This roundup of restaurant news in Dallas has a handful of newcomers, serving coffee, pastries, fried chicken, doughnuts, and beer. But the dominant theme is new menu items, many available for only a limited time, meaning they must be ordered ASAP. As soon as you get done reading this column, make a mad dash.
Here's what's happening in Dallas restaurant news, with items collated from emails, social media, restaurant websites, and that one phone call:
Mandarin by Howard Wang has opened at Hillcrest Village in North Dallas at 6859 Arapaho Rd. #601. They're part of the longtime Chinese restaurant chain, but it's confusing since "Mandarin by Howard Wang" was a to-go concept (which has three locations: Cloud Kitchen at 921 W. Commerce St. near Trinity Groves, East Dallas at 4321 Live Oak St., and Farmers Branch at 3230 Towerwood Dr.). This Mandarin by Howard Wang is a sit-down restaurant. It's not the only Howard Wang name permutation: They also have Howard Wang's China Grill in Preston Hollow, in addition to Howard Wang's Uptown.
Turco 35 is a new pitstop bar at Dallas Love Field Airport, named after former Dallas Stars goaltender Marty Turco, featuring Kingsville Canadian Beers (which Turco also owns) such as Light EH! Lager and IPA on tap, or Czech Style Lager and Hefeweizen in cans. Snacks and bites are also available. It's near gate 14 at Dallas Love Field Airport and there's a video of the bar
Lucky’s Hot Chicken, a local Nashville-style hot chicken chain that debuted in 2020, has opened a location at 3827 Lemmon Ave., in the former Einsteins Bagels space near Oak Lawn. This is their third location, and it will be dine-in-focused. They sell tenders, sandwiches, and sides like mac & cheese and Howlin’ Fries topped with sauce and jalapeño ranch. It's one of two Lucky’s locations opening in DFW this year.
La Casita Bakeshop, the acclaimed bakery in Richardson, has opened a second location in Rowlett, at 3837 Main St. They took over the Modern Well and converted it to La Casita Coffee, open daily with coffee and specialty pastries, available on weekends until they sell out. The menu includes croissants, pecan-caramel monkey bread, kouign amann, cruffins, tarts, cakes, scones, chocolate chip cookies, cinnamon rolls, muffins, and quiche.
Food Basket grocery opened a location on February 7 in a southern Dallas food desert at 3540 Simpson Stuart Rd. The store replaced a different grocery that closed two years ago. An apartment complex was recently built nearby, and single-family homes are being built in the area as well. The city of Dallas did not offer incentives; Food Basket assumed debt from the previous owner.
Black Rock Coffee Bar, the coffee chain founded in Oregon, is opening a location in Plano at 710 W. Parker Rd. on February 24. This is their fifth in the Dallas area, 19th in Texas, and the 120th in the US. They sell coffee, tea, smoothies, and energy drinks.
Lone Star Donuts, the old-time doughnut shop in Oak Cliff that closed its retail doughnut operation during the pandemic, has reopened.
Neon Kitten, the dim sum spot in Deep Ellum, is now serving five ramens during lunch and dinner. Owner Bob Khanna and Chef Vik Katosh combined traditional ramen methods and flavors, but added South Asian and Southeast influences. The signature Neon Ramen is served with a crispy beef puff. Chicken Karaage Ramen has chicken Karaage bites in a spicy chicken Paitan broth. Creamy Mushroom Ramen is vegan with a trio of beach, cremini, and black mushrooms. Classic Tonkotsu Ramen has char siu pork belly and pork bone broth. Spicy Miso Ramen has a Chicken Katsu Cutlet in a spicy miso broth.
The French Room is continuing its ‘Be Our Guest’ Chef Dinner Series with Chef Victoria Blamey, who will be in residence until April 1. She has worked at Michelin starred restaurants around the world, at New York restaurants such as Chumley’s and Gotham Bar and Grill, and had her own restaurant, called Mena. A sample menu includes Braised Kuri with kelp butter, Hakurei turnips, amberjack tartare, smoked oyster, Japanese sweet potato, Kuri squash with chickpeas, Iberico pork cheek, borscht, and winter squash pavlova.
Primo’s MX Kitchen & Lounge has a new "5-4-3-2-1 Happy Hour" with a menu of $5 appetizers and drink specials including $4 domestics, $3 off house wines by the glass, $2 off all house cocktails and $1 off imports and single-pour wells. Happy Hour runs from 3-6 pm weekdays at Primo’s Downtown Dallas at the Statler, and from 4-6 pm weekdays (except for Fridays, when Happy Hour starts at 11 am) at Primo’s Uptown.
