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

Categories: Eat This

Thumbnail image for Offsite_SaraKerens_BurgerWithfries.jpg
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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Fine, Whataburger, We'll Eat the Jalapeno Cheddar Biscuit

Nick Rallo
Fast food breakfast is coming in all sorts of portable shapes and sizes these days. There's the billfold shape, the cylinder, the oddly perfect sphere and the oblong doughnut, and -- looking at you,Taco Bell -- the frisbee / ninja star. Thanks to the enduring charm of the fast food industry, the one that continues to surprise us with new batshit food items, we will surely get new, futuristic items like ghost eggs and the deep fried thumbs up.

Whataburger, however, is often immune to the madness. Their new products involve such absurd food creations as chicken, peppers, and green chiles. The newest release --brace yourselves -- the totally normal-shaped jalapeno cheddar biscuit.

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East Hampton's Burger Is Not the Burger Dallas Needs, But It's the Burger Dallas Deserves

Lori Bandi
The good news is: Dallas will not crumble tomorrow if a new cheeseburger isn't debuted in the city limits. All new cheeseburgers are welcome, of course: I'm not purporting some sort of cheeseburger xenophobia here. I'm just saying that on the burger majesty scale we here in Dallas are Burger Kings. We've got Offsite Kitchen and Maple and Motor if you're on the West side, Bolsa and Boulevardier's beautiful thing if you're up near where Lee Harvey Oswald's house was, Hopdoddy if you're somewhere in the middle there and feeling thrifty, Keller's if you're feeling more thrifty, and Holy Grail has a special burger if you're in Plano. You're covered.

So, really, there's no need for East Hampton Sandwich Company to make a great burger. There's nothing in the restaurant's name that says bun, happy, Donald's, cheesed, hambomb, beef coaster, meat disc, beef seat, beef hole cover, lettuce rester, sliderous beeferous, angus wheels, cow circles, planet meat, meat wreaths or grass-fed bovine medallions. East Hampton doesn't need a burger, but there it is on the menu, being delicious.

Sure, the sandwiches are kick ass. Just don't overlook that burger.

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A Letter to Velvet Taco's Texas Burger Taco

How's it going, Texas burger taco? Hope all is well on your end.

I'm heading out to see you soon -- in just a few minutes I'll be all smoking tires and fishtailing-Honda out of my apartment building. My plan was to order you, with a glacially cold local root beer, and eat you while sitting on the curb. With no one around, of course -- you're best without judgmental company. Side note: I'm pretty sure I look like Gollum putting the one ring on when I eat you. In the past, eating you has resulted in whole orchestras of "mmms" and exclamatory phrases like "Holy Santa shit." So, I wanted to write this note, in advance of my coming, to let you know that I respect you.

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At Uptown's CrushCraft, the Best Stuff Isn't on the Main Menu and May Never Be

Categories: Eat This

CrushCraft's pla phat pik will only live on if you eat a lot of it.
When you walk into CrushCraft, there are two menus to peruse. One looks a little like the menu board at Chipotle, with 10 or so dishes you'll mostly recognize. The other menu is scrawled on a a series of sheets of butcher paper that serve as a sort of proving ground for the restaurant.

There are tofu fries and spring rolls and tom ka gai, which isn't always available. There's also a sheet that displays two seemingly random dishes, one of which is the pla phat pik pictured above. Chef Paul Singhapong comes up with dishes, draws up descriptions and tracks their sales for a period of time. Strong performers are considered for the permanent menu.

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Beware This Ten Bells Tavern Burger, for It Will Make Your Night (and Ruin Your Shirt)

Categories: Eat This

Nick Rallo
It is now known that the Socal burger at Ten Bells Tavern comes with two omens. The first came in the form of a kind waiter, who warned me of a possible doom: "Leave the wrapper on as a long as you can." I thought, "the prophecy of the meat juice is real!" The other came in the form of a black cat. Moments before diving into one of the most intense burgers in Dallas, a night-black cat jumped onto my table. It stared at me, and I stared right back. Seriously, there's a photo.

