Rodeo Goat's Christmas In July Burger Is a Big, Messy Present for Your Mouth

Categories: Eat This

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Amy McCarthy
Looks simple, but Santa has a lot going on.

The concept of "Christmas In July" promotions has never really made much sense to me. This is Texas, and nothing about triple-digit temperatures makes me think of the holiday season. Still, what likely started as a clever marketing strategy for stores to boost sluggish summer sales has inspired a damn delicious burger at Rodeo Goat in Fort Worth.

Rodeo Goat is known for making creative and sometimes odd-sounding burgers, and this year's tribute to the holiday season is no exception. The "Santa" burger, available at Rodeo Goat for a limited time, is a surprisingly successful mishmash of Chef Jaymes Murphy's favorite holiday dishes on a buttery, perfectly toasted bun.


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The Fleeting Joy of Joyce and Gigi's Salteñas

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Get these salteñas while you still can.
It's been more than a year since I talked with Gigliola Aguilera about the salteñas she planned to cook occasionally in her tiny kitchen at Joyce and Gigi's. I called Aguilera out for not putting the stew-filled pastries on her menu, mostly because they're delicious but also because the delicacy hails from Bolivia, where Aguilera was raised.

To my surprise she told me she was actually working on them, but because her kitchen was the size of a business card she'd only be able to offer them as a special now and then. She told me to watch for news on her restaurant's Facebook feed. It's not as simple a task as it sounds.

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A Guide to Eating on McKinney's Town Square

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Sara Kerens
Square Burger on McKinney's town square.
Unlike other town centers, where everything looks like it was erected in late 2010, McKinney's town square holds a lot of character. Some of the small boutiques are worth taking a peek into just to check out the old buildings that house them. An antique dealer now sits in the former bank, where the guts of the vault are open to walk through and the heavy metal door stands open on its hinges.

The antique store is one of many on the square, but is probably the third tenant to occupy the space over the course of only four years. The retail shops here rotate in and out like this, too. But the restaurants are unusually stable. They've been here for years, quietly establishing reputations and catering to locals.

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No Fuck You, John Tesar, Because Knife's Ozersky Burger Ruined Burgers for Me

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Nick Rallo
The OZERSKY burger, with two happy coats of American Cheese
The first thing that happens at John Tesar's three-Brenner-star Knife, after you order a glacially-cold beer from an iPad, is a flight of complimentary crudités (fancy word for chopped, fresh vegetables with dip) hits the table. The place-mats look like woven, Elvish armor. Because this is Texas, the crudités comes with a boat sail of homemade beef jerky. A tray of bread shuttles around, and you get a butter structure that looked Roman. I grabbed a pretzel roll because who doesn't like pretzel rolls? All this happens before a burger that sets you back a mere 12 bucks, and it's one of the most fun and simply best meat experiences in Dallas.

See also:
- Our full review of Knife
- Chef John Tesar Told the Dallas Morning News' Food Critic "Fuck You," and Life Is Good

I sat at the counter facing the kitchen, which made the experience more fun. There are few things better in life than watching a cook not disturb your burger. I watched one of the chef's season it, a nice winter coat of salt and pepper (only) from what I could tell, and place it gently on the griddle. She only disturbed the burger's sizzling meditation to do a quick flip.

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A Guide to Drinking (OK, and Eating) in Uptown

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Sara Kerens
Uptown can be a minefield, but there are plenty of good finds, too.
Uptown may be one of Dallas' most recognizable neighborhoods. It's also got a reputation for being a bit of a minefield, filled with towering heels, excess hair product and a slew of mediocre or downright terrible restaurants and bars. Despite the reputation, though, there are some great finds along and around McKinney Avenue, and if you've got great weather, everything is within walking distance with each other or that rickety trolly that connects it all. You can make a very fuzzy day of it.

When in Uptown, we drink, and The Common Table (pictured above) is probably the best place to explore beer. Local brews are well represented, but other taps pour beers from around the world. There's a great front porch and patio and a pretty solid Reuben. You could spend your whole Uptown-themed day here and not feel like you've missed much, but there are plenty of other places to drink, too.

