So we’ve all seen the facebook videos of rolled ice cream, right? Well, Chills 360 brought it to Texas. Currently, they have locations in Dallas, Fort Worth, and Rockwall—Houston is next on the list of upcoming stores.
This Thai-inspired ice cream is made to order right in front of you. Pro: it’s really fun to watch and they can write your name in chocolate sauce … if you ask nicely.
Con: it takes a little bit longer than traditional ice cream shops.
All of the ingredients are placed on the cold plate and are mixed together. Once it has frozen, the slab of ice cream is hand-scraped into ice cream rolls.
The Cookie Monster (shown in the header) is full of yummy Oreo deliciousness and was my favorite. The next one I want to try is the waffle taco, but it’s only available on Taco Tuesdays. [Must remember to visit on the right day.]
Shake Shack Plano is now open for business! Blazing the trail for a lineup of pretty amazing restaurants planned for the new Legacy West development, the Plano Shack marks the second DFW location for the NYC chain; the first was in Uptown.
In addition to Shake Shack’s classic lineup of juicy burgers, crinkle cut cheese fries and frosty shakes, the Plano location features a special selection of locally inspired menu items. Sink your teeth into a Link Burger, topped with a Pecan Lodge jalapeño cheddar sausage link, and wash it down with something cold and local from Four Corners Brewing Co. or Deep Ellum Brewing.
Oh, and by all means, save room for dessert. Locally inspired offerings at the Plano shack include a tempting lineup of custard concretes: the West Slide (vanilla custard, Sugar Ray’s old fashioned strawberry cupcake, and strawberry puree), the Top Twirl (chocolate custard, Top Knotbanana chocolate cake and miso caramel) and the Pie Oh My (vanilla custard and slice of Emporium Pies seasonal pie).
PRO TIP: If you’re running by during your lunch hour, use the app to preorder and skip the line!
SHAKE SHACK PLANO shakeshack.com
7401 Windrose Avenue, Plano (in Legacy West)
It’s almost time for my favorite weekend of the year..that’s right- the Fort Worth Food and Wine Festival. This year, the festival will be held March 30 – April 1, 2017. Tickets just went on sale, so don’t wait- or you will be sorry!
Here is a recap of last year if you need more convincing of how awesome this weekend truly is.
If you’re a fan of the Truck Yard atmosphere and grandma’s quality southern fare, then you’re in luck.
Quincy’s Chicken Shack is the newest family style, neighborhood picnic-esque restaurant to pop up in Coppell. Now, all you Dallas folk are thinking, “Coppell? That’s way too far just for some chicken…” but I assure you, it is well worth the drive. This fresh, family-friendly place will have you fed and on the way to your fried chicken coma in just 11 minutes.
First, let’s talk atmosphere. Located right near Coppell Old Town Pavillion, the restaurant features an outdoor patio that’ll make your heart sing. Full bar, truck-turned-stage for live music, and string lights to make all your pictures Instagram gold.
Speaking of the bar, Quincy has come up with some outstanding cocktails to go with your meal, and the southern theme is strong. Our favorites in our group were:
Mint Julep: bourbon, home grown mint syrup, soda water
Shoofly Punch: Enchanted Rock peach vodka, peach puree, ginger liqueur, lemon, champagne, topped with a peach ring! This one is a southern spin on the French 75
Backyard Party: frozen lemonade spiked with your choice of citrus vodka/blueberry vodka/sweet tea vodka/ whiskey with mint
Dee’s Lunchbox: beer cocktail with white rum, orgeat, lemon, topped with IPA
Bottled Manhattan: a perfect manhattan made with Herman Marshall whiskey, vermouth, bitters, luxardo cherry
Tequila Mockingbird: Blanco Tequila, lemon, triple sec, watermelon juice
Now, let’s get to the food. The restaurant serves its offerings family style, so come prepared to share … or prepared for a fork fight.
First up is some black-eyed pea hummus to keep things light and fun. Then you have a choice of a fried chicken or a rotisserie chicken dinner basket for the table. Each one comes with cornbread, rotisserie potatoes and loaded potato dip, southern beans, and a seasonal side. What makes this chicken so darn good is that all of it’s cooked in the rotisserie, and then either served like that or flash fried for 3 and half minutes.
Luckily, their lunch options aren’t all family style. Some lunch options they offer are a BBQ Chicken Sandwich, which is pulled chicken with Quincy’s root beer BBQ sauce, coleslaw, and rotisserie potatoes, and the Fried Chicken Sandwich, which is fried chicken tenders (available regular or Nashville Spicy) with garlic aioli, bread & butter pickles, coleslaw, and rotisserie potatoes. They also have a lunch salad, which features pulled rotisserie chicken on mixed greens topped with cowboy vinaigrette, green apple, corn, black-eyed pea hummus, and cornbread croutons. Lunch options will be available starting today, March 11th.
