Within the past few years, poké bowl restaurants have spread rapidly across the Dallas metroplex. Poké is a raw fish salad popular in Asian and Hawaiian cultures.
FreshFin, a concept which originally opened its doors in Lower Greenville in 2016, can be credited as one of the first restaurants to popularize poké in Dallas.
Earlier this year, FreshFin closed its Lower Greenville location, however, they are currently thriving in its new home in Legacy Hall.
“We don’t like to say ‘closing,’ rather, we like to think of it as a revival,” owner Joon Choe says. “As much as we would’ve liked for the Lower Greenville be our flagship location, I think it makes more sense to have Legacy West as the new flagship. I can’t split my body into two and be in both locations at once, but luckily, I’m able to put my energy into the Legacy West location and focus on making it great.”
After being approached to open a stand in Legacy Hall, Choe was excited for the opportunity to grow within Plano.
“Real estate was definitely a big factor for us moving to Legacy West,” Choe says, “but working with Frontburner Restaurants was the biggest factor for us. Seeing how Frontburner has opened restaurants and proven time and time again to be successful, it was really a no-brainer for me.”
Prior to opening FreshFin, Choe spent a lot of time traveling throughout Asia, learning the craft and studying the food consumption habits of various Asian countries.
“The demands are completely different food-wise,” Choe says. “The fact that each region had its own impact on the type of food that was served, was eye-opening to me.”
Following his travels, Choe decided to take what he learned and incorporate it into FreshFin’s operations. As a restaurant owner, Choe places a lot of weight on customer satisfaction.
“I’m no celebrity by any means, but I always search ‘FreshFin’ on social media outlets to see how people are reacting to the food,” Choe says. “FreshFin is my baby, and I want to see if there’s anything people don’t like about it. I opened this business to serve people and I always want to make it better, for the best interest of my customers.”
From the moment Choe wakes up to when he goes to sleep at night, his mind is always on FreshFin. Luckily, he has a good team behind him to help lighten the load.
“I spend roughly about 80 to 90 hours per week in the restaurant,” Choe says. “ I consider myself always on the run, I’m always taking calls for FreshFin at all hours of the day. Doing everything on my own has been difficult, but I’ve good a good group of people at Champion and Frontburner helping with marketing and advertising. It’s a huge weight off of my shoulders.”
Despite having accomplished more than most 25-year-olds can say, Choe insists he is just getting started.
“I feel like we’ve made such a small dent in Dallas’s industry,” Choe says. “Poké is such a small factor of food in Dallas. For me, I consider my success helping people eat a little more healthy.”
FreshFin is currently open in Legacy Hall. Be sure to stop by and try their many poké bowls, sushi burritos, and their signature Crispy Rice Ahi Tower.
In the three weeks since their official grand opening, Legacy West’s Haywire has proven to be a hit. People from all over the metroplex are stopping by to get a taste of southern hospitality.
This coming weekend, Haywire will begin serving brunch.
I was lucky enough to try some of Haywire’s soon-to-be-available brunch items last weekend during a special Frontburner friends and family event. Their items are far different from the regular chicken and waffles or eggs benedict Dallasites know and love. Haywire’s brunch menu consists of many traditional brunch items that have a southern touch one couldn’t find anywhere else.
To kick things off, I ordered a Seelbach cocktail. The drink had a fruity, citrus flavor, similar to grapefruit, followed by a strong, alcoholic aftertaste. I cooled down with a mimosa, in which the champagne and orange juice flavors had a perfect balance.
For the starter, I was served the Cast Iron Cheddar and Jalapeño Biscuits. The biscuits were served with sides of sausage gravy and peach compote. I particularly enjoyed the fact that the biscuits were crispy, with a crunchy, cheesy outer layer, and didn’t fall apart leaving a flaky mess. The gravy complemented the biscuits in a way that made them feel warm and comforting.
The biscuits were followed by the Ranch Chicken Cobb Salad. Although the salad was phenomenal, I found it a bit oddly presented. It looked like two chicken strips were simply plopped atop a bed of greens. Perhaps the salad would’ve been more aesthetically pleasing had the chicken strips been cut into smaller pieces and spread among the salad. Despite the salad’s peculiar appearance, it was packed with flavor. It was heavy on bleu cheese and Texas honey & herb vinaigrette dressing, which gave the greens a creamy texture. Plus, the bacon bits gave the salad a sweet, meaty kick.
I ordered the Texas Gulf Shrimp and Grits for my main course. Normally, I’m not very big on grits, however, I do not regret trying Haywire’s. The grits were topped with a beautiful arrangement of high-quality shrimp and a poached egg. The shrimp was the brightest shade of red, and thick and meaty like sausage. The grits were creamy and soupy in texture and had a spicy kick courtesy of Haywire’s signature creole sauce.
