Category Archives: Lunch

Haystack Hits w/ New Dallas Location

We all know there’s no shortage of burger joints in the Dallas area, but Haystack Burgers and Barley is quickly making a name for itself.  With the opening of their second location in Oak Lawn’s recently renovated Turtle Creek shopping center, Kevin and Jenny Galvan are shooting to recreate the success of the original Haystack in Richardson.  From what I’ve experienced, they are well on their way to creating another cult following.

Among the many things to like about Haystack (from its friendly staff, great parking to the inviting ambiance) is that Haystack’s menu offers the right amount of variety for a place with “burger” in its name, including plenty of choices for salads and sandwiches.

Among the ridiculous parade of items I was able to try at the last media event, there were a few notable things that I had to share::::
The ranchero chicken-stuffed jalapeños are an old family recipe that was passed down to Kevin, and for good reason. Served with ranch these hit the spot.  Not a fan of spicy things?  The friend pickles and homemade mozzarella sticks are solid options.

Sometimes it’s the small things that make a place stand out, or in this case, the large ones. Haystack’s burgers are a steal given the size and price and of course the taste.  I don’t think you can really ever go wrong going with a restaurant’s signature item(s), and the Haystack Burger is no exception.  With fried onions, BBQ sauce, cheese and bacon, it’s their signature for a reason.My personal favorite, however, was the Escabeche Burger.   A burger with a bit of a kick thanks to the pickled jalapeños and chipotle mayo mingling with melted pepper jack plus bacon and Haystack onions.

Want to try something a bit different? Haystack has you covered with the Chicken Fried Burger-just like it sounds and topped with jalapeno-bacon cream gravy.  On a lighter note, the Portabella salad is a stand-out.  Topped with a generous portion of grilled portabella, gorgonzola cheese and homemade balsamic vinaigrette, this salad is a nice alternative for those wanting something less heavy.

For those with a sweet tooth, there is a solid variety of shakes and the banana pudding.  Oh yes, the ‘Nana pudding.  Go ahead and splurge … it’s worth it.  Creamy, decadent, full of flavor… and nostalgic, for sure!

Now, I can’t forget the alcoholic side of things, can I ? Of course, not … Haystack offers a great beer selection featuring draft pours from local Dallas breweries, numerous American craft beers, and, not to be missed, the Haymaker.  The Haymaker is Haystack’s frozen signature drink, made with orange juice, ice tea, lemonade and Maker’s Mark served in a mason jar, and is a concoction that will appeal to everyone with a refreshing, light, citrus taste, yet plenty boozy. (As I learned the hard fun way.)

It’s nearly baseball season, and nothing seems more appropriate than enjoying Haystack’s massive burgers and a huge selection of craft beers while watching a game. The new location of Haystack Burgers and Barley really hit the mark … again.  Well done!

Haystack Burgers & Barley – Turtle Creek
Facebook | Menu 
3838 Oak Lawn Avenue,  Suite 175
Dallas, TX  75219
(214) 377 – 7802

Thanks to Kevin and Jenny for inviting me to check out the new location and sample the menu!

 

 

Chicken In The Front, Party In The Back

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

Grandma’s Secret (personal favorite): sweet tea vodka, taverna, lemon, black tea

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. 

Quincy’s Chicken Shack
QuincysChickenShack.com
Facebook
505 Houston Street (Coppell)
(469) 251-9080

  • Tues– Sat: Dinner only ; Sun & Mon: Closed
  • Tues – Thurs: 5pm–9pm, Bar open at 4
  • Fri – Sat: 5pm–10pm, Bar open at 4

The Conservatory at the Hotel Crescent Court

I’ve lived in Dallas for 13 years now; that’s enough time to have at least heard about most of the restaurants in my purview … at least that’s what I’d imagined.  I was recently invited to a “power lunch” at The Conservatory at the Hotel Crescent Court, a place of which I’d honestly never heard.  First, I assumed it was a new spot, then I realized that I was just really out of the loop.  Now, my eyes have been opened.  The Conservatory has joined the ranks of the Zodiac Room, Mercat Bistro, and T Room in my mind and given me a new “ladies who lunch” spot.

The Conservatory has been operating in the Crescent for years tucked in the back corner of the hotel.  It’s a lovely spot with floor to ceiling glass perched on a courtyard complete with a waterfall and fountain.  It’s  a quaint yet luxurious little spot that I’m delighted to have discovered.

Any good “ladies who lunch” spot needs a decent drink menu (or a bartender who is willing to try some more adventurous things out).  I started with the a Hendrick’s cocktail that paired the botanical gin with tea and cucumber and was delightful, but I drank it too fast to get a picture.  To finish the meal, I skipped dessert (because I’m trying to lose weight … duh) and ordered a cocktail, but wanted to get a little crazy and test the bartender.  I asked for a Patrón Reposado Sidecar, and it was executed beautifully.

