— post collab: words by Rachel Farrar, pictures by Susie O. —
It’s finally here! NYC’s very own burger Mecca, Shake Shack, has opened up shop in Uptown, smack dab in front of The Crescent. Admittedly, I was a little taken aback. Being a Shake Shack virgin, and I wasn’t really sure what to expect. Was there any possible way burgers and shakes could live up to the hype? The short answer is: Yes.
As soon as I sunk my teeth into my ShackBurger, I understood. My burger was juicy but not greasy, perfectly seared, and amazingly flavorful. Shake Shack uses freshly ground 100% natural Angus beef, featuring a proprietary (read: delicious) “Shack blend”. The soft, fresh potato bun snuggling my burger + toppings was the perfect accompaniment. Equally delicious, the decadent hand-spun peanut butter Shake I sipped on alongside my meal.
Shake Shack Uptown has incorporated a few menu offerings that highlight local favorites, including the Link Burger, topped with a Pecan Lodge jalapeño cheese sausage link (pictured above), and the Dallas Pie Oh My, a custard concrete blended with a slice of seasonal pie from Emporium Pies. (Look for pumpkin … just released today!) Oh My, indeed.
Some bonus items:
Local beers are available on tap along with Abita’s absolutely delicious root beer.
It’s dog-friendly and they even offer a couple of menu items for dogs. (Suh cute.)
Their Shack-cago Dog is real damn delicious thanks to the 100% Vienna beef dog … but watch out for the pepper. That’s some unexpected spice, my friends.
As if the food wasn’t enough of a draw, it also bears mentioning that the Shake Shack Uptown location is incredibly cool. With plenty of patio seating available under the shade of towering oak trees, this is a perfect spot for al fresco grubbing, relaxing, and people watching. Lawn games like Bocce Ball are also available, if you are so inclined. Even cooler?
Shake Shack – Uptown Dallas shakeshack.com
2500 N Pearl Street (in Crescent Court), Dallas 214.983.1022
Dallas does brunch well. What makes a boozy brunch better? Having your dog along for the ride. Luckily for you, if you have a canine sidekick, I rounded up a list of pet-friendly patios in Dallas and beyond. (Because sometimes we all need a seeing eye dog to get us to our Uber after a four mimosa brunch.)
Lazy Dog Restaurant is one of the most dog-friendly restaurants in DFW, complete with a menu meant just for Fido and plenty for (thirsty) homosapians, too. In true local brunch fashion, Lazy Dog offers quite a few alcoholic brunch options including a housemade sangria sampler (white peach, raspberry moscato, and pomegranate red which can also be ordered by the glass and pitcher), a bloody mary, Peaches & Moonshine (Stillhouse Moonshine, peaches, cranberry juice, peach schnapps, ginger beer and mint), and more.
While they do have a dog-friendly menu, the menu for us humans is pretty damn incredible and even include gluten-free and family-style options. The weekend brunch menu offers some really amazing options that were, quite frankly, surprisingly good. I couldn’t say no to the Housemade Carnitas with Tater Tot Hash served with a roasted poblano pepper sauce that was perfectly light and savory. The Sunny Side Up Pizza was, while a brunch cliche, was baked perfectly and the eggs were exquisitely runny. They offer more traditional brunch options like (dog bone-shaped) pancakes and french toast, too … because brunch should have a sweet side.
While I’ve never had room for dessert after brunch (who wouldn’t finish pancakes and chilaquiles?!), we were treated to a couple of their dessert options–their Key Lime Cheesecake and Peach Crumble–both amazing bookends to our meal.
As mentioned, Lazy Dog offers a dog menu. Though it’s not as extensive as I’d hope it would be, lacking even a simple dog bone, it was a nice treat for our furry brunch buddy who gobbled it up so fast that I couldn’t even get a decent picture. Our waitress was very kind to cater the meal to her dietary needs, too, which was very helpful.
Pop into Lazy Dog, with or without a dog, and experience their quality options for you and Fido. Just don’t get too squeamish if you find a dog hair in your food—it happens when the dogs on the patio nearly outnumber their owners!
