Is the Shuttering of Dee Lincoln's Burger Bar a Sign of the Burger Bubble Finally Popping?

Burger sales are slipping
Last year, I predicted 2015 would be the year the burger bubble burst in Dallas. Since that article was published, no fewer than 37 burger restaurants have opened. Maybe burgers are invincible -- the culinary equivalent of Kevlar and titanium -- but I still argue that Dallas has too many burger restaurants and not enough of everything else. And now Dee Lincoln comes to bolster my position.

On March 28, Dee Lincoln's Burger Bar in Uptown will close. Plans for a subsequent location on Oak Lawn Avenue (in the old La Duni's space) have been scrapped. All that remains is the Plano location, which is undergoing a branding overhaul reflecting a move away from beef and buns.

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A Preview of Eight Bells Tavern, Coming Soon to Expo Park

Scott Reitz
Ten Bell's outdoor space didn't start off perfectly, but it's perfect now.
Meri Dahlke and her partners don't waste precious beer time. News that they'd taken over the lease at the Amsterdam Bar broke late last week, and Dahlke says she's already shooting for a June opening. She hopes Eight Bells will replicate the success they've had with Ten Bells, which opened in Oak Cliff about three years ago.

There was a bit of a learning curve with the first bar. Alcohol permits are notoriously tough in Oak Cliff, and the space was slowly built-out over time. A stage for a band was an eyesore, and it took years before the back patio came into shape.

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With Eight Bells on the Way, Expo Park Is on the Verge of a Food-and-Drink Comeback

Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Ten Bells Tavern English Breakfast.jpg
Scott Reitz
The English Breakfast at Ten Bells, which you may be able to order at Eight Bells in Expo Park soon.
Amsterdam Bar fans were allowed barely a week to mourn the loss of one of Expo Park's more iconic bars. Developer Madison Partners LLC announced this week that it's landed new tenants in Ten Bells owners Meri Dahlke and Michael Hickey, who will open Eight Bells.

This is a huge addition to the neighborhood. Pizza Lounge is the only real restaurant in the area since Meridian Pint closed last year, and Pizza Lounge is not exactly a dining destination. Craft and Growler, meanwhile, has been inebriating customers with buckets of beer at a time, before turning them loose with little more than snack mix in their bellies.

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Quesa, the New Tex-Mex Gem in Oak Lawn, Pays Respect to the Taco's Quieter Cousin

Scott Reitz
It's a quesa
No, not the molten-hot processed cheese-food-liquid queso. Quesa is the new restaurant that opened last month on Cedar Springs Road in the Oak Lawn neighborhood. It offers tacos served on freshly made corn tortillas -- the flour tortillas are purchased pre-made -- and lesser-known quesas. It's the quesas that got my attention.

Fresh dough that might otherwise have become a tortilla is stuffed with all sorts of fillings, carefully folded in half and crimped. After having been properly sealed, the package is dropped into bubbling fat where it remains until golden brown, slightly greasy and crisp.

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Wabi House Brings Ramen to Lower Greenville, Because You Can't Be Late to the Noodle Trend

courtesy of the restaurant
A rendering of Wabi House.
Food trends seem to be about three (or 10, sometimes) years late in making their way to Dallas from the East and West coasts. Even as the scene here has accelerated in recent years, we've lagged behind other cities in terms of offering a wide range of cuisines and flavors. Now, though, it seems as if things are changing, and that can only mean one delicious thing: ramen.

Ramen has been one of the country's hottest foods for several years now, inspired by the pork-heaven bowls created by David Chang at Momofuku, among other chefs. Now, we're all happy to plunk down $13 for a bowl of slippery noodles, char siu, and tonkatsu broth. There are a few great places to find ramen in Dallas, including Hakata Ramen and Monkey King, and now a new Lower Greenville eatery will cater to the city's most discerning noodle-slurpers.

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Two New Buzzbrews in Two Challenging Spots Will Test the Growing Diner Chain

Daniel Rodrigue
Coffee and beer at Buzz Brews
The Buzzbrews planned for the old Mecca space on the corner of Skillman Street and Live Oak is expected to open around the end of March. If The Mecca's performance was any indication, the folks at Buzzbrews will have their work cut out for them.

The Mecca came to East Dallas after a decades-long run on Harry Hines. They brought plenty of loyal, long-term customers with them, but the diner closed after less than a year, with the owner citing unreasonable costs. Before that, Molly Maguire's enjoyed a tepid existence in the same space. Still, Buzzbrews comes with a different take on the same diner menu, and their eggs-all-day (and all-night) approach has an allure that the previous tenants lacked.

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Pop Diner Has Closed, Thank God

Catherine Downes
Pop, popped.
Pop Diner opened to significant fanfare a little more than two years ago. The space was filled with Lichtenstein-esque prints and head shots of pop stars. The walls were bright red, the music was loud and the place was open 24 hours. It was just the sort of diner Uptown needed to keep late night drunks from digesting their own stomachs. We wanted to love it!

There was just one problem: the food was awful. I waded my way through dry, greasy burgers with meat of questionable provenance, terrible hot dogs and sandwiches that looked like they were assembled by a mitten-wearing walrus.

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Patrizio Is Leaving Highland Park Village after 25 Years

Patrizio's patio
There are only a few days left to get your Patrizio fix at the popular Highland Park Village location. After 25 years of meatball plates on an impressive patio, its last day of business will be February 28.

The landlord declined to renew the lease, opting instead to rent to new restaurant and retail businesses in the spaces surrounding the Highland Park Theater. Village Kitchen, Toko V and Tom Thumb are among the other casualties at the shopping plaza.

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Dish Is Taking its Brunch to North Dallas, but Leaving the Drag Queens Behind

Kevin Marple
Chicken and mushroom meatball grinder at Dish
Dish has been serving as a Jack-of-all-trades restaurant on Cedar Springs Road in Oak Lawn since it opened in 2011. After work, the cocktail set comes in to throw back high octane drinks and obliterate bad memories from the workday. Some of them stay for dinner, one of the better served in the neighborhood, and later in the evening, Dish might as well be spelled Club.

The restaurant also does a brunch service that has gained a reputation of a different sort. Anchored by a team of singing, dancing, raunchy-joke-telling drag queens, the drag brunch is one of a kind here in Dallas. It's a lot of fun if you don't have your 7-year-old sister in tow.

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Cucina Neighborhood Italian, a Bad Restaurant in a Bad Space, Has Already Closed

Kathy Tran
These meatballs shall bounce no more.
Cucina Neighborhood Italian, the Preston Center red-sauce restaurant that operated in the former Mi Piaci space, has closed. The restaurant opened in early 2014 after the months-long tenure of its predecessor, but was unable to capture the heart of neighborhood locals. Probably because it was bad.

The cavernous restaurant, which I reviewed just last month, spanned two levels and two dining rooms, with a sizable patio that faced Preston Road. The large dining room made the place feel hopelessly empty, and the sprawling menu didn't help.

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