This roundup of Dallas dining news starts off on a sad note about a closure. But then it gets more upbeat, with openings, wine clubs, autumn menus, and beer. It's like a roller coaster of emotions.
Here's what's happening in Dallas restaurant news:
Sugarbacon, the restaurant in McKinney, closed abruptly on September 30 with an announcement posted on Facebook. "It is with heavy hearts that we have decided to close the restaurant," the post said. "It wasn't a decision we took lightly, but we have decided it is time. Thank you all so much for your love, support, and loyalty over the years." The restaurant opened with great bravado in 2015, followed by a location in Lakewood in 2016, but lasted less than a year. Customers noticed a decline in recent months, and staffers posted comments about being treated shabbily. The closure follows the demise of sibling Butcher Board, which closed its two locations in McKinney and Frisco on September 9.
Coolgreens, the healthy eatery, has opened a location in Richardson, at 1251 State St. in the CityLine complex. It's a fresh, fast dining experience that caters to all lifestyles. Franchisee is Cassidi Brown, who says they're thrilled to be in Richardson. Like the other branches of this chain, they'll serve salads, wraps, grain bowls, and sandwiches with fresh ingredients prepared daily.
Dan’s Seafood and Chicken #3 is a longtime mom-and-pop from Fort Worth that's expanding to Dallas. The first location opened at 6719 Bridge St. more than 25 years ago. Owner Minh Do says they opened a second location in 2014 at 3801 Altamesa Rd., Fort Worth. Their Dallas address will be at 8360 S. Polk St., in a building that's new from the ground up, next to a Family Dollar and across from new North Dallas County offices that just began construction. Those employees will sure be happy to have Dan's nearby.
The Gap Cafe is a new sibling of award-winning restaurant Perini Ranch Steakhouse, located in Buffalo Gap. The café is open for breakfast with items such as Perini Ranch's signature blend of Cowboy Coffee, made-to-order breakfast, cinnamon rolls, almond croissants, parmesan prosciutto scones, and seasonal Danishes by Salty Roan Bakehouse. Lunch is coming soon, consisting of soups and sandwiches. The Gap Café joins the Perini Ranch family in Buffalo Gap, which includes the original Perini Ranch Steakhouse, the Perini Ranch Country Market, Guest Quarters, catering, e-commerce site, and cookbook, with a second cookbook slated for release in November 2019.
Lucky Mouth Grocery is a vegan grocery coming to the Bishop Arts District with a rather assertive cartoon logo of a big open mouth. Lucky was previously an online grocery based in Irving, but husband-and-wife David and Adriana Martinez Miers found a super convenient location at 196 W. Davis St., #120, right by the trolley stop. They'll offer salads, sandwiches, and soups made on site, plus tamales and items from local chefs. Construction is underway, with November as their targeted completion date.
Biagio Wine & Spirits, the creative wine and liquor store in Victory Park, has launched a clever wine club. Every month they'll choose a bottle of red and white for a flat $45 fee. They'll offer information on the wine - where it’s from, who made it, how to pair it. Members who want more get a 10 percent discount. Their first month's selections were pretty cool: Cantina DEI Vino Nobile de Montepulciano (Italy) and Catena Chardonnay (Argentina). If you bought these at regular retail, it'd be almost $60.
Seasons 52, the healthy wine-friendly restaurant chain with locations at NorthPark Center in Dallas and at Shops at Legacy in Plano, has a new "Root & Vine" three-course menu for autumn featuring entrees prepared using oak-fire grilling and brick oven-roasting to be naturally lighter and under 595 calories. Ingredients include mushrooms, apples, and pumpkin, which are braised and roasted, so fall. Guests can choose a soup or salad, entrée, and dessert for $30. Entrees include kona-crusted prime sirloin with Brussels sprouts, mushrooms, and brandy cream sauce; Mediterranean-style braised lamb with herb-fig-pistachio couscous and sesame yogurt; and brick oven-roasted cod with cauliflower and chickpeas. Soup and salad options include cheddar tomato bisque, field greens and Romaine, and kale Caesar. A wine flight highlighting three wines from the Caymus family is $18.
