The Foodbitch Guide to DFW Restaurant Week 2017

DFW RESTAURANT WEEK IS SO SOON you guys.


Reservations are already coming in for the DFW Restaurant Week 2017. So you know what that means. Time to make some of your own.

First things first…

Here’s a lil recap of the DFW Restaurant Week Food & Wine Night in One Arts Plaza. Last year the Restaurant Week festivities kicked off with a weekend food fest, but this year they trimmed it down to one night of tastings, spirits, beer and wine samplings and commemorative glassware. 



Speaking of… back to what matters. Food. Let’s talk about THE LISTS and what’s worth your time and money this year, shall we? Get out your Open Table app and/or cell phones and let’s make some effing reservations.


Read also:

The Foodbitch Guide to DFW Restaurant Week 2016

Restaurant Week is Here! What Else is New?

KRLD Restaurant Week According to Me: 2014 Edition

Restaurant Week Download: Lunch at Charlie Palmer

The original RW shitlist: My post about Al Biernat’s


NOTE: This year there’s a new major sponsor!

Calloway’s Nursery is the new big sponsor of DFW Restaurant Week, replacing Central Market after who knows how many years! That sounds like a shakeup to me! Personally, I’d love to visit Calloway’s for some advice on how to not kill everything I plant ever, so I’ll probably be hopping over there to pick up some tips sometime soon.  But the point is, shopping at Calloway’s is now the only way to earn those precious DFW Restaurant Week Fourth Course Certificates – Spend $25 at any local Calloway’s Nursery and request a certificate for a FREE additional dinner course at participating restaurants! One certificate required for each diner.

Dates to know:

  • Preview Weekend – August 4-6 – Advance “Preview” dining at select restaurants
  • DFW Restaurant Week  – August 7-26 – 20 Days of Restaurant Week
    • Main Week August 7-13, with most restaurants extending through Aug. 20 or Aug. 26

Finally,

Let’s not forget that Restaurant Week is FOR CHARITY. Yes, you get a meal and yes, you pay for it, but money from every single meal is donated to either the North Texas Food Bank or Lena Pope, and the participating restaurants do not have to participate. It’s hard work for the restaurants and their staff, and at the same time there are lots of diners who are spending their hard-earned money and rare nights out during these weeks. Let’s not lose perspective.

But yeah, I’m still going to rank their asses.

DFW Restaurant Week logo

UPDATED FOR 2017: RESTAURANT WEEK RESTAURANTS DIVIDED INTO OH YEAH!, SOLID MAYBE, LET’S LUNCH! MEH and NOPE!

The following are in somewhat alphabetical order, scored completely unapologetically.

OH YEAH! 


Meaning, if there are reservations left, open up that Open Table app and SNAG, BABY, SNAG! 

Abacus
Adelmo’s Ristorante
Bonnell’s
Barley & Board
Five Sixty
Front Room Tavern (Always something new and interesting there)
Junction Craft + Kitchen
Local
Lonesome Dove (If you’re into that whole Fort Worth thing)
The Mansion on Turtle Creek
Niwa Japanese BBQ (Great opportunity to try one of my newest favorites)
Nonna (One of the city’s best)
Pappas Bros. (One of the top steaks in Dallas can be had here.)
Proof + Pantry
Queenie’s
Reata
SER
Shinsei
Stampede 66
Tei-An

LET’S LUNCH!

I recommend these restaurants for the $20 Cadillac lunch option rather than dinner, due to value mostly.



Capital Grille(s)
Cook Hall
Del Frisco’s Grille(s) (Because fancy lunch is totes fun)
Del Frisco’s Double Eagle Steakhouse, Dallas & Plano
DISH Preston Hollow (Seriously, this would be a good time to grab that lunch reservation)
Fleming’s
Front Room Tavern (Yup, another likely solid lunch option)
Lavendou (Never been! Gasp!)
The Mansion on Turtle Creek (Yes, lunch too!)
Morton’s The Steakhouse
Pyramid Restaurant
Sissy’s Southern Kitchen
Steel
Table 13

SOLID MAYBE!

These restaurants will do for any old date night. Perhaps if you haven’t been in, Restaurant Week may be a good opportunity to try them out.



III Forks (so old school. You’ve got to go at least once!)
Asador
Bolsa
Cafe Pacific
Cedar Grove
Chamberlain’s
Clay Pidgeon
Dallas Chop House
Dallas Fish Market
Dolce Riviera (gorgeous place with great people-watching opps, but the food and service need to step it up)
Eddie V’s
Grain
iL Calabrese (house-made pasta in Southlake? If you’re in the area… check it out and tell me what you think!)
Jasper’s Richardson
Javier’s
Kenichi
Kirby’s
Nick & Sam’s Steakhouse (Been before for RW… it was just okay…)
Nicola’s
Oceanaire
Ocean Prime
Origin (Maybe, but probably not)
Paul Martin’s American Grill
Perry’s Steakhouse & Grill (because Pork chops)
Pink Magnolia (I love PM but I don’t love it $45 worth)
Pyramid (menu looks solid)
Salum (saYUM)
Savor Gastropub
Silver Fox (I know nothing of these foxes but they sound like they have money and want to buy me drinks…)
SMOKE
Trinity at the Tower Club
Waters FW
Zatar Lebanese Tapas & Bar (Love Zatar but it’s their first RW so beware)

MEH…

These places just aren’t blowing my bitchy little skirt up.


Apollonia’s Italian Kitchen (Haven’t been yet so I’ll need to try it out before recommending it for RW)
Arthur’s Prime Steaks & Sea Food (Sea Food? Two words? Is Arthur making jokes?)
Bistro 31
Cadot (I thought it closed…)
Canary by Gorji (This guy is the most persistent chef in town.)
Dakota’s
Dragonfly (Over it.)
Eclair Bistro (looks interesting…)
Grace (I saw them firsthand size down RW desserts over regular diners’. BOO and HISS.)
Kenny’s (Not for $45, dudes.)
Lawry’s
Next Bistro (Colleyville might as well be the moon, sorry)
Nobu Dallas (Do you like prom? You will feel like you’re about to go to prom, while you’re at Nobu. Not in a good way.)
Prime Farm to Table (Flower Mound folk, report back. The menu looks promising.)
Saint Ann ($45? Noooooo thanks.)
Sugarbacon in McKinney (not RW worthy)
St. Martin’s Wine Bistro (I’m not impressed by this place’s oldness.)
Tavolo Italia (Friscooooooh no)
Texas de Brazil (Saves a bit of change, but I’d go for the new Fogo first.)
Tillman’s Roadhouse (maybe with the newest changes to the kitchen?)
Urban South (Say whaaa? Sounds like a clothing store in the Galleria.)
Wildflower Patio & Grill (Nachos on the menu means no to RW)
YO Ranch Steakhouse (not for $49)

NOPE!

These spots are not special enough, too far away (sorry, Roanoake), not a good value at $35, maybe even laughable at $45, or just not up to snuff, period.



