News You Can Eat

Drink specials and fun menu items pep up this Dallas restaurant news

Drink specials and fun menu items pep up this Dallas restaurant news

Thirsty Lion shrimp ceviche
Shrimp ceviche is a fun new item at Thirsty Lion. Photo courtesy of Thirsty Lion

News on the Dallas dining front includes an opening or two, summer menus, drinks, ice cream, and awards. There's a little something for everyone.

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

Coolgreens, the Oklahoma City-based healthy restaurant concept, is opening a location at the CityLine complex at 1251 State St. in Richardson with franchisee Cassidi Brown. It's Brown's first Coolgreens restaurant to own and operate, but she's been a customer since 2013. Coolgreens serves salads, wraps, quinoa bowls, flatbreads, and sandwiches prepared daily in each location.

Raising Cane's Chicken Fingers, the Louisiana-based company known for chicken fingers, has broken ground on a new location in Frisco at 5688 FM 423. When it opens in November, it will be the 55th Raising Cane's in Dallas-Fort Worth, the 157th in Texas, and the 484th system-wide.

Modern Market Eatery, the excellent, affordable healthy chain, has a new "chef's picks" menu that's launching on July 17, featuring heirloom cherry tomatoes, corn, zucchini, and baby patty pan squash. They appear in: Summer Heat Pizza with corn puree, pepper jack and smoked mozzarella, ricotta, jalapeño, bacon, corn, basil, and chili oil; Seasonal Fire Roasted Veggies with zucchini, baby patty pan squash, fire roasted broccoli, cauliflower, radish, and carrot; Heirloom Tomato Toast with avocado, sourdough toast, heirloom tomato, goat cheese, basil aioli, and basil; Corn & Poblano Chowder with corn, smoky poblano, and gold potato. The heirloom tomatoes are also featured in the existing flatiron salad, smoky chicken bowl, and salmon Caesar salad. A longtime menu staple, the chipotle steak sandwich, gets an upgrade with the addition of roasted onions and fresh mozzarella.

Greenville Avenue Pizza Company is offering a vegan pizza as well as a cauliflower crust for anyone who doesn't want flour. The Vegan has marinara, grilled eggplant, spinach, artichokes, green olives, garlic, and oregano. Sounds good. There's three new pastas: Alfredo penne with chicken, prosciutto, and alfredo sauce; pesto penne with chicken, Roma tomatoes, and pesto sauce; and spicy marinara penne with Italian sausage, basil, and marinara. There's also a new garden salad with Romaine, tomatoes, carrots, red onion, and house ranch dressing; and a new chicken wing sauce, hot honey barbecue. Last but not least, the meatball sub is back with meatballs, marinara, and mozzarella. The new (and returning) items are at both locations on Greenville Avenue and Peavy Road.

Thirsty Lion Gastropub & Grill has a new summer menu starting July 11 that includes cedar plank salmon, shrimp ceviche, heirloom tomato caprese, and Wagyu beef burger, available through the end of September. They also have a fun drink discount during brunch, which runs Saturday-Sunday 10 am to 2 pm. If the temperature gets 95 degrees or above, Moscow mules and margaritas are half-price. These are available at both DFW locations: Toyota Music Factory in Las Colinas and Glade Park Town Center in Euless.

Perry's Steakhouse & Grille is celebrating its 40th anniversary throughout the month of July with a big "4" theme: four choices for four courses for $44. Appetizer choices include fried asparagus, beef & bleu, pork chop bites, or cherry pepper calamari. Salad choices include Caesar, butcher's chop, kale, or wedge. Main course choices include 7-ounce bacon-wrapped filet, salmon with lemon dill butter, Perry's famous pork chop, or chicken parmesan. Desserts include crème brûlée, a dessert trio, milk chocolate peanut butter candy bar, or the Nutty d'Angelo.

Tacodeli has two limited-edition menu items for July: For breakfast, it's cowboy madruguero with grilled dry-rubbed beef tenderloin, scrambled eggs, corn, caramelized onion, roasted peppers, guacamole, and queso fresco. For lunch, it's the lomito adobado with pork tenderloin, habanero-onion escabeche, and cilantro.

El Pollo Loco has a new crunchy nacho overstuffed quesadilla, which puts all of the ingredients in nachos inside a quesadilla. There are also two limited-time overstuffed quesadilla flavor combos — Double Pollo and Spicy Serrano — and a new $20 family dinner with eight pieces of chicken, two large sides, and six quesadilla slices.

Golden Chick has introduced two new sauce flavors that are available for a limited time: Classic Buffalo and Kickin' Korean. It's twist on their Golden Tenders, you can order them tossed in these sauces. The idea of a limited-edition sauce is not new: In 2018, Golden Chick did a similar limited-run chipotle buffalo sauce. These are available at all locations, but only through August 25.

