Melt Ice Creams Is Simple and Awesome and Worth the Drive to Fort Worth

Categories: First Look

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Amy McCarthy
Sunshine in a sea of beige.
In an area that is hot for most of the year, it's somewhat surprising that there aren't more local ice cream shops in Dallas-Fort Worth. There are plenty of places to find paletas and popsicles, but a pint of hand-churned ice cream made with local ingredients is a little more difficult to find in Dallas.

You'll have to drive to Fort Worth, but Melt Ice Creams' "farm-to-cone" frozen treats are worth the trip.

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A Sneak Preview of Scotch & Sausage, Which Opens Today in Oak Lawn (Photos)

Categories: First Look

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After months of taunting Oak Lawn with its contemporary design and one-two punch of a name, Scotch & Sausage (2808 Oak Lawn Ave.) finally opens its doors today at 11 a.m. The causal restaurant and beer garden offers more than 20 varieties of sausage "sandwiches" (which are basically like giant, more complex hot dogs) for up to $8. The sausages are all either created in house or made locally, according to the restaurants recipes, and include the basics; pork, beef, chicken and vegan options. But there's also some slightly more adventurous meats like venison, quail and antelope.

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The Green Door Public House, Once a Bank and Long a Bar, Is Now Open in Downtown Dallas

Categories: First Look

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Kathryn DeBruler
The Liberty Bank building has quite the provenance. It has been four saloons, one bank and now, over a century after it was built, the building is home to Green Door Public House.

Architect Craig Melde relocated the building from its original site at the intersection of Cesar Chavez and Elm Street to South Harwood Street, near the Dallas Farmers Market. And now Bryan and Kathy Crelly, the duo behind Deep Ellum's Uncle Uber's Sammich Shop, have turned the first floor of the building into their latest foray into Dallas' bar and dining scene.

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Firecrust Neapolitan Pizzeria, a Fast-Casual Pie Shop Near Knox-Henderson, Is Now Open

Categories: First Look

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Photos by Kathryn DeBruler
The new paint smell is one of the dead giveaways that Firecrust Neapolitan Pizzeria just opened. The other is the staff, who are eager in a way that only fresh hires can be. This much becomes apparent as white-jacketed employees rush to man their respective stations and greet customers. With time, their zeal for topping pizzas will plummet in reaction to demanding customers, orders gone awry and inevitable marinara-based incidents. Until their customer service souls are crushed into oblivion, though, employees will treat you to an overview of how Firecrust works -- enhanced by Vanna White hand gestures -- without ever breaking eye contact.

The way it works is this: The pizzas are personal, one-size-fills-all. There are three bases to choose from: the margherita ($6.75), the marinara ($5.50) and the bianca ($5.75.) The latter is a no-sauce, "white" option for all the pizza nihilists out there, while the first two feature red sauces made from San Marzano tomatoes.

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Choose Your Own Adventure at S&M Eats

Categories: First Look

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Photos by Kathryn DeBruler

One of the keys to any good eating establishment is being able to find it. S&M Eats, newly opened and making use of The Grapevine Bar's adjacent kitchen space, appears very approachable. Located just off Maple Avenue, S&M is painted an inviting how-do-you-do turquoise, which is offset by punchy neon green chairs and an awning that beckons potential patrons under its umbrella.

When I was there, however, the walk-up window was shuttered. The chairs? Empty. And the only person standing under the awning was me, looking confused. I could hear the sounds of people enjoying themselves. I even caught a faint whiff of caramelized pork belly. Was I overlooking the "this way" arrow, or does S&M Eats exist only in an ephemeral, Platform 9 and ¾ way? ....Was I the Muggle of tacos?

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Pera Wine & Tapas Is Open in North Dallas, Makes Really Nice Use of an Old Taco Bueno

Categories: First Look
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Photos by Kathryn DeBruler
Ah, yes, Taco Bueno buildings. Such distinct architecture, so difficult to mask. But dammit if Habip Kargin, chef and owner of Pera Wine and Tapas, hasn't tried. This particular former Taco Bueno, near the corner of Belt Line and Preston, has been reincarnated several times over the years. It's been a fish fry, two burger joints and now, having reached enlightenment, a tapas bar. More »

The Ivy Tavern, a New Pub on Lemmon, Is Now Open (Photos)

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Photos by Catherine Downes
The Ivy Tavern, located at 5334 Lemmon Avenue, opened early this month in the space that once housed a place called Kitty's. While we're not entirely sure what Kitty's used to be -- some sort of dive bar, it seems? -- a beer-guzzling patron tells us the venue has received a serious facelift since the folks at Ivy Tavern took over. Those folks are Lisa and Elia "Tom" Georgalis, former owners of Inwood Tavern.

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A First Look at Bishop Cider Co., Oak Cliff's Long-Awaited Cider House

Categories: First Look

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Steven Harrell
It DOES exist.

Over a year ago, Joel Malone and his wife Laura celebrated the full funding of their Kickstarter campaign. After a year of planning, they'd decided to go live and managed to raise $20,000 to start Dallas' first cidery.

All good, right? Wrong. Thanks to loads of red tape, centering on the fact that cider is technically considered to be wine (because it's made from fruit, not grains), Joel and Laura weren't able to obtain the necessary permits to open until two weekends ago. Even then, due to delays in a shipping schedule, brewmaster Laura wasn't actually able to start their first three batches of Dallas-made hard cider until last week. She's been brewing cider for three years and decided to start with three original recipes -- Cideways (a hopped cider with lemongrass), Suicider (a spicy, autumnal cider) and Cat Scratch Fever (cider flavored with jalapeno and catnip). Catnip? Catnip.

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An Up Close Look at San Salvaje, Stephan Pyles' New Restaurant Downtown (Photos)

Categories: First Look

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San Salvaje, located downtown at 2100 Ross Avenue (in the former home of Samar) opened its doors early last month, plating dishes that are inspired by chef and owner Stephan Pyles' travels through South America.

The menu is divided into seven sections, and includes creative twists on Latin cuisine with items like yellowtail ceviche ($12), smoked duck tacos with rhubarb salsa ($10) and crab arepas ($10). South American wines are featured as well as Latin-inspired cocktails like mojitos, pisco sours and Caipirinhas (the national cocktail of Brazil, made with cachaça and lime).

You can check out more photos of San Salvaje below.


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Hiding Out in East Dallas' Whistling Pig, the New Bar by the Guy Behind Cock and Bull

Categories: First Look

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Look familiar?
It was a food critic's seventh-worst nightmare: While trying to get caught up on new bars and restaurants, I found myself at the Whistling Pig, a new bar on Ferguson Road in East Dallas, down an eating partner. Most of chef Asher Stevens' new menu looked good, but the pastrami sandwich and the Cuban were duking it out in my mind, like two heavyweight prize fighters. Both had meat, warmth and oozing cheese pulling for them, and I only have one belly. I had a tough decision to make.

When polled, the entire bar (read: three lonely bar flies including one sour cream salesman who likes to golf) voted for the Cuban sandwich. But I trusted my inner heavyweight and pulled for pastrami. The deli meat is made in house, just like the corned beef for the Reuben sandwich is back at Stevens' first bar and restaurant, the Cock and Bull, and that sandwich has been one of my favorites in Dallas for three years standing.

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