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Bowls are in, taco joints are out in this round of Dallas restaurant news

Bowls in, taco joints are out in this round of Dallas restaurant news

TNT Tacos & Tequila
TNT bowl with grilled shrimp. Photo courtesy of TNT

This roundup of Dallas restaurant news includes lots of openings and new menus, but also a restaurant closing or two. Meanwhile, a major restaurant chain is getting on board with the hot-hot vegan trend.

Here's what's happening in Dallas dining in late April:

Knife Butcher, the newest concept from chef John Tesar, has opened at The Shops at Willow Bend, sandwiched between his concepts Knife Steakhouse and Knife Burger. The butcher shop offers all the same cuts of meat available at Knife, but packaged to order for the at-home chef. Includes everything from 44 Farms filets, to 240-day dry-aged rib eyes, Tesar's bacon jam, pimento cheese, and bacon tasting. They'll also ship anywhere in the United States.

Taco Joint, the small chain of taquerias, will close its location in Richardson on May 1. The restaurant opened in the same Richardson Heights center as Alamo Drafthouse in 2014, and has become a popular destination and hangout for families in the area. But the location's footprint is large and the rent is rumored to be high. A spokesperson for the chain says that the staff will move over to a new location opening in Lake Highlands at 9660 Audelia Rd., which is scheduled to open "in a few weeks." There are three other locations, including the original in East Dallas, another on Mockingbird Lane, and a third in Preston Center.

Bellagreen, the Houston-based healthy restaurant chain, will open its second Plano location at 2408 Preston Rd. in in Preston Park Village in June. This will be the chain's third location and its ninth total. Its other two area locations are in Dallas and at The Shops at Legacy in Plano.

Family Thais Asian Bistro is the name of a new restaurant opening in the West End from husband-and-wife Tony Street and Jab Srikaij. Street owns Y.O. Ranch Steakhouse; she was formerly at Toy's Cafe. According to the DMN, it'll be go into the space at 208 N. Market St. that was previously home to Dante's Italian Eatery, where it will feature standard Thai dishes, plus crepes, bubble waffles, and boba teas.

Olive Garden has opened a new location in Grand Prairie located at 3138 S. Highway 161, featuring the company's latest restaurant design, with new artwork, fabrics and materials, lighting, seating, countertops and flooring, as well as a display of the new "Olive Garden Italian Kitchen" logo sign. The 7,757 square-foot restaurant will seat more than 250 people.

Ziziki's, the small Greek chain, closed its location in Plano at 5809 Preston Rd. A spokesperson confirmed that the location had closed on April 28. That leaves the location at The Star in Frisco, plus two locations in Dallas at Preston-Forest and at Travis Walk.

Grange Hall, the home decor shop, is now serving dinner Thursday-Saturday from 6-9:30 pm. Dishes include caviar spaghetti, greens, and Petrossian caviar with blinis, champagne gelée, and crème fraiche.

Perle on Maple, the French-inspired restaurant and bar with a Texas twist, has launched new menus for spring. For lunch and dinner, there's Parisian gnocchi, blue crab cocktail, steamed mussels, salt cod fritters, Scottish salmon with leeks, and vegetable ratatouille. The new cocktail menu features sparkling cocktails, beer, and more than 75 wines and champagne.

Smoothie King opened a new Park Cities location at 6501 Hillcrest Ave. on April 25 and will be celebrating with a grand opening event on Saturday, May 4. The new store is located near SMU's campus.

TNT / Tacos and Tequila has a new menu with red chile crusted salmon with ginger rice and mango salsa, carne asada chimichurri with steak fries), and queso fundido with veggies or ground beef-chorizo, Four new bowls reflect flavor combinations of the restaurant's most popular tacos: a veggie-quinoa bowl with pepita pesto (which you can get topped with shrimp, which seems to render the "veggie" idea moot); sriracha-soy ahi tuna bowl with ginger rice, mango, and edamame; sweet potato-BBQ pork bowl with smoky black beans; and a burrito bowl with chicken or steak, ginger rice, black beans, corn, avocado, and jack cheese.

Pei Wei has a new customizable Bento Box for $10, plus a new house-made cauliflower rice. You choose your rice from white, brown, or cauliflower; sushi from spicy tuna, mango California, teriyaki crunch, or wasabi crunch; appetizer from crab wonton or chicken potstickers; and choice of miso side salad or edamame.

