Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Zoe's Kitchen

People always say they want to eat healthy. then the minute the waitress comes over, it’s, I’ll have the 22-oz ribeye w/ fries plz, and xtra dressing for my salad. The upshot: places that ID themselves as healthy haven’t historically done well. that won’t stop plucky Zoe’s Kitchen, founded in Birmingham AL in 1995 by an actual person named zoe. "Plucky"=clever cuz zoe does lotsa chicken. its logo used 2B a chicken. & the owner, who is son of zoe, sez his mentor is the guy who runs chick fil-A. also on menu: soups, salads, samwiches, wraps. It has about 2 doz branches, most in AL & TN, w/ big plans for expansion. Its first tx branch is on lovers @ the tollway. if such a place could survive anywhere in dallas, it would be the park cities

5710 West Lovers Lane, Suite 108. 214-357-0100 (opening this friday or next monday - how hot izzat)

Monday, November 27, 2006

C Rolls Sushi Cafe

Damn, here’s an unfortunate attempt at a clever name: C Rolls Sushi/Café, a small family-run Japanese-sushi place at Preston & Frankford in No. Dallas. It appears to be an unassuming neighborhood place w/ a big menu of rolls (many of which they say are "on sale" -- a term you might use for clothes & other merch the day after thxgiving, but an odd one for food). But oh the name. the rest's website sez it has 3 meanings – it stands for 1. calif rolls, 2. rolls from the sea, and 3. rolls you want to see. Oh dear. Cuz, C, the first assoc I get is C-section

18101 preston rd #300. 972-447-4900

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

hershey's candy cane kisses

pls forgive the presence of yet-another item on yet-another ltd-edition seasonal mint sweet, but it seems best to get them done w/ and this one's unique in its class: Hershey's Candy Cane Kisses, a white-choc kiss w/ crunchy candy bits mixed within. they're unique enough that it's easy to keep eating them, possibly even beyond the point where you still like them. but - and let me state the obvious here - they're good 4 people who like mint. anyway, see, that wasn't so bad, and now next wk can start fresh w/ fully-linked items on new restaurants (a new sushi place in richardson), ice creams (bluebell's doing French vanilla cappuccino), & maybe coffee drinks (dunkin donuts just intro'd a very starbucksian "gingerbread latte")

was there ever a product that begged more for the silly snowflake-frame photo treatment?

Monday, November 20, 2006

kit kat mint dark choc ltd edition

Of all the kit kats that have cometh before, none surpasses this ltd edition mint dark chocolate. (which is why the kk sabbatical is broken yet again.) but this kit kat warrants it. It has the same piercing mint + dark choc you get from york pep patties & junior mints but not as sugary, thanks to the superior qual of kit kat's dark choc (which is also less "greasy" than the usual kit kat milk choc). And, as is evident in foto #2, the choc is thick. a superior seasonal prod and kit kat flavor too

Friday, November 17, 2006

starbucks grandma's turkey sandwich

apparently, starbucks has intro'd products that aren't successful. i know i know: hard to comprehend (i can barely fathom it myself). but on a scale of great, greater, or greatest, this new holiday-edition Starbucks Grandma's Turkey Sandwich merits a mere "great". while nifty in concept - whole grain bread, "homestyle" turkey, stuffing, cran sauce - the um execution, not so much. there's just a ton of stuffing. and said stuffing is very-very moist; you hardly notice the turkey at all. and it's sloppy. it's a sandwich whose filling basically = wet bread. a bread sandwich, if you will. but let's put on a happy face (this IS starbucks we're talking about, after all). overall, its sandwich program is xlnt, and don't forget sbux' proclivity for intro'ing new prods thus keeping blogs like this afloat

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Pepp Farm peppy crunch Geneva

Following up on the ltd-edition holiday front: Pepperidge Farm Peppermint Crunch Geneva cookies which take a cookie that was pretty good to start w/ & merge it w/ an equally good candy, peppermint bark. the tragedy is that 1 + 1 does not = 3. combo-ing the two does not transcend the originals. It’s like-ok and a fun-ltd-ed-prod and certainly-worth-trying-if-you’re-a-pepp-fan, but one box is plenty. As an aside: pepp bark has surged. A few yrs ago it was just William Sonoma that did it. Then you (well, i) started to see it in cheaper versions at places like world market & whole foods. and may I say that, while WS's pepp bark is sublime, i note some new online-only pepp swirl marshmallows that seem also-intriguing

Monday, November 13, 2006

lucerne limited edition yogurts*

last wkend, saw an entire section at superT dedicated to "limited edition" prods: special minty this & choc-coated that (news of which will be coming to a blog-near-you later this wk - hopefully w/ the same silly foto treatment). part of the explosion can be attributed to the holiday, but it still reinforced how huge ltd-eds have become. ltd-editioning has even hit yogurt: specifically Lucerne's seasonal limited-edition yogurts w/ half-a-doz flavors incl pumpkin, cranberry-orange, gingerbread, chai latte, caramel apple, and one-other-flavor-that-didn't-appeal-to-me-so-i've-forgotten-what-it-is-&-can't-find-it-on-the-internet. so far, have only tried cranberry, which was good; wish i'd known B4 buying that the blue containers = "lite" = evil splenda

