Hand Rolls Are Super In Right Now, Plano Is Getting Another Food Hall, Japanese Cream Puffs Enter The Fold, North Texas Beers Get Accolades And Much 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.
Since early August, we’ve been warning you: Hand-rolled sushi bars are going to be the next big trend in Dallas dining.
Now, we’re no longer just prospecting. Between the recent opening of Uptown’s Namo and the impending arrival of Nori Hand Roll Bar in Deep Ellum this week, the future is finally here.
Nori joins the fray by opening its 2814 Elm Street space on Friday, September 28. Per Eater, the restaurant — helmed by former Nobu and Pōk The Raw Bar chef Jimmy Park — will operate at limited hours over the weekend as it prepares for a full opening once the workweek begins. Once the regular hours of operations are set, expect a menu featuring a dozen rolls made with a rotating selection of freshly flown-in fish, served in a dining room with a decidedly Instagrammable aesthetic.
Speaking of trends: Looks like the food hall movement is gaining even more steam in Plano, as a concept called The District at Legacy Central will now compete with Legacy West‘s Legacy Hall offering for suburban mouths. Located at the intersection of I-75 and Legacy — as opposed to The Shops at Legacy and Legacy West, which exists on either side of the North Dallas Tollway’s intersection with Legacy — Eater reports that the concept is still early in its leasing process and that the 85-acre Legacy Central space will include four unnamed food stalls, an outdoor barbecue station and also plenty of space for rotating food trucks. Expect multiple other restaurants and a coffee bar, too, with plans for outdoor seating and free WiFi. And maybe a concert space too? Nah, let’s not get ahead of ourselves. Construction is underway on the project, and an opening is currently slated for mid-2019.
With the area food truck craze appearing to be dying down following the closing of the metroplex’s first food truck parks late last month, can the prospect of steady brick-and-mortar clientele be the answer to the food truck world’s area woes? If the success of Legacy West and the burgeoning Urban8 food court in The Colony are any indication, it’s a strong possibility.
Moving on to some sweeter news: The Japanese-based cream puff purveyors Beard Papa’s have announced an impending arrival in Plano. Per Eater, the Plano outpost is one of two franchises planned for the region, with a second spot opening in Frisco. The globally-renowned bakery chain specializes in glazed, custard-filled treats made in flavors such as matcha, strawberry and honey butter. The menu also features monthly specialty flavors, fondants, mochi ice creams and cream puff ice cream sandwiches. No word yet on an official opening date.
Down in the Knox-Henderson area, Kung Fu Tea is bringing boba tea to the neighborhood. According to CultureMap, the store will be located at 3001 Knox Street in the former Knox Cleaners space near Go Fish Poke. The international boba chain features a wide selection of drinks where customers can choose their sweetness and ice levels in addition to flavor and traditional boba add-ins. The menu also has more nontraditional items, like caramel macchiatos and a seasonal pumpkin oolong milk tea. An opening is slated for fall 2018.
CultureMap also reports that the Plano-based Biscuit Bar is planning a second location near SMU — and not in Deep Ellum as initially expected. The 6501 Hillcrest Avenue space will resonate with the late-night college crowd, with late-night friendly menu items alongside its breakfast, lunch and dinner fare. The menu focuses on sweet and savory scratch-made biscuit concoctions and customizable tater tots. The concept will also have a specialty cocktail menu, as well as locally beers, cold brew and kombucha on tap. Look for an opening in 2019.
Also worth looking forward to? Former The Libertine and Henry’s Majestic chef Roe DiLeo, who is repping Mama Tried and City Tavern these days, will be hosting a watch party at Independent Bar + Kitchen for the premiere episode of her return to Hell’s Kitchen. Join in on the fun this Friday, September 28, starting at 7:30 p.m. and head here for more info.
Meanwhile, in sadder news, Baker’s Ribs announced today that it will be closing the doors on its Deep Ellum outpost this Sunday. The closure ends a six-year run for Baker’s Ribs in Deep Ellum, although its other locations throughout the region, including its other Dallas spot along Northwest Highway, are expected to remain open.
If that news makes you want to drink, we;ve got good news: Four North Texas breweries took home medals at the 2018 Great American Beer Festival. The brewers were commended alongside 14 other Texas breweries out of some 2,400 competing breweries nationwide. Out of these winners, Fort Worth’s Rahr & Sons Brewing Co. was the only North Texas gold medalist, which it earned for its Oktoberfest brew. Meanwhile, Bankhead Brewing Co. out of Rowlett took home silver for its Hoofer’s Hef hefeweizen, and 903 Brewers and Oak Highlands Brewery both won bronze medals for their Kilt Switch and Oktoberfest brews, respectively.
Looking for something else to toast? Noble Rey Brewing Co. is celebrating its third anniversary on Saturday, September 29 with a party that will feature new brews and retirements of some past favorites, as well as live music and food from Holy Frijole and The Smokin Chef BBQ. Attendees of the all-ages event, which will run from 1 to 7 p.m. with VIP access beginning at noon, will also be able to register to vote for Dallas and Tarrant Counties elections on site.