News You Can Eat

New brunches and flatbread pizza elevate this round of Dallas restaurant news

Brunch and flatbread pizza elevate this dose of Dallas restaurant news

Gradi 400
Photo by Gradi 400

The first Restaurant News Roundup of 2020 begins briskly, with loads of openings and a closing or two. We've got some Keto, some new brunches, some potato chips, and pizza. Hooray pizza.

Here's what's happening in Dallas dining news:

Flatbread Company, the New England-based pizza concept, has opened its Dallas location at 1720 Greenville Ave., in the space where Firestone resided for decades. The Flatbread Company serves organic wood-fired pizza, fresh organic salads, and old-fashioned desserts. It was founded in 1998 by Jay Gould and John Meehan, and is headquartered in Boston. The original location opened in 1998 in the town of Amesbury; they now have 15 locations spread across New England. They began franchising in 2016; locations have since opened in Hawaii and British Columbia. The dough is made fresh daily from organic wheat, which is milled into white flour and the wheat germ restored. They're into building relationships with local farms, and some locations have their own herb gardens.

Flattery Cafe is a pizzeria at 6005 Berkshire Ln. in the former Be Raw space, serving thin-crust pizza in varieties such as the Moroccan, topped with "secret sauce," spicy chicken, buffalo mozzarella, bell peppers, onions, and "secret oil". So much secret. They also serve sub-style sandwiches, open-faced "boat" sandwiches, and hot dogs.

La Palapa del Sabor is the latest name for the Oak Cliff restaurant from Raul Reyes, opening in the former Mesa space (which was the former La Palapas space). They'll do Mexican and Latin coastal cuisine but with a less fancy approach than they did with Mesa.

Red Crab - Juicy Seafood, a Florida-based chain that does spicy boiled seafood, will make its Texas debut on January 19 with a location in Addison, at 4080 Belt Line Rd. Their lineup includes blue crab, clams, crawfish, and mussels, which can be ordered in heat levels ranging from “no spice” to “extra hot.” They also serve fried shrimp, fried oysters, and po’ boys. In addition to Florida, they have locations in Brooklyn, New York, and Winston-Salem, North Carolina.

Cracker Barrel is opening a new location on Interstate 30 in Rockwall, 845 E. I-30. You can eat breakfast all day, 'nuff sed. This will be Cracker Barrel's 53rd location in Texas.

Cheese and Chutney, the Oak Cliff boutique specializing in two food groups, cheese and chutney, has closed, after nearly three years.

Shayna's Place, the sandwich and coffee shop at Sylvan Thirty in West Dallas, closed down its neighborhood outpost, Shayna's Annex, at 1605 N. Beckley Ave., at the end of December after a mere four months. Is that space doomed? It used to be Local Press & Brew. The original Shayna's is still open. Owner Lou Olerio is busy with a new project: Lucky's Hot Chicken, a Nashville-style hot chicken place that will open in a much-admired mid-century style building at 4505 Gaston Ave.

Bulla Gastrobar, the authentic Spanish restaurant located in Legacy West, has a new winter menu, being served through early April. Dishes include tarta Santiago, a traditional Spanish cake, with toasted almonds and vanilla ice cream; Piquillo peppers with pork, Pimento cheese, and cilantro; pasta with braised beef cheeks, sofrito, and minced parsley; smoked ham shank with chorizo, steamed potatoes, alubias, and kale; Prince Edward Island mussels; and braised oxtail with truffle.

400 Gradi, the pizzeria import, is now serving brunch every Sunday from 11 am-3 pm featuring traditional brunch fare and items with an Italian spin. There's coconut chia pudding, hazelnut pear Italian French toast, orange ricotta pancake, egg white frittata, eggs benedict, steak & eggs, and eggplant parmigiana. Cocktails include classics with a twist such as Texan Mary, Pimms Cup, Bellini, and Felice Sour.

Dallas Proper, the new-ish bar at 2918 Henderson Ave., has a new Hangover Brunch on Sundays from 11 am-3 pm, with a buffet, bubbles, and a bloody mary bar for $12. They've also launched a weekly ladies night Dames Dinner, with a three-course menu of light bites and cocktail tastings, for $20.20. Each week will feature a unique menu with dishes such as cauliflower flatbread with basil pesto chicken and roasted vegetables; beef tenderloin skewer with apple-cider slaw; and cheesecake bites with raspberry and mint coulis.

Mexican Bar Company has healthy new dishes. Vegan Ceviche is made with hearts of palm, cucumber, tomatillo pico, pickled red onions, avocado, pineapple and mint key lime-roasted jalapeno broth. Coliflor tacos have a filling of lightly battered cauliflower with herb & caper aioli. Hongos tacos have sautéed wild mushroom, manchego cheese, huitlacoche, crispy manchego cheese, cured onions and cilantro.

