OK. No more teasing. You’re not surprised. The best BBQ joint in the world is only four years old. It’s @franklinbbq
— TMBBQ (@tmbbq) May 16, 2013
It’s too dreary outside for me to type. Or maybe I’m just using that as an excuse. Either way, I’m going to let Tait Lifto from Deep Ellum Brewing Co. take it away. He’s more eloquent about beer than I ever will be.
“Announcing our 3rd annual Brew-B-Q and this year should be bigger than ever! The 1st Brew-B-Q we held in the parking lot at Life-In-Deep-Ellum as the brewhouse wasn’t quite open yet. Last year for our 2nd Brew-B-Q, we sold out at max capacity around 800 people. This year, we’ve expanded the brewery into the entire building and thus have more room to spread out but we’re still going to cap the tickets to prevent overcrowding.
There are two different tickets available this year:
General Admission – Brew-B-Q Commemorative Glass, beer, Pecan Lodge BBQ, live music including Vic Duncan Band, Grant Jones & The Pistol Grip Lassos, and local headliner Sugarfoote and Co., ‘live’ art by local artist Jason Ice, on-site screen printing of limited edition shirts by ArtLoveMagic co-founder Justin Nygren.
VIP Admission – Brew-B-Q Commemorative Glass, beer, Pecan Lodge BBQ, live music including Vic Duncan Band, Grant Jones & The Pistol Grip Lassos, and local headliner Sugarfoote and Co., ‘live’ art by local artist Jason Ice, on-site screen printing of limited edition shirts by ArtLoveMagic co-founder Justin Nygren, one-hour early admission, access to the air-conditioned VIP front tasting room, special tappings of limited DEBC brews in the front tasting room and early admission to Pecan Lodge BBQ.
Sunday May 26, 2013, 5pm-10pm (VIP allowed in at 4pm)
Holy.. I am late on posting this, but Texas Monthly has released its list of Top 50 BBQ Joints in the great Lone Star State. Pretty incredible. This only happens every five years-ish. The last time they came out with a list, it was in 2008. There are 16 out of 50 joints that have made BOTH 2008 and 2013′s list. This probably means the BBQ landscape of Texas is changing fast and rapidamente. (You’ll see that Dallas’ two joints weren’t even on the list in 2008. Back then, Baker’s Ribs was top gun.) And see how this list favors the east? Bradford Pearson, in whatever free time he had, decided to map all the places out for us to see.
So now, dear folks, you know why TM decided to hire Daniel Vaughn. They needed a voracious man to eat and review and deliver. And, yes, I think he delivered. Here’s the list, unranked. The ranked list comes out on May 22.
The Original Willie’s Bar-B-Que
John Mueller Meat Co.
Lamberts Downtown Barbecue*
Stiles Switch BBQ & Brew
Jump for the rest.
The bout of colder temperatures at the beginning of the season has delayed the harvesting of some plants, unfortunately. That might mean fewer strawberries and other fruits, but also an extended season for leafy vegetables. Still, you should be able to find what you’re looking for this weekend, along with plenty of breads, honey, and spices to enhance those recipes.
Coppell Farmers Market: Coppell has had an exciting week so far, selling out tickets to their third annual Farm to Table Dinner on June 8 in just 10 days! The dinner showcases the best produce from the market prepared by chefs and culinary students from The International Culinary School at The Art Institute of Dallas and Le Cordon Bleu.
While you might not be able to attend the dinner, come pick up some of the fresh ingredients yourself and try a new recipe. Expect to see lettuces, arugula, kale, beets, turnips, onions, radishes, pecans, and sweet potatoes. Be sure to grab some spinach, as quantities are winding down. Early potatoes, green beans, broccoli, cabbage, and carrots may be available.
793 S. Coppell Road
Saturday, 8:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
Collin County Farmers Market: Grass-fed meat will be available at many markets this weekend, and Collin County is no exception with two vendors – True Hill Farms and McLemore Farms. In addition, look for onions, beans, soup mixers from Custom Café, herbs and flowers from Spring Creek Organic Farm, biscotti from ENA Baking Company, and gourmet bread from Village Baking Company.
3314 Central Expressway
Saturday, 8:00 a.m. – 1 p.m.
Chef de Cuisine of the award-winning Charleston, South Carolina restaurant, shares McCallister’s passion for foraging, fresh ingredients and Southern fare. Together, McCallister and Langhorne present guests with a variety of small bites and an innovative eight-course menu inspired by flavors of the South.
COST: $125 per person for the eight-course menu, excluding tax and gratuity; $75 for complementary wine pairings selected by FT33’s General Manager, Jeff Gregory.