If you’re still hungry after all that, they’ve got you covered. Desert is a bowl full of egg-free cookie dough (not today, salmonella!) and a seasonal handpie served with vanilla bean ice cream.
With the changing of seasons comes the changing of the guard … err … shakes at Dallas’s newest burger chain. Shake Shack has a new holiday menu that would turn even the Grinch into a cheerful SOB. You can get three new shakes and a hot chocolate treat to keep your spirits bright from the inside out.
Pumpkin Pie Shake: vanilla frozen custard blended with Four & Twenty Blackbirds pumpkin pie and topped with whipped cream and spiced pie crumbles ($5.79)
Christmas Cookie Shake: sugar cookie frozen custard topped with whipped cream and red and green sprinkles ($5.79)
Chocolate Peppermint Shake: chocolate frozen custard blended with peppermint and topped with whipped cream and chocolate peppermint candy crumbles ($5.79)
Brownie Batter Hot Chocolate: a blend of bittersweet dark chocolates and rich fudge sauce, topped with whipped cream and chocolate sprinkles ($3.89)
Don’t forget to check out the Custard Calendar to find out what custard is being featured daily at Shake Shack!
I’ve always wanted to be a Martha Stewart-type. Too bad I can’t bake anything more complicated than brownies. (I’d have said cupcakes, but I have trouble making the frosting look cute.) Since I don’t have the baking aptitude to be Martha, I’ll let someone do it for me. Enter: The Hospitality Sweet. The adorably decorated mint-and-white restaurant and bakery decked in wainscoting recently opened its second location in the Plaza at Preston Center.
Expect sweets, coffee, beer, wine, and delicious breakfast (served 7-10am) … and less whimsical, but entirely practical, lunch items like sandwiches, soups, and even lasagna. But … bubbly things first. Stop in and grab a glass of champagne or wine–they use an enomatic system so you know that you’re sure to get an unoxidized glass of whatever you choose to sip. ( If you aren’t familiar with the enomatic system, it’s a sort-of Tupperware* for liquids … but quite a bit more high-tech and much more sexy.)
Beyond the drinking (because apparently there has to be more than just booze … whatever), they offer some of the most beautifully simple sweets–jaunty cake balls, brightly colored macarons, crispy croissants and more for the taking. The one item that I couldn’t leave without trying, though, was the brownie. Two separate coworkers told me to try them and I thought, “There’s no way that they could be THAT good.” I was straight wrong. These brownies and so good that I cannot wait to get my face in one of them again. (And I don’t have any words for them past that.) Oh, and if you plan ahead you can order one of their absolutely gorgeous cakes in sizes anywhere between 5” and half sheet for your events or, you know … Tuesday.
While THS does sweets well, they also offer scrumptious savory items. After a delicious sampling of blistered shishito peppers and aioli, mixed greens salad complete with watermelon radishes, and a hearty soup, we were offered a bevy of sandwiches–hot pastrami, club, brisket, and more. Hands down, the brisket sandwich (caramelized onion, cheddar, and BBQ sauce on white bread with a house made pickle) was the winner. (And trust that I tried them all … because someone has to do the research for y’all.) Everyone else seemed to greatly enjoy their house made chips (I had given up fried food for Lent); one guy even requested the other end of the table’s leftover mound of chips … then promptly ask for a takeout container. (Respect.)
Class is in session, people. Public School 214 will open its doors in the new section of West Village on January 29 as the first Texas location from the Los Angeles restaurant. The open format, 5,000 sq. ft., 200 seat restaurant features a full bar with a dining room opposite. The music and simplicity of the decor (industrial lighting, globes and other elementary reminiscent ephemera) keep the vibe modern and a bit hipster — this isn’t so much the place you’d go for a quiet meal, but for some good people watching with a good drink and a meal no the side, this’ll be the place.
While the vibe is decidedly Uptown, the food is anything but ordinary. I’m talkin’ Chorizo Mac & Cheese, Fig & Prosciutto Pizza, Lamb Bolognese, and Nutella Cookie Sandwich out of the ordinary. More on the food later … because cocktails.
The talked about the PS214 bar program with Colin Kerr, director of operations. He is so passionate about what he does, and the cocktails on the menu are evidence of that. He made each cocktail so unexpectedly detailed … even the Gin & Tonic is decidedly unique thanks to their housemade tonic.
The Crushed Velvet is their take on a Moscow Mule, featuring blackberry and blueberry reduction, lavender, Karlsson’s Gold vodka, and the obligatory ginger beer. It’s just sweet enough to offset the bite of the ginger beer, making it a dangerous option.
