Friday, November 7, 2008
Best Bites: Dining out in Dallas-Fort Worth November 7
Read about a place that serves fried-bologna sandwiches and $2 beers.
The Blue Collar Bar, a new neighborhood restaurant-bar on Henderson Avenue at McMillan, opened last month with a cutesy theme; as the release says, it evokes "a simple time when blue-collar jobs were plenty, TV dinners were a treat, and wooden wall paneling dictated the décor".
The theme extends to the menu, with fried bologna sandwiches, spicy "sloppy Jose", and Blue Plate specials such as meatloaf, pork chops, and cast-iron fried chicken. All beer is sold in cans and includes retro labels such as Schlitz and Pabst Blue Ribbon, served with koozies that resemble paper bags.
The place comes from Donovan Dawson and Dave Pedack, a couple of "Uptown cats," as Pedack put it; he was involved with a number of places in West village including Tom Tom Noodle and Nikita, while Donovan owned Uptown Cycle.
"Even before the bottom of the economy fell out, we'd already started thinking, 'Hey what about a place that has Hungry-Man-type dinners and $2 beers.' That’s unheard of," Pedack says.
Pass that Joint
The Taco Joint brings to Dallas an item beloved elsewhere but nearly unheard-of in these parts: the breakfast taco. Co-owner Corey McCauley worked at a similar place in his hometown Austin and moved here in response to frequent urgings from Dallasites who wanted a bean & cheese taco in the ayem for $1.69. He and partner Jeffrey Kowitz opened on August 11, with breakfast and lunch hours only. They buy their materials locally, offer free wifi, and feature Sonic-style ice, which is apparently a "thing" for some people.
Maestro's New York Style Pizzeria will open next week on Belt Line Road in Dallas, in the space that was previously Taco del Mar. Chef Christopher Graw worked at Lovers Pizza but is originally from New York; his partner, Don Lee, comes from the world of real estate. They'll keep late-late hours -- until 3 a.m. on weekend nights -- and offer beer & wine along with the pies. They're in the same center as the Improv, in fact right under the Improv, with maximum visibility to the street. This is the first but they plan to open a dozen around the Dallas-Fort Worth area.
In the same center, opening in December, in the space vacated by Go Fish: Red India Bistro, from Pramod Prodduturi, founder of the Masala/Masala Wok chain (which btw has been busy franchising along the East Coast, so high-five to them). "Since we opened Masala six years ago, we have received numerous requests from our guests to open a special-occasion restaurant with full service," Prodduturi says. Like Masala, Red India will serve Indian-Chinese fusion food, but with a 2,000-square-foot lounge that'll play Indian techno music and serve fabulous Indian-inspired cocktails.
Last but least -- ha -- the Dallas Observer has launched a new food blog called City of Ate, starring the writerly stylings of new dining critic Dave Faries.