Coronavirus News

Dallas restaurants keep on trucking with openings and new dishes

Dallas restaurants keep on trucking with openings and new dishes

Bulla Gastrobar
New dish at Bulla Gastrobar. Bulla Gastrobar

Coronavirus still hangs over the Dallas food & beverage industry like a dark cloud, but there are restaurants opening, making plans, creating new dishes, whipping up new drinks.

Here's the latest round of Dallas restaurant news:

Zaap Kitchen Lao & Thai Street Eats has opened its second location in East Dallas' Casa Linda Plaza at 1152 N. Buckner Blvd., after almost a year of planning. This vastly popular concept was founded by owner Tony Singharaj and his wife in 2018, who opened their first location at 6107 Greenville Ave. to bring Laotian food to a new neighborhood. Singharaj is a restaurant veteran whose brother Boi owns Sabaidee Lao & Thai Cuisine, which also features Laotian and Thai dishes, though in a take-out format only. This new location of Zaap has a larger area to dine-in, which will surely come in handy once the virus has cleared. Meanwhile, East Dallas residents are thrilled to have a new authentic Asian option in the neighborhood. Zaap makes everything to order and with a higher level of spice than other Asian cuisines.

Shug's Bagels, the authentic New York-style bagel shop that's been in the works for more than a year, opened on June 13 at 3020 Mockingbird Ln. in a space previously home to Lover's Egg Roll. Less than a week later, they were forced to temporarily close after what they called "an insane opening weekend," in which both their dough mixer and oven broke down in attempt to keep up with the demand. They reopened on June 26 and will be open Tuesday-Sunday from 7 am-3 pm.

Sauce & Vine is the name of a new restaurant opening in the heart of downtown Fate, east of Rockwall. This will be an Italian-inspired, family restaurant that will anchor the downtown and will star Ted Grieb as executive chef. Grieb is a veteran chef who has worked at notable Dallas eateries such as Dakota's, and who previously owned/operated Zanata in downtown Rockwall. Sauce and Vine will have an open-air, modern rustic dining area, along with a farm-stand market for takeout meals, bread, gelato, and other house-made products. The kitchen will feature wood-fired pizzas and housemade pasta. Construction will begin later in 2020.

Bonton Farms, the urban farm in South Dallas whose goal is to restore health, create jobs, and ignite hope, is under consideration for a spinoff in Lake Highlands, at a 12-acre site at Greenville Avenue between Forest Lane and LBJ Freeway. Called Bonton Village, it would mirror the current location in South Dallas with a bakery, coffee shop, restaurant, farmhouse, and 120 tiny houses. The original location was imperiled due to the coronavirus pandemic until donations, including a $75,000 contribution from Mark Cuban, helped sustain it for another six months.

Barcadia, the Henderson Avenue bar that introduced Dallas to Giant Jenga, has executed a makeover. It includes an ambitious new food program coordinated by new chef Nick Boss, a veteran of Dough Pizzeria, Belly & Trumpet, and other Dallas eateries. Brought on by SBBC Hospitium,  who acquired the bar in 2019, Boss has created a menu of what he calls "simple bar food done right." For example, his double cheeseburger, which he says "tastes like the 4th of July," has two 4-ounce patties made from ground short rib with a secret sauce on a sesame bun. He also has a sprinkling of veggie dishes including a chickpea salad wrap. Beyond wanting to upgrade the food, their goals include expanding the brunch window for service industry employees, and attracting customers for dinner. "We have no problem with the late-night crowd and we always get busy on Friday and Saturday nights, but we'd love to serve a good menu during the rest of the week," Boss says. SBBC accomplished a similar transformation with the menu at Felix Culpa, a sibling concept, also located on Henderson Avenue.

The Heritage Table, an indie restaurant on Main Street in Frisco, has a new revamped menu that's centered around shareable boards. Owner Rich Vana, who opened the restaurant in 2017, is now serving specialty boards as a family-style tasting menu with a revolving set of boards that can be shared among 2-3 people as an entrée. The menus will change bi-weekly and focus on seasonal ingredients.

