Fill up on pizza, crawfish, chocolate, and seltzer this week. The latter will be available at a festival dedicated to solely to seltzer that’s making a stop in Dallas this weekend. There are a few events dedicated to St. Patrick’s Day, and pop-ups around town celebrating the humble corn dog. Last but not least, there is a giant potato chip making a one-day appearance.

Tuesday, March 14

Pi Day at Urban Crust
The Plano pizzeria will celebrate the special math "holiday" with a special. Enjoy their wood-fired cheese pizza for only $3.14. But plan accordingly; the deal will only be available between 3:14 and 6 pm.

Footlong Potato Chip at Subway in Frisco
In a silly promotion, Lay's is collaborating with a single Subway location in Frisco to share a free 12-inch potato crisp. First it was the footlong sandwich, then the footlong cookie, and now the Baked Lay's 12-inch potato crisp, available only on March 14, and exclusively at the Subway located at at 6700 Stonebrook Pkwy. #100. If it's worth it to you to drive to Frisco for a free chip, then the giveaway starts at 11 am and goes until supplies last.

Friday, March 17

St. Patrick’s Day Crawfish Boil at the Dallas Farmers Market
Rex’s Seafood and Market will bring a taste of the bayou to the Dallas Farmers Market with all-you-can-eat crawfish. The $45 ticket includes the mud bugs and a drink – a Hurricane is the suggested pairing. Children 12 and under can get the deal for $20. The boil will run from 4-10 pm and will feature live music, outdoor games, and prizes for best dressed for St. Patrick’s Day.

St. Paddy’s Day Beerfest at Happiest Hour
Every hour is a happy one at this Olive Street bar, which’ll celebrate St. Patrick’s Day with an inaugural beer festival. The $50 early bird ticket will include unlimited beer and seltzer tastings, live music, and food specials. Day-of general admission jumps to $75. The event will run from 6-10 pm, but a $100 VIP ticket grants access an hour earlier and comes with a souvenir hat.

Saturday, March 18

Fletcher’s Original Corny Dog Pop-Ups
Fun fact: corny dogs were invented in Dallas by brothers Neil and Carl Fletcher in 1938. The meal-on-a-stick debuted at the 1942 State Fair of Texas. Celebrate National Corn Dog Day at one of three pop-ups with Fletcher’s Original Corny Dogs: Klyde Warren Park (11 am-:30 pm), Bass Pro Shops in Garland (11:30 am-6 pm), and at 3212 Knox St. (11 am- pm). Fletcher’s mascot Mr. Corny will make an appearance at the Kylde Warren Park pop-up to pose with fans for photos from 12-3 pm.

It will be a seltzer lover’s paradise during this festival featuring more than 100 hard seltzers and canned cocktails. Produced out of New York City, the event is making a stop in Dallas at Klyde Warren Park. Tickets start at $49 and offer two options for entry: 11:30 am-2 pm or 3:3-6 pm. Ticket includes a tasting cup and samples and food for purchase on-site. There’ll also be live DJ music, games, and plenty of photo ops.

A Tea Party to Celebrate Ireland at Dude, Sweet Chocolate
Travel expert and Ireland native Rachel Gaffney will be a guest speaker at this Irish tea party, which is sure to include gourmet chocolates for pairing. Tickets are $59 and the party will run from 12-2 pm.

Photo by Marc Lee

Sophisticated San Martin Bakery & Cafe from Guatemala treks to N. Dallas

Croissant News

A bakery and restaurant chain from Guatemala is expanding its presence in Dallas: San Martín Bakery, which made its U.S. debut in Dallas in 2018, will open a second DFW location, this one at Prestonwood near Addison at 5407 Belt Line Rd., taking over what was previously a location of Coal Vines Pizza, next door to EVO Cinemas.

According to spokesman Santiago Castillo, they're still working through permits, but anticipate they'll open in the fall.

"When we considered where to expand, Addison was always on our list, and that's also the feedback we've received from customers," he says.

Their location will also benefit from its proximity to Work/Shop, a new mixed-use development going up on the other side of the movie theater.

San Martin is a highly sophisticated concept offering European-styled baked goods including sourdough breads, croissants, and other puff pastries, along with a cozy cafe open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

It was founded in 1974, and operates nearly 40 locations across Guatemala and El Salvador. Although they are a chain, they pride themselves on keeping each location unique.

Dallas landed on their radar after Castillo attended Southern Methodist University. Uptown opened in 2018 and was their first location outside of Central America.

Every location features a combination bakery to the left and cafe to the right, with the bakery following a self-serve format where you grab a basket and load it with your bread and pastry selections, such as amazing apple croissants, all made to European standards.

