News You Can Eat

Big restaurant openings top off this helping of Dallas dining news

Big restaurant openings top off this helping of Dallas dining news

Haystack Burgers & Barley
Haystack Burgers and Barley is opening in Turtle Creek Village. Photo courtesy of Haystack

We have news of some high-profile restaurant openings, new lunches, new menus, and quirky new dishes. If you're hungry for Dallas restaurant news, you've come to the right place. We have a feast (along with corny food puns). Dig in!

Town Hearth, the new restaurant in the Design District from chef Nick Badovinus (Neighborhood Services, Montlake Cut, Off-Site Kitchen), easily ranks as one of the biggest openings of 2017, and it's officially happening, with an opening date of January 31 (as in, tonight). The way you can tell it's one of the biggest openings is by how many people email asking about it. This restaurant has been the subject of many an email inquiry, noticeably more than any other restaurant. It's also on a larger scale, and has been a long time in the works; spokesperson Loren Means says that's partially due to the fact that this is the first restaurant they built from the ground up.

True to its name, it will have an open hearth. According to Badovinus, the entire menu is organized around cooking over two large grills and a big wood-burning oven. There is not a signature dish per se; the menu is comprised of premium hoof-based proteins, a large raw bar assortment featuring a half a dozen oysters, and a variety of mixed seafood cocktails and sliced fish simply prepared a la plancha.

It differs from Neighborhood Services in that it is more of a destination and a little more "premium" in its assortment. Badovinus calls it "a collision of rusticity and opulence."

Halal Guys is opening a third branch in the DFW area, this time in Plano on the border of Frisco, at 8448 Parkwood Blvd., in a new development near The Shops at Legacy and Legacy West. The franchisee is Shezad Jiwani, a resident of Frisco who will be bringing multiple locations to that side of town. Anticipated opening date: May 2017.

Haystack Burgers and Barley has opened its second location, in Turtle Creek Village at 3838 Oak Lawn Ave. Owners Jenny and Kevin Galvan debuted the original in their own neighborhood in Richardson in 2013, just as the better burger trend was getting off the ground. Haystack is a fast-casual concept with eight signature Angus burgers with various toppings such as grilled poblanos and house-made chili. The menu also includes salads, sandwiches, Kennebec fries, Haystack onions, and fried jalapeños. There are 12 "hyperlocal" beers poured from custom-designed copper taps, plus signature cocktails such as The Haymaker, a frozen drink with Maker’s Mark, orange juice, lemonade, and ice tea. Kevin is a fourth-generation restaurateur; he and Jenny owned Ricardo's Tex Mex in Allen for five years, and some of his family recipes are served at Haystack. The new location has the "P" word — patio — which will open in the spring.

Farmbyrd, the fast-casual chicken restaurant serving rotisserie and fried chicken, is open at Preston Parker Crossing on the northeast corner of Preston and West Parker roads. It was conceptualized by Tim McLaughlin, co-owner of Lockhart Smokehouse; chef Ryan Carbery; and business partner RJ Timmons. The idea is farm-fresh food with Texas beers and craft cocktails, open 7 days a week serving lunch and dinner, with a full bar.

Bread Zeppelin Salads has opened its location in downtown Dallas. Huzzah, it's salads inside of a crusty roll for everyone! Or everyone downtown, at the very least. The restaurant is at 1300 Main St., at the corner of Field, across from Frankie's, and on the same block as City Tavern and Which Wich. Co-owners Andrew Schoellkopf and Troy Charhon opened the first branch of Bread Zeppelin in Las Colinas in 2013.

The Rustic, the restaurant and live music venue in Uptown Dallas, will open a second branch in San Antonio. Similar to the Dallas location, the San Antonio branch will be a restaurant and bar with an outdoor stage, and will be a partnership between Free Range and singer Pat Green.

Stonedeck Pizza Pub has a new quick lunch which guarantees that guests can get in and out quickly and on the cheap. While the full menu is available for lunchtime, guests get the speedy guarantee with a choice of any sandwich, salad, or gyro on the menu for $7.50. There are salads such as smoked turkey with bacon and avocado; wedge with butter lettuce; spinach and chicken; and Greek. Sandwiches include grilled cheese; barbecue chicken; turkey reuben; tomato, avocado, bacon and American cheese; and sausage with barbecue sauce. Gyros come in Mediterranean, meatball and peppers, and barbecue chicken.

