Braving Brunch at Eureka! Dallas

Photos by Kathryn DeBruler
Open seating. Wide open.
Kathryn DeBruler searches far and wide for DFW's most interesting breakfast food. Come along.

I didn't have high hopes going into this brunch, and the fact that a manager apologized half an hour after my order was placed didn't help much. She explained that I was there during Eureka's first official brunch service, and that the kitchen scrapped my original order when the end result didn't meet their standards. Admirable, Eureka!, but not confidence-building.

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Dallas Officials Make Life Easier on Urban Farmers, but Not Before Obsessing Over Corn

Categories: Complaint Desk

Dylan Hollingswoth
Vets James Jeffers (left) and Steve Smith are farming Oak Cliff.
Liz Goulding is the leader of Slow Food Dallas and a contributor to the Dallas Observer.

The Dallas City Council this week voted on a motion to accept a number of language changes in the community garden ordinance passed in 2011. Among other things, the word "community" was replaced with "urban" to make it clear that the sale of locally grown produce from urban gardens is allowed, offsite in residential areas and onsite in commercial areas. The wording proposed was the product of a year's worth of work from a group of urban agriculture activists, farmers, and beekeepers. I sat through a lot of those meetings. I thought perhaps all the coalition building and hand-wringing was overkill, but this week proved me wrong. Really wrong.

Somehow a discussion about the future of urban agriculture became a discussion about corn. I wish I could tell you that the corn was a proxy for some sort of larger discussion about the role of growing food in the urban landscape, but it seemed to literally just be about whether the ability to grow corn in your front yard is the end of the world or not. There is a new litmus test in town: pro-corn or anti-corn?

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Dallas' Ten Best Rooftops for Drinking

file photo
Let the sun shine on your face while you pound six beers. It's rooftop season, y'all!
There is nothing better than consuming copious amounts of alcohol while being really, really high. And no, that doesn't mean on drugs, you deviants, that means sitting on a roof with a beautiful view of the Dallas skyline. Now that the weather will be beautiful for at least the next few months, it's time to plop your ass down in a chair and drink with a view.

Put on your best floppy hat, and soak up this year's first weekend of great weather on one of these ten awesome rooftops in Dallas.

HG Sply Co (above)
The food here is mostly healthy, but that shouldn't discourage you from checking out the rooftop patio at HG Sply Co. It has a stunning view of Lower Greenville and Downtown and plenty of great cocktails. The patio table seating is great for groups, and covered(ish) areas will help protect you from the blinding sun.

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The Crushed Velvet Cocktail at Public School 214 Isn't Innovative, but Is Awesome

Categories: Drinking

Amy McCarthy
Crushed Velvet is a little boring, a lot delicious.
For the past several months, I have been deliberately avoiding vodka-based cocktails. I've had a few great ones, like the Why The Long Face at Henderson Avenue Country Club, but for the most part, good bartenders seem to be ignoring vodka in favor of other, more interesting spirits. And who could blame them -- vodka is boring, but it certainly gets the job done.

Still, it can be done well, and vodka will never entirely go away. It's too low calorie, too easy to drink in excessive quantities -- making it perfect for any well-qualified lush. Vodka drinks rely on the cocktail's other components to drive the flavor, which is extremely pronounced in Public School 214's refreshing Crushed Velvet cocktail. Of course, starting with a great vodka doesn't hurt.

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Denton's Burger Time Machine Makes the Best Ever Sci-Fi Dive Burger

Categories: Burgers

Time Machine Burger
James Rambin
Let's do the time warp again.
Picture your dream hamburger. But not as you know it now -- go back to something like the early '90s, when words like "arugula" and "house-made truffle aioli" were utopian fiction. A time when a greasy burger with American cheese and iceberg lettuce, served on checkered paper in a ramshackle building decorated with movie posters and arcade games, wasn't some kind of ironic "throwback." That's what Burger Time Machine in Denton is selling -- a living memory of the classic roadside burger joint, one bite at a time.

