Off-Site Kitchen In the Trinity Groves Could Open this Fall With Very Extended Hours

Categories: Food News

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Catherine Downes
Off-Site Kitchen opened in its first tiny home on Irving Boulevard on Valentine's Day in 2012, and only then did we know that Cupid was real and his cute girth was because he loves smashed cheeseburgers. With a renewed belief in angelic archers, we dove into this new relationship fearlessly. Two years later, we still love owner Nick Badovinus' burgers. A lot.

See Also: Proving Off-Site Kitchen Is Amazing with Actual Real (Sort of) Science

Recently while researching the smashed burger science that explains why OSK keeps calling us back, I found myself with an insane need for a stock cheeseburger. But that wasn't happening anytime soon because at the time I couldn't make the lunch-only hours. The pain. I realize love hurts, but cruelty is unnecessary.

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Four Corners Brewing Lets the "Secret" Out About Its Worker Bee Blend

Categories: Brews News

You know how some fast food joints have a "secret menu?" In order to make you feel like an exclusive, in-the-know customer, these places have come up with combinations of ubiquitous ingredients that most, if not all, of their employees know how to whip together. If you order a Quesarito at Chipotle, for example, you're asking for them to make a burrito wrapped in a quesadilla instead of a plain tortilla. The line between "secret menu" and "being an asshole" is thin at places like Starbucks, which already require their own language to order off of the posted menu. In-N-Out's "secret" menu is such a part of their appeal that they've posted it to their official website.

Well, beer drinkers of Dallas, I'm here to inform you that not-so-secret menus are no longer just for increasing your risk of heart disease. Last week, our own Four Corners Brewing Co. posted a mysterious photo to their Facebook page. Next to the regular tap handle for Local Buzz, someone had hand drawn a label for something called "Worker Bee" and then, presumably, asked a skilled fourth-grader to illustrate it.

For the sake of journalism, I visited Four Corners' All Day Ale House and talked to Zach Petty, a member of the brew team who came up with the mix. I also made sure to taste the beer. You know, for journalism.

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Club Schmitz Is Dead

Categories: Food News

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So long, farewell, and what a bummer.
The Scoop Blog reported moments ago that Club Schmitz, the beloved Dallas dive bar located on Old Denton Road, will close its doors forever on the last day of May. The news will undoubtedly sadden countless barflies and Dallas-style-burger fanatics.

Of course, news of the closing does not come as a surprise. One month ago today news broke that the neighboring RaceTrac gas station had its eye on the land where Club Schmitz has stood for the past 68 years. At that time the RaceTrac folks were conducting a feasibility study and only planned on making an offer for the land if the numbers came out right. Apparently, the numbers came out right, so it's goodbye dive bar and hello extra parking and gasoline pumps.

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Making Music With Sichuan Peppercorns

Categories: Food News

It's been almost three years since I brought a bag of Sichuan peppercorns into the office, and doled them out to an unsuspecting editorial staff. As everyone let the papery husks sit on their tongue they experienced a citrusy electric sensation -- almost a buzzing. "That's disturbing," said one writer, likely because Sichuan peppercorns produce touch perceptions as much as they do taste. It's very unique.

We've known for a long time that compounds called sanshools present in the peppercorns cause the numbing, tingling sensation that electrify the mouth. What's been unknown until recently is how those sanshools work, and NPR has a story about the scientist who discovered just that.

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Happy Easter! I Hate Peeps.

Categories: Complaint Desk

The Chad Houser
Behead your Peeps. Do not eat them.
If you've never had a Peeps, know this: It's like eating a tablespoon of sugar lovingly dusted atop a mouthful of your gramma's cellulite. Pretty sure those are the two main ingredients, just behind yellow dye number gross. This is punishment candy. It's the equivalent of getting a turd in your stocking at Christmas.

And it's not like they look delicious, either. The original Peeps just look like someone took a log of border collie crap, rolled it in yellow sugar, put some eyeballs on it with a brown Sharpie and called it the greatest Easter candy joke of all time.

