When Life Kicks You in the Huevos, Let North Dallas' Casa Navarro Give You Food Hug

Categories: Cheap Bastard

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Alice Laussade
Follow the Cheap Bastard as she scours the city, looking for a good -- or at least non-lethal -- lunch for less than 10 bucks.

Dusty Christmas decorations count: 27
Warm, cuddly, Tex-Mex fuzzies count: 400

Some days, you need a food hug. And not just a side-hug food hug. You need that full-front-hug food hug. The kind that lasts a little longer than you're comfortable with, but you relax into it and find yourself in a good, for-real hug-moment. The moment a regular hello-hug turns into something warmer and more meaningful and band-aids all the cuts and scrapes on your soul. And then -- obviously -- you start to make out real hard. Like, angry-happy, Jimmy-Stewart, It's-A-Wonderful-Life hard.

Lucky for your comfort-food-needing ass, Dallas has you more than covered in the cheap comfort food department. We have you so covered, in fact, that there are categories of cheap comfort food. Do you want burger comfort? Chicken-fried steak and mashed potatoes comfort? Tom kha comfort? Or, do you just need a big-ass enchilada plate worth of feel-good?

If it's enchiladas you seek, it's essential that you hit up Casa Navarro.


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BREAKING: Chef John Tesar Has Another New Job [Updates in Post]

Categories: Food News

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Oak has been glowing a strange hue since early this morning
Breaking news from the Dallas food scene: On the heels of the Morning News' possibly wrong report that he is replacing Chef Brian Zenner at Oak, Chef John Tesar, former Spoon and current Knife chef, is scheduled to take the pastry chef slot at CBD Provisions. It's an interesting development following the announcement at Oak and the closing of Spoon and possible reopening of Spoon as well as plans for an Italian restaurant called Fork. Tesar has not offered any public comment at this time, but the Observer is tracking movements at Oak and CBD.

UPDATE: 11:06 a.m. John Tesar's team has just announced, on the heels of the Oak and CBD Provisions announcement, that he'll be working weeknights as a bartender at Uptown's So & So's. Tesar's position as weeknight bartender at So & So's follows the news of his positions as Head Chef at Oak and Pastry Chef at CBD Provisions. A reporter on the scene has noted Tesar is already cleaning the beautiful wood bar with nice towels at So & So's.

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Seven Awesome Food Events in Dallas This Weekend, January 22-25

Categories: Events, Food News

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via Wikimedia Commons
This is art.

Don Julio Tequila is doing their part to foster an appreciation and understanding for modern art by teaming up with Café Modern. It makes sense, really. So much of the modern art world gets panned by Joe Schmo, whose unimaginative, sober vision of what constitutes art can be summed up by an Albert Bierstadt painting. But plied with a bit of tequila, Joe may find that Twombly isn't so bad, after all. As part of this outreach effort, a four-course pairing dinner will be offered for $89 for non-museum members or $75 for members. The tequila-inspired menu features dishes such as shrimp sangrita, agave BBQ cabrito tamal, mole spice-rubbed steak and cinnamon horchata tres leches cake. For reservations, call 817-840-2157.

What it be: Don Julio Tequila Dinner

When it do: Thursday, January 22 at 6:30 p.m

Where dat is: 3200 Darnell St. Fort Worth, Texas 76107

*****
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John Tesar Is Reportedly Replacing Brian Zenner at Oak, Which Is Weird

Categories: Food News

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Catherine Downes
Update: This may not be true! But it also may be!

Original post: In this week's "WTF" news, Chef John Tesar may have an interesting new job. Just weeks after it was announced that Tesar would be opening an Italian concept called Fork and shuttering his seafood restaurant Spoon, Leslie Brenner reported late last night that he would be replacing Chef Brian Zenner at Oak, the four-star Aphelia Restaurant Group spot in the Design District.

According to Brenner's after-midnight post, Zenner put in his notice at Oak last week, with intentions to join Adam Salazar and Chris Beardon in opening two gastropub concepts later this year. Zenner earned rave reviews as executive chef at Oak, including a four-star review from Brenner, but said that he was moving on due to "a great opportunity to work with some great people and do some interesting, imaginative things."

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The Cheeseburger at Remedy Is Your Destiny

Categories: Burgers

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Nick Rallo
Lou, give me a milk. Chocolate.
Remedy Burger? My density has brought me to you. What I meant to say is: I'm your destiny.

