First Look: Tulum in Highland Park

Photo credit: Shaban Athuman

From the masterminds behind Firebird Restaurant Group (El Fenix, Taqueria La Ventana) comes a new, luxury concept called Tulum.

Tulum was inspired by Firebird CEO Mike Karns’, and his wife, Valerie’s, travels to the namesake city in Mexico. It is the couple’s favorite vacation spot, and with Tulum, they hope to recreate the experience for guests of the restaurant. Tulum, the restaurant, encompasses many elements of Tulum, the city, and is an amalgamation of what people seek on their vacation; good food, relaxing atmosphere, and a temporary escape from the ordinary.

Atmosphere

Upon entering Tulum, guests are greeted with a flowing bar in the center of the entryway. Sounds of the Amazon rainforest are heard throughout the restaurant and images of the beaches and the waters are projected onto a large screen in the back of the main lounge. The music selection consists of jazz vocalists, electronic trance and house, and Latin sounds. Overall, the atmosphere and ambiance allow for a luxury, cultural experience.

Starters

Guests cannot find the typical chips and queso on Tulum’s starter menu. Instead, they are offered a diverse selection of land, sea, and even vegan plates. Among the starters are the chicken flutes, the vegan ceviche, and the charred Spanish octopus. The octopus comes served as a portion of an octopus tentacle sat atop an achiote ginger orange sauce, and with charred hearts of palm on the side. The outer skin of the tentacle is grilled to a crisp. The tentacle itself cuts like a steak, and is juicy, hearty, and flavorful.

Spanish charred octopus from Tulum (Photo credit: Alex Gonzalez)

Mains

From a menu curated by Chef Nico Sanchez, guest can choose from a variety of minimalistically plated dishes. The diver scallops are an arrangement of three jumbo scallops sat atop a bed of mashed potatoes. They are served with a side of grilled beets and tamarind sauce. The scallops cut fairly easily and despite being a seemingly small portion, they are filling and satisfying.

Diver scallops from Tulum (Photo credit: Alex Gonzalez)

Another good choice is the cheshire pork ribs, which are wood-burnt baby back ribs immersed in a chile Morita and served with a side of salsa negra and charred pineapple. The chile Morita makes the ribs spicy with each bite. When dipped in the salsa, the ribs become even spicier, however, a bite of the charred pineapple instantly cancels out the heat, making for an ideal symbiotic pairing of food.

Cheshire pork ribs from Tulum (Photo credit: Alex Gonzalez)

Dessert

One of the desserts at Tulum is a chocolate sponge cake, which is served soaked in Nestle Chocolate Abuelita. It is a warm, comforting dessert that is not too heavy, yet makes for a delightful conclusion to a meal.

Chocolate Abuelita Cake from Tulum (Photo credit: Alex Gonzalez)

Tulum is set to open its doors to the public on  Thursday, October 25 at 5:00 P.M.

Tulum, 4216 Oak Lawn Ave, Dallas (Highland Park) | thetulumexperience.com

Weekend Happenings 7/13 – 7/15: World Cup Final, Wine & Magic, and more

Dallas Farmers Market presents Karaoke Night

Dallas Farmers Market will present a Friday Night Block Party. Warm up your vocal cords & join DJ Robert-O for a night of vocal self-expression & listening fun. Food and drink available at The Market. The event is free to attend and kicks off at 6:00 P.M.

Photo by Kevin Marple



Bastille on Bishop

Bastille on Bishop is an annual festival in the heart of the Bishop Arts District that celebrates Oak Cliff’s unique French roots.​ Visitors can don their best berets and join friends for a little champagne and dancing in the streets. To consume alcoholic beverages at the festival, guests must have one of the event wine glasses. Glasses comes with two tokens, which can be redeemed for either beverages or food. Cocktails, beer, and wine require one token. Most food requires one token as well. The only people who need a ticket are those who plan to consume alcohol. The festival is free for those who are simply coming to enjoy the atmosphere. Additional tokens for food and drink will be available at the event at $6 per token. Tickets can be purchased here.

