News You Can Eat
Year-end openings & closings sneak into this Dallas restaurant news roundup
With the end of 2022 winding down, things are a little quiet on the restaurant news front. But there are still openings to applaud, closings to lament, new menus to try, and some food media tidbits to catch up on.
Here's what happened in Dallas restaurant news:
Shell Shack opens its new location in Lake Highlands at 6770 Abrams Rd., next to Alamo Drafthouse in the Creekside Shopping Center on January 9. The small local chain is known for seafood boils with crab, shrimp, or crawfish, plus potatoes, corn, and sausage. The space has 25-foot-high ceilings, a 20-seat bar, three large communal tables, outdoor patio, high-pressure handwashing stations, and four murals by local artist Roger Nitz depicting maritime and crabbing scenes. Shell Shack opened its first location in Dallas in 2013; this makes the sixth, with additional stores in Dallas, Plano, Arlington, Mesquite, and Fort Worth.
Fletcher's Original Corny Dogs now has permanent residence at Klyde Warren Park 2012 Woodall Rodgers Fwy., following temporary weekend pop-ups while their new food truck was being built. They're open Tuesday-Friday 11 am-3 pm, Saturday-Sunday 11 am-7:30 pm (hours can change due to weather and could increase if demand warrants) with six varieties of Corny Dogs, as well as curly fries and lemonade.
Asian Mint, known for amazing Thai and Asian dishes, has opened its fifth location in Addison in the former Cafe Gecko at 5290 Belt Line Rd. #118.
Brass Tap has opened a location in Frisco. It's owned by franchisee Sid Patel, who opened his first Brass Tap in 2015 in Allen, followed by a second in Prosper in 2019.
Unleavened Fresh Kitchen, a fast-casual sandwich & salad place in Lakewood, closed at the end of November. "And that's a wrap," said their Facebook post. "Unleavened has officially closed its doors after an amazing 7+ years of service to our community, friends, supporters, and wonderful staff. Thank you for all playing a part in our story. We are truly grateful for the opportunity and thoroughly enjoyed the adventure."
Fishmonger's, a longtime seafood restaurant in Plano, closed on November 27. "It has been a pleasure to watch Plano grow and change over the last 41 years," their Facebook post said. "We've seen the children of 1981 bring in their children and grandchildren. Now it's time to enjoy the next stage of our lives. We will remember all of you who we’ve come to know and love in this wonderful Fishmongers Family! Thank you all for supporting us all these years. So long and thanks for all the fish, Love you all, Jim and Pattie Elrod."
La Neta Cocina y Lounge, the Mexican concept from Las Vegas-based 81/82 Group and industry veteran Ryan Labbe, will open in March 2023 at The Epic in Downtown Dallas with a modern twist on traditional Mexican cuisine including exclusive Lone Star additions. They're hosting a hiring event January 16-17. Interested candidates can apply by emailing email@example.com.
BarNone in East Dallas has a new late night menu from 10 pm until close, with finger sandwiches, salads, chips & dips, and beef jerky. They've also expanded the weekend brunch menu with Belgian-style waffles and toppings such as “Elvis-style” with bananas, peanut butter, and crispy bacon, corned beef hash, potato-leek-cheese frittata, and breakfast sandwich with choice of sausage, chicken sausage link, ground Wagyu, bacon, short rib or corned beef.
Modern Market has expanded its menu and made it possible to order half sizes of all entrees online and via the app, as well as in-restaurant. This allows mix-and-match options such as sandwiches, salads, pizzas, and more, from pizzas such as their new Brussels bacon pizz, or salads such as Baja blackened chicken, salmon Caesar, and Thai coconut salad. Bowls range from Angus beef with chimichuri to sesame-glazed tofu. Sides include rosemary sweet potato mash, arugula & blue cheese salad, and garlic mashed potatoes.
Station Nation is a new series hosted by Hunter Fieri – son of Guy Fieri – to discover food served in Shell stations around the country. It's a project between Shell and Food Network whose initial run visits 6 spots around the U.S., including Texas Best Smokehouse in Italy, off I-35 in Ellis County, an hour south of Dallas; there's a snippet here.
Chili's Grill & Bar won fans and media attention on December 27 with a cunning Twitter promotion for travelers who got stuck in the Great Southwest Airline Meltdown of 2022. "To slightly offset the insane amount of flight cancellations, we’re offering gift cards to 30 of y'all who are stuck in the airport (with a Chili’s).. reply below and let us know where you’re stranded" -- drawing responses such as "Stuck at Dallas Love praying for a Chilis gift card so I can get a triple dipper and calm my soul from these travel delays."
Fancy was a national trend for 2022, according to Eater, who noted that diners were drawn to classic cocktails, ritzy settings, and pricey ingredients like caviar with lots of big spender openings such as, in Dallas, Carbone and STK.
Uchi Dallas was the target of a protest over its use of foie gras, a dish that requires animal cruelty -- part of a national blitz by members of PETA that also included protests at locations in Houston, Miami, Austin, and Denver.