At Gemma, Pastry Chef Stephanie Childress Is Keeping It Simple

Categories: Interviews

Amy McCarthy
A pastry chef in her natural habitat.

Gemma has been adding a touch of freshness and California cool to Henderson Ave since opening earlier this year, and head pastry chef Stephanie Childress has proven herself a crucial part of the restaurant's success. Our own food critic raved about Childress' well-executed and offbeat dessert dishes, and diners have followed suit.

Working alongside chef-owner Stephen Rogers and front-of-house manager (and Rogers' wife) Alison Yoder has been an overwhelmingly positive experience for Childress, who made her home in Dallas after working in some of Las Vegas' most beloved kitchens. I sat down to talk with Childress about navigating the Dallas food world after working in Las Vegas, how she works with Chef Stephen Rogers for inspiration on both sides of the menu, and her best-in-town housemade ice cream program.

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With Noisy Pies and Moonshine, Stonedeck Pizza Fits Right in in Deep Ellum

Categories: First Look

Pizza pizza
If you've driven down Elm Street in the past few months, you know it's a mess. There are as many potholes as there are pothole patches and just two blocks or driving can rattle the shocks off your car. But behind the rubble and concrete there are glimmers of hope about the future. You can envision the equivalent of the newly renovated Greenville Avenue, only drunker and louder and more covered in ink.

Stonedeck Pizza Pub hopes to be a part of Deep Ellum's future. The restaurant opened about a month ago with crisp, modern lines and massive windows. While much of the neighborhood's bars and restaurants are obscured in darkness, Stonedeck wants to let the light inside. It could almost be a scene from an Edward Hopper painting, if the counter were a little longer.

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Whataburger Is Now Offering More of its Condiments for Squirting at Home

Categories: Food News

Your refrigerator door can be complete now.
I half wanted to keep the news from you, if only for purposes of public protection. But when Whataburger announced a spicy ketchup contest, readers responded in resounding fashion. When the same condiment joined regular ketchup alongside mustard on Central Market and HEB shelves, readers freaked out about it. So the following news is obviously important to you. It's my duty to report.

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100 Favorite Dishes, No. 34: Surfers On Acid At Local Oak

Spam was never meant to be so delicious.
To prepare for this fall's Best of Dallas® 2014 issue, we're 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.

One of the most exhilarating experiences you can have with food is to be truly surprised by something. Sometimes it's a fine dining experience, like when I was eating at Michel Richard's restaurant in Washington D.C. and what looked like a perfectly cooked hard boiled egg that had been surgically cleaved in half turned out to be porcelain white, egg-shaped mozzarella filled with yellow tomato for a yolk. Take that Caprese salad.

Other times I'm presented something I'm sure I'll hate, like the Texas Surfers at Local Oak, only to end up wiping the plate (or basket) clean. It's a little difficult for me to get excited when a bartender tells me about an amazing bar snack that features Spam, but there I was, looking at an empty basket and wishing I'd been served four sliders instead of three.

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McDonald's is "Testing" Chorizo Burritos in Dallas. Spoiler Alert: They're Really Bad

Categories: Food News

Nick Rallo
McDonald's is testing new Morning Heartburn Sticks in Dallas
The Dallas food map is studded with breakfast taco-burritos that will blow the socks clean off your feet. Some of them come with jalapeno ranch. Good 2 Go in White Rock has big hangar steak and egg tacos that will you make you cry hollandaise tears. They're good, cheap, and they can bust a hangover apart like a pinata.

See also
: Dallas Five Best Breakfast Tacos

To get in the breakfast taco game, McDonald's is testing chorizo breakfast sort-of burritos at Dallas-area McD's. The ad at the drive-thru window showed two chorizo burritos, just hanging out near some rope and horeshoes because that's what we do here in Texas. They come two for three bucks, and each one is about the size of tube of toothpaste.

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I Love Everything About You, Keller's

Categories: Cheap Bastard

Alice Laussade
Don't ask for IPA, alright?
Follow the Cheap Bastard as she scours the city, looking for a good -- or at least non-lethal -- lunch for less than 10 bucks.

State of the drive-in at noon: packed
Camo hat count: 4

Keller's on Northwest Highway has my favorite dirty burger to eat in the summer. I love the car hops, with their cig-breath and "Darlin"s and their fists full of cash. I love the way the place lights up like Christmas at night. I love the dirty couches right outside the restaurant, presumably for walk-uppers and ne'er-do-well-hanger-arounders. I love the faded menu that reads, "We have plenty of fixin's" and "Every order made to order-- never pre-cooked, frozen or microwaved." I love the truckbeds full of people gleefully stuffing their faces with fried. And most of all, I love the fact that they will walk a beer out to your car for you.

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Ten50 BBQ, Whose Owner Says He's "Matched" Franklin, Sold Out on its First Day

Categories: Barbecue

Kellie Reynolds
The meat in question.
Months ago, when Larry Lavine, the founder of Chili's, and I shouted at each other over the sounds of drilling and hammering at his new restaurant's construction site, it was hard to imagine that that restaurant, Ten50 BBQ, would evolve into become what it has today.

Which is, for starters, a restaurant that is finally open, and already full.

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100 Favorite Dishes, No. 35: The Burger At Boulevardier

Boulevardier Burger Bandi.jpg
Cue cascading single cheek tear... This is one fine burger.
To prepare for this fall's Best of Dallas® 2014 issue, we're 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.

The last thing I needed this weekend was a burger. I had steak and eggs for breakfast that morning and my body was plenty good on animal protein. The problem was, I really wanted to put the Boulevardier burger on my 100 Favorites List -- I'm convinced it's one of the city's best -- and I hadn't torn into one over a year. This is Dallas, the burger capital of the universe, and I had to be sure Boulevardier's offering still passed muster.

I downed one out on the patio in 39 seconds.

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A Woman's View of Bikini's Sports Bar

Categories: Food News

Courtesy of the restaurants
At some locales they apparently need three whole servers.
In this occasional series, Teresa Lensch provides a woman's view of area "breastaurants." She previously filed dispatches from Tilted Kilt, Twin Peaks and Wild Pitch.

I have not been to one breastaurant™, despite my previous three dispatches. Nope. Not one of those places was an actual breastaurant™. There is only one in America. Just. One. Breastaurant™. And that's Bikini's Sports Bar & Grill: The CEO filed and received a registered trademark on the term in 2013. Maybe I should have mentioned that earlier?

It's a stormy Sunday afternoon and we make the drive through flooding streets and dumb Interstate 35 traffic to the one and only American breastaurant™. It's gonna be so worth it. I'm psyched. In the old "restaurant row" at Northwest Highway and I-35, we dodge rain pellets and go inside. We are at THE breastaurant™! In fact, it seems that we're the only ones at the breastaurant™. Nobody else is here.

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Here Are the Finalists for the State Fair of Texas' Big Choice Awards for Fried-Food Weirdness

Stephen Masker
It's fried... something
Remember when I ate that fried Cuban thing that was more of an egg roll and less of a sandwich? Remember when Hanna Raskin hurked after biting into a ravioli of deep-fried beer? Remember when Alice Laussade pointed out that this whole oil-logged Big Tex Choice Awards were getting a little repetitive, and maybe even a little sad?

You didn't expect anything to change, did you?

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