Photo by Elliot Muñoz

 

 

Barbecue Bus – Fort Worth

The BBQ Bus is hitting Fort Worth for the first time on Saturday from 1p-5p. Guests will meet up at HopFusion Ale Works and head out to Billy’s Oak Acres, Cousin’s Bar-B-Q and Riscky’s Barbeque. At each location, we will enjoy a plate of brisket, ribs, and sausage! Plus the beer is stocked with craft brews from Hopfusion! Tickets can be purchased here.

Photo courtesy of RVC Promotions

 

Checkered Past Winery presents Wine and Magic

Checkered Past Winery will host award-winning magician Trigg Watson for Wine and Magic. Signature wines, pizza, charcuterie, desserts, and more will be available for purchase during the intimate show. Watson first fell in love with magic in his native Australia and later honed his craft while living in New Orleans. Watson has called Dallas home ever since attending and graduating from Southern Methodist University. He has since performed on several national television shows and won multiple awards. Tickets can be purchased here.

Photo courtesy of Trigg Watson

 

World Cup Final Watch Party at Legacy Hall

Watch France and Croatia go head to head at The Box Garden at Legacy Hall for the official North Dallas Summer of Soccer FINAL Watch Party this Sunday at 10 a.m. They are teaming up with FC Dallas for a celebration that will include: FIFA PlayStation gaming, the FC Drumline, player appearances, swag and more! The event is free to attend.

Via Plano Magazine

Weekend Happenings: Father’s Day Brunches and Dinners

Fearing’s Restaurant

Chef Dean Fearing and crew will be hosting a “You’re the Man” themed backyard barbecue at his Ritz-Carlton restaurant. Fearing’s will offer three-course brunch and dinner meals, including Alaskan King Crab with citrus-poached jumbo prawn, a backyard barbecue plate with brisket and elk sausage, and more. Brunch will be served from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., and dinner will be served from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. To make a reservation, click here or call (214)-922-4848.

Make your way over to Fearing’s this Sunday for some down-south fun (Via Facebook)

Table 13

Typically closed on Sundays, Table 13 will be opening up on Father’s Day for dinner from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. For $45, guests and their fathers can feast upon a delicious selection of steak and seafood. To make a reservation, click here or call (972)-789-9558.

Table 13 will be open this Sunday for dinner (Via Facebook)

Bulla Gastrobar

On Father’s Day, guests of Legacy West’s Bulla can try many of the gastrobar’s delicious authentic tapas. Plus, they will be giving free orders of their delectable churros to fathers who are able to solve the Bulla Brainteaser. To make a reservation, click here or call (972)-805-4590.

Bulla Gastrobar offers a great selection of authentic Spanish tapas (via Facebook)

Maggiano’s Little Italy

Maggiano’s Northpark location will be putting a spin on the traditional Italian Father’s Day brunch. This Sunday, the famed Italian restaurant will be hosting a murder mystery party from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. Tickets for the murder mystery party start at $65 and include three courses and non-alcoholic beverages. For tickets, click here.

Maggiano’s Little Italy will be hosting a Murder Mystery Dinner Party this Sunday (Via Facebook)

V-Eats

Old man not big on meat? V-Eats at Trinity Groves will be hosting a vegan brunch this Sunday. Guests meat-and-dairy-less versions of traditional southern brunch items prepared by chef Troy Gardner. Brunch begins at 10 a.m. and ends at 3 p.m. To make a reservation, click here or call (214)-377-6009.

Bananas Foster from V-Eats (Photo credit: Alex Gonzalez)

 

Doc B’s Fresh Kitchen Opens in Uptown

If there’s anything Dallasites love, it’s “fast” and “casual.” The Chicago-based Doc B’s Fresh Kitchen has mastered the art of fast and casual dining. At Doc B’s, guests can feast upon a variety of light-yet-filling items consisting of locally sourced ingredients. Uptown’s newest addition is a great place for those who enjoy eating good food and drinking unique beverages in a fun, modern setting.