Al Biernat’s (Let’s just say we have a history)
Bistecca (Highland Village you are Oklahoma)
Bonnie Ruth’s
Cacharel
Carso Mediterranean Steak & Seafood
Carvao Prime Brazillian Steakhouse (a Flower Mound-bound Fogo)
The Classic at Roanoake (Because Roanoake and also I think their logo is cilantro)
Ferrari’s (I think that’s Italian for “nope!”)
Houlihan’s (absolutely NOT an appropriate restaurant for RW)
House of Blues Restaurant & Bar (Weird location for RW but good for them for wanting to participate and donate!)
Ivy Kitchen (winner for most boring RW menu ever, btw)
Kirby’s (What’s that Southlake? I can’t hear you all the way over here in Dallas.)
Mac’s on Main (See above, replace Southlake with Grapevine.)
Matchbox (Mostly for value’s sake, but also because it’s not a RW restaurant at all. Too big, too loud, too I-eat-there-on-the-regular-with-my-kids.)
Max’s Wine Dive(s) (Sorry, it’s purely a value prop issue)
The Melting Pot (What year is it???!)
Mercat Bistro (Again, nothing against Mercat, but it’s just not going to make sense, especially for $49 PremiumWHAAA?)
Mercury Chop House (Too far for somewhere I’ve never heard of.)
Meso Maya (Love you bunches but not a value.)
Michael’s Cuisine
Nola Grill
One2One (Way too far and the name sounds like a boy band. Not appetizing.)
Piccolo Mondo
Piola
Public School 214 (It’s a value thang, babydoll.)
Rafain (Refrain)
Randy’s (Who? Like, your uncle?)
Restaurant 506
Roy’s (Like, my dad?)
Ruth’s Chris (Restaurant Week ain’t prom, y’all. Leave your boutonniere at home.)
Sambuca (…is for cougars. That’s all.)
Seasons 52 (Value issues, also Restaurant Week does not happen in a mall. Sorry, Theodore.)
State & Allen (What the F is a bar doing on this list?)
Steve Fields
Stratos (Sorry but that’s got to be a joke, yes? I love me some Stratos but Restaurant Week-worthy it is not.)
Twelve Stones (It might cost me $45 for the gas just to get to Flower Mound and back…)
Winewood Grill (same answer)
Woodlands (not high-end enough…)
Yellow Rose Steak and Chophouse

 

Final words.

So these are my real opinions, independent of any PR schmoozing, who I know and don’t know, where I’ve had a comped meal or where I’ve paid my own way. It’s pretty black-and-white, but if you have questions I’m always available to discuss.

You came here for my opinion, yes? For a little guidance? Well, there you have it. I’m happy to have you leave yours in the comments. I promise to read each and every one.

 

#VIPeek: Q Tacos at Machos Cantina is a mouthful and I’m okay with it

Q Tacos at Machos Cantina

Why limit your taco nights to Taco Tuesday? Around here, every day can be a taco kind of day, with the wealth of taco spots that grace our city streets. This one’s a good one (as well as a mouthful): Q Tacos at Machos Cantina. The restaurant formerly known as Quesa MX has a new team and decor. Both are working out fabulously. Q Tacos at Machos Cantina has been open for a bit, but here’s a look at the #VIPeek I got back in April. Feast your eyes:



Some of what’s great about Q Tacos (I’m gonna call it that for short) is the color. The place looks great, is full of color, great design choices, badass art, natural wood, exposed brick and modern touches. Those cues tell the diner that even though the fare is simple tacos, they should expect a modern take on them.

Cocktails are fresh and vibrant too…

Tacos on tacos on tacos

More of a lounge setting, Q Tacos is a great place to meet friends for drinks and tacos after work.

Beautiful Bevs

Miami Vice Menus

An approachable menu price-wise doesn’t hurt either.

Tacos are $3.85 each.

Don’t skip the sauce. These little bottles are full of goodness and they are pretty unique! I suggest you try them all, Squirt.

Huge (belated) thanks to the team at Q Tacos at Machos for inviting me to their pre-opening feast back in April. I need to catch up on some taco eating. Who wants to come with?

 

Q Tacos at Machos Cantina // 3900 Cedar Springs // quesaMX.com

 

 

 

Disclaimer: As with all media tastings, my typical disclaimer applies. The food and drinks pictured above were part of a comped tasting for media and myself and the other members of the Dallas Food Mafia (I mean Media) present did not pay for what we enjoyed. That said, my opinions cannot be bought with tacos, margs or anything, really.

Eat, Drink and Lounge Here

Real talk: I’m kind of freaking out about Lounge Here.

Lounge Here in East Dallas is my new favorite. Like, it’s so good. So, so good. It’s like foreplay. It’s my love language. Take me someplace really pretty, get me kinda tipsy, feed me a chicken fried ribeye (hey, this is my fantasy, remember.) and take me home full and happy.

Behold, the burger Here.

The chicken fried ribeye Here:

 

The mac and cheese Here:

Ooh baby:

Juicy Brussels sprouts Here:

Get me drunk Here:

There are real people Here:

And if you’re looking for me, odds are you can find me Here.

 

 

Lounge Here // 9028 Garland Road // theloungehere.com

Date Me in Deep Ellum: Niwa Japanese BBQ

Date me in Deep Ellum! Take me to Niwa Japanese BBQ. Puh-lease!

This is going to be a new series. Because it needs to happen. Here’s why.

It’s not news that Deep Ellum is like, a THING now. It’s full of awesome stuff. Places to eat and drink and walls to take photos in front of surrounded by even more places to eat and drink. It’s experienced such a rebirth. It’s the perfect part of town to go if you’re looking for a place to take somebody on a date. And the fact that I happen to live like ten minutes from there is exciting and overwhelming all at once. There’s so many new spots to try yet so many places are becoming my faves. And on Saturday night I met a new one to add to the faves list: Niwa Japanese BBQ.

#datemeindeepellum @niwabbq

Would you look at this hamachi crudo? Gorgeous. And the cocktails, Japanese whiskeys and sakes are off the chain. The staff there can guide you toward the perfect drink for you.

But the apps are only the beginning. They start your meal off right so you can practice a tiny bit of patience (or at least concentrate when you’re being told how long to leave your meats) on the grill.

Things started out saucy with these super-tasty edamame tossed in a delicious garlicky sauce.

These cocktails are gorgeous and so, so good. Get recommendations from your server like we did, and you won’t regret it.

My fave karaage is still at Top Knot, but these pickles and that garlicky aioli didn’t go unappreciated.

Now bring on the meats!

Short rib goodness.

Beef belly (beef bacon) is super thin so it cooks very quickly and tastes amazing.

A Wagyu sampler platter of sorts. $15-$47 depending on the cow/farm it came from.

This A-5 Japanese Wagyu Ny Strip is the seriously pricey stuff. It was one of the specials (along with the other meats on that platter above), and to be quite honest it wasn’t my absolute favorite. This surprised me because I tend to have expensive taste. But my favorite was the Colorado Wagyu eye of ribeye. Because I suppose I’m a ribeye gal now. There you have it!

Desserts are elegant and playful at Niwa. Raspberries and sugar laced with matcha decorate a pannacotta.

A semifreddo made from cheesecake is surrounded by graham crackers, lime curd and more. So refreshing!

It was a good night. Thanks to the folks at Niwa for taking such good care of us and feeding us all the meats and drinks.

And take note: Sake Sunday is happening certain Sundays (peep Niwa’s Facebook page for details) from 6:00-8:00, with sake tastings, food pairings and more for just $25.

Have a suggestion for a night out in Deep Ellum? Keep ’em coming.

 

Niwa Japanese BBQ // 2939 Main Street // niwabbq.com

 

Disclaimer: I was invited in to experience all that is Niwa Japanese BBQ, and thus our meal was comped. That being said, the opinions shared here, as always, are my own. I’ll definitely be back on my own dime, though, because it was damn good and also fun AF.

 

Meat Your Friends at Corrientes 348: A #VIPeek

Meat your friends at Corrientes 348

South Americans just seem to know how to make friends easily. Well, Corrientes 348 just opened up downtown and now I think I know their secret. It’s food. Lots and lots of grilled meats and vegetables served family style in a festive setting. Corrientes 348 brought that spirit stateside with their first U.S. outpost, and it’s right here in Downtown Dallas.

