Category Archives: Food

Lazy Dog Restaurant & Bar

There’s a new kid on the block in Addison:  Lazy Dog Restaurant & Bar. With restaurants constantly popping up in the neighborhood, it’s got to be challenging to find ways to stand out; and yet, Lazy Dog manages to do just that.

As the name suggests, Lazy Dog is, of course, pet-friendly. This alone makes this spot a welcomed addition to Addison, as the area is surprisingly devoid of dog-friendly patios. Yes, Lazy Dog allows pooches on their patio, yes, they have a selection of doggy menu items available, and yes, your pet will be served a complimentary bowl of water while you dine. That said, please do not mistake Lazy Dog for a “dog restaurant that happens to serve food”. On the contrary, Lazy Dog is first and foremost focused on creative scratch cooking with fresh ingredients, tasty beverages, and a comfortable, relaxing atmosphere in which to enjoy all of the above.

The restaurant is warm and inviting and CEO & Found Chris Simms based Lazy Dog’s rustic decor on his beloved family ski vacation spot, Jackson Hole. A sprawling bar area divides the main dining room and the large covered patio, and a glassed in exhibition kitchen spans the length of the restaurant.

Chris Simms interviewed a veritable cavalcade of chefs to run his kitchen before he found “the one,” who turned out to be Gabriel Caliendo,  formerly of the Ritz Carlton. Chef Gabe and Chris have curated a menu of dishes they have dubbed “cravable classics,” largely consisting of comfort foods prepared with “approachable innovations”. Many of the recipes have deep personal meaning, right down to his grandmother’s turkey meatball recipe.

I was excited to have the opportunity to sample a variety of menu items at Lazy Dog earlier this month, and by the end of our meal, I was feeling a little lazy myself. Everything we sampled was delicious, from start to finish.

We started out with a St. Ruby cocktail, prepared with Deep Eddy Ruby Red vodka, St. Germain, and fresh grapefruit juice, and it was every bit as sweet and refreshing as it sounds. I also sampled a cocktail from Lazy Dog’s “Clean Cocktail” menu, which offers five libations prepared with under 150 calories each, made with no artificial ingredients and no added sugar. The Clean Coconut Mojito is prepared with Malibu coconut rum, 100% pure coconut water, fresh mint, lime, and sparkling water. It tasted like vacation in a glass; delicious. Overall, I was the most impressed by Lazy Dog’s housemade Sangria Sampler, which features White Peach, Raspberry Moscato, and Pomegranate Red sangrias. Each of the three was bursting with intense flavor without being too sweet, and it was impossible to pick a favorite. (BONUS: the sangria sampler is served in an adorable little caddy with metal dog tag labels. I mean…how cute is that?)

 

I got to sample an imposing number of dishes from Lazy Dog’s menu, and every single dish I tried was just as Chef Gabe and Chris intended for it to be: craveable.  We started out with:

  • the interesting and flavorful Hummus Trio, a trio of walnut-pesto, sundried tomato and traditional hummus served with garlic flatbread, sliced cucumbers and tomatoes
  • Grandma’s famous Sicilian Turkey Meatballs, prepared with pine nuts, golden raisins, and housemade marinara
  • Hatch Chile Bacon Mac ‘n’ Cheese, topped with a green onion crumble and served in a cast iron skillet
  • the particularly addictive Togarashi Edamame, wok-seared with zesty citrus and Japanese spices. The edamame were the crowd favorite

Entree offerings we sampled included: Maggie’s Snake River Salad, (a beautiful salad prepared with hickory smoked bacon, Laura Chenel goat cheese, dried cranberries, tomatoes, and candied walnuts), Hawaiian Sticky Ribs served with slaw and umami fries- both the ribs and especially the fries were crowd favorites, Chimichurri Mahi Mahi (pan roasted on a bed of black beans, stacked with sauteed veggies and a chimichurri sauce), the Black & Bleu Pizza (topped with blackened chicken breast, smoked bacon, mozzarella, caramelized onions, bleu cheese, and tomatoes, perched atop a perfectly garlicky, buttery crust). The pizza alone warrants a return trip for me!