 

Drinks

Doc B’s drink menu offers guests beers from local breweries, as well as cocktails unique to the restaurant. One of their signature cocktails, The Dangler, consists of Traverse City Whiskey, carrot juice, and maple flavorings. While the drink goes down easily, it has a strong whiskey aftertaste. It tastes like a cold-pressed juice with a hard punch at the end. Two Danglers are enough to help a guest loosen up and relax, but not too strong to the point where one wouldn’t be able to drive home at the end of the night.

The Dangler (Photo credit: Alex Gonzalez)

Starters

The Snack + Start + Share menu contains six items unique to Doc B’s, including the Oven Roasted Chicken Wings, Killer Grilled Shrimp, and the Housemade Guacamole. The latter of these items comes served with Doc B’s “famous” sweet potato chips. This plate is a great starter for those wanting to eat light, as the chips are devoid of grease and oil. The guacamole is thick and hearty, with the consistency of Greek yogurt, and it contains a perfect amount of lime flavor; not too acidic, but not in any way bland.

Homemade Guacamole with Doc B’s famous sweet potato chips (Photo credit: Alex Gonzalez)

Entrées

Patrons of Doc B’s can choose from a variety of sandwiches, burgers, and salads for their main course. One of their most popular salads, The Knife and Fork Cobb, is an arrangement of lettuce and tomato that comes packed with proteins, including bacon, egg, avocado, and a side of crispy chicken. The bacon, avocado, and pieces of the egg are carefully mixed in with the veggies, which are topped with cornbread croutons and Doc B’s signature Gold Coast Vinaigrette. Ordering a salad that utilizes a boiled egg is always a risk. If the egg isn’t cooked long enough, it may cause salmonella; if it’s cooked too long, it tastes like sulfuric acid. Doc B’s nails every aspect of the cobb salad. All of the proteins are cooked and prepared just right, and every morsel is packed with sweet, savory flavor. Even the cornbread croutons add a unique touch and allow for a taste better than typical remnants of stale toast.

The Knife & Fork Cobb Salad (Photo credit: Alex Gonzalez)

Dessert

Doc B’s dessert menu offers a featured dessert that changes daily. Last night, it was sea salt caramel gelato sandwiched between two oatmeal raisin cookies. Considering the weather in Dallas reached the triple digits yesterday, this dessert made for the perfect way to cool off after a long day. The ice cream was sweet but not overbearing on flavor. The cookies managed to stay intact with the ice cream, without slipping off or getting soggy.

One of Doc B’s daily-rotating featured desserts (Photo credit: Alex Gonzalez)

Service

Dallasites are hard-pressed to find better service at any other restaurant in town. Although Doc B’s is based in Chicago, their Dallas staff has clearly been trained to provide top-notch southern hospitality. Each staff member proved to be able any sort of question, knew the menu up and down, and tended to everyone’s needs with a genuine, good attitude.

 

Doc B’s Fresh Kitchen is currently open at 2021 McKinney Avenue in Dallas. For a full menu and information on hours, visit Doc B’s official website.

 

 

“Texas Cuisine Never Falls Short”: How Dean Fearing Came to be one of Dallas’s Most Famous Chefs

Those who can create original, innovative concepts are almost guaranteed longevity in the hospitality industry. For decades, Chef Dean Fearing honed his craft and, along with the help of fellow chefs Stephan Pyles and Robert Del Grande, pioneered what Texas and southerners know as Southwest Cuisine. Per Fearing, Southwest Cuisine is “the only true American cuisine.”

I join Fearing on a Friday evening at Fearing’s Uptown Dallas location. We sit outside, hours before a live band is set to perform, kicking off the weekend.