How to get your meat on at Corrientes 348: a step-by-step guide…

Bring friends.

As in, the more the merrier, because you’re going to want to try most of this menu, and the more people at your table, the more you can try. Honestly, it also makes sense cost-wise, too, because these big meaty dishes (and large veggie dishes) are best shared. The more people you bring, the less you’ll pay per person for a good amount of feasting. It’s called food math.

Consider a lyft or a DD.

Bottles of wine can and should flow here and the Caiperinhas are strong. Be safe. Need a lyft code? I gotchu: RACHEL312358.

 

 

Prepare yourself.

It’s going to be good. Might loosen up that belt in preparation.

Start at the beginning.

With appetizers. The empanadas (especially the creamy vegetarian version) are made in-house and are so, so good.

Don’t skip salad.

The Juliana was a favorite, and the caprese comes topped with big slices of prosciutto.

 

Order liberally.

These dishes are made to be shared and savored. Order enough to go around.

Keep eating.

“The lamb and sirloin were both excellent with good smoke, while the redfish had nice seasoning but was overcooked.” — A Friend Who Loves Meat and Chocolate Cake

 

This was one of my favorites. Cooked rare, the Lomito Light combined sweet chunks of grilled pineapple (because, really, how underrated is grilled pineapple?) with velvety filets.

“I see the world through vegetarian-colored glasses, but I still love a good steak restaurant because SIDES. Specifically carbs. And 348 did not disappoint. And dessert. OMG dessert.” — My Vegetarian Friend

The redfish was a welcome pause from all the meats, light and liberally coated in garlic.

All the potatoes. If you like potatoes, these guys will have something for you. Or like five things.


See?


“I loved everything! The sirloin was perfect. The vegetables were cooked perfectly, and the service was top notch. That strawberry drink I had was looooovely. The only thing that needed work was the fish, but it had excellent flavor. I was really impressed!” — Another Happy Friend

Crispy on the outside, smooth on the inside, and topped with salty Parmesan cheese, the polenta is not to be missed.

“The flavors def. live up to the intoxicating aroma of grilled meat you’re greeted with upon walking into 348. Try the lamb!” — My Foodie Friend

 

Of course, you should douse everything in a spoonful or five of chimichurri. When in Rome, er, Brazil, er, Argentina!

The Arroz 348 is green (so technically a vegetable?), and wasn’t my favorite.

Feel good.

This plate is what reminded me of Thanksgiving. I couldn’t wait to dig in and then get seconds.

Show off.

Oh, hello Tommy. That’s what I named the big Tomahawk steak they brought us. Tommy tastes good. Tommy is also like $75, and comes rolled out on his own cart with his own special carving man. Just saying. Hashtag flashy.

dessert at corrientes 348 by foodbitch

Order Dessert.

There are several crepes and other various sweets at the end of the menu at Corrientes 348. We ordered a few of them, but I recommend this one: the Panqueque De Banana. Crispy with burnt sugar, cinnamon and bananas and topped with creamy ice cream. It’s basically perfect.

As another friend said, “Corrientes 348 is a great option if you like family-style cuisine, the smell of smoke and an interior style like that of an upgraded Denny’s. In the end though, it doesn’t matter how the place looks as long as the meats are great, and they were—especially the lamb.”

Well then. If you don’t have time or enough friends to do dinner like  above, there’s also a lunch option that’s pretty badass and involves a choice of starter and salad, some meats and dessert for like $45. Do that if an expense account and/or an afternoon nap is available to you. All told, Corrientes 348 is unlike any other steakhouse experience in town. It’s definitely worth a try.

 

Corrientes 348  //  1807 Ross Avenue, Suite 200 // corrientes348.com

 

Disclaimer: This #VIPeek is courtesy of the folks at Corrientes 348, who invited us to dine and then graciously and generously comped our bill (exclusive of beverages and gratuity). The combined value of all comped food totaled almost $500 for the 8 of us. Again, it would have been a good value for the volume of food we enjoyed. Anyway, all opinions are my own (and my friends’, who are quoted above).

Lekka Means Good: a #VIPeek at the New Henderson Location

Lekka Means Good

Last week my Food Bastard and I got to do drinks and dinner together thanks to a couple of really nice grandparents who were willing to take care of our crazy Food Babies while we hit the town. But where to go for dinner? It might be a humblebrag, but it’s also true: this bitch receives a LOT of invitations to “come in and try our new menu/restaurant/hamburger pretty please” so it can be tough to narrow down the choices for a rare actual dinner date with the Food Bastard. Except this time. This time it was “Oh, we’re going to Lekka.” No hesitation. Here’s why.

Lekka Nostalgia

Being from Dallas, both of us grew up in and around North Dallas, near the area where the original Lekka location stands on Preston. It’s an eclectic place, with a cool patio and lots of outdoor and home goods for sale to make things interesting. I remember the food I had probably ten years ago the last time I ate at Lekka on Preston: stuffed olives (I don’t care for olives and yet I remember finding these impossible to resist), thick house-made potato chips with blue cheese and ECLAIR CAKE. More on that later.

the inside of Lekka on henderson, image by foodbitch

This case is where they keep the goods. The goods = that there eclair cake, bottom left.

Lekka Decor

The place is cute. It used to be The Gin Mill, then Swig, but now Lekka has taken it in a rustic-cave-chic direction and it somehow looks like it’s always been that way. A gorgeous cement tiled wall on the far wall keeps things modern, and big sprigs of baby’s breath keeps it fresh. I don’t know why I’m surprised; Lekka was eclectic before eclectic was even a thing. Yadda, yadda, yadda, they sell chimineas if you need one.

Lekka Food

Let’s talk about what you came for. The food. We started with samosas because TBH it was the most South African thing on the menu and “When in Rome!” But it turns out, the food at Lekka Henderson isn’t all that South African, it’s much more eclectic. It’s indulgent and crave-worthy. Keep scrolling…

 

Reuben spring rolls. These were exactly as good as they looked. Steaming hot with comfort food written all over them. Done! Lynn, the owner, wouldn’t have let us out of there without trying them. You should too.

I mean. Right? Hello!

Lekka Drinks

On to cocktails! After already having a few prior to dinner, it was time to have just one more. This one featured Blue Bottle coffee so of course I was down. The drinks on their menu are named for slang and common phrases in Afrikaans so that’s super fun. Oh, and the bartender does some good work, having come from Whistle Britches up north.


When there’s something called “The Sandwich” on a menu, order it. It’s a good life lesson. This one was damn tasty. I think you can easily see that.

I immediately gravitated toward this sushi salad because apparently I am a basic asian food-loving bitch. Apparently it’s the most popular. That ginger dressing though! It’s the perfect plate of sushi rice and crunchy vegetables topped with seared ahi tuna and avocado. Sold.

Lekka Dessert

This is what I came for. It sure isn’t pretty, but it’s beautiful …to me. The eclair cake is just one of a whole selection of house-made cakes and pies, all of which sound incredible, but I’m not sure I could ever order bring myself to anything else. Someone would have to force me or they’d have to be out of this cake. It’s light and fluffy and the chocolate on top is basically chocolate glazed donut icing. Heaven is an ugly piece of eclair cake at Lekka. Sorry not sorry.

Lynn! Thank you for a lekka meal! I’m so happy you’re here. Y’all, go try Lekka for your next date night, lunch meeting, birthday dinner (there’s a great big table perfect for such a thing), happy hour or whatever! And be sure to think of me when you’re eating that eclair cake…you’re welcome!

