Sneak #VIPeek: Toasted Coffee + Kitchen

Toasted Coffee + Kitchen is finally ready to open its doors on Lower Greenville, and it’s about to do just that on Monday. Coffee, wine on tap, beer, and of course toast on house-baked breads will be available to all who enter. The whole place is a custom job, design-wise, and it’s pretty cool. There are custom art pieces, inlaid ice buckets in the indoor-outdoor, dog-friendly patio space for mimosas, custom wooden tabletops and metal bases while the human friendly tricked out bar area has a gorgeous live edge wooden bar and a business loft complete with a printer.

Take a look around with me:

Toasted will open Monday, November 7 with a limited menu.

Toasted // 5420 Ross Avenue // toasted.coffee

Cheers for a Cause: The Ultimate Cocktail Experience at Klyde Warren Park Nov. 5

It’s time again for the Ultimate Cocktail Experience.

Though the name itself sounds a bit generic, it’s quite a badass event. First of all, there’s a worthy cause: Trigger’s Toys, a charity that serves children and families of children who require extended medical assistance in DFW. They give these kids care packages and toys, and they provide events and financial assistance to those in need. 

Secondly, if you’ve ever wanted to drink with all of the best bartenders in the city at once? Like 40 different cocktails? Yeah that sounds like fun. Well, here’s your chance. Behold, the teams:

(Oh, and by the way, the bars below are among the best in the state, so next time you’re looking for a watering hole, you know where to click.)

screen-shot-2016-10-20-at-9-26-23-pmAFRICA

Captain: Bryan Dalton- Mexican Sugar

screen-shot-2016-10-20-at-9-26-07-pmASIA

Captain: Kiyoko Kinoshita- Midnight Rambler

screen-shot-2016-10-20-at-9-25-56-pmEUROPE

Captain: Jenny Park- Filament

screen-shot-2016-10-20-at-9-25-40-pmNORTH AMERICA

Captain: Andrew Stofko- Victor Tangos

screen-shot-2016-10-20-at-9-25-27-pmSOUTH AMERICA

Captain: Ravinger Singh- Rapscallion

BATCHING TEAM

Captain: Mati Hartai- HG Supply Co

These guys and gals (about 100 more bartenders spread across the teams) are at the top of their cocktail games, and you can be there to see and taste it, while giving back. It’s a win-win.


The Ultimate Cocktail Experience will happen on November 5 at Klyde Warren Park at 6:30 p.m.

Tickets: http://www.prekindle.com/promo/id/24545708307178770.
More information and donations: triggerstoys.org.

 

Peep the Menu at the NEW Kitchen LTO in Deep Ellum

Kitchen LTO in Deep Ellum (re)opens Tuesday, October 25.

Kitchen LTO, Dallas’ permanent pop-up has restored its permanent status with a new location in Deep Ellum. Here’s what you need to know.

 

Inside the new Kitchen LTO: Gallery LTO
Photo by Kevin Marple

kitchenlto7245Chef: Josh Harmon

Chef Harmon has a lovely resume, y’all. Good names on this thing.
Here’s a little somethin-somethin’ about him, from the good old press release:

“Born in Tennessee, raised in Texas and graduating high school in LA, he was exposed to an array of different cultures that would play a big role in the way he cooks today. Harmon has trained and staged in some of the best kitchens in the states, from David Burkes’ Townhouse, to Buddhakan in the Chelsea Market, Le Cirque in the Bloomberg Tower to Grace in Fort Worth as well as FT33 and Driftwood in Dallas.

When Harmon returned to Texas in 2012, he became Chef de Cuisine at The Milk & Honey Co. where he received multiple accolades. The Star Telegram said, “Its kitchen is turning out some of the area’s more progressive and imaginative nouveau Southern cooking”.  After leaving Milk & Honey in 2013, Harmon went to Grace and worked as Chef de Partie with Chefs Blain Staniford, Victor Villarreal, and Ryan Martin. In 2014, Harmon took the Lead Cook position at Savor in Dallas with Chefs Matt Hanke and Joe Sigliano.

He most recently created the new seasonally driven globally influenced French menu at Main Street Bistro & Bakery in Grapevine.”

melissa-ellis-headshot-copyArtist: Melissa Ellis

Here’s what’s changing about the art. It’s now called “Gallery LTO.”

“More emphasis will be placed on artists than before with Ellie Visconti serving as Art Curator for Gallery LTO. Visconti, a 15-year veteran of the Dallas design and art scene has chosen Melissa Ellis to be the first featured artist. Ellis is a Native Texan and East Dallas resident specializing in abstract and contemporary nature oil paintings.  Her bold use of color is apparent in all of her work, from large-scale heavily textured abstracts, to delicate paintings of flowers, plants and trees.  She uses creative and unique techniques, often using a palette knife, to create motion, texture and depth.”

No more voting.

Now the chefs and artists will be chosen by the experts. Sorry, public and “Fickle 500.” Y’all are fired.

Kitchen LTO Korean Sticky Duck Leg. Photo by Kevin Marple
Photo by Kevin Marple

New menus!

Peep ’em right here! Woohoo!!

lto-dinner-menu lto-brunch-menu

 

New digs!

Kitchen LTO’s new Deep Ellum address is: 2901 Elm Street

Here’s when you can eat there:

Dinner: TuesdayThursday 5pm – 11pm;
Friday & Saturday 5pm – 11pm;

(Lunch: Coming Soon)

Brunch: Saturday 11am – 3pm | Sunday 11am – 5pm (begins immediately)

 


Kitchen LTO // 2901 Elm Street // kitchenlto.com

Chefs for Farmers 2016 Wrapup

I came. I ate (SO MUCH!). I judged.

That’s my Chefs For Farmers 2016 experience in a nutshell. But it’s so much more than that!! I don’t need to retell the story of CFF; you can read that over on their site. But I will show you the main event in pictures, and make sure you know who all the lovely local chefs, out-of-town chefs, food artisans and farmers are who came and gave their all over the fabulous weekend.

In the end, an oyster from Jesse Houston and his team at Saltine Oyster Bar in Jackson, MS won best dish, and Emma and Travis Heim of the famous Heim Barbecue & Catering from Fort Worth, TX stole everyone’s hearts with their bacon burnt ends-topped salad.

But the real winner? My stomach. Take a look at most of what went down.