Fearing and I chat about his pre-Fearing beginnings, and how he came to create some of his most famous dishes. Before opening Fearing’s, Fearing worked in The Fairmont Hotel’s Pyramid Room as a seafood cook and The Mansion as a saucier. During his days working in the latter, he began sourcing his ingredients from nearby farmers, which helped him create original, authentic southern flavors.

“My team and I had people in the surrounding areas from whom we’d buy,” Fearing says. “We would buy pheasants, quails, and chuckers from a man south of us here. We had people growing vegetables and we would buy fish from the gulf. I know the whole ‘local’ scene sounds new, but Stephan Pyles and I have been ‘local’ since the early ’80s.”

2121 Cobb Salad from Fearing’s (Via Facebook)

The creation of innovative concepts is a tradition that has run through Fearing’s bloodline across many generations prior, most notably within his father, who partnered with Kemmons Wilson to launch Holiday Inn out of Memphis, TN.

“My family and I left the little town of Ashland, KY around the time when I was in sixth grade,” Fearing said. “We traveled the Midwest to open up multiple Holiday Inn locations. We lived in St. Louis, Chicago, Milwaukee, Cleveland, Cincinnati, you name it. Every big city in the midwest, we were there.”

After a rather nomadic youth and adolescence, Fearing ventured off to Hyde Park, NY, where he studied at The Culinary Institute of America. Following the completion of his associate degree, Fearing then went off to Cincinnati, where he worked at The Maisonette. The chef for whom Fearing worked quickly noticed his work ethic and recommended that he go to Dallas to work for The Pyramid Room in The Fairmont Hotel.

“The Pyramid Room was the fanciest French restaurant in Dallas in 1978,” Fearing says. “That was a huge statement back then because, at the time, this whole city was filled with French restaurants.”

Like most things during the pre-Fearing’s era, Fearing’s stint at The Pyramid Room came to a quick close after he was convinced to pursue a larger role in a new Dallas restaurant.

“The chef at The Pyramid Room told me ‘there’s a lady named Caroline Hunt who will be opening up a restaurant called The Mansion,'” Fearing says. “I had no idea who Caroline Hunt was, but he told me ‘she’s an oil heiress, and you need to go over there and get that sauce position.’”

Hunt was immediately impressed by Fearing’s experience and work ethic, which led her to him as The Mansion’s saucier.

Fearing stayed at The Mansion for a year, until he decided to open a 54-seat restaurant in Addison called Agnus. He ran Agnus for three years until he was forced to close it, citing the recession of the mid-80s.

Luckily, The Mansion welcomed Fearing back with open arms and the promotion of a lifetime.

“I went back to the Mansion and worked as the Executive Chef,” Fearing says. “I stayed there from 1985 until about 2006.”

After working over 20 years at The Mansion, Fearing decided to bring his ultimate dream to reality and open Fearing’s.

“I partnered with John Goff to open my restaurant,” Fearing says. “He’s a real estate mogul based in Fort Worth. He helped me build my dream.”

At Fearing’s, guest can feast upon a variety of hearty pieces of what Fearing calls “Texas cuisine.”

“It’s an offshoot of Southern cuisine, which Pyles, Del Grande and I started in the ’80s,” Fearing says. “Back then, we called it ‘Southwest cuisine,” but when I opened Fearing’s, I later realized it fits more to Texas than the Southwest as a whole, so I started calling it ‘Texas cuisine.'”

Fearing’s offers vegetarian Hors D’oeurves (Via Facebook)

Fearing’s menu consists of a variety of southern classics with his signature spin. One of Fearing’s personal favorite dishes is buffalo soaked in Vermont maple syrup, served over jalapeño grits, along with a butternut squash taquito, a tangle of greens, pico de gallo, and a smoky chili aioli. Recipes like these can be found in Fearing’s cookbook, The Texas Food Bible.

“I love this book,” Fearing says. “This book has long legs. All of these recipes will be good for the generations to come. Texas Cuisine never falls short and it never dies.”

