Sweet Ballz Brand Cake Balls Are a Real Thing

Categories: Dude Food

I was sure it was a parody. A news release touting Sweet Ballz, a Dallas-based company specializing in marble-sized confections read like a Saturday Night Live sketch. Co-founders of the company had been making cake balls for friends and family for years and had recently found a way to manufacture them on a larger scale. Now Sweet Ballz were available at 7-Eleven's everywhere, for $1.99 to $2.99, depending on your location.

If that sounds innocuous, the release marked the beginning of testicular cancer awareness month, which is conveniently this June. Every Sweet Ballz purchase would help save testicles, the release read, concluding with a reminder to check your own family jewels every month.

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Burger King Stuffs a Burger With Cheese and Bacon, 'Cause Laying it on Top is so 2012

Categories: Dude Food

Justin Bitner
By hiding the bacon in the burger, no one can tell how little bacon is in there. Brilliant strategy.
It seems as if every few months, Burger King throws something out into the marketplace that seems to say, "Ah, you know we're just kidding everybody ... unless it works, then we totally meant to do that." It's very similar to watching Ryan Lochte form a complete sentence. That seems to be the tenor with their latest discharge of products, one of which is their Bacon Cheddar Stuffed Burger ($3.99, sandwich only).

The name is fairly self-explanatory; it's a burger with pockets of bacon and cheddar interspersed throughout the patty, as opposed to laying the whole ingredients themselves atop the meat in traditional fashion. The sandwich is completed with lettuce, tomato, a couple onion rings, ketchup and mayonnaise. A potato-esque "artisan-style" bun holds it all together.

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Ruffles Introduces New Beer-Battered Onion Ring Chips + A Handful of Old Pennies

Not an actual new flavor, but they get points for humor.
Plano-based Frito-Lay continues its flavor-palooza with new beer-battered onion ring flavored Ruffles, said to offer "guys the ultimate party snack."

Sorry, ladies. You just have to stick to plain ol' Ruffles with ridges.

Ruffles MAX beer-battered onion rings complements any tailgating party or guys' weekend and is available nationwide for only a limited time. So, go ahead and plan your next book club or play date, fellas. These won't be around long.

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NAAN's $4 Cheeseburger is Truly Amazing. Not the Best, and Not Good, But Amazing.

photo by foodbitch
So there's this burger. A burger that lives inside a sushi restaurant. Its creator claims its fame to every customer who will listen. The claim is that it's the best in town.

A co-worker told me about it a while back. I'd been to NAAN before, and it's fine. Nothing to write home about. But the tale of this burger intrigued me. How could this guy think he has the best burger in town? In Dallas, no less, a town of many, many acclaimed burgers? "He owned a steakhouse," my co-worker replied.

Well, I owned a Barbie Dream House once. That doesn't mean I can make tiny plastic high heels.

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A Commenter Vouched For Bryan Street Tavern's Wings, and Now We Can Too

Categories: Dude Food

Scott Reitz
Oh so close to Buffalo wings
Still feeling rudderless on the bar-food scene in Dallas, last week I asked Aters to help me find the city's best chicken wings. I asked that they be crispy. I asked that they be sauced in Frank's, and I ask that they be served with a side of baseball on a television.

Almost 20 chimed in, touting Angry Dog, Pluckers, Wingstop and others, but username Mhigbe's comment stood out:

Bryan Street Tavern. Blue cheese (don't bother with the ranch - too much dill).

It was the "too much dill" part that made me want to take a closer look. Scratch dressings are a sign that a restaurant at least cares. That's really all it takes to make a decent chicken wing.

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Wanted: Buffalo-Style Chicken Wings

Scott Reitz
Deep fried, delicious buffalo style wings
It's a lousy obsession but the burden is mine to bear. I've loved tearing into chicken wings since I discovered them in college. A small chain originally called BW3's that's gone on to become a Chicken Wing Walmart served decently fried renditions with about a dozen sauces. Buffalo Wild Wings, as it's now called, pretty much sucks now that it's more of a McDonald's than a pub, but I've gone on to find decent wings at lots of smaller bars in almost every town I visit.

Until I moved to Dallas.

It's still early, but I don't see them on bar menus quite as often down here. Perhaps it's a matter of geography? The wings I love were born in Buffalo, New York before they worked their way south, becoming popular enough to warrant a feature in the New Yorker. Since then they've been subjected to an endless number of treatments and flavorings, some delightful (I love you, jerk wings) and others a victim of excessive creativity (please make the garlic butter stop).

