Sushiya Goes Viral On TikTok, A Popular Food YouTuber Moves His Channel To Dallas, A Grocery Delivery Service Initiative Steps Up To Help Families & More!

After a wild year in which the industry was ravaged by the still-ongoing pandemic, North Texas restaurants are regaining some much-needed support these days — and through the somewhat surprising means of viral TikTok and YouTube uploads, actually.

Take, for instance, this feel-good Dallas Morning News story on the resurgence of Downtown Dallas’ Sushiya. After a year of trying to come to terms with a significant drop-off in business, the cozy Japanese restaurant is currently flushed with customers after a viral TikTok — posted in March by owner Kang Lee’s grandson Andrew Kim — shared its struggles with the world and acknowledged that “business has been slow with corona, so it would mean a lot if u came.”

@andrewrafaelkimbusiness has been slow with corona, so it would mean a lot if u came 🙂 ##smallbusiness ##sushi ##texas ##food♬ Cloud 9 – Beach Bunny

At the time of this writing, the TikTok post has been viewed some six million times, and elicited an overwhelming line of customers out of Sushiya’s door these last few weeks.

The lesson here? If it’s trending on TikTok, it’s probably worth a try!

The same is true, too, of YouTube, actually. Some Dallas-area restaurants are already getting some great free promotion on that medium thanks to the fact that the wildly popular food YouTuber Mike Chen — who has more than five million combined subscribers across his Strictly Dumpling and personal channels — just recently took up residence in the region. Just this morning, Eater posted an interview with Chen in which he details the reasons for the move, why he’s excited to be here and drops some hints at a possible restaurant he could be opening in the area sooner than later, too. For now, though, it’s other restaurants he’ll be supporting.

Across four separate videos already posted within two weeks of his move, he’s already highlighted a ton of spots. In his first clip, he visited Plano’s Wu Wei Ding, Frisco’s Master Kitchen, Garland’s Hu Tieu My Tho, Richardson’s Phở Tây Đô. In his second video, he ventured to Deep Ellum to try barbecue faves Pecan Lodge and Terry Black’s BBQ, as well as Emporium Pies and the Brazilian popsicle joint Picolé. In his third vlog, he chowed down at Princeton’s ORC Filipino Asian/American BBQ, Garland’s Taste of Philippines, Dallas’ Cris & John and Dallas’ Ddong Ggo TX. And in his just-today-shared fourth post, he explores Koreatown while stopping off at Dallas’ Doma Seolleongtang, Carrollton’s Oh K Dog, Carrollton’s Mom’s Kitchen, Carrollton’s Dami Korean Restaurant and Sul & Beans Korean Shaved Ice Dessert Cafe in Frisco. He also geeks out at Plano’s Super H-Mart. Check it out below.

While social media offers a hand to help small local businesses, a new Dallas initiative is helping families in need with free groceries. As the Observer reports, the State Fair of Texas, United Way Dallas’ Southern Dallas Thrives and the Communities Foundation of Texas have joined forces with Goodr to launch a pop-up grocery store at Fair Park. The Goodr Grocery Delivery Program will give families with limited access to transportation free groceries — such as fresh produce and shelf-stable items — for the next four Saturdays. Currently, delivery dates are set for April 24 and it requires a preregister, but more delivery date will be available.

A little ways up the road from Fair Park over in Deep Ellum, the Observer notes that Uncle Uber’s Sammich Shop in Deep Ellum will soon reopen as Uncle Uber’s Bar & Grill. Expect the same menu, but also cocktails to-go.

Up in Frisco, meanwhile, a Chinese hot pot chain finally arrived over the weekend after initially reporting a March opening. Called Haidilao Hot Pot and promising one of the world’s fanciest hot pot experiences, Eater notes that the restaurant is currently only open for dinner service. Still, the menu might be worth the wait. Not familiar with the hot pot world? Here’s how it works: Guests choose from a selection of broths to fill four different sections of the hot pot, and also select thinly sliced meats, like Kurobuta pork shoulder that are then added to the pot along with a ton of veggies.

Another new Chinese restaurant hopes to begin take-out and deliveries this weekend a little closer to the city. Wok Star Chinese will open at the northeast corner of the Central Expressway and Walnut Hill Lane, according to CultureMap. Wok Star will create modern Chinese foods, such as General Tso’s chicken and kung pao chicken, plus traditional dishes like xio long bao, all in an American-style atmosphere. Apparently, there are talks of a possible full-service bar, too!

More good news: The Observer notes that two beloved area barbecue restaurants are clawing back after suffering damages that, this time, weren’t caused by the pandemic. Grand Prairie’s Zavala’s Barbeque reopened on April 10 after Winter Storm Uri caused frozen, busted pipes and water damage back in February. Meanwhile, after originally announcing plans to reopen this month after its New Year’s Eve fire made them shut down, Hutchins Barbeque has revealed intentions to reopen later this summer.

In Southern food vibes, Eater reports that Biscuit Bar, which opened up its first spot up in Plano back in ’18, expanding with new locations expected to open soon in Coppell, Abilene and Addison. The southern biscuit sandwich restaurant’s Coppell spot will open up first, arriving on April 26. As with other locations, anticipate a variety of southern sandwiches such as the Nashville-style hot chicken and the biscuit French toast, all of which really reflect the chain’s “Everything is Better On a Biscuit” motto.

Lucky’s Hot Chicken is slowly growing too. Per the Observer, they just opened up a second location in Highland Park after opening their first back in September 2020. Expect tenders, wings, sandwiches crinkled cut fries and five heat levels. You know the vibes.

Lastly this week, some good news for the baseball-loving plant-based foodies among us: Eater reports that the Texas Rangers‘ home base of Globe Life Field in Arlington is one of the three major league stadiums participating in the launch of Oatly’s first-ever plant-based soft serve. The oat-based ice cream will be available in chocolate and vanilla flavors if you want to play ball.

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