Henderson Gets A Honky Tonk, Texas Breweries Sue The State and Tamale Season Is Here.
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.
Food trucks are the nomads of the foodie world.
They enable their purveyors to travel to wherever the hungry patrons are rather than having to wait for customers to come to them. And, provided they stick to some type of tentative schedule and the guidelines set for them by those oh-so-lovable bureaucrats, food trucks get to enjoy the freedom of the open road and what we've come to know as the rapidly growing fast-casual, portable food culture.
But just can happen in the life of a nomad — or anyone who's done any extensive traveling that required backpacking or couch-surfing — food truckers every once in a while start craving a little more stability in their daily routines. At this point, a stationary grill housed within a brick-and-mortar that could one day become a neighborhood fixture? That doesn't sound too bad.
To that end, one food truck looking to make the switch is Flatlanders Taco Co., according to this recent Facebook update. The post vaguely mentioned that the taco slingers were at Denton City Hall “checking on permits,” but gave no other hints.
Fortunately for us, owners Ashley and Tyler Hall were more than happy to give us a few more details on the opening when we inquired.
“We were expecting to open by November,” says Tyler. “But we just got our permit approved on Tuesday.”
Located at 109 Oakland Street in Denton, the Flantlanders storefront will feature a similar menu to what's included on the truck, but with a few added bonuses. Explains Hall: “We try to keep our food truck menu as simple as possible, but our menu is expanding greatly. We're also expanding into tortas. Everything will be done in-house and made fresh daily — [but] we won't make our tortillas.”
Construction will be underway soon with the hope of a January opening.
Meanwhile, 'tis the season for the taco's distant cousin, the tamale. And La Popular Tamale House is adding a temporary storefront to supply the holiday demand. The secondary outpost at 132 North Peak Street is just down the way from the original Columbia Avenue location, and will serve as the restaurant's permanent headquarters after January.
If the calendar changing over to December wasn't enough of a cause to break out the ugly seasonal sweaters, Norma's Cafe is celebrating National Ugly Christmas Sweater Day on Friday, December 12, by giving a free slice of pie to anyone dressed for the occasion. Chipotle is also making digging out those eyesores made of wool worth your while with its Holiday Tacky Sweater Party on Saturday, December 13. Walk into any area store from 5 to 8 p.m. in your ugly holiday vestments for buy-one-get-one deals on burritos, bowls, salads or tacos.
Also on the 13th, you can head over to Houndstooth Coffee on Henderson Avenue for its Backyard Bazaar from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Here, you'll have the chance to do some of your holiday shopping from the selection of goods and wares provided by local vendors and neighbors. Houndstooth will also be selling new brew gift boxes for coffee lovers, as well as serving coffee and hot beverages on site.
More on the hot drink front: Lower Greenville's Truck Yard is doing its part to keep patrons warm during the winter with the debut of its new hot drinks menu. The two new drinks — Bishop Punch and Ancho Cocoa — are made with enough alcohol to warm you from the inside out for $6 apiece. You can also head to the Truck Yard this Saturday night for the White Trash Christmas Party to celebrate with Dwarf Santa from 8 to 10 p.m., and with the requisite ugly Christmas sweater contest running from 9 to 11 p.m.
Also on Lower Greenville, Cajun food haven Dodie's is expanding its brand with the opening of an upscale counterpart called 504 Bar and Grill. Not much information has been released about the new venture, but it will take over the former New Big Wong space and serve “nicer” dishes than the deep-fried fare we've come to expect. Look for it to open sometime in January or February of next year.
Another spot taking over a former space is the Henderson Avenue Country Club, which is taking over the storefront previously occupied by Tried and True and, before that, Neighborhood Services Tavern. A honky-tonk spot from the minds of the people behind McFadden's, Henderson Tap House and the recently departed Mason Bar, the Country Club will feature a full bar and near-nightly performances from area country musicians on its to-be-installed small stage. The kitchen, meanwhile, will center around barbecue. So, basically, it's an Uptown, barbecue-focused Adair's.
Folks out in Plano, meanwhile, can look forward to the opening of the suburban outpost of Smoke sometime this month. Popular items from the Dallas location will be available in addition to a new menu inspired by the restaurants 10-foot hearth. Expect only dinner hours in the beginning, with brunch and lunch services added in the new year.
Also on the new-restaurant horizon, veteran chef — and one of the city's biggest celebrities — Stephan Pyles is apparently thinking Asian for his next venture. Not much information has been released thus far — only that the place is planned to open in the Dallas Arts District's Crow Collection of Asian Art. The spot will be Pyles' fourth Downtown restaurant.
Speaking of Asian cuisine: Noodle and dumpling fave Monkey King Noodle Co. had its roof deck shutdown earlier this week, after an unexpected safety inspection. The code violations came as a surprise to owner Andrew Chen, who told the Dallas Observer that the same fire marshal's office approved the structure when it opened. Chen was given 10 days to fix the issues, but is working with lawyers to expedite the process and stay open for business.
More legal issues also abound — but on the brewing side of things, as Peticolas Brewing Co. and Revolver Brewing announced yesterday that they'd be joining forces with Austin-based Live Oak Brewing Co. to sue the state of Texas over the ability to reclaim distribution rights. A press conference on the matter was held at Revolver at 2 p.m. this afternoon, so stay tuned for details on this still-unfolding situation.
Meanwhile, in Oak Cliff, Small Brewpub is officially open for business, with its kitchen opening this Thursday. Things to try include the house-brewed Black Pepper Pils and the imperial Russian stout called Fyodor. There will also be a selection of cocktails, as well as six guest beer taps. The spot will be open seven days a week, with hours from 4 p.m. to midnight and a closed kitchen on Tuesdays and Wednesdays.
Also on the beer front, Deep Ellum Brewing Co. is celebrating the coming of winter with The Return of the Darkest Hour on Sunday, December 21, at Green Door Public House at 3 p.m. Darkest Hour is an imperial stout with a 11 percent ABV brewed to mark the winter solstice. DEBC will also release 22-ounce bomber bottles the following week. Four packs of Community Beer Co.'s Russian imperial stout, Legion, are also hitting area stores this week, so grab some while they're still available.
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