True Food Kitchen has a new seasonal menu focusing on immunity-boosting, functional ingredients and nutrient-dense dishes and beverages rolling out in all 23 locations, including Dallas. The Winter Immunity Bowl is poured tableside, featuring kuzu (a Chinese root and staple in Chinese medicine for its anti-inflammatory and blood sugar regulating properties) and lion’s mane mushrooms (boosts the immune and cardiovascular systems, reduces inflammation, manages blood sugar, and protects against Alzheimer's disease), garlic, broccolini, edamame, and farro. There's also creamy tomato fennel soup, fig & Gorgonzola flatbread, and guacamole featuring edamame and Aleppo pepper.

Yard House, the modern American gathering place, has introduced a new Lifestyle Menu with nutrient-dense superfoods, as well as new American cuisine and globally inspired flavors. Items include hummus, ahi sashimi, beet salad, avocado toast, poke salad, shrimp zoodle bowl, steak bowl, red quinoa salad, Mediterranean salmon, Caprese chicken, pan seared ahi, roasted halibut, and a Mediterranean Burger. There's also a host of alternative meat options including spicy Beyond Sausage pasta, Gardein wings, Gardein sesame chicken bowl, Gardein orange chicken, Gardein Mac + Cheese, Gardein grilled chicken & avocado sandwich, and a Beyond Burger.

Slater's 50/50 in Dallas has reintroduced what they say are healthier menu items including a power bowl featuring a quinoa veggie patty with edamame, blueberries, mixed greens, carrots, pumpkin seeds, tomatoes, quinoa, avocado and wildflower honey vinaigrette. Turkey Harvest Bowl has a turkey patty with blue cheese crumbles, dried cranberries, quinoa, green apple, mixed greens, candied pecans and balsamic vinaigrette. Cheeseburger Bowl has beef, caramelized onions, cheddar cheese, bacon jam over mixed greens, and sweet & spicy cauliflower tossed in Asian BBQ sauce with ginger cilantro slaw, scallions, and toasted sesame seeds. Through March 31.

El Pollo Loco has a trio of new Pollo Fit Bowls, good if you’re trying to eat Keto or Paleo: Double Chicken & Avocado has chopped chicken breast, avocado, spinach, pico de gallo, queso fresco, lettuce, and red cabbage and carrot blend. Double Chicken & Queso Fresco has chopped chicken breast, spinach, pico de gallo, black beans, queso fresco, and lettuce and red cabbage blend. Double Chicken & Mango has chopped chicken breast, spinach, mango salsa, avocado, and lettuce and red cabbage blend.

Big Al’s Smokehouse BBQ is launching a new special: 2 Dinners & Dessert for $20. Choose two single meat plates, excluding ribs, and one dessert. It's available weekdays after 4 pm and all day Saturday.

Local Yocal BBQ & Grill has launched a new weekend brunch on Saturdays-Sundays 11 am-3 pm with Southern breakfast food and drink. Highlights include pulled pork benedict, brisket hash, Wagyu steak & eggs, biscuits & gravy, bread pudding French toast, and Local yogurt arfait. The brunch menu is accompanied by Local Yocal’s lunch menu featuring signatures like smoked chicken fried steak, Gulf shrimp & grits, BBQ meats, hamburgers, and salads. Drinks include the Blueberry Yum Yum, a grown up “juice box” made with Hendrick’s Gin, Circle 15 Farms blueberry jam, cucumber, ginger, lemon, and Citra hopped bitters, plus a Mimosa carafe and a bloody Mary.

Seasons 52, the fresh grill and wine bar, has a new "Two for $52" deal with choice of one shared appetizer and two entrees for $52, featuring dishes like grilled artichokes with preserved lemon hummus, wood-grilled salmon, and shrimp & grits.

Chuck E. Cheese has a newly remodeled look and menu which can be seen at its Irving location at 3903 W. Airport Frwy. There's a modernized dance floor where Chuck E. makes a live appearance every hour. Kids’ feet light up the dance floor as they move. They've done away with the tokens. Now, parents can load a play pass with time, allowing kids to play as many games as they want for the time bought. There's a new logo, new color scheme, sleeker furniture, brighter lighting, and refined signage. They've also improved the food & beverage experience with BBQ chicken pizza, Cali Alfredo pizza, Cauliflower crust pizza, and an endless salad bar with over 30 items including fruits, vegetables, meats, cheeses, pasta salads, and more.

Tacodeli has new menu items for January, available through January 29. Breakfast special is Puerco Verde & Eggs made with DuBreton Farms Organic Pork Shoulder, Salsa Verde, Vital Farms scrambled eggs, and queso fresco. Lunch special is Lomo Ahumado with smoked pork loin, salsa negra, Habanero Escabeche, and Avocado.

