The Paloma Cocktail at Dunston's Steakhouse Is Not Fancy, But You're Going To Love It

Categories: Drinking

Amy McCarthy
Terrible photo, terrific cocktail.
As someone who grew up going to steakhouses with floors littered with peanut shells and decorated with old license plates, I appreciate the simplicity and straightforwardness of a place like Dunston's Steakhouse. The steaks are prime, the walls are unfinished, and the atmosphere is like a fancier Golden Corral, complete with a watery-looking yet entirely tempting salad bar.

The drinks, though, are much more refined than you might think. There are old school entries, like a classic Mai Tai made with orgeat syrup, pineapple juice and fresh rum. Orgeat syrup! Even the cheesier cocktails, like the coconut rum-and-moscato based Oceanside Coconut, are straightforward without a bunch of sweet syrups or other bartender's shortcuts. From my first glance at the menu, though, I knew I was going to be having a Paloma.

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Luscher's Will Open Next Week, So Get in Line Now

Categories: Food News

Kathy Tran
Put this in your face and so much more starting Monday.
Brian Luscher is a guy who knows how to build hype, even if he always somehow manages to fly under the radar. His much-anticipated hot dog joint Luscher's has been in the works for nearly two years now -- probably longer in that culinary genius brain of his -- and now we'll finally be able to taste his delicious wares as early as next week.

Expect long-ass lines when Luscher's opens their doors, because this is near Pecan Lodge-level hype. Fortunately, if the menu published yesterday by Eater Dallas is any indication, all this wait is going to so be worth it. There is enough delicious meat at this forthcoming restaurant to permanently give you the meat sweats.

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A First Look at Back Home Barbecue, East Dallas' New Cheap-Smoked-Meats Spot

Categories: First Look

Scott Reitz
BBQ beans and macaroni and cheese are two of many sides served at Back Home Barbecue.
The creators of Company Cafe and Dallas' beloved gluten-free chicken-fried steak have decided to take on smoked meats. They opened Back Home Barbecue on Ross Avenue earlier this month in the old Yin's Wok space, and I checked it out this week.

The building has been spruced up but spared the bells and whistles. It's definitely a minimalist space. Inside the front door, picnic tables line up in rows, each outfitted with a paper towel dispenser made from a galvanized pipe. Otherwise the dining room is empty -- you have to walk through the tables to get to where the action is.

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Now Our Carbon Emissions Are Threatening to Kill Off Delicious Shellfish

Categories: Food News

Ocean Acidification could affect oysters from up north, and in our own gulf.
The list of food things that could potentially be harmed by increased carbon emissions is growing, and the latest addition really hits where it hurts. A new report in Nature Climate Change suggests oysters, mussels and other delicious bivalves could be threatened by the carbon we keep pumping into the atmosphere.

Here's how:

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Old-School Lucky's Cafe Is Taking a Stab at Local, and the Regulars Aren't Thrilled

Categories: Food News

Scott Reitz
A list of locally sourced ingredients at Lucky's
I haven't seen this face in a while. I tell my waitress I want the "loud puppies," an almost-funny take on hush puppies that uses jalapeño to turn up the volume. She grimaces, subtly. Without saying a word her message is obvious: Don't order the loud puppies. I get the fried mushrooms instead.

I haven't been to Lucky's Cafe since nearly three years ago, when a Reuben sandwich failed to persuade me to return. Recently, though, I received a few inquiries about the Oak Lawn cafe. The kitchen has undergone some changes and nobody seems happy about them. In fact, a recent menu overhaul has some regulars in an uproar.

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Your Friendly Reminder That Texas Restaurants Can Still Pay Servers Two Bucks an Hour

Categories: Complaint Desk

Waiter Flickr.jpg
Pay up Texan diners, because Texan restaurateurs don't have to.
New York state's wage board wants the state to hike the base wage for tipped employees to $7.50 an hour by the end of the year, part of an almost nationwide push to help servers, bartenders and other employees who count on tips for a significant portion of their income.

Meanwhile, in Texas.

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I Experienced Burger Dread at Yolk in One Arts Plaza

Categories: Burgers

Nick Rallo
The Build-a-Burger at the new Yolk at One Arts comes with an orange for some reason
Careful thought is put into even Dallas' seemingly simple cheeseburgers. Take the one at Boulevardier, where sherry vinaigrette dresses the tomatoes and lettuce to make them less boring. Off-Site Kitchen's burgers are smashed onto the grill for that impactful sear. On Knife's hot grills, a flurry of salt and pepper hits the meat, and then it's left alone.

The art of a simple burger comes from attentive execution, and sometimes you can sense it's going to be great. Or, you can sense the opposite. It happens in the first few seconds after ordering. It's called Burger Dread, which is a thing we made up just now.

Burg·er dread - Short for cheeseburger dread
ˈbərɡər/ dred/
The harrowing moment, immediately following the order and leading up its delivery, when a customer deeply worries, and often knows, that the burger is going to suck hard.

I experienced potent burger dread at the recently opened Yolk in One Arts, where I went for the Build-a-Burger option.

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Pop Diner Has Closed, Thank God

Catherine Downes
Pop, popped.
Pop Diner opened to significant fanfare a little more than two years ago. The space was filled with Lichtenstein-esque prints and head shots of pop stars. The walls were bright red, the music was loud and the place was open 24 hours. It was just the sort of diner Uptown needed to keep late night drunks from digesting their own stomachs. We wanted to love it!

There was just one problem: the food was awful. I waded my way through dry, greasy burgers with meat of questionable provenance, terrible hot dogs and sandwiches that looked like they were assembled by a mitten-wearing walrus.

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Nine Band Brewery's Taproom Is Open in Allen, Its Beer Destined for a Tap Near You

Categories: Beer, Drinking

Brent Nuss
So ... close ... to ... beer.
Nine Band Brewery in Allen opened its taproom doors for the first time over the weekend, because people in Allen deserve to slug high-ABV beers under the auspices of locavorism, too, OK?

Large, handmade wooden tables and stools fill the room, and a number of TVs line each wall. Open seating made finding a spot difficult on opening night. Happy-houring office workers and a few UT Dallas students packed the room.

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Pera Keeps Adding Restaurants, and I Keep Longing for the Original's Bread

Kathy Tran
A full plate at Pera.
I still remember my first trip to Pera Turkish Kitchen in Far North Dallas. Four of us were piled in the car, headed up Preston Road, and I was salivating already, based only on food-blog scraps. I'd read that Habip Kargin and Serdar Sensel, the half brothers who own the place, used fresh, bright ingredients in their Middle Eastern cooking; that their dolmas presented grape leaves rolled taut around rice that retained its bite; and most important, it was rumored they baked their own bread and it perfumed the dining room. Apparently they brought it to the table piping hot.

You can tell a lot about a restaurant by the bread it serves. The pide bread -- different from pita -- served at Pera came out in near-perfect discs, about the size of a CD and as thick as a deck of cards. The bread was dimpled, it glistened with oil and it was flecked with herbs and sesame seeds. Each round let out a poof of steam when you tore in. That day I learned the drive was worth it, for the bread and olive oil alone.

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