 

Lekka // 1921 N. Henderson // lekkashop.com

 

Disclaimer: As I mentioned, Lynn from Lekka invited us in to dine at Lekka on the house. That being said, the opinions expressed throughout this post are my own and would be the same had I paid my own bill because I’m foodbitch. xo

Social School: The Cedars Social Introduces Social Hours

The Cedars Social:

A good-looking bar with quality food and drinks. Perfect for when you’re wanting something a little bit different, but definitely classy. And the new happy hour makes it easy to try something new when everything is just $6 or less. Who needs $14 cocktails anyway?! Reality. Check. Please!

The other night, we got a media #VIPeek at The Cedars Social’s new Social Hour and late night menus and was pretty lit.

We’re talkin’ $6 cocktails (El Diablo was my personal favorite), $5 wine, $2 beer. The Jack Rose (pictured above) is delicious and features Laird’s Applejack, house grenadine and lemon.

El Diablo: Tequila, Creme de Casis, lime and ginger beer.

And then there’s the late night menu. Deviled eggs in classic preparation, a calamari salad, meatballs, esquites, some tacos, chicken wings and flatbread. Plenty to keep your belly primed for more delicious cocktail drinking.

 

And then there’s this. Muahahahahahah!

Not on the new Social Hour menu, but this spooky amaretto sour has added activated charcoal for that black-as-your-heart color. As far as I know, nobody got pregnant from drinking this cocktail.

The Cedars Social Social Hour details:

Happy Hour takes place Monday through Friday from 4:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.
Late Night is Sunday through Thursday 10:00 p.m. to 11:30 p.m.,  and on Fridays and Saturdays from 12:00 a.m. to 1:30 a.m.

The Cedars Social // 1326 S Lamar St. // thecedarssocial.com

 

Disclaimer: In general, all food and drink at media/#VIPeek events are comped. Unless I do something super angelic like buy my Food Bastard a round of dessert for the road or something, which I have been known to do.

SNOWBABY. Shaved Ice + Awesome is Coming to Lakewood

via the snowbaby instagram

Image via Snowbaby’s Instagram page

SNOWBABY IS NEITHER SNOW NOR A BABY, BUT IT’S AMAZING.

And it’s coming soon to Lakewood.

Perhaps you’ve had shaved ice, water ice, or even a sno cone with a house-made, organic flavors poured on top. But you probably haven’t had anything like Snowbaby. Let’s start with the inspiration behind it. Creator Chrissy Kuo was working in the corporate world at IBM, but her innate entrepreneurial spirit was itching to get out; so she began looking for the right opportunity to spring into action. That’s when she came across Taiwanese shaved ice. It’s essentially a block of ice that a custom machine shaves into impossibly thin sheets of silky cold shaved ice. But Kuo took one look at the ingredients list and knew what she had to do. The actual product the ice block is made out of is “kind of gross.”

Ew. No thanks.

We’re talking artificial-this and can’t-pronounce-that. And being a mom, Kuo wanted to keep that type of stuff out of what her kids eat. So she fixed it. She started from scratch and worked to develop a cleaner version of the original Taiwanese shaved ice. And, not symbolically at all, nine months later she came up with her recipe for Snowbaby: milk, cream, strawberry, vanilla, chocolate, cocoa, and other clean, natural, locally sourced ingredients to make her simply snowy flavors. Kuo describes Snowbaby as “ice cream and a sno cone having a baby.” It comes out with a texture of “flaky, light, freshly fallen snow.” Then she tops each bowl with toppings like strawberries, mangoes, and pineapples from the Dallas Farmers Market, local granola and more. There’s even a White Rock Coffee cold brew-flavored version, and a dairy-free coconut flavor.

Sign us up.

Kuo is currently in the process of signing a lease somewhere in the Lakewood area of East Dallas, with plans to open for business by October of this year. In the meantime, folks have two options for getting their tongues on the Snowbaby goods: at monthly popups in the Lakewood area or at private parties where Snowbaby is the featured frozen treat. The next Snowbaby popup is happening Saturday, June 24 at The Lot from 5:00 to 9:00 p.m.

 

Snowbaby // location TBD // snowbabyice.com

Out-of-this-world donuts, soft serve and more at Sweet Daze in Richardson 

Hey, at least it’s not a unicorn.

(They have those too)


Sweet Daze has Instagram culture on lock. I felt a little basic instagramming my donut up against the neon sign that says “sweet daze ahead” until I remembered that’s what every other person there was doing too. The actual donuts are just glazed and they come in daily from a nearby shop, so they’re nothing super special tastewise, it’s the icing magicians at Sweet Daze that make them out-of-this-world gorgeous. And you’re doing it for the ‘gram anyway so what do you care what it tastes like?


To me, the real star of the Sweet Daze show is the soft serve. In a rainbow of colors (lilac, blue, pink and gray) and flavored  with real ingredients the team works hard to make — like peeling tons of purple yams — this is the stuff worthy of the gram and actual taste enjoyment.


The Black Velvet flavor, made gray with uber-trendy activated charcoal, tastes like red velvet cake with cream cheese icing. It’s lovely.


For the boba lovers, there’s also plenty of tapioca balls in tons of flavors and alllllll the Asian drinks you can want, from milk tea to matcha. Go crazy.

Finally, for your viewing pleasure, here’s my insta story from yesterday’s visit:


Sweet Daze Dessert Bar // 581 W. Campbell Road // sweetdaze.com

All the delicious Mediterranean food at Roti Modern Mediterranean 

Falafel balls, steak, chicken, salmon and spicy lamb meatballs! Rice, flatbread pizzas, hummus, veggies, salads, wraps, pita, sauces and more. It’s all good at @rotimodernmed. This Chi-town chain isn’t afraid of flavor. Opening tomorrow at @mckinneyandolive next to @dfgrille. Good call donating soft open proceeds to worthy cause @cafemomentum, too. #eatdrinkchangelives #foodthatlovesyouback (at Roti Modern Mediterranean)

from Tumblr http://ift.tt/2t8j42Z

Parigi Goes to the Beard House

Parigi is going to the James Beard House!

On June 26, chef Janice Provost and her team from Parigi in Dallas will be heading to the James Beard House in New York to cook a four-course meal they’re calling “An American in Paris.” I hope I don’t have to tell you that it’s a huge honor to be invited to cook at the Beard House, and it was also a huge honor for me to get to attend their “dry run” dinner in Dallas, a charity version benefiting The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. Along with guest sommelier, Hayley Hamilton Cogill, Provost and her team served up a beautiful experience, plate by plate and glass by glass.

Take a look:

 

Disclaimer: Huge thanks to the team at Parigi for hosting us for this lovely night. Our seats at the table were comped, but I do support the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society and I hope you will too.

Super Chix has a New Menu and Here’s a #VIPeek

Super Chix is not just chicken, fries and custard anymore…

THIS IS THE INSIDE OF A FRIED AVOCADO STUFFED WITH CHEESE

A foodbitch favorite and permanent member in good standing on the kid-friendly, foodbitch-approved list, Super Chix keeps on improving and growing. A few months ago they expanded their already delicious and nearly perfect menu to include some great new chicken sandwiches, breakfast sandwiches, and even a unique stuffed fried avocado sandwich (pictured below). They’ve got new shakes all the time, but now they’ve also introduced concretes, which ain’t nobody complaining about. Another exciting change? Their sauces, which in my opinion have held the only less-than-stellar spot on the Super Chix menu, are getting revamped. As in, new and improved ranch. Which is hugely important to Yours Truly.

