Dallas has Tex-Mex, taquerias, burger joints and even vegetarian restaurants. But like many cities, it lacks a restaurant devoted specifically to the Paleolithic diet — a place where diners could find grass-fed meat, fish, vegetables, fruit, roots and nuts while avoiding beans, grains, dairy, refined sugar and processed oils.
No worries. That'll change in January, when H&G Supply Co. is slated to open on Greenville Avenue, in the old Lost Society/Suede spot. Owners Elias Pope, Constantine Antos, Neville Govender and Mark Zakem are all CrossFit enthusiasts who envisioned a place they could kick back and refuel after a session of working out, says Pope.
"H&G stands for hunt and gather, which is the Paleo philosophy, but also to hunt or whatever you do in life," he says. "We wanted to create a space where everybody could go after working out and watch football or whatever's on TV, without feeling super heavy from the fried chicken wings or other overly processed food you usually find."
"We wanted to create a space where everybody could go after working out, without feeling super heavy from the fried chicken wings or overly processed food you usually find," says co-owner Elias Pope.
The mission statement is to redefine the term "man food."
"It's been reduced to a tray of chicken wings and some fried unidentified object, but for centuries it was the food of warriors," Pope says. "Paleo is meat-heavy, but it's grass-fed meat with no hormones, paired with great vegetables cooked in oils and natural fats. We want to make more restaurants that are transparent about where food comes from."
Also known as the caveman diet, the Paleo diet has been circulating for a few years. It gets praised for cutting out sugar and processed foods, but it ranked lowest in a survey of diets by U.S. News, and its claims have been disputed. Nonetheless, it's promoted as the ideal diet at CrossFit centers such as the one where Pope and his partners work out.
"If you care about that, it's awesome, and otherwise it's just a great place to eat," he says. "Suppose you go work out, whether you're a CrossFitter or cyclist or the average Joe who wants to fuel themselves for whatever happens next. You come to our restaurant, you get great food cooked in the right way, or a glass of wine or a beer, or a drink made with good flavorful mixes, not over-processed sugars."
There will also be the opportunity to watch sporting events on TV.
"It's going to be a masculine eatery, a place where the guys want to go and hang out and eat," Pope says. "But at the same time, a lot of women work out at CrossFit who want to take care of their bodies and live an active, healthy life. We're not putting TVs everywhere, and it's not a sports bar, but we're going to have drop-down screens, because when the Cowboys play, we want to be a hub for athletic individuals who want a place to come and watch sporting events."
As for the menu, it's been developed by Pope, who worked for Landry's Saltgrass Steakhouse, and a chef friend whose identity he cannot reveal.
"I can't get into it because he works with somebody else, but he does things with food that make me sick to my stomach in a good way," Pope says. "You'll get food and it'll fill you up, but it's not a plate with a bunch of sauces. You'll get a ton of protein with some really cool side dishes. Our signature will be community-style, where you go in and there's four of you and great food comes out: roasted chicken, pepper-crusted lamb chops, ribs, ahi tuna, and great sides like asparagus wrapped in bacon and curried cauliflower."
The space has an enviable rooftop patio with a clear view of the downtown Dallas skyline, and they're working to respect the history and natural assets of the location.
"It's an old, old building where they covered up the walls, but now it's time to show what that building is," he says. "We ripped everything out to reveal the brick and old windows and old ceilings. We're trying to use as much as we can and recycle what we find. It's been a construction nightmare, but we want to do justice to the building."