Crispy Barbecued Bluepoints served over clam (Via Facebook)

For information regarding menus, hours, and how to make a reservation, visit fearingsrestaurant.com

Ryan Carbery Details Journey to Farmbyrd

Over off of Ohio and Parker resides one of Plano’s hidden gems. At Farmbyrd Rotisserie & Fry, guests can enjoy a variety of southern style chicken recipes and cocktails based with beers and spirits from local breweries. Since Farmbyrd’s opening, the farm-themed eatery has been oft-regarded as a fresh, modern concept that allows the team to cook high-quality food and focus on serving the best food possible.

Hot off the rotisserie (Via Facebook)

“I moved to Dallas from Los Angeles about ten years ago,” Co-Founder Ryan Carbery said. “I was going to work with a chef to open a restaurant. It was around the time of the recession and unfortunately, the economy caught up with Dallas and the restaurant didn’t end up opening.”

While most people in this situation may opt to return to where they had previously been living, Carbery embraced the new city in which he found himself.

Carbery and crew later opened a restaurant called Lazare in West Village. From there, Carbery went on to make contributions to several high-end restaurants throughout the metroplex, including Nosh by Avner Samuel. Through Samuel, Carbery connected with Edward Bailey and worked as the Executive Chef and the Director of Operations of Bailey’s Prime Plus & Patrizio.

Carbery has been honing his restaurant industry skill set since his single digits.

“I started bussing tables in one of my dad’s restaurants when I was in second grade,” Carbery said. “I remember some guests would ask my dad if I had a work permit. He would laugh and say ‘he’s my son, that’s permit enough.’”

Carbery is a fourth-generation restaurant owner, having come from a family of chefs and connoisseurs of food.

“My dad owned 10 restaurants throughout the time I was growing up,” Carbery said. “These restaurants ranged from Italian pizza and pasta places to steakhouses. They were mostly high-end, full-service restaurants.”

With the skills he had been reinforcing since his childhood, along with the help of longtime friend and Chef Tim Mclaughlin, owner of Lockhart Smokehouse, the pair opened Farmbyrd Rotisserie & Fry in January of last year.

Country-fried ribeye with southern fixings (Via Facebook)

“Tim and I both could see that there was a void in the casual dining scene where the food shined and was the main attraction,” Carbery said. “We believe in simple food done well and in letting the ingredients speak for themselves.”

Farmbyrd offers a variety of chicken, prime rib, catfish, and constantly rotating chef features.

“We locally source our ingredients as often as we can,” Carbery said. “We also support various local breweries, including Tupps, Revolver, and Deep Ellum.”

Farmbyrd offers a selection of beers from local breweries (Via Facebook)

Apart from supporting local farms and breweries, Carbery and crew also support many local educational organizations.

“We try to raise funds for as many schools as we can,” Carbery said. “We host a lot of school spirit nights, and we also support Plano Sports Authority.”

Farmbyrd is located at 3308 Preston Road, Suite 380 in Plano, TX. They are currently nominated for Best Southern/Homestyle Cooking in Plano Magazine’s Best of 2018 category. To vote for Farmbyrd, click here. Polls close May 28.

(Featured image courtesy of Plano Magazine)

Weekend Happenings: 5/18 – 5/20: Box Garden, Taste Addison, and more.

Taste Addison

This weekend, Taste Addison will be returning to Addison Circle Park. Festival-goers can enjoy bites from 26 different restaurants, including Thai Orchid, Zoli’s NY Pizza, and Cantina Laredo. Plus, Casey Donahew and Eli Young Band are set to perform tonight and Saturday, respectively. Tickets for Taste Addison can be purchased here.

Wildflower Arts and Music Festival

Enjoy good music, carnival games, and fun in the sun at Richardson’s Wildflower Festival. This year’s performers include Kool & The Gang, Jimmy Eat World, Mia Rose Lynn, and more! Tickets for Wildflower Festival can be purchased here. 

