Oddfellows Chef Brady Williams on What Dallas Needs and Where He Eats
In part one of our three-parter with Oddfellows' Brady Williams, we tracked his course from hockey goalie to chef. Today: The Dallas restaurant scene.
What do you like most about the Dallas restaurant scene?
From the industry side, the people I gravitate to are really trying to change the food culture of this city and provide the types of dining experiences that can be found in other, more progressive or developed cities. There's a lot of camaraderie and support among the current generation stemming from the realization that in order for the food culture in this town to really make some positive strides, we need to be supportive of each other, whereas the old guard seemed to be more anti-competition and not celebrate each others' successes. The more successful we can become, the sooner the paradigm will shift and the culture begin to change, which in turn, will ultimately mean a demand for more of these types of places and a consistently higher quality product. It's an exciting time to be a part of the food scene in Dallas.
What do you think about the collective palate of the Dallas restaurant goer?
I think that the mindset and the palate of the average Dallas restaurant goer is beginning to change, especially in places like Oak Cliff. People are becoming more open-minded and willing to try new types of cuisine, which is great. There are a lot of places that are killing it right now that three years ago would have had a tough time making it. Things like craft beer and spirits, local and sustainable sourcing, or even certain cuts of meat were, even only a few years ago, either unappreciated by the mass market or considered a novelty. We still have a long way to go, but we're at the beginning stages of a paradigm shift, which is a positive thing.
What kind of restaurants do you think Dallas needs more of?
I'd love to see some traditional Japanese fare other than sushi, like ramen. Dallas needs more ramen. I'd also like to see more offal.
Favorite Dallas bar?
If I want a cocktail, I'll head to The Cedars Social for a Sazerac. On the craft beer side, I really enjoy Strangeways, a new bar on Fitzhugh in East Dallas. They have a really good selection and Eric, the owner, is really passionate about helping to develop the beer culture in Dallas. Also, the Amsterdam bar in Expo Park is one of my favorites. I'll typically grab a PBR and hang out late on the back patio with friends.
What do you eat when you're not at work?
After being in a kitchen 6 or 7 days a week, I typically don't want to go and sit down at a restaurant on my day off. However, I don't have any food at my house so I'm often forced to go out to eat. So, I like to go to Jimmy's for a Cuban sandwich, or Maple and Motor for a burger. And there's a great place called Tortas Las Tortugas. They're the best-kept secret in Dallas.
I'll do a Muchaco at Taco Bueno. I love Muchacos.
What do you have in your fridge at home?
I have a fairly decent craft beer collection, but not as nearly as extensive as some people I know. My friends and I are pretty nerdy about it all. We have spread sheets documenting our inventory. My family is in Colorado now, and I'm fortunate to have friends who travel frequently, so between them I've been able to acquire quite a few beers that aren't available in Texas. Most of it is Colorado or West Coast stuff. Some of the better, more rare ones include about a dozen bottles of Russian River, including Pliny the Elder, Port Older Viscocity, and some stuff from The Bruery. I rarely drink this stuff by myself, but I'll invite some friends over and we'll crack open a few on the front porch.
Any beer you're particularly excited about?
A bottle of Firestone Walker Parabola, which apparently is one of the better Russian Imperial Stouts out there. It sold out in like 30 minutes in Denver. I'm saving it for the first freeze this winter.
Are you going to eat a Muchaco with it?
No, when I eat Muchacos I drink PBR.