The Yellow Smoke was my favorite of the night, with fresh pineapple juice, serrano agave, and xicaru mezcal. The smokiness of the mezcal gives this somewhat simple drink a bit of exciting complexity. I think Dallas is still timid when it comes to mezcal, and here’s hoping that this helps Dallas gain some progress in regard to this unique spirit.
The (watermelon, St. Germaine, Aylesbury Duck vodka, salt & pepper) was delightfully sweet and refreshing, but could be improved. Try this with tequila or gin instead of vodka to up the ante.
The Lavender Vanilla was a different take on an old fashioned with housemade vanilla bitters, lavender simple syrup, and Four Roses small batch whiskey. I’d drink this all day every day …
The last cocktail that we tried was the Player’s Cut, a spirit forward cocktail that is their version of a negroni, with campari, Carpano Antica, and locally-made Brazos Texas-Style gin. I enjoy a bitter drink, but they definitely slow me down. I would order this again to go with my lamb bolognese!
The beer list exclusively offers craft beers and less nationals than usual — think Community Beer Co., Saint Arnold, Revolver, Real Ale, Peticolas, and many more. They will offer 24 craft beers with the promise of rotators and seasonal options. Check out their selection of drafts, bottles, cans, and event large format bottles for the table. One of the random cans I’m stoked about is the Coconut Porter from the Maui Brewing Company!
I did note that their wine selection is incredibly limited with just one option of select varietals. (Though they seem to have made good choices for the options they offer.) Also note that some of these wines will be on tap.
The food, as I mentioned, embodies their mission to impart “an education in the art of food and beer”. Some of the items are progressive while others are just f**king delicious. In terms of appetizers, you pretty much can’t miss the Chorizo Mac & Cheese (hello, it is topped with sea salt and vinegar chips and has chunks of chorizo instead of the traditional ground chorizo) or the Bacon Cheddar Tots (with shredded potato instead of chopped). To warm up, the Roasted Beet Salad is a ridiculously delicious mix of fresh and tender roasted purple and yellow beets, arugula, ricotta salata, pomegranate molasses, and marcona almonds.
The Wild Mushroom & Taleggio Pizza was delightful and ridiculously fragrant (and a great midnight snack) and the Fig & Prosciutto Pizza is a perfect balance of sweet and savory thanks to the fig glaze. If you’re a fan of pasta, the Lamb Bolognese features whole wheat linguine and very mild ground lamb.
Now, dessert … DO NOT MISS THE NUTELLA COOKIE SANDWICH! This is some seriously intense dessert with Nutella (duh), bacon brittle (uhhhh), cookies, and vanilla bean ice cream. Don’t share this with more than one other person.
Fun offerings to look forward to from PS214:
brunch (the menu looks like a scantron sheet, y’all)
USB plugs to charge your phone under the bar (am I weird to be really excited about this?)
The holiday season is upon us. Traffic is unreal, grocery stores are out of chocolate chips, and you have neither the time nor the inclination to bake homemade cookies for that White Elephant party/teacher gifts/hostess gift/birthday party. Now that you’ve decided to outsource your holiday baking, you’re faced with even more decisions: Are cupcakes too childish? Are cake balls still in? Will that whole cake get eaten? What exactly is a fruit cake?
Enter: JK Chocolate.
Purveyor of Microchip Cookies, cakes, and unfairly decadent chocolate sauces and the brainchild of Julie and Karleen, the roots of JK Chocolate reach back to 1984 when the two friends would prepare homemade chocolate sauces for their children’s teachers. The word spread quickly about their confections, and the teachers- bereft of the heavenly sauces after the kids grew up and headed to college- begged the duo to sell their products. The rest is cookie history.
JK Chocolate sells seven flavors of their perfectly munch able treats: Midnight Chocolate Chip, White Chocolate Chip Crunch, Peanut Butter Chip with Sea Salt, Six Spice Gingersnap, Pecan Sweeties, Cheddar Cheesies with Texas Heat, and, of course, The Original Chocolate Chip.
Available in 11- and 20-ounce cans, the flavors are also available in gift packs, party favor sets and multi-pack sets of smaller 1.5- and 2-ounce jars. You can mix and match flavors, cookies, sauces and mini-cakes for the perfect hostess gift, holiday snack, party favor or office presents.
The jar of Original Chocolate Chip Microchip cookies I brought home lasted a whopping two hours, so plan on buying more rather than less. They might be small, but they pack a hefty, homemade taste that’ll leave you craving more.
For store location, hours, online ordering and serving ideas, visit their website at www.jkchocolate.com.