Savor

There are only a few days left to experience Dallas’s ultimate epicurean food showcase. Savor Dallas is the SXSW of food, with tastings, pairings, dinners, and brunches throughout various venues across the city. Tonight, Fashion Industry Gallery will be hosting a mixology party. Can’t make that? No problem! There will be various Savor events taking place every night until the 20th. For a guide to this year’s Savor events and info on purchasing tickets, click here.

 

Sarah Jaffe at The Box Garden + Grand Opening Events

The Box Garden at Legacy Hall is finally open. Tonight at 7:00 P.M., you can catch singer/songwriter Sarah Jaffe performing a collection of her original songs, and later, she will launch her Bad Baby beer through Unlawful Assembly Brewing Company. Can’t make it tonight? Be sure to drop on Saturday for more live music performances, a late night silent disco, and a farmers market. For tickets and a guide to events, click here. 

Main Street Fest

For the 34th year, Main Street Fest returns to Grapevine. This year’s theme is “Lone Star State of Mind.” Festival-goers can enjoy good carnival food, entertainment, and over 75 different brews of beer all weekend. Plus, there will be activities for people of all ages. For information on participating brewers and how to purchase tickets, click here.

 

Byron Nelson Golf Tournament

Fore! For the 50th year, the Byron Nelson Golf Tournament will be returning to Dallas. This year, the tournament will be held at Trinity Forest Golf Club. There are still a very limited amount of tickets available for purchase here. Can’t make it? The tournament will be airing live on CBS all weekend.

 

State & Allen Introduces New Spring Menu

Clandestine at the intersection of State and Allen streets in Uptown Dallas sits the eponymously named State & Allen.  As Dallas’s first ever Green Certified restaurant, State & Allen offers guests healthy alternatives to traditional bar food, along with a selection of fruit and vegetable based cocktails. Those wanting to kick back with a few friends in a sporty, casual environment, while enjoying a variety of delicious, more healthful food and drink options should most certainly consider paying a visit to State & Allen.

Drinks

The Coconut Blackberry Mojito is a cocktail which consists of Captain Morgan, coconut, lime juice, simple syrup, muddled mint, and blackberries. It is topped with soda, which gives it a carbonated kick. The Coconut Blackberry Mojito is heavy on fruit flavor. It has a sweet, milky taste, and the consistency of a cold-pressed juice. The mint makes for a beautiful garnish for the cocktail, which, overall is spectacular.

Coconut Blackberry Mojito from State & Allen (Photo credit: Alex Gonzalez)

Equally as good is the Green Prickly Pear Margarita, which consists of Texas Hill Prickly Pear Moonshine, Wright’s Green Salsa, prickly pear juice, agave, and lime juice. The idea of salsa in a margarita might sound peculiar, but this is Texas, therefore there are very few things that can’t be improved with touches of salsa. The Green Prickly Pear Margarita has a hot, spicy kick to it, and has the thickness and consistency of a bloody margarita. It’s unlike any margarita around, but it makes for a unique, signature item.

Green Prickly Pear Margarita from State & Allen (Photo credit: Alex Gonzalez)

Starters

For those not too thrilled about the idea of healthy bar options, there are plenty of filling, meat-based items that one would never guess are health conscious. The Pork Belly Tostadas are the perfect alternative to regular greasy, oily nachos. Each tostada is topped with southwestern kimchi, peach chipotle jam, crema, and a small cut of pork belly. The pork belly is cooked very well, with a brown, crispy exterior. It is spiced to perfection, and easy to bite and chew.

Pork Belly Tostadas from State & Allen (Photo credit: Alex Gonzalez)

Not big on red meat? State & Allen also offers Ahi Tuna Poké, which is a spectacular fish salad with fresh vegetable surroundings. These vegetables consist of radish, avocado, and gyoza crisps.

