Lunch Is Served
Veteran chef whips up wholesome lunches for North Dallas office workers
If you like to seek out chef-driven gourmet food in offbeat places, head to Carverpark, an office building canteen from two well-known names in Dallas' dining scene.
Carver 150 comes from James Rowland and Fana Yohannes. He's the well-regarded veteran chef who worked at the Crescent Court (Beau Nash), Bistro Nous and Greenville Avenue Bar & Grill, among other places. She's the front-of-the-house pro from York Street and Lucia Dallas.
Carver 150 is located at the Two Forest Plaza complex at 12201 Merit Dr., near Forest Lane west of 75, and it's open for breakfast and lunch to occupants of the office building, or to anyone else who wants to dine in. Although many office buildings feature in-house delis, their menus are too often a greasy collection of low-quality fare. Carver 150 represents an unusual level of creativity and affordability for the office-bound worker bee.
"The menu changes every single day," Rowland says. "I have a big commitment to inexpensive, healthy, wholesome food. The menu is priced from $5 to $9. There's nothing more than $9 on this menu.
"But it's creative. I have no pre-set menu. We celebrate the season and what we get in. That's what I work off: I go to the market and use whatever I get."
Menus are frequently posted on their Facebook page, and at lunch hour, there's always a line. Options have included tortilla soup, almond chicken salad, penne pasta Bolognese, turkey spinach Cobb salad, Buffalo chicken wrap, or a brisket hoagie sandwich with griddled onions and potatoes.
A regular feature is house-made potato chips, which they sell in a bag. "Two days a week, we're cooking fresh potato chips and after two hours, they're all gone," Rowland says.
Carver 150 opened in 2013, but the Carver empire is expanding: The couple just opened a spinoff called Carver Park, located in a 14-story office building at 7557 Rambler Rd., near 75 and Walnut Hill Lane.
At this outlet, they've ramped up the menu with the addition of sushi, featuring the chops of a former sushi chef from Steel. Carver Park also has a larger kitchen which will likely be used as the base for a catering operation, for which Rowland has seen a great demand.
And then there are always other office buildings with tenants seeking a healthy, affordable lunch. "I think we're going to grow," he says.