Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Big Gulp choc bar

see the logo? price sticker sez 99 cents, btw

Hm, well jeez, the news item here was gonna be that sevenoneone's getting into making its own choc bars in a big way. The proof being this-here Big Gulp choc w/ crisp rice (interesting: that they’re brand-extending the drink name). (There’s also a Big Gulp plain-choc bar tho not seen locally.) At this point, a critique would have ensued, semi-dogging the thing cuz its 1st ingred is sugar not choc, and it really does taste too sweet (tho maybe ok for mosta the clientele). But a quick fack-check at the w.s. revealed another more interesting prod not-yet seen: blue corn wrap w/ turkey, corn, blk beans, romaine, & a "snappy" tomatillo-poblano spread. I mean, THAT sounds good. or at least better than a too-sweet nestles crunch knockoff.

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Celestial Seasonings "ice cream"

One sign a company – oooh, say, Celestial Seasonings – has been corporatized (by, say, Hain): the name shows up in places you’d never expect. New! Celestial Seasonings Tea Dreams nondairy frozen dessert, made w/ Rice Dream (by Imagine, another Hain buyout and maker of Soy Dream, totally the best soy milk out there, eff Silk). Flavors incl apple, peach, strawb, but the 2 sampled were vanilla ginger spice thai ("zesty ginger ribbon" + gingersnap "chunks") (quotes = a wee bit of overstatement) and choc caramel chai (choc chips + "hint of chai spice"). This being a tea-themed product, wheredya suppose tea falls in the ingred list? Last. After safflower oil, caramel variegate, guar, locust bean, the usual gums ... last but not least, black tea extract. That said, the ice cream's not all that bad, tho hardly velvety, zesty, or hinty.

Monday, August 29, 2005

Reese's Big Cup w NUTS

Reese’s Pieces*, eh. In fact, bleh to almost all in the recent parade of Reese’s spinoffs, from xtra choc to xtra PB, xtra-creamy to white choc. Even the original Reese's cups were NSG. So, singling out Reese’s Big Cup w/ Nuts is no mere tossing-another-log, nor is it just another desperation blog entry. How dare you. No, Big Cup w/ Nuts is special. ... i.e. really good, w/ a dialogue between the choc & peanuts (which are actually salted and some still whole).

*hershey's site sez there's a new reese's pieces w/ nuts too. have not seen, have low hopes

Saturday, August 27, 2005

15th & custer, plano tx

opened on friday 8-26. can east plano be far behind???

Friday, August 26, 2005


it's another great image brought to you by marc, the indian scout of NYCE: "TGIF" done in fruit, specifically asian pears (the T), golden delicious apples (g), braeburns - or are they galas? (i), and strawberries (f). i guess fridays will be an evolving thing but for today TGIF will do, if for no other reason than the first two letters have an inexplicably pleasing quality, n'est-ce pas?

Thursday, August 25, 2005

Vinny's New York Pizza

Brace yourself: There's no Vinny at Vinny’s New York Pizza. Sorry. They thought "Vinny" sounded Italiany and new yorky. They also say their pizza is true NY-style and w/ a name like Vinny’s, who are you to argue? But hang on, they’re making their own dough/sauce, the crust's reportedly thin, and for now it's BYOB, so maybe slack can be cut. Owner Celia Lopez took over Vinny's from colorful Frankie Carabetta, of Manhattan Bar, Knox Street Pub, Corner Bar, and Rocco’s pizza (next to Club Babalu). Is there all of a sudden a lotta pizza @ knox-henderson?

4447 N. Central Expry. (next to Vermillion) 214-720-0333

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Wo-max Pizza

As a courtesy to Chicago-style pizza fans and nothing more: Wo-max Pizza, which does the thick, sludgy, multi-crusty "pizza" snort popular in the Windy City. (Almost as annoying as calling Boston "Beantown" or NY "The Big Apple".) Also at Wo-max: Chicago-style hot dogs (more horrid indelicacy) & Italian beef sandwiches. No restroom makes this not a true sit-down place, tho there’s a few tables, not to mention the obligatory chi-town memorabilia on the walls. Go Cubs, Bears, whatever.

