Thursday, June 30, 2005


coffee week day 4 - feeling nostalgic already!

What used to be Kozy Kitchen, a family-run bakery, is now Granat’s, which still has the bakery biz but also a 600-sq-ft café w/ little granite tables where you can get espresso drinks made w/ Segafredo Zanetti coffee beans. Owner David Granat made some dough in mergers & acquisitions but decided to focus on another kind of dough (har). He still does the cakes Kozy Kitchen was known for, but also bakes challah on Fridays, milktarts, a specialty of South Africa (that’s where he’s from), and even the foccaccia w/ which the café’s sandwiches are made.

4433 Mckinney Ave. 214-354-9000

Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Waffle Iron Café & Coffee House

coffee week, day 3

You only need look at the name - Waffle Iron Café & Coffee House - to know that coffee runs second to waffles at this little neighborhood spot. But they do have espresso drinks even if the barista skills are a work in progress. And waffles aren't exactly a bad thing, are they. It's breakfast and lunch, with "fast casual" service (order at the counter and they bring it to you) and free wireless access, which is very cool.

5181 Keller Springs Rd. (at the tollway) 972-250-1166

Tuesday, June 28, 2005

free Starbucks® ice cream

coffee week AND a special edition posting!

This is basically verbatim off the press release but that's ok cuz 1. that's how daily newspapers "find news" (snicker) and 2. "recrafting" this info would delay a VIA (very important announcement!): On Wednesday june 29, Starbucks Coffee Co. will give away 1 million complimentary (free!) cups of Starbucks® Ice Cream (the press release also says "in the first-ever Starbucks Ice Cream Social", but how queer is that). The ice cream will be distributed in the AFTERNOON, it says, to "more than 6,000 Starbucks locations". 10,000 boxes of Starbucks® Ice Cream cups will be shipped from 3 warehouses in L.A., Atlanta, and Lancaster-PA, tonight, via FedEx "just in time for customers to celebrate ... the early arrival of national ice cream month." (july's ice cream month? who knew) other flavors besides java chip: mud pie, coffee almond fudge, no sugar added coffee fudge brownie, low fat latte, classic coffee, and caramel cappuccino swirl.

Gachet Coffee Lounge

coffee week, day 2

Gachet is listed already on a restaurant site, so no, this ain’t Breaking News. (hey it seemed to be in soft opening mode so ... no rush to report. But this is coffee week.) There’s a couplo inherently cool things about this lower greenville coffeespot: 1. it’s run by 4 sisters whose names all begin with H: heatherhappyheidihilary. 2. in a twist on conventional wisdom, it stays open til midnite weekdays but closes earlier (at 10) on wkends. Now usually a place gets touts for staying open late, but what coffee drinker would want to be on lower greenville on a wkend nite? Exactly. Gachet also has 3. liqueurs for fancy coffee drinks but no beer 4. pastry from empire baking 5. Monday movie nights.

1804 greenville ave. 214-887-8095

Monday, June 27, 2005

Krappy Kreme "frozen blend"

coffee week, day 1

(note: this item is only loosely "coffee-related") prologue: Krispy Kreme’s donuts blow. Now they have a crappy frozen drink too. (Actually, they’ve had it since July ‘04, but in limited release.) No surprise, it's already tanking, which you can tell cuz they’re trying to drum up biz w/ 2-for-1 coupons. (if only the DMN would come to the rescue w/ a big story like they did when krispy kreme first came to town: "donut shop opens!") Frozen blends (catchy!) consist of powder blended w/ ice -- another gross-tasting sbux clone, except this doesn’t even have coffee mixed in. There’s choc, coffee, raspberry, and something called original kreme, described as a "drinkable version of the company’s signature donut" but which is really pretty much vanilla.

Friday, June 24, 2005

Oh Yoo-Hoo!*

Who knew Yoo-Hoo was a valuable brand name? ("who-knew yoo-hoo", pretty good huh.) These spin-offs seem both brilliant and "duh", like it’s about time. 1. Yoo-Hoo fudge pops. Doesn’t the drink itself seem like a melted fudgsicle anyway? 2. Dyna-Mocha Yoo-Hoo. Ya got all these other companies making coffee+choc bevs, why not Yoo-Hoo add coffee to its CHOC drink and make one, too? Supposedly Yoo-Hoo once dominated the "blended-coffee-drink category" but it took Sbux' bottled frapps to make it seem good. Yoo Hoo has been around since 1920; it does smart mktg by maximizing its weirdness and targeting the extreme-sports crowd; it used to give away freebies at Warped, the skate-punk tour (which stops in Dallas today, howzat for convergence).