The dishes offered range from light salads like their to-dieeeee-for Roast Beets & Texan Burrata made with perfectly ripe beets, goat cheese, and citrus.  Their Baby Arugula with watermelon radish was just as delicious and gorgeous with the perfect amount of dressing drizzled playfully yet conservatively over the top.  They also offer a full breakfast every day until 11am with some stand out options like their Biscuits & Gravy Benedict.  It was my absolute favorite dish of the day and took me back to my childhood thanks to the peppery, light gravy and braised pork.  It was delicious … but just a little less Instagrammable than the salads.

They brought out some more substantial items like the House-made Potato Gnocchi and the Crispy Red Snapper.  I usually actively dislike gnocchi, and I’ll be back for this dish.  It was the lightest gnocchi I’ve ever tasted and the potato was the perfect texture.

If the pictures don’t say it enough, this place was amazing.  I was so delighted to find  a new spot and cannot wait to make a return visit.  (I also just got wind that they have a full afternoon tea, which I hope to try out soon!)

THE CONSERVATORY
crescentcourt.com
400 Crescent Court (in the Hotel Crescent Court)
214.871.3200

Super Chix in North Dallas

Move over, Chick-fil-A, there’s a new chick in town!

Super Chix is bringing flavor back to the traditional chicken sandwich. With the idea that simple is better, Super Chix marinates and hand-breads their chicken in-house daily. With locations in Dallas and Richardson (and soon to be Frisco location!), there’s no excuse to eat a sub-par chicken sandwich ever again. (Not that Chick-fil-A is sub-par … just in case the powers that be see this.  You NEVER want to piss off the CFA wizards.) 

The Super Chix menu features standard fried or grilled chicken sandwiches, as well as some new-to-the-scene, more creative plates … and yes, even salads.  Not to be missed is their extensive sauce selection. You can choose from six sauces–Mississippi Comeback, Alabama White, Nashville Hot, Cucumber Dill Ranch, Signature, and Honey Mustard … all delicious, 

Cordon Bleu Sandwich: swiss cheese, honey mustard, ham, and fried chicken. Served on a buttered potato roll.

Crispy Avocado Sandwich: Avocado half stuffed with Gouda cheese, breaded and fried, then topped with seasoning, garlic mayonnaise, lettuce leaf, and tomato. Served on a buttered potato roll. 

Blackened Cajun Chicken Sandwich: grilled chicken filet tossed in blackened seasoning, topped with garlic mayo, bacon, lettuce lead, tomato, and fried pickles. Served on a buttered potato roll. 

Fear not health-nuts, they also have delicious salads, such as the Southwest Chicken Salad, which features lettuce, tomato, avocado, grilled chicken, and tortilla strips.

As for drinks and desert? Well not only do they offer a bunch of craft sodas on tap, they also have a full custard bar with rotating weekly custard flavors. Find their custard menu here.

Super Chix
superchix.com
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Dallas Location: 14999 Preston Road, Suite 226 | 972-788-0660
Richardson Location: 1551 East Renner Road, Suite 830 | 469-466-1500

Open 11am to 10pm daily

True Food Kitchen – Truly Good Food

Eating healthy is hard. There are so many unhealthy options that are way easier (and let’s face it, way tastier) to fit into our busy schedules. Have no fear, friend! True Food Kitchen is making it easy and delicious to eat good-for-you food. This anti-inflammatory diet based restaurant has tons of options to help keep you on that health track … deliciously. The chef graciously explained to me that processed foods cause inflammation, which prevents the body from absorbing all the good nutrients it needs. This can lead to a plethora of unwanted things such as Alzheimer’s, rheumatoid arthritis, and even cancer. Because of this, True Food Kitchen doesn’t focus on calories. Instead, they focus on pure, simple, and delicious food that is hormone-free and antibiotic-free to help the body process nutrients better.

After a complimentary Corepower Yoga class, I tasted some of their brunch options, which are sure to give you the perfect kickstart to your day.

Garden Scramble: Brussels sprouts, butternut squash, organic eggs, and smoked gouda

Quinoa Johnny Cakes: banana and quinoa (these taste nothing like quinoa and everything like normal pancakes)

They also have Gluten Free Blueberry Muffins, Banana Espresso Muffins & Vegetable Salad on deck for you to nosh on.  They also offer vegan, vegetarian, and gluten free options, all of which are on their regular menu!

True Food Kitchen also serves booze including beer, cider, wine, and cocktails.  Most cocktails are around $10. Because it’s always best to detox and retox at the same time …

True Food Kitchen

truefoodkitchen.com
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8383 Preston Center Plaza #100
214-377-3333

Yolk Media Event

There are people who like breakfast, and then there are people who LIVE for breakfast. I fall into the latter category and have been known to eat breakfast meals at any hour of the day. Eggs, bacon, avocado, fruit, pastries, waffles — I truly believe that you can satisfy any craving with breakfast food.

