If the summer heat makes you sleepy, then this roundup of Dallas restaurant news is just the ticket. It's positively jacked up with tidbits about coffee. There's also news of Dallas restaurants expanding west, and a chef who's growing produce.
Here's what's happening in dining news this week:
Starbucks has opened a Starbucks Reserve bar in Uptown Dallas at the McKinney & Olive high-rise tower. These stores have the core menu of coffee drinks, but also integrate the educational aspects of the Roastery with an immersive coffee bar featuring premium brewing through siphon, Clover, Chemex, or Black Eagle, as well as Nitro Cold Brew taps. These stores also offer specialty beverages from the Seattle Roastery, including Affogato items that pair artisan ice cream with coffee; and cocktail-type drinks such as the Melrose, with cold brew, cherry bitters, demerara syrup, and a maraschino cherry. The first Reserve Roastery debuted in Seattle in 2016; roughly 25 exist today in the United States.
Weekend Coffee at the Joule Dallas hotel is serving house-made soft-serve ice cream, available during special late-night hours: Thursdays-Saturdays from 6:30-9 pm. A weekly flavor will rotate between horchata, strawberry yuzu, peach almond, Mexican chocolate, piña colada, and cookies and cream. Topping selections include sprinkles, sugared hazelnuts, brownie bites, cinnamon, and bunuelos. You can choose from a cup or house-made waffle cone for $3.50 or make it an affogato with a shot of espresso for $6.
Ascension Coffee has a new drink called Doki Doki. With a name derived from the Japanese word for the sound of a beating heart, it's a highly caffeinated, nitro-infused blend of the traditional aspects of coffee with scientific innovation. Colombian coffee beans are placed into a Japanese cold brew tower, where water is slowly dripped over a 12-hour-long period to achieve a chocolatey, smooth cup of cold brew. After this process, the coffee is forced into kegs to add a creamy, stout flavor.
Gatti's Pizza has a new branch in Mesquite at 2021 N. Town East Blvd., with a new design and features, including a 4,500-square-foot family entertainment center with its own entrance. Guests have access to their own food court, featuring pizza slices and pepperoni rolls as well as beer, wine, and gelato.
CiboDivino Marketplace, North Oak Cliff's authentic Italian market, is incorporating locally grown produce from Olmost Famous Organics, the Midlothian farm project of its executive chef Ryan Olmos. The chef-farmer invested in non-GMO seeds and grows his crops "with just sunshine and water." According to a release, he's producing two to three pounds every day. Dishes featuring his vegetables include summer salads such as one with Swiss chard, spinach, shaved carrots, toasted walnuts, and olive oil; and a vegetable medley with acorn squash, zucchini, eggplant, bell pepper, and tomato.
Unleavened Fresh Kitchen, the sandwich and salad-type place in Lakewood, is opening a branch in Southlake, at 250 State St. in Southlake Town Square.
Unrefined Bakery, the Dallas gluten-free bakery chain, is opening a branch in Fort Worth at 3250 Hulen St.
Lake Highlands Creamery, the independently-owned ice cream shop, has introduced a new series of ice cream bars, in four flavors. There are two basics, with either vanilla ice cream dipped in chocolate or strawberry ice cream dipped in chocolate The "St. Patrick" has mint ice cream dipped in chocolate and rolled in crushed Andes mints. "That's the Way the Cookie Crumbles" has cookie butter ice cream dipped in chocolate and rolled in cookie dough and Oreos. The shop is at 9660 Audelia Rd. and is open every day from 11 am-10 pm.
Whataburger has two new chicken sandwiches featuring chicken breast and unique sauces. The Whatachick'n Sandwich is fried, with lighter and crispier breading and topped with savory WhataSauce, a creamy sauce with a classic "Southern" flavor. The grilled chicken sandwich has a zesty WhataSauce with a tangy, peppery flavor. Both sandwiches come on a new "artisan" wheat bun.
Ocean Prime Dallas has a new theater menu available Monday through Friday from 4-6 pm. It includes a soup or salad, surf-and-turf entree, side, and bag of popcorn to-go, all for $55. First course options include French onion soup, Caesar, or house salad. Second course consists of an 8-ounce filet with choice of shrimp scampi, crab cake, or scallops. Sides include broccoli, corn, creamed spinach, jalapeno au gratin, whipped potatoes, or truffle mac and cheese.
A Pilgrim's Pride slaughterhouse in Mt. Pleasant, approximately 100 miles east of Dallas, is under investigation for animal cruelty after an exposé by the Humane Society of the United States found evidence of animals beaten with a metal rod, punched, and other horrors. Pilgrim's Pride is the world's second largest chicken producer.
PETA, the animal rights group, has installed a new billboard on I-35 near the Tollway which implies that meat has a negative impact on your sex life. The billboard shows an attractive couple lying in bed, with a cow between them, and not much happening. It's located just off exit 429D, near the Dallas North Tollway. PETA tried to position the ad near Trinity Groves, but they wouldn't allow it.