WHEN: Monday, June 17, 2013 at 6:00 p.m.
Blah, blah, blah. I’ve already talked about Matthew Shelley once today, so I’m pretty sure I’ve hit my quota, but this email is too good not to share. You guys already (or should already) know that Matt writes the “Into Shelley’s Belly” column once a week. He’s also our I.T. tech guy. This morning, some of us at D were getting spam. Tim shares Matt’s email to the whole company on Frontburner. Amusing, right?
Get your B-I-N-G-O gear ready, Dallas. Hypnotic Donuts is hosting Bingo nights every other Wednesday night, starting May 29. “Hypnotic is doing this because it is fun- that simple. We will have Bingo on Wednesday nights because it will be something to look forward to during the middle of the week,” says James St. Peter. He’s the same brilliant man who came up the Hypnotic Donut Dash, which Liz Johnstone wrote about in our January 2013 issue.
Any run that makes you eat donuts before and after the race sounds so horrifyingly fantastic.
But don’t worry, donuts aren’t the main feature. Bingo is. “The kitchen will open at 6:30pm and serve chicken biscuits and a variety of cake donuts. Non- alcoholic beverages will be available for sale. Alcohol will be BYOB and is highly encouraged. Bingo will be from 7pm-9pm and Rated R.”
Wait, wait, wait. Rated R? Bingo? Is this strip bingo? Bad words bingo? In any case, this probably isn’t safe-for-kids bingo.
To reserve your spot at this mysterious bingo night, be one of the first 20 people to RSVP (214-668-6999). A $15 credit card deposit is held and only charged for no-shows. If you win bingo, you’ll get a prize. (A mystery prize. A rated R prize?)
Ever since I stumbled upon Rudy’s Chicken’s Facebook page, I’ve been meaning to visit this South Dallas icon at 3115 S. Lancaster Rd., where the neighborhood goes for its chicken. And, truthfully, any page with the tagline of “CHICKEN SO GOOD YOU’LL SLAP YO MAMMAS MAMMA” gets my blood flowing. It makes me want to yell “chicken” the same way Mel Gibson drags out “FREEEDOOOOMMM” for 8 seconds long, right before he gets beheaded in Braveheart.
Yesterday Matt Shelley and I arrived in front of an unassuming, white building at 1:30 p.m., where the drive-thru line for Rudy’s Chicken was about five cars long, and the stand-outside-pick-up line had 6 to 8 people waiting. But the lines at Rudy’s move quickly. You’d think there might be little green elves inside, but no. Employees wear red polo shirts, rushing to fill orders as they received orders. “What you got?” called a man from the back. “Two breasts and two legs!” I shouted through the thick, hazy smell of oil. “That’ll be seven dollars,” said the woman operating the cash register. “It’s cash only.”
Matt grabbed his separate order of 13 thighs, legs, and breasts (it came with 14, but he gave one of the legs away to a homeless man standing nearby) and we drove off. There’s nowhere to sit inside at Rudy’s Chicken. If you want liver and gizzards (7 of each for $5), it’s a 10 minute wait in the hot, hot sun. So we stuck with fried chicken, got our order and buzzed outta there. It felt like we were carrying gold in our hands.
We love good wine here in Texas. We love it even more when made by one of our own, though the debate is still heated on where the grapes come from and who is making it…mainly, I just want it to be good whether it is made in Napa Valley, Sonoma, Willamette, or Hill Country or made from grapes grown in throughout the state or in other parts of the country. Dallas residents and Texas natives Dr. Clay and Brenda Cockerell fell in love with the wines of Bordeaux, driving them to find a vineyard in the northernmost part of Napa Valley where they are growing stellar Bordeaux style, oak and stainless steel aged Sauvignon Blanc, calling the wine Coquerel, taking the French spelling of their name. They also grow a few other varieties on their property and source fruit from other vineyards around Napa for their Petit Sirah, Merlot, Verdelo and Chardonnay.
Their winemaker, Christine Barbe, was recently in town with Brenda and Clay and I had a chance to visit with her a but before they headed to Abilene (Brenda and Clay’s hometown) for the Buffalo Gap food and wine festival. I was thrilled to have a chance to sit down with Christine and Brenda before they headed out of town. Continue reading "What To Drink Now: Coquerel Family Wine with Winemaker Christine Barbe"
Lots of changes are underfoot in Lower Greenville. Yesterday I was walking along the street – just minding my own beeswax – when I noticed all these new places pop up. Lower Greenville is in the midst of a Restaurant Renaissance.