A birdie also told me that Super Chix is expanding to the complex being constructed east of 75 at Walnut Hill. This is excellent news as that’s now the closest Super Chix to my house in East Dallas. Winner Winner Chicken for Dinner all the damn time.

Anyway, please see below for the last time I went to Super Chix with my own little chicks (AKA the #foodbabies), and we went to town on some of the best chicken (and stuff that’s not chicken) in town.

BEHOLD, A MINT OREO CONCRETE SITUATION:

FACT: CUSTARD-OF-THE-WEEK MEANS I HAVE TO GO ONCE A WEEK AT LEAST.

IT’S HARD NOT TO ORDER A CHICKEN SANDWICH, TOO.

OH LOOK! A FOOD BLOGGER FLAT LAY!

VEGETARIANS REJOICE!

CURRENT SITUATION: LICKING LAPTOP SCREEN.

SUPER CUTE SUPER CHIX RICHARDSON

Disclaimer: Super Chix comped our food during this visit so I could taste, take pictures of and write about the new menu and then show you on social media as well as this here blog. Even if they didn’t, I’d still go there and eat it and take too many photos of it because it’s super good. If you haven’t been you’re missing out.

Super Chix // locations in North Dallas, Frisco and Richardson // superchix.com

Event Alert: On Wednesdays We Watch “Mean Girls”

WHATEVER I’M GETTING CHEESE FRIES.

So, Sundown at Granada has started doing these summer rooftop movies, during which they offer half priced whiskey. That alone should seal the deal for you, because the movies are all cult classics like The Goonies and Austin Powers. But they approached me about partnering with them for their showing of Mean Girls, and so I (naturally) offered to help them come up with a signature cocktail for the evening (mostly because whiskey ain’t my thang). I worked with the awesome Christian to create the watermelon marg

Bada bing, bada boom: This oh-so-fetch night was born:

foodbitch sundown mean girls

 

I hope you’ll join me at Sundown at Granada on Wednesday the 24th as we wear pink and watch Mean Girls. And drink watermelon margaritas that may or may not be named the “cool mom,” “fetch” or “Regina George.” Only time will tell. See you Wednesday night!

My lightweight, colorful, quality Mom-Work-Life, #Sponsored by @BuiltNY

Hey thanks, BUILT!

I have been honestly surprised at how much use I’m getting out of the awesome stuff that BUILT sent me. The City Carryall has all but replaced my heavy leather laptop bag (summer, here I come), and speaking of needing to hydrate, the water bottles are inexpensive, yet high quality alternatives to that other brand that starts with a “Y” that everyone seems to be so impressed with these days. Plus, the colors that the hydration line comes in are awesome. Mint, bright purple, a gorgeous slate gray and even rose gold. Then there’s the Essential Tote, which is covered in a cute poppy print and is perfect for toting around my twin girls’ stuff. Especially because it’s machine washable. Like, for mom-types? That’s HUGE. That’s the only lame mom thing I’m going to say about that.

Anyway, so far the BUILT products have come with me to work (City Carryall and Bento Sandwich Box), the gym (Perfect Seal Vacuum Insulated Bottle) and a birthday picnic at the Arboretum (The Essential Tote and Perfect Seal Vacuum Insulated Bottle). I instantly feel more put together (like that’s hard though) when I’ve got these items because they’re a great combo of quality and chic. If you’re looking to add some new products to your kitchen, work, life, lunch or hydration collection, I recommend these. The quality is outstanding.

I have a lovely little work-mom-life upgrade going on RN and I like it.

Thanks again for the swag, BUILT!

 

// DISCLAIMER: This has been a sponsored post, sponsored with cash moneys and free product by @BuiltNY. Even though they gave me things, I would never lie to you. I only accept sponsored posts from brands I like anyway, so keep that in mind. // 

// #SPONSORED: // What to eat at Fort Worth’s @FortressFest this weekend 

Going to Fortress Festival?

Raise your hand if you plan most of your weekend around the meals you’ll be eating. Yep, me too. So if you’re cool enough to already know about the Fortress Festival going on in Fort Worth this weekend (maybe you’ve already bought tickets, or maybe you’d better hurry because they very well could be sold out by the time you read this). But maybe you haven’t quite thought about what you’re going to be eating during the festival. Well, that’s where I come in. The folks who are promoting Fortress Festival gave me the inside guide to the best food and drinks on and near the festival grounds. So listen up.

Oh, this old thing? Just some sweet-ass tots with a fried egg on top from Rodeo Goat.

🚚 WHAT TO EAT AND DRINK AT THE FORTRESS FESTIVAL 

The following delicious brands will be on the festival grounds for you to enjoy:

  • Alchemy Pops – frozen popsicles made using fresh, local ingredients in creative combinations
  • Bombay Chop Stix – Indo-Chinese food truck
  • Juiceland – Fresh juices and superfood smoothies
  • Salsa Limon – The self-proclaimed best tacos in Fort Worth, TX. Mexican, modern, delicious (tacos pictured in the header image)
  • Shawarma Point – New York-style Mediterranean cuisine served deep in the heart of Texas

🍷 CAFE MODERN + RIGHTEOUS FOODS

VIP patrons will also be provided with a menu of options from Righteous Foods, Lanny Lancarte’s health-conscious eatery in the Cultural District.

Errybody will be able to drink and dine inside the Café Modern during operating hours, with a menu by Executive Chef Denise Shavandy. The café bar will stay open until the last act finishes their set on the Modern stage. I’m a big fan of this cafe.

🍻 DRINK AT the FOUR GA BARS + TWO VIP BARS: 

🍽 HUNGRY BEFORE OR AFTER THE FEST?

Try these spots in and around the Cultural District and West 7th Areas (not on the festival grounds but a short walk away):

 

🎶 Oh, there are bands too.
If you didn’t know, well, now you know.

Disclaimer: This has been a #sponsored post. Meaning, I have been paid cash moneys to let you know about the sweet eats and drinks at the Fortress Festival. The more you know 💫

 

POKÉ ALL DAY: A #VIPeek at Pokébop in Oaklawn

Poke All Day: A #VIPeek at Pokébop in Oaklawn

As I type this, another poké spot has likely opened its doors. I’m not mad at it; I love the fresh, light, healthy, Asian flavors of a poké bowl. On any given day I am likely craving such a thing, in fact. So I’m happy to do some work for you all and taste all the poké in town until I rank them all. So far, I’m finding that Pokébop, on Lemmon Avenue in Oaklawn, is one of the better build-a-bowl-style poké spots in town. Lots of options as far as protein, bases and veggies, as well as sauces galore (almost too many choices) and they even have sushi burritos. The most gram-worthy though, might just be the sushi donut, which they claim to have invented. Take a peek!

 

Poké Bop // 4103 Lemmon Avenue // ilovepokebop.com

 

Disclaimer: Pokébop was holding an influencer preview event and thus the food we enjoyed (pictured here) was comped. That said, my poké power rankings don’t take free-ness into account. 

 

Going GREEN: Dallas’ 11 Best Salads Right Now

You pinch, I punch.

That’s my motto on St. Patty’s Day, anyway. Even though green is my favorite color, I’m not so much into the holiday itself. We Jewish folk have plenty of our own drinking holidays; there’s no need to piggyback off others’. One of our biggest, Purim, was just a couple of days ago.

