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.)
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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. I was talking to a friend about other bakeries are run and they often make sure they have the best business energy deal through websites such as Usave to make sure they can focus on making quality treats, similar to those on show today!
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!
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.
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.
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
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.)
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’sChaca 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 my 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.
The thing I love aboutRA 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 opportunity 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!
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 Instagram, Twitter, 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.
Chef Eddy Thretipthuangsin (most just call him Chef Eddy), of Bite City Grill, has done it again. He has recently opened Kin Kin Urban Thai in the West 7th development in Fort Worth. The space, previously MK Sushi, has been completely transformed into a modern, clean, comfortable restaurant.
Kin Kin means “eat, eat” or “let’s eat”. Chef Eddy has created a menu of traditional Thai dishes along with American favorites with a Thai twist. Kin Kin has been a way for Chef Eddy to pay homage to his mother as well as the country of Thailand. His mother, Pat, helped create many of the menu items … she used to cook for the Thai royal family and Eddy began his culinary career by learning from her. He spent a month traveling Thailand to help shape the menu at Kin Kin. He says, “Bangkok is one of the most vibrant culinary cities.” So thankfully, he is sharing that with Fort Worth (and soon Dallas).
It was very difficult to choose what to order first because of the great selection, so my strategy was … what would be a great bar snack? (I know you are reading this to find out about the drinks – duh.) If you’re coming to Kin Kin in to hang out and have a drink, order the shrimp chip for a snack. They are this glorious, airy chip that remind me of Cheetos. Who wouldn’t like upscale Cheetos? The pork and shrimp dumplings were delicious, and are served in a traditional bamboo basket with green cabbage and soy sauce. I’m pretty sure I will have this as my meal next time I am there. My other favorite bar snack was the Bangkok shrimp (crispy shrimp, garlic, cilantro, sweet plum sauce). I don’t think you could go wrong with anything on the menu and I give everything I sampled two thumbs up.
Chef Eddy’s brother, Chris, is the mastermind behind the drink menu. The difference between the drinks at Bite City Grill and Kin Kin is the complexity. If you go back and read about the Bite drinks, you will see that they are on the elaborate side and you’re given bitters to control taste. The drinks at Kin Kin are simple and to the point. My favorite cocktail was the Lychee Margarita (tequila, Soho Lychee, fresh lime). Crisp and refreshing, I have admit that my glass was empty before I knew it. If you have never had lychee before, it has a similar taste to a pear or grape and it’s a great combination with the lime of the margarita. I’d say that this is a go-to “summer tasting” drink. The Tom Yum Bloody Mary (lemongrass infused vodka, bloody mary mix, Sriracha) is flavor roller coaster. It’s a fusion of Tom Yum soup and a Bloody Mary.
Kin Kin also did a great job of choosing their beer and whiskey options. The two categories are “Far East” (imported Pacific Asian options) and “Down the Road” (local Texas options) for each list. (P.S. Did you know that Japan is doing some seriously awesome things with whiskey? Yeah … it’s happening.)
The service was amazing from the moment I walked into the front door; everyone was very hospitable and the service was prompt. Parking is easy and convenient and Kin Kin Urban Thai is located right next to the garage entrance (which has free parking – just don’t forget to get your ticket validated before you leave).
Opening Summer 2015: 11661 Preston Road, Dallas, TX 75230 Opening April 2015: 3211 Oak Lawn Ave, Dallas, TX 75219
Unfortunately, Kin Kin does not have any happy hour specials yet. As the restaurant takes root, that might be an addition for the future. Currently, the only special is for take out ($1 off the price of each item in your order).