2809 Flower Mound Road Flower Mound 972-691-2101

continuing w/ our pizza week theme. isn't that logo the most awesome ever?

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Campania Pizza

WTF, let's make it pizza week*

VERY HOT PIZZA NEWS: Campania Pizza JUST OPENED (like, hours ago) on the ground floor of Mondrian Cityplace across from the uberbuzzy West Village. Named for the Campania region, it has a guy in from italy doing a temporary consultancy to demo real pizza i.e. not loaded w/ mozzarella or drenched w/ tomato sauce. Everything’s imported from Italy (even the flour!); they’re also selling gourmet foodstuffs. They’ll do salads, specialty pizza rolls, stuffed crust deals, but it’s so new they don’t have all their supplies. The interior's tiled w/ imported stone & mosaic, and there’s a mural of napoli on the wall.

3000 blackburn st. #150. 214-780-0605

*cool neon-esque logo supplied by, yes, marc, the indian scout of NYCE

Monday, August 22, 2005

hershey's nut lovers

Once stodgy, Hershey has refashioned itself into a nimble entity w/ new prods and ltd editions – currently 7, and that’s Hershey bars alone (not reese’s, not almond joy, not kit kat, not etc). Some were intro’d in june and haven’t appeared locally but this has: Hershey’s Nut Lovers, milk choc w/ peanut, almond, cashew, & pecan. It’s a flat bar (vs. blocky) and a neat idea to stud a hershey’s bar w/ a buncha nuts, even if the nuts are small & scattered. (it’s also, oddly, a reverse spinoff of a Miniatures product.) Meanwhile if anyone sees the ltd edition mocha almond, do drop a line

Friday, August 19, 2005

rosemary & olive oil triscuits

On their own, Triscuit rosemary & olive oil crackers may not be all that exciting; but NYCE can find something large and pop culture-y to say about a new flavor of cracker, yes? Take your pick: A. Lookit all the Triscuit choices* (7, if you count the low fat/low salt axis), yet do we really need more more more? B. Is every run-of-the-mill food group eventually gonna undergo the premium-ization trend? C. Is that rosemary-olive-oil combo a bandwagon jump on the panmarino originated 10 yrs ago by the awesome West Coast chain Il Fornaio?

*original, cheddar, reduced fat, low sodium, deli-style rye, garden herb, roasted garlic

Thursday, August 18, 2005

Salum Restaurant

New-restaurant alert: Salum Restaurant opens next wk in a prime spot (between Knox-Henderson & West Village). Owner Abraham Salum was previously a chef/co-owner at Parigi’s; born & raised in Mexico City, his well-traveled past includes a cooking internship in Provence. His menu will change every month w/ delicacies such as Dijon-truffle-crusted lamb w/ wild-mushroom spoonbread and pomegranate-lacquered pork loin chop w/ gingered spaghetti squash. Whoa! Salum is in a former doctor’s clinic re-done by designer Julio Quinones one of Dallas’ top young decorators acc/ to D Home magazine.

4152 Cole ave #103 214-252-9604. opening date: aug 29

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Schakolad Chocolate Factory

Perennially popular, chocolate is lately becoming a THING, meaning big corporations have spotted $$ potential. 1. Hershey now has a subsid, Artisan, and acquired two Calif boutique chocolatiers: Joseph Schmidt and the (much more prominent) Scharffen Berger. 2. Mars has a new gourmet line called Ethel’s and an accompanying chain of Ethel’s cafes. Locally, the action started last yr w/ Noka (which sells ridiculously expensive chocolates), then Xocolatl Room (NYCE, 7-28-05), and now Schakolad, a growing chain (franchise but each store is individually owned, w/ 3 area branches) doing European-style choc + beverage bar where they do make lattes but the pick is the "Schakolatte", hot or iced.

