East Dallas News

Hunky chef invades East Dallas with gourmet food and late-night hours

Hunky chef invades East Dallas with gourmet food and late-night hours

Invasion Airric Heidelberg
Chef Airric Heidelberg loves his lemons. Photo courtesy of Invasion

An East Dallas address that has seen a hopeful restaurant come and go has a promising new contender: Called Invasion, it's an indie restaurant that will specialize in wholesome, fast, gourmet-quality food, with late-night hours especially on the weekends.

Owner is Airric Heidelberg, an entrepreneurial and engaging chef who's worked at restaurants and also has a business called Kingdom Kitchen doing catering, personal chef services, and menu development.

Heidelberg has a degree in nutrition and has competed in bodybuilding competitions, and is passionate about eating good, healthy food. He began cooking at an early age, learning from his grandparents while helping prepare and eat family meals. He's also studied under four-star chefs, and has worked at restaurants such as Auntie Pasta's in East Texas.

Invasion is his first solo venture, which he's opening in partnership with the owners of Gallo Nero, the Italian restaurant on Greenville Avenue. They plan to be open in the next few weeks.

"The name of the restaurant refers to an invasion of your taste buds," he says. "It's gourmet food delivered fast, fresh, and healthy with quality ingredients."

His menu includes everything from wings to vegan bowls to entrees such as shrimp. A signature item is the buttermilk fried chicken sandwich with spicy mayo and coleslaw.

He also does a variety of fusion fried rice bowls, including one with black beans, and another with veggies and fresh basil.

Other dishes include

  • 5-cheese mac and cheese
  • bruschetta
  • elotes-style corn in a cup
  • wings with a choice of sauces made in-house, including their two signature sauces, the bomb sauce and the invasion sauce

Invasion will also have beer and wine.

They've executed an eye-catching makeover of the space, previously home to a family restaurant called Sykamore Vegan House. They've painted it all white with black lettering spelling out "Invasion." It's a highly visible but odd little building, angled on a street corner at the corner of Haskell Avenue and Crutcher Street.

Liabilities in the past have included limited parking and its relative isolation in a neighborhood overshadowed by Baylor University Medical Center.

But Heidelberg says there's parking in the back of the building, and is encouraged by openings nearby such as Loro, the restaurant collaboration from chefs Aaron Franklin and Tyson Cole.

One of his priorities is to be open late at night.

"On Fridays and Saturdays, we'll stay open until 3 am," he says. "It seems like the only restaurants open late in Dallas serve pizza and tacos. It's hard to find good quality food and we want to fill that need."