Are you ready for a restaurant dedicated entirely to the grilled cheese sandwich? What about a place named after an egg? Ready yourself for that and more restaurant news around Dallas-Fort Worth.
Coming to Bishop Arts in January is Dallas Grilled Cheese Company. The menu will include cheesy sandwiches such as American cheese on Texas toast and Brie on a baguette with pears and walnuts, as well as soups, salads and, oh yes, a full bar with cocktails, wine and a big selection of beer. There will be gluten-free bread options and — last but not least — paper straws, available on request, not mindlessly handed out. No plastic, YAY. The restaurant will open at 310 W. Seventh St., in the space once occupied by the Book Doctor. Opening date is penciled in as January 19.
There's a second branch of Start, the fast-casual concept that premiered on Greenville Avenue in 2012. The new one is at 4023 Lemmon Ave., in a prominent space that's two blocks north of Oak Lawn Avenue. Founder Erin McKool conceived Start as a healthier alternative to fast food. The Lemmon Avenue menu will be the same as Greenville's, but there is a new item: a sweet potato cinnamon roll, available at brunch. The Lemmon locale has more parking and a dedicated exit lane for drive-through business.
A breakfast-and-lunch place called Yolk will open at One Arts Plaza on January 20, in the old Screen Door space. The Chicago-based chain founded by Taki Kastanis has a big menu that celebrates excess, including $12 omelets made with five eggs, chicken and waffles, potato pancakes, and eggs Benedict topped with pot roast. There are four kinds of French toast made from such non-bread items as challah, cinnamon rolls and red velvet cake. Lunch options include burgers, chili, sesame-crusted salmon and kale salad. Hours are 6 am-3 pm weekdays and 7 am-3 pm on weekends; maybe that will be the magical formula to break the One Arts Plaza jinx.
North Texas is getting another Torchy's Tacos, this one in West Plano, off the Dallas North Tollway on the southeast corner of Parker Road; according to a company spokesperson, it's slated to open in April. Torchy's monthly taco flavor for January is called Tuk Tuk and has a Thai-Mex theme: beef fajitas, cooked cabbage slaw, pickled cucumber and carrots, Sriracha, avocado sauce, Jack cheese, crushed peanuts, and mint. It sounds like it would be good even without the beef. There are seven Torchy's around DFW, including Allen, Addison and Fort Worth.
Preston-Forest restaurant Oso Food and Wine is now open for lunch Monday-Friday, 11 am to 2 pm. Menu highlights include crispy shrimp falafel, gazpacho panzanella salad with cantaloupe and cucumber, hummus bowl with fava bean fattoush salad, lamb burger with arugula and feta on a brioche bun, and house-made pappardelle pasta with Waygu ragu. There's chicken breast perked up with green olives, capers and prunes, accompanied by a Manchego-heirloom grits cake and braised winter greens.
Patina Green in McKinney is now serving dinner Thursday through Saturday. It started out as a market-type deal, which grew into lunch and now dinner, after owners Robert and Kaci Lyford began hosting monthly dinners that sold out. The menu will change weekly based on seasonal ingredients and will observe a street-food approach, which means disposable packaging. Menu items include pinto beans with rice and corn sticks, smoked and pickled beets, pork cheeks with radish and kale, and chicken confit.
Henderson Tap House has created a new brunch menu with items such as blueberry pizza with ricotta, cheesy bacon fries, French toast, crab Benedict, and shrimp and bacon cheddar grits. Drinks include a mimosa carafe with OJ and a full bottle of champagne for $10, as well as a $5 bloody Mary with choice of up to 11 toppings — bacon, shrimp, pickled peppers, Slim Jims, etc. — for $.50 each or "loaded" for $9. The brunch runs from 11 am to 4 pm on Saturday and Sunday. Sunday's "Sinner's Brunch" gives 25 percent off to anyone who works in the service industry.
Yumilicious, the Dallas-based frozen yogurt company that specializes in self-serve, has introduced a groundbreaking new item: tiramisu gelato, available at all of its Dallas-Fort Worth stores. Can you name another fro-yo chain that offers self-serve gelato? In addition to being gluten-free, the tiramisu gelato has 70 percent less fat than traditional ice cream, and the milk is rBST free.
Pollo Tropical has a new "lite" menu of five chicken entrées that come in between 340 and 510 calories. Citrus chicken salad has orange wedges, tomatoes and almonds. There's a quarter chicken with salad, chicken with rice and vegetables, chicken with brown rice and romaine lettuce, and chicken Caesar wrap with Caribbean chicken soup.
Hopdoddy Burger Bar has a new limited-edition shake with an Indian influence. The mango lassi shake is like half smoothie, half milkshake, combining yogurt, spiced ice cream, mango and mint. It's available through January 18.
Uchi Dallas has lined up a chef for the new Dallas location: Nilton "Junior" Borges Jr., who will serve as chef de cuisine, along with chef-owner Tyson Cole. Hailing from Rio de Janeiro, Borges worked his way up the ranks at various New York City kitchens, including Amali and Tom Colicchio's eponymous Colicchio & Sons. He relocated to Texas in 2014 to join the Uchi team. According to a release, the restaurant will open in "late winter or early spring 2015."
Consilient, the restaurant management company of Tristan Simon, has changed its name to Raised Palate Restaurants. According to a release, the name reflects the company's core values of honing and perfecting ingredients, service and presentation in its seven restaurants, including the most recent opening of Thirteen Pies in Atlanta. Raised Palate manages and operates Hibiscus, The Porch, Victor Tangos, Thirteen Pies (Fort Worth and Atlanta), and AF+B (Fort Worth, Atlanta and coming fall 2015 to Houston). Additional restaurants are on the horizon for Dallas, Houston and Atlanta.
Pizza Inn Holdings, The Colony-based owner of Pizza Inn and the new Pie Five Pizza, has also changed its name, to Rave Restaurant Group Inc. "We're changing the name of the company to reflect the changes we've gone through and, more importantly, our expectations for the future," says CEO Randy Gier. There are 32 branches of Pie Five and more than 150 locations of Pizza Inn around the world. Gier also says, "We aren't your father's Oldsmobile," and that the company is at an "inflection point." I do not think that word means what he thinks it means.