I concluded my brunch meal with the Texan Pecan Brown Butter Pancakes. In all honesty, these pancakes were the best I’ve tasted in my life. I’ve never had pancakes with a perfect cake-like texture, but Haywire hit this nail on the head. These pancakes were a stack of heavenly, fluffy goodness, topped with delicious whiskey peach compote, pecans, and whipped cream.
Legacy West’s Haywire is a manifestation of southern hospitality. It’s an experience unlike anything you’ll find in Plano and is sure to be a hit for years to come.
Haywire officially rolls out their brunch menu on December 23rd at 11:00 am.
The most anticipated addition to Plano’s Legacy West shopping center is finally set to open its doors this Wednesday. Legacy Hall is a three-story food hall containing a variety of restaurant set-ups and bars. It is the first of its kind in the United States, inspired by the food halls Jack Gibbons, president of The Frontburner Group, encountered during his international travels.
“My business partner Randy and I were in Russia traveling back through Amsterdam,” Gibbons said. “When we studied the history of food halls and how they started in Europe, we felt that there was a big place for this in the United States.
Legacy Hall’s opening comes shortly after the opening of Legacy West’s Haywire, which is also parented by The Frontburner Group. Like Haywire’s three stories, each floor of Legacy Hall has a different feel to it.
“On the first floor, there are 20 stalls that are serving all different product from shawarma to lobster rolls. Each of the 20 stalls is run by local chefs and restaurateurs,” Gibbons said. “There’s a full working brewery on the third floor.”
This past Saturday evening, media and press were invited to a sneak preview of the much-anticipated food hall. Each of the attendees was given a pre-loaded “hall pass,” containing $25 worth of credits, valid at any of the bars and food stalls.
For dinner, I made my way over to Blist’r and ordered a Char-grilled chicken tikka naan wrap. I was given the option of choosing “regular” or “spicy” and opted for the latter. My wrap was assembled quickly, in the same fashion of a Chipotle burrito.
I was very satisfied with the taste of my naan wrap. While the chicken was hot, spicy, and flavorful, it was the tamarind and mint chutney, along with the pickled onion that gave the wrap a sweet kick. I washed down the wrap with a lemon berry acai flavored Stubborn Soda. The soda tasted different from any other soda I’ve ever tasted, as the sweet fruit flavors overpowered the carbonated water. Originally, I had planned to give up drinking soda in the imminent new year, however, I may have to make an exception for Stubborn.
After dinner, I opted for a healthy dessert at Berrynaked, a stall offering a variety of popsicles, smoothie bowls, and sundaes. I was able to try both the matcha latte and the blueberry lavender popsicle. While both popsicles were refreshing, I preferred the blueberry lavender. The matcha latte was good, however, the dairy base doesn’t allow for the consumer to get to the flavor as quickly as the water base of the blueberry lavender does. As for both popsicles, they were frozen to the right consistency to which they didn’t melt immediately upon removal from the freezer.
To end the night, I paid a visit to the third level bar and ordered a drink called “Teaches and Peaches.” The Teaches and Peaches consists of Peach Brandy, Madeira, lemon juice, raspberries, and billers. Albeit a bit pricey, it was packed with fruity flavor and had a strong impact.
Although I didn’t get a chance to try every single food stall, there were several items that looked very appetizing, including “The Soulman” from Press Waffle Co., as well as handcrafted pizza from Forno Nero.
Apart from offering a multitude of delicious food options, Legacy Hall encourages its guests to be environmentally conscious, as they have different trash containers for paper, plastic, and food waste.
My only complaint of the night was that the first floor felt rather crowded, however, this is likely to change, as more outdoor additions are underway.
In March of 2018, Legacy Hall will open an environmentally friendly music venue right outside of the first floor.
“Our venue will be called ‘The Box Carton,” Gibbons said. “It is made out of recycled shipping containers and has different bars and restaurants that will really complete the food hall project.”
Although the Gibbons and The Frontburner Group have a lot on their hands right now, they have no plans to slow down in the near future.
“We’ve started a company called ‘The Food Hall Company,’” Gibbons said. “We’re starting our Plano hall as our first one, but we plan to create more of these unique venues and make them wildly popular across the country.”
Legacy Hall is an artistic celebration of food and world cultures. There is something for everybody at Legacy Hall and it will undoubtedly be a hit upon opening.
Legacy Hall is set to open on December 6. For a complete list of bars and food stalls, click here.
This Wednesday, Legacy West’s newest addition, Haywire, has officially opened its doors. Haywire is a three story building that serves as a lounge, restaurant, and a bar.
“They’re all an experience,” General manager Brian Knoy said of Haywire’s three floors. “On the first floor we have the whiskey lounge, which is like a jazzy cocktail lounge with a Texas twang to it. On the second floor you can have your full dinner. The second floor bar is called the butcher bar, and we have a great selection of wine on tap, wine by the bottle, and wonderful crafted cocktails. There’s also an open kitchen up there.
On the third level, there is an outdoor patio complete with high definition televisions, and a remodeled Nomad Airstream designed for parties and group dinners.
“We like to look at our third floor as our Marfa West Texas Lounge,” Knoy said. “There’s something for everybody here.