Though I haven’t seen any movement on chef Jason Boso’s food truck park, I’m guessing it’s waiting for Trader Joe’s to finish up construction work because the two areas will be sharing a common parking lot. Carnival Barker’s will open its ice cream shop in the truck park, and kids will be running around Lower Greenville like the crazies they are. Goodfriend Beer Garden and Burger House owners are fixing to move into 1919 Greenville Ave. for their new restaurant, The Blind Butcher, pretty soon. They still haven’t said when it’s opening yet. Mums the word.
So here’s what we do know, for sure: Trader Joe’s is making progress. Look! (See above photo.) The exterior is almost done. Cookie butter will soon be closer than ever.
There is so much going on downtown. On Saturday, I took the dog to his favorite store, Downtown Pawz, and let him pick out a treat. After taking him home, the husband and I walked over to Freshii and got lunch. Then we moseyed over to TenOverSix to check out the store’s accessories. Afterward, we stumbled across a downtown garage store, and then we checked out Homegrown Festival. Exhausted, we walked the block back to our apartment, and took a nap.
I’m almost scared to say it, but, here goes: I think Dallas may finally have its downtown.
I’m not the only one who’s noticed. Hospitality Sweet opened last week, then Freshii (which is actually open long enough for downtown residents to use), and now we’re getting something called WingBucket (don’t have info for you on that), and Fluellen Cupcakes.
Fluellen is run by Keith Fluellen, a real estate developer and co-owner of Dimples Cupcake Factory in Frisco. You remember Dimples, right? The owners we wrote about are no longer part of the organization, recipes have been adjusted, and vendors have been paid. “We take care of our employees,” Fluellen says.
With all these changes, Fluellen thought it was time to branch out on his own. In his job, he couldn’t help but notice what was happening in downtown Dallas. “I could see the revitalization,” he says. “I was blessed to find a good spot.” That spot is at 1408 Elm Street, between the Jimmy John’s and CVS, one block from DART (and, as luck would have it, one block from me!). While cupcakes will be the store’s bread and butter, it will also have a coffee bar with coffee from Distant Land Coffee, headquartered in Tyler, Texas.
And the very best part? In the beginning, the store will be open until 9 most nights and 10 on Fridays and Saturdays. Fluellen says they’re taking their time with construction, and making sure they do everything right. He says the store will open the second week in June.
So there you have it. I’m just waiting for the day when it isn’t news that a store is opening up downtown. I think that time is quickly approaching.
Haystack Burgers and Barley opens in Richardson today. From 5 to 6:30 p.m., you can stop by for appetizer samples and (maybe) become the lucky Haystack VIP guest who gets one burger per week for a whole year. That’s one way to fulfill your New Year’s resolution of eating healthier, dontcha think?
The Gem Bar opened yesterday in Preston Center. The juice bar used to be inside DUO – All Things Culinary, but then the culinary store closed back in January. Poor little Gem had to be like, “Oh whaaat, time to move!” According to Teresa Gubbins, they now play happy disco music in the new location at 6030 Luther Lane, Ste. 160. You can’t go wrong with that.
Hate Monsanto? Want to do something about it? Scott Reitz has news that March Against Monsanto, a protest organized by local Dallas activists who are taking a stand against GMO’s, is happening on May 25 at 1 p.m. The Dallas march begins and ends at Dallas City Hall. Around 1,164 people have already signed up to go on Facebook.
I have just completed D Magazine’s June 2013 cover story: The 100 Best Restaurants in Dallas. Yes, I wrote 100 restaurant reviews and ranked the top 100 restaurants in Dallas. To complete the task, I had to toss out Fort Worth, Grapevine, and the mid-cities. Maybe next time. (Which will not be in my life time.)
We’ve decided to throw a party and announce the winners on May 22 from 6 to 8 pm at Sharon Van Meter’s 3015 Trinity Groves. Owners and chefs of over 100 restaurants have been invited. I took a quick glimpse of RSVPs and I can say this is going to be an unprecedented gathering of chefs and restaurateurs from the top restaurants in Dallas. There will be food: an eclectic mix of haute cuisine, off-the-beaten-path barbecue, and a variety of dishes from ethnic restaurants. Along with the food tastings, there will be cocktails by Brugal Rum, beer by Trumer Pilsner, DJ Jose Guevara, Land Rovers on display and a See’s Candy buffet. Additional sponsors include Express Working Capital and Poggenpohl.
For $20 you can throw a pie at me. The money collected will go to the North Texas Food Bank. Click here and fasten your seat belts. It’s gonna be a blast.
The big news this week is Dallas City Council‘s review of downtown vendor regulations, including mobile food trucks. Changes include expanded hours (good), more locations in the CBD (good), reduced fees (good), and a possible dress code (huh?!?). Carol made it to the City Council meeting and had this to report earlier today.
