News You Can Eat
Taco Diner closes in West Village and more buzzy Dallas restaurant news
In this roundup of Dallas restaurant news, there are big closures, big renovations, big new menus, and a new cheesecake. Two institutions are introducing brand new bar programs, and two high-profile concepts have made new hires. Last but not least, there is a new drink from Starbucks. When all else fails, there is always Starbucks.
Here's what's happening in Dallas restaurant news this week:
Taco Diner at the West Village center in Uptown Dallas is closing. According to a representative from the restaurant, the final day will be September 1.
With its fresh tacos and expansive sidewalk seating, Taco Diner was a linchpin at West Village for much of its nearly 20-year lifespan. It's the second surprise departure from West Village, following the recent revelation that Mi Cocina, the big brother to Taco Diner, will leave its West Village space and relocate to the Del Frisco's Grille space a few blocks down McKinney Ave. Taco Diner and Mi Cocina are both owned by M Crowd.
A separate Mi Cocina is opening at Klyde Warren Park, taking over the former Savor space. That location will service the downtown Dallas community and park visitors. And according to the representative, that Mi Cocina will incorporate some Taco Diner menu items and elements; employees from West Village are expected to transfer to that location once it opens.
Taco Diner has been shrinking: Two other locations, in Fort Worth and Las Colinas, closed in early 2021. Once West Village closes, just one Taco Diner will remain: the location in the Lake Highlands neighborhood at 7150 Skillman St.
Hub Streat, a food truck and outdoor park in old downtown Plano, closed on August 25, with an announcement on Facebook, after four years. But the space at 1212 14th St. already has a new tenant: It will be home to a new location of Twisted Root Burger Co., which currently has seven locations in DFW but none currently in Plano.
The Parlour by Bottled in Bond is a new speakeasy-style cocktail lounge in Frisco next door to its sibling bar-restaurant Bottled in Bond. It has an edited-down version of the Bottled in Bond menu of cocktails and foods, in a different, more cocktail-y atmosphere.
Ascension Coffee has reopened its Design District location following a revamp of the space. To celebrate, they're offering half-priced bottles of wine Sunday-Thursday from 3 pm-close, as well as weekend brunch with $12 mimosa carafes, Brunch Burger, French Toast Brulee, and Smoked Salmon Benedict. They're launching fall drinks including shroom latte with almond milk, maple, and adaptogenic; plus a new evening menu with Meat & Cheese Board, chorizo flatbread, Edamame Hummus, Tacos, Pappardelle Pomodoro, and Wild Mushroom Gnocchi. New cocktails include a matcha mojito, an espresso martini, and a boozy cold brew.
Tacodeli, the Austin-based taco chain, has launched its first cocktail and beer menu as well as dinner hours. The beverage menu features margaritas with blue agave tequila, including frozen and on the rocks, plus swirls featuring Tacodeli's housemade agua frescas including watermelon, horchata, and seasonal, plus a Paloma, plus beer and cider. The margarita on the rocks and the paloma are available to-go in 16- or 64-ounce sizes. New dinner items include Pastor Yucatan cooked in a banana leaf, Mole de Pollo, seared scallops with spinach and cauliflower puree, Flank Steak with Mexican rice and beans, and a new side dish, Mexican Street Corn.
Happiest Hour, the popular restaurant and bar located in the Harwood District, has eight new items at brunch including brisket hash, avocado bacon toast, pecan pie pancakes, "boozy French toast sticks" with Fireball maple syrup and Maker’s Mark cream, and Chocolate Mint Overnight Oats with a splash of Goldschläger. New cocktails include the Gran-Manmosa with bubbles, Grand Marnier, and OJ; Something About Mary with Absolut Pepper Vodka, olive juice, bacon, and pickled okra; and Good Morning Beautiful with Jameson Irish Whiskey, Ancho Reyes, vanilla cream, cold brew, and Angostura bitters. Brunch is on Saturday-Sunday, 11 am–4 pm.
Jinya Ramen Bar the acclaimed ramen restaurant has a new bowl that bridges the gap between plant-based and meat ingredients called the Red Garnet, with noodles, a creamy vegan base, crunchy spicy garlic sauce, green onion, kikurage, chopped onion, spinach, and pork chashu, with two pieces of chicken karaage on the side, for $15. It can be made vegetarian by removing the pork chashu topping and side of chicken karaage. Available through October 15, so get on it.
Mod Pizza has added plant-based Italian Sausage as a permanent topping option, which can be added to any pizza or salad. Developed exclusively with Plantly, the plant-based sausage is a classic spiced Italian-style crumble made with non-GMO pea protein and seasoned with fennel, oregano, and thyme.
Cici's has launched a new crispy, cheesy, savory appetizer: Poppers, which look to be a bite-sized garlic knot type dough snack, available in two flavors: spicy jalapeño or zesty pepperoni, $4 for a dozen served with choice of ranch or marinara sauce.
Perry's has brought back its Fajita Steakhouse Smorgasbord, available to-go only, for a limited time through September 30. The board feeds 4-6 people and includes one pound each of ribeye fajitas, pork fajitas, and chicken, with onions & peppers, Mexican rice, guacamole, salsa verde, pico de gallo, cheddar cheese, lettuce, and flour or corn tortillas. A pound of shrimp is available for an extra $25.