We all know how much Dallasites love drinking their booze on patios on a beautiful day, and 2016 is shaping up to be a good year for dining and drinking al fresco. (Hold the rain and hail, please.) And wouldn’t you know it … there’s a new spot for just that; Matchbox American Kitchen + Spirit opened up its first Texas location in Preston Hollow, just in time for all of us to eat, drink, and get a nice base tan, all at the same time on its roomy outdoor seating area.
When I arrived, I had my eyes on the prize–the cocktails (obviously). I ordered the Southern Charmer (bourbon, peach nectar, and black pepper-ginger syrup), which is shaken and poured over ice then garnished with a lemon slice. (And so continues my lemon obsession. 🍋) From what I could tell (and taste), there are also a few dashes of Angostura bitters on top, but it’s not listed on the menu. Try it out and let me know if I’m off the mark. Ahhh … it was the perfect patio cocktail–refreshing, boozy, with the sweetness of the peach nectar balanced out by the bite of the pepper and ginger. I could/did drink many of these bad boys–charming or not.
NOTE FROM SUSIE: Make sure to peruse their entire cocktail menu along with their wine list. Matchbox has private label wine that isn’t half bad! Their Jalapeño Cucumber Margarita packs a bit of spice to keep things interesting and their Patio Pounder Lemonade made with house infused watermelon vodka is everything summer is made of.
Of course, if I’m going to commit to drinking all of Matchbox’s cocktails, I needed some food to do so. (It’s a marathon, not a sprint, guys; remember that.) Fortunately for me, there was no shortage of delicious appetizers from which to choose. Given my penchant for a well-stocked charcuterie board, that’s where I daintily voraciously started my culinary adventure.
Heaping mounds of prosciutto, wedges of creamy brie, quince cubes, overflowing plates of gherkin pickles, grain mustard, and briny olives … oh my. The portions were more than satisfying, and it’s not typical to find the sweet quince offering on the boards I’ve seen in Dallas thus far, so that was a tasty addition to the usual charcuterie spread. I overdid it on the prosciutto and cheese (as one does), so the rest of the appetizers are nibbled, but nonetheless thoroughly enjoyed.
The spread consisted of standard (albeit, high-quality and well-executed) crowd-pleasers. The Mini Meatballs are a combination of angus beef, veal, and pork, and were wonderfully tender and are served in pepperoni sauce and topped with pecorino romano cheese. I (somehow) managed to keep my intake of these to just two. (I should get a ribbon for that.)
If you look REALLY closely, you’ll see 3.6.9 Mini Burgers peeking out from a mountain of crispy fried onions. The trick is to extract a mini burger from the plate, grab a small mound of crispy onions, add it to the burger, and have at it. Let me just say, these are definitely mini burgers and not sliders. The buns aren’t made of sweet rolls; they’re toasted brioche, and the patties are substantial and individually cooked to a perfect medium.
As soon as they brought out the Spicy Tuna Tartare Tacos, I knew these were a best-seller. Their fresh, cool tuna’s delicate texture juxtaposed with the crispiness of the fried wonton taco shell … it’s a classic for a reason. And don’t skimp on the Sriracha mayo.
And who doesn’t like a good chicken strip? These bad boys, dubbed Ted’s Tenders, were huge! Did I eat one all by myself? Yes! (Shut up. I have NO regrets.) It was the way I like my chicken strips: not overly breaded and still juicy and flavorful on the inside. I don’t know who Ted is … but I like him.
My overall take away from my Matchbox experience? It’s a fun spot with a cool vibe, and the food and drinks aim to please both the masses and those of us (ahem) with a bit more of a refined palate. If I worked nearby, that’s where you’d find me after 4PM most weekdays. I wouldn’t be alone; Matchbox is already hoppin’ with the business happy hour crowd. The patio was teeming with business people in suits, all eating, drinking, and being merry when I arrived, and they were still going strong when I left. Cheers to them! They know how to marathon it, too. Matchbox American Kitchen + Spirit matchboxrestaurants.com Facebook | Twitter | Instagram
7859 Walnut Hill Lane, Suite 140
Dallas, TX 75230