Chefs for Farmers, foodbitch view:

 

 



Local Chefs:

Jon Alexis | TJ’s Fresh Seafood Market & Grill

Damian Avila | Lockhart Smokehouse

Brian Bell | The blind butcher

Richard Blankenship | CBD Provisions

Junior Borges | The Joule

Kirstyn Brewer | Victor Tangos

Graham Dodds | Wayward Sons

Brandon Drew | Pyramid

Eric Dreyer | Fearing’s Restaurant

Matt Dallman | 18th & Vine Barbeque

David Fingerman | Madrina

Chef Gorgi | Canary by Gorji

Scott Gottlich | The Second Floor by Scott Gottlich

Emma and Travis Heim | Heim Barbecue & Catering

Jeffrey Hobbs | The Slow Bone

Chad Houser | Cafe Momentum

Tim Hutchins | Hutchins BBQ

Dan Landsberg | Dragonfly at Hotel ZaZa

Brian Luscher | Luscher’s Red Hots

Robert Lyford | Patina Green Home and Market

Chef Matt McCallister | FT33 and Filament

Brad Phillips | Asador Restaurant

Janice Provost | Parigi Restaurant

Jeramie Issac Robison | Uchi Dallas

Abraham Salum | Salum Restaurant

Stefano Secchi | Ferrari’s Italian Villa

Andrea Schackelford | Harvest Seasonal Kitchen

Kevin Spencer | SĒR Steak + Spirits

Nathan Tate | Boulevardier and Rapscallion

Chef John Tesar | Knife Dallas

Chef Jon Thompson

Nick Walker | Rosewood Mansion on Turtle Creek

Mark Wootton | Garden Cafe

Sharon Van Meter | 3015 at Trinity Groves

Out-of-Town Chefs include:

Greg Baker | The Refinery and Fodder and Shine in Tampa, FL

David Bancroft | Acre in Auburn, AL

Justin Carlisle | Ardent in Milwaukee, WI

Alex Eaton | The Manship in Jackson, MS

Jodi Elliott | Bribery Bakery in Austin, TX

Jesse Houston | Saltine Oyster Bar in Jackson, MS

Kevin Johnson | The Grocery in Charleston, SC

Jeremiah Langhorne | The Dabney in Washington, DC

Rebecca Masson | Fluff Bake Bar in Houston, TX

Steve McHugh of Cured at Pearl | San Antonio, TX

Sarah Simmons & Aaron Hoskins | Birds & Bubbles and City Grit in New York, NY

Stephen Stryjewski | Cochon in New Orleans, LA

William Wright | Helen Greek Food and Wine in Houston, TX

Food Artisans:

Bisous Bisous Pâtisserie

Empire Baking Company

Jammit Jam

Local Press + Brew

Pachi Pachi Cheese

Pop Star Handcrafted Popsicles

The Mozzarella Company

Noble Coyote Coffee Roasters

Scardello Artisan Cheese

Spice Madam

Wheat & Sour

2016 Participating Farmers:

A Bar N Ranch

Amelia’s Farm

Bonton Farms

Cartermere Farms

Comeback Creek Farm

Coyote Creek Organic Feed Mill and Farm

Dallas Urban Farms

Eden’s Organic Garden Center/CSA Farm

Farmers Assisting Returning Military – FARM

Fruge Seafood

Garden Harvests Farm

Juha Ranch

Rae Lili Farm

South Texas Heritage Pork

Sun E Farm

Texas Honeybee Guild

Texas Olive Ranch

The Good Egg


Disclaimer: I was selected as a judge for this year’s Chefs for Farmers main event, and thus I was gifted VIP access from the CFF team.

Foodbitch Travel Playbook: Feast Portland in pictures

I came, I saw, I FEASTED.

If you’ve been following along (THANKS Y’ALL!), you know was out at FEAST Portland a couple weeks ago. I’m still full.

I wanted to take a bit of time to go back and show you all the delicious beauty I encountered, or at least a pretty good sampling of it.

Things you’ll see here: Bottles of rosé, the results of a bloody good bloody mary bar, Solo Club wine cocktails, a cracked-out chicken biscuit, killer gazpacho, amazeballs brownies, tomato salad that almost made me cry it was so good, gorgeous beet salad, bottles of champagne, charcuterie for days, a chocolate toffee situation, and just all the things.

 

Again, big thanks to the team at FEAST Portland for having me out for my first FEAST. And thanks to all my peeps at home for following along!

xo!

fb

Shake Shack Shacktoberfest Starts Today. Here’s What’s On The Menu:

Here’s how Shake Shack does Oktoberfest:

If you’re not Oktoberfesting, what the heck are you doing?

 

They’ve got a big, big Brooklyn Brewery Oktoberfest beer in a commemorative glass for $10.
A cheddar-stuffed-brat-on-a-burger situation (Brat Burger), complete with beer-fried shallots and Shacksauce ($7.59),
A Shackmeister Brat topped with cheese sauce (the adorable Shake Shack word for/impression of queso) ($5.29),
A toasted soft pretzel with Bavarian spices (available with cheese sauce for a buck) ($3),
A Black Forest Milkshake,
And my favorite, the delicious Apfelstrudel Shake.

 

We got a #VIPeek on Thursday afternoon, during the slight dip in business, which happens around 3pm on weekdays only (HINT-HINT).

Big thanks to Shake Shack for having us out for a taste! Or DANKE as they say in Ze German.

OH and P.S. these special Oktoberfest Shacktoberfest items are only available until October 2. So hurry!


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

 

 


Disclaimer: This #VIPeek was by invitation and all food and drink items were comped by the team at Shake Shack for review. This doesn’t change my opinions. I still love the original Shackburger and the Chick n’ Shack best. But that strudel shake… Damn.

Brunch at Top Knot

I don’t know how else to say this, but Top Knot is officially turning out my favorite brunch in town. All others can go ahead and try to convince me otherwise.

Now they’re upping the ante with a concept called Top Knot & Chill, a brunch featuring “Rosè All Day” (half-off all rosè options by the bottle or glass), and $3 glasses and $9 carafes of their Honeydew Bellini  (sparkling wine, fresh juiced honeydew, peach purée, lime) or Mimosa (sparkling wine, fresh squeezed orange juice). A local DJ and Cowboys games will round out the “chill.”

But then there’s the food. Take a look.

Top Knot & Chill brunch is every Sunday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. in celebration of patio season. No reservations necessary.

Top Knot // 2817 Maple Avenue and above Uchi // topknot.com

NOTE: I was invited in to sample Top Knot’s brunch offerings for the purposes of a review. That fact doesn’t change my opinion, as per usual. I’d absolutely spend my own money at Top Knot any day of the week.

FEAST Portland Here I Come

It’s time to FEAST!

Starting Thursday, I’ll be heading to FEAST Portland. What is it? It’s like the New York Food & Wine Festival of Portland. So, like the more hippie version, I suppose. I’ve been dying to go and this is my first time, but I’m more excited to share my virgin trip to FEAST with all of you. Here’s my little FEAST Portland social guide to help you follow along from home.

foodbitch on instagram storiesInstagram Stories

The best live content from my time at FEAST is going to go down on Instagram Stories. Follow along as I show you the best of the fest from a behind-the-scenes point-of-view.

foodbitch grammin' in PortlandInstagram

Pictures pretty enough to make the cut will end up on Instagram each day. I don’t want to overwhelm y’all, so I’ll TRY to limit myself. It’s going to be REAL hard. I’ll probably end up making some flipagram videos or something, most likely.  Hope you like.

chat my snaps, y'allSnapchat

Prefer to snap? I don’t. But I get that some folks are millenials and love that shit. So I’ll see what I can do, OK?

