Sustainable Tacos Arrive In Uptown, Douglas Bar & Grill Replaces Old BBQ Spot, Darkoo’s Chicken Shack Finally Opens In East Dallas & More. 

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.

Many industries had to get creative when the pandemic created a higher demand for virtual events and entertainment. Retailers and restaurants alike had to up their curbside, delivery and contactless game in order to keep up. But Nextbite has been helping restaurants create a virtual experience since 2017.

The company partners with brands to serve patrons with a dining experience exclusively available through third-party delivery. Not to be confused with a take-out concept, NextBite creates concepts that utilize existing restaurant kitchen spaces. So far, the company has worked with high-profile brands like HotBox by Wiz Khalifa and George Lopez Tacos.

Its latest venture is WWE Smackadillas, a delivery-only concept, that landed in Dallas this week — just in time for WrestleMania’s return to AT&T Stadium April 2 and 3. The virtual restaurant’s menu is full of fun WWE-themed entrees like The Onion Rumble, which is packed with caramelized onions, crispy onion rings and swiss cheese. Sides include Macho mac & cheese, Champion cheese sticks and fries. Delivery is available through Doordash, Grubhub and Uber Eats.

Speaking of new opens, Douglas Bar & Grill is opening for lunch and dinner at 6818 Snider Plaza in April, taking place of long-time barbecue hotspot, Peggy Sue BBQ, after it closed its doors in 2020. The restaurant will feature 95 seats, a full bar, banquette seating and plenty of barbecue grub. Although the full menu hasn’t been made public yet, guests can expect the lunch menu to be limited to barbecue offerings. The dinner menu will feature steak and seafood, in addition to barbecue eats.

Back in February, Donny Sirisavath, owner of Khao Noodle Shop in East Dallas, announced the restaurant’s closure on Instagram. In the post, Sirisavath announced a follow-up concept, Darkoo’s Chicken Shack. The Asian fried chicken spot opened up on March 16 with help from Jimmy Niwa, of Niwa Japanese BBQ in Deep Ellum. Located at 4812 Bryan Street in Khao Noodle Shop’s former space, Darkoo’s Chicken Shack will serve up Lao Gai, Karaage (a boneless chicken option) and Panko tenders. Sides include sticky rice, spicy cucumber salad and fries, among other offerings. The restaurant’s drink menu features domestic beers, Lao beer and sake.

In Uptown Dallas, Honest Taco took over Taco Diner’s former space at 3699 McKinney Ave. earlier this month. The concept is all about providing sustainable, healthy and accessible choices to people with various dietary preferences and restrictions. All menu offerings are gluten, soy and nut free, and there are some dairy-free options as well. Diners can choose from corn or egg white tortillas and protein choices of steak, salmon, shrimp, vegan picadillo and lean pork.

Honest Taco is open every day, serving a breakfast menu that features breakfast tacos, a fruit bowl and pancakes from 7 a.m. -11 a.m. Meanwhile, bowls and tacos are available from 11 a.m. until close. The restaurant also offers sides and appetizers like cauliflower rice, chips and queso, brie cheese bites, baby cabbages and avocado hummus. Honest Taco also has you covered with cocktails and other alcohol offerings.

Finally, keep an eye out for a Louisiana culture-inspired eatery that’s bringing cajun cuisine and southern hospitality to Bishop Arts this spring. Restaurant Beatrice’s menu will be jam-packed with classic cajun favorites and new interpretations alike. The full menu hasn’t been made available yet, but patrons can expect house-made andouille gumbo with duck, fried chicken with pepper jelly and a vegan rendition of gumbo. The concept is headed by Michelle Carpenter, who told Dallas Express she wants the concept to be welcoming for everyone — which is why the restaurant’s motto is “Bienvenue to All.”

Carpenter is no stranger to the Bishop Arts area, the chef opened up the award-winning Zen Sushi back in 2007. There will be a full bar, a patio and a collection of house-made pickles, jams and rubs for sale at the concept.

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