How Dallas Restaurants Are (And Aren't) Honoring Veterans on Veterans Day

via Stars and Stripes
Hook these boys up.
Veteran's Day is one of those holidays that doesn't get as much fanfare as the ones where you get presents or chocolate. Whatever your feelings on United States foreign policy, the men and women in the United States Armed Forces give up a lot, and this holiday is meant to honor those sacrifices. For many restaurants, that means giving veterans and active duty military members free food on Veteran's Day.

Freebies are abundant on Veteran's Day. Dozens of national restaurant chains that will be feeding vets for free today. Krispy Kreme is handing out free donuts and coffee, and Cantina Laredo and Silver Fox are saying thanks by giving veterans and active duty personnel a complimentary entree. Hooters, Red Lobster, Baskin Robbins and Outback Steakhouse also have Veteran's Day offers, so long as you can provide a valid military ID.

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

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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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Ranch Doesn't Belong on Pizza, Because Ranch Doesn't Belong on Pizza

Mark this as the week Jay Jerrier blew up the Internet. Again.

The owner of three Cane Rosso pizzerias has long made known his disapproval for ranch dressing as a condiment for Neapolitan pies, going so far as to offer customers a bottle of Hidden Valley for the low price of $1,000.

Recently, though, Reddit user Brostash (yeah, bro!) snapped a picture of the bottle and posted it to the site, where users screamed though more than 800 comments in less than seven hours.

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In the Battle of Doughnuts versus Cupcakes, Dallas Is Apparently a Two-Pastry Town

Scott Reitz
Hypnotic's Peacestacio Doughnut
You know how at the beginning of Gravity (spoiler alert) George Clooney is tooting around space on a jetpack, which at a fatally important time loses all its juice? Clooney slowly and helplessly floats into space, somewhere high above the Serengeti. There's a metaphor here (somewhere) about the cupcake trend that started a decade or more ago, fueled by soft mounds of icing. Yet despite a downtick, these little cakes keep reappearing. Or is this just a dream sequence?

Case in point: Smallcakes, a Kansas City-based cupcake confectionary, is opening a new store in Mockingbird Station today, its third local spot. Plus we have a Sprinkles, a Sprinkles ATM and a handful of locally-based bakers, including Trailercakes and Society Bakery, which Scott Reitz cracked out on recently.

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Where Would House Of Cards' Claire Underwood Dine When Back Home in the Park Cities?

"Fundraiser at Bubba's?"
Spoilers ahead. Tread lightly.

If you aren't watching the Netflix original series House of Cards, stop reading this article immediately. If you're at work, go home, turn on Netflix, and prepare to spend the next 12 hours being consumed by one of the best shows sort of on television. You won't regret it.

If have been watching, you might have been surprised to learn that Claire Underwood, wife of Kevin Spacey's Frank Underwood, is a Dallas native. Highland Park, of course -- she's the daughter of a wealthy businessman. I always knew there was something I liked about that woman, aside from her ruthless brilliance and impeccable wardrobe.

Claire's husband is an important politician, sure, but everyone makes it back home to see their folks from time to time, which got me to thinking. Where would Claire Underwood eat when she came back to Dallas? I think these five places are a pretty good start.

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Which Food Trend Are You?

Course 7 Lucifer Cake and Banana Ice Cream Cheese Icing with Strawberry-Ginger Foam by Marc Cassel and Keith Cedotal.jpeg.jpg
Dammit, I got Foam. I totally thought I was Cronut.
Who cares which Golden Girl you are? OK, Facebook really, really cares. But, wouldn't you rather know which food trend you are? OF COURSE YOU WOULD. Behold: The Which Food Trend Are You Quiz. Behold it. And get out your solar-powered calculator or a 5-year-old.

Answer the following questions. Then, our fancy system (read: your calculator or small child) will add up your score and reveal your answer.

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After a Trip to Burning Man, a Dallas Pizza Shop Ditches Unnatural Sodas and GMOs

Flickr - eponamusic at Burning Man
Recently we reported that after 50 years in business in Dallas, Pizza by Marco had to change its name to My Family's Pizza due to a trademark infringement. Frank Nuccio, son of the original owner, explained that his father never trademarked the name and instead of spending a lot of money on a lawsuit, he decided just to get new signage.

See Also: Chipotle Puts Down Burritos to Make a Film About Displaced Scarecrows, and It's Sad

Frank's changes won't stop there, however. The younger Nuccio has had an aberration of sorts recently about the path our industrial food system has taken. Like many others, he's questioning what's in our food and how it affects our health, specifically GMOs, sweeteners and chemicals in our water.

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Dino Santonicola of Il Cane Rosso on Rolling Dough, Burning Pies and Staying Employed

Dino Santonicola's official title is "Master Pizzaiolo," a degree of sorts that he started when he got his first job at a pizza restaurant down the street from his house in the Spanish Quarter of Naples, Italy. He's certified as a Verace Pizzaiolo Napoletano, which literally translates to true Napoltano pizzamaker.

As he describes on his website, as a master pizzaiolo he's the "alchemist" who brings together the three most important elements of authentic Neapolitan pizza: pure ingredients from Italy, a thin crust that is simultaneously soft and crispy and, finally, the craftsmanship to work the magic of a giant wood-fired brick oven that reaches 900 degrees Fahrenheit.

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What Do Servers Look for in a Server?

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If you dine out regularly, you've probably experienced it: a server flashing that deer-in-headlights stare and coughing up a lame "I don't really know" to your question about an item on the menu. It's enough to make you suggest to your server the he or she consider other career options -- in government service or technical support, say -- but you hold back. You've heard the legends about waiters spitting in food or dropping steaks on the floor in the name of vengeance.

If it helps soothe your exasperation, know that you're not alone. Some of the harshest critics of wait staff are other members of the service industry.

"Lack of menu knowledge is a huge turn off," says veteran chain restaurant server and key hourly Ariana. "It's like you just want to ask 'How long have you been working here? Do you think maybe you could go and, I don't know, ask someone?'"

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Caught Short When Your Dinner Tab Arrives ... Now What?

We've all heard that if you don't have money to pay for your dinner they'll hand you an apron and put you to work washing dishes. This antiquated scenario is charming enough, but let's say you leave your wallet on the coffee table on your way out the door. After a full meal and a bottle of wine you reach for the cash and you've got nothing. Your guest also has nothing.

So what really happens if you don't have the money to pay your tab?

Executive chef Brian Luscher of Dallas favorite The Grape says there are a few options, and all of them end in you paying.

"The few times it's happened here people are so embarrassed they're offering us their child until they can come up with something," he says.

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