Here's Hoping You're Into National Chains…

Welcome to The Spread, our weekly feature that aims to share all the area restaurant, food and beverage industry news that's fit to print. Except, this is the Internet, so space isn't a concern. Also: Good thing, because this is Dallas and this town always has breaking restaurant news going down like whoa.

Let's be real: Dallasites love their beef, regardless of its regional origins. Or so seems to be the case with the opening of Al's #1 Italian Beef.

The Chicago-style beef sandwiches are quickly finding favor in North Texas: The Addison outpost has already experienced long lines and sold-out food offerings just days after opening. Fortunately for those of you who are late to this party, the restaurant has weekend hours until 2 a.m., which could help you avoid long weekday lines and the disappointment of the spot running out of its meaty goods too soon.

Something else to look forward to: Yet more Italian beef sandwiches of Chicago influence are coming soon to a setting within Dallas proper thanks to the impending opening of Luscher's. So, y'know, it's your call on if the drive out to Addison is worth it.

As for other expansions into the region, the Arkansas-based Slim Chickens says it plans to bring five of its fast-casual concepts to the area int he near future. Slim Chickens' menu focuses on hand-breaded chicken tenders and wings, with options of southern-style sides like mac and cheese and fried okra, plus Texas-shaped chicken and waffles. Look for the first outpost to hit Fort Worth in June.

Meanwhile, in Trinity Groves, Sushi Bayashi is now serving up flavors from Tokyo, while its neighboring DiDi's Tamale Diner spot has closed its doors after only a few months in business. That loss won't be felt for long, though, as Sugar Skull Cafe plans to fill that void with fast-casual Mexican street food by mid-March.

On the Tex-Mex front, Primo's, which So & So's replaced in Uptown last year, is now slated to come back, this time in the Design District. Meanwhile, Cafe Salsera is bringing salsa — the noun and verb — to Deep Ellum.

Speaking of change: Over on Lower Greenville, Clark Food & Wine Co. is now serving weekend brunch. Included on the menu: a brisket hash with poached eggs; smoked chicken enchiladas; shrimp and grits; and a “bloody bar” that will also feature Prosecco mimosas. Brunch will take place on Saturdays and Sundays from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

If you're looking for something sweeter in that area, though, you can make your way over to Steel City Pops for one of that spot's new gluten-free cookie pops. The frozen treats, made in collaboration with Unrefined Bakery, are made with a frozen brownie or cookie jammed inside of a creamy popsicle. The pops come in four different flavors and run at about $4.50.

Also coming to this area? A second location of Top Pot Donuts this spring, right across from Cafe Brazil.

In craft beer news: Tickets are still on sale for Community Beer Co.'s Goes On Tour event. You can join the brewery's bus as it goes around town for food pairings and special tappings, with stops at places including Cold Beer Company and Scotch & Sausage. Costs will run $45 a person, covering food and transportation, plus a commemorative T-shirt and glass. The event takes place on Saturday, February 21 from noon to 4 p.m.

And out west, the Tampa-based World of Beer chain is hitting Fort Worth's West 7th district next month. Among the wide selection of beers promised, expect to see some local options such as Revolver and Rahr & Sons on tap.

Meanwhile, in other beer news, Deep Ellum Brewing Co. is hosting its Cherry Chocolate Double Brown Stout Dinner on Friday, February 13. A four-course, French-inspired meal will be prepared with the brew. Seating is limited to 60 people, with the event starting at 7 p.m.

Another place to get tipsy with your date this V-Day weekend is over at LUCK, where they'll have a Kate Weiser beer and chocolate flight available from February 12th through the 15th, along with a special Valentine's Day menu. Supplies are limited, so the selection of beers and chocolate may change daily.

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