I'm sitting at a table on the clangy metal second floor of Remedy, the new upscale homage to a soda fountain on Greenville, and all I can think about is George McFly's scene from Back to the Future. It's the moment -- in the past -- when 1950's McFly walks into the diner, and the love of his life (Lorraine) is sipping a milkshake in a booth. After downing liquid courage in the form of a chocolate milkshake, he walks over to her and reads the note: "I'm your density ... What I mean to say is ... I'm your destiny."

This is me. I am George McFly with a burger.

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Yolk, a New Breakfast Joint Imported from Chicago, Is Open in Downtown Dallas

Categories: Food News

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Scott Reitz
Light pours in through the windows at Yolk.
Yolk, the breakfast and lunch restaurant located in One Arts Plaza, opened this week. Dallas is just the second location outside the Chicago area for the chain. Another is open in Indianapolis.

Yolk takes over the space that used to house Cafe des Artistes, a Lombardi restaurant that focused on approachable French cooking. Before that, Screen Door offered southern cooking at the same address, but Yolk takes a decidedly different approach from the restaurants that preceded it.

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Oso Food & Wine Is Full of Surprises, But They're Not All Good Ones

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Kathy Tran
The kebab, with saffron-tinged rice.
One of the most effective tools in a chef's arsenal is the element of surprise. Whether by disguising one dish as another to alter perception and fool the palate, or by combining flavors and textures in ways that defy expectations, these little direction-changes have a tendency to become lasting food memories, good or bad.

I've seen a chef form mozzarella into an oval nest, filled with a firmly set purée of yellow tomato. What looked like a halved, hard-boiled egg was actually an exciting take on Caprese salad. I remember it every time I see the staid red, white and green classic in other restaurants. A four-star interpretation of a humble dish like meat loaf is common play, too, as is hiding embellishments inside little parcels of pasta, spheres of fried breading or carefully constructed, ring-molded mounds of food. If a dish gets you thinking, you're more likely to talk about it the next day, and rope in a new set of diners.

Recent restaurant reviews:
Ramen Hakata: Noodle-Bowl Bliss in a Suburban Strip-Mall Box
- Clark Food & Wine Co. Moves to its Own Rhythm
- East Dallas' Taqueria Latina Is a Torta Lover's Paradise


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Clark Food & Wine Chef Randall Warder Is Building a Smoky Empire on Greenville (Interview)

Categories: Interviews

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courtesy Clark Food & Wine
Randall Warder, chef and business whiz.

The explosion of growth that Greenville Avenue is having when it comes to quality restaurants is really unprecedented. The once neglected street has transformed into a culinary hub, thanks in large part to enterprising and independent chefs with a good eye for the next big thing. One of those chefs is Randall Warder, of Clark Food & Wine.

Warder is as much a businessman as he is a chef, able to spout off food cost statistics and business plans with the same ease as the restaurant's intensive pork rillete recipe. In this new world of restaurants, that's exactly the kind of savvy that is necessary to survive. I sat down to talk with Warder about the opening of Clark Food & Wine, his diverse experience in all facets of the restaurant industry, and his big plans for opening a new restaurant just three short months after launching his first.


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Chef DAT, Dallas' Underground Dining King, Will Open Twenty-Seven in Deep Ellum

Categories: Food News

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Chef DAT and his beloved torch.

After five years of marauding around Dallas and hosting some of the city's best underground dinners, Chef David Anthony Temple is finally getting a permanent home. David Anthony Temple, known to his loyal diners as Chef DAT, will soon begin showcasing his Louisiana-influenced cusine at Twenty-Seven, a new fine-dining concept scheduled to open this month in Deep Ellum.

According to SideDish, Temple's new establishment will offer two seatings each night, one for a three-course prix-fixe dinner, another for a six-course chef's tasting menu.


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2015: The Year of the Meatball in Dallas

Categories: Food News

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Meatballs prepared from the recipe of Julian Barsotti's Carbone's
Over the Christmas break I traveled to New York City and Washington D.C., where I ate seven meals a day doing my best to absorb as much as possible in each city. While I wandered around, I discovered a few trends on my own, in restaurants that have opened since I last visited -- ramen shops and Izakayas seemed to point to rapidly expanding Japo-fetishism, for instance -- but I also asked friends and family what they had noticed opening over the last year. Most of them remarked a deluge of Italian restaurants.

Some of the new restaurants focus on regional Italian cooking, some specialize in Italian American cooking in an attempt to recreate a lost age. Trends in larger cities have a way of trickling down to smaller ones, and there is evidence this one has already kicked off here in Dallas.

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