Ahi Tuna Poké from State & Allen (Photo credit: Alex Gonzalez)

 

Another honorable starter mention is the Heirloom Tomato & Pasta Salad. This pasta salad is a six cheese pasta sacchettini blended with blue cheese, walnuts, capicola, grilled corn, and topped with a chervil-peppercorn vinaigrette. This salad is so hearty, it could probably take the place of an entree.

Heirloom Tomato & Pasta Salad from State & Allen (Photo credit: Alex Gonzalez)

 

Entrees

Perhaps the must-try option at State & Allen is the Skillet Pork Chop. The Skillet Pork Chop is about the size of a steak. It is juicy, thick, and served atop a delightfully tangy bourbon gastrique. The Skillet Pork Chop comes served with kimchi arugula salad and confit fingerling potatoes. Many people aren’t crazy about arugula, as it has a bitter taste, however, the sweetness of the kimchi cancels out the bitterness of the arugula.

Skillet Pork Chop from State & Allen (Photo credit: Alex Gonzalez)

The Grilled Jerk Redfish makes for a healthier alternative to State & Allen’s meat-heavy dishes. The fish comes garnished with thinly cut sweet potatoes and sauteed broccolini and sits on a bed of grapefruit salsa verde. The salsa verde is to die for! It tastes like a very fine vinaigrette, but spicy, and not as oily.

Grilled Jerk Redfish from State & Allen (Photo Credit: Alex Gonzalez)

Overall, State & Allen is the perfect bar for Dallasites who want the sports bar experience, minus the deleterious bar food and cocktails and the overall rowdiness of Uptown nightlife.

State & Allen is open every day, with happy hour beginning at 3:00 p.m. For more information on State & Allen’s hours, menu items, and location, be sure to visit their website.

Hide Debuts New Spring Menu

Located on Elm Street in Deep Ellum, Hide offers an extensive variety of cocktails, beverages, and American bar food with a modern twist. It is set up like a dive bar but arranged with modern grayscale furniture, creating a minimalistic aesthetic. With it’s futuristic yet traditional set-up and copious amount of food and drink options, it’s no wonder why Hide was named Best Bar in Deep Ellum by both D Magazine and Dallas Observer.

Last week, Hide debuted their new spring menu, which consists of traditional cocktails, as well as uniquely-named signature beverages. There are also plenty of bar food items, which are reasonably priced during Hide’s happy hour.

Below are a few recommendations based on my recent visit to Hide.

Drinks

Those wanting something heavy on flavor but light on booze should try the Frozen Guava Passion. It’s a lot like a frozen margarita, but with guava and passionfruit flavors. It is cold, thick, and refreshing and makes for a satisfying treat in the scorching summer heat.

Frozen Guava Passion from Hide (Photo Credit: Alex Gonzalez)

For those in need of a quick fix, I’d highly recommend the Sazerac. This demonic combination of rye, Peychaud’s bitters, sugar, and absinthe rinse packs a powerful punch. The Sazerac may come served in a tiny glass, but don’t be fooled!–This minuscule serving is enough to make you forget about the stressful week you’ve had at the office.

Sazerac from Hide (Photo credit: Alex Gonzalez)

Juice cleanses are all the rage right now, and the Yass Betch is the perfect cocktail for anyone trying to drink clean (or at least create the illusion of it.) The Yass Betch consists of vodka, mint, honeydew, cucumber, and clarified lime. It tastes a lot like a “green juice,” perfect for the regular Deep Ellum hipster or Highland Park housewife.

Yass Betch from Hide (Photo credit: Alex Gonzalez)

Food

During happy hour, guests can get a double cheeseburger and fries for only $6.00. I like the set-up of the burger plate and I think the little fry basket in which the fries are served is cute. The double cheeseburger comes topped with caramelized beer onions, bacon, and garlic aioli, and is served with bread & butter pickles on the side. The beef patties are thick, juicy, and hearty. The bacon is cooked nicely and easy to chew, and it doesn’t pull out in between bites, like that of other bacon cheeseburgers. I am also quite fond of the burger’s garlic aioli and plan on ordering a side ramekin next time, in which I will dip my fries. The quality and price of the burger plate make for a great deal, which could potentially give Shake Shack a run for their money.