(Username: askfoodbitch https://www.snapchat.com/add/askfoodbitch)

Like your favorite bitch on the FacebooksFacebook

I’ll be sharing some of what I post to Instagram on Facebook as well, in addition to the aforementioned Flipagrams to sum up my days.

Twitter: the original bitchfestTwitter

Hang out with me on Twitter if you just want to read my general observations about the festival as well as Portland in general. Fair warning: I think I’m funny sometimes. And I’ll probably be drinking more than a little, so things can only go downhill from there.

 

That’s it! I hope you’ll follow along as I eat and drink my way through FEAST Portland. And if you’ll be there too — say hey!

xo,

foodbitch

 


 

NOTE: I’m heading to FEAST Portland on a blogger/media pass, compliments of the festival, so most of the events and samplings, etc. that I am lucky enough to get into and taste will be comped. However, throughout the fest as always, my opinions will be my own.

#SPONSORED // Beer, Brats & Burbs: Experience Oktoberfest in Historic Downtown McKinney

If you’ve never been to Oktoberfest in Downtown McKinney, this should probably be the year you go. There’s so much going on over the three-day festival, with so many opportunities to eat, drink and be merry inside those 14 blocks of beer garden.

Oktoberfest sounds like something worth driving out to the burbs for, and coming from this bitch, that’s saying something.

From brat eating contests to weenie dog races, a giant chicken dance to beer pong games of Olympic proportions, Oktoberfest is fun for all ages. Starting Friday, September 23 and going through Sunday, September 25, the schedule is packed with activities, live music performances and everything Bavarian.

Admission to the festival is free, but food, drinks and some of the activities like the carnival, petting zoo, rock climbing and more, will cost tickets. These are available for purchase at the fest, naturally. Check out more info here in the FAQs.

Want another peek? Here’s a video from our friends at the City of McKinney:

 

Visit the McKinney Oktoberfest Eventbrite page to buy tickets in advance, and enjoy the festival!

 

McKinney Oktoberfest // 111 N. Tennessee, McKinney, TX 75069 // mckinneyoktoberfest.com

 


NOTE: This post was sponsored by the City of McKinney.

foodbitch Travel PlayBook // The Hilton Anatole: Dallas’ Resort Oasis

Let’s Staycation! Dallas’ Hilton Anatole

If our Staycation at The Highland Dallas was a “Steak-cation,” then this one at the Hilton Anatole was an “Resort-cation.”

This is because the best and most recent addition to the Hilton Anatole is its JadeWaters water park, boasting two water slides, a swim up bar, splash pools and other fun water features for kids, deeper spots for adults to relax and a badass 630-ft. long lazy river for everyone. Cabanas and daybeds for rent can kick your stay up a notch and make you feel like a celeb for a day. Well, that along with the plethora of friendly and helpful staff who are there to take extremely good care of you. There’s also a spa at the hotel, if you’re into that sort of thing. And if you’re not, why are you reading my Travel PlayBook anyway?

When friends and followers ask, I describe JadeWaters as just as resort-like as any all-inclusive resort in Mexico, but with far better drinks and better quality food. You’re not going to find fresh watermelon chunks, or even a skinny margarita option, and certainly not a wagyu hot dog, at an all-inclusive. I say, take the cost of that flight you didn’t spend and get a cabana and a few pitchers of margs! Win! Oh, and you won’t hear the same three songs played over and over, with some DJ trying to get everyone to do the Hokey Pokey or something all day either. You’ll realize real quick you’re not at Sandals.

Look up, look down, and drink it all in.

 

JadeWaters at the Hilton Anatole is AHHHHHmazing.

I mean, from the moment you walk past these wooden panels, you’ll feel a bit more Zen. With kiddos or without (we arrived with twin foodbabies in tow), you can relax because there are lifeguards on staff, plenty of towels, beach loungers, tubes for the lazy river and not too much activity. The Hilton folks put some thought into the design of the $20 million dollar park, and it feels peaceful from nearly every angle. You might just forget you’re mere minutes from home.

The ultimate Dallas Staycation

We came. We played. We stayed.

I recommend a staycation at the Hilton Anatole wholeheartedly, because having done the whole 4-day-mini-all-inclusive-vacay thing in Mexico, it’s fun to get away, but if it can be this fun to stay and play right here at home? Save the airfare and add it to the “play” pile!

Keep in mind that at least for now, JadeWaters is only open to hotel guests. However, confirmed guests can purchase additional wristbands (up to 6 total) for additional entry to JadeWaters. These wristbands start at $25 per person. 

 

Hilton Anatole // 2201 N. Stemmons Freeway // hiltonanatolehotel.com

 


NOTE: This staycation was offered to me by the folks at Hilton in exchange for a review. Approx. value: $500.

5 Reasons to Get Excited for #Dallas’ First @ShakeShack, Opening September 1

DALLAS’ FIRST @SHAKESHACK, OPENS TOMORROW, SEPTEMBER 1 AT THE CRESCENT IN UPTOWN!

(above images by Joy Zhang)

Dallas’ First Shake Shack is coming to the Crescent (and not to Frisco, as was first reported, thank sweet Cheeseburger Jesus). I got a little #VIPeek action this afternoon, so here’s what you should be most excited about…

  1. Our own special menu

    Dallas' first Shake Shack opens September 1 -- photo by foodbitch
    Dallas’ first Shake Shack opens September 1

    As is the Shake Shack way, every city gets its own special menu items. It’s cute.
    Pictured above, in between the Chick’n Shack and the ShackBurger, is one of our Dallas specialties, the Link Burger. It features a jalapeño cheese sausage link from Pecan Lodge (which you might have heard of if you’re not dead or something), on top of a cheeseburger. People are raving. But honestly, I’m more excited to taste our Dallas-specific concretes, which feature Dude Sweet Chocolate and Emporium Pies PIE. Because I am a cheeseburger purist and I know ShakeShack’s are the shit. Now it’s time to have a milkshake that brings all the cowboys to the yard. Hell yeah!

  2. THIS chicken sandwich

    Dallas' first Shake Shack sneak peek pics by foodbitch
    Chick’n Shack in typical food blogger configuration

    I mean, you can tell just by looking at it that it’s gonna be good. Buttermilk herb mayo? All of it. Pickles that look like those?? Yes please! And look at that crisped-up chicken breast! Perfection.

