Category Archives: New Openings

Whole Foods Uptown Dallas

Toot toot.  Whole Foods is coming to the trolley line in Uptown Dallas!  Yes, what we’ve all been waiting for has finally opened … Whole Foods Uptown will open tomorrow, August 12 at 7:30am!

I had the pleasure of taking a private tour of the store … and believe you me, there’s a lot to look forward to.  WFU will be trolley themed to honor Rosie, Betty, and the rest–their made-to-order sandwiches on their interactive touchscreen menus even allow you to order sandwiches named after our iconic trolleys!  The store even features wood from the very trees removed from the land cleared to build the store which was built partially on historic land.  Eight stories of Gables apartments will sit on top of the store  and 17 three-story townhouses will line the back of the store.

They have the shelves stocked with everything from (quite literally) soup to nuts–expect the fresh produce … which is now in place–and they’re ready to open to the public.  Opening day’s festivities include:

  • 7am – Dixieland Band and Notre Dame School cheerleaders
  • 7:30am – speeches and the breaking of the 6’ Challah loaf
  • 8am – the taproom opens early!!!
  • 6pm – Exclusive tapping and tasting of Post Oak Pale Ale (won’t be available to the public until September 18)

We all know what kind of amazing goods and produce Whole Foods features, but let’s get down to the real business … the booze.

The Uptown store will sell beer and wine, which were on the shelves begging to be consumed on our tour.  The wine selection rivals that of “the mothership”, Whole Foods’ flagship store in Austin.  The beer … phew … imagine in 36 FEET of cold beer. (That’s the length of a typical classroom.  Talk about getting schooled!)  They focus on local and craft beers in both the grab-and-go area along with the Taproom.  (More on that below.)

WFU’s Taproom is complete with 32 seats indoor and space outdoors.  (Ya know … for when it’s not hot as balls outside.)  Check out their 24 drinks on tap–19 beers, four wines, and even one local bourbon barrel-aged cold brew coffee.  Grab a drink and relax on their bar or patio complete with misters, six TVs, and a view of McKinney.  Don’t feel like hanging around?  Pick up a growler for your beer and/or wine to take some of the fun home.  (They’ll even sell kegs if you preorder them!)  Unique to WFU?  A firkin.  (WHAT THE FIRK DID YOU CALL ME!?)  The firkin, beside a unit of measurement (1 firkin = 0.697326051 of a keg), is a unique type of keg tapped on its side and theirs will be dispensed by a beer engine.

OH … and don’t forget that sharing is caring.  If you buy a beer for someone, they’ll note it on the “BEER IT FORWARD” board allowing the recipient to get a beer on you on their next visit!  (Sooooo who’s gonna buy me a drank?)

Other features of the store include:

  • Squeeze & Grind — a juice, smoothie, and coffee bar with an imported Italian espresso machine
  • A spacious parking garage with multiple floors and two electric car power stations
  • Racks for up to 24 bikes and a FREE bike repair kit
  • A custom filled cupcake bar (uhhhhh this is the only one in Dallas doing this … can I live here?)
  • More then 200 grab-and-go options including pizza by the slice sold 2 for $6!
  • A smokehouse with in-store smoked meats (and catering!)
  • A bunch of cheeses.  (What!? That’s super important.)


WHOLE FOODS UPTOWN DALLAS

wholefoodsmarket.com
Facebook | Twitter
2510 McKinney Ave, DallasTX 75201
469-518-5814

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

 

JEM Beverage Company’s New Facility

JEM Beverage Company (makers of Western Son Vodka, Red River Whiskey, South House Moonshine, and more) has shed its Carrollton roots and moved to Pilot Point, Texas to expand its distillery!

They offer distillery  tours Fridays (4pm) and Saturdays (1pm, 3pm & 5pm).  Oh  … and you get half off your tour if you arrive on horseback.  I kid you not.

