After two low-key years, the restaurant world is coming back with a vengeance, with openings, new dishes, more openings, expanded hours including lunch, brunch, and everything in between.
Here's what's happening in Dallas restaurant news:
Fatburger is opening three new locations around DFW: Plano at 11855 Dallas Pkwy. #300; Allen at 820 W. Stacy Rd. #620; and 1521 Keller Pkwy. # 300, in Keller.
Darkoo's Chicken Shack is a casual new restaurant from acclaimed chef Donny Sirisivath, taking over the space at 4812 Bryan St. that was home to his previous restaurant Khao Noodle. It's a simpler concept featuring Asian fried chicken, with legs, thighs, panko tenders, sauces such as spicy ketchup, and sides like French fries and spicy cucumber salad. Sirisivath's nickname is Don Darkoo.
McAlister's Deli will open its new location at 4101 Lemmon Ave. Dallas, with a self-serve kiosk and a self-serve beverage station on March 18. It's the Saxton Group's 33rd McAlister's in Dallas-Fort Worth.
Mendocino Farms has brought back its Samosa Dosa, a vegan curry burrito they originally offered in 2015, in response to customers' requests. The Samosa Dosa is made with coconut curry cauliflower potato & chickpea dosa, green beans, Indian spices, pickled daikon & carrots, cucumber, cilantro, red onion, spinach, mint tamarind chutney, and plant-based tzatziki on a whole wheat tortilla. It joins Mendocino Farms' two other vegan-friendly items: vegan banh mi with baked tofu, and their Reuben sandwich with plant-based corned beef from Mrs. Goldfarb's Unreal Deli (to make it vegan, swap in their vegan provolone cheese). The Samosa Dosa is available at both the downtown Dallas and Addison locations until April 25.
Project Pollo, the vegan fried chicken concept that recently opened on Greenville Avenue, will debut its breakfast and brunch on Sunday March 20. Sip coffee, mimosas, enjoy live music, shop for Plant Based Groceries, the online vegan grocery, which will be doing a pop-up where you can buy their vegan items in person, from 10 am-2 pm.
BellaFlan Richardson is known for amazing flan cakes, but owner Siv Lopez also offers sandwiches including a killer Cubano. She has three new dishes: Cubana Frita burger, a smash burger with Swiss cheese, garlic cilantro aioli, and shoestring fries, right there under the bun, served with sweet plantains; a vegetarian Cubana Frita, with a black bean patty made in-house; and a new fried flan served with berries and chocolate sauce.
Jinya Ramen Bar, the acclaimed ramen restaurant, is elevating its menu with two new authentic dishes: The Tokyo Spice has spicy chicken broth Chintan (clear broth) style, pork chashu, pork soboro, onsen tamago, cilantro, green onion, white onion, sesame seeds and chili flakes, served with thin noodles; Karaage Bowl has crispy chicken and baby greens over steamed rice with daikon radish and onion dressing. They're a limited-edition offering available through June 31.
Nuri Grill, the new Korean steakhouse located in Dallas' Koreatown, is now open for lunch every day, from 11 am-2:30 pm, in addition to dinner. The menu includes Pork Kimchi Stew, Yukgaejang, Soft Tofu Stew with Seafood, Galbi Poki Bowl, Bibimbap with Bulgogi, Pork Belly Poki Bowl, Steak Noodles, Tofu Salad, and Galbi Salad. The Filet Mignon Feast includes filet mignon, marinated galbi, 2 chef choices, house salad, ssam, pickled radish, pickled cilantro, kimchi, truffle salt, ssamjang, jalapeno soy, seafood or beef tofu stew, white rice, and dessert.
Asador, the restaurant at the Renaissance Hotel, is now offering a lunch menu from executive chef Joe Graffeo, Monday-Friday from 11 am-2 pm, which mixes influences from North and South America over open fire cooking. Dishes include Smoked Pineapple & Nuskee Bacon Guacamole with la nortena tortillas, Impossible Burger, Mushroom Quesadilla, flatiron steak & fries, and 44 Farms Ground Brisket Cheeseburger with menonina, serrano aioli, smoked bacon onion jam, pickled onion, and brioche.
Harper's will launch brunch on Saturday, March 26. The menu will include an omelet station, whole lobster Benedict, Japanese pancakes with blueberry compote, Steak & eggs with a panko-crusted poached egg, brioche French toast, smoked salmon with toasted mini bagels, and mini waffles. Brunch will be on Saturdays only, from 11 am-4 pm.
Suburban Yacht Club in Plano has added weekend brunch, served Saturday-Sunday 11 am-3 pm, with Southern California-inspired dishes such as breakfast tacos, breakfast burrito, hot honey chicken sandwich with a fried chicken thigh, scrambled egg, bacon, and American cheese on a toasted kaiser roll, avocado toast with tomato, boiled eggs, pickled onions, and everything bagel spices, and a Greek yogurt parfait. Cocktails include Orange Julius, mimosas, Baja Michaelada, a "SoCal Bloody Surfer," and a pineapple chelada with Mexican lager, pineapple shrub, and tajin.