  3. THIS flat-top hot dog situation

    Dallas' first Shake Shack sneak peek pics by foodbitch
    Shack-cado dog

    All the fixin’s on a Vienna all-beef dog.

  4. This ShackBurger and double ShackBurger

    Dallas' first Shake Shack sneak peek pics by foodbitch
    double ShackBurger at Dallas’ first Shake Shack

    This type of thing is my first Shake Shack love and I don’t think anything can beat it. The potato bun, Shack sauce, crisp veggies, thick-cut pickle and a double helping of classic cheeseburger awesomeness.

  5. Because it’s gonna be BIG!

    Dallas' first Shake Shack Shake Shack sneak peek pics by foodbitch
    See what I did there?

    Three words: Crinkle. Cut. Fries.

Dallas' first Shake Shack opens September 1 -- photo by foodbitch
Dallas’ first Shake Shack opens September 1

 

See you guys at the Shack. It’s going to be a beautiful thing.


Shake Shack // 2400 North Pearl (at the Crescent) // shakeshack.com

Presenting… The 2016 Big Tex Choice Awards Finalists… in Emojis

It’s the 2016 Big Tex Choice Awards Finalists … In Emojis!

It’s that time of year again. Big Tex himself and the rest of the folks from the State Fair of Texas just announced all the finalists for the most creative, best tasting and … is there a prize yet for who can get the most people to eat the weirdest shit yet? No? Well, there should be. Anyway, everyone is talking about fried Jello and the random stringing together of seemingly unrelated words that people will deep fry and serve in exchange for coupons of unknown exchange rate. THIS IS WHAT WE DO.

What I’m saying is, these finalists are made up of a lot of words. So I thought I’d help everyone decipher all the gobbledygook with a little help from my colorful frenemies, the emojis. Enjoy!

(All descriptions via official State Fair of Texas 2016 Big Tex Choice Awards press release.)

Caribbean Pineapple Corn Corpse
Caribbean Pineapple Corn Corpse

Caribbean Pineapple Korn-a-Copia by Stephen Alade

“Bringing a taste of Caribbean flare to the Fair, this dish stands out among the rest with its profile of fresh flavors. Marinated grilled chicken and shrimp are served over a bed of yellow Caribbean fried rice and topped with a tropical salsa and pineapple rum glaze. Served in a pineapple half shell, this Korn-a-Copia will have you ready for a day at the beach… or a day the Fair!”

 

Deep Fries "Bacon" Burger Dog Sliding in on a Stick
Deep Fries “Bacon” Burger Dog Sliding in on a Stick    


Deep Fried Bacon Burger Dog Slider on a Stick by Brent & Juan Reaves

“Meat lovers are in for a treat with this tantalizing triple threat. A miniature, handmade seasoned ground beef patty is stuffed with shredded cheddar cheese, bacon, and an all-beef hot dog on a Hawaiian roll. It is then placed on a skewer topped with a pickle, dipped in a tempura batter and deep fried to perfection. Every Bacon Burger Dog is served on a bed of shoe string fries with ranch dipping sauce.”

 

Deep Fries Lift Pig Convenience Store Dings
Deep Fries Lift Pig Convenience Store Dings

Deep Fried Pulled Pork “FUNYUN®” Dings by Chris Howard

“Putting a tasty spin on a pantry staple, the unique combination of flavors in this deep fried dish create the perfect balance of sweet and savory. A “FUNYUN,” the traditional crunchy snack, is stuffed with pulled pork, pepper jack cheese, pineapple slices and bacon. It is then dipped in a flavorful batter and deep fried. Each order is served with a multilayered sweet BBQ sauce.”

 

Fern Down Home Chicken Pot Pie Pants Mac Cheese Dip
Fern Down Home Chicken Pot Pie Pants Mac Cheese Dip

 


Fernie’s Down Home Chicken Pot Pie Pocket with Mac ‘n Cheese Dip by Christi Erpillo

“Two classic American comfort foods, one mouth-watering meal! This ultimate taste extravaganza starts with a savory cream sauce chock-full of shredded roasted chicken breast, tender diced white potatoes, sweet carrots, peas, corn and a special blend of herbs and spices. This hearty filling is ladled into fresh, flaky pastry dough and then gently folded “hot pocket” style. Each bite of the deep fried, golden brown, buttery crust is bursting with a savory sauce of chicken and veggies. Pure down-home goodness! Served with a side of mac ‘n cheese-inspired dip, this unique sharp cheddar sauce creates a tantalizing flavor combination.”

 

Fries Red "O"
Fries Red “O”


Fried Jell-O® by Ruth Hauntz

“For the first time in Big Tex Choice Awards history, America’s favorite childhood dessert is given a State Fair of Texas twist! A classic cherry-flavored Jell-O in a panko-crusted breading, flash-fried to perfection, and then dusted with powdered sugar. Prepared with a tasty topping of whipped cream and a cherry garnish, this dish has the perfect amount of crunch to compliment the jiggle.”

 

Syringe Ball Ball Barbecue
Syringe Ball Ball Barbecue

Injectable Great Balls of BBQ by Glen Kusak

“Smoke-crusted BBQ beef brisket is hand shredded with bock BBQ sauce and molded to form balls. The ball of beef is then breaded with seasoned bread crumbs and deep fried to a crispy perfection. Served on top of a bed of coleslaw, each order comes with its own pipette of bock BBQ sauce to be injected into the brisket balls. Guaranteed to be a perfectly succulent bite every time.”

 

Down Fries Chicken Hot Food
Down Fries Chicken Hot Food


Southern Fried Chicken & Dumplins by Clint Probst

“Putting a modern twist on a traditional Deep South favorite, this southern fried dish is a two-in-one hit! Juicy shredded chicken is mixed with bits of signature seasonings, dough and a touch of gravy. This decadent mixture is then rolled into balls, coated with bread crumbs and deep fried golden brown! Served with fried “biscuit bites” and a side of gravy, this dish is truly comfort food heaven!”

 

Ferris Wheel Cookie Fries
Ferris Wheel Cookie Fries


State Fair Cookie Fries by Isaac Rousso

“A unique play on America’s favorite savory side dish. The cookie fry may look like it needs ketchup, but don’t be fooled by the classic crinkle-cut appearance. Offered in traditional cookie flavors like chocolate chip or sprinkles, these sweet treats are served with your choice of the accompanying strawberry or milk chocolate sauce. Just consider it an undercover cookie in fry-form disguise.”

NOTE: All proceeds from the Big Tex Choice Awards ceremony will be donated to the State Fair of Texas Youth Scholarship Program. Over its 24 year history, the Youth Scholarship Program has awarded scholarships to more than 1,800 students for a total of more than $8.7 million. Eligible recipients include graduating high school seniors from around the state of Texas who have competed in State Fair livestock events, as well as graduating seniors from five Fair Park area schools – Irma Lerma Rangel Young Women’s Leadership School, James Madison, Lincoln, North Dallas and Woodrow Wilson High Schools. Due to the event’s charitable cause, a portion of each ticket is tax-deductible.