Their cafe menu includes burgers, sandwiches, wraps, and pastas. There is soup served in a round boule loaf; salads; queso; sandwiches on ciabatta bread, and sub sandwiches on long baguettes. There are rustic pizzas, baked in a stone oven.

There is breakfast, with a menu that includes quesadillas, pupusas topped with sunny-side eggs, chilaquiles, eggs with fried plantains, benedicts, omelets, pancakes topped with Nutella, oatmeal, and French toast. There's also beer, wine, and sangria, and smoothies made with yogurt.

Their combination of good food, extended customer-friendly hours, and easygoing atmosphere have earned them many accolades including making the list for Best Desserts, Best Places To Take Holiday Visitors, and a nomination for CultureMap's Tastemaker Awards for Restaurant of the Year in 2020.

Given the dominant role that Guatemala plays as a major coffee grower, they are rightfully proud of their coffee, and Santiago says that the Prestonwood location will have an even bigger commitment.

"Guatemala has the best coffee in the world, and we work directly with farmers and roast our own beans," Castillo says. "People can now enjoy the best coffees of Guatemala in our stores, and that used to be unheard of."


Cookie shop with big-big chunks of chocolate to debut at Dallas' Snider Plaza

Cookie News

A cookie shop whose cookies are brimming with big chunks of chocolate is opening in Dallas' Snider Plaza: Called Ben's Cookies, it's an international chain founded in Oxford, England, that's opening a location at 3406 Rosedale Ave., kitty-corner to Bubba's Cooks Country and across from SMU.

According to owner Truett Horne, the shop will open this weekend.

Horne brought the concept from England to the U.S. in 2022 when he opened the first outlet at Grapevine Mills Mall in Grapevine. This will be his second location.

Ben's cookies follow classic chocolate chip recipes, but instead of chocolate chips, they use big chunks of chocolate.

Staple flavors include milk chocolate chunk, dark chocolate chunk, white chocolate chunk, and double chocolate chunk with chocolate chunks in a chocolate cookie base.

Other flavors include:

  • white chocolate & cranberry
  • white chocolate & macadamia
  • dark chocolate & ginger
  • dark chocolate & nuts

There are also non-chocolate-chunk cookies including oatmeal raisin, peanut butter, lemon, ginger, coconut, and a snickerdoodle cookie that Horne introduced in late 2022 which has been a smash hit.

One surprise at the Grapevine shop has been the brisk sales in frozen treats including shakes and ice cream, including their "cookie monster," a decadent combination of cookies and ice cream. They also ship cookies both locally and nationally to Ben's fans across the U.S.

The first Ben's opened in Oxford in 1984; there are now 60 locations across England, Scotland, Singapore, Dubai, Kuwait, Thailand, Korea, the Philippines, and Japan.

Horne discovered the cookies while in college.

"I became familiar with Ben's when I studied abroad in Oxford, home to their first location, and fell in love with their cookies," he says. "They're very focused on ingredients and the process."

Their cookies are big, and in the span of soft to crisp, they fall on the cakey side. "They say that, if a cookie and a cake had a baby, it would be Ben's," says Horne, a former marketing exec who worked for companies like JCPenney and McKinsey & Co.

Finding a family-friendly location was a priority, which is what led to Snider Plaza, where the shop is going into a former daycare center which has been completely remodeled.

"I like that Snider Plaza has a sense of heritage, with long-standing retailers who've been tenants for a while," he says. "Being across from SMU means that we can serve the college community, I think that will be fun."

"And this felt like the right place, like it was made for us," he says. "It's a brick building and aesthetically it feels perfect. It just feels like a bakery."


Award-winning Dallas bakery spins off new community event with free coffee

Bread News

Award-winning Dallas bakery Kuluntu Bakery is hosting a new monthly event that'll combine sweet pastries and community gathering.

Called the "Community Bake," it'll take place on the first Saturday of every month at their Oak Cliff headquarters, beginning on March 4.

From 10 am to 12 pm, they'll have pastries, coffee, creative activities for kids and adults, self-serve cold brew and water, and most importantly an opportunity to gather with neighbors and the community.

The new event represents a shift for the bakery and fulfills its goals to not only bake great bread but also bring people together, says founder Stephanie Leichtle-Chalklen.

Founded in 2018, Kuluntu is a cottage food business that sells breads and pastries, to be picked up once a week. Their selection is limited and changes every week, but always includes sourdough breads, pastries, cakes, and seasonal goods.