Burger King will add the Impossible Burger to its menu at all locations, following a successful test run in St. Louis in April. The Impossible burger contains soy protein, potato protein, coconut oil, sunflower oil, and heme, and is being hailed for its convincing meat-like taste and appearance. BK incorporated the Impossible Burger in a vegetarian version of its signature Whopper, and said it went "exceedingly well." The Impossible Burger and a competing plant-based burger called the Beyond Burger have been such a big success that they've become hard to get.

18th & Vine BBQ has a new spring menu with a number of salad and sandwich options including brisket tacos; burnt ends shepherd’s pie with peas, carrots, and BBQ mashed potatoes; smoked pepperoni flatbread, pit boss salad with turkey, almonds, avocado, corn, croutons, dates, and goat cheese; and banana pudding. The Lester, a brisket grilled cheese sandwich can now be ordered with extra pimento for $1.50. The Basie sandwich with brisket, pepper jack, and jalapeño can substitute burnt ends for the brisket for an extra $5.

Houlihan's his a limited-time spring menu that features lighter-fared, veggie-forward plates including tuna poke nachos, shrimp pasta, kale salad with quinoa, 8-ounce bavette steak with cauliflower mash and roasted cauliflower, seared salmon pesto on spaghetti squash ‘noodles,’ giant peanut butter cup, and vanilla bean cheesecake. Two new flavored mule drinks include pineapple, watermelon, or traditional.

Velvet Taco has released its schedule of weekly taco specials through June 18. Now you can plan ahead. May 1-7 is mango-and-agave-dipped coconut fried chicken with mango slaw and "jerki-churri" sauce. May 8-14 is grilled salmon Baja. May 15-21 is harissa-braised lamb, with shakshuka sauce, potatoes, feta, quail egg, and mint. May 22-28 is chicken fried oysters with watermelon and celery root slaw, Brussel sprouts, and pickled watermelon rind. May 29-June 4 is pulled pork with chipotle BBQ sauce. June 5-11 is Dungeness crab cake. June 12-18 is potato & paneer cheese hash with tahini sauce, cilantro mango salsa, and garbanzo beans.

Bavarian Grill is featuring white asparagus from Holland through June 24 in dishes that include pan-seared schnitzel topped with white asparagus and hollandaise, creamy white asparagus sou, chilled marinated white asparagus with a chopped hard boiled egg, chilled white asparagus spears wrapped with black forest and Westphalian hams.

Roy's Plano is doing a special through June 2, guests can enjoy fresh Alaskan Halibut prepared with Israeli couscous and a green apple sake vinaigrette, starting at $49.

El Pollo Loco has two new tostadas: a new street corn tostada with the flavors and energy of authentic Los Angeles street corn, featuring sweet summer corn, queso fresco, citrus-marinated, fire-grilled chicken, and creamy cilantro dressing; and a chicken & avocado tostada made with queso fresco, avocado, pinto beans, Mexican rice, lettuce, and fire-grilled chicken.

Dunkin' restaurants have two new protein-packed Dunkin' Bowls available through June 25. The Egg White Bowl has egg whites, spinach, potatoes, cheddar cheese, and caramelized onions. Sausage Scramble Bowl has scrambled eggs, sausage, cheddar jack cheese, peppers, and onions. The bowls capitalize on the success of Dunkin's Power Breakfast Sandwich launched earlier in 2019, which has been extended due to popular demand.

Press Waffle Co. has a new waffle for May: the Banana Split Waffle consisting of a Liege waffle topped with a banana, vanilla ice cream, chocolate syrup, sprinkles, and whipped cream.

Kenny's Smoke House is serving smoked brisket enchiladas, with three stuffed enchiladas in an order for $13, available on Tuesdays only 11 am-10 pm.

Starbucks is bringing back three Frappuccino flavors: S’mores, Mocha Cookie Crumble, and Caramel Ribbon Crunch. They also have two Refreshers beverages: the Mango Dragonfruit Refresher, a fruity and refreshing combination of real fruit juice with sweet mango and Dragonfruit flavors, with ice and diced dragonfruit; and the Dragon Drink which is a Mango Dragonfruit Refresher combined with creamy coconutmilk. There's a new Salted Cream Cold Foam Brew, because everything must be salted. New food items include a crisp grilled cheese with a three-cheese blend on toasted sourdough, and a Baja black bean veggie wrap with black beans, salsa slaw, and mixed veggies in a tortilla wrap, with a side of raw veggies and dip.

Styrofoam bans are in the works in several states. Maryland, Maine, Colorado, Oregon, and New Jersey among those vying to pass first-in-the-nation policy, with various bills that would ban restaurants, grocery stores, food carts, and other food vendors from selling prepared food in polystyrene containers.