The 2016 exposition runs September 30 through October 23 in Fair Park. Visit BigTex.com for more information.

Not Your Typical Uptown Bar Next Door

Ask me about the last time I went out drinking in Uptown and I might shudder a little. It’s admittedly not my scene. That’s fine; plenty of work to be done for all of us, right? So when Next Door was hosting a media dinner, I came out to check it out, but without, let’s say, the highest of expectations. I’m just being honest here. I lived in Uptown for five years myself, right out of college, so I’ve been in the thick of it. And I’m not itching to go back there usually. But Next Door surprised me in a few key ways.

Next Door is good looking.

From an abundance of knockers (the kind that go on doors, not chests. Though, Next Door boasts plenty of both sorts) to bright green foliage and a wall of speakers, there’s a lot to look at at Next Door. It’s not a greasy spoon, nor is it too flashy. It’s both modern and easy on the eyes.

Next Door has a menu of surprisingly creative cuisine.

Next Door could just serve typical bar food. Or a bunch of fried crap. Or whatever goes best with beer and wine and whatever cocktails folks are into these days. But instead there’s a chef with actual thought and a menu and actual dishes like pasta and adorable apps like tomato soup dumplings. Yeah, those.


Next Door shakes out some damn delicious cocktails.

There’s an excellent peach fall cocktail that tastes like cobbler in a glass. There’s a beautiful pineapple habañero margarita. There’s even a refreshing AF cucumber-mint situation that I could drink all damn day. These are not typical.


  • Next Door has a gorgeous outdoor space.

    This greenery is green. Perfect for selfies, group pics and pretending you are not in the middle of an otherwise concrete jungle.

    Next Door still has some Uptown spirit, though.

There may or may not be some weird shit that goes on at Next Door at brunch. I’m not exactly sure what sort of thing, but if you head over there, and you’re into weird brunches, I’m told they’ll take care of you. It’s still Uptown, after all. Cheers!

Next Door // 2908 McKinney Avenue // nextdoordallas.com


NOTE: The images above were taken by me at a group media dinner held at Next Door. Thus, I did not pay for any of the food or drinks reviewed. I always give my 100% honest opinions, however!

The foodbitch Guide to DFW Restaurant Week 2016

DFW FW Reservations are coming in for the DFW Restaurant Week 2016. And because festivals are so hot right now (I mean, DFDubs is all about its food festivals), and because everything is so hot right now because it’s so DAMN HOT OUT RIGHT NOW… DFW Restaurant Week has added a festival of its own to the hullabaloo.

Last weekend was the first annual DFWRWF&WF. That’s the Dallas/Fort Worth Restaurant Week Food & Wine Festival, for those of you who don’t speak acronym. On Friday and Saturday night, live music, and food down in Main Street Garden in Downtown Dallas kicked off the DFW Restaurant Week 2016 festivities in a whole new way. The Big Bad Voodoo Daddies and the band Magic were there on each night, respectively, to help celebrate.

In other good news: Restaurant week finally got a new logo!! OMG Weird Art Deco Man is dead! DING DONG! Unfortunately, the website is still a bit of a hot mess. Allow me to help you sort through what’s what.

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:

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: Central Market is an unsung hero of RW.

Visit CM (a little slice of heaven to shop in with or without twins in tow, and no, they do NOT pay my ass to say so), spend at least $25 (like that’s hard) and get a Fourth Course certificate for each $25 you spend. Spend $50, get two certs. Spend $100, get four. Spend $45? You’ll probably still get two of ’em. They’re nice like that. Those certificates get you — yep, you guessed it — a fourth course at your Restaurant Week dinner meal. Voila!

Dates to know:

  • Preview Weekend is August 12-14: advance “preview” dining at select restaurants
  • DFW Restaurant Week 2016 is August 15-21, though many restaurants will extend through Aug. 28 or even Sept. 4

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 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
NEW! DFW Restaurant Week logo

UPDATED FOR 2016: 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
Bonnell’s
Barley & Board
CBD Provisions
Filament
Five Sixty
Local
Lonesome Dove (If you’re into that whole Fort Worth thing)
Madrina
The Mansion on Turtle Creek (A bit overrated, sure, but it’s still The Mansion)
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
San Salvaje
SER
Shinsei
Stampede 66
Stephan Pyles
Tei-An

LET’S LUNCH!

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



Americano
Capital Grille(s)
Clark
Cook Hall
Del Frisco’s Grille(s) (Because fancy lunch is totes fun)
DISH Preston Hollow (Seriously, this would be a good time to grab that lunch reservation)
Fixture Kitchen & Social Lounge
Front Room Tavern (Yup, another likely solid lunch option)
Lavendou (Never been! Gasp!)
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
Asador
Black Ship Little Katana
Bolsa
Cafe Pacific
Cedar Grove
Chamberlain’s
Clark
Clay Pidgeon
Dallas Chop House
Dallas Fish Market
Del Frisco’s Double Eagle Steakhouse, Dallas & Plano
Eddie V’s
Grain
Javier’s
Kenichi
Landmark
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 (New Kid On The Block)
Perry’s Steakhouse & Grill (Pork chops)
Pink Magnolia ($45?)
Pyramid (menu looks solid)
Salum (saYUM)
Silver Fox (I know nothing of these foxes but they sound like they have money and want to buy me drinks…)
SMOKE
The Theodore
Trinity at the Tower Club
Vicini (menu looks good but it’s in Frisco)

MEH…

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



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.)
Grace (I saw them firsthand size down RW desserts over regular diners’. BOO and HISS.)
Kenny’s (Not for $45, dudes.)
Lawry’s
Nick & Sam’s Grill (Not sure the $45 was the right choice for the Grill…)
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.)
Saint Ann ($45? Noooooo thanks.)
St. Martin’s Wine Bistro (I’m not impressed by this place’s oldness.)
State & Allen

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)
Boi Na Braza (Huh?)
Bistecca (Highland Village you are Oklahoma)
Bonnie Ruth’s
Cacharel
Carso Mediterranean Steak & Seafood
Carvao Prime Brazillian Steakhouse
Citrus Bistro
The Classic at Roanoake (Because Roanoake)
Eclair Bistro
Ferrari’s (I think that’s Italian for “nope!”)
iL Calabrese
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.)
Max’s Wine Dive(s) (Sorry, it’s purely a value prop issue)
The Melting Pot (Same answer)
Mercat Bistro (Again, nothing against Mercat, but it’s just not going to make sense, especially for $45 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 (FortWorthSaysWhat?)
Nola Grill (Nola Idea what that is)
One2One (Way too far and the name sounds like a boy band. Not appetizing.)
Piccolo Mondo
Piola
Prime Farm to Table
Public School 214 (It’s a value thang, babydoll.)
Rafain
Randy’s
Restaurant 506
Roy’s
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)
Steve Fields
Stratos (Sorry but that’s got to be a joke, yes?)
Texas de Brazil
Twelve Stones (It might cost me $45 for the gas just to get to Flower Mound and back…)
Woodlands (not high-end enough…)
Y.O. Steakhouse
Yellow Rose Steak and Chophouse

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.

