A former blogger who used to write about restaurants and chefs is now taking a crack at the business himself. Rich Vana, who for four years maintained the informative Entree Dallas blog, launched a catering company in late 2014 called Heritage Table.
That led to a one-of-a-kind partnership with Pete's Dueling Piano Bar in Addison. Now, Heritage Table covers their weekend dinners and a brand-new weekly Friday lunch.
The menu includes half-pound Wagyu beef burgers, house-made bratwursts, and creative specials such as pretzel kolaches (technically, klobasniks) with cheddar and house-made klobasa sausage. "Think paprika and garlic!" Vana says. "We take our pretzel dough and wrap it around a piece of cheddar and sausage, bake it, then butter it, salt it, and serve it hot."
"I started catering last October," Vana says. "I was doing Entree Dallas and it got to the point where I realized I was writing about something that I wanted to be doing."
The catering began with smoked meats and sausages, but he's since expanded to American food and burgers, made with beef from Local Yocal in McKinney. "I've been helped by all the contacts I made doing while doing Entree Dallas, either advice or purveyors," he says.
The Pete's partnership was a lucky fusion in which both sides gained something.
"After we did an event there, the owners let us take over their kitchen and use it as the basis for our catering and also to serve their customers on Friday and Saturday nights," Vana says. "We just started serving lunch on Fridays. It's like a pop-up lunch."
They don't have a fryer, so there are no fried foods. But he does use the sous vide technique for burgers, in a manner similar to what chef John Tesar was doing at The Commissary, his now-closed One Arts Plaza burger restaurant. And the new lunch menu is slightly different from the dinner menu.
"The dinner menu is more accessible to a wider audience," Vana says. "The lunch allows us to serve food a little closer to way I would eat it, and allows me to play around with weekly specials."