I will tell you that you will definitely want to save room for dessert at Lazy Dog, after trying their signature Butter Cake, which was topped with strawberry compote and vanilla ice cream, and tasted every bit as rich and decadent as it sounds. Also delicious was the seasonal Pumpkin Cheesecake, made with a moist graham cracker crust, and drizzled with housemade caramel, chocolate sauce, and a cinnamon sugar walnut crumble.

Needless to say, by the time I rolled out of here, I was feeling a bit like a Lazy Dog myself. 

Lazy Dog’s Happy Hour features a variety of specials on beer, wine, and cocktails, plus a broad selection of small plates, all ranging from $3-$7 (bar and patio only). 

Monday through Friday, from 3-6pm
Sunday-Thursday 9pm-close


Lazy Dog Restaurant & Bar
www.lazydogrestaurants.com
Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Pinterest | Google Plus | YouTube
5100 Belt Line Rd Suite 500 (Village on the Parkway), Addison TX 75254
(469) 754-1300

Sun10am-midnight
Mon11am-midnight
Tue11am-midnight
Wed11am-midnight
Thr11am-midnight
Fri11am-midnight
Sat10am-midnight

Palio’s Grapevine

I love visiting Grapevine … it’s perfectly quaint with a little something for everyone.  I began the night by dropping by Messina Hof to refill my growler with some cabernet sauvignon before heading down the road to Palio’s for dinner. (Palio’s is an order at the counter or take out restaurant. If my visit was the norm, it seems they do a large amount of their business in take out orders.)

IMG_3975

Palio’s is a chain that can be found all around DFW, but each restaurant is independently owned. They make their dough from scratch daily and use all natural ingredients. They offer authentic Italian pastas, salads, calzones and side dishes.

To keep things fresh, each month they do a few specials like Wives Appreciation Night, National Dog Day, and National cheese Pizza Day–each special offers some sort of free pizza. Luckily, I made it there on National Cheese Pizza Day, which included a free cheese pizza if you spent a certain amount of money! (And the only thing better than pizza is free pizza. 🍕)

I went for the pizza of the month, which was a meat and cheese stromboli and it was served with a side of marinara and a garlic butter sauce. I would highly recommend the garlic butter because … duh, butter makes everything better.

The dessert display looked reeeeeeally good, but I was stuffed and just couldn’t. (Could I?) Palio’s graciously gave me a cannoli to take home, which was AMAZING.

In the summer, Palio’s has a great patio that is a perfect place to watch the fireworks over Lake Grapevine. Sounds like the perfect night to me. I mean … pizza, wine, fireworks … yeah.

PALIO’S GRAPEVINE
1000 Texan Trail, Suite 100, Grapevine, Texas
817-328-0777
www.paliosgrapevine.com

Hours – Mon-Sun: 11am-10pm

*I was treated to dinner compliments of Palio’s Grapevine.

Macaroni Grill – Steak, Frites, & More

Where Italian chains are concerned, Romano’s Macaroni Grill has alway been my fav. There’s just something awesomely comforting about doodling on your tabletop with crayons while drowning giant chunks of warm, crusty bread in that perfectly seasoned pool of glorious olive oil. Another thing I enjoy about Macaroni Grill is that they’re constantly changing their menu and adding new, sometimes unexpected, offerings to their lineup. Most recently, Macaroni Grill has launched a brand new Steak Frites menu, and I was lucky enough to be invited it to try it.

Macaroni Grill’s new Steak Frites menu features three entree options:

  • Balsamic Herb Steak Frites featuring a 10oz sirloin with a perfectly seasoned crust and topped with a rustic Italian herb and garlic sauce, served with crispy parmesan truffle fries and house-made ketchup ($21)
  • Bourbon Peppercorn Steak Frites featuring a 10oz sirloin with a perfectly seasoned crust and topped with creamy Maker’s Mark bourbon sauce, served with crispy parmesan truffle fries and house-made ketchup ($23)
  • Steak & Greens Salad featuring a 5oz sliced sirloin, balsamic herb dressing, baby kale, spinach, raddichio, arugula, crispy prosciutto, gorgonzola, and crispy onions ($13)

I ordered Steak & Greens Salad, mostly so I could feel good about shoving maximum quantities of bread into my mouth throughout the course of our meal. The steak on my salad was deliciously seasoned and I loved the crispiness that the fried onions added. The dressing was a bit salty and tasted like it has soy sauce in it, which wasn’t my favorite; I’d recommend ordering it on the side or at least asking them to go really easy on it. The sweet, frosty Ultimate Bellini (Bacardi rum, La Marca Prosecco, Valoroso Bianco, peach puree, black raspberry) a perfect accompaniment to this dish–just a little bit of flavor and zing but nothing overpowering.