Despite not having a brick-and-mortar location, Kuluntu has racked up numerous awards including an impressive ranking on a Food & Wine list of the Best Breads in Every State, a 2023 nomination for a James Beard Award, and a CultureMap Tastemaker Awards nomination for Best Pastry Chef.

Their model has been to send out an email listing their offerings every week, and customers pick up their orders on Thursdays.

Now, just for the first week of the month, the pickup takes place on Saturday, and customers are encouraged to stick around and hang out. If they want to eat their pastries on-site, there'll be picnic benches, with water and free coffee, "BYOmug."

"The idea is to have a more intentional space for the community to gather," Leichtle-Chalklen says. "I'm also trying to get out of the kitchen and allocate my time a little differently. It'll just be one week out of the month. If people want to eat pastries there, they can, and coffee will be on the house."

"The rest of the month, we'll still have Thursday pickup, but we won't have pastry every week like we’ve been doing, it'll be more focused on bread, and we'll make Saturdays a big pastry day," she says.

The deadline for pre-orders is Monday, so that ship has sailed for the March 4 event. However, they will also have a few baked items for sale, first-come first-serve, for those who did not place an order online. (And for future offerings, you can place your order here.)

"We'll also be frying up some little doughnuts, a South African specialty called Cape Malay koesisters, those will be on the house," she says. "We want to encourage people to come. This is about gathering together."

Photo courtesy of Paris Baguette

Paris Baguette stacks Dallas with decadent pastries at new Grand Prairie shop

Croissant News

An international bakery-café concept is expanding its North Texas presence: Paris Baguette has opened a location in Grand Prairie, at 2609 W. Pioneer Pkwy., in the parking lot in front of the Asia Times Square center, where it occupies a new mini-building along with a Kickin' Crab seafood spot and a 7 Leaves Tea shop.

According to a company representative, the bakery opened in January. This marks their third location in DFW, following Lewisville which opened in 2019, and Carrollton, which opened in 2021.

Paris Baguette is known for its cakes, pastries, croissants, and breads. It was founded in 1988 by Korean businessman Hur Young-in, who started out with locations in South Korea, Singapore, Vietnam, and China.

They're owned by Paris Croissant, a division of SPC Group based in Seoul; their America headquarters are in Moonachie, N.J.

Their lineup includes classic French-style goods that sometimes incorporate Asian ingredients, such as buns stuffed with red-bean filling.

Many of their items are croissant-based, and more than a few incorporate savory ingredients like sausage and crab croquettes. They also have doughnuts, cronuts, cream puffs, and cream-filled pastries of all kinds, plus coffee drinks to go with.

There are super pretty fruit tarts, and people rave about their statuesque often multi-layer cakes.

As is the case with this style of bakery, most of the pastries are self-serve; you load them onto a tray and head for the cashier.

The first U.S. location opened in Los Angeles in 2005, one of many Asian-founded bakeries that specializes in French-style goods such as Mozart and Taiwanese bakery chain 85C.

They started franchising in the U.S. in 2015, and have since established 120 locations across the country, including 24 new cafes that opened in 2022 alone. That includes a location in Katy, their first in the Houston market which has been in the works for nearly two years, bringing the total number of locations in Texas to 20, either open or in development.


Arlington restaurant delivers on its promises of Funnel Cakes and More

State Fair News

There's a restaurant in Arlington dedicated to a State Fair favorite: Called Funnel Cakes and More, it's located at 2430 N. Davis St. #100, just north of I-30 near Fielder Road, and is exactly as advertised, with a menu of decadent funnel cake creations, plus some unique Southern treats.

The restaurant was originally founded by Jessica Espinoza, whose focus was on the sweet side with funnel cakes and gelato. New owner April Campbell is keeping that sweet specialty but adding some savory items, as well.

"We're definitely keeping the funnel cakes and have even added some new twists," Campbell says.

Updates include new flavors such as:

  • peach cobbler funnel cake, a hugely popular offering topped with peaches, vanilla ice cream, and whipped cream
  • strawberry banana funnel cake, topped with sliced banana, and strawberry jam
  • Reese's peanut butter & jelly deluxe

But Campbell's big innovation is to add savory items, everything from wings to a funnel cake burger, with the funnel cake serving as a sweet and novel "bun."

"I am incorporating some light soul food, plus wings, burgers, and hot wing baskets," she says.

Campbell has worked in the medical field for more than 20 years as a physician's assistant, but this fulfills her entrepreneurial dreams.

"I always wanted to open a restaurant in honor of my late grandmother, whose cooking inspired me," she says.

Once she gets her liquor license, she'll add daiquiris. Meanwhile, she's currently fermenting what is sure to become a hit: pickles cured in Kool-Aid.

