc.)
If you are interested in the dirty side of the magazine writing business, take a look at the pdf of the original text with edits I recovered from the bowels of Tim’s computer. (Note: what look like typos and space problems are mostly quirky MAC to PC random symbols and letters.) Hurry, I don’t know how long this post will be live. I’m sure Timmy will be along soon to chop it down.11 Comments »
The menu reads: Original! Organic! Oceanic!
I am adding: Oh, my head!
A couple of nights ago, I set out to revisit Villa-O in Travis Walk. It was a lovely evening and we decided to join the throngs and thongs on the patio. I admit I wasn’t feeling well. The high pollen counts in Dallas have me feeling like my veins are filled with slowly solidifying cement. Which leads me to a little (cue the violins) problem food critics encounter when they have sinusitis–dead palates. Your olfactory senses shut down and everything tastes like pulp.
So, I am sitting at Villa-O with a dead palate and a headache and thinking it just wouldn’t be right for me to critique the food or wine. We order anyway because the people watching is delicious. I might even break my code and say, “The people watching was succulent.” (I hate that word.)
Jump off a bridge with me. Continue reading "Restaurant Review (Sorta): Villa-O in Dallas"11 Comments »
Good lord have mercy on my wicked soul. Chef Matthew “Fingers of TIE Flurry” Antonovich blew back into Dallas a few months ago with a long load of bull. In particular, a stream of wordy releases boasting his 12,000-square-foot Thai Steakhouse and club located “just a drive by the Arts, the American Airlines Event Center, Dallas World Trade Center and Dallas Market.”
Then POOF! He disappeared. The guy who boasted “God bless the recession I have found great deals on equipment, designers and food service experts hungry to put Dallas back on the map of best restaurants in America” just went away. His Twitter feed went dark. My inquisitive e-mails? Unanswered.
Hark! I found him. According to Louisvillemojo.com:
A new restaurant to be named Antonovich’s Tuscan Grille could open in the old Ferd Grisanti’s restaurant (12112 Taylorsville Road) as early as Derby Eve. If Matthew Antonovich and building owners Greg and Vince Grisanti can seal a deal, the “upscale casual” restaurant would serve freshly prepared Tuscan fare for lunch, dinner and private parties. Its Enoteca Wine Bar, complete with a wood-burning pizza oven, would also serve a social hub for the later-night 40 to 55 year-old crowd. To imagine it properly, Antonovich said to consider an amalgam of Jack’s Lounge, Mama Grisanti and Casa Grisanti.
More, could be here. Oh, what a lunatic.9 Comments »
Wow. Just when you think the whole world is one big hateful blog, something nice happens and you can almost believe that not everyone is an evil, mean person. Last week several very evil and mean people left comments under my Life of a Restaurant Critic post. I deleted most of them. HOWEVER, just a few minutes ago, I noticed this comment from “Luniz”:
The only way Nancy registers 170 is if TG is standing on her shoulders. And that might even be a stretch.
Luniz, you are the wind beneath my wings. So, the truth is out: I weigh 100 and Gubbins is a mere 70 pounds. Brenner, are you reading? Spill it, chica.20 Comments »