 

Foodbitch’s Top 5 Reasons to FEAST in Portland

 

OX salt and straw collaboration ice cream, photo by foodbitch
OX/Salt and Straw collaboration: foie gras ice cream, photo by foodbitch

Foodbitch’s Top 5 Reasons to FEAST in Portland –
this September, or any time.

I’m heading to FEAST Portland in September as a member of the media and to say I’m excited is an understatement. Here’s why.

5. The chef collabs.

Portland chefs and restaurants in Portland have a collaborative attitude that is so fun to see, and it’s even more delicious to get to be on the receiving end. From donuts to ice cream and everything in between, the restaurants in this town love making sweet, sweet deliciousness together. It’s a spirit of collaboration over competition that I really admire and think other cities would do well to imitate.

4. The best little big fest.

FEAST Portland is like Austin Food & Wine, NYF&W and the like, but… more Portland-y. Smaller for sure, and with fewer big-name celebrity chefs than some of the big guys, but that’s okay, because attendees get a chance to really dig in and learn, taste and get a front row seat to see some up-and-coming chefs from the Pacific Northwest who are doing things the whole world will soon be scoping out, if they’re not already. That goes for the city during the festival, or anytime. Portland is a foodie town, period.

Multnomah Falls, photo by foodbitch
Multnomah Falls, photo by foodbitch

3. The weather!

So, I love me some Austin, Texas. But Austin is HOT and the weather is unpredictable. I mean, Austin Food & Wine rained out completely this year! The sadness was felt throughout the internet. But Portland rain is like, cute. It’s more like a mist. So if it rains, let it rain. It’ll be in the high 70s and beautiful because Portland.

Kenny and Zukes pastrami fries, photo by foodbitch
Kenny and Zukes pastrami fries, photo by foodbitch

2. Portland is beautiful.

I always say eating is all about the experience and not just about the food itself, and what better ambiance than beautiful weather (see above), along with the epic scenery of the Pacific Northwest? Mountains, forestry, water, hippies–Portland has ’em all!

1. Portland is effing DELICIOUS.

Like, really delicious. I’ve been lucky enough to visit Portland several times in the past few years, and I have loved every minute of it. The chefs in Portland are pushing the envelope and doing awesome things. If you can get to Portland (ahem–FEAST Portland is coming up–ahem), I highly recommend it. Now is the time to eat the hell out of Portland, ya’ll.

 

Learn more about FEAST Portland at feastportland.com

Oh, and you can follow all the other FEAST Portland social things, too. On Twitter (@FeastPDX), Instagram (@FeastPortland), Facebook, and Snapchat.

Fajitas in the Burbs: Check Out Cuellar’s Fajita Ranch

Cuellar’s Fajita Ranch

If you want to hear about the history of the fajita, nay, the history of Tex-Mex in Dallas, you’re going to want to talk to the Cuellars. They are certainly a huge part of what makes Tex-Mex what it is today. Ever heard of a little place called El Chico? Yeah I think you have. The Cuellars are basically the first family of Tex-Mex. That’s why, upon getting an invite to try Cuellar’s Fajita Ranch out in Plano, I brought out the fam and we got our fajita on.

Fajita-wise, for our table, the grilled chicken was clearly a winner, juicy and flavorful. I was also a fan of the wide choice of sides over the typical beans-and-rice offering on most Tex-Mex menus. I was able to get a salad to start and make sure my kiddos ate some broccoli, too.

Cuellar's Fajita Ranch Chicken and Steak Fajitas For Two
Cuellar’s Fajita Ranch Chicken and Steak Fajitas For Two

 

Cuellar's Fajita Ranch Chicken Fried Steak
Cuellar’s Fajita Ranch Chicken Fried Steak

Cuellar’s is all about classic Tex-Mex dishes, elevated a bit beyond the typical. They call it “Ranch-Mex:” ribeye fajitas, seafood enchiladas, and a humungous chicken fried steak are all going to be vying for your attention. Margaritas were large and typically strong.

Then there are the churros. You’re going to want to save a bit of room for those. They come simply-arranged like stems of flowers in a beer mug with a sweet little side of caramel. But damn, they’re good.

Gold margarita at Cuellar's Fajita RanchCuellar's Fajita Ranch Churros

Cuellar’s Fajita Ranch // 3310 N. Central Expressway // fajitaranch.com

 

 

Disclaimer: Big thanks to the folks at Cuellar’s Fajita Ranch for having my family out to eat with theirs. Our meal was comped but as always, my opinions cannot be swayed by free food. 

Summer Brunching at Americano

Dallas is a Brunch Sort of Town, You Guys

Americano opened in the space formerly occupied by Charlie Palmer inside the Joule hotel in Downtown Dallas. Yes, that Charlie Palmer. The one that was open so long ago you aren’t quite sure whether there’s been another restaurant in between or not. There were rumors of a steak restaurant. Nope. Then CBD Provisions opened up, but on the other side of the lobby. Anyway, Americano hopes to be worth the wait. It’s seen quite the transformation, and the decor is up-to-date with today’s style. Fresh, stark, light and bright with punchy colors make Americano a blank slate for flavor to show up and punch you in the face. Start with the cocktails, like we did at brunch this past Sunday:

This cocktail is the Americano. It features rich coffee flavor in a bitter cocktail that’s perfect for summer sipping.

The Orzata Limonata is my perfect summer cocktail: Gin (or vodka), mint, orzata, lemon, soda. SOLD.

If you put a panzanella salad on your menu, I will order that shit! Add watermelon and it’s beyond irresistible to me. That’s why I’m calling this the Summer of Panzanella! Join me.

The sweet folks at Americano sent out this slice of eggy heaven before I told them we didn’t dig on swine. Whatever it is, it looks meaty-good.

I’m a fan of the pizza at Americano. It’s all in the dough, guys.

Speaking of carbs, this focaccia: HOLY SHIT. Served with this bubbling mess of baked eggs that are spicy, tomatoey and savory, that’s brunchy comfort food.

Dessert for brunch? Yeah why not. This is a Florentine Ice Cream Sandwich and it tastes like crunchy, chocolatey, sea salty heaven. Go get some.

 

Americano // 1530 Main Street // americanodallas.com

 

Disclaimer: We were invited to Americano by the PR team that represents them. Our meal and cocktails were comped, but as always, my opinions are something I give freely.