"It's a real Southern treat, with a flavor that's both tart and sweet," she says. "The longer you let them sit, the more sweet they become. We want to hold off, but people keep asking, 'When are they going to be ready?'"

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These are the 6 best food and drink events in Dallas this week

This week in gluttony

Lots of pairing dinners are on the schedule this week, including wine, whiskey, and local craft beer. There’s also an artistic way to enjoy happy hour at a local hotel and a kid’s cake decorating class with a bunny theme (Easter is less than two weeks away; here's help with dining plans). Lastly, make plans to eat a sub sandwich on Wednesday – 100 percent of all sales (not just profits) from a sub chain will go to a charity that fights kids’ cancer.

Tuesday, March 28

Cotarella Wine Dinner at OAK’D
In true Italian style, a four-course barbecue will be paired with Italian wines. The menu includes brisket and cheese cannelloni, smoked chicken parmesan on house-made garlic-tomato pasta, mini Wagyu sausage pizzas, and pear tarts with homemade vanilla ice cream. The dinner is $79, plus a small fee, and will run from 6:45-8:30 pm.

WC Barrel Select Pairing Dinner at Whiskey Cake
The Plano dining destination will share straight pours of barrel select favorite whiskeys during this five-course pairing dinner. The Southern-inspired menu includes smoky jalapeno Wagyu beef jerky, sage and wild mushroom bread pudding, roasted carrot hummus with fried garlic, chicken and dumplings, and pomegranate and hibiscus tart. Reservations are $100, plus tax and gratuity, and dinner begins at 7 pm.

Wednesday, March 29

Day of Giving at Jersey Mike’s Subs
Eat a sub and help a charity. On Wednesday, 100 percent of sales (not just profits) at all 71 DFW Jersey Mike’s Subs locations will be given to Wipe Out Kids’ Cancer. The fundraiser is part of the sub chain’s 13th Annual Month of Giving campaign, which originated in DFW and has raised more than $1.9 million for the charity. Find a list of DFW locations here.

Spring Beer Dinner at White Rock Alehouse & Brewery
The four-course beer pairing dinner will feature flavors of the season. On the menu: crawfish crostinis, spring salad, short ribs served Mexican-style, and fried strawberry shortcake. Each course will be paired with a different White Rock Alehouse beer. Arrive at 6:30 pm for a social beer before being seated for dinner at 7 pm. The cost is $50, plus a small fee.

Thursday, March 30

An Evening with Ebony Lewis at Elm & Good
The Kimpton Pittman Hotel restaurant will host Dallas artist Ebony Lewis for a live painting paired with cocktails. Visit between 6 and 8 pm to watch the artist create a piece that will be donated to the Deep Ellum Society. The artwork will be auctioned off later this year to benefit the Deep Ellum Community Center Artist Residency program. While there, sip an Old Fashioned made with Uncle Nearest whiskey. The Kimpton is donating $1 from every Uncle Nearest Old Fashioned sold to support Historically Black Colleges and Universities as part of the Old Fashioned Challenge through March.

Sunday, April 2

Kids in the Kitchen! Bunny Cake Class at Farmers Branch Historical Park
Kids ages 7 to 15 can register for this hands-on cake decorating class to be held inside the Dodson House at the Farmers Branch Historical Park. Participants will learn buttercream techniques and fondant accents and will get to take home their own multi-layer bunny cake. The class is $50 and will run from 1- 3 pm.

Texas Rangers unveil brisket croissant and more snax for '23 baseball season

Stadium Food News

The 2023 season for the Texas Rangers is underway, and so is the new menu at their home base Globe Life Field in Arlington. Are you ready for a brisket croissant?

According to a release, that is but one of the new items rolled out by their food service partner Delaware North, who have also expanded the amenities to include mobile ordering available at all seats.

Let's get to the bullets:

  • Arlington Eats, located near Section 101, is a rotating concept featuring Arlington-based restaurants and they're adding two newcomers for 2023: The Tin Cup and Cartel Taco Bar. They join three from last year: Ella B’s Restaurant, Prince Lebanese Grill, and Sugar Bee Sweets Bakery. Arlington Eats is open for Friday, Saturday, and Sunday games, along with select premium matchups on weekdays.
  • Hurtado Barbecue, previously featured at Arlington Eats in 2022, is now the official barbecue partner at Globe Life Field with a standalone location at Section 141. Featured items include Brisket Elotes, Brisket Nachos, Brisket Sandwiches, and Beef Ribs.
  • 7-Eleven will serve a variety of Slurpee flavors near Sections 101 and 205, along with its new Big Bite Pizza at Sections 133 and 214.
  • Express Grill features Amazon's Just Walk Out technology and Amazon One. Two outlets, located near Sections 108 and 124, have cheeseburgers, hot dogs, bratwurst, sausage, corn dogs, packaged beer, spiked seltzers, soda, bottled water, chips, candies, and sundries.

pizza hot dogIt's all the ingredients of a pizza, on top of a hot dog.Delaware North

New Food Items
New food items include an over-the-top hot dog that's two feet long, a hot dog version of pizza, and a vegan sandwich that's a twist on the ol' BLT.