My fella sampled one of the 10oz trail boss bad boys and our server was kind enough to bring out both sauces for us to try. His sirloin was seared with a delicious crust and the steak was nice and juicy. The Maker’s Mark bourbon peppercorn sauce was my favorite accompaniment, while my gentleman preferred the Balsamic Herb. (I think what I’m trying to say here is that you can’t go wrong.) The heaping pile of parmesan truffle fries (excuse me, frites) that accompanied the steak were hot, crisp, and delicious … and perhaps most importantly … yes, you can totally taste the truffle oil.

IMG_8984

If you need some more frites to go with your frites, Macaroni Grill also offers a Loaded Frites appetizer/side dish option (French fries topped with prosciutto, parmesan, mozzarella cheese sauce, gorgonzola, calabrese peppers, $5.50). Yup, good thing I ordered that salad.

Loaded Fries
Loaded Frites

Whether you’re craving a nice, big bowl of pasta, a decadent steak, or – let’s be honest … a loaf of bread the size of your head – pay a visit to your neighborhood Macaroni Grill real soon.


Macaroni Grill

www.macronigrill.com
Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

Hours may vary by location; visit their website for more details.

IMG_8990

Corner Bakery’s UnFlat Event & Giveaway

Corner Bakery is one of my personal favorites for a quick, wholesome breakfast or lunch, so I was very excited when they invited our team in to check out their new menu offerings: a series of breakfast and lunch “flats”, that are anything but; hence the name of this event, Corner Bakery’s “UnFlat Event”.

Corner Bakery has added three new breakfast flats and four new lunch (or dinner!) flats to their sandwich lineup. Each variety is loaded with fresh and flavorful ingredients stuffed into a pillowy grilled flatbread, and awesomely enough, they all boast a calorie count under 330 calories. I had the opportunity to try several varieties at this very tasty event, prepared fresh by Chef Ric Scicchitano, the EVP Food & Supply Chain- and they were ALL delicious!

IMG_7128

The new breakfast flats include:

  • Avocado and Spinach Power Flat – scrambled eggs with fresh avocado and spinach, and cheddar & Parmesan cheeses in a grilled multigrain flatbread.
  • Applewood Smoked Bacon Power Flat – scrambled eggs with applewood smoked bacon and cheddar & Parmesan cheeses in a grilled multigrain flatbread.
  • Ham and Spinach Flat – scrambled eggs with smoked ham, cheddar & Parmesan cheeses, and fresh spinach in a grilled multigrain flatbread

The new lunch/dinner flats include:

  • Southwest Chicken – all-natural grilled chicken, zesty slaw, corn and tomato salsa, house-pickled jalapeños and avocado ranch dressing
  • Chicken Caesar – all-natural grilled chicken, romaine, bruschetta tomatoes, Parmesan cheese and Caesar dressing
  • (my personal favorite..) Caprese – fresh mozzarella, bruschetta tomatoes, arugula and Parmesan cheese
  • BBQ Pork – pulled barbecue pork, tangy slaw, house-pickled red onions and avocado ranch dressing

One of the things I love about Corner Bakery’s menu is the way they really give you the ability to mix things up with all of their combos. The lunch/dinner flats can be ordered with your choice of two Grilled Flats (served with baby carrots), as a Corner Combo (pairing one Grilled Flat with a cup of homemade soup, Caesar Salad or Mixed Greens), or as part of The Trio (where guests can personalize their own meal, choosing from more than 5,000 combinations of specialty salads, homemade soups and now Grilled Flats). Personally, I am making it my goal to try them all.

Make it your goal to try them all, too!  We’re giving away $25 to Corner Bakery!  Just tweet @drinkdallas and tell us which flat you’d like to try!  We’ll pick a winner on Tuesday, June 30!