*plz forgive gratuitously stupid hed

Thursday, June 23, 2005

Pepperidge Farm Whims

i got bounced back and forth all day between campbell and pepperidge farm but finally, here it is, and boy was it worth the wait

Disclaimer: Have not had these. Have not seen them in local stores yet. This is the work of the Indian scout, who spotted them in an undisclosed pacific NW location. but the pepp farm lady insists that Pepperidge Farm Whims are in dallas too. quoting from a press release is in bad form, but who could improve on this: "a scrumptious fusion between cookie sweetness and crunchy texture, providing a delightfully delicious munchable snack." you saw that right: a scrumptious fusion. there's more: these Whims come in "two different product forms": Crispy Waves vs. Crunchy Clusters. the Waves are of interest (to NYCE, that is) cuz their pringle-y shape echoes the "product form" of those god-awful Swoops, dead-in-the-water from the day they were introduced (and recently spotted on super SUPER markdown at SuperT). Oh dang, no room left to describe Whims' six "delicious flavor combinations" but they all got one kind o choc or another

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Home Sweet Home Cookin'

The SW corner of park & 75 is a hit-or-miss thing. Fishmonger’s has done OK for years and ugh there’s a Chili's. But it's seen lotsa M&Ps (mom & pops, helloooo) come and go, mostly go. Home Sweet Home Cookin’, which opened a couplo mths ago in a space formerly occupied by Amici Pizza (see what I’m sayin), does convey a clear message w/ its name: It's a home-cooking place. But owner LaDonna is less forthcoming (even a wee bit paranoid) about divulging her last name; fascinating philosophy for a restaurateur, eh. Her menu includes pot roast, Hawaiian chicken, pork chops, a ¾-pound burger, homemade chicken strips, cakes, and pies.

1915 N. Central Expy #500, plano. 972-633-0710

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Kahuna's Grill

Can you tell that someone cruised thru deep ellum recently?* In the kinda-remote spot that usedta be Dodie's Gulf Coast is Kahuna's Grill, a burger joint w/ a loose Hawaiian-ish theme (pineapple on menu, mural w/ a Hawaiian girl, flames, and big waves over the bar. Aloha!) The place opened last September, but it’s under new management; restaurant newby Juliette Salazar took over last month. The bestseller is the Kahuna burger, w/ cheese, poblano pepper, and pineapple pico de gallo. Sounds yum. Once she gets her liquor license, she’ll stay open late on wkends, like til 4 a.m., to catch hungry clubgoers.

2931 Commerce St, 214-571-9930

* also noted ebay shop on main st. called auction mills. and one on mckinney called orbit

Monday, June 20, 2005

Belly Bar & Grill

The space at commerce and crowdus, in the heart of deep ellum, is a beautiful old brick bldg that deserves a good tenant but can’t find the right one. In the ‘90s it was a tapas bar (who remembers the name). Then it was Texadelphia, then Tex’s Taphouse. Hmm wonder what the emphasis was there. Two wks ago it became Belly Bar & Grill, whose logo is the image known as the mudflap girl, and whose website touts it as follows: "mediocre food, so-so service, but … the hottest waitresses in dallas!" Right on to the tongue & cheek tone; good to see new biz in deep ellum; but hope the burgers, cheezsteaks, and "dirty bird" fried-chick samwiches aren’t mediocre. The owners are a pair of lawyers; the chef previously worked at that well known foodie spot the Men’s Club.

2801 Commerce St. (214) 969-0905

Saturday, June 18, 2005

extra-extra: MALT is back


Big shoutouts to Marc, the Indian scout of NYCE, who went into Starbucks this ayem and spotted THE RETURN OF MALT. The gal at the Oak Lawn Sbux sez that the much-missed malt returned THIS Monday (June 13), and is available not just in the beloved, Oprah(ugh)-endorsed "chocolate mocha malt" frappuccino but as an additive to ANY of the frappuccino drinks. (Of COURSE this info wasn't released or issued by a publicist. god forbid sbux should officially inform anyone of new prods.)