*these just arrived at my local store, but hawaii had 'em first

Friday, November 10, 2006

flavored M&Ms

While hersheys kisses & kit kats have gone off the deep end w/ brand extensions, staid ol' M&Ms have mostly stayed the course, w/ only a few spinoffs on the comfy/familiar original M, tho all have been good, from M&M almonds to dark M&Ms to mega M&Ms ('specially the mega peanuts). that makes these flavored M&Ms a pretty big deal. there's 8 flavors: raspberry, cherry, peach, orange, almond, mint, peanut, & mint cookie. the proviso is that they can only be ordered online and are hugely expensive: $49.99 plus $12.95 shipping for 24 oz, a price they justify as acceptable becuz you get a "premium collectible tin". possibly down the road, the most popular flavors will eventually turn up in stores

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Avocado California Roll & Sushi

look out for Avocado California Roll & Sushi, sweeping the remote suburbs like a … let’s see, what’s a non-trite metaphor? Hmph. Anyway, the point being, there’s branches galore opening in plano, denton, irving, southlake, & frisco, w/ richardson, allen, & houston on the horizon. owners are Natalie & Alex Lim, a Korean couple w/ an admiration for the franchising concept. Their chain being TX-based, they've worked to quell the locals’ fears w/ non-raw items including a "fried chicken roll". they have some trippy stuff on their website, including this puzzling entry: "12.2005: California roll and sushi research center established." Vot ees zees research center?

1501 Preston Rd Plano , 972-733-3388
8600 North Macarthur Blvd #132 irving, 817-633-3009
2600 E. Southlake Blvd. # 100 Southlake, 817-749-0900

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Sushi Sakana

Say what you will about the northern territories, but they are brimming w/ new restaurants, many of which seem to be asian. Like, for ex, sushi sakana, which took over what used 2b a place called café miso. sushi sakana is co-owned by sue cook, which is how she said to spell her name, possibly cuz she thinks the transcribers at NYCE are incapable of typing out a more complicated asian name and if that’s her concern, well, she may be right. Anyhoo, sue cook previously worked at benihana & shogun, but there are no cleaver-wielding show chefs, just plain old teriyaki, tempura, & sushi. The sakana roll has tuna, yellowtail, salmon, lettuce, and mango. no rice! go figure. (Sakana, btw, means fish. maybe the transcribers at NYCE aren’t so stupid after all, boo hoo)

3000 Custer Rd (at parker) 972-398-1790

Monday, November 06, 2006

Kuai Dumplings & Soups

Fast-food dumpling places are a hot trend in other cities – and here comes Kuai Dumplings & Soups to bring dallas up to speed. Kuai is what they call a quick-service restaurant concept, serving dumplings, spring rolls, and soups for not-a-lot-of money. You can eat for under $10 (which has become the new $5), and nothing’s fried, everything’s steamed. Opened last wk in downtown’s underground, across from Sonny Bryan’s and not far from the similarly-avant-garde Noodle Nexus, Kuai's focus for now is lunch. it's by 3 entrepreneurial guys in their early 30s who went to UT and, inspired by dumpling chains in NY, Houston, Oregon, & Virginia, spent the last 2 yrs piecing together this deal. expansion seems inevitable; surely they'll head north?

325 N. St. Paul St. Republic Center Bldg, concourse level. 972-789-1199

Friday, November 03, 2006

Mocha Kit Kat ltd edition

NYCE has been taking a sabbatical from kit kats. furthermore, this ltd-edition Mocha Kit Kat is not revolutionary. I mean, they came out with a not-dissimilar cappuccino flavor last year. But this merits mention for 3 reasons
1. A pic had been taken (see left). hate to waste a pic
2. It actually tastes pretty good. not too sweet. better than the capp
3. It provides the opportunity to write about a much more-interesting flavor which unfortunately is not available in the US: a PUMPKIN kit kat released in japan. Which sounds great but, the japan thing, weird; isn’t Halloween like an American holiday?

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Geisha Steak & Sushi Lounge

am mulling a theory here: that you can't get good sushi if the restaurant's too big (sq-ft-wise). (which conversely does not imply that all small sushi places have good sushi.) Geisha Steak & Sushi Lounge, up by CM in plano, has 4000+ sq ft., and it tries to do everything: sushi bar, robata grill, benihana/hibachi area. a coupla places have tried to do this very thing and failed, incl 9 Fish in frisco and Japon in plano, tho hibachi rock up in allen is still trucking along. do you think maybe out in the sticks, where rah fee-ish is still a challenge fer some folks, that they feel like they hafta offer multiple concepts in a single place in order to survive? But hey this should seal it for geisha: it has a VIP loft. cuz where else would you expect VIPs to hang out but a plano shopping ctr

3801 W George Bush Hwy, plano. 469-467-3944