The City of Denton has likewise been moving forward in establishing a friendly environment for food trucks and trailers. Their councilman most active, Kevin Roden, has a May 16 meeting planned to start reviewing the effectiveness of recently passed laws.
I’m running late this week, so instead of Monday-Sunday, we’ll start with Tuesday. As always, check Facebook or Twitter first. Jump….. Continue reading "May 13 Food Truck News and Schedule for Dallas and Ft. Worth"
It’s Monday and you’re already wishing it was the weekend. Lucky for you, these next seven days are going to feel like the weekend. American Craft Beer Week (May 13-19), put on by the Brewers Association, is a celebration of small and independent craft brewers all over the nation. Hold on tight. There are a ton of beer events to geek out over. I’ll keep updating the list as emails flood my inbox. And when I get a second or two, I promise to make this post look more visually appealing. I know, I know. It’s fugly right now.
I just read Leslie Brenner’s review of Kenny’s Smoke House (subscription required). In it she writes
“It wasn’t until she [server] delivered everyone else’s main courses that she told me she’d been mistaken: It was Cajun-spiced and blackened. Go ahead and bring it, I said, not wanting to wait. But like the chicken, it looked so awful that I sent it back and got the New Orleans barbecue shrimp, vaguely chemically tasting specimens that came in a buttery sauce with slices of white bread.”
That made me think. I’ve been reviewing restaurants for 16 years and the only times I have sent food back was because it wasn’t cooked properly or the product was rancid, not because I didn’t like it or that it looked awful. To me, that is what I am there to report on. I realize there are times a reviewer performs acts such as sending back food or asking for something to be cooked differently to see how the staff and kitchen handle the situation. That is important information to relate to potential diners.
Brenner’s act of sending food back made me stop and reassess my process. If something is not to my liking I am more likely to leave the plate full to see if anyone picks up on the fact that I did not eat the food. All critics have different methods. I’d like to hear what you think a dining critic should do? Send it back? Or write about what happened?
The Dallas City Council’s Quality of Life Committee met this morning (and is probably still meeting) about potentially lowering the costs of streetscape licensing and street vending permits in downtown Dallas. Generally, I think this is good news for the city. Lowering the costs = potentially more restaurants with outdoor seating/more food trucks in Dallas = more pedestrians enjoying downtown = everyone is happy. In George Lewis’ words, “Fees can be onerous, simply because food trucks are mobile, which means multiple cities. Multiply $300 – $600 for all of the cities: Dallas, University Park, Highland Park, Arlington, Denton, FW, Carrollton, Garland, etc. and you rack up a chunk of government money.”
I snuck out of the meeting after the streetscape licensing part because I had to get back to the office, but the vending permits Powerpoint is on the committee briefings page, anyway.
The proposal is to cut vending licenses by half to $600 annually. Right now, food trucks are allowed to operate between 6 a.m. and 8 p.m. daily, but the proposed update would extend those hours to 10 p.m. (Mon-Thursday, Sunday) and midnight (Friday and Saturday). There’s also a suggestion to require photo ID badges for all vendors, prohibit smoking by vendors while operating in the vending locations, and to establish a dress code. All these are unregulated right now and sound pretty fair, except… what’s up with this dress code? Take a look for yourself:
Appendix B: Proposed Dress Code
- Proposed minimum dress requirements for vendors include the following
- Clothing must be neat, clean and sanitary at all times
- Walking shorts allowed, but no cut-offs ◦ No apparel with offensive or suggestive language,images, symbols
- No tank tops or halter tops
- No outer apparel made of fishnet or undergarment material
Sometimes restaurateurs have an easy time coming up with a name for their restaurant. Other times they try too hard. Unless the owner’s or chef’s name is included, the success of a restaurant’s name is a jump ball.
I was critical of the name Neighborhood Services because it didn’t sing “I’m a restaurant!” I don’t like the name Asador because it sounds like “get your ass in the door” instead of the Spanish word for grill—way too obscure and it doesn’t make me hungry.
A loyal SideDish reader is sick of restaurants with numbers in their names. I think she’s overreacting a little but here’s what she has to say:
I’m sick of these numbered restaurant names. Soooo many! Just pulled up Eater and the first two articles are about Café 43 and House 34. Then, of course, there’s 560 and FT33 and Stampede 66. Central 214. Surely, I’m missing a few. 20 Feet. I’d gladly eat at any of them. But, these names. Will it ever stop?
Numbers don’t bother me as much as exclamation points or an unfamiliar accent mark that doesn’t allow me to understand the name in blink. What are some of your least favorite names for restaurants?