Rachel Ray Gives Cafe Momentum Her Thumbs Up, and Esquire Gives John Tesar His Own TV Show.
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.
Well, it's happening again. The TV world is once again showing some serious love for what's happening in North Texas kitchens.
The big showcase this week comes tomorrow when Cafe Momentum executive director Chad Houser guests on The Rachael Ray Show following an appearance from mustachioed icon Tom Selleck. In his spot, Houser will talk about the opening of his Downtown Dallas restaurant and classroom space this December.
“It is a surreal feeling,” Houser told us when we reached out to ask him about his thoughts on the appearance. “When we first started with the idea of Cafe Momentum, we were always met with skeptical enthusiasm. Everyone loved the idea, but no one believed that it would work. To be recognized on national television is a very validating feeling for all of us at Cafe Momentum that have pushed through the doubt. Most incredibly, though, is that several of our young men who have worked so hard to build success when society had turned their backs on them were given a national platform to show off what amazing young men they truly are.”
As for any future mash-ups with the queen of 30-minute meals, Houser isn't ruling anything out. Actually, when asked, he sounded than enthusiastic, merely telling us to “stay tuned.” We can only assume he's referencing your television dials there, so be sure to catch the airing of his segment on KTXA-TV (or channel 12) this Thursday, October 30, at 10 a.m.
Looking forward, chef Blaine Staniford of Grace (Fort Worth) will be competing on Food Network's Kitchen Inferno. In the new series, hosted by Australian food personality Curtis Stone, chefs battle it out in four increasingly difficult rounds for the chance to win $25,000 and bragging rights. Tune in on Wednesday, November 19, at 9 p.m. for that.
And, just this past weekend, Food Network veteran Alton Brown literally (OK, mostly figuratively) ate his way through Dallas during his Inevitable Edible Tour. The man who gave new meaning to the term “playing with your food” left the world a few Instagram gems as he stopped at Buzzbrews and Pecan Lodge in Deep Ellum, then made his way up to Emporium Pies for a slice of macaron pie and over to Fuel City for tacos.
Then there's everyone's favorite pseudo-controversial chef, John Tesar. His media love affair with Esquire is finally spawning a TV show. The show, called Restaurant Revolution, will find Tesar featured alongside prominent industry leaders as Esquire continues to push its whole “most controversial chef in the country” angle. Maybe we’ll see something resembling his famous Twitter outburst? Or maybe we'll just see some behind-the-scenes insights from one of the more popular chefs in the industry? Who knows? We'll have to wait until the show's Esquire Network premiere on Wednesday, November 12, to see.
Meanwhile, Chipotle is finally bringing a vegetarian option to Dallas with the introduction of sofritas to its store menus. The braised, seasoned tofu comes across like a heavily spiced lean ground beef with plenty of chilies to make up for any shortcomings. Even though it's healthier than the other protein options available, it's still just as hearty as the rest of the sometimes massive burritos. But, hey, who’s complaining?
Over in East Dallas, Goodfriend Beer Garden & Burger House launched a new menu to celebrate its third anniversary. The menu combines a few old favorites with creative new dishes and refreshed recipes, moving into more of a seasonal direction as well as adding more vegetarian options. New menu items include a cheese board featuring rotating Scradello cheeses, housemade hummus, and new burgers like the chili burger and the Foka (a lamb patty made with grilled bell peppers and onions, topped with arugula and tzatziki sauce). There’s also a revitalized cocktail menu and an updated wine and beer list, with beer rotating to compliment the food offerings.
Also, if you're looking for ways to impress trick-or-treaters or the assholes at your office Halloween party this year, some area chocolate markers have provided a few cool alternatives to the mini chocolate bar. Dude, Sweet Chocolate’s two_pound golden skulls made from 72 percent South American chocolate sound especially delightful.
In brew news, Denton got its first microbrewery over the weekend — and it’s not Armadillo Ale Works. Audacity Brew House beat out the Quakertown Stout brewers for the title of becoming the first craft brewery within city limits. Though the guys at Armadillo have been looking to move operations from Deep Ellum back to Denton for a while now, those plans won’t be fulfilled until spring of 2015. But, in the end, Denton gets two breweries out of the deal. Hey, they say variety is the spice of life.
Speaking of tandems: Down in Trinity Groves, Four Corners Brewing Co. is pairing with LUCK for a Neighbor’s Dinner. The two businesses have joined up to bring dinners five table tastings of beer-inspired food with Four Corners' pairings. The event takes place on Tuesday, November 4, at 6:30 p.m.
Not far from there, Community Beer Company is going on tour. Join them on a sponsored bus ride as they visit places throughout the area that tap their beers. The tour includes a T-shirt, commemorative glassware and food and beer tastings along the way. The event takes place on Saturday, November 8, from noon to 4 p.m.
Also this week, Peticolas Brewing Company released its newest brew called A Lost Epic, which, fun fact, is an anagram for “Peticolas.” The 11 percent Belgian Tripel can be found on tap at places like Lakewood Growler and Craft and Growler in Dallas, plus Oak St. Drafthouse and East Side in Denton.