All White Everything: Dîner En Blanc Dallas will be September 30

All White Everything: Dîner En Blanc Dallas will be September 30, 2016

// NOTE: the following post contains Amazon affiliate links. This is a good thing for you, because it can help you easily get what you need for Dîner En Blanc. And it’s a good thing for me, because if you click one of these things and buy something, I’ll get a kickback. Win-win. //

Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge by foodbitch
Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge by foodbitch

LWDs are the new LBDs,

especially when it’s hot and you’re in Texas and you have to get to eat outside with a bunch of fashionable fun, tipsy Dallassites. That’s what happened last year, at the first-ever Dîner En Blanc Dallas, which is an annual “just for kicks”-style event held in cities all over the world, where tons of folks show up to picnic, party and drink wine all in white just for the hell of it. It’s just as pointless – in a good way – as it sounds. It’s kind of exactly the party nobody needs and everybody needs all at once… if that makes sense.

If you’d like to get in on Dîner en Blanc Dallas, if going with the flow is your thing (and speaking of “flow,” shoutout to Apothic, the event’s official wine sponsor), if you’re not the type to complain about having to find a pair of white shoes or a white belt, and if you love putting together sweet little picnics and head-to-toe white looks, here’s where to apply to do just that. And yes, you have to apply. There are also some legit rules and lists and all sorts of other things, but there will be more on that later. Just go ahead and sign up, if you think you’re up for the whole “oh what the hell” fun of it.


Couple more shots from last year’s all white night, because they’re my faves:

21323375018_4dc6e57bcd_z

21475175856_ff35cd0b26_z

 

For more information, feel free to visit the Dîner en Blanc website, instagram, use the official hashtag (#DinerEnBlancDallas).

 

Oh, and because Diner En Blanc is no easy task as a participant, I have gone ahead and put together a little Amazon shopping list for you. In just a few clicks, you can have everything you need for the perfect DIB experience delivered right to your door via the beauty and technology of the Internet. Voila!

 

Sprezza Saturday Night

Sprezza sits in an unassuming house on Maple in Oaklawn. Inside, a clean, light and bright interior is bustling, mostly because it’s packed with people who are excited for what they’re about to eat. And they should be. Because the man who brought us Nonna and Carbone’s is about to bring them platefuls of delicious pasta and other creative Italian dishes. But what I liked most about Sprezza (And just note that I really, really liked the food) was the staff. The guys working the bar where we were seated were incredibly service-minded, friendly, attentive and just awesome. They really made the night.

But back to the food — and drinks! Let’s start there. Here’s a beauty. Now, to be honest I don’t remember what this beauty was called but it had rosemary, egg and St. Germain. I would recommend you talk to the cool-ass bartenders about what you like and ask them to make you something special.

This! The burrata is supposed to be the star of this dish, but the exceptionally prepared eggplant totally stole the show for me. You’re going to want to order this.

I’m a sucker for a panzanella salad, and a good one like this makes me so happy. Summer is absolutely perfect for salads like this.

Finally it was time to dig in to some pasta. We chose this elegant fusilli. It was everything. Not too heavy.

My date convinced me to order not just one but two desserts. They were beautiful, but honestly they were my least favorite part of the meal. The lemon meringue was too sweet, and the tiramisu was, well, tiramisu just isn’t really my thing.

I can’t wait to get back to Sprezza and do it all over again. You’re going to want to make a reservation in advance though, or you’ll surely wait a bit for a seat at the bar. Worth it.

 

Sprezza // 4010 Maple Ave // sprezzadallas.com

J is for Juice: Featuring I am the Juice Place in Downtown Dallas

J is for juice: featuring I Am The Juice Place

Here’s a fun fact: dragonfruit makes for the most beautiful smoothies in the whole world! Another fun fact? I Am The Juice Place, the newest little adorable juice bar in downtown is also a gift shop and stellar place to hang out and grab a bite, work or meet up with friends or coworkers. I am not hippie-dippie, so I like my smoothies to taste awesome or at least caffeinate me, and at I Am The Juice Place, both can happen. They have a great location for folks who live or work downtown and they carry some great stuff too.

Here are a few of the local goods they carry at I Am The Juice Place, in case you’re ever in need of a fix:

The Little Pie Kitchen

Cultivar coffee

Holy Kombucha

Snappy Salads (so smart!)

Empire Bakery

Local artists’ works on the walls, fee-free

 

I had this I am Iridescent smoothie and it was everything. So delicious and beautiful it sparkled! Thank you for having me in for a cooling treat, IATJP!

 

Disclaimer: I was invited in to sample something from I Am The Juice Place and I was eager to give it a try. I was so happy to meet the owner, Ana, and learn more about the place. So yes, my smoothie was free, but it was effing amazing.

Now Open: A First Look at Texas Scratch Kitchen

Texas Scratch Kitchen is Now Open

There’s a new kitchen in town, and yes I’m talking about a renovation, but not the home renovation kind, though the before/after is quite shocking. In a space that used to house Coconuts Island Grill in Pavilion Center near Inwood Village, full of fun, colorful, fishy flavor, stands the wooded, sexy and much quieter Texas Scratch Kitchen. Poised to offer Highland Park a nice, calmer space to have dinner, beer and very reasonably-priced wine by the bottle.

Don’t let your eyes deceive you, though. Not everything has changed. Texas Scratch Kitchen is still family owned and very quality conscious. There’s an asian spin on some dishes, just like there was at Coconuts. The place is family-friendly, too; just ask for a high chair or a kids’ menu when you are greeted by the hostess at the door. But most of Texas Scratch Kitchen’s patrons will likely be ordering off the main menu, as it’s very much a grown up’s type of place. Designed for conversation, the booths lend themselves to privacy and comfort. The casual menu allows for sharing, though they’re still tweaking it a bit, according to owner Tim Brasher. Notably higher end in execution, without too steep of a price tag, the food at Texas Scratch Kitchen feels more HP/UP than Coconuts’ ever was. Here’s a tour of our meal:

We started with some seared tuna, which was classic, a large portion, and tasty.

The chopped Asian salad was packed with flavor and would not be ignored! I had to try it.

Tim Brasher suggested the fried okra, which were cut lengthwise at TSK and served with a jalapeño aioli. Not your usual popcorn stuff.

These Brussels sprouts fell a bit flat, but we can’t win ’em all, can we?

Points for beautiful chicken, people! Plus a crispy skin bonus. If you’re a chicken-on-the-bone person like I am (which, if you’re not, then get with it!), you’ll like this dish.

Finally, an elegant, classic chocolate molten cake a la mode for dessert. It needed a bit more moltenness. Moltenocity?! But I’m sure that was merely a fluke.

