¡C. Señor! Is Making Cuban Magic in Oak Cliff

Kathy Tran
The Cuban and Yucca fries.

By all accounts, Anthony Alvarez should have been completely satisfied with his restaurant business. He and partner Hal Dantzler opened up Hattie's in the Bishop Arts District nearly 12 years ago, and it is credited with helping to change the neighborhood. The surrounding blocks were only on the cusp of gentrification when the Lowcountry restaurant first opened, but the smell of shrimp and grits was enough to pull customers across the Trinity River from the bubble. Everyone else followed, and now the Bishop Arts District is one of Dallas' more vibrant neighborhoods. The streets and sidewalks are filled with diners and shoppers more often than not.

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Four Awesome Food Events in Dallas This Weekend, October 2-5

Categories: Events, Food News

via Facebook
In case you missed last week's opportunity to hob-nob with John Tesar, fear not. Tesar will be joining a host of celebrity chefs for everyone's favorite alliterative meat and booze combo: the 6th Annual Burgers & Burgundy event. The chefs will "be rep-representin'" their slider and wine pairings which were specially devised for this fundraiser, all to benefit the Dallas chapter of Design Industries Foundation Fighting AIDS. It's food for good, y'all. Tickets start at $100.

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Komali Chef Abraham Salum Knows What Dallas Wants, Knows It Will Change Next Week

Categories: Interviews

Robert Bostick
When we talk about the burgeoning culinary scene that exists in Dallas today, it's sometimes easy to forget about the chefs who spent years trying to convince us that great food was worth a little extra cash. Abraham Salum's eponymous restaurant Salum has been a fixture of the Dallas food community for almost a decades now, and Salum cemented his status as one of the city's most authentic Mexican chefs after opening Komali, his interior Mexican restaurant located next door.

Still, Salum isn't slowing down. When I originally tried to schedule some time to talk with him, Salum was traveling in Spain and introducing real Mexican food and tequila to a group of chefs at a Michelin-starred restaurant outside of Barcelona. From there, he went on a sightseeing trip to Morocco. When he's not jetting around the world, you can find Abraham Salum in either of his successful restaurants, volunteering for charities, and catering some of the most exclusive dinner parties in the city. Somehow, Chef Salum found time to sit down and talk with me about how he's learned to please the finicky Dallas clientele, legit Mexican food, and why people are so much more in love with food than they ever have been before.

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Steel City Pops Might Be Serving the Most Interesting Fall Flavors in Dallas

Categories: Eat This

Steel City's new carrot cake popsicle
It's fall, which means pumpkin now, briefly, rules all. There will, for the foreseeable future, be pumpkin in your latte, pumpkin in your cake icing, pumpkin in your cookies and pumpkin in just about everything else. Of course very little of this "pumpkin" will actually be real pumpkin. Most of it will be a factory blend of cinnamon, nutmeg and pumpkin flavoring -- all praise synthetic food-things.

Unless, of course, you're standing in line for a Steel City pop. Here the ingredients are mostly fresh and natural, and while there is a pumpkin-flavored pop, the ode to fall squash is far from the only thing to freeze your brain with. The new fall menu is out today, and since lines have been shorter lately, now seems like a great time to check them out.

See Also: The Line at Steel City Pops Makes No Sense

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100 Favorite Dishes, No. 6: Pulpo a la Plancha at Casa Rubia

The octopus at Casa Rubia is as colorful as it is delicious.
For last week's Best of Dallas® 2014 issue, we've been counting down (in no particular order) our 100 Favorite Dishes. If there's a dish you think we need to try, leave it in the comments, or email me.

Any fan of chef Omar Flores' cooking at Driftwood would expect an octopus dish after he transitioned to Casa Rubia. The chef made a name for himself in braised sea creatures. The technique is intact at his new post -- it's grilled and blackened after it's braised until tender -- but now the plate has a Spanish flair that will capture your heart and soul.

Start with those potatoes. They're cooked in chicken stock that's been laced with an absurd amount of saffron. When they emerge they're so golden it's alarming, and they explode in your mouth with exotic flavors.

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A Guide to Eating Out in Allen

Categories: Eat This

Steven Leggett/Flickr
Grab a pizza and eat it here, safe in the knowledge there won't be any football being played.
When people talk about Allen, they mostly talk about that stupid Allen Eagles football stadium. Which is understandable, given that they spent $60 million on it and the concrete wasn't even poured right. But Allen is more than football, no matter what people say. More importantly, it is where the closest Super Target to me is.

Also: There's lots of great food.

See also:
- A Guide to Eating in Carrollton
- A Guide to Eating in Frisco

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Meat Fight 2014 Tickets Go on Sale Tomorrow

Categories: Barbecue, Events

Catherine Downes
Meat Fight founder Alice Laussade is slowly building Texas' coolest barbecue event.
Meat Fight, the barbecue competition, fundraiser and saucy brainchild of our Bearded columnist, Alice Laussade, returns to Trinity Groves on Sunday, November 16. You want to go. You need to go. But will you go? Depends on the accuracy of your clock and the quickness of your clicking fingers.

Tickets for the event -- which features 16 of Dallas' best chefs smoking meat for you to eat, all in the name of charity -- go on sale Wednesday at 10 a.m. They'll sell out in minutes. Don't be hungover.

More info at meatfight.com.

100 Favorite Dishes, No. 7: The Sliders at Easy Slider

The French Revolution (is about to disappear)
For last week's Best of Dallas® 2014 issue, we've been counting down (in no particular order) our 100 Favorite Dishes. If there's a dish you think we need to try, leave it in the comments, or email me.

Let's be honest. The term "slider" doesn't exactly scream refined. The diminutive burgers are often dry, confusing, and almost always less satisfying than a regular burger. What Texan would drive a smart car when given the choice to off-road in a pickup truck?

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When the Texas State Fair's Fried Food Fails You (It Will), Respect the Corny Dog

It's actually difficult to hold a corn dog and a cup of lemonade with one hand.
It started with a simple desire to steer State Fair goers away from lesser grub. I was ready to take things one step further than Alice Laussade, who opined in her State Fair guide that the Big Tex Choice Awards for most creative were fried bullshit. In fact, I wanted to argue, most of the fried everything at the annual spectacle in Fair Park is overrated.

And it's only going to get worse as all of that bubbling oil starts to deteriorate over the next few weeks. Sure, everything tastes OK opening weekend, but as that fry-bath starts to break down, deep-fried everything begins to taste like spent diesel lubricant. It leaves that odd coating in your mouth that even a Funnel Cake Ale can't cut through, which makes me frightened to think of what it does to the rest of your insides.

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Does Dallas Really Have the Most Restaurants Per Capita? And If So, Who Cares?

Dallas skyline.jpg
Some say we have the most restaurants per capita, but do we have the best?
"Dallas has the most restaurants per capita of any city in the U.S." Have you heard this one before? The statement is as pervasive here as "Hey, where is the valet stand?" and "I'll have my steak well done."

Usually, it's issued as a sort of bragging right. Dallasites who are proud of their city belt it out like a statement of achievement, and tourism officials tout the fact as evidence of Dallas' worthiness as a destination. I've also heard foodies use the statistic to frame a negative rhetorical question: "If Dallas has the most restaurants per capita, then why don't we have more good ones?"

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