*awesome "special edition" banner provided by marc

Friday, June 17, 2005

McKinney: new Addison, maybe

1. Snuffer’s, the Greenville Ave. place w/ burgers and fries covered w/ cheese (ergh), is opening a branch on 75 at the southern edge of McKinney. The structure’s > halfway up, tho the website says it won’t open 'til "late fall." Other Snuffer’s are going up in Garland and Southlake (which is becoming, like, the burger capital of the world). Snuffer’s already has outlets in addison, plano, rockwall, and preston ctr.
2. Café Brazil, which is the most Austin-like entity in Dallas, is opening its 7th branch on 75 at El Dorado Pkwy. It’s been under construction for a few mths and will open in July, sez Café Brazil's Brant Wood. Recapping the other CBs: lakewood, UP, deep ellum, cedar springs, richardson, and carrollton. (What, no southlake?)

Thursday, June 16, 2005

pillsbury & sara lee ice creams

Branded ice creams assume you dig Twix or Nestles Crunch (or in this case, Pillsbury cookie dough) so much, you want an ice cream version, too. Anybody like Pillsbury cookie dough that much? The rest of the semi-new Kemps/Pillsbury ice cream line - turtle fudge brownie, peanut butter fudge chunk, caramel swirl, brownies n cream, cake & ice cream, homemade vanilla - doesn't seem Pillsbury-ish at all. More-clever: the very-new Sara Lee strawberry cheesecake ice cream by Breyers; it ain't the first cheezcake ice cream, but it keys in on the common practice of eating Sara Lee’s frozen cheesecake straight from the freezer. Coming next from Pillsbury/Kemp (a Minnesota ice creamery trying to expand outa the Midwest): brownie bar, cookiewich, and cookie dough bar.

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Yukon salmon @ oceanaire

Hey looky, it's a "news story" taken straight off a press release -- just like they do at daily newspapers! It's only a matter of time before you'll be wading through ponderous "profiles" of VIP chefs here. But I digress. Have you noticed: Copper River salmon has entered the backlash zone? People are saying too-much-hype. The pump is thus primed for a new, harder-to-get, pricier salmon. Oceanaire is bringin' it on: Yukon River king salmon, said to be rarer, intenser flavor, and previously hogged by the Japanese. The true Copper-vs-Yukon showdown is all about fat content; more is better. Yukons swim 2000 miles to spawn = 20-30% fat. Wimpy Coppers swim 350 miles and thus = a svelte 12%. Anyway, back to the press release: Yukon River king salmon at Oceanaire, starting this week, 13340 dallas pkwy, 972-759-2277

Almond Joy pina colada

shoutouts to the awesome for this image

Almond Joy vs. Mounds is a torrid debate, and now Hershey’s is muddying the waters w/ three Almond Joy ltd editions and-or special flavors. (And btw, the Hershey’s lady said these are all new, but two may have been intro’d on a ltd sked last year. Pls do not shoot the messenger. Thank you.) One is aimed at the chocolate camp; the other two are fruity. Almond Joy chocolate-chocolate has the choc coating you-know-and-love but the coconut filling is chocolatey, too. (Had this mths ago loved it never saw it again.) The other two have white-choc coatings: Almond Joy pina colada, with a pineapply coconut; and newest-of-all, Almond Joy key lime, with a limey coconut. No first-hand testimony is available on these two; some say the fruity flavoring tastes fake. But it’s still clever since there’s only so many ways to spin off an almond joy.

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

Twizzlers Twerpz

the name pretty much broadcasts "this is for kids"

Sour sorta had its heyday a couplo years ago, but sales did rise 14% in '03, so maybe that's enough for Hershey's. Twizzler Twerpz' official description is "strawberry and orange tangy filled chews." They're sposed to be Twizzlers filled w/ cream. The center is slightly frothier, but they're basically just gummy bites. And not all that sour - more puckery-faux-fruity. Despite any gut revulsion, once they cross the threshold, they have a briefly addictive effect even for an adult (tho the Plano guy couldn’t even stomach the super-sweet artificial smell). Hershey's on a sour kick: It also intro'd watermelon and sour-apple Twizzlers the latter of which is an unfortunate green.