Chipotle Mexican Grill has introduced Pollo Asado, its first chicken menu innovation in its 29-year history. The chicken is tumbled in a spice blend before being seared on the plancha, then chopped into bites and marinated with lime and cilantro. Pollo Asado was tested in Sacramento and Cincinnati in November 2021, and scored as highly as Smoked Brisket, Chipotle’s bestselling menu innovation in the company’s recent history. Pollo Asado joins Adobo Chicken, Chipotle's classic chicken, for a limited time.
Tacodeli is now offering Veggie Nut Chorizo as an add-on or build-your-own for breakfast. The add-on is $1 and is vegetarian and vegan friendly. This breakfast option is made with cauliflower, pistachios, walnuts and pecans.
Good Catch, the plant-based seafood line, has launched its Plant-Based Tuna in Sprouts Farmers Market, which will now carry Good Catch Plant-Based Tuna across all stores nationwide. Crafted from the Good Catch proprietary six-legume blend (peas, chickpeas, lentils, soy, fava beans, and navy beans), Good Catch Plant-Based Tuna is high in protein and offers the flakiness, flavor, and nutritional value of seafood without the environmental impacts of commercial fishing. Sold in pouches, it comes in three varieties: plain Naked in Water; Mediterranean with garlic, herbs, sweet pepper, and a kick of spice; and Oil & Herbs, ready to eat right out of the package with crackers or a green salad.
El Pollo Loco has added Mexican shredded beef birria to its menu for a limited time, available in three new entrees accompanied by a dippable birria consomé, a beef broth with garlic, chili, and lime: shredded beef birria stuffed quesadilla with melted cheese, avocado, chopped onion, and cilantro; shredded beef birria burrito with cheese, sour cream, rice, beans, cabbage, chopped onion, and cilantro; and shredded beef birria crunchy tacos with cheese, chopped onion, and cilantro.
Blu's Barbeque has launched a set of New York-themed specials for March including caprese salad with mozzarella pearls; blueberry-cream cheese and strawberry-cream cheese Danishes; smoked turkey breast sandwich on an everything bagel with smoked strawberry schmear; chopped brisket bagel sandwich with a garden veggie schmear; smoked salmon bagel sandwich on an everything bagel with plain schmear, smoked salmon, capers, red onion, and dill; and smoked bratwurst with coleslaw, cheese, and BBQ sauce.
North Italia is featuring a regionally inspired pizza at its locations in Uptown and Plano: Cowboy Carnitas pizza featuring mojo sauce, pickled jalapeno, queso chihuahua, and cilantro for $17. This unique regional pizza addition will replace the rotating Chef's Daily Pizza through April 14.
Grimaldi's Pizzeria has a new seasonal menu featuring Bacon & Asparagus Pizza with Spicy Honey, Springtime Crunch Salad, seasonal cocktails and an indulgent cheesecake for dessert.
Moxies has a March Madness menu from March 14-April 4 that includes poutine, guacamole, pot-stickers, and nachos, at all three locations in Dallas, Plano, and Southlake.
Central Market is now growing its own exotic mushrooms in select store locations including Dallas Preston-Royal, Austin North Lamar, Austin Westgate, Southlake, San Antonio, and Houston. Varieties will include Blue Oyster, King Oyster and Lion’s Mane mushrooms. The select mushrooms will be grown in specialty temperature and humidity-controlled cases, or mini farms, which mimic a damp shaded forest floor. The internal temperature of these cases is kept at 60 to 65 degrees and 80 to 90 percent relative humidity, like it’s about to rain. These wood-loving varieties are grown in special bags of sawdust which allows the mycelium (the mushroom’s roots) to take hold. Due to the delicate and short-shelf life of these exotics, they are best consumed when taken straight from the growing source and enjoyed that day.
Perry's Steakhouse has a new Mini Martini Trio for $15 that allows you to taste three different mixology creations: three 2.5-ounce pours of the Smoky Rita, Peachy Glen, and Jameson Mocha Old Fashioned.
7-Eleven has two new hot beverages. The LTO Churroccino combines sweet cinnamon flavors of a classic churro with a creamy coffee taste. the White Chocolate Caramel Flavored Mocha combines rich mocha with caramel, white chocolate, and coffee flavors. The LTO Churroccino and the White Chocolate Caramel Flavored Mocha are available at participating 7-Eleven, Speedway, and Stripes stores.
Applebee's at select Texas locations have Saintly Sips cocktails with an Irish theme available through Marsh 27 including a top-shelf Irish tea with the Tipsy Leprechaun, with Jameson Irish Whiskey, melon liqueur, blue curaçao, sweet & sour, and lemon lime soda; and Pot O' Gold Colada piña colada with Captain Morgan and mango.
Al Biernat's North has renovated its indoor and outdoor dining areas. Inspired by the success of their Oak Lawn location patio, they've added a patio with seating for up to 30, covered by a steel and cedar pergola, and accessible through the main entrance or the Owl Room, another newly renovated space which was previously called the Garden Room. It's a lounge for regular and private dining with green leather booths, black wood-paneled walls, and a black & white encaustic tile which seats 48, and comes with a projector and screen for presentations and events.
La Casita Bakeshop, whose cofounder Maricsa Trejo was a semifinalist in the 2022 James Beard Awards, is relocating to a larger space in their Richardson shopping center. They're one of many entrants in a contest from First Horizon Bank, to win up to $30,000 which they would use to renovate.