106 East 4th St FW 817-870-2400
601 S. Main St. Suite 103 Grapevine 817410-4720
7140 Bishop Road Suite 1122 Plano 972-801-2577

Tuesday, August 16, 2005


Here’s how a shitty beer company thinks: Red Bull is hot. So hot, people are ordering it w/ vodka at bars. We must do a beer version. That’s how you get Tilt, w/ caffeine, guarana, ginseng (Red Bull-ish ingredients), and 4-6 % alcohol, from Anheuser-Busch. The weird thing is that it’s raspberry-flavored (which seems um pretty girly) and yet the genius trust at A-B says the drink is targeted to MEN, 21-27. (FRUITY men, maybe.) There’s also a rap about how this is a "transition drink" that takes you from work (caffeine) to play (alcohol), they even cite the hours you're to drink this crap which is 5-7 pm.

Monday, August 15, 2005


Apple soda, not my fave, but for its fans: 7-Eleven and Pepsi are intro'ing Frawg, an apple-flavored caffeinated soda targeted to teens & 20sumthings. (Is that the 1st generation that grew up drinking apple juice?) For a year, it'll be available exclusively at 7-11 in Slurpee® and Big Gulp® form. Things that make this cool: 1. an exclusive 2. first apple-flavored carbonated drink not from a little guy. Coke=sucker.

Friday, August 12, 2005

Grannie’s Soul Food Kitchen

Not Bishop Arts*, this is downtown Dallas, honey: Grannie’s Soul Food Kitchen, kinda behind Neiman Marcus, in a location that’s seen its share of comers and goers (who remembers Snappy’s Seafood? How bout Obie’s Sandwich Shop? Anyone? Anyone?). Grannie’s usedta be in Pleasant Grove 'til that location burned down, whereupon owner Dorothy Davis took it to the CBD. It's lunch-only, sigh. Her bestsellers are chicken tetrazini and smothered pork chops. Thursdays, she does chicken & dumplings. Peach cobbler and banana pudding are homemade.

1702 Commerce st. #A 214-647-0994

*Sorry, Bishop Arts Week decided to take Friday off.

Thursday, August 11, 2005


bishop arts week day 4

From the school of restaurants named after ladies comes Loretta’s, a casual bar and grill on Jefferson at Polk, which is near though not in Bishop Arts. Loretta’s comes from Deborah Knezek, who works for an airline, and Janice McDade, who was mgr of Stoneleigh P for 11 years. They’ve been hammering and nailing since may 1 (majorly renovating what used to be a place called Casa Francisco), but on Sept 10, they’ll start serving marvelous cocktails as well as burgers, sandwiches, chicken enchiladas, good entrée salads, and their signature black bean soup.

1001 W. Jefferson Blvd. 214-948-1424, opening in sept

Wednesday, August 10, 2005


bishop arts week day 3

Doug Brown, the Nana/Landmark chef who moved downtown last year to do the Eatzi's-esque to-go market Beyond the Box w/ biz partner-pastry chef Jason Foss, is getting more deeply urban: He's set to open a new restaurant in the South Side district across from Gilley's. Called Amuse, it'll take over the spot that is currently South Side Grill. It'll be a 64-seat restaurant w/ lounge, patio, and great downtown views. Opening date is "middle of January" says doug.

Amuse, 1326 S. Lamar St. (not exactly bishop arts but, you know, south-ish)

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Cosmo Rouge

bishop arts week day 2

One major opening in the thick of the Bishop Arts district that’s been long in the process (and thus eagerly awaited) is Cosmo Rouge, set to open (cross your fingers) in Sept., in a gorgeous old bldg on Bishop. Owner Stephen Stroud, a native of nearby Kessler Park who owns Park Cities Event Planning, jumped hoops to reassure the previous owner (now deceased) that he’d be a good steward for the property. Cosmo will be an upscale restaurant-lounge w/ a catering operation headed by a still-secret chef who has Mansion-caliber experience; Stroud visions it as "adding to the chemistry" of places in the area such as Hattie’s.

407 N Bishop Ave #101

Monday, August 08, 2005

Hunky's 2

bishop arts week! day 1

This week was gonna be devoted to the Dallas neighborhood known as Bishop Arts anyway, cuz a buncha places are opening there. But then last Friday, the DMN did a big report on the area's prosperity (which i would link except i can't find it on the friggin' DMN site), so that made it a cosmic imperative. Opening next month: 2nd branch of Hunky’s, the Oak Lawn burger joint, in the old Gennie's Bishop Grill space. Owner Rick Barton, who himself moved to Oak Cliff, considered buying the Gennie's concept outright but didn't feel like doing chick-fried steak, so he's sticking w/ Hunky's tho he may expand the menu later.