Asian Mint is featuring a "throwback menu" during October to celebrate an anniversary, highlighting original items no longer on the menu. These include pad Thai rolls; grilled Thai fish balls, a traditional street food item that was only served at the Oak Lawn location; duck red curry, an Oak Lawn menu item with duck breast in red curry sauce with pineapple; and rad nah, an authentic noodle dish from Thailand with woked big noodles, greens, and protein.
North Italia, the Italian chain with locations in Dallas and Plano, has a new fall menu with seasonal produce including butternut squash, Brussels sprouts, sweet potato, and apple. There's Diver scallops with parmesan risotto, butternut squash, Brussels sprout leaf, crispy shallot; and pancetta; vegetable salad with butternut squash, Brussels sprout, cauliflower, kale, radicchio, pecorino, farro, pistachio, and date; and burrata with date conserva, pistachio, pancetta, arugula, and grilled bread.
Bellagreen, the Houston-born healthy chain with one location in Dallas and two in Plano, has a limited-time autumn menu featuring an autumn harvest salad with butternut squash, red beets, carrots, mixed greens, arugula, and maple vinaigrette, plated over maple-infused ricotta cheese and topped with crushed pistachios and crumbled goat cheese, wait what?; and a butternut squash & pesto soup with butternut squash, potatoes, a "little zing" of orange, pesto, pumpkin seeds, and microgreens. Salmon & harvest hash combines honey chipotle salmon with a hash made from butternut squash, sweet potatoes, Brussels sprouts, and organic quinoa. Autumn paleo salmon tacos have butternut squash, cabbage, radish, and cilantro, atop paprika and parsley seasoned almond flour tortillas, served with house-made avocado tomatillo sauce. Caramel pumpkin cheesecake is served with vanilla ice cream and a chocolate trellis.
White Rock Alehouse & Brewery is growing and evolving its house-made craft beer list, with pitchers, flights, growlers, and crowlers. They're typically doing 16 options such as blonde ale, Czech-style pilsner, Mexican-style lager, all the IPAs – American, West Coast, New England, and Imperial – hefeweizen, honey wheat, English brown ale, Bavarian pilsner, Belgian golden strong (with 10 percent ABV, wow), Russian Imperial stout, and an amber ale with two kinds of malt. The Belgian golden strong is strong alright at 10 percent ABV, but most of the lineup lies within the completely doable 4 to 8 percent range.
Liberty Burger, the Dallas-based upscale burger chain, has a limited-time burger for the month of October that seems appropriate: The Ghost Burger, a beef patty with lettuce, tomato, bacon, avocado, and a ghost pepper-infused queso blanco. One dollar of each Ghost Burger sold goes to animal group Dallas Pets Alive.
Whataburger has introduced an indelicate new curiosity: a breakfast burger. It features a beef patty, pepper sauce, two slices of bacon, an egg, three hash browns, and American cheese in a 4-inch bun. Whataburger VP Rich Scheffler calls it a "hearty creation" for those fueling up for their day or enjoying a late-night meal. The Breakfast Burger is available for a limited time which they do not divulge, and only available during breakfast hours from 11 pm-11 am.
Sprouts stores now have Hope & Sesame, the world's first plant-based line of organic sesame milks. Features include eight grams of protein per serving, with the same calcium as whole dairy milk, but with less sugar, more vitamin D, and no dairy allergens or lactose. It comes in five flavors: chocolate, vanilla, original, unsweetened original, and chocolate hazelnut. The milks feature Sesamein, Hope & Sesame's exclusive plant-based protein concentrate. Sounds intriguing. Sesame seeds are said to be more sustainable than other seeds and nuts because the crop can grow in moisture or heat-stressed environments. Sesame seeds take about 125 days from planting to harvest, while other sources of nondairy milk, like tree nuts, take years. Sesame is also a natural source of vital minerals and amino acids and has many health benefits from normalizing blood pressure and balancing hormones to boosting liver function and reducing vulnerability to breast and colon cancer, among others.