News You Can Eat

Keto rules the planet and more Dallas restaurant news

Keto rules the planet and more Dallas restaurant news

BJ's Brewhouse chicken with zucchini noodles
No carbs here. Phew. Photo courtesy of BJ's

Winter is here — and so are winter menus, with grilled cheese sandwiches, tomato soup, and hearty bowls turning up on menus at restaurants around Dallas. But no carbs. Carbs are bad. Keto good.

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

Pokéworks, the New York-based fast-casual poke restaurant specializing in Hawaiian-inspired poke bowls and burritos, is open at The Hill, at 8041 Walnut Hill Ln. at the northeast corner of US 75. There are bowls, burritos, and salads for the gluten-free, vegetarian, vegan, raw, and cooked, with proteins such as tuna, salmon, chicken, shrimp, scallops, and tofu, combined with mix-ins, sauces, and toppings. The location is from husband-and-wife Yen and Huong Tran who plan on opening additional Pokéworks locations around the Dallas area. They're hosting a grand opening party on January 19 with various giveaways.

Spin Pizza is the new name for what was formerly known as Spin Neapolitan Pizza, and there are a slew of accompanying changes, none of which say much positive about the American dining public. Their menu boards have been simplified. The Italian words have been replaced with easier-to-pronounce English equivalents. There's a new larger 14-inch pizza, joining the original 12-inch and 7-inch sizes. There's a new double pepperoni pizza with double the cheese and double the pepperoni. There's a new zesty red sauce and a BBQ flavor pizza sauce. There's a new chicken Cobb salad, but there is no more arugula salad, although some locations will still stock arugula for guests who request it. The new menu has been in test mode in Kansas City and is now available at the location in Richardson.

Jalisco Norte celebrates its one-year anniversary with the launch of a new menu from chef Jose Meza which sticks to their mission of serving authentic, yet approachable, Mexico-City style cuisine. There's a new section of a la carte street-food style dishes with tacos, tostadas, and enchiladas such as the huitlacoche quesadilla with corn truffle, epazote, tomato, onion, and cheese. New entrees include seared scallops with squid ink chicharron pasilla stew with plantain masa gnocchi, and vegetarian grilled cauliflower with purslane noodles. Chapulines, aka grasshoppers, can be ordered as a side dish or an additive to guacamole. Meza has also introduced "build your own" entrees featuring salmon, ribeye, and other meat type things with choice of sauces from a simple poblana to coconut mole to mole negro.

El Vecino, the Tex-Mex restaurant, has introduced brunch. The menu includes migas, huevos rancheros, omelets, an egg white omelet, chilaquiles, a brunch bowl, a brunch burrito, and brunch cocktails for $5.

Dee Lincoln Prime, the upscale steakhouse at The Star in Frisco, has a new winter menu from chef Thomas Lengnick. Pistachio crusted sea scallops come with lobster risotto and blood orange butter sauce; burrata salad, with arugula, frisée, red peppers, Kalamata olives, tomatoes, and prosciutto; a 35-ounce dry-aged prime porterhouse; and a 22-ounce wet-aged Cowboy ribeye; salmon with Swiss chard; miso-glazed Chilean sea bass served with cauliflower and sweet potato; and big-eye tuna with artichoke puree. Dessert includes peanut-butter bar with dark chocolate, milk chocolate, and honey-peanut butter mousse.

Snooze an A.M. Eatery has a new winter menu with dishes such as the "everything spice" brioche bun with green goddess cream cheese, over-medium egg, bacon, and arugula; a grain bowl with farro, black rice, quinoa, caramelized onions, mushroom, garlic, two sunny side eggs, arugula, avocado, tomatoes, watermelon radishes and pickles; the ancient grain benny with toasted farro cakes topped with two poached eggs, cream cheese hollandaise, and tomato ragout; pancakes with maple butter, a deconstructed cannoli, ricotta, pomegranate seeds, mocha crumble, and a chocolate drizzle. Drinks include a mimosa with Abricot liqueur, lavender, honey, and lemon; and a hot toddy with coffee and Copper & Kings brandy.

Pinstack has a new set of chef-driven dishes through January as follows: black-eyed pea soup with kale; Philly cheese steak pizza; and filet mignon with smoked cheddar mash and asparagus. The cobbler of the month is blueberry & lemon. It's available at all three locations in Plano, Las Colinas, and Allen.

