It's mid-summer but we are experiencing none of the mid-summer doldrums one often feels on the Dallas restaurant scene. There are openings, new menus, and news about brunch. The whole enchilada.
Here's what's happening in dining news:
El Vecino has quietly opened its location at Travis Walk where they're doing lunch and dinner in the space that was previously Fernando's. The first location of this Tex-Mex concept opened in Lake Highlands in 2017 and was a finalist for Best New Restaurant in CultureMap's 2018 Tastemaker Awards.
Kona Grill, the global fusion restaurant chain with a location at NorthPark Center, has 25 new menu items and cocktails including starters, salads, sushi rolls, flatbread, sandwiches, and entrees. They include a miso salmon club on ciabatta bread, a crispy Korean chicken sandwich, and a steakhouse roll. At the bar, there's Poema Cava Brut Rosé; new sakes including Joto Daiginjo and Joto Yuzu; and a sake flight with Awa Yuki Sparkling, Ozeki Rai Junmai, Joto Junmai Ginjo, Moonstone Asian Pear, and Hakutsuru Sayuri Nigori.
East Hampton Sandwich Co., the upscale sandwich shop chain, is now going with a seasonal menu, changing it four times per year. One new item is the Gurney’s Special, with egg, American cheese, hash brown, and white truffle hot sauce. New on the lunch/dinner menu are a polo club pesto with chicken, a lemon caprese salad, prosciutto with goat cheese and avocado, and Patty Melt with bacon, arugula. New sides include a summer slaw, arugula salad, pineapple with mint, and potato salad.
Dillas Quesadillas, the Texas-based quesadilla chain, is opening a third location, this one in McKinney, on July 27. The quesadilla-centric restaurant was founded by husband and wife Kyle and Maggie Gordon in 2013 with a first location in Plano, followed by Frisco in 2017.
Nature's Plate, the vegan to-go eatery, is switching to compostable containers. Their initial rollout will replace 50 percent of their containers with compostables. They also have new menu offerings including soba noodles with kale and peanut sauce; orzo-stuffed bell peppers; Wasabi peanut and quinoa salad; and blueberry apple crisp, which will be amongst the menu items making the transition to sustainable containers.
Local Traveler, the recently-opened restaurant on Garland Road near the White Rock Trail, has debuted a Sunday brunch, from 10 am-2 pm, which has its own menu of food and drinks.
Ocean Prime is doing a Rosé campaign for the summer with four specially-priced rosés by the glass and bottle through August 31. The four chosen are Miner Rosé, Chandon Rosé, Veuve Clicquot Rosé, and Notorious Pink Rosé, ranging from still to sparkling to domestic to French.
Dunkin' Donuts has a limited-edition item called Donut Fries, which are stick-shaped pieces of croissant-style doughnut dough tossed in cinnamon sugar. Five Donut Fries come to an order for $2.
Olive Garden is opening its newest location in Oak Cliff on July 30, at 3351 Canyon Bluff Blvd. The restaurant will feature Olive Garden's latest design with new artwork, fabrics and materials, lighting, seating, countertops and flooring, as well as a display of the new Olive Garden Italian Kitchen logo sign.
McDonald's is hosting a "Global McDelivery Day" on July 19. Customers who order McDonald's through Uber Eats will receive an item from their collection of 90s-inspired items including T-shirts, bandanas, socks, pins, and more, while supplies last. This is a global activation taking place on July 19, with McDelivery Collection swag available at more than 200 restaurants in Dallas/Fort Worth and 12,000 across the globe via Uber Eats or other local delivery services. Participating restaurants where the ‘90s-inspired Throwback Collection will be available is listed on mcdeliveryatmcdonalds.com.
Freebirds World Burrito is bottling and selling its Death Sauce, a vinegar-based hot sauce with arbol chiles and whole habaneros that's their spiciest sauce. The sauce is $8 for a bottle.