But if eating salads instead of day-drinking green beer on St. Patrick’s Day makes me lame, then so be it. But the thing about salad is that it can go south real fast if there’s no creativity or if the freshness is lacking. So allow me to sift through for you. Let’s take a virtual walk along the parade route (and definitely a lot farther around the city) to uncover some of the best salads (AKA “greens”) around. If you want to start eating these greens the day AFTER St. Patty’s Day, that’s just fine with me. But lord knows you green beer drinkers need a detox, and a good salad can go a long way, so let’s get started…

Dallas’ 11 Best Salads Right Now

 

Southwest Chicken Salad, Super Chix

Available topped with grilled or fried chicken (those fried tenders are hard to turn down, y’all), this salad has avocado, pepitas and orange segments for pops of spice and flavor. I recommend getting their honey mustard on the side, too. And some custard for dessert, obvi.

 

Kale Caesar, Blatt Beer & Table

This Caesar is unique due to its dressing (a uniquely addictive Caesar), cheese (delicious Grana Padano) and protein topper (curry-seasoned grilled chicken). I order this big bowl of greens so I can feel a bit better about stealing some of my kids’ mac and cheese because damn.

 

image courtesy of Bread & Butter PR for Eatzi's
image courtesy of Bread & Butter PR for Eatzi’s

Custom Salad Bar, Eatzi’s Market & Bakery

This one is a classic, and the only “make your own” salad I’m including on this list. I could include Salata or Crisp Salad Co. (both solid salad choices), but honestly I like Eatzi’s salad bar even more. Here’s a pro tip for folks who have trouble creating their own salad. Start with the dressing that strikes your fancy and work backwards, coordinating the salad fixins that belong in a salad that ends up with that dressing. Make sense? Voila!

moxie's kale caesar, photo by foodbitch
Kale Caesar, Moxie’s Grill & Bar

The second kale Caesar on this list! I know. But this one is a doozie. So, so good. Chopped so you get the perfect ratio of dressing to lettuce in every bite. When we tried it at our media tasting last week, a friend even ordered up an extra to take to work the next day. Oh, and the Seared Ginger Tuna Salad there is fabulous as well.

 

Pie Tap salad, photo by foodbitch

Chicken Chop, Pie Tap Pizza Workshop + Bar

Pie Tap is winning folks over all over town from pizzas to salads to cocktails to brunch. This salad has the goods: a creamy buttermilk dressing, corn, tomatoes and a big crispy milanese-style chicken breast. Dinner is served.

 

salad by unleavened, photo by foodbitch

The Traveler, Unleavened

The Traveler is a limited time salad, but actually you can turn any of Unleavened’s wraps into salads and get the goodness in a big, beautiful bowl like this. I’m particularly fond of anything with pickles or pickled onions, as you can see. And definitely check the specials board to see what’s up when you’re in. Also, pssst: Kids eat free for dinner. Every. Day.

 

Panzanella, Sprezza

Goodness I love a good panzanella. Lots of vinegar. Good, good tomatoes and some crunchy bread. Yes. Well, Sprezza tosses up a very fine specimen. As does Americano, by the way…

 

Seared Ahi Salad, Matchbox

This salad is one of those big, healthy salads you could turn into two meals if you wanted to. I usually don’t but you know, you could. Asian dressing tossed with all the good stuff: crunchy ramen noodles, edamame, avocado, carrots, peppers, and seared sesame-coated tuna. Greatness.

 

Haystack Salad, Haystack Burgers and Barley

Don’t stop at burgers when you get to Haystack. There’s so much more going on, from sandwiches to chili and also salads. This one is perfection. Great ranch (a must for any restaurant that serves… food.) and fresh ingredients, plus delicious chicken, grilled OR fried, depending on how naughty you want to be. Because there are also Girl Scout Cookie shakes waiting…

 

Greek Salad topped with gyro meat, Little Greek Fresh Grill

The Greek salad at Little Greek is LOADED. I mean, really. tomatoes, pepperoncini, cucumbers, feta, beets, potato salad (trust me, it’s a good addition) and olives. The addition of Greek lamb and beef from the spit just takes it over the top. Ziziki’s makes a killer version of this too, with a mint dressing I would knock over someone’s poor old Greek granny for.

The Mediterranean, Luna Grill

Lemony, minty cous cous gives this Mediterranean salad just the right balance of carbs-to-greens-to-protein ratio. It’s pretty much perfect.

 

Do you have a favorite salad I have overlooked? Please do share! I hate a #disappointingsalad but I love to discover new greatness. Let’s hear it in the comments!

Lovers Seafood is for Lovers (of Seafood) #VIPeek

lovers seafood and marketDo you love fish?

I do. Last week, the team at Lovers Seafood & Market invited a group of media and influencers (including Yours Truly) to a #VIPeek at the newly renovated spot before it opened to the public. Reborn from a former seafood market (Rex’s), and with the feel of another seafood market (TJ’s), it’s not hard to predict what you’ll get from a spot like Lovers Seafood and Market. The best quality fish, treated with care and served with delicious sides, wines and other accompaniments that let seafood shine. That’s exactly what you’ll find at Lovers, because the team behind the restaurant will not let you down. Tracy Rathbun and Lynae Fearing have put together a place that’s classy and yet feels like a spot where you could dine with friends weekly. They’ve brought back their old friend Chef Aaron Staudenmeier (who’s been part of opening nearly every Rathbun-related concept of note) to help us all celebrate fish and highlight simple ingredients in each dish. His enthusiasm is contagious.

The menu is approachable in both price point and composition. Unless you go full steak or full lobster roll, of course. But look for better-than-basic sides and salads, as well as some sandwiches, “big plates” and flavorful apps. And save room for dessert.

Take a look at the sampling we got last week…

Pot of bread. Like a pot of gold but much more delicious.

Pimiento cheese. As usual, tastier than it looks.

Ahi poké. AKA My Food Addiction. I could eat this every day. Chef Staudenmaier’s version includes a fun pop of spice from wasabi peas.


Unique broccoli awesomeness. I dare you to not like this.

Bacony brussels sprouts and some delicious cheesy and spicy green chile grits. Because always cheesy grits.

Simply grilled fish with crispy skin. See what I said about letting the fish shine?

Attention. Desserts are NOT phoned in here. This s’mores pie is amazing. So rich and perfect.

Do you like cheesecake? Watch out. You might fall in love…


If you’re an Elvis fan, this peanut butter pie/tart/angel might make you sing.

“Thank you! Thank you very much!”

The spot is officially open for both lunch and dinner, from 11:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. daily.

 

Lovers Seafood and Market // 5200 W. Lovers Lane // loversseafoodmarket.com

 

DISCLOSURE: The photos above were taken at a media dinner prior to the official opening of Lovers Seafood & Market. The meal and drinks were comped for me as well as all media and influencers in attendance. That said, the opinions expressed in this post (as always) are my own regardless.

 

 

Like A Shake Shack Cowboy

Just wanted to drop a quick post to say that Shake Shack’s BBQ menu is damn tasty. And their seasonal shakes, including the Mint Cookies & Cream one pictured below, are definitely devilish. I’m not sure I can say I prefer the BBQ Chick’n Shack to the original, but it’s a tasty item to try if you’re looking for something a bit different. The Shack also has some BBQ bacon cheese fries (not pictured here because the foodbabies and I don’t dig on swine), and a BBQ ShackMeister (a cheeseburger topped with fried shallots and Shack BBQ sauce). The Mud Pie and Salted Vanilla Toffee are the other two seasonal shakes, BTW. The menu will be available through July 31, so you’ve got some time to try them all.

Shake Shack photo by foodbitchShake Shack photo by foodbitch

Oh, and if you’re worried about lines, you can order from the Shake Shack app and relax. They’ll text you when it’s ready at the counter.