That said, I’m stoked to share my experience at the newest location of breakfast favorite, YolkThe breakfast and lunch spot’s first-ever Dallas location was right next to Tei-An in the Arts District, but now they have an even more accessible location in Preston Center! This brightly colored, family-friendly, sit down restaurant serves a variety of sweet and savory breakfast plates as well as some standard lunch fare daily until 3pm. 

I know some of you are a may want some suggestions on what to order, so I went ahead and tasted all of their best sellers for you (it’s a rough job, I know). Here’s a quick rundown of some go-to favorites that you can’t go wrong with:

Eggs Benedict: classic, rich, savory. Always a solid choice with an english muffin, Canadian bacon, poached eggs, and a side of potatoes.

Chilaquiles with Chorizo: for your Spanish side. This option comes with house made corn tortilla chips, salsa verde, avocado, jack cheese, red onion, crema, and is topped with two eggs any style. Side note — this plate is also gluten free!

Chicken & Waffles: Oooh boy. As their top selling item, it’s easy to see why people can’t get enough. Bacon waffle topped with crispy fried boneless chicken breast and sausage gravy, served with a side of warm maple syrup. 

Citrus Blast Salad: for those who aren’t always in the breakfast mood. This refreshing salad has a little bit of everything–mixed greens, grilled chicken, apple, avocado, pecan, raisin, mandarin orange, dried cranberries, bleu cheese crumbles, and mango chardonnay vinaigrette.
Heads-up: this option only comes in one, large size, so either come hungry, share, or be prepared to take some home.

Patty Melt: substantial lunch choice. Fill-er-up with this char-broiled burger, gilled onions, American cheese on grilled rye with a side of onion chips.

Stop in for some yummy breakfast and lunch options between the hours of 6am and 3pm.

YOLK
eatyolk.com
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Preston Center: 8315 Westchester Drive, 469-351-0344
One Arts Plaza: 1722 Routh Street, 214-855-YOLK
Sundance Square Fort Worth: 305 Main Street, 817-730-4000
Many locations in Illinois and Indiana, also!

Dugg Burger Plano: Now Open!

Lately, every time I turn around, another popular Dallas eatery or watering hole seems to be setting up shop in Plano. Being a person who doesn’t love detests Dallas traffic, this trend is more than OK with this Collin County resident.  Along those lines, I was super excited to learn Dugg Burger had plans to open a second location in Plano (my ‘hood!), especially after hearing Susie talk up the Dallas location.

Dugg Burger Plano features the same ingenious burger crafting concept developed at their Dallas location. Your custom burger experience starts out with Dugg’s bun prepping system, resulting in a hamburger bun that’s as clever as it is delicious. The top half of each bun is “hulled out” using a fancy-pants, custom designed bun hulling tool, and then toasted on a magical, stainless steel, magnetic dome. This keeps your bun from falling apart (and also results in warm, toasty goodness).

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Now that your bun has been sufficiently hollowed out, it’s time to choose your cheese (cheddar, Swiss, American, or pepperjack), and then stuff that sucker to the brim with your choice of 13 ingredients. Dugg offers 12 amazing toppings on a permanent basis–lettuce, grape tomatoes, dill pickles, Dugg sauce, BBQ sauce, ketchup, mustard, sautéed mushrooms, fire-roasted jalapeños, caramelized onions, crispy onion strings, and hickory-smoked bacon–then they offer an additional topping choice called the “Lucky 13,” and this one rotates regularly. The Lucky 13 ranges from mild to wild; during my visit, it was a habanero sauce prepared with a secret ingredient. (I’ll give you a hint: it was “magically delicious”. Yup, I’m dead serious.) You can check out the current Lucky 13 on Dugg’s website. The best part about the topping situation? Cheese, plus ALL of the toppings, are included in your Dugg Burger’s $7.75 price tag. Uhh-mazing.

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While you are deliberating over the topping situation, Dugg Burger already has your juicy and delicious burger patty sizzling away on the grill, so you won’t have to wait long before sampling your masterpiece. You’ll definitely want to add a side of fries to your order; Dugg’s are perfectly golden and crispy, and served hot, fresh, and delicious.

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But really, why stop there? Dugg Burger serves thick, decadent milkshakes prepared with the best ice cream on the planet, Henry’s Ice Cream. (EDITOR’S NOTE: it’s quite good if you weren’t born with a spoon or Blue Bell in your mouth like us normal Texans. ☺️) And, in case you’re wondering what happens with all of the “hulled out” bready goodness from the buns, well…you might want to save room for dessert. Yup, once you’ve polished off your burger, you can enjoy the rest of your bun in the form of warm, sticky, bread pudding.