Fuzzy's Taco Shop has a new limited-edition chicken-fried taco, starting January 30. It's prepared with your choice of hand-battered and fried fajita-style beef or chicken, Latin-fried potatoes, a creamy verde sauce, and shredded cheese, served on a flour tortilla.

Hopdoddy Burger Bar is bringing back the poutine burger, for a limited time through February 7. The burger, which goes for $12, has an Angus beef patty topped with Kennebec fries, steak sauce, Tillamook cheddar cheese, caramelized onions, and a fried egg.

Grayson Social in downtown Dallas has launched a grab n' go option that gets guests their biscuits in minutes. Called Killer Biscuits On The Go, it's an assortment of Grayson Social's biscuits such as buttermilk with assorted jams; biscuits and gravy; or the Big Biscuit Sammich. Available Monday-Friday from 6:30 am-2 pm, the grab n’ go menu also features juices, yogurt parfaits, and fresh fruit.

Chili's is bringing in craft beer and meats. The chain tapped a few local breweries to upgrade their tap selection, and while they were at it, added a quarter of new smoked meat dishes. There's  BBQ chicken breast, jalapeno-cheddar smoked sausage, chicken "crispers," and a half rack of baby back ribs. They're served with roasted street corn, fries, chile-garlic toast, and garlic dill pickles. Their President Margarita, which they describe as famous, is also now on tap. Margaritas on tap, now you're talking.

Ragin' Crab Café on Greenville Avenue is now serving crawfish from the Louisiana Cajun Country in the tradition of a Louisiana crab boil, steaming and cooking in classic Louisiana seasonings. Crawfish can also be ordered with corn on the cob and red new potatoes. Prices will vary according to market and season, but for January, it's $7.99 per pound.

Kenny's East Coast Pizza has launched a $9.99 quick lunch special for business diners. You get a salad and two slices of pizza, with the selection varying daily. Is this the only bargain at Kenny's? No. The lunch deal joins Kenny's "Wine Down Wednesday, when all wine by the glass is $5.

McDonald's has brought back two sandwiches born from the classic Big Mac. Called the Grand Mac and Mac Jr., the sandwiches were tested in the DFW area in spring 2016. Now they're back not only in North Texas but nationwide. Let us recap the formulas: The Big Mac has two patties, lettuce, cheese, pickles, and onions on a sesame seed bun. The Grand Mac has a one-third pound patty and two slices of American cheese, served on a larger sesame seed bun with lettuce, minced onions, and pickles. The Mac Jr. is a single-layer Big Mac, which they describe as easier to eat on the go.

Whataburger is now selling its buffalo sauce at H-E-B. This is the sauce that goes on their buffalo ranch chicken strip sandwich. They're also selling a new larger 40-ounce size of their regular and spicy ketchup. If this one does well, they'll sell it in a 55-gallon barrel. That's a joke.

7-Eleven has a new item to capitalize on the growing breakfast market: a hot breakfast pizza, served on a flaky biscuit crust. It's topped with the following: bacon, sausage, ham, scrambled eggs, cheddar and mozzarella cheese, and peppered cream gravy. You can get two slices for $2, or a whole breakfast pizza for $5.55. They did a test, and have now rolled it out nationally; it's become one of their best-selling ready-to-eat foods.

Wolfgang Puck Catering has appointed Daniel Ovichegan as general manager at Union Station and Cloud Nine at Reunion Tower. Ovichegan was previously F&B director at the Hotel Crescent Court, and has worked at other properties such as Radisson, Johnson and Wales Inn, and Ojai Valley Inn & Spa.

Omni Hotels & Resorts has appointed Richard Blankenship as executive chef of the Omni Frisco Hotel. Blankenship will oversee the hotel's culinary endeavors for Neighborhood Services, the hotel’s rooftop pool bar and grill, in-room dining, banquets, and catering. He was previously at CBD Provisions at the Joule Hotel. Michael Salerno will serve as general manager for Neighborhood Services; he was previously at Neighborhood Services in Addison.

Meddlesome Moth chef Richard Graff served his last day on January 28. According to a release, he's retiring to Philadelphia to be with family, after carpal tunnel surgery. Moth owner Shannon Wynne said that he and partner Keith Schlabs will miss him a lot, and are interviewing for a replacement.