Prior to Haywire’s opening, each of the servers and bartenders underwent intensive sommelier training.
“Sommelier training consisted of four master sommeliers coming to Haywire for a two-day class,” server Casey Mallow said. “At the end of the second day, each server takes a 75-question test and if you pass, you receive your level one introduction to the Court of Masters Sommelier certificate, and a pin.”
By requiring their employees to go through such thorough training, Haywire can attest to the fact that their service will be nothing less than absolute quality. This was the case during Haywire’s friends and family night this past Monday.
I had dinner Monday evening on the second floor, which consisted of an open kitchen, a bar, booths, tables, and vintage record setups.
I was served by Lisa, who, despite having many tickets to fulfill, still tended to my requests happily and professionally. There were roughly around 200 people being served at the same time as I, but I still managed to receive each of my courses in a timely manner.
I kicked things off with Haywire’s signature Marfa Mule, which consists of Cinco Vodka, Ancho Reyes Verde, Ginger Beer, and lime and grapefruit flavorings. The individual elements of the Marfa Mule complimented each other and created something very sweet. The Marfa Mule had a citrus flavor, similar to that of Sprite or Squirt. The cocktail’s aftertaste was strong, but overall, the drink was one of the best I’ve tasted in years.
To follow up the Marfa Mule, I then ordered the Cadillac Margarita, which consists of Dulce Vida Tequila Añejo, Paula’s Texas Orange, light agave for sweetening, and Himalayan salt. The margarita was my favorite cocktail of the two I consumed on Monday evening, as it was sweet but not too tangy or citrus-y. It had just the right amount of lime flavor, with little to no aftertaste. The impact, however, was strong enough to my liking.
Overall, Haywire’s cocktails are perfect for those who don’t like the taste of alcohol but enjoy the feeling of intoxication.
For the appetizer, I ordered the Spicy Tortilla Soup. Admittedly, as a Hispanic man, I wasn’t expecting for the soup to taste as great as it did. The soup had a very authentic flavor. It had just the right degree of hotness and a good amount of chicken and avocado chunks. The tortilla strips on top allowed for a good southern crispness.
The Charbroiled Angus Filet made for an exceptionally delicious main course. The steak was served with Haywire’s Warm Roasted Marble Potato salad. The potato salad was a phenomenal side dish and contained caramelized onions, bits of bacon, and a signature sauce. The salad’s unconventional ingredients allowed for a sweet kick that one would be hard-pressed to find in potato salads from anywhere else. The meat was topped with a chili butter, which complemented it very nicely. The steak itself was thick, flavorful, juicy, hearty, and managed to cut like bread.
From service to food quality, Haywire far exceed my expectations. The three-story restaurant and bar officially opened its doors on Wednesday, but guests can expect a variety of celebratory opening events over the course of the next two weeks.
“We look forward to welcoming a true taste of Texas to the Plano community,” Jack Gibbons, President of Frontburner Restaurant Group said.
Haywire’s official ribbon-cutting ceremony will take place on December 14th at 4:30 P.M., but don’t wait until then to check the place out. See below for a list of events taking place at Haywire!
Wednesday, Nov. 29, 5:30-7 p.m: Grand opening sabering event featuring Tattinger on the first-floor patio. Take part in the celebration as the restaurants’ leaders wield large steel sabers to expertly lop the necks off bottles of fine champagne, then take a guided tour through all three floors of this incredible building.
Thursday, Nov. 30, 5:30-7 p.m: Boots and Bubbles wine and cheese event. Janet Trefethen, principal of Trefethen Family Vineyards, will be pouring her award-winning wines – paired with Haywire’s delicious, locally sourced meat and cheese boards – in the Private Dining Room.
Friday, Dec. 1, 7-9 p.m: Whiskey Tasting. Haywire’s whiskey experts will explain the intricacies of the spirit while offering tastings in the one-of-a-kind whiskey lounge. The lounge stocks more than 400 brands, including the best Texas has to offer. House of Cigars will likewise be on-site rolling handmade cigars for guests.
Saturday, Dec. 2, 6-8 p.m: Don Julio 1942 Party featuring craft cocktails on the third-floor rooftop patio bar and in the Airstream trailer. Yes, you read that right – there’s an Airstream trailer on the roof so guests can relax with a signature cocktail, a cold local craft brew or a fine bourbon under the stars.
Sunday, Dec. 3, 6-8 p.m: Half-off wine nights begin. Haywire is wine lovers’ new Sunday destination as the restaurant offers half-priced bottles of over 100 labels on its impressive wine list every Sunday night. The series kicks off at a special time on Dec. 3 before settling in for its regular 4 p.m. start on Dec. 10.
Monday, Dec. 4, through Friday, Dec. 8, from 4-7 p.m: Happy Hour, featuring Haywire’s handcrafted specialty cocktails and signature drinks at each bar. An array of vendors will be stationed on every floor offering booze and bites to guests.