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Mardi Gras treats make this Dallas restaurant news ultra festive

Mardi Gras treats make this Dallas restaurant news ultra festive

Beignets with three sauces, thanks Grand Lux Cafe. Grand Lux Cafe

This round of Dallas restaurant news is (mostly) full of festive cheer. There are new bakeries and bakeries offering new seasonal treats. There are tasty new coffee drinks, and controversial desserts. And there's lots of Lent and Mardi Gras fare. Everything's coming up shrimp around here.

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

Bresnan Bread and Pastry, the mom-and-pop bakery known for European-style baked goods, has opened its storefront in McKinney, at 301B E. Louisiana St., where it's selling its trademark breads, pastries, cookies, and pies. They were previously available at farmers markets and by weekly pop-ups at Brown Bag Provisions.Hours are limited for now to Saturdays from 7 am-2 pm, but owners Matt and Jenna Bresnan will eventually expand the hours.

Nature's Plate, the healthy to-go chain, has closed two of its retail stores at Preston/Forest and in Plano. Owners Annette and Marianne said in a post that they found themselves at a critical juncture after two challenging years. Their original store in Lake Highlands remains open, and they're continuing to offer delivery twice weekly, to an even larger area, including Southlake, Rockwall, and more. "While we’re sad to close this chapter (which once seemed like the best way to further our mission), we’re excited about the possibilities ahead," they said. "This change will allow us to focus on providing healthy plant-based meals to a larger community. It will also allow us to continue to invest in our people and our business in general as we shift costs."

Shawarma Press, a Mediterranean fast-casual concept that has partnered with Walmart to open mini-restaurants inside select Walmart stores, will celebrate the grand opening of its Plano location, at 6001 N. Central Expy., near the University of Texas at Dallas (UTD) campus, on Saturday March 5 from 12-3 pm. Their signature dish is the Shawarma with chicken or beef cooked on a rotisserie and cut into thin slices. Their menu includes shawarma wraps, platters, and rice bowls including chicken, beef, and vegetarian & vegan options such as hummus and falafel, plus appetizers, salads, and pastries such as baklava; plus new breakfast wraps filled with animal products like steak, eggs, and cheese. This is their third location, following previously opened locations in San Antonio and Arlington. They plan to open more than 100 Shawarma Press locations inside Walmart stores throughout the U.S.

Shef, an online marketplace that enables local cooks to sell homemade food in their communities, has expanded to Dallas, following launches in Houston and Austin last year. Their Dallas launch features exclusively Indian and Pakistani cuisine, with unique and hard-to-find regional dishes from more than 10 regions across India and Pakistan, homemade by DFW cooks and delivered to your door. According to a release, 96 percent of the cooks represented are women, and 85 percent are immigrants; the platform gives them an opportunity to earn income selling authentic homemade dishes. A wider variety of global offerings will be available in the coming months.

Lounge Here, the hipster East Dallas bar-restaurant, is hosting a pizza pop-up during March via Better Half Pop-Up, the pizza venture from chefs Jennie Kelley & Ben Starr of Frank fame, who've been doing pizza pop-ups randomly and will now have a month-long residency every Monday night in March. From 5-10 pm, they'll be open for either take-out featuring their JK and Abracadabra varieties, plus two rotating flavors each Monday night; or for dine in, where they'll also have a small menu to go with the pizzas. For reservations go to

Fuzzy's Taco Shop has added a Bangin' Shrimp Taco with tempura-battered fried shrimp or grilled shrimp, Fuzzy's new Butt Burnin' sweet chile sauce, avocado crema, cabbage & pepper slaw, feta, and cilantro on a flour tortilla. Marketing VP Laura Purser says in a statement that it's an option if you don't eat meat or are giving it up for Lent. It'll be served from March 2-April 10.

Bonchon in Addison has two new menu items: Bonchon Bowls consisting of white rice topped with mixed vegetables, choice of protein, and bibimbap sauce; and Spicy Pork marinated in Korean hot pepper paste, available on bowls, tacos, and fried rice.

Thirsty Lion Gastropub & Grill has a very limited-run seasonal menu featuring Irish inspired dishes and beverages that will be available from March 3-17. It includes Scotch Eggs, Bacon Cheddar Potato Cakes, Shepherd’s Pie, Reuben sandwich, a Corned Beef Mac & Cheese with cavatappi pasta and braised cabbage, a Beer Braised Corned Beef & Cabbage, and Whiskey Bing Cherry Bread Pudding for dessert. Served at both Euless and Irving locations.

Al Biernat's has partnered with fitness guru Donna Richardson and her mother, known as "Mama LaVerne," on a new dish at brunch: chicken & waffles, made with Mama LaVerne's Chicken Seasoning, Waffle & Pancake Mix, which is also sold on Amazon. Al Biernat's Director of Operations Brad Fuller says the recipe is "already legendary to many in the Dallas-Fort Worth area who know LaVerne, and we are honored to bring a recipe steeped in so much family history to Al Biernat's."