The Corner Bakery
www.cornerbakerycafe.com
Twitter | Facebook | Instagram

**Corner Bakery sponsored this giveaway.**

IMG_7140

Snuffer’s Addison Moves To New Location

Has anyone else noticed the burger boom? Quite a few “fancy” burger places have opened their doors grilling up specialty concoctions with tons of haute toppings. I won’t lie … I love one burger as much as the next-be it fancy or not. However, there is just something about digging your teeth into a well-grilled, perfectly simple hamburger that can’t be beat.

The first Snuffer’s opened in 1978 on Lower Greenville.  The original menu included their famous hamburgers (100% fresh ground chuck), Cheddar Fries (more on those later!) and a dose of paranormal activity. (Yes … the original restaurant is haunted.) Today, Snuffer’s is going stronger than ever. Over the years, they added additional items to their menu to offer their guests more choices like salads, wraps and some “fancy” drinks. Also, they have expanded to what will soon be nine different locations in the greater Dallas area. The new Addison location took over the old Duke’s Roadhouse building and shares the space with a new walk-up taco joint called Taqueria La Ventana, which happens to be a sister brand of theirs.

The other weekend, we were invited to their “Housewarming Party” to celebrate the opening of the recently relocated Addison location. A rockin’ Mariachi band provided live music, service was fast and friendly and food was just as good as from the original Snuffer’s.   To make things even better, all food and drinks were on the house. (Major score.) Snuffer’s instead asked that patrons give a donation to Dallas-based TeamConnor, an organization aimed at raising awareness for childhood cancer. Can’t say no to a burger for a good cause.

Snuffer's Addison Opening

There are some places where you always end up ordering the same thing–Snuffer’s is one of those places for me.  I always order the Cheddar Fries with bacon, chives and jalapeños. These fries really need no introduction … if you’re from Dallas, at least.  My wife and I dug into our freshly cut chunky fries liberally coated in layers of cheddar cheese and topped bacon, chives, and jalapeños (if you’re into all that). I couldn’t stop myself. Sooner than I had wished, I found myself scraping up those last remnants of cheddar and bacon like a junkie.

Snuffer's Cheese Fries
Snuffer’s Cheese Fries

As for the burgers, I went for the Green Chile Cheeseburger and my wife ordered the new Bacon Guacamole Cheeseburger. We agreed that both were excellent all around. They came exactly as we had ordered them-a warm, juicy medium rare. The buns were fresh and the toppings were the perfect amount to complement the burger, without overdoing it.

To accompany our meals, I got the White Lightnin’ “cocktail”. Don’t let the name (and ingredients) keep you from trying … but don’t say I didn’t warn you. Ole Smokey White Lightnin’ Tennessee Moonshine is magically mixed with pineapple juice, lemon-lime soda and fresh lime to create a deceptively smooth drinking cocktail. In other words, folks, it’s trouble. My wife tried out the American Mule–simple and well executed with SKYY Vodka, ginger beer and a touch of fresh lime.

While most will be familiar with Snuffer’s burgers and fries, La Ventana is likely a revelation.  Just on the other side of a wall, La Ventana’s serves up simple taqueria favorites.  After the number we did on our burgers and fries we sadly couldn’t bring ourselves to try the tacos or burritos.  Bench-style wooden tables, colorful decor and a straightforward approach to food makes this experience world traveler complimentary of the sense of authenticity La Ventana offers.

We had a great time at opening of the new Snuffer’s Addison, made even better by the fact that we got to support TeamConnor while we were at it. I will definitely be back. (Those fries are calling my name already.)
Snuffer’s Restaurant & Bar
snuffers.com | Facebook | Twitter 
4180 Beltline Road, Addison
(972)-991-8811

Team Connor Childhood Cancer Foundation
teamconnor.org | Facebook | Twitter
5420 LBJ Freeway, Ste. 1300 (2 Lincoln Center), Dallas
(972)-663-7327

 

Fort Worth Food and Wine Festival

The best of the best came out during the weekend of the Fort Worth Food and Wine Festival. I was able to attend four of the seven events during the festival. Each event was unique and extremely well-planned and executed.

The Grand Tasting Friday night was overwhelming to say the least. There were more than one hundred restaurants, wineries, breweries, and distilleries represented in the Worthington Hotel’s Grand Ballroom. I had to plan a strategy to make it all the way though so that my stomach and liver didn’t hate me at the end of the night. (Or the next day, for that matter.) The highlights were, of course, Fort Worth favorites such as Rahr & Son’s Brewing and Firestone & Robertson Distilling.