Knife Steakhouse at The Highland Dallas has relaunched weekend brunch on Saturday-Sunday with offerings such as Avocado Toast; Egg White Omelet with Spinach, Tomato, & White Cheddar; Benedicts including classic, Pork Belly, and Beef Cheek; Flatiron Steak & Eggs; Bagels and House-Cured Smoked Lox; and Biscuits & Smoked Sausage Gravy. There's also a sampling of steaks, burgers, salads, granola, and new brunch cocktails such as as Ter. Royal – Crème de Cassis, mint, honey, lemon, Champagne.
The Pancake Kitchen by Cracker Barrel has two new items: Bacon, Egg, and Cheese Pancake Tacos, with two buttermilk pancakes folded and filled with bacon, an over-hard fried egg and Colby Cheese, and a Pancake of the Season, currently Blueberry Cheesecake Pancakes, with two Buttermilk Pancakes layered with cream cheese cheesecake filling, Blueberries, and Blueberry Syrup. The Pancake Kitchen by Cracker Barrel helps bring homestyle breakfast favorites directly to doorsteps.
Charleys Philly Steaks has a new Kentucky Bourbon Cheesesteak with a bourbon glaze, sautéed onions, cheddar cheese, and French onion. They also have a new lemonade: Charleys' Tangerine Real Fruit Lemonade pairing tangerine pieces with lemon juice and cane sugar. Both are available through April at more than 700 locations across the U.S. including shopping centers, airports, strip centers, and Army & Air Force bases worldwide.
Lounge Here is bringing back Tuesday dinner service, and will offer free trivia every Tuesday starting February 21, from 7-9pm. Prizes include gift cards, hoodies, hats, Good Records swag. This is a return to their Tuesday night tradition they began pre-pandemic.
Original ChopShop the healthy Arizona-based chain with locations in Phoenix, Dallas-Fort Worth, Houston, and Atlanta, has a new juice: the Basil Pear-Fecto with pear, basil, and grapes, available through April 9.
Domino’s in Dallas has introduced Domino’s Loaded Tots – crispy tots in three varieties: Philly Cheese Steak, Cheddar Bacon, and Melty 3-Cheese, featuring mozzarella, cheddar, provolone, and Alfredo sauce.
Taco Cabana brings back Shrimp Tampico Tacos and Shrimp Tampico Quesadillas, served with pineapple chipotle salsa, beginning Wednesday, February 22 through Lent.
Nothing Bundt Cakes has a new Oreos Cookies & Cream Bundt Cake featuring white cake baked with cookie pieces and crowned with cream cheese frosting. Guests can enjoy the new flavor in all sizes, including bite-sized, miniature, and 8- or 10-inch Bundt cakes, through March 26.
Lakewood Brewing Company has debuted Mechanical Grizzly, an Imperial English Brown Ale brewed with dark roasted coffee beans from Fort Worth Coffee Emporium and English toffee. Available through March, it’s on tap across DFW and at Ye Olde Bull & Bush in Fort Worth, as well as in six-packs statewide. The brewery also released Hydro Hop Water, an alcohol free, gluten free, and carb free brew, with more body and flavor than a seltzer, ideal for cocktails and mocktails.
Texas Ale Project, the Design District brewery and taproom, has released Wealth Over Riches, a session ale with lemon, a bright straw color, light body, high aroma, and low bitterness, made via a unique, cutting-edge way of dry hopping with Cryo-hops.
DQ restaurants in Texas have two new items for 2023: the Triple Truffle Blizzard Treat featuring peanut butter, fudge, and caramel-filled truffles with chocolate topping and soft serve; and the Under the Rainbow shake with fruity flavors and vanilla soft serve, garnished with rainbow sprinkles.
Salty Donuts has a new candle collection scented in doughnut and coffee flavors: Traditional Glazed, Almond Mocha Fudge, and Cinnamon Cereal Milk Latte. Individual candles are $16; a set of three is $42.
Oak & Eden Whiskey has launched the Whiskey Customizer, enabling customers to craft their own whiskey bottle using one of the Oak & Eden’s four finished whiskey bases and 11-plus infusion options. It comes in 90 proof for $64 or 114 proof for $79 and can be ordered online.
La Neta Cocina y Lounge, a Las Vegas concept that does a modern twist on Mexican cuisine, will open February 20 at The Epic near Deep Ellum with the following team: Executive chef Christian Galvan (Whiskey Cafe, PF Chang’s), sous chef Jessica Christian (Stephen Pyles, Wolfgang Puck, Lisa Garza), general manager Danielle Nolan, general manager Michael Arce, operations manager Sally Evans, and marketing team Meili Rodriguez and Lacy Murt.
Al Biernat’s has promoted Lexis Nutt to general manager of Al Biernat’s Oak Lawn. She's their first female general manager.
Taco Cabana has named Ulyses Camacho its new President. He's been with the company for 15 years, becoming COO in 2021.