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Dugg Burger had a total of seven local craft beer offerings available during my visit,  including labels from 903, Revolver, and Deep Ellum Brewing Company. They are also serving up wines by Times Ten Cellars. With summer bearing down on us, I must add Dugg’s Plano location has a great little patio perfect for enjoying your perfect burger.

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Dugg Burger- Plano
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4701 W . Park Blvd #110, Plano

 

Tropical Smoothie Cafe

I am a Native Floridian (though this year will mark my 10th living in Texas … at what point does one become a Naturalized citizen?), and I am nothing short of delighted to discover that one of my favorite Florida lunch spots finally made its way to Dallas. In fact, Tropical Smoothie Cafe now has three locations in the Metroplex; one in Dallas, one in Frisco, and one Fort Worth along with new locations coming soon to Plano and Lewisville.

The name “Tropical Smoothie Cafe” might lead one to believe that this spot specializes in smoothies- and well, you’d be right about that. But, In addition to more than 25 smoothie creations- with an assortment of 16 supplements and add-ons you can choose to add to your sippable masterpiece- Tropical Smoothie also features a pretty awesome food menu. Tropical Smoothie’s Dallas location gave us a sneak peek to check out some new menu additions- and I was relieved to find many of my old favorites remain on the menu, as well. Whew.

Tropical Smoothie Cafe has always offered a great variety of sandwiches, wraps, and salads. Their ingredients are chef-inspired and far from mundane; for instance, wrap options include a Thai Chicken variety, with wontons, carrots, sesame seeds cilantro, scallions, and Thai peanut dressing, and a Jamaican Jerk Chicken variety, prepared with southwestern rice, corn, black, beans, asparagus, read onions, mozzarella cheese, and of course, a zesty Jamaican Jerk sauce (each $6.99). Tropical Smoothie Cafe’s best selling sandwich is the Rustic Turkey & Apple Club, which consists of turkey, cheddar, gorgonzola, bacon, dijon honey mustard, and house-made kale and apple slaw piled high on a thinly sliced seedlicious bread ($6.99). 

New menu offerings include a lineup of Tacos with creative varieties that include Korean BBQ Steak (steak, house-made cucumber & kale slaw, sweet and spicy Asian BBQ sauce) and Smoked Jalapeño Chicken (grilled chicken, bacon, cabbage, tomatoes, red onions, smoked jalapeño spread; 2 for $5.49 or 3 for $7.99). Also new to the menu are a lineup of toasted flatbreads with offerings like the Tzatziki Steak (steak, red onions, sliced tomatoes, romaine, cucumbers, tzatziki sauce) and the Chicken Pesto (grilled chicken, tomatoes, parmesan, mozzarella, pesto; $4.49). 

Yes, the food menu at Tropical Smoothie Cafe is greatness, but, I can’t possibly go on without saying a bit more about the smoothies they’re serving up. TSC’s smoothie lineup includes a variety of classics (the Jetty Punch– strawberry & banana, and the Sunrise Sunset– strawberries, pineapple, mango, & OJ are two guest favorites), “Superfood” options (ingredients like açai juice, goji berries, pomegranate, kale and ginger), and “supercharged” options featuring added boosts of functional ingredients like protein, fat burner, or energizer. (Smoothies range from $4.49 to $5.49all smoothies are 24 oz.) TSC sweetens their creations with Turbinado (a raw sugar) unless otherwise noted, and sugar substitutes are available on request.

Tropical Smoothies Cafe4

My favorite part about Tropical Smoothie Cafe is the variety of supplements and add-ins you can toss into your smoothie creation for a small up-charge. Feel like you’re coming down with a cold? No problem; Add a shot of Vitamin C immune to your smoothie. Not enough time to sit down and eat a real lunch? Toss in a shot of whey protein, and suddenly you have a well-balanced, sippable lunch.  Most importantly, I asked owner Robert Causey what he would recommend to nurse me back to health after a long night of, well, Drinking Dallas. He recommended an antioxidant rich Superfoods Smoothie like the Acai Berry Boost (acai, pomegranate, banana, blueberries, strawberries), with a shot of naturally energizing Vitamin B-12, for good measure. I will definitely be trying out his recommendation…probably sooner, than later!

Tropical Smoothie Cafe features a “Happy Hour” of their very own, with half-price smoothies from 6:00 AM-9:00 AM and 6:00 PM-8:00 PM.

Tropical Smoothie Cafe – Dallas
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4560 W. Mockingbird Ln., Suite 118, Dallas
(214) 351-7037

A great big thanks to Robert Causey and Tropical Smoothie Cafe for having me out. I’m so glad to see a little slice of Florida here in Texas!