Some of the #SDDContributor team and I stopped by their grand opening party this past Saturday, May 23 to celebrate.  Check out the trouble we got into!

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

Kin Kin Urban Thai- Fort Worth

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).

IMG_3685


KIN KIN URBAN THAI

www.kinkinurbanthai.com | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram
2801 West 7th Street, Fort Worth, TX 76107
817-984-1363

Opening Summer 2015: 11661 Preston Road, Dallas, TX 75230
Opening April 2015: 3211 Oak Lawn AveDallas, 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).

 

I Dugg it.

Lakewood is a neighborhood with chain restaurants here and there (and here), so it’s always nice to see a new concept pop up in the area.  Dugg Burger opened recently thanks to four brilliant dudes (one is from Dallas and the rest are from California).

The concept is brilliant … they had a completely custom tool created to give their burgers a unique edge (or hole, as it were).  The tool hulls out the bun top to make room for their 13 amazing toppings and then they’re lovingly placed on the grill on one of the (also custom) stainless steel magnetic domes to get it all nice and toasty.  (Toasted buns … I mean … the best.)  The process is below in a neat sketch they had made …

When you walk in, you order your burger (and fries … because fries) and they’ll bring it to your table.  You choose from their 12 standard toppings and one “Lucky 13” topping which are always suggestions from customers.  (They allow customers to submit their topping ideas online or on the brick wall in the shop, and if one is popular enough, they’ll add it to the lineup!)  They like to keep their ingredients as local as possible–they get their meat from Freedman’s, their buns from Village Baking Company, and they have local beers stocked.  (No local wines just yet.)

Man cannot live on burgers and beer alone (even really good ones), so they’ve sweetened the deal with their homemade Bread Pudding, which is made from a recipe from one of the owner’s moms.  (She even checks in from time to time to make sure it’s the right recipe.  Now that’s what I call quality control!)

Bread Pudding
Bread Pudding

 

DUGG BURGER BAR
www.duggburger.com | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram
9540 Garland Rd, #407, Dallas, TX 75218
(214) 584-6261

 

DFW Craft Beer Throwdown at Cambria Plano

Cambria Hotel and Suites has opened a brand spankin’ new Plano property on Parkwood Blvd, just steps from the suburban booze/fine dining/shopping wonderland  we call Shops at Legacy. This is most excellent news for out of town guests, business travelers, bachelorettes, and packs of prowling cougars alike.

In addition to being an ideally located crash pad, the Cambria Hotel & Suites just so happens to be kind of awesome. The 129 room, 4-story hotel features comfortable luxuries (think spacious rooms with over-sized living areas, spa-inspired bathrooms, etc.) coupled with practical and useful features, like a multi-functional media hub for your undoubtedly excessive number of electronic devices. The Cambria Plano offers 2,400 square feet of meeting/conference space if that’s something you need … and, a full service bar and lounge area, if THAT’S something you need, in addition to a contemporary bistro. They also have a really sweet pool area, featuring a notably swanky looking cabana setup (complete with fire pits for the colder months, ThankYouVeryMuch).

Cambria 6 Poolside Cabanas

I was excited to attend the Cambria’s grand opening celebration earlier this month, for a few reasons, really; in addition to checking out this cool new property, I got to experience not only a sampling of the impressive cuisine Cambria Chef DeMaria dreamed up for this event, but also a series of beer pairings offered up by five of DFW’s very own local craft breweries. This wasn’t just any ol’ beer tasting event, though- oh, no. Each of the five breweries in attendance were charged with the task of presenting their finest suds to a panel of judges, led by former Plano Mayor Phil Dyer, in order to determine which of the five offerings would earn a tap behind the Cambria bar. The offerings of the evening, in no particular order, consisted of:

