Adult children, rejoice! Pinstack has a new location off of 635 in Las Colinas.
For those of you who haven’t been to their Plano location yet, Pinstack is the modern version of a bowling alley, arcade, and restaurant, all poured into one. This new location is 53,000 sqf of fun with three main areas—the restaurant and bar, the bowling alleys, and the arcade area. Just beyond the restaurant is a 4,000 sqf patio with half of it climate controlled and the other half outside with various giant-sized lawn games. The arcade area also offers a two-level laser tag arena, a rock climbing wall, a high-ropes course, and hundreds of the newest video games and simulator technology.
For those of you who would rather watch than do, the restaurant and bar have much to offer you. I would highly recommend starting with the Mac & Cheese Pops (fried mac & cheese balls), served with a tomato bisque sauce. They’re entirely too easy to eat.
From there, you can’t go wrong with the Blackened Mahi Mahi served over jasmine rice with pineapple pico and sweet chili sauce, or the Simply Grilled Chicken served with sautéed heirloom cherry tomatoes and asparagus, baby arugula, balsamic reduction, and parmesan cheese.
This wouldn’t be a complete review on this site without some cocktail info, so be sure to give their signature Paloma a go. This classic cocktail is refreshing and delectable … really, it’s a perfect way to cool down after a heated game of laser tag. They also offer domestic and craft pints (quite a few of them on draft), house wines, and margaritas
Happy hour is Monday through Friday, 4-7pm, and features specialty pricing on cocktails, beer, and wine! They are also offering specials on Mondays and Wednesdays: their Monday night special, dubbed Bowl & Bite, offers $3 draft beers and 1/2 price appetizers. They also have Wine Down Wednesday with 1/2 off bottles wine!
This particular Pinstack location can accommodate up to 1,800 guests with an inviting layout for private parties and events.
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)
Smashburger, the quality-obsessed, Colorado-based, “better burger” chain, is spreading like wildfire. In November, they opened their most recent Dallas-Fort Worth location in The Colony on State Hwy 121, just east of Josey Lane.
If you’ve never experienced Smashburger before, you’re not doing it right. Smashburger’s commitment to building a “better burger” starts out with high-quality ingredients. Fresh, never frozen, natural Certified Angus beef is “smashed” for exactly ten seconds on a 385º buttered grill top. The burger perfectionists at Smashburger have the “smashing” down to a science; this time and temperature has proven to be the secret to locking in that juicy goodness, while crisping the bottom of the burger to a crispy, caramelized shell. Hungry yet? Your burger is then nestled between a soft, buttery artisan bun, and topped with fresh, high-quality ingredients.
What kind of ingredients, you might ask? Well, that’s up to you. With burger offerings that include spinach & goat cheese, spicy jalapeño Baja, and buffalo blue cheese, the sky is (more or less) the limit. Feeling inventive? Take your shot at BYOB (that’s building your own burger), instead.
If burgers aren’t your thing, Smashburger also offers delicious chicken (grilled or crispy) sandwiches, as well as a black bean burger in their lineup. If you’re inclined to ditch the bun altogether, try indulging in one of Smashbruger’s fresh, plentiful salads. If you’re looking for a little something on the side, four equally tempting varieties of fries are available: Traditional French Fries, Smash Fries (seasoned with olive oil, rosemary, and garlic- my personal recommendation), Spicy Buffalo Fries, and Sweet Potato Fries. Also available: Onion Rings and Fried Pickles. If you’re looking for something a little lighter, try the Veggie Frites- a flash-fried side of green beans and carrot strips.
If you do opt to demonstrate remarkable discipline and choose the Veggie Frites for your side, I think it’s only fair to reward your responsible decision with a delicious hand-spun milkshake. (That’s how this works, right?) Smashburger handcrafts all of their shakes with Häagen-Dazs ice cream, in a range of irresistible flavors like Nutterbutter, Salted Caramel, and Chocolate Oreo. I highly recommend stopping in for their seasonal shake offering, the Belgian Cookie Crumble- sweet cookies blended with vanilla ice cream and notes of cinnamon and caramel, topped with cookie crumbs and whipped cream. Holy yum.
Smashburger serves a variety of rotating local craft beers from the likes of Deep Ellum Brewing and Rahr and Sons, to name a few. You will want to keep this in mind, come warmer weather. Conveniently located just a stone’s throw from Lake Lewisville, I’m hard-pressed to think of a better way to conclude a day on the water than indulging in a juicy Smashburger, a piping hot stack of Smashfries, and an ice cold local craft beer on Smashburger’s new patio. Note to self: This is happening.
SMASHBURGER – The Colony smashburger.com 214-618-0880
-multiple locations- & 4940 State Highway 121, Suite 125 (The Colony)
There are plenty of places to grab a burger in the D/FW area with new spots opening regularly. Some just aren’t worth the effort to show up and order. The great people of Richardson are lucky, because one of their newish spots, Haystack Burger and Barley, stacks up.
