A new restaurant in North Dallas does a spin on poutine you won't find anywhere else. The restaurant, North Dallas Creole, or NDC for short, does Creole food, but with a careful approach to its sourcing and preparation techniques. The restaurant is located at 5555 Preston Oaks Rd., in a space previously occupied by Ms. Daisy Fish and Cajun.
Owner Joshua Robinson has worthy ambitions with his new restaurant.
"I'm trying to bring in a little more of the Creole and French tradition, and use fresh, local, seasonal ingredients as much as possible," he says. "Obviously, there's no local salmon, but we're using Gulf seafood and other Texas products. We're also partnered with Earthstead Farms, a farm in East Texas that practices sustainable and ethical farming, for our chicken wings."
Robinson is a worldly fellow, with wide-ranging experience, including a year volunteering at a nonprofit cafe in Cambodia.
"Most recently, I was working in the front of the house and [as a] sommelier at a Cal-Med restaurant in Louisville, Kentucky, called Decca," he says. "The head chef, Annie Pettry, was on this season's Top Chef. I came to Dallas because my wife relocated here for work, and I was looking for a project."
That project ended up being North Dallas Creole. His menu includes simple dishes such as po' boys and smoked salmon, plus entrées such as blackened trout and seafood étouffée with Gulf shrimp and Louisiana crawfish tails. He does a mean version of hush puppies, which you can order as a side, with ketchup and remoulade.
"We add something extra into the batter," he says. "We mix in our maque choux, made with corn and pepper, where we roast the corn on a grill, which we serve as a side with our smoked salmon."
And don't forget the Creole poutine. It's a creative mishmash with hand-cut Texas russet pommes frites topped with chicken and sausage étouffeé, queso fresco in place of the more traditional cheese curds, and house remoulade.
They also do a one-of-a-kind version of red beans and rice. "We do it with vegetarian stock, but we amp up the flavor by adding the blackening seasoning that we use on our fish and shrimp," Robinson says. "And then we serve it with fried injera bread on the side."
Injera bread is the spongy flat sourdough bread used in Ethiopian cuisine, marking Robinson's red beans and rice as some serious fusion.
"We get fresh injera bread from a 7-Eleven up the street that's run by an Ethiopian man," Robinson says. "That's one of the things I like about Dallas: It's so diverse, you can find injera bread at an Ethiopian-run 7-Eleven."