Of course they're gluten-free. But so is the vomit of every gluten-free-er on the planet. (Opting out entirely is obviously gluten-free. Air don't have no glutes. I just wanted to offer up another chewable option, if that was needed.)

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Super Chix Has Sandwich-Shamed Chick-fil-A. Bless Them.

Categories: Eat This

Last week we reported on Yum! Brands' new creation, which is appropriately dubbed Super Chix. The parent company of KFC, Taco Bell and Pizza Hut has reincarnated battered and fried bird strips, including this sandwich pictured above, in an apparent bid to take over the Chick-fil-A audience.

On my first trip I concentrated on the ambiance and vibe (think Chipotle), and the chicken strips -- particularly since they were free that day. Later in the week I pushed all my pennies into a pile for one of their build-it-your-way sandwiches.

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Stock and Barrel Inches Closer to Late Spring Opening

Categories: Food News

I'm obsessed with this series of YouTube videos titled Build It With Bruce. They feature Bruce Russo, whose design company B.Russo Designs is charged with the build out of Jon Steven's anticipated Bishop Arts restaurant Stock and Barrel.

The last time we checked in, Russo was walking us through the process they used to raise the roof a few feet to open up the space. He also mentioned they were saving as much lumber from the old glass building as possible, but he didn't say much about how they'd use it. This latest video shows what they're up to.

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Gemma Serves Some of the Best Desserts and Tea You Can Find

The pine nut tart with tea service at Gemma.
Photos by Catherine Downes
In Happy Endings, food critic Scott Reitz travels part of the globe that says "Dallas" in search of great desserts and great places to eat them. This is the sixth in an occasional series.

In a few of these Happy Ending columns, I've talked about restaurants whose sweet offerings are so good they are worthy of dessert destination status -- places you'd visit for their confections alone, regardless of whether you've planned on having dinner. Gemma, without a doubt, is worth visiting just for a sugary nightcap. The Henderson Avenue restaurant opened late last year, and if you're interested in learning about the rest of their dinner service you should check out this week's review, but first focus on that pine nut tart pictured above.

See also: Gemma Is Making Beautiful Food, from Sea to Briny Sea

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Proving Off-Site Kitchen Is Amazing with Actual Real (Sort of) Science

Categories: Eat This

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Sara Kerens
Kenji Lopez-Alt with Serious Eats is a prophet of smashed burgers. Yes, burgers that you press on a griddle, potentially squeezing out all the blessed juices. Now we know you just slammed your fist on your keyboard and spat Dr Pepper all over your screen, but hold on to your burger anger for one more second. He explains.

In short, Kenji references a sciency process called the Maillard Reaction, which has a Wikipedia page so it must be true. It has something to do with large proteins breaking down into smaller compounds. It's a bit heavy and distracting for burgertalk, but he says it makes the burger taste meatier, and as long as you press super early in the burger cooking process your burger juices remain intact. There's a chart with blue lines that's titled "smash time vs. final weight." Charts win every time.

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Chef Brian Luscher Is on a Red Hot Streak

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The cheeseburger chef Brian Luscher serves at Sunday brunch at The Grape on Lower Greenville was anointed the Greatest Burger in Texas, and he dishes up cozy comfort food to hundreds of devoted Dallas diners each week. That hasn't gone to his head.

But he is looking to grow. Although the city of Dallas thwarted his first attempt to open a permanent place to sell his Post Oak Red Hots, Luscher isn't discouraged. I sat down to talk with him about his foray into the cured meats business, his love of East Dallas and just how he feels about chefs who take themselves too seriously.

How did you get in the hot dog-making business?
About two years ago, Chad Houser, the Cafe Momentum guy, and his wife managed the White Rock Local Market. She asked Chad and I and a few other chefs to do a demo, and it was in my neighborhood, so I thought it was cool. I got there and saw the beautiful produce, fresh baked bread, candles, local cheeses, an incredible array of groceries, but there was nothing to eat.

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