The coronavirus continues to wield an aura over Dallas' food & beverage scene, mostly for bad, sometimes for good. And then there are scenarios where the virus just isn't a factor. This roundup of news has a little of both.
Here's the latest in what's happening in Dallas restaurant news:
Tarantino's Cicchetti Bar & Record Lounge, the Italian eatery from longtime veteran Peter Tarantino, is now open in Exposition Park. They're at 3611 Parry Ave., but there's no entering through the front door for now. Pickup is be from their back door/parking lot entrance. There is a menu with mussels, "Italian-style hummus," spaghetti & meatballs, garlic bread and more — but this is Peter Tarantino so it's all very spontaneous and creative, with him deciding at the last minute to make a "cool refreshing Mediterranean summer shrimp salad," while his sister pops by with a Maple Bourbon Carrot Walnut Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting. They're open for online ordering at 5 pm every night except Mondays off, and may possibly add groceries to their mix down the road.
Marufuku Ramen, the San Francisco import with authentic, Hakata-style food, opened quietly in Frisco in June. Marufuku specializes in two highly perfected bowls: chicken paitan and Hakata-style tonkotsu ramen, a variation on pork-based tonkotsu but with thinner noodles. Located at 9292 Warren Pkwy. in Frisco, this is the only the third Marufuku; the other two locations are in San Francisco's Japantown and in Oakland. They're open for delivery too.
Primo's MX Kitchen and Lounge will open at the Statler Hotel at 1914 Commerce St. in downtown Dallas on July 20. This will be the second location, in addition to the original in Uptown, and will take over the ground floor spot previously occupied by Fine China. The menu features carne asada fries, crab-stuffed avocado, vegetarian mushroom enchiladas, and tableside fajitas. Takeout and delivery are anticipated to be popular, and there are also three private dining spaces. Primo's is currently part of Refined Hospitality Concepts (RHC), a subsidiary of Centurion American, the company belonging to developer Mehrdad Moayedi, who also owns the Statler. RHC also operates Sfereco, the meatball spot that opened at the Statler in June.
Rice Chicken has reopened its location in Carrollton, with social distancing and a maximum of 6 people at a table. Their signature is Ssaldak, fried chicken with a rice flour batter instead of wheat, making for a lighter, crispier crunch.
HaiDiLao Hot Pot, a chain based in China known not only for hot pots but also strange doting services such as manicures and shoe shines, is opening a location in Frisco, at the new Frisco Oasis center. The concept was founded in China in 1994 and opened its first U.S. location in Los Angeles in 2013.
Gloria's Latin Cuisine, the much-liked Salvadoran-Mexican local chain, will open a new location in McKinney. Located at 3635 West University Drive, it'll be their 21st restaurant in Texas and one of the first free-standing restaurants built by Gloria's. It'll feature a new interior design with a brighter Latin-inspired decor, expanded outdoor dining, private dining room, and upscale bar. It's slated to open in the fall.
TKK Fried Chicken, the Taiwanese fast-food chain introduced in New York's Flatiron District as a partner to Kung Fu Tea, has a new Spicy Chicken Sandwich. It's an all-white-meat chicken breast marinated for 24 hours in TKK's signature spice blend, coated in a spicy seasoning, then topped with zesty ranch and thick-cut pickle, and wrapped in a toasted Martin’s potato roll. It's available in original or deluxe with cheese, lettuce, and tomato, as an entree or combo. Director of Operations Steve Luw says in a statement that they spent months developing the recipe. "It ticks all the boxes of he perfect spicy chicken sandwich — crispy, bold, zesty," he says.
Commons Club, the restaurant at Virgin Hotels Dallas, has launched a new brunch menu served every Saturday and Sunday. There's artisanal bread and pastries, shrimp cocktail, watermelon salad, chicken & waffles, brisket hash with eggs and potatoes, huevos rancheros, and the signature Uncommon Burger made with Texas beef on a brioche bun topped with cheddar and special sauce. A focal point on the new menu is pastry chef Cristal Gonzalez' seasonal sweet bread kolaches, currently filled with Texas peaches. New cocktails include the French Toast with lemon juice, maple syrup, Hennessy, prosecco and cinnamon sugar, and a Sangre Del Toro with Sombra mezcal, Zing Zang, giardiniera puree, tajin, and a jalapeno wheel.
7-Eleven has a new hot coffee flavor: coconut coffee. It's a limited-edition flavor that's sweet and creamy, and made with 100 percent Arabica beans.
Crush Taco, the small local chain, has introduced pre-made margaritas to go, available in half gallon and individual portions, in six flavors including Prickly Pear. You can serve them on the rocks or else pop the mix into the freezer and pour the frozen mix over a shot of tequila.
Pasqually's Pizza & Wings, a delivery-only offshoot of Chuck E. Cheese, is rolling out a menu with pizza and twice baked wings. The concept first launched with GrubHub in late March and can now be ordered via Uber Eats and DoorDash. The menu includes giant cheesy bread, seven wing options including BBQ, spicy Buffalo, spicy Korean BBQ, Chili Lime dry rub, as well as boneless wings and an iced brownie. Pasqually's pizza is made to appeal to a more mature audience than Chuck E. Cheese, with a crust brushed in garlic butter and extra sauce.
Keurig Dr Pepper has committed $10 million over the next five years to increase and improve the recovery and recycling of polypropylene plastic in the U.S. A release says they are working to solidify polypropylene's status as a standard curbside recycling material through projects that enhance collection, sortation, and processing in recycling facilities. the release claims this will increase the value and supply of recycled polypropylene (rPP) and reduce the need for virgin plastic used in packaging. Dear Keurig Dr Pepper, how about if you please just #1 build a recycling complex so you can reuse the plastic you've already used, and #2 stop using plastic. Thanks!