BJ's Restaurant & Brewhouse has a new menu of light entrees including lemon herb chicken & asparagus zucchini noodles; blackened chicken zucchini noodles; chicken antipasto salad; and Moroccan chicken. Zucchini noodles are known as Zoodles and are a plant-based low-calorie alternative to pasta noodles. Carbs are so scary.

Carl's Jr. is now offering the-based Beyond Burger which can be ordered in the chain's iconic Famous Star Burger package, meaning lettuce, tomato, and pickles, and cooked on an open flame in Carls Jr.'s signature charbroiler. All the bold flavor you get on their Famous Star Burger without the beef. This makes Carl's Jr. the largest U.S. purveyor for Beyond Meat and the first to serve a plant-based patty with that charbroiled flavor. There are two Carl's Jr. locations in the Dallas area, in Mesquite and south Dallas.

BurgerFi is on a keto kick, like so many trendy diners who are irrationally fearful of carbs and unnaturally fixed with protein. They've added something called the KetoFi burger which they describe as "protein-packed," with two Angus beef patties, bacon, a fried egg, and mustard, wrapped in lettuce instead of a bun. Carbs are so terrifying.

Pei Wei has a new cauliflower rice, which comes plain for $1.49 or in a fried rice version for $2.49. It's made in-house from whole heads of cauliflower and can be substituted for any rice option including rice bowls. Cauliflower rice is gluten-free and has 88 percent less carbs and 70% less calories than white rice. Pei Wei also has a new bowl called the Cauli FlowerPower Bowl with cauliflower rice, steamed white meat chicken, carrots, red bell peppers, snap peas, onions, scallions, and ginger with a tamarind and chile soy glaze and Asian slaw. Carbs are the embodiment of all evil.

Snuffer's has a new bacon, tomato, and avocado grilled cheese sandwich, with cheddar, Swiss, and pepper jack cheeses o sourdough bread. It comes as a combo with a cup of tomato basil soup for $8.99, and will be available through February 28. Snuffer's now has 10 restaurants across North Texas, with a new location in Mesquite.

El Pollo Loco has new chicken nachos available in three different varieties: double chicken nachos, with guacamole, sour cream, queso blanco, pickled jalapenos, pinto beans, pico de gallo, tortilla chips with sea salt, and a double portion of chicken; shredded chicken nachos, which has guacamole, sour cream, queso blanco, pinto beans, pico de gallo, and chicken that's shredded; and loco chicken nachos whose toppings include fried serrano pepper.

Taco Cabana has a new Southwest taco salad with seasoned ground beef, black beans, pico de gallo, corn, guacamole, cheese, and tortilla strips on a bed of lettuce, available for $5.39 for a limited time only. It joins tortilla soup, which was added to the menu in November 2018 for the holidays, but is now sticking around since the reception has been so positive.

The Biscuit Bar in Plano has a tempting-sounding new delicious dish: The Hot Chocolate Biscuit with Southern chocolate "gravy" and marshmallow fluff on top.

Del Frisco's Grille is now pouring a new exclusive DFG by Paul Hobbs wine. It's a classic Argentinian Malbec created by legendary winemaker Paul Hobbs, which is said to have strong notes of ripe dark cherry, blackberry, and plum that combine with sweet spice and a smooth finish to perfectly capture and pair with the flavors of the Del Frisco’s Grille menu. It's $54 per bottle or $14 per glass.

Starbucks' latest seasonal beverage is the cinnamon shortbread latte, with espresso, notes of brown butter and vanilla, cinnamon, and nutmeg. It can be ordered hot, iced, or as a Frappuccino® blended beverage but only for a limited time, while supplies last.

St. Rocco's at Trinity Groves has introduced a limoncello after-dinner option made by Melia Dietz, a native of Sicily who rolls a cart around with house-infused options such as strawberry, orange, basil, espresso, chocolate, and lemon.

The Fairmont hotel has invested $150,000 in a new 750-square-foot kosher kitchen and menu. Special events can may be booked with a specially-developed kosher menu at the luxury hotel.

Dallas chef Kirstyn Brewer has packed up and left Dallas, departing her post at Greenville Avenue restaurant Gung Ho for Brooklyn where she's working at a new restaurant called Hunky Dory. It's open for breakfast and lunch, serving a casual new American menu.