A First Look at Yucatan Taco Stand, Now Open on Greenville Avenue

Categories: First Look

Scott Reitz
The picadillo turnovers and Yucatan's signature fish taco.
Welcome to Dallas, Yucatan Taco Stand (2023 Greenville Ave), though you're not really a stand at all. You're a full blown restaurant complete with a copper-clad bar, a spacious patio and enough tequila to erase any memory that you or any other taco stand ever existed, ever.

See also: BBBop Opens on Greenville

It's just past noon, though, and I'm here for the tacos, starting with that signature number touted at the top of your menu. The tempura fish taco presents simple white fish with a crispy coating and garnishes that include cabbage and a garlic sauce. The tortillas are store bought, but they're steamed, which lends that freshly cooked texture without resorting to an oily grill.

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A First Look at Sugar Skull, Trinity Groves' New Taqueria

Scott Reitz
Barbacoa, pastor and fish tacos from Sugar Skull.
Yet another Trinity Groves restaurant opened this week. The culinary hatchery filled out the final space on the front of the main building, just past Resto Gastro Bistro, with a new taqueria called Sugar Skull Cafe. It's the first restaurant in Trinity Groves to specialize in breakfast food alongside lunch and dinner options. They open up at 7 a.m. and more than half of the menu is devoted to breakfast tacos and breakfast plates.

Unfortunately, I arrived just after 11 a.m., when all the eggs turn to pumpkins and breakfast at this West Dallas calavera ceases to exist. Not that I was too disappointed: There are lots of other tacos to choose from at Trinity Groves' latest.

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Here Are the Upcoming North Texas Barbecue Competitions Where You Can Actually Eat

Categories: Barbecue

Catherine Downes
Choose wisely, eat quickly.
Have you ever been to a community or town festival, smelled wood, smoke and meat, gotten hyped, then suffered the ultimate disappointment when told you couldn't have any of what was cookin'? Sadly, this is the experience of many attendees of barbecue cook-offs around the great state of Texas.

When sanctioned, cook-offs are really more about the competitors than the public. Winners earn points toward a Kansas City Barbecue Association (KCBA) championship, or an International Barbecue Cookers' Association (IBCA) championship, and in Texas, of course we have the Lonestar Barbecue Society (LBS), which sanctions events in Texas and surrounding states. Rarely in events sanctioned by any of these bodies is there a "People's Choice" category. And it usually has something to do with liability related to giving the public food that has no opportunity to be officially inspected (boooooooo, liability).

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At Smokie's BBQ, Gas Station 'Cue and Pie Never Tasted So Good

Categories: Barbecue

Chris Wolfgang
All this, and lottery tickets, too?
Think about the last time you stopped in a convenience store. Maybe you needed a pack of cigarettes (those things will kill you, you know), or bought a few Powerball tickets (those things never win, you know). Maybe you were hungry, and grabbed a questionable looking hot dog (those things will -- never mind, you'll figure it out). But what if a convenience store sold something like ... good barbecue? And pie?

Smokie's Bar-B-Q is just such an establishment, tucked in a generic-looking convenience store at the corner of Frankford Road and Hillcrest Road in North Dallas. In addition to smoked meats, their website advertises the shop as a "unique store with a humidor that sells fine cigars, South African groceries, breakfast tacos from 8:30 a.m.-10:00 a.m. Mon - Friday and the Texas lotto." Intrigued, I stopped in for dinner.

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The Buen Vivir Cocktail at Victor Tangos Is Boozy, Balanced and Beautiful

Categories: Drinking

Katy Robertson
Buen Vivir is bueno.
I am still getting used to the idea of spirit-forward cocktails. They're just not the kind of drinking that most of us, who generally prefer that our liquor be obscured by overly-sweet juices and other mixers, are used to. When you first start drinking, potency is more important than flavor. As you start to drink better cocktails, though, you often find yourself wishing for a little more balance of both.

At Victor Tangos, the Buen Viver perfectly toes the line between booziness and nuanced flavor. Often, the booze used in spirit-forward cocktails is so prominent that delicate flavors are completely overwhelmed. With the Buen Vivir, though, it seems almost as if the components are holding hands singing "We Are The World" or something. The marriage of flavors is so perfect that you want to punch it, sort of like the overly-cute newlyweds on your Facebook feed.

See also: The 10 Best Margaritas in Dallas

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Proof + Pantry Owners to Open Madrina, a French/Mexican Restaurant in Highland Park

Categories: Food News

Amy McCarthy
Want more fancy-ass dranks like this? Get ready for Madrina.
Those guys at Misery Loves Company are always plotting. The restaurant collective, made up of Sal Jafar II, Michael Martensen, Kyle McClelland, and Jeremy Hargrove, has already introduced two great restaurants to Dallas in Proof + Pantry and the now-shuttered seafood spot Driftwood. Now, they're looking to expand their empire into some prime real estate in Highland Park.

As SideDish first reported late yesterday, the new Misery Loves Company concept, called Madrina, will be coming to The Shops At Highland Park. The name, which is Spanish for "godmother," probably undersells just how fancy this new spot is going to be.

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Four Awesome Crawfish Boils, Plus Five Awesome Food Events in Dallas This Weekend, April 16-19

Categories: Events, Food News

Danny Fulgencio
You know it's crawfish season when you have to strategically plan your weekend around crawfish boils. This weekend alone there are four different boils, so we've put together a quick run-down for all you mudbug lovers out there. Our weekly events round-up follows.

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The Restaurant Tipping System Is (Very) Slowly Dying

Categories: Food News

Waiter Flickr.jpg
More restaurants are experimenting with not tipping.
The anti-tipping movement got a little more steam this week as an article in The Washington Post outlined the efforts of restaurateurs to abandon customer tips as a way to compensate restaurant staff. The recent coverage is significant in that the restaurants in question are moderately priced ones. Most of the restaurants that have gotten attention for compensating their wait staff directly instead of asking customers to step in have been high-end.

The service charges employed by the French Laundry in California, Sushi Yasuda in New York City and other restaurants have gotten attention in recent years as examples of alternative compensations models, and owners say they're working. Eliminating tipping increases productivity, reduces a burden placed on customers and forces restaurants to internalize all their labor costs. But just because it works in restaurants where the average tab is measured in the thousands of dollars doesn't mean it will work in the restaurants where the rest of us eat.

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Uchi Is Coming to Dallas, Soon, Swear, Promise, No Really

Categories: Food News

Erica Wilkins
This ain't no Frenchy duck confit.
The PR machine behind Austin-based Uchi began beating the drums a little more loudly this week, even though the restaurant, which was first announced in May of 2013, still has no official opening date. A series of pop-up dining events were held Sunday and Monday in anticipation of a menu release that dropped late Tuesday. That event was held off-site on Exposition Ave.

Still, "We don't have an exact time further than late spring at this point," says a spokesperson for the much-lauded restaurant. The pop-up was held off-site because the Uchi Dallas has yet to secure a certificate of occupancy. When it does it will open on Maple Avenue, very close to the Stoneleigh Hotel.

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Al's Italian Beef: a Chicago Import DFW Should Welcome with Open Arms (and Lots of Napkins)

Kathy Tran
Al's Italian Beef's Italian Beef. It's what's for dinner.
To the untrained eye, it might look like some sort of culinary concession. The Styrofoam container holds two tamales swimming in meat sauce that suspiciously resembles the chili ladled over enchiladas throughout Texas by the ton. There's even cheese melted on the surface, and the whole thing would look right at home on a Herrera's special plate beside a puddle of refried beans and some mildly seasoned rice.

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