For this August rendition of Where to Eat, the majority of restaurants listed are pretty casual. Not much room for fussy fine-dining when it's this hot. Instead, we get barbecue, Tex-Mex, roast beef sandwiches, and a place devoted to making a meal out of muffins. The one thing these 10 restaurants have in common is that they are all newly opened. No sticky goo on the menus. No tabletops carved with someone's initials. They're sparkly fresh and new.
Here's where to eat for August:
New barbecue restaurant in the former Duke's Roadhouse in Addison is from a former Baker's Ribs manager. Brisket and ribs are their specialty, with a crunchy, barky exterior and tender inside. But they do all the smoked meats, including brisket, pulled pork, chicken, turkey, and sausage, including regular and jalapeño. They do meat by the pound, plus sandwiches featuring their smoked meats. Sides are mostly made in-house and include mac 'n cheese, a mustard potato salad, a black-eyed pea salad, jalapeno pinto beans, green beans with new potatoes, and smoked baked beans with meat.
Named for the Japanese god of fishermen and luck, Ebesu is an authentic restaurant newly opened in downtown Plano by Tetsuya Nakao, CEO of Tokyo-based restaurant group DRC Co., where he owns seven restaurants. There's sushi and robata-grilled meats, plus Japanese dishes prepared with European techniques. Signature items include chicken kari-kari kara-age (Japanese style chicken nuggets, Yuzu kosho, aioli sauce); and robata grilled Maine lobster with uni fettuccini, haricot verts, zucchini, and roasted tomato. They're flying in seasonal specials and seafood delicacies twice a week from fish markets in Japan. A full bar includes sake and Japanese soju.
New Thai bistro in West End Dallas comes from restaurateur Tony Street (YO Ranch) and his wife Jab Srikaij. The menu will showcase traditional Thai favorites, such as pad Thai and pad kee mao. Offerings include chicken satay, with skewers of chargrilled chicken breast marinated in coconut milk and yellow curry; Thai corn patties, made with corn cut off the cob and shaved green beans; and dumplings, with Thai-seasoned ground pork and minced veggies steamed on a banana leaf. They're also doing new-wave items, such as boba teas, espresso, crepes, bubble waffles, and milkshakes.
Lambeau's America Kitchen and Taps
New NFL-themed sports bar-restaurant in the former Patrizio's in Highland Village takes you on a foodie tour with a menu of trademark dishes from cities that host NFL teams. That means Philly cheesesteaks, Maryland crab cakes, and Wisconsin fried cheese curds. There are curly chili cheese fries, pulled pork nachos, a seafood boil, and crawfish etouffee over blackened redfish. Dallas is represented by Wagyu steak fingers. There are veggie nachos, Buffalo wings, Chicago-style deep dish pizza, New York-style pizza, and Cleveland beef & potato pierogis. A full bar boasts a frozen margarita that's already earned raves, plus 32 beers on tap.
Family-run chain founded in Houston in 1983 opened its first Dallas-area location in Las Colinas, where they're serving more than 60 from-scratch items, including fajitas and hand-pressed tortillas in both flour and corn. The menu includes guacamole, nachos, quesadillas, burritos, tacos, puffy tacos, carne asada, tamales, and other Tex-Mex classics. But there are other specialies such as chipotle smoked ribs, a three-pepper cheese steak, crab-stuffed avocado, grilled mahi mahi, cedar-plank salmon, and lobster tacos. An entire section dedicated to vegetarian dishes includes spinach-artichoke enchiladas, mushroom tacos al carbon, vegetable fajitas with portobello mushrooms, and even vegetarian puffy tacos filled with Romaine lettuce hearts.
Poblano's Piri Piri
Irving restaurant specializes in peri peri, the irresistibly flavorful spiced grilled chicken with roots in Portugal and Africa whose its puckery, sweet, and spicy flavors have made it a foodie treasure. The centerpiece of their menu is grilled chicken, which you can get with one of four sauces, including their signature piri piri sauce, a lip-smacking combination of lemon, herbs, and chiles; or three other sauces. You can get a whole chicken or a half with sides that include skin-on, fries, herbed rice, green salad, or a veggie salad combo with chunks of tomato, cucumber, and soft red onion. They also do wrap sandwiches and even an obligatory burger, and buffets for special occasions such as Ramadan.
Shark Club Sports Bar & Grill
With more than 40 TVs, a game room featuring arcade classics, and a live scoreboard for Dallas Stars games, sports are definitely the thing at this newly opened spot in Plano from Dallas Stars owner Tom Gaglardi. Sports and beer. But there's plenty of food: edamame, nachos, sliders with beef and American cheese, fried pickles, blue cheese potato chips, tater tots, build-your-own tacos, pretzels with Guinness beer cheese, calamari, chicken tenders, and wings. The menu shares some dishes with Moxie's, its sibling also owned by Gaglardi, such as poutine, the Canadian signature of French fries topped with cheese curds and gravy. This Plano location is the first Shark Club Sports Bar & Grill in the United States.
Stack's Sandwich Co.
Breakfast-and-lunch shop opened in late June at 150 Turtle Creek Blvd., in a space that was most recently Celebrity Cafe and Bakery, and which was once home to Margaux. Their menu is compact, with seasonally-driven sandwiches and salads such as the one with melon, shaved ham, goat cheese, frisee, and candied pecans. Sandwiches include a fried tomato with pimento cheese, served on an unusual hybrid of sandwich bread and corn bread. One of their most stupendous sandwiches is the torta de brisket, served on a house-made bolillo roll, with shredded smoked brisket, ancho-chile ketchup, black bean aioli, Oaxaca cheese, and avocado. Other menu items include avocado fries, corn croquettes, and breakfast fare that includes thick pancakes and bacon smoked in-house.
Three Egg Muffins
New shop on Greenville Avenue specializes in muffins — but muffins that go far beyond the usual blueberry. Founder, Don Lee has devised a new kind of breakfast muffin with eggs baked in, making them sufficiently substantial that they could stand in for your prototypical breakfast taco. Imagine a regular muffin, but with a whole baked egg on top, then topped with cheese, ham, and bacon — all of the ingredients you might consume for breakfast, but in muffin format. Options include ham with mozzarella; bacon with cheddar; and maple sausage. He also does traditional sweet muffins that are more creative than most, with flavors such as Oreo cookie and strawberry cream cheese.
Roast beef sandwich concept from Los Angeles opens in East Dallas, its second go-round after an unsuccessful start in the mid-cities. They take a handmade approach that includes slow-roasting their Angus beef top rounds for more than 10 hours, and making their own sauces — an array that includes a sweet barbecue sauce, spicy mustard, horseradish cream, and their own cheddar-y cheese wizz. Standouts include the pastrami burger with grilled pastrami, Provel cheese, arugula, and onions; the Wizz Burger, with cheese wizz and caramelized onions; and the vegetarian Buffalo cauliflower with crispy cauliflower, lettuce, tomato, ranch, buffalo sauce, and a sesame bun. There's also a full bar.