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Death to Bread Service

Categories: Complaint Desk

Flickr/Bruno Raymond
Bread is good, but not always great, please get this bullshit off my plate.
When you walk into one of the city's better restaurants, there's a certain set of expectations that you bring along. If you're planning to drop a pretty penny on a decent meal, you expect great service, top-notch food, and a great atmosphere. You also probably expect for a basket full of bread or rolls to make it to your table, and that's one of those old-school dining traditions that really, really needs to die.

Sure, it's great to wait the 15 minutes before your dish comes to the table with a basket of warm, crusty bread and butter. But most of the time, bread service is such an afterthought at restaurants that the result is much more reminiscent of a few old buns dragged out from the back of your own bread bin at home than a Francophile's yeasty dream. Often, the bread in these baskets is cold, slightly stale, and leaves you wondering exactly when (or where!) it was even baked.

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Peticolas Partnered with a San Diego Brewery for a Limited, Powerful New Beer

Categories: Beer

Scott Reitz
You should probably find this beer as soon as you can.
When I interviewed Michael Peticolas about proposed beer legislation last week, the brewer mentioned he was nosing a special beer. Dubbed Operation Collaboration, the brew is a collaborative effort between Peticolas and Chuck Silva of Green Flash brewing Co. in San Diego.

First and most importantly, the beer is available at Meddlesome Moth right now, but there's no telling how long you'll be able to order a glass. If you're already convinced, get your ass out of your seat and order one, or look for it at additional bars in the coming days. But if you need more beer nerdery before a run to the bar, read on, and I'll tell you a little more about the beer that warms my belly as we speak.

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Modmarket Is Spreading Across Dallas, and Is Worth Your Attention

Categories: First Look

A gas-fired oven turns out attractive pizzas
I wasn't expecting much from the pizza I'd ordered at Modmarket. This is a fast-casual chain based in Denver, for starters, and they use an unimpressive gas-fired oven. But there it was on an aluminum tray, with a decent, if dry-looking cornicione. The basil had gone brown, but the tomato sauce was bright, and the whole thing wasn't weighed down by too much mozzarella. It was, I had to admit, an attractive pizza.

I picked up a slice and got even more excited. The crust didn't have the bubbly structure I was hoping for, but it was soft and delicate. It lacked those tangy notes I associate with a well developed fermentation, but it still had some flavor. The pizza tasted as good as it looked. I ate the whole thing.

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Seven Awesome Food Events in DFW This Weekend, March 26-29

Categories: Events, Food News

via Fort Worth Food and Wine Festival
The BBQ Bash at Billy Bob's
The Fort Worth Food and Wine Festival is this weekend and the schedule is jam-packed with all kinds of goodness. Thursday night gets things off to a tasty start with the BBQ Bash at Billy Bob's, where pit masters will be slicing and serving the very best that smoke and meat have to offer. Friday offers two events, The Grand Tasting and #latenight Desserts After Dark. As the name implies, The Grand Tasting is no small affair, with over one hundred wines, beers and spirits to choose from (not to mention the food.)#latenight Desserts After Dark provides a great channel for some of the area's best mixologists and pastry chefs to come together and create boozy, sugary magic. Saturday also offers two events: Rise and Dine (slated to be a brunch for the ages) and Burgers, Brews & Blues. Sunday wraps things up with Family Sunday Funday, a food truck event. See the website for more information, including times, prices and locations.

What it be: Fort Worth Food and Wine Festival

When it do: Thursday, March 26 - Sunday, March 29

Where dat is: Locations vary

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The Italian Beef and Tallow-Fried Fries at Luscher's Red Hots: Because We Said So

Categories: Eat This

Scott Reitz
This is not health food
I don't get, nor do I deserve, a lot of sympathy in my work. As soon as my face winces -- before I even get out a word of complaint -- I'm met with a barrage of facetiousness. "Oh, poor food critic guy eats out on someone else's dime." I pay, though, people. I promise.

Like those days when I'm not super careful about my dining plan and somehow manage to schedule a meal at Luscher's Red Hots after doing a first look at Spork -- all of this after reviewing a Tex-Mex restaurant. It's times like these I catch myself fantasizing about savoring a single parsley leaf with a fork and knife, but instead find myself ordering an Italian beef with french fries.

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