Bonchon Is Closing, and That's a Shame

Categories: Food News

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So long wings
I feel like we never made it out of the honeymoon phase. Bonchon opened late last year, promising mountains of Korean fried chicken, bowls of crispy pickled radishes and mug after mug of ice-cold beer. I reviewed the restaurant early this year, watched a few football and basketball games at the bar and generally left fat, drunk and happy. There were other people there doing the same, but apparently there weren't enough of us. Bonchon is closing.

"We are rebranding the restaurant to Ashwood," Wyatt Hurt, a consultant working with the restaurant, explains. Sales were not high enough, so the investment team recently started negotiating a way out of their franchise agreement. Hurt says once they hash out all the details the location will close. He estimates it will take two to three weeks.


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Cavilli Pizza Is Now Certified by APN, the New Italian Arbiters of Pizza Greatness

Categories: Food News

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VPN certified 'za from Cane Rosso
When Paolo Cavalli opened Cavilli Pizza, his first pizzeria, in Irving in 2007, he was sure to contact the Associazione Vera Pizza Napoletana (VPN), the group of Neapolitan pizza nerds who certify the world's pizza shops as being Naples-approved. His was the first Texas pizza to be VPN certified, and the distinction earned him a lot of attention.

But over time Cavalli began to wonder if the expense was worth it. He says the VPN charged nearly $2,000 for the annual certification, and the group did little to monitor the quality of the pies in subsequent years.

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Chef John Tesar Told the Dallas Morning News' Food Critic "Fuck You," and Life Is Good

Categories: Food News

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Catherine Downes
Not pictured: Tesar's knife.
This week, John Tesar's new steakhouse, Knife, was reviewed by Leslie Brenner, the longtime critic at The Dallas Morning News. Brenner awarded three stars, an assessment that translates to "very good: a destination restaurant for this type of dining," according to the paper's review and listing policy. You might think an accomplished chef would be happy with such a rating, but Tesar let the entire Twitterverse know otherwise in a tweet that has food blogs across the country talking:

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Why Dallas Restaurants Do (and Don't) Participate in DFW Restaurant Week

Categories: Food News

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Each summer, the restaurant business slows to a crawl as temperatures rival convection ovens and monied customers flee for Colorado. Some restaurateurs use the downtime to close their businesses and give their employees a breather. Some trim employee hours and do their best to make a profit through the slow period. Some embrace promotions in an attempt to court a lethargic dining public.

And there's no promotion quite like restaurant week.

Restaurant Week exists across the country in various forms. Here, it offers diners a chance to explore area restaurants on the cheap, with dinner prices are set at $35 or $45, depending on the restaurant, and lunch fixed at $25. "Week" is, of course, a bit of a misnomer, as many restaurants choose to extend the event for up to three weeks. The expansion of the program points to its overall success, but it's still not a no-brainer for restauranteurs.

See also: Where to Eat During DFW Restaurant Week

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The Pizza Hut Cheesy Bites Pizza: A Thing I Recently Ate, Because I Hate Myself

Categories: Food News

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Nick Rallo
Pizza Hut's radial wheel of cheese pods attached to a pizza
The greatest trick Pizza Hut ever pulled was convincing the world it had more than one kind of good stuffed-crust pizza. The Hut has found a way to cram, bowl and thread cheese into the crust in confounding ways over the years, and the newest version is the Cheesy Bites Pizza. It's a tie-in to Michael Bay's CGI-bloated Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles reboot.

What this one is: the strangest looking pizza you've ever seen, with a crust that's made of 28 Invasion of the Body Snatcher-like pods filled with the cheese. Each pizza slice has 3-4 tearable-crust things, and it comes with a big cup of tomato sauce for dipping.

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Is Tim Love a "Celebrity-Chef Douchebag"?

Categories: Food News

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Oh boy.
FW Weekly recently went deep on celebrity chef Tim Love. The story used accounts of Love's lackluster performance as a caterer at the Crowne Plaza Invitational and TCU as the hook to tell a story about a man who is hard-working but over-extended and, according to the paper, a tad egotistical.

Through interviews with fellow chefs, catering partners and customers the Weekly describes Love as hot-headed, controlling and self-centered, and maybe even on the verge of boiling over. And while the paper was careful to make notes of Love's many accomplishments, just to keep things civil, the profile was just scathing enough to draw blood and attract even more sharks.

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Pat Snuffer, Patriarch of the Snuffer's Burger Chain, Is Turning His Back on Burgers

Categories: Food News

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The cheddar fries at the original Snuffer's
Two burger restaurants along Greenville Avenue have had dramatically different business experiences recently, while a new restaurant from a local burger legend hints at a possible (though probably unlikely) top in the Dallas burger market.

A few weeks ago, Becks Prime announced that the Greenville Avenue location of the Houston-based burger chain was closed. Business had been strong at other Dallas locations, but the burgers weren't selling on Greenville, according to a spokesperson. This seemed odd because, at least until recently, burger restaurants have proven to be invincible in Dallas. A toddler with a patty press and a plastic spatula could run a successful burger business here.

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City of Ate Needs a Part-Time Food Blogger and Other Contributors

Categories: Food News

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Google-imaging bacon: a required skill for all food bloggers.
This here Beard-nominated restaurant blog is looking for a part-time reporter and writer to help contribute to Dallas' daily food and restaurant conversation.

The freelance blogger will work with the Observer's editors, interns and food critic to identify, develop and write stories about the city's restaurants, the people who run them and the food they turn out. And bacon. We'll probably need some bacon stories.

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After Being 'Most Hated,' John Tesar Is (Mostly) Playing Nice

Categories: Food News

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John Tesar
Chef John Tesar's journey through the Dallas food scene has been, if anything, extremely tumultuous. As one of the few rabble-rousing figures in a market that has been driven by handshakes and friendly table interactions with the chef since Southwestern cuisine's peak in the 1980s, Tesar is both a take-no-shit type of guy and a brilliant chef.

There is likely no chef in Dallas with a story more interesting than Tesar's, going all the way back to his start as a line cook in New York kitchens alongside Anthony Bourdain. After being named the "most hated chef in Dallas" just three years ago, Tesar is now helming two successful, if relatively new, restaurants. (Knife is a steakhouse in the Hotel Palomar, and Spoon serves seafood in Preston Center.) I sat down to talk with Tesar about keeping up with Dallas' young corps of chefs, his thoughts on the Trinity Groves concept, and what it's like to be both famous and infamous.

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Original Herrera's to Find New Home Again

Categories: Food News

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It already looks better than the old location.
Let's be honest here. When the original Herrera's left its first location on Maple Avenue, the one that eventually became the Grapevine bar, a lot of romance was lost.The second location, tucked into a strip mall that was slowly deteriorating on the other side of the street left a lot to be desired, at least as far as character was concerned. The new spot did have a lot more space though, which may have been nice for the people who were previously forced to sit on the front stoop drinking beer from a cooler while they waited for one of a handful of tables.

That location came to an untimely demise when the land beneath original Herrera's No.2 was gobbled up to expand the Old Parkland facility. The third location was back on the other side of Maple and boasted a dining room with bright yellow colors and even a patio. But still, it was still a strip mall space. It lacked the ambiance of that tiny, first location.

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