#latenight Desserts after Dark at 809 Vickery was a short Uber ride from the Grand Tasting. This event was all about who had the best dessert and who could make the best cocktail using Firestone & Robertson’s TX Blended Whiskey. (I’ll bet you $50 that Susie was really upset that she had to miss this event.) There were eight desserts and eight drinks featured. My favorite drink was the Proper Manhattan from Proper. I also enjoyed the Texas Peach (TX Whiskey, vanilla bean simple syrup, Texas peach preserve, pistachio foam and cinnamon) from Bob’s Steak and Chop House. The Fan Favorite of the night was from Thirteen Pies. It was called John’s Banana Milk Punch (TX Whiskey, cream, house-made banana puree, and a farm egg, garnished with a banana marshmallow and vanilla cookie crumble.)

"John's Banana Milk Punch"  from Thirteen Pies, Fort Worth
“John’s Banana Milk Punch” from Thirteen Pies, Fort Worth

Saturday night consisted of cowboy boots and lawn chairs at the Burgers, Brews, and Blues event. This event was held along the banks of the Trinity River with eleven chefs and twenty-two craft breweries showcasing the best each had to offer. The live music included sets from James Hinkle, the Michael Lee Clemmer Band, and the Chris Watson Band. I am always up for a good beer, so this was probably my favorite event of the weekend. There was a good mix of local breweries such as Rahr, Lakewood, Rabbit Hole, Panther Island, and Martin House. Unfortunately, the lines were extremely long for the burgers, so I opted for more brews than burgers. (Oops.) My favorite burger that I did wait in line for was Rodeo Goat’s Chaca Oaxaca which was a beef/chorizo burger with avocado, queso fresco, fried egg and tabasco mayo. (Yes … it was delicious.)

Sunday Funday wrapped up the weekend at the Coyote Drive-In. There was a wide variety of food trucks to sample during this event,  but mIMG_3934y favorite food truck in attendance was definitely Salsa Limon. The food truck is usually parked next to The Cellar at 2919 West Berry Street (across from TCU) and their tacos can also be found at their permanent location located at 929 University Drive. They are all about serving the best Mexico City-style tacos in Fort Worth. PRO TIP: Add plenty of jalapeño cream salsa if you like a kick to your tacos!

Bravo, Fort Worth … bravo. If you have the chance to attend any of the events at next year’s, make it happen. It’ll give you the chance to find some new Fort Worth treasures and enjoy old favorites.

FORT WORTH FOOD & WINE FESTIVAL 
fortworthfoodandwinefestival.com
Facebook | Instagram | Twitter

Save the Date for next year: March 31- April 3, 2016

Ticket prices ranged from $50 to $125 depending on the event.

RA Sushi’s New Menu Items

The thing I love about RA Sushi is the imaginative and often unexpected twist they seem to gravitate toward when dreaming up their delectable menu items. Take my current favorite RA cocktail offering, for instance- the Emperor’s Cucumber Margarita ($9; Patron Silver, Combier Liqueur d’Orange, lime juice, Japanese yuzu, agave nectar, cucumber). The last place in the world you would expect to find a legit marg might be a sushi restaurant, but trust me, this interesting spin on a traditional ‘rita is uniquely delicious.

Channeling that same creativity and use of thoughtful and surprising ingredients, RA Sushi has dreamed up nine new menu items, which will be available for a limited time (through August). I had the 10 Drink Sampleropportunity to sample some of the new menu offerings, and they did not disappoint.

RA has added three new cocktails to the roster, and my favorite of the bunch had to be the Pear and Lemon Blossom ($8.50), a pear-infused lemonade, made with Absolute Pears, St. Germain, lemon sour, and a pear puree. The pear flavor in this fruity cocktail was not shy, and it mingled nicely with the tart lemon;  oh-so-sippable and refreshing for spring. Also new are the Hot Tropics Margarita ($8.50): Tanteo Tropical Tequila, Combier Liqueur d’Orange, shaken with mango purée, lime juice and agave nectar, served with a chili-salted rim; and the Peach Basil Sour ($8.50): Bacardi Peach Red, St. Germain, fresh basil and lemon sour.