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Dude Food Has Beer For Breakfast

Categories: Dude Food
Noah W. Bailey
Beats your hippie bowl of Kashi, huh?
8949 Garland Road

Dude Factor: 10, or The Hangover, on a scale of 1 (Very Bad Things) to 10. 

A good friend of mine describes Barbec's as "where East Dallas meets East Texas." Walk in any morning and you'll see what he means -- you might rub elbows with contractors and old blue hairs as well as high school kids and the Lance Armstrong-worshiping set, who somehow find it perfectly acceptable to show their balls to an entire restaurant full of strangers (pack some jeans in the backpack, Lakewood LeMond.)

We started coming to Barbec's in the '80s, and we're pretty sure the same old dude's been busing the tables ever since. The wait staff is also delightfully devoid of hipsters -- if you don't like being called "honey" or "sweetie" by a spunky old lady, this isn't the restaurant for you.

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Dude Food First Look: Lockhart Smokehouse

Noah W. Bailey
A few dozen Oak Cliff residents and barbecue addicts braved the frozen streets and frigid temperatures to enjoy opening day this morning at Lockhart Smokehouse, the highly awaited new 'cue joint in the Bishop Arts District. As of 1 p.m., the place was out of meat, but luckily Dude Food got there early enough to sample a few different cuts.

The set-up is mostly true to the "Lockhart" name -- the line forms in the back near the smoker, and after you get your meat, you chow down at one of the tables in the large front room. There's also a bar, which should be fully operational once the ice melts and deliveries resume on schedule. We asked about getting a beer, but apparently the cans of Shiner, Miller Light and Coors Light on the shelves were display models only.

Beef was listed at $7.50 per half-pound, pork chops and ribs at $6.25 per half-pound, sausage $5 for original and $5.25 for jalapeño, and chickens were $10 whole, $5.50 for half. Barbecue beans, slaw, potato salad and deviled eggs were $2 for small, $4 for large, while sliced cheddar in Ziploc bags were $1 or $2.

A sample of shoulder clod was offered to those of us waiting in line, and the tiny morsel we scarfed was some of the finest barbecue we've had in North Texas -- equal parts smoke, crust and succulent, fatty moisture. Unfortunately, it was mostly downhill from there. The moral of the tale -- don't get carried away and buy $30 worth of BBQ based on one bite. We'll definitely be back though. Our individual observations were as follows:

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BBQ, lockhart

Let's Get Smashed, Dudes!

Categories: Dude Food
2222 McKinney Ave.

Dude Factor: 8, or Orson Welles, on a scale of 1 (Britney Spears) to 10 (David Hasselhoff)

We'd been hearing positive buzz about the Addison Smashburger ever since it opened a little over a year ago. Unfortunately, we rarely go to Addison for burgers. We might venture up there once in a blue moon for some birthday churrasco or something, but until they remove that obnoxious exclamation point from the city logo and take torches and pitchforks to the Pete's Dueling Piano Bar, we'll continue to steer clear. Rabble rabble rabble.

Luckily, the folks at Smashburger had the presence of mind to open a franchise just down the street from Observer headquarters, where we couldn't help but finally stumble upon it.
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Dude Food: Dairy Palace isn't Quite Fit for a King

Categories: Dude Food
Dairy Palace
2301 N. Trade Days Blvd.

Dude Factor: 5, or Antiques Roadshow, on a scale of 1 (Cash In The Attic) to 10 (Pawn Stars). 

The little missus and I recently found ourselves with an unexpectedly free weekend and a serious case of wanderlust, so we pulled out a map and decided on a destination for a quick day trip. We landed on the Pineywoods metropolis of Tyler  where we'd eventually visit a state park, a nice zoo, a fancy Mexican joint in a mansion where you could get a burrito stuffed with a chile relleno, and a badass tiger sanctuary where we got to see Michael Jackson's old tiger, I shit you not.

But before we made it to Tyler, we had to stop for lunch, and the Dairy Palace beckoned with promises of "world famous hamburgers" and 32 flavors of Blue Bell. I remembered healthy crowds here when I visited as a child, but having forgotten that it was the final first Monday weekend before Christmas, little prepared me for the onslaught we'd find when we entered the place, which was packed with truckers, people in Christmas sweaters and a guy wearing  one of these boingy hats.

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