Tuesday, March 27, 2012
Spice Rack opens in Burleson with two chefs and local ingredients
Including a local-organic version of jalapeno poppers.
BURLESON New to Burleson is The Spice Rack, which declares itself "not your average Burleson restaurant," with its use of organic produce and free-range organic chicken sourced from Walnut Creek Farm in Alvarado.
The menu includes ceviche, a wedge salad, and burgers made with grass-fed beef. Chefs Cody Pinton and Kevin Lamb are both graduates of Le Cordon Bleu.
"We'd been talking about it -- we're all cousins," says manager Nick Easly. "Cody and I worked at a catering company before this, and our cousin Derek Sheeley was looking to open a restaurant, so it fell in the right place at the right time."
They took over a space in Old Town Burleson that was occupied for 12 years by Gianni's, an Italian restaurant. The newly-updated decor includes deer heads on the wall and mounted ducks on the ceiling over the bar.
"We've got this refined rustic theme with galvanized tin on the walls and bar," Easly says. "Old Town Burleson is a good location. We're right down street from Babe's."
Their menu has some interesting-sounding, sometimes-amusing items such as their "stuffed, local organic jalapenos" -- a PC version of poppers. They make tacos with venison steak, queso with smoked Gouda cheese, and "vegetable fries" that use not just potatoes but other root vegetables, too.
"Good flavor comes from good ingredients," says chef Cody. "You can do whatever you want to it but if you start with fresh, you're going to notice a difference."
They keep long hours, staying open until midnight on weekdays and 2 a.m. on weekends.
"There isn't anyone in the area open that late and people want to go have beers," Easly says. "The closest to drive to is Applebee's, but you don't get the atmosphere. We have a full bar with seasonal Rahr beers on tap."
But even with all its local/organic initiatives, this is still Burleson: Waitresses wear Spice Rack tank tops with denim shorts and cowboy boots, and the menu includes a funky item that sounds similar to the recently-announced 2-foot-long hot dog at the Rangers stadium.
"Our signature dish is called the 'Homewrecker Challenge' -- it's a two-foot sausage wrapped in bacon with chili, queso, fries, and pico de gallo that comes out on French bread roll," Easly says. "We also have a hot wing challenge: Eat 12 and you get them for free."