Texas Scratch Kitchen // 5600 W Lovers Lane // txscratchkitchen.com

 


 

Disclaimer: This visit was upon request by the PR hired by the restaurant, but in no way are my kind words bought by free food. I tell it like it is. Approx. value of the meal: $60 before gratuity, which was left as always.

The Drive is #FtWorthIt: Vivo 53’s INSANE SUNDAE Lineup

This past Saturday night, two Dallasites got insane and headed to Cowtown to eat Italian food and feast on insane sundaes. Well, one insane sundae. I described this insane sundae as “click bait for your mouth and brain.” And I really think that’s it. It’s something that you’re looking at, like,wanting to double tap. WITH YOUR FACE. So, yeah, I’m thinking it’s worth the trip out to Ft. Worth. Especially when you can make a lovely little date night excursion out of it. Dinner, walking off the insane sundae calories (sure!) with a tour of Sundance Square, and a lovely ride back home to civilization, I mean Dallas. You might even see some big hair and cowboy boots while you’re out there. We saw horses!

We’ll get to the insane sundae in a moment (there are FIVE of them, by the way, one for every one of your stomach’s personalities, if you’re me), but first, let’s talk about VIVO 53 and the food there. Because even though they’ve got this gimicky insane sundae thing going on, the Italian food they’re tossing out is quite delicious on its own. Pizzas cooked in a beautiful, fiery oven (pictured below), pastas coming out steaming hot in personal-sized Le Creuset pots. Everything we tried was comforting and delicious, yet modern in its delivery. Take a look at our meal… and then we’ll get to the insanity.

 

 

Burrata with fresh bread, pesto, olive oil, roasted tomatoes and olives.

 

Perfection is a margherita pizza. I could have eaten two of these on my own but I knew what was in store so I held back.

 

Perfectly creamy tomato sauce kept steaming hot in this pot. Loved it.

 

Okay, okay NOW to the insanity. This is the Neapolitan INSANE SUNDAE. You can see why this is getting some attention. Neapolitan ice cream, chocolate shavings, whipped cream, Neapolitan taffy, lollipops, a Neapolitan ice cream sandwich and hot fudge all over. Not for the meek. Nope. It was a seriously fun dessert.

The other insane sundaes feature items like macarons, caramel apples and Nutella. Good luck choosing. I still second guess my choice and feel I should have gone with the caramel apple. Next time…

 

VIVO 53  //  525 Taylor St., Ft. Worth, TX  //  vivo53.com

 

 


DISCLAIMER: I was invited to VIVO 53 for the express purposes of experiencing the glory and insanity of their insane sundae firsthand so I could share it with all of you. Happy to be of service! Thus, our visit was comped by the restaurant. Approx. cost of dinner: $75. Gratuity was left, as always. Because I’m a bitch, not an asshole. 

Mix On, Mix Off: Time to Shake Things Up for Chefs For Farmers on Sunday!

The weekend is coming (yeah I know it’s only Tuesday, just let me be). Time to think about what you’ll be doing on Sunday night. I know I’ll be drinking cocktails and sampling the bites made by many of Dallas’ best sous chefs at the Chefs for Farmers Mix Off, also known as Yes, Chef! Sous Chef. It’s a food and cocktail competition and we all win.

mix off 2016
mix off 2016

According to the ticket Prekindle site, here’s what this Sunday’s Mix Off is all about:

“Come watch an afternoon of culinary combat as two delicious battles unfold side-by-side. You’re the judge as the hottest bartenders in Dallas shake and pour their liquor-loving hearts out for the chance to be named the signature drink of the festival. Since you can’t drink on an empty stomach, chow down on upscale street food from the best up-and-coming chefs in town, all vying to get their dish into the Chefs for Farmers Main Event on Sunday. Your votes determine the winners, but when the rising stars of the Dallas restaurant scene compete alongside the best bartenders in Texas, the real winner is you!”

So, long story short: Lots of cocktails, lots of food, lots of sous chefs and bartenders vying for your votes and the votes of the esteemed judges. All at the DEC on Dragon, which is a hell of a fun venue. Can you say “date night?”

This event is getting me pumped for Chefs For Farmers, which is already my favorite culinary event of the year. Get your tickets and I’ll see you there!


 

DISCLAIMER: As a privileged member of the food media, I’ll be allowed entry to this event free of charge, but that doesn’t change the fact that I’d recommend this event to anyone and everyone. 

 

Shinsei: A Dallas Mainstay For Everyday Celebrations

Was my birthday dinner better than yours? Possibly. Did you spend yours with good friends and Shinsei? Well, let’s just say I’m a lucky girl, and also let’s not talk about how old I am. Oh. And let’s start with dessert, shall we?

 

dessert at Shinsei, photo by foodbitch

Banana pudding goodness. Four spoons.

I’m not entirely sure if the waitress thought we were serious when I told her I wanted everything on the menu at Shinsei, but I certainly was. Fortunately for everyone involved, my Food Bastard husband knew better though, and he managed to restrain me somewhat.

mains at Shinsei, photo by foodbitch

We ordered a few apps, some sushi, some other raw dishes and a few mains to share. Over all, the night was lovely, from drinks to dessert. Shinsei is one of those Dallas institutions, y’all. It’s a dimly-lit, gorgeous place with a large menu and bold flavors. You’ll want to try everything and it’ll take you a few trips back to do so. I’m happy to go back and pick up right where I left off.

Shinsei has recently recruited a new executive chef, Carlos Capistran, most recently from Eddie V’s in Austin. This background makes sense as that small chain is heavily Asian-influenced and high-end.

sushi rolls at Shinsei, photo by foodbitch

Perfectly fresh sushi is life to me. I could eat it every day. And that’s why I’m so glad to have found another gem in Shinsei to get my sushi fix.

sushi at Shinsei, photo by foodbitch

sushi at Shinsei, photo by foodbitch

sushi at Shinsei, photo by foodbitch

app at Shinsei, photo by foodbitch

raw dishes at Shinsei, photo by foodbitch

Also, let me just note right here that lychee martinis were basically made for me. I stop reading the menu when I see the word “lychee.” I know. I’m such a little bitch when it comes to drinks. It’s totally true. I’ve accepted it. But either way, this little guy was damn delicious.

drinks at Shinsei, photo by foodbitch

Cheers to another year of fine dining, friends and fabulous food! Thanks for being part of my delicious celebration, Shinsei!

interior at Shinsei, photo by foodbitch

SHINSEI // 7713 Inwood Road // shinseirestaurant.com

DISCLAIMER: The folks at Shinsei comped half our bill at the end of the meal. This type of comping behavior does NOT guarantee a positive review or even a review at all. However, as I did very much enjoy my meal at Shinsei, I would be happy to return (hello happy hour!) and snag another round of sushi and lychee martinis for sure, on my own dime, any time.