Shake Shack // 2500 North Pearl Street // shakeshack.com

 

Hey There Nikkei

Hey There Nikkei…

The newest hot spot in Uptown had only been open a few nights when I snuck in for a peek and a few choice sips. Nikkei, which is named for the fusion of Peruvian and Japanese cuisine (yes, it’s a thing, lucky us), is a sexy little spot that will leave you wanting more. It certainly had me intrigued. From the moment you walk up the gorgeous steps you’re wrapped in color. Outside on the rooftop? A view of Uptown Dallas awaits. Inside, cocktails and cuisine from the team behind STIRR, specifically sushi and street foods from the likes of Ross Demers and Nick Harrison (formerly of On The Lamb and TJ’s Seafood, respectively). Let’s take a quick tour…

 

I know, I know. I’m such a tease. Better get your ass in there and get you some!

Talk sushi to me.

Here are a few excerpts from the menu at Nikkei, in case your appetite wasn’t whet enough.

 

Personally, I can’t wait to put all the sushi and fusion foods in my face. In a sexy way, of course….

 

UPDATE:

I put a lot of sushi in my face and yes it is spendy but yes it is also quality. The fusion foods, cocktails and crudos are tasty too. Take a look…

 

Nikkei //  2404 Cedar Springs Rd. #400 //  facebook.com/NikkeiDallas/

Pie Tap + #NationalPizzaDay

It’s National Pizza Day. As if you needed an excuse.

Pie Tap has some of the most crave-worthy pizza in town, not to mention excellent salads, desserts powered by Dude, Sweet chocolate’s Katherine Clapner and craft cocktails designed by Gabe Sanchez of Black Swan Saloon. With two locations (so far), in the Design District and on Henderson, these well-designed spots are perfect for brunch, lunch, date night or family pizza night. Last night the owners hosted a media tasting and here’s some of what went down:

 

Pie Tap Pizza Workshop + Bar // 1212 Oak Lawn Ave #131 & 2708 N. Henderson // pie-tap.com

Note: media tastings are comped, but I’ve been to Pie Tap several times on my own with my family. We’re already fans. 🍕


 

FEEDBACK REQUEST:

Do y’all like videos from my insta stories in blog posts? Or do you prefer photo albums? I tried this because A) it’s easy and I’m lazy and B) not everybody catches the insta stories before they’re gone forever, and C) they help show the behind-the-scenes type stuff. Thoughts?

 

 

Super Late Super Bowl List

Sources tell me there’s a “Big Game” coming up this Sunday. I don’t know, I’m not really into sports.

It’s just so gosh darned American: exercising our right to watch America’s game on a big screen TV while drinking American beers and eating American food. In fact, of the teams playing is the Patriots, for goodness’ sake. The other team is the Falcons but they might as well be the Bald Eagles. Because right now we Americans could use some kind of sports to distract them from the news, even if it’s just for a few hours on a Sunday afternoon. Or at least another reason to drink heavily. If that reason’s the Super Bowl? So be it.

Here’s a solid list of places to go watch, some specials to partake in, and more than a few ways to make this Sunday super tasty. Sorry it’s super late.

What: Go Super Bowling

Where: PINSTACK

Cost: FREE admission

Details: The Big Game can’t get boring while there’s bowling to be played, local beers to be sampled and 51 cent wings to eat. Austin Eastciders, Rahr & Sons Brewing Co., Lakewood Brewing Co. and 3 Nations Brewing Co. will be in the house on Sunday sampling and as part of the recipes for some new wing flavors. Oh, and they have 34 TVs.

What: When you dip, I dip, we dip.

Where: High Fives

Cost: Just make a reservation

Details: Reserve a table for some game watching at High Fives and get your first bucket of domestics for $5, plus a complimentary Dip Board appetizer. If you’re still hungry, $20 bucks will get you a big board: smoked cheddar and summer sausage, sweet potato fritters, Irish nachos, stuffed jalapeños and guajillo BBQ wings.

What: Pig Out On The Patio

Where: The Ivy Tavern

Cost: $10 per plate, plus $3 domestics and $4 wells

Details: The folks at Ivy Tavern are roasting a pig and serving it up with cole slaw and potato salad at halftime for $10 a plate. Before and after the pig out, folks can watch the game on six indoor and three outdoor big screen TVs. Don’t miss out on beer samples by Revolver Brewing Co. either.

 

stonedeckPhoto courtesy of Stonedeck

What: Order an unforgettable pizza

Where: Stonedeck Pizza Pub

Cost: $45

Details: Well, this is different. Stonedeck in Deep Ellum is turning their rectangular pizza into merely a tray, nestled into which you’ll find queso, marinara and bleu cheese dressing (all made in-house, of course). Chips, house-made pizza rolls and hot wings round out the crazy pie. It really is everything you need, all piled onto one pizza. Whether or not that’s a good thing is entirely up to you. Just add moonshine, cocktails, beer and the Big Game.

What: Eat a super steak buffet!

Where: Y.O. Ranch Steakhouse

Cost: $69.99 per person

Details: For those more interested in cow than pigskin, Y.O. Ranch Steakhouse is offering an all-you-can-eat prime rib situation, plus wings, sides and $2 draft beers for $69.99 per person, starting at 4:00 p.m. on game day. Call 214-744-3287 to reserve.

What: Keep it super simple.

Where: Cold Beer Co.

Cost: $5 Jameson and Deep Eddy Ruby Red & lemon shots, $1 PBR and Lonestar add-ons, $3 drafts

Details: Expect simplicity from a bar named Cold Beer Co. It’s about classic American apps like hot wings and chips & queso, cheap beer, drink specials, and a big screen TV to watch the Big Game. Easy does it.

What: Just wing it.

Where: Eureka!

Cost: $10 for wings and beer

Details: If you’re looking for a place to chill, drink beer and eat wings on Game Day, Eureka!: You found it. For just $10 you can score an order of wings plus a “permanent” handle of beer starting at 1:00 p.m. which is early for Super Bowl Sunday. So settle in early and enjoy the day.

What: Party with the Miller Light girls.

Where: Pyramid Bar at The Fairmount Hotel

Cost: N/A

Details: At the Fairmount’s Pyramid Bar, the big screen will be broadcasting The Big Game this Sunday. Support your team of choice by ordering specialty cocktails and food specials designed specifically to cater to fans of either Atlanta or New England. Or, just drink a bunch of Miller Light, which just so happens to be the official beer of the Dallas Cowboys, with the Miller Light girls, who are set to make an appearance.

image003Photo courtesy of Americano

What: Save $29 on the priciest pizza in town. 

Where: AMERICANO

Cost: $51

Details: This limited-time, deep-dish creation by Executive Chef Matt Ford (regularly $10 a slice or $80 for the whole pie) will be just $51 on Super Bowl Sunday in honor of the fifty-first Big Game. Only available on Sundays and Mondays and packed with pepperoni and calabrian chili sausage, it’s so much more than your typical delivery pizza. Just call 214.261.4600 with at least 24 hours notice of your pickup time (between noon and 5:30, also known as “kickoff.”)

carnitas

Photo courtesy of CBD Provisions

What: Bring Your Own Pigskin.

Where: CBD Provisions carnitas

Cost: $89 (feeds 4-6)

Details: Heading to a friend’s place to watch the game? Impress all in attendance with the famous carnitas from CBD Provisions at the Joule Hotel. Pick up a half pre-roasted Berkshire pig’s head, complete with salsas, tortillas, radish salad and lime plus chips and guac for $89. There will only be 15 of these available so call 214.261.4500 to secure yours in advance.

sliderPLPhoto courtesy of Pecan Lodge

What: Let it slide.