Taco Cabana has a number of yummy-sounding new items including a Shrimp Tampico taco and Shrimp Tampico quesadilla — featuring shrimp marinated in ancho spice, sauteed with garlic, lime, & cilantro, and served with pineapple-chipotle salsa. They also have a line of new burritos, for breakfast, lunch and dinner in flavors that include Bean & Cheese, Bacon & Egg, Chorizo & Egg, Chicken or Steak Fajita, and Ground Beef. And on March 9, they'll be debuting their new Tres Leches cake, a sweet sponge cake soaked in three kinds of milk, for $3.

Corner Bakery has new vegetarian dishes they're featuring including Tuscan Grilled Cheese with Provolone, basil, spinach, roasted tomato, and pesto aioli on grilled sourdough; plus Avocado + Spinach breakfast wraps with scrambled eggs, avocado, cheddar, and spinach in a tomato basil tortilla with green chile salsa.

Cotton Patch Cafe is hosting an All You Can Eat Fried Fish Fillets every Friday with fried white fish, French fries, hushpuppies, and rolls. It's $15 and available every Friday from March 4-April 15.

Dickey's Barbecue Pit is also getting on the Lent bandwagon, sortof: From March 3-April 14, they'll be serving smoked or fried fish as a plate or sandwich as an alternative to their usual meat meat meat. Hey Dickey's, how about some delicious tofu.

Golden Chick brings back Butterfly Shrimp, butterflied and fried in a panko crust, available in two combo meals: with either Southern Fried Catfish pieces or Golden Tenders, or can be purchased solo. It'll be on the menu through April 24. Golden Chick first introduced Butterfly Shrimp to their Lenten menu in 2020 and the entrée was very successful.

Starbucks has introduced a new nondairy drink: the Iced Toasted Vanilla Oatmilk Shaken Espresso. It's a blonde espresso, shaken with caramelized vanilla and topped with creamy oatmilk, featuring layers of caramelized vanilla and nondairy creaminess. It joins its nondairy cousin and fan favorite, the Iced Brown Sugar Oatmilk Shaken Espresso, a blonde espresso with brown sugar–flavored syrup and cinnamon, finished with oatmilk, no wonder it's a fan favorite.

Grand Lux Cafe at Galleria Dallas is offering New Orleans beignets in celebration of Mardi Gras. You get about 6 to 7 beignets in a basket, served with three sauces: chocolate, raspberry, and vanilla.

Jeni's Splendid Ice Creams has brought back its "controversial" Everything Bagel Ice Cream, a buttery streusel with onions, garlic, cayenne, and sesame and poppy seeds, which is woven into their sweet cream cheese ice cream. Originally launched in January 2021, the flavor was met with "both overwhelming adoration and vehement opposition, making headline news and causing a stir on social media," Jeni's says in a release. They'll be selling the sweet and savory flavor in shops and to order online beginning March 21.

Black Rock Coffee Bar has brought back its Horchata Breve, made with espresso, half & half, horchata, and cinnamon, available "while supplies last," whatever that means; is cinnamon in limited supply? According to a release, the Horchata Breve made its debut on this Oregon-based coffee chain's menu and became one of their top-selling drinks in 2021. So why wouldn't you sell it year-round? Oh right, "limited supply." It will be available at all 100-plus locations.

Impossible Foods now has a plant-based sausage option, with 40 percent less saturated fat than animal sausage. The line includes both spicy and savory flavors, which you can get in a ground form for adding to Bolognese, or Sausage Patties, which you can add to your at-home McMuffin clone. Impossible's sausage, burgers, chicken nuggets, meatballs, and pork are sold at Kroger, Sprouts, Albertsons, and Target.

Nutpods, a plant-based creamer company, has launched a new flavor: Coffee Cake. Available at Sprouts as well as on Amazon and, it's an unsweetened dairy-free creamer made from water, coconut cream, and almonds. An 11.2-ounce carton is $3 to $5. They also make sweetened flavors such as Sweet Creme, French Vanilla, and Caramel.

J. Rae's Dallas, the Devonshire bakery, is offer St. Patrick's Day-themed cookie decorating kits, with 9 cookies, 3 bags of icing, and decorative sprinkle packets, for $35. The kit is available through March 17. Kits must be ordered at least 24 hours in advance; call 214-654-0833.

American Airlines is rolling out a new menu that includes Bundt cakes, available in domestic premium cabins on flights between 900-1,499 miles. The cakes are by Silver Spoon Desserts, a company based in Chicago.

Union Bear Brewing Co. in Plano has added David Muckian (BrainDead Brewing, Dead Cowboy Brewing) to its brewing team, where he'll join head brewer Christopher Tidwell. "It's beautiful, plus I get to work with some of the best in the biz," Muckian says. The brewpub has also added new dishes including salmon, mussels, and a cheesesteak sandwich.

Smokey John's Bar-B-Que & Home Cooking, a longtime State Fair of Texas vendor, appear on a new A&E show, Deep Fried Dynasty. The series, which is set to air March 8 at 9 pm, will feature owners and brothers Brent and Juan Reaves and the daily ins-and-outs of their operation on fairgrounds.