Monday, June 13, 2005

Ruby Tuesday

News of another chain restaurant always makes the pulse race, 'specially when the chain is, quote, "one of three large public companies that dominate the bar-and-grill category of casual dining, a segment that continues to show tremendous growth from consistent demand due to very favorable demographic trends, the capacity for new units, limited new competition, and same-store sales increases." Zzzzz huh what? Ruby Tuesday* originated in Knoxville, Tenn. but now has 700 outlets, including a new one in McKinney. Signature dishes include ribs, a burger platter, and a big salad bar. Just intro'd: fried Buffalo chicken wontons (mmm NOT) served w/ blue cheez dressing & celery, and "crabcakes" made w/ crabmeat & crawfish.

2901 South Central Expwy, McKinney. 972-540-9330

*ya suppose they bought the rights from the Stones?

Friday, June 10, 2005

Twix: dark

dark twix good regardless of how many unintentionally gratuitous NYCE mentions it earns

Yes yes another Twix tout. (not to mention more dark-choc piling-on.) Why not just get on the $#% Masterfoods payroll, you ask. Love to - xcept they clearly don't need to spend a cent to get 24-7 coverage here. Hey, if someone besides Masterfoods would introDUCE some new NYCEy-type products, maybe this-here site wouldn't be ALL-twix-(and-dove-and-M&M-and-)-ALL-the-time. Thank you. Oh darn: that tantrum leaves no room to rant on re: the superiority of dark choc and its anti-cancer whatevers, like that's the reason people eat chocolate. Full disclosure, this product is not 100% brand new. But it IS new to the area (I just finally found 'em at 7-11) and it IS a limited edition, which invokes that sense of urgency. ANYWAY, they're killer, what w/ the bitter wine-y quality of the dark choc juxtaposed against the luscious caramel goo and the slightly salty aspect of the cookie, altho not everyone agrees with that assessment.

Thursday, June 09, 2005

pizza patron

If you have a Pizza Patron nearby, I can clairvoyantly tell you about your 'hood: It’s >40 percent Latin. That’s the strategy of this Garland-based chain, which will open 100 stores by end of ‘05 across SW: AZ, CO, CA, and of course TX, w/ 16 stores in dallas area. "Mexican pizza" is a buzzy fusion thing with no set definition; it usually boils to "replace Italian sausage w/ chorizo". Pizza Patron is more about vibe: menus in Spanish, bilingual employees who say "buenos dias" when you enter. Bizness mags love Pizza Patron ("pizza boss") cuz it was started by whizkid Antonio Swad, who founded (and then sold off) Wingstop. Bilingual or no, everyone understands this: Pizza Patron's priciest pizza is $6.99.

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

uptown pub

After three years of dormancy, the space that used to be Jennivine will finally get a new tenant this summer, called Uptown Pub. The ink on the contract is still wet (and thus may have been inadvertently smudged by good-natured co-owner Brian Joiner, who also owns Lakewood Tavern), so it won’t open for another month or two. But when it does, it’ll serve salads, burgers, salmon, and weekend brunch, as well as "margarita bellinis" (you gotta have a signature drink). What a wild location, with the West Village having sprouted all around it. Joiner seems to like reclaiming lost spaces; his Lakewood Tavern took over the old Matt’s No Place space.

3605 McKinney Ave., no phone yet

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

Stoney's Wine, new location

If you ever went to Stoney’s Wine & Gifts on Harry Hines, over by the AAC, it mighta seemed disconcerting to find this quaint, 300-sq-ft stone-cottage wine store basically in the middla nowhere. Stone and Diane Savage were true urban pioneers. But the landlord changed and besides, Stone got robbed once, at gunpoint. So they loaded up their wines and moved to Greenville Ave. The spot they found – next to the Grape, of all places – had been a storage space (and a T-shirt shop, way-back-when). The new location is in an area rife with beer & wine emporiums, but at 900 sq ft, it's triple what they had before. It'll open "sometime in July."

2804 Greenville Ave. 214-953-3067

Monday, June 06, 2005

Eponymous 2: Steve Field’s

All credit to one Mr. Steve Field, ex-"managing partner" at Truluck’s and "co-launcher" of Dallas Alley (early ‘90s? West End? anybody?). But isn't it cute when a guy who’s not ahem a name-brand names a place after himself? However, Steve got bank: Full-page ads in Guide ain’t cheap, pal. STEVE FIELD's (snicker) takes a page from Truluck’s surf-n-turf model, but instedda crab claws, it's lobster. (As the plano guy likes to point out, red lobster is mobbed 24-7.) It's dinner-only, with theme nights (and this is the nutshell): tequila tuesday, wine down wednesday, and thirsty thursday. Catchy stuff, no?