321 N. Bishop Ave. no phone yet

Friday, August 05, 2005

Ann's Cafe

Some new ventures in downtown Dallas draw lots of big stories; others open w/ little fanfare (i.e. an item on NYCE). Put Ann's Cafe in the latter category. It's a Mediterranean place, open for breakfast and lunch, w/ gyros, moussaka, shish-kebab, etc., as well as burgers & fries for the scaredy-cats. It's in a prime area, on the ground floor of the Wilson Bldg, in a former Quizno's, squeezed between the Press Box Grill (which took over the old Corner Bakery spot) and the Italian restaurant Porta di Roma.

1623 Main St. #102 (on Ervay), 214-752-2233

Thursday, August 04, 2005

Hermosa Bakery & Pupuseria

Because Gloria’s doesn’t have a lock on Salvadorean food. Because there’s a surprisingly robust Salvadorean community in the northern territories. And because to know pupusas is to like pupusas: Hermosa Bakery & Pupuseria, all the way up on Parker Road in Plano, family-run (Leoncio & Maribel Campos) open a year, selling sweet breads, millojas (puff pastry w/ meringue), pastelito de carne (meat pies w/ pork and chicken), and finally pupusas, those little stuffed pancakes filled w/ pork, cheese, or the flower-like lorroco.

930 W. Parker Rd. #420 (at Alma), 972-398-6672

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Murray Street Coffee Shop

Murray Street Coffee Shop is the kind of place you can’t help but love: An indie coffeehouse (take that, corporate chains!) from a worldly husband-and-wife team, Douglas and Liz Davis, that just opened Sat. (7/30) in the "inner city" (sorta): Deep Ellum. "I noticed that there was nowhere I could go to get a New York Times and a cup of coffee," says Doug. (He has a hi-tech day job, so he pulls the early-ayem shift; Liz takes over during the day.) They’re using Illy coffee and making all yr favorite espresso drinks, plus pastries and of course wi-fi access (an essential coffeehouse ingredient these dayz). This is interesting (and smart): The coffee shop eschews the night scene and keeps daylight hours only, 7 am - 7 pm. Murray Street is one of the coolest little side streets in Deep Ellum, w/ small, people-scale brick bldgs that give it a real neighborhood feel.

103 Murray St. (@ Main) 214-655-2808

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Nestle/Toll House mint I.C. bar*

Nestle swallowing Dreyer's is slowly but surely tainting Dreyer's (whose ice cream tastes lousier every day), but meanwhile Nestle is exploiting its new ice cream buddy to expand the Nestle name. Last year, it took its Toll House chips and made them into cookies. And now Toll House ice cream bars, the newest flavor being Toll House mint-ice-cream brownie bars, a Dove-bar-ish thing w/ 1. flat brownie base 2. green-tinted mint ice cream 3. "rich chocolatey coating". These novelty items are usually pretty rank but this one tastes OK. (It’s also 330 calories when there are far better ways to splurge.) Part of Nestle's master plan in acquiring Dreyer's was to expand its convenience-store merch, and this for-sure fulfills that goal.

*so new, it ain't on the website yet

Monday, August 01, 2005

penzeys spices

OK it's a multiple choice (fun!). What is most interesting about Penzeys* Spices, a new store set to open in mid-Aug at Preston & 635?: 1. That it’s based in Brookfield, WI (which is home to a spice company … why?). 2. That a store dedicated to spices seems to indicate that spices are yet-another food category undergoing the same "boutiquification" as coffee, bread, cheese, etc. 3. That it’s located in a former tire center. 4. That it has more than 20 stores across the mid-section of the country and is spreading W and SW. 5. That its name sounds very much (one might even say suspiciously) like a certain FW-based spiciere* and that, after this dallas branch, there's talk of a FW branch too.

12835 Preston Rd. 972-392-7777

*do ALL spice companies have some kind of issue w/ apostrophes or what?