Wingstop celebrates its 25th anniversary with limited-edition "remixes" of their sauces, which they claim is inspired by fans' own sauce mixing. Flavors include Bayou barbecue, combining hickory-smoked barbecue with Cajun seasoning; and mango volcano, which blends mango habanero with sweet Hawaiian. On July 19, they'll add hot lemon, combining original hot to lemon pepper; and atomic barbecue, combining fiery atomic with hickory-smoked barbecue. Wow, that's some "celebration." If this was the big fan trend they claim it was, can't fans just continue to do this themselves?

Applebee's has introduced loaded fajitas, in choice of sirloin steak, chicken, or shrimp, served on a sizzling skillet, with hot queso and bacon. Putting bacon on fajitas seems slightly excessive, some might even say pointless, but this is Applebee's. They come with fajita vegetables, Spanish rice, flour tortillas, cheddar cheese, guacamole, lettuce, sour cream, and pico de gallo.

Seasons 52 has launched a Rosé All Day menu with stellar Rosés that include: Jansz Brut Rosé, a sparkling wine from Tasmania, Australia made from Pinot Noir grapes with flavors of strawberries and cream, rose petals, and brioche; Vanderpump Dry Rosé, a Provence rosé with a touch of strawberry, tangerine, and peach in a dry, classic style; Rosé Lemonade, featuring Ketel One Botanical Grapefruit & Rose Vodka combined with Royal Post Rosé and lemon; and Rosé Sangria, featuring Royal Post Rosé, honey lavender, white cranberry, and lemon.

Bisous Bisous has launched its own line of house-made ice cream in four rotating flavors that will be available by the cup daily for $6.50. The flavors include chocolate salted caramel, vanilla shortbread, lemon meringue, and espresso chip made with Noble Coyote coffee.

Schlotzsky's locations in Dallas will unveil a revamped concept on July 13 — part of the brand's national transition to Schlotzsky's Austin Eatery. They plan to bring their Austin-inspired vibe to life in all of their 370-plus restaurants nationwide. The update features handcrafted food and beverage offerings, an eclectic, purposeful design, and a unique dining experience. Select locations will carry craft beer and wine selections and feature happy hours throughout the week.

Mimi's, the French-inspired concept, has changed its name to Mimi's Bistro & Bakery. After 41 years in business, the brand is modernizing its restaurants, menus, and approach. With the new name, Mimi’s is launching a Bites + Beverages menu along with Mimi's House Wine, made specifically for the brand from Bordeaux, France, plus cocktails and appetizers. The new House Red and House White Wine is $6 per glass and $22 per bottle, accompanied by classic cocktails like the French 75, the French Mule, and martinis. Appetizers include hummus & crudités, brochette trio, and flatbreads. Mimi's was founded in 1978 as a neighborhood bistro with American-French comfort food and bistro classics. They're owned by Dallas-based Le Duff America, Inc., the North American subsidiary of global bakery-cafe leader Groupe Le Duff, headquartered in Rennes, France, and have 77 locations in 16 states, including Arlington and Fort Worth.

Rambler Sparkling Water, the Austin-based sparkling water, purified through a unique Texas limestone filtration process, is now for sale at Central Market and Whole Foods locations, along with some bars and restaurants. A press release calls it a "premium Topo Chico alternative" which seems rather nervy. The brand is produced at the Austin Beerworks brewery, when they're not making beer. Founders are James Moody, founder of Hot Luck Fest; Jeff Trucksess, who co-founded a biodiesel company Green Earth Fuels; and Dave Mead, a photographer who previously worked at an ad agency.

Starbucks has a new Frappuccino for the summer: Tie-Dye Frappuccino is made with a tropical Crème Frappuccino with dashes of powder in yellow, red, and blue (which gets its color from red beet, turmeric, and spirulina) that mix to make a rainbow of vibrant hues. The beverage is topped with whipped cream and more colored powder. It's said to be banana-y in flavor and is available for a limited time. The drink was "designed" at the company's Tryer Center lab by Paloma Carrington-Bataller, which as you can see is a person with two last names, and that is generally a red flag.

Hide Bar in Deep Ellum co-owner Scott Jenkins is one of five mixologists who've been named U.S. finalists in an international cocktail competition by Caorunn Gin. The winning bartender will have an opportunity to switch countries with their winning U.K. counterpart and work guest shifts at a top bar to experience U.K. cocktail culture firsthand. Jenkins will compete at the finals on July 31 in New York, along with four other finalists from New York, Chicago, and Tampa. Jenkins' drink is the Bog Standard which has Caorunn Gin, duh, plus applejack brandy, Cocchi Torino, malt liqueur, citrus tonic, allspice dram, and a dash of orange bitters.

Wine Spectator's 2019 Restaurant Awards honors 60 DFW restaurants for their wine programs including Pappas Bros. Steakhouse, Mansion on Turtle Creek, Del Frisco's Double Eagle Steakhouse, Bob's Steak & Chop House, and Five Sixty By Wolfgang Puck. The complete list of award winners is available in print in Wine Spectator's August issue, on newsstands July 16, and online.