  • Lakewood LagerVienna Style Lager, 4.6% ABV- this has always been one of my go-tos- it’s just so darn drinkable with its light maltiness and balanced bitter hop. I felt this was a contender due to its versatility (but it doesn’t matter what I think, because I’m no former mayor).
  • Community Mosaic IPA, India Pale Ale, 7.5% ABV- If you haven’t tried this beer, it’s about as hoppy as this guy. If you love hoppy, well-balanced beers, you will love this beer. I felt this was a brave offering from Community, seeing as it makes such a bold statement.
  • Peticolas Velvet Hammer, Imperial Red Ale, 9% ABV– this smooth, malty red ale is slightly floral, lightly sweet, and moderately full-bodied. It will also knock you on your ass in a relative hurry. That said, it’s interesting and delicious. Nice choice.
  • Deep Ellum Brewing Company Dallas Blonde, American Blonde Ale, 5.2%- I hear it goes down easy (that’s a joke…remember this?). But, it’s true; this delicate golden session ale is exceptionally drinkable. For that reason, I considered Dallas Blonde to be another favorable horse in this race.
  • Franconia Dunkel Lager, Munich Dunkel Lager, 4.4%- it’s the bier from here, y’all. Brewed following the practice of German Purity Laws, this dunkel is toasty and malty, with a light, chocolatey finish. I have always enjoyed the straight-forward, no-nonsense approach these guys take to their craft. While this may have been the darkest beer offering in the race,  it was no dark horse, in my humble opinion (#jokes).

Deep Ellum and Food Pairing (2)_1

Five fine contenders, vying for one coveted tap behind the Cambria bar. While all five of these local offerings were winners in my book (or more accurately, in my belly…), there could only be one. And there was. The judges made a unanimous decision.

Drumroll please…

Are you ready?

Here it comes:

The Cambria will be serving…

Wait for it…

Community Mosaic IPA

There you have it. Community Mosaic IPA will be available behind the bar at the Cambria, in addition to three other craft handles, and twelve domestic offerings on tap. I did not correctly guess that such a bold offering would win the judge’s affection, but I loved the plot twist. I’m sure it was a difficult decision, but I’m not sure the judges could have gone wrong. To quote former Mayor Dyer, “I believe in beer”.

Because variety is the spice of life, Cambria’s bar and lounge features also an ample selection of liquor and wine. Featured cocktails include the Cambria Margarita $7, and the Blackberry Mojito $9. 

I would be remiss to wrap up this event re-cap without mentioning how delicious the food offerings were. We were able to sample a variety of creative and delicious dishes, ranging from Cambozola Mac n’ Cheese to my personal favorite, a Franconia Dunkel braised sausage, served atop mashed potatoes with pepper-onion tapenade and a mustard gravy. Yes. Featured menu items in Cambria’s contemporary bistro include inventive dishes such as the Pesto Drummies Appetizer served with blue cheese & butter ($10), Sriracha Glazed Salmon, featuring house-made Sriracha, served with green chile grits ($13), and the Flat Iron Steak with garlic spinach and Idaho fries ($19). I also hear tell that Cambria serves up a killer house-made Tres Leches Bread Pudding topped with lime zest ($7). Run and tell that, homeboy.

Cambria 1 Sriracha Salmon

Cambria’s bistro is open for breakfast from 5:00 AM- 10:00 AM. Dinner is served from 5:00 PM- 11:00 PM. The bar and lounge is open nightly from 5:00 PM- Midnight.

Cambria Hotel & Suites Plano – Legacy
7500 Parkwood Blvd., Plano, TX 75024
(972) 473-9010
Online Booking

 

Saved by the Bell

unnamed-14Class 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!

Photo courtesy of Public School
Photo courtesy of Public School

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.

PS214 dessert
Pumpkin Coffee Cheesecake & Nutella Cookie Sandwich

Fun offerings to look forward to from PS214:


 

PUBLIC SCHOOL 214
www.psontap.com
Facebook | Twitter | Instagram
3700 McKinney Ave (in the new West Village area east of McKinney)
(214)599-6234