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There Are Wild Boar Empanadas at FM Smokehouse, and You Want to Eat Them

Categories: Eat This

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Amy McCarthy
Meat + Pie = Obviously
Most people in Dallas have no real reason to venture over to Irving for dinner, but FM Smokehouse is the exception to the rule, and the kind of place that might change your mind about venturing that way.

Owner Brian Rudolph, best known for his craft beer-focused Holy Grail Pub in West Plano, has worked with Chef Marcus Cutler to create a smoked meat sanctuary in the suburbs that rivals Dallas' best barbecue spots, especially when you factor in an extensive and well-curated selection of craft beers from Texas and beyond.

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Where to Eat During DFW Restaurant Week

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Scott Reitz
Tei An: One of your best Restaurant Week bets.
Ah, Restaurant Week. The time of year when your favorite neighborhood restaurants are flooded with people who only dine out a few times a year. It's a week notorious for bad service, small portions and watered-down menus, but unlike some other cities' versions, DFW's benefits the North Texas Food Bank and the Lena Pope Home. And so we go, ready to eat and spend. We just choose carefully.

There are more than 100 restaurants in the metroplex that participate, and many are great places to dine, despite the throngs of people and stressed out servers. If you're planning on making your reservation (and you should soon; they go pretty fast), consider these five, which are, in our estimation, among those most worth throwing down $35 for.

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Fighting the Texas Heat with a Little Help from Antojitos Jalisco

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Obed Manuel

Can you feel the hellish heat creeping up on us? The folks at Antojito's Jalisco will gladly pour you a cup of their ice-cold aguas frescas ("fresh waters") or mix up one of their several specialty drinks, like a Rusa, to fend off the three-digit temperatures.
  
The chubby kid inside me jumped for joy when I walked into this small establishment located in the heart of Oak Cliff.  Someone finally thought to open a one-stop shop for all the best Mexican treats or "little cravings," which is what antojitos means.
  
Antojito's Jalisco (428 E. Jefferson Blvd) carries a menu of more than 30 Mexican snacks and treats. Because my wallet wouldn't agree with me trying the entire menu, here are three of their most refreshing options. 
 


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Newcomer Chef Brooke Egger's First Four Dallas Dining Destinations

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Chef Brooke Egger orders you to eat at Bolsa. For your own good.

Moving across the country to take an executive chef position at one of the country's only permanent pop-up restaurants doesn't exactly leave a lot of time for leisure. When chef Brooke Egger of Kitchen LTO made the trek from California to Texas, she had no idea what to expect about the city, its diners, or most important, the restaurants she'd be competing with.

Despite her chaotic schedule in the kitchen, Egger has still managed to cover some pretty good ground in the Dallas restaurant scene in the month that she's been here. Take a few tips from someone who's cooked at and eaten at great restaurants all over the world and check out these four spots.

Bolsa
Critics have been raving about what chef Andrew Bell has been able to do at Bolsa (pictured above) in Bishop Arts, and Egger only had nice things to say about the menu there. Her memory was a little hazy -- she went to Bolsa after Margarita Meltdown -- but she did remember a smoked fish served in a jar that she described as "amazing."

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Go Eat This Right Now: Nutella Rolls at Zoli's

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Zoli's New York Pizza/Instgram
There's no disputing that even though it's relatively young, Zoli's New York Pizza in Bishop Arts is one of the city's best spots to buy a slice. After owner Jay Jerrier brought in born-and-bred New Yorker Lee Hunzinger to lead the kitchen earlier this year, the pizza there just got better. The crispy thin crusts got lighter, were cooked a little more evenly and tweaked with ingredients like chef Brian Luscher's Italian sausage to make a great product even better.

Since taking over at Zoli's, Hunzinger has introduced several new menu options. On any given day, you'll find at least one specialty pie of the day, a stromboli and maybe a chicken Parmesan wrap alongside the usual thin crust and "Grandma" style pies. Best of all are the decadent dessert rolls that Hunzinger first perfected a few years ago when he was working in New York before bringing them to the menu at Zoli's.


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