Bisous Bisous Pâtisserie, the West Village bakery from award-winning pastry chef Andrea Meyer, is reviving its line of house-made ice cream, first introduced in 2019. The ice cream comes in pints, in three flavors: Vanilla Shortbread Cookie, Chocolate Caramel Cookie, and Strawberry Cheesecake. Bisous also continues its popular "Freezer to Oven Collection" featuring best-sellers such as "Freezer to Oven Croissant Waffle Ice Cream Sammies, with pre-pressed croissant waffles, tosses, and toppings. The shop is known for its macarons, and will offer a special flavor for July: Blueberry Cheesecake, a festive red and blue treat.

Fat Straws, the small local chain with bubble tea and chewy puff donuts (aka mochi donuts) has launched dalgona, aka whipped coffee, at all four locations. Dalgona is made by whipping together instant coffee powder, sugar and hot water until it becomes creamy and is then used to top cold or warm milk. Fat Straws also has creative twists on the beverage including Dirty Chai (Chai Milk Tea & Dalgona), Dirty Matcha (Matcha Milk Tea & Dalgona), Dalgonacado (Avocado Smoothie & Dalgona), Dalgona Coco (Coconut Milk Tea & Dalgona. The drinks range from $4.25 to $6.50 and are available now at all Fat Straws locations. Curbside pickup and delivery through UberEats available at https://www.fatstraws.co/locations/.

Rusty Taco, the Dallas-born taco chain with 7 locations in the area, has a new Green Street Taco featuring pork with tomatillo sauce and jalapeno ranch. It was created by a franchisee in Dayton, Ohio where it was a secret menu item until Rusty Taco turned it into a nationwide limited-time offering.

Whataburger is launching the new Pico de Gallo Burger. It starts with two perfectly cooked all-beef patties on a toasted five-inch bun, topped with three new ingredients: two slices of pepper jack cheese, fresh Pico de Gallo and a new Creamy Cilantro Lime Sauce. The combination creates a unique pop of bright flavors with the perfect kick.

Impossible Foods new award-winning plant-based sausage is now in wide distribution. It's also featurd as a special dish at a handful of diners across America who will be the first independently owned restaurants to feature Impossible Sausage. The designated diner in Dallas is Maple Leaf Diner on Preston Road in North Dallas.

Truluck's has introduced a new entree for summer: Crab Napoleon, with blue crab, shrimp, and mango atop a sliced tomato with smoked tomato vinaigrette for $24. A release says it's savory, smokey, light, and delicious. Live entertainment has returned to their Uptown location beginning at 6 pm Fridays and Saturdays.

Bulla Gastrobar has new items for summer including five new dishes and two drinks: lavender peach oolong lemonade and a Mezcalita with mezcal, OJ, triple sec, agave, and strawberry puree. They're available for dinner only and include:

  • Mallorcan Style Lamb: Braised lamb, piquillo confit, garlic chips, patatas panaderas
  • Chicken Al Valdeón: Pan-seared chicken, Valdeón blue cheese sauce, mushrooms, piquillo confit, hand-cut fries
  • Pear Fiocchi: Pear-filled pasta, honey Valdeon blue cheese sauce, diced pears, chopped walnuts
  • Seafood Salpicon: Octopus, shrimp, mussels, marinated olives, lemon, EVOO
  • Tocinillo Del Cielo: Andalusian-style flan, yogurt foam, blueberries, raspberries

Sugar Pine Creamery, the Plano soft-serve ice cream shop with innovative flavors, has a new lineup of flavors through July 12 as follows: toasted marshmallow, Cap'N Crunch Cereal Milk, Roasted Cherry Almond, Oreo Cookie Tiramisu, and two dairy-free flavors: strawberry guava and jamine white peach. They also serve teas, including boba tea. Their COVID-19 hours are Tuesday-Sunday 2-6 pm.

The Original Pancake House has a limited-edition pancake at its eight locations around DFW. Available through July 5, the Firecracker Cake features crunchy pearl sugar and Pop Rocks Candy on a stack of buttermilk pancakes.