The list:

  • The Boomstick Burger: A new take on the iconic 2-foot-long hot dog, this variation features a 2-foot Nolan Ryan Beef patty topped with Texas Chili Company Chili, Rico's Nacho Cheese and Jalapenos, and Onion Rings on a brioche bun. Designed to feed up to four. Available at the Texas 24" stand at Section 132 for $34.99.
  • Brisket Croissant: Nolan Ryan beef brisket rolled between layers of croissant dough and baked, then topped with Sweet Baby Ray's donut-style glaze. Available at the Sweet Baby Rays stand at Sections 3, 123, and 230 for $9.99.
  • Corn Ribs: Corn on the cob split into "ribs," tossed with lime crema, and coated with cotija cheese and tajin spice. Available at the concession locations at Sections 3, 121, and 230 for $9.99.
  • Flamin Hot Cheetos Pretzel: A Bavaria-style sourdough pretzel dipped in Flamin Hot Cheetos Cheetle and coated in crushed Flamin Hot Cheetos. Available at the concession locations at Section 3, 12, 121, 208, and 233 for $8.99.
  • Pizza Dawwg: A Texas Chili Company All-Angus Beef hot dog topped with marinara, mozzarella cheese, and pepperoni, then baked. Available at the concession locations at Sections 3, 133, and 214 for $11.99.
  • The PLT Sandwich: A vegan twist on a classic sandwich featuring a balsamic-glazed, grilled portabella mushroom topped with bibb lettuce and tomato. Served on vegan bread with vegan mayo. Available at the Visiting Vegan Stand at Section 101 for $14.99.

Mobile ordering
New for 2023, every seat in Globe Life Field will have access to mobile ordering with delivery via the MLB Ballpark app. Fans can order hot food items, snacks, and beverages through the mobile ordering section of the MLB Ballpark app, and items will be delivered to your seat. Available food and beverage selections may vary by seat location.

"We are continuously evaluating our operations and customer insights to understand how we can add even more variety – including with local partners – and bring new levels of convenience for fans at Globe Life Field,” says Casey Rapp, Delaware North’s general manager at the ballpark. “Between the culinary offerings, bolstered retail selection, and new fan-facing technology, there’s a lot to be excited about for the upcoming Rangers season.”

Busy Dallas hard rock music venue Amplified Live to close this week

Closure News

A Dallas live music venue is shutting down: Amplified Live, which has been one of the city's most popular venues for live rock music shows for the past decade, is closing its doors.

According to a staffer, it'll close down at the end of March, with the final show on March 31, featuring Exciter and Night Cobra.

The venue is closing because the building, at 10261 Technology Blvd., has been sold, and will remain a live music venue but will no longer host rock shows.

As a mid-sized stage with a capacity for 1,200, Amplified Live filled a valuable niche, by hosting major touring acts that were too big for small clubs but not quite big enough for arenas.

It represents a loss to the local live music scene, an increasingly shrinking realm, and did not close for lack of business, with many shows selling out (and some, such as a recent show starring WASP, so packed that it was shut down by fire marshals).

The venue opened in 2021, in the former Gas Monkey Bar & Grill space in Northwest Dallas, which had been there since 2013, following the departure of former co-founder Richard Rawlings. (Rawlings is currently working on opening two new venues, one in the Mercer Boardwalk development and another restaurant, bar, and entertainment destination in Lewisville.)

Armed with a renovated interior, improved audio system, and new menu, Amplified Live picked up where Gas Monkey had left off, hosting metal and heavy bands such as Murder Junkies, Cold, and Suicide Commando -- popular bands for whom live stage options are slim.

It also had unique assets including having an outdoor stage, which became especially valuable during COVID-19, but off the beaten path and therefore not subject to ordinances for sound or having to be done by a certain time.

Many a band commented from the stage over the years that this was the only outdoor venue they'd performed at while on tour, and how much they liked it.

Employees began to hint that change was in the air in mid-March, and some acts such as Cold, who were scheduled to play at the venue on April 25, were informed in mid-March that their shows were being relocated to other venues. In their case, the show was moved to Trees, although other acts will be moved to the Granada.