We’ll start with alcohol because … me. They have a signature frozen drink, The Haymaker, that puts a whole new spin on frozen drinks–whiskey. (And y’all know I love that.) Make sure to limit yourself to one because they’re on the stronger side. Praise the frozen concoction gods. Oh, and if you were wondering, the “barley” in their name represents their beer selection, which happens to be somewhat extensive for a small QSR and features local, quality options.
Their burgers are made with high quality beef and topped with fresh ingredients. Each of their burgers is unique and has a weird twist here or there–get a little wild with the Escabeche Burger (jalapeńo escabeche, pepper Jack, applewood smoked bacon, chipotle mayo, fried onions) or go with their signature Haystack Burger (fried onions, cheddar, applewood smoked bacon, BBQ sauce, lettuce, tomato, & pickles).
Now let’s talk sides … get them all. But really … the Half/Half (fresh cut Kennebek potatoes and fried onion strings) is where it’s at, and the Fried Pickles were crunchy, salty, and just real damn perfect. And definitely don’t miss the many many dipping options. I think we had six ramekins of sauce by the end of the meal and used each and every one of them.
The best part is the story behind the restaurant, which is kind of adorable–a Richardson couple wanted to open a quick-serve restaurant for their neighbors. One daughter named it, the other daughter helped decorate it. When I went in for a visit, the whole family was in for an early dinner … I mean, suhcute.
BONUS … Monday-Friday, 3-6:30pm:
$2 off draft beers and wines by the glass
Refill a growler with one of their local selections for $4 off
Stop in for a dinner before you head next door to catch a movie at Alamo Drafthouse Richardson (because these burgers are better) and make a night of it.
Haystack Burgers and Barley haystackburgers.com Facebook | Instagram
Richardson: 100 S. Central, Suite 17 | 972-479-9424 new location: Turtle Creek Village: 3838 Oak Lawn Ave, #175 | 214-377-7802
Everyone’s doing the Oktoberfest situation (yes … I know it’s still September … it’s a thing). So it makes sense that Dallas’s newest quick-serve burger join, Shake Shack, dubbed Shacktoberfest. September 23 – October 2 you can get six German-style menu items from burgers to shakes with a decidedly Shake Shack slant to them.
25oz. Shacktoberfest Bier Stein fill with Brooklyn Brewery Oktoberfest ($10, refill available for $7.69 … the stein is yours to keep!)
Brat Burger: topped with a flat-top griddled Usinger’s cheddar-stuffed bratwurst, crispy beer-marinated shallots and ShackSauce ($7.59)
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 Burgerhad 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).
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.
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.
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.
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.
Dallas has a lot of restaurants come and go and come back and go again. Upon Sfuzzi’s more recent exit from McKinney Avenue, Fat Rabbit, a new player took over its space … and brought along a logo with their own version of Harvey sporting a pretentious tux and jaunty spectacles. Fat Rabbit came to us from a North/South Carolina restauranteur, Peter Lloyd, as his first Texan undertaking. Apparently, we’ll see more from him as One Dallas is built (the new high-rise that is being constructed in the Hard rock Cafe field on McKinney) as he will be opening a restaurant in it.
The restaurant, complete with a generous patio and upstairs “VIP” bar (called Masque), bills itself as purveyor of American food. While that sounds a bit “done” for the area, they do it well. Their food selections are all over the place—just their appetizers offer items from tuna tartar to hummus to hot wings—talk about an identity crisis. The good part? They somehow seem to do it all right.
Fat Rabbit is in the heart of Uptown right on McKinney, so you know that they better either do their drinks really well … or really big. They offer a full beer list with some locals and the usual suspects, wine options by the glass and bottle, champagnes actually from champagne, and, of course, cocktails. I was honored to have been joined at dinner by Jackie of Pretty Petals (looking adorable, as always), and we had to stay away from fried things (I’m doing the Lent thing and gave it up), but aside from our limitations, we made some great selections if I do say so myself.
Their new cocktail menu launched last week and, thanks to the manager, Trevor’s suggestion, I started with one of their new Irish whiskey cocktails (because, if you have ever read anything I’ve ever written, you know that I’m a huge Irish whiskey nut), the Ron Burgundy (2 Gingers Irish Whiskey, Benedictine, simple syrup, Peychauds & peach bitters). If I had my druthers, I would have stuck with this drink the whole night as it was perfectly light with enough kick to keep it interesting. Their bar program keeps it local when possible but not as a rule. They also play with some different (yet still mainstream) ingredients to make their drinks a bit unique.