Steve Field’s Steak & Lobster Lounge, 5013 W. Park Blvd. 972-596-7100

Eponymous 1: Bill Tillman’s

The former member of Blood, Sweat & Tears is finally opening his Lewisville mega-restaurant-club (it was originally slated to open in January) where diners can catch sets by – surprise -- Bill Tillman and his Hot Orchestra. Tillman used to have a similar setup in Fort Worth, at Bill Tillman’s Seafood House & Sax Club, until it closed last year.

Belaire Plaza Center (at 35E and 121), 972-219-2455 (219-BILL)

Friday, June 03, 2005

Sheridan's frozen custard

someone recently lamented NYCE's one-item-per-day policy so today there are two:
Home to some of the greatest rock bands ever, Kansas City also birthed Sheridan’s, which has the creamiest, most melty-est frozen custard out there. Just basic choc & vanilla, but they do a mix-in thing called "concretes," using toasted almonds, fresh mangos, real chunks of cheesecake, and so on. There are 13 branches in KC, and a bunch more across the south (TN, OK, NV, NE). So far, the branches in TX have been super-suburban … Watauga, Cedar Hills, and a new one in Frisco. But this summer the chain will snake its way down Preston, first in Plano, then Dallas.

8909 Gaylord Parkway Frisco 972-377-6144
650 Uptown Blvd. Cedar Hill 469-272-5495

Dove cookies, new-ish

"cookies" are the news but this photo better fulfills the NYCE mission

Dove has a new three-pronged line with 1. choc-caramels (yawn) and 2. ice cream (choc, caramel, mint, coffee, vanilla, superpremium, etc etc). But 3. the newsy item is the Dove Cookies. There are six: three Mrs.-Field’s-type choc-chip, and three Twix bar clones: i.e., a shortbread w/ choc & 3 kinds of goo (choc, toffee, and mint). They're good in a Twixxy way, but also remarkably similar-some-might-say-identical to the Cookies& line: Both have a concave cookie that holds a dab o goo.
Fact: Cookies&, Dove Cookies, and Twix are all made by Masterfoods.
Conclusion: Dove Cookies = savvy* repackaging of a product already in existence. But what the hey, I bought a box anyway.

* One bag Cookies&Milky Way: $1.48 for 25 cookies, marked down from $2.99 @ SuperT. One box Dove Mint Serenade, $2.99 for 15 cookies @ Walgreen's.

Thursday, June 02, 2005

Monica's expands northward

After dinner at Go Fish (Belt Line and Quorum, behind the Improv) with Ron*, we did a double take at the new Monica's Aca Y Alla, in the spot where Gilbert’s Deli was (sniff). It isn't the first Deep Ellum place to expand north; sometimes it works (Sambuca), sometimes not (that disastrous Addison Blind Lemon-Art Bar complex). But Monica's might-could do it; the original is still a big draw in Deep Ellum, 15 years and running. Owner Monica Greene tried expanding in downtown Dallas last year w/ Pegaso … but it closed too soon to find its niche. Like the original, the Addison Monica’s will have salsa on Sundays and bands Fri-Sat nights; it’ll also have some of the nightly specials (2-for-1 entrees, etc) but maybe on different nights.

Scheduled to open June 13 at 4930 Belt Line Rd., 972-239-7700

*howzat for some shameless name-dropping

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

Dreyers bon bons i mean dibs

It might be easier to get fired up about Dreyers Dibs* ice cream bites if they weren’t just the same-old-sh*t. Taking a choc-coated ice cream bar, chucking the wooden stick, and re-selling it in bite-sized portions is hardly "innovation". Plus, excuse me, have they heard of Dove Miniatures? Klondike bites? Or hello, Nestle Bon Bons? Nestle now owns a majority of Dreyers and will own it all by end of ’05. So it's out with the Bon Bons, in with the nearly-identical Dibs (right down to the stupid-catchy nicknames! pheh!)

*the use of that washed-out yucky color is entirely intentional