Ten Bells Tavern, which the Observer gave Best Bar Food last year, has excellent marksmanship. Their wings come with a blue cheese fondue, the BLT comes with an S for spicy shrimp, and they have a damn french fry sandwich called the Ten Bells Butty. Side note: We'd like everything with a side of spicy butty. The other night, on the sun-stroked patio next to the quaint little tin house, I got a burger that should have come with the Game of Thrones theme.

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The Green Room's Blacktooth Burger Has a Crown Royal and Coke Sauce, and It's Delicious

Categories: Eat This

Nick Rallo
The Blacktooth, which is not a serial killer from True Detective.
There's a good chance you'll be roving Deep Ellum soon, hunting for food. If you're a City of Ate regular, it's a safe bet you'll be on the brain-eating-zombie-like hunt for a cheeseburger that doesn't suck. So here's some great news: The Green Room, which shed its fancy skeleton last year and updated its image to be a little more White Snake-esque, has some food that really, really doesn't suck. They have steak tacos with heaping piles of pickled red onions and carnitas with a Dr Pepper gravy, which, holy hell mouth, have you heard of a better combination of words?

Late last night, when the Mardi Gras jangling brass was pouring onto Elm Street from the Twilite Lounge, The Green Room was quiet -- except for, you know, the heavy metal playing on the jukebox. A big, colorful chalkboard above the exposed kitchen tells you the menu. Def Leppard's "Foolin" was playing. So, let's get to the burger:

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It's Fat Tuesday, So Go Eat Some Pancakes

Categories: Eat This

The blueberry pancakes at Smoke

In the United States, Fat Tuesday largely means going to eat a bunch of rich delicious food and getting really, really drunk. In other parts of the world, though, the holiday stays much closer to its humble Medieval origins.

Since the 15th century, Shrove Tuesday has been a way for devout Catholics (and pancake lovers) to use up butter, eggs, and milk before they become forbidden during Lent. Even if you're not Catholic, there's no reason to let an excuse to gorge yourself on delicious pancakes go by. If you missed the opportunity to have pancakes for breakfast this morning, you better be having them for dinner.

Historically, kids used to go door to door and ask their neighbors for pancakes on Shrove Tuesday and throw broken pottery at their house if they refused. Thanks to these five delicious restaurants, you won't have to do that. Again, if you missed the opportunity to have pancakes for breakfast this morning, you better be having them for dinner.


1. Cafe Brazil

Cafe Brazil is the obvious choice for pancakes. They always serve pancakes that are consistently delicious, they're open late (some 24 hours), and they have locations all over the metroplex. If traditional short-stack pancakes aren't your thing, try the Pancrepes that are topped with fresh fruit and creme Anglaise. Or, get savory with chicken- and spinach-filled crepes with a spicy cream sauce.

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Searching Dallas for Huitlacoche, AKA the "Corn Smut" on That Quesadilla

Categories: Eat This

Quesadilla with huitlacoche at El Atoron
The first time I encountered huitlacoche in Dallas I was at a Café Momentum dinner featuring chef Abraham Salum. The bowl had a beautiful corn chowder, if I recall, and was garnished with the tiniest dab of huitlacoche -- barely enough to emit the faintest aroma and a bit of a tease if you're a fan of the delicacy.

The second time I bumped into huitlacoche I was dining at Stephan Pyles' Stampede 66. Pyles used just enough of the huitlacoche in an emulsion to turn the sauce a loamy gray. The flavor was imperceivable.

An ingredient that bears the name "Mexican truffle" deserves more than to be used as a casual accent. What I was looking for was a dish that was heaped with the stuff and little else -- a huitlacoche taco, or a quesadilla -- and I finally found it in a small taquerìa on Henderson Avenue.

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