Where: Pecan Lodge BBQ

Cost: $36-$135

Details: Sure, you could barbecue your own ribs, brisket and sausage, and try to make green chile bacon mac and cheese that tastes as good as they make at Pecan Lodge, but goodness that sounds like a LOT of work. Super Bowl Sunday is for relaxing, right? So instead, why not order some poundage of the goods and take it to-go? There’s even a DIY Slider Pack stocked with smoked meats, rolls, coleslaw and PL sauce. Pickup is between 10:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m. on Sunday; order at shop.pecanlodge.com by Friday.

What: Super Bowl and chill

Where: Your place

Cost: Price varies

Details: Not interested in leaving the couch? We get it. Baby steps, America. Have your super meal come to you. Try food delivery services like Caviar and Favor, who are sure to be handing out coupon codes and delivery discounts for Sunday, and then there’s LASH, where you can order both food AND alcohol at once, for the ultimate in laziness (or winning?)

 

NOTE: this piece was originally authored for Eater. 

A #VIPeek at Water Grill, Now Open on McKinney Avenue 

WATER GRILL DALLAS, I see you wavin’

Here in Dallas, we have a lot of restaurants. Like, too many. Far too many. That’s why so many good ones fail, in fact. But despite the plethora of choices, the number of quality seafood restaurants is actually quite small. I can count on one hand the seafood restaurants I enjoy: TJ’s two locations in Dallas, Montlake Cut, perhaps a Truluck’s every once-in-a-while. The Oceanaire is a thing, but it feels a bit stiff to me. Well, now there’s a new, beautiful, large-and-in-charge option for fresh-off-the-plane-from-Los-Angeles-this-morning fish. Water Grill is a gorgeous new restaurant on McKinney Avenue at sort of the line between uptown and downtown, casting the perfect net to catch both business folk and uptown dwellers.

We do love our patios here, and this one is a great one. Lounge and dining room in one, with huge windows and the opportunity to have a cover if necessary, it’s pretty much perfect. Just add rosé.

The decor at Water Grill is spot-on. It’s like Wes Anderson redecorated Balthazar in New York. Which makes sense when you take a look at owner Sam King’s resume.

Take a tour of the nearly 10,000 square feet shrine to copper, wood, glass and glorious seafood…

Our media dinner consisted of course after course of impressive dishes. Even a side of kale – sautéed and topped with yogurt and hazelnuts – was delightful and something I’d return to eat.

Disclaimer: These images were taken by me at a media dinner hosted by Water Grill on January 9. Thus, all alcohol and food items were comped. That said, I will definitely be back on my own because there are tons of other things on the menu I’m dying to try, like the ceviche, the bigeye tuna poke, the wagyu burger, the tuna burger, all the salads and the miso cod. I can’t wait.

Foodbitch Travel Playbook: How to Cruise Featuring Royal Caribbean

I’ll be honest. Cruising isn’t my favorite way to vacation. Cruising with family and kids probably doesn’t help either. But, there are ways to do it, things to know, stuff to bring and expectations to set that will help you have a successful, and even delightful, cruise experience. Even if you’re not the cruising type, like me.

Foodbitch Travel Playbook: How to Cruise

Plan ahead: research your ports

Use TripAdvisor or Google to find blog posts about each of the ports you’ll be cruising to, so you can decide what you’d like to do once ashore. Get all that nailed down before you board. That way, there’s no pressure or stress to decide while you’re cruising.

Maaaaybe don’t book ahead: pricey offshore excursions

After you’ve done all your research ahead of time, you’ll know which excursions you want to buy. Then, and only then, should you purchase them, if you’re sure. You’ll save by booking before you get on the boat (sometimes 30%). We didn’t do any, but opted rather to taxi to beaches at each port and pay minimums when required to chill, eat, drink and splish-splash around. Scuba wasn’t on the to-do list with toddlers in tow.

Book ahead: babysitting

We didn’t. That was a mistake.

Probably spring for: ZOOM Internet

If you’re addicted to internetting like I am, tread lightly here. Paying for internet access on the ships is expensive and will keep you connected, if you consider that a good thing. Maybe disconnecting is a better idea? But my family all stayed in contact via Google Chat, so we knew where to find each other on the boat, which was useful because we didn’t have a walkie talkie or anything like that. Which brings me to…

Spring for: coffee

Our ship was the Liberty. It had a coffee bar where you could get a large latte virtually any time of the day. Thus, a coffee punch card that got me 15 coffees of my choice over the 8-day cruise for like $34 was well worth it.

Pack: what you need and only what you need

Easier said than done, right? Well, maybe just one beach hat. Perhaps only two extra cover-ups. Not four like I brought. Decide your formalwear in advance; nobody needs to lug around extra formalwear, ladies. There are lots of great blog posts to be found on cruise packing so I won’t bore you with my version, but comfy on the way in and out, dresses, shorts, bathing suits, tees and linen pants, PJ’s, underwear, makeup, sunscreen, flip flops and really not much else.

Cruising with Kids

I could make a whole post about just this topic. But I won’t because I’m no mommy blogger. Suffice it to say, kids love cruising, and Royal Caribbean has lots of activities for kids of all ages. Unfortunately, my twins are three but not quite potty trained so they were in a toddler purgatory of sorts when it came to kids camp and most of the pools, but like I said, they had a blast anyway. Oh. And the Dreamworks characters on the ship were the highlight of my kids’ lives I think.

Know before you go: tipping

Be prepared to be charged an automatic per-person charge for staff gratuities per day. This can add up. To hundreds, easily, depending on cruise length and number of guests in your party. So just be prepared.

Ship drinking is an expensive endeavor

There are a few strategies for drinking on a cruise. They range from all-out (buying a spendy all-you-can-drink package and doing your best to make it worth your while) to abstaining completely. You can also bring a bottle of wine per person on board from home (Pro tip!), so that’s a good start. There are also designated drinks of the day that will cost a few bucks less than the average bevvy, but they tend to be the kind that come in rainbow colors and an umbrella, if you’re into that sort of thing. If you’re a sophisticated drinker, you may be disappointed, but you might want to let your alcoholic pretense slide during your cruise vacay and just drink when-in-Rome-style.

Set your expectations appropriately when it comes to food

Let’s get real for a second. I’m not going to lie to you and tell you that cruise food is sooooo good. There are thousands of people to feed on a modern cruise ship, unless you’re sailing uber-fancy-style on some cruise line I wish I could afford right now. Feeding thousands of people for days and days isn’t easy and if you’re looking for gourmet food you just won’t find it on a boat, I’m afraid. But you will find plenty to eat, lots of choices, tons of ethnic food (which I was particularly happy to discover) and you’ll probably never be hungry. My favorite parts, food-wise? First, a little taste of home at SABOR, the Mexican restaurant on board where (for a per-person upcharge), we ate dinner one night that included ceviche, queso fundido, tableside guac and short ribs. Secondly, I loved dining al fresco at Johnny Rockets, believe-it-or-not, because the burger was grilled on a flat top rather than the way they make the burgers for massive consumption in the dining rooms and buffet, the onion rings were excellent, and they gave us Oreo milkshakes! The kids had a fabulous time goofing around while the adults hung out casual-style. Lastly, I enjoyed several vanilla and chocolate soft serve cones by the pool. Simple pleasures are my bag.

I hope this helped a bit, if you’re thinking about making your next vacation a cruise. It’s so plug-and-play-easy it’s crazy. And that can be exactly what you need sometimes. If you’ve got comments or cruise stories of your own (points for hilarity!), leave them below in the comments. Big thanks to Royal Caribbean for spotting me some sweet cruise credit to try out some fine dining and spa treatments (a much needed massage/facial package was top notch!), as well as covering my ZOOM Internet so I could upload my vacay pics from the high seas.