East Hampton Sandwich Co. has collaborated with sibling concept Lucky's Hot Chicken on a limited-edition sandwich called the Lucky Jack which has fried chicken, slaw, pepperjack cheese, pickles, and ghost pepper mayo on a pretzel bun. It'll be at all East Hampton Sandwich locations through September.
Dairy Queen has a new Bacon Ranch Hungr-Buster burger with a quarter-pound beef patty topped with bacon, Hidden Valley Ranch, pepper jack cheese, tomatoes, and lettuce.
Twin Peaks, which is opening a location in Grand Prairie, at 3120 S. SH161 in November, has a new lineup of loaded fries topped with options such as bacon & cheese, pulled pork, buffalo chicken, and brisket chili. Plus a Caesar salad which you can get topped with chicken, shrimp, or salmon. Plus two new meatball items: Spicy Meatball Skillet in marinara and cheese with toasted garlic bread, or Spicy Meatball Parmesan on a hoagie roll, with fries. They also have two new wing sauces: Bourbon Teriyaki and Pineapple Habanero.
The Cheesecake Factory has a new Coconut Cream Pie Cheesecake with coconut cheesecake, vanilla custard, and a layer of chocolate on a coconut macaroon crust. For every slice of Coconut Cream Pie Cheesecake sold now through July 29, 2022, The Cheesecake Factory will donate 25 cents to Feeding America.
Grand Lux Cafe has a slew of new menu items, including Cinnamon-Caramel Banana Pancakes, Avocado Wontons (crispy wrappers with avocado, onion, and cilantro), Pot Stickers, Tuscan Antipasto Salad (salami, provolone, garbanzo beans, cucumbers, olives, mixed greens), Shrimp Salad, Double Smashed Cheeseburger, an Impossible Burger, Chicken, Bacon, and Avocado Melt, Crispy Chicken Sandwich, Brown Butter Pasta with chicken, Italian sausage, & mushrooms, and Teriyaki Rib Eye. Two new cocktails include a mango mule and a Lux Old-Fashioned with Sazerac rye whiskey.
Sixty Vines, famous for its selection of 60 wines on tap, is opening a full bar with two carbonated cocktails served, like their wines, from the tap: SV G&T with Spring 44 Gin, Jack Rudy Elderflower Tonic, grapefruit, peppercorn and flowers; and Pomegranate Paloma with Ilegal Mezcal, Pama Pomegranate Liqueur, grapefruit, and lime.
Pollo Campero has two new Campero Bowls featuring rice, beans, spring mix, corn, peppers, pico de gallo, smashed avocado, and feta cheese, topped with choice of fried chicken or citrus-marinated grilled boneless chicken breast.
Starbucks has a new beverage for fall 2021: Apple Crisp Macchiato, available iced or hot. A regular macchiato features steamed milk and espresso; the Apple Crisp Macchiato incorporates flavors such as brown sugar and cinnamon, with a caramelized apple drizzle that contains real apple puree. It joins returning favorites Pumpkin Spice Latte and Pumpkin Cream Cold Brew.
McDonald’s has a new bakery item: the Glazed Pull Apart Donut, starting September 1 and available for a limited time. It's a twist on the classic doughnut with tear apart bites of light and airy dough covered in a sweet glaze. This is the first limited-edition item to join the McCafé Bakery line-up. Similar to the Apple Fritter, Blueberry Muffin, and Cinnamon Roll, the Glazed Pull Apart Donut will be available all day long and can be purchased via carry out, Drive Thru, or in the McDonald’s App.
Dunkin' and Harpoon Brewery have collaborated on three new beers, hitting stores in September, all made with coffee, doughnuts, or matcha tea from Dunkin': Harpoon Dunkin' Blueberry Matcha IPA, Harpoon Dunkin' Maple Crème Blonde Ale, and Harpoon Dunkin' Midnight American Porter, joining returning fan-favorite Harpoon Dunkin’ Pumpkin Spiced Latte Ale.
H-E-B has awarded two Dallas restaurants with prizes in its Quest for Texas Best: Savor Pâtisserie – French Macarons / Kelli Watts, which won the $25,000 Grand Prize; and Howdy Homemade Ice Cream - Dr Pepper Chocolate Chip Ice Cream / Tom Landis & Coleman Jones, which won a third-place price of $10,000.
The District, a new restaurant from California coming to Addison, has hired Aaron Staudenmaier as Chef Partner. He's worked at The Mansion on Turtle Creek, the Inn at Little Washington, Abacus, Jasper's, Boot Ranch in Fredericksburg, Lovers Seafood, and Whiskey Cake. Johnny Carros (Chamberlain's, Jasper's, Sugarbacon Proper Kitchen) has been appointed Operating Partner. District was founded in San Francisco in 2007, and has three locations in California; Addison will be their fourth location and first outside California.
Ellie's Restaurant & Lounge at Hall Arts Hotel appointed Michael Gluckman as general manager. Gluckman, who most recently worked as director of culinary services at Ventana by Buckner, is a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America who spent 13 years with The Ritz-Carlton, including nine years at Fearing's at The Ritz-Carlton Dallas, which he helped open.