Pinstack, the entertainment concept, has two new dishes for January: Texas poutine and French onion soup, available at all three locations.

First Watch, the breakfast-centric chain, has three new dishes available through March 15. Brilliant Beet Toast is on whole grain toast with beet hummus, avocado, pickled onions, diced red beets, arugula, and herbed Goat cheese, served with two basted eggs. Vanilla chai pancakes has vanilla chai and fresh banana added to their multigrain pancake batter, served as three mid-sized pancakes topped with sliced bananas, raspberries, maple-chai almond butter, and superseed crunch. Baja chicken burrito bowl has an ancient grain blend and seasoned black beans with salsa verde chicken, pico de gallo, lime crema, kale slaw, sliced avocado, Cotija cheese, cilantro, and a sunny-side-up egg. They also have a new juice, the Blue Booster, with white grape, blueberry, lemon, and basil.

Chick-fil-A has added a new Kale Crunch Side featuring kale and cabbage, tossed with Apple Cider and Dijon Mustard Vinaigrette, and topped with salted almonds. It can be substituted for Waffle Potato Fries at no additional charge. Kale Crunch Side was tested in various Chick-fil-A restaurants in Florida, Iowa, and Texas last spring and received positive customer feedback. The new menu item will replace the Superfood Side on restaurant menus nationwide.

Shake Shack has a new limited-edition burger and a trio of shake flavors. The ShackMeister burger is a regular Shackburger but topped with shallots marinated in Shiner Bock. It's exclusive to the Texas Shacks, so we're special. The three shakes are Cookie Butter, Malted Milk Chocolate, and Frozen Hot Chocolate. The shakes will be available through March 16. The ShackMeister Burger will be available through March 31.

Taco Cabana has an exciting new ChoriBean Breakfast Bowl with spicy chorizo, refried beans, potatoes, eggs, queso, and pico de gallo, for $2.49, available during breakfast hours only. They're also discounting their bowl lineup with the Chicken Fajita Bowl and the Ground Beef Bowl at $3.99; the Beyond Meat Bowl at $4.99; and the Steak Fajita Bowl at $4.99. They're also doing TC Chili for $2.99, available for a limited-time only.

Whataburger has brought back the Buffalo Ranch Chicken Strip Sandwich, which comes with the perfect marriage of buffalo sauce and ranch. And their latest creation, the Breakfast Burger, is staying on menus during late night/breakfast hours: from 11 pm-11 am.

Impossible Foods, the faux meat juggernaut, has created a new product: Impossible Pork, made from plants. They introduced it at a tech show in Las Vegas, and will roll it out for consumers in the spring. A video shows it being used for sausage and as a filler for dumplings; China is the world's largest consumer of pork. Pigs are considered the fifth-most intelligent animal in the world, even more intelligent than dogs. They're capable of playing video games with more focus and success than chimps. They have excellent object-location memory and possess a sophisticated sense of direction. Impossible Foods is also introducing a new product in partnership with Burger King: the Impossible Croissan'wich featuring Impossible Sausage made from plants, which will be available soon in select Burger King restaurants for a limited time. Burger King began serving a Whopper made with Impossible beef in August 2019, and reports from the field say that it is extremely delicious.

Dunkin has a new Oatmilk Latte, available hot or iced, containing espresso and creamy oatmilk. It's available now in California and will roll out to the rest of the country in the spring.

Lay's has added three new flavors: Lay’s Cheddar Jalapeño, with sharp cheddar and a warm kick of jalapeño; Lay’s Poppables in a new Sea Salt & Vinegar flavor; and Lay's Kettle Cooked Flamin’ Hot.

Long Drink is a canned alcoholic drink from Finland that's just been introduced in Texas. It's made with grapefruit, gin, and juniper berries. The company has Texan investors/board members and its Finnish founders just moved to Dallas.

Punch Bowl Social has some wide-ranging non-alcoholic drinks, including fizzes and zero proof cocktails such as The Florist’s Tonic, with Seedlip Garden 108 Distilled Non-Alcoholic Spirit, lavender syrup, lime juice and Q Mixers Elderflower tonic; and the Cilantro Fizz with  cilantro, jalapeno-cucumber syrup, lime juice, and aquafaba.

Shiner has brought back its Prickly Pear seasonal beer. This limited release is brewed with organic prickly pear, a cactus native to the Poteet, TX landscape. It's tart yet sweet, with citra hops to provide aroma, and a gentle ABV of 4.9 percent. It's available in bottles and cans for a suggested $7.99 per six-pack.

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Lindsey Wilson contributed to this story.