Double Cheeseburger plate from Hide (Photo credit: Alex Gonzalez)

Apart from Hide’s many meaty options, there are also plenty of vegetarian-friendly choices on the menu. The Veggie Sandwich comes stacked with pickled cauliflower, roasted red peppers, tomatoes, arugula, avocado, and tahini aioli. This colorful arrangement of vegetables comes served with a side of seasoned hand-cut fries.

Veggie Sandwich from Hide (Photo credit: Alex Gonzalez)

Service

Hide’s staff consists of a group of individuals who are knowledgeable of every item on the menu. They are clearly well-trained and able to quickly answer questions regarding the compositions of the cocktails and the ingredients in the food items. Plus, they engage in friendly conversation with the guests and carry out their orders quickly

 

Hide is open at 2816 Elm St, Dallas, TX 75226 in Deep Ellum. Happy Hour takes place Monday through Friday from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.

 

Taqueria La Ventana Opens in Cedar Springs

Last Wednesday, Taqueria La Ventana’s new Cedar Springs location celebrated its grand opening. In its first few days in operation, LV’s business has been booming. Taco heads are loving how quickly they can walk up to the stand, order tacos, and receive their order in a matter of minutes, despite how packed the booth is at any given time.

Although “La Ventana,” which translates to “The Window,” refers to the traditional Mexican method in which people order and receive tacos from the booth’s window, my friend Josh and I had the privilege of having our orders taken at our patio table on the night of the grand opening.

Upon our arrival, we meet Blake, one of the managers, who instructs, Jose, one of the cashiers to tend to mine and Josh’s needs.

Josh and I kick things off with frozen margaritas. I find the consistency of the margaritas to be like that of a Slurpee, minus any stubborn “frozen spots” at the bottom of the cup. The lime and alcohol flavors are perfectly balanced, and the drink goes down smoothly.

Cheers to Taqueria La Ventana’s grand opening (Photo credit: Alex Gonzalez)

Jose then brings us chips, with sides of queso, guacamole, and salsa. As for the queso and guacamole, I find both of them very light on spice. The salsa, on the other hand, is hot, spicy, and packs a powerful punch. I had never been served cooked salsa before, but this distinction in LV’s salsa makes for a delightful surprise. LV’s salsa is now a new favorite of mine.

Chips, queso, and guacamole (photo credit: Alex Gonzalez)

When it comes time for the tacos, I order the barbacoa and the suadero. Josh orders the pollo and the bistec. I am happy to see that whoever arranged the tacos doesn’t skimp on the meat. Plus, the cilantro and onion are served on the side, allowing the guest to throw on as much or as little as they want.

Taqueria La Ventana’s famous tacos (Photo credit: Alex Gonzalez)

As a Hispanic, I have high expectations for these tacos, and I must say, they were met. The meats are flavorful and spicy, and the tacos as a whole are filling and satisfying. I highly recommend adding the creamy tomatillo sauce to any of their tacos, because it is absolutely to die for! 

The team at Taqueria La Ventana is very efficient. Josh and I are amazed by how quickly our orders were taken and fulfilled, as well as how attentive the team members were. We leave the restaurant very pleased with our experience and with everyone who took care of us that evening.

Taqueria La Ventana makes for a cute, authentic taqueria in a highly urbanized district. It is the perfect place to meet with friends for tacos and margaritas in the summer heat, or to grab a late night snack after throwing down drinks at Station 4.

Taqueria La Ventana’s new Cedar Springs location is open Wednesday through Friday from 4:00 p.m. to 4:00 a.m., and Saturday and Sunday from 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.