RA also has some new limited time sake offerings, including TY KU Coconut Nigori Sake ($8/$16 *330ML Bottle): premium nigori sake infused with the refreshing taste of coconut and aromatic hints of vanilla; and,  the enticing Discovery Sake Flight ($9): which includes three 2 oz. pours: MIO Sparkling, Kizakura Pure and Saturi “Little Lily” Nigori.

Two new appetizers have been introduced, each featuring seabream. I found myself wondering “What’s a seabream?”, and soon learned it is in fact a mild white fish with a taste and texture  similar to sea bass.  We sampled Red Seabream Carpaccio ($11): finely sliced red seabream and lemon topped with a spicy yuzu dressing, organic micro greens, truffle salt and touch of lemon zest; this light dish was full of fresh, delicate flavor, and it was a favorite at our table. Also available is Red Seabream Nigiri ($4.50): red seabream over rice, topped with spicy yuzu dressing and truffle salt.

We sample two new entree offerings, and I particularly enjoyed the Tuna California Roll ($9), a classic California Roll topped with a mix of tuna, avocado, cucumber, bell pepper and cilantro, finished with togarashi, garlic chips and black pepper soy sauce. Garlic lovers, this roll is for you. The toasted garlic chips were bursting with flavor, and I loved the extra crunch they provided for added texture. We also tried the Langostino Strawberry Salad ($12): langostino, strawberries, cucumber and avocado over arugula, tossed in citrus vinaigrette, served with a tangy kiwi wasabi sauce and truffle salt. This salad was very light and fresh, making it a perfect warmer weather dish.

Whether you’re thinking about checking out these tempting new menu items, or if it’s high time you stopped in for some of your old favorites, a great time to visit RA Sushi would be between Monday, May 25, and Sunday, May 31. During “Nicky’s Week,” RA Sushi will donate 100% of sales from a variety of menu items to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, in order to benefit kids battling cancer and other life-threatening diseases. So, go and eat sushi for charity!

RA Sushi- Shops at Legacy
rasushi.com | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram
7501 Lone Star Dr. Suite B-130, Plano, TX 75024
469.467.7400

Happy Hour
Monday – Saturday 3 PM- 7 PM & 10-11 PM
Sunday 8 PM- 11 PM

Select  beer, wine, & cocktails, $3.75-$8
Select sushi and appetizers, $3.49-$8.49

 

 

Blaze Pizza Grand Opening Event

Let’s get serious for a hot minute … Is there anything better in life than indulging in a piping hot, cheesy, made-to-order pizza? Well, maybe one thing: if that pizza happens to be FREE. Listen up, folks. You’re going to want to hear this.

Blaze Pizza, Frisco’s latest purveyor of pies, will host their grand opening celebration on Friday, May 22, from 10:30 AM-11 PM. Simply follow Blaze Pizza on InstagramTwitter, or  Facebook, and receive a FREE custom-built, artisanal pizza (one per guest) any time that day. It’s that simple!

And let me tell you, this pizza … it’s good. I had the opportunity to sneak a peek (and a bite) this evening, and I promise you, you won’t want to miss this.

A little 411 on Blaze Pizza: they make their own dough (from scratch) and offer 30+ fresh, artisanal ingredients to choose from on their signature pizza assembly line. As you mosey on down the line, your dedicated “pizzasmith” will customize your pie. You can choose from 8 compelling Blaze signature pizzas or opt to craft your own masterpiece. With unlimited toppings at your disposal, the build your own option (which is a generously proportioned 6-slice pie) is a steal at $7.95. Your selection is then fast-fired in a blazing hot oven for 180 seconds, resulting in a perfectly crisp crust with just the right fold-ability factor (yeah, that’s a word).

Also available are a variety of beautiful salads (the Tomato, Basil, and Ovalini is not to be missed and is just $3.95). I’m told the S’more Pie is a must, so save room for dessert. Blaze will offer beer and wine, featuring Community and 512 for your sipping pleasure.

Blaze Pizza
blazepizza.comFacebook | Twitter | Instagram
3311 Preston Rd., Frisco, TX 75034
(972) 468-9700

Open Daily:
Sunday: 11am – 9pm
Monday – Thursday: 10:30am – 10pm
Friday & Saturday: 10:30am – 11pm