Jackie started with the Peach Keen (Deep Eddy Peach vodka, lemon juice, raspberry), which was sweet, so it’s the safer play if you don’t like spirit forward cocktails. Their Summer Beer (Ketel Citroen, lemon, peach bitters, simply syrup, Revolver Blood & Honey) set the stage perfectly for the amazing patio season we have ahead of us–the peach bitters and the honey notes in the Revolver Blood & Honey both gave it just the slightest sweetness.
And … since apparently one cannot survive on booze alone (unfortunately) … we also dined. We started with Tuna Tartar (scallions, sesame sweet soy glaze, togarashi served with wonton chips) and they were nice enough to bring me lettuce since the chips were fried. The tuna came as a generous potion of fresh and tender tuna with just enough of the glaze to keep it interesting. We followed that up with the Lamb Burger Sliders (lamb patty with pine nuts topped with roasted red peppers and tzatziki sauce) which were quite good, but weren’t our favorite.
We weren’t ready to commit to a whole, single entree each, so we ordered a few things for the table. Again … we did well. Their Lobster Mac & Cheese was un-real. They add just a bit of truffle oil that balances the four cheese nicely without being overpowering. Our lovely waitress suggested the Breakfast Pizza (candied bacon, tomato, quail eggs, Sriracha aioli), which, if you remember back to Sfuzzi, they had their own version … so it just seemed fitting. I love that they candied the bacon for this pizza to give it a sweetness to counteract the spiciness of the Sriracha aioli (which I’d suggest getting on the side). The winner of the night was, without a doubt, the Brussels sprouts. I mean … hot damn, y’all. I wanted to plant a hair in them at the very end so they’d have to bring me another order of them. But that would be immoral … or something.
Fat Rabbit is open for lunch, dinner, and late night (SCORE) along with weekend brunch (I’m going to get my ass in there soon to try their red velvet pancakes and mimosa bar), and they also hold events from time to time. Tomorrow (Monday, March 13), they’ll be screening the final episode of “The Bachelor”–who do you think Ben will pick? And later this month, they’re bringing in the 2 Gingers Irish Whiskey’s brand ambassador, James Dillon, to host a whiskey pairing dinner on March 23–3 course and cocktail for $45? In … get your ticket to join me!
If the promise of good food and drink don’t pique your interest, maybe one of their weekly specials will.
Monday – $3 pints, 1/2 price dinner menu starting at 6pm Tuesday – Service Industry Night (1/2 price burgers, sandwiches, & flatbreads starting at 8pm Wednesday – 1/2 price bottles of wine Thursday – live music starting at 8pm Friday – DJ starting at 10pm Saturday – brunch at 11am-4pm (mimosa & bloody mary bar), DJ starting at 10pm Sunday – brunch at 11am-4pm (mimosa & bloody mary bar), live music starting at 3pm
Did you know that the Snuffer’s on Lower Greenville is haunted? Well, it sure is. Just ask the servers and they’ll send over one of their staff members that have had a paranormal experience pop by your table and tell you a couple ghost stories. … or they’ll just tell you about the scary good deals they’re now offerings during happy hour on their Happy-Tizer Menu.
Y’all know that I love a good happy hour, so when I was invited in to try out their new options, I didn’t shy away. Monday-Friday, 3-7pm you can now get select mini-apps for as little as $2. That’s right … two buckaroos … a pair of greenbacks … just a couple Washington’s … you get the idea.
As always, the Dallas favorite offers happy hour beers and margs as low as $3 to make your visit truly happy. Think $3 house margaritas (frozen or on the rocks) and drafts (Bud Light, Samuel Adams, & Dos Equis) and $4 house wine and shooters. While I’m not a huge beer drinker, it felt right ordering one to sip … and then a house margarita … and then another beer.
The real excitement as of late is their new happy hour food offering, a.k.a. their Happy-Tizers. Check out the picture below. All that goodness can be yours for $22. And for that price, you can try all of them … and you should. Their fried pickles and mushrooms are legendary* and these small servings are just enough to satisfy your craving but not take over the meal. (Though, really, what’s wrong with a meal of fried pickles and mushrooms?) Their tortilla chips were seasoned just right and the onion rings and buffalo wings were perfectly satisfactory.
If you’re trying to decide what to order on this little menu, skip the burger quesadilla and the queso … save those options for Blue Goose down the street. They’ll get an “E” for effort on those, though.
Stop in and check out the new happy hour serving sizes at any of their locations, but don’t forget the beers and things. Oh … and make sure to order at LEAST the personal-sized Cheddar Fries. (Because it’d be rude to leave without a helping of them. After all, they’ve been around longer than you … if you were born after 1978.)
*at least to me. For nearly my entire college career, when I was in a bad way the day after a good party, I knew Snuffer’s fried pickles and loaded Cheddar Fries were my saving graces. They never failed.
***Snuffer’s invited me in to enjoy selections from their Happy-Tizers free of charge.***