Denton's Probably Not Getting A Sriracha Factory. Well, Not Any Time Soon, At Least.
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.
While the culinary world seems to have an endless amount of noteworthy headlines, there were two main news stories that snatched our attention recently.
First of all, the delicious and well-loved Mexican Coke is apparently on the verge of an ingredient shakedown. Apparently, a recent soda tax increase would lead the company to use the more cost effective ingredient, high-fructose corn syrup instead of the pure cane sugar that many believe makes the imported soda superior to its American counterpart.
This in and of itself is quite troubling. But more unsettling news also broke of an impending Sriracha factory shutdown after an entire California city filed a lawsuit blaming its residents' recent increase in medical conditions — constant headaches, irritated eyes, coughing — to the chili paste factory and its subsequent wafting odors blanketing the small community.
Seriously, the Internet almost exploded after hearing this second bit of news — so much so that it in turn prompted endless tweets, blog posts and Facebook updates, with everyone up in arms about the debate, including our favorite hipster city councilman, Kevin Roden. In a open letter posted onto his website, the Denton politician used the lawsuit as an opportunity to put forth a number of reasons as to why the proprietors behind the favored spicy condiment might do well to forget their whiny Californian neighbors and instead pack up and move their entire factory to North Texas.
“I'm very serious,” Roden tells Central Track of his attempt. “Investors, developers, small business owners, entrepreneurs and, most importantly, our citizens need to know that our city is working hard and aggressively in bettering our local economy. The brand of Sriracha is strong. As we move to fill out our available industrial land with manufacturing, I can't think of another internationally known company that melds [so] well with Denton's eccentric vibe. The economic development game cities play to attract business and get ahead is fast-paced. The opportunity presented itself and I went for it.”
Roden's not alone in his efforts, either. This week, a similarly enterprising Philadelphia city councilman made a similar pitch to Huy Fong Foods, suggesting that the Sriracha-makers move their factory to the City of Brotherly Love.
Alas, these invitations will have to remain nothing more than invitations for now. A California court rejected the City of Irwindale's request for a temporary restraining order that would have immediately shut down the factory, allowing the production of the rooster sauce to continue with business as usual — for now, at least.
Speaking of national news: The Fort Worth area's Sinsational Cakes Bakery has won top honors while participating in the Food Network's popular competition-based reality series Cupcake Wars just a few days ago. Sonjii Jones and her sister Anyatta Nicole Ward, owners of the North Richland Hills bakery, won a reported $10,000 and the chance to have their delicious treats served during a special event hosted by the Miss America Association later this month.
While on the subject of sweet victory, it seems pertinent to mention that our friends over at the increasingly popular Truck Yard will be hosting an event on November 16 that will live in confectionery infamy: Twinkies & Tallboys will be an all-out battle royal for Twinkie-eating bragging rights — and quite possibly the weirdest three minutes of satisfactory viewing levels as the digestible gluttony turns to utterly disgusting projectile agony. Ten contestants will enter the truckerdome, but only one victor will leave. Those interested in tempting the gustatory gods first must complete this questionnaire; all others are welcome to show up and cheer on the potential victors, while also getting the chance to score some free swag from the official sponsor of this Twikpocolyspe, Pabst Blue Ribbon.
In other food related news; Tim Byres, Christopher Jeffers and Chris Zielke — the creative team behind Smoke, one of our favorite brunch spots — have recently announced the acquisition of Outpost American Tavern by their Compound Restaurant Management company. They hope to completely revamp the Oak Cliff spot with a new menu, a new staff and a general new direction in the near future. If the current menu at Smoke is any indication, then we have very high hopes for the new venture.
Meanwhile, the folks over at Fort Worth's Bearded Lady have recently announced plans to host their first-ever brunch offering in celebration of both the start of North Texas Beer Week, which kicks off this Saturday with a craft beer festival at Fair Park and the weekly bicycle and foot-traffic friendly event Far Open Street.
Back in Dallas, the team at Anvil Pub has been experimenting with a brunch menu of its own, too. Don't worry: The spot's already massively popular (and just plain massive) alcoholic Fuck Brunch drink offerings aren't going anywhere; the bar's menu will just now be bolstered with more traditional brunch items on Sundays, as well.
In opening news: Crisp Salad is set to open its vegan/vegetarian-friendly doors along Lower Greenville later this year; Mexican Sugar has officially opened its doors out in Plano; East Hampton Sandwich Co. is opening up a second location, this time out at the Shops at Legacy; Lone Star Burger Company has officially announced an opening date of November 11 up in Denton; Cristina's Fine Mexican Restaurant just opened up in Plano; celebrity chef Stephan Pyles is opening a spot out at the Dallas Love Field airport with Texas-style cuisine called Sky Canyon; Woolworth Cocktail will be officially serving up delicious concoctions starting tomorrow in the old Stone Street Martini spot in Downtown Dallas; Mattitos Tex Mex plans to move from its current location in Uptown to the bustling Oak Lawn area; Society Bakery has announced plans to move its shop to Lower Greenville later this year; and national chain True Food Kitchen is set to open its first Texas location in Dallas' Preston Center on November 19.
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