Thursday, October 25, 2007

Classy&Sassy's Top Five Crave-able Dallas Dishes*

*Plus nos. 6-10 (the runners-up) &

Five Things Other People Crave That I Really Don't Get!

FoodiePrincess was on to something, so I thought I'd sit down and list those dishes that I come back to again and again. And those that I wish I didn't live so far away from, so that I could come back to them again and again. I was surprised at my list, and I think you will be too. There is something to be said for "comfort food", and no matter how adventurous an eater I think I am, or how much I really do like squid, these are the dishes that really melt my butter (oh, Truvy). And, before you ask - No, you can't have a bite of mine. Order your own!

1. Cheese Burger
The Porch
2916 N Henderson Avenue, Dallas

Yes, it's listed this way on the menu – two words, capitalized. This is indicative of the respect paid to the good ol' American standby at The Porch. It's big, drippy, covered in cheese and makes everything else just fade into the background as soon as you take the first bite. There is also a “Stodg Burger” with foie gras and a fried egg. Haven't had it - but if you have, let me know what you think!

2. Cru Steak Pizza
Cru Wine Bar
3699 McKinney Avenue, Dallas

Sliced beef tenderloin, mixed greens and balsamic vinaigrette resting atop a golden, crisp, homemade pizza crust. And, it's designed as a perfect match for a variety of wines. Both classy and sassy. 'Nuff said.

3. Southwest Egg Rolls
Two Rows Classic Grill
5500 Greenville Avenue, Suite 1300, Dallas

I don't care that they've started to refer to themselves as a “Classic Grill” instead of a brewery. Whatever the hell that means. I don't care that pieces of flair will inevitably follow. I only care that these little babies are pure heaven. Forget the shameful iterations of this dish that you've had elsewhere – these are huge, packed with filling and (wait for it) deep fried to perfection. Add a beer and call it a night.

4. Soft Chicken Tacos
Mi Cocina
3699 McKinney Avenue, Dallas (and various other area locations)

I'm stumped by these tacos. The chicken is perfect: moist, and seasoned to the point of rendering all taco accompaniments unnecessary. How do they do it? This is not diced pre-cooked chicken breast floating in an all-encompassing brick red grease slick. This is the real thing. I would venture a guess that someone's grandma taught them how to do this. I've even gone so far as to beg a friend who used to work for M Group Restaurants to try and get me the recipe. He was unsuccessful, so I'll just have to stick with enjoying them on the patio in the West Village, with a Mambo Taxi.

5. Cuatro Leches Cake
La Duni
4264 Oak Lawn Avenue and 4620 McKinney Avenue, Dallas

Does dessert count, FP? If I get to decide, it certainly does! I'd challenge anyone to find a more beautiful, decadent, masterful dessert than this one offered by La Duni. Vanilla sponge cake soaked in Tres Leches sauce is topped with caramelized Swiss meringue. Two sauces – gooey caramel and even more Tres Leches – take it right over the top.

Close Seconds (rankings 6 – 10):

6. Cheeseburger
Snookies, 3604 Oak Lawn Avenue, Dallas (and various other area locations)

7. Spinach Quesadillas
Gloria's, 4140 Lemmon Avenue, Dallas (and various other area locations)

8. Eggplant Parmesan
Eatzi's, 3403 Oak Lawn Avenue, Dallas

9. Pho (chicken recommended)
Pho 95, 9780 Walnut St Suite 120, Dallas

10. Carne Asada
Mia's, 4322 Lemmon Avenue, Dallas

Five Things Other People Crave That I Really Don't Get:

1. Freebirds

Tomato Basil Soup at La Madeleine For that matter, anything at La Madeleine. How much overdressed salad and room temperature quiche can one person tolerate?

Taquitos from Whataburger My husband is not the only person to wish he could just liquify and mainline these tortilla torpedoes. Me, I don't see the big woop.

Krispy Kreme I sincerely hope that the Krispy Kreme craze has passed. Someday we will
look back on our momentary lapse of reason and laugh. Probably in a "Early 2000's" edition of that silly show on VH1 that makes fun of parachute pants and Diff'rent Strokes.

5. Canh Chu at Green Papaya I love that you love it, FP
...but I just don't get it.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

FoodiePrincess' Top Five Crave-able Dallas Dishes

I am the first one to admit that although I pride myself as a foodie, I am also a creature of habit. I am all about trying new places and dishes, but when I find something I really love, I have a tendency to never order anything else. These are the dishes that compel me to drive across town, listed in no particular order.

After you check mine out, tell us--what are your most crave-worthy Dallas dishes? We want to know!

1. Canh Chu (Vietnamese Hot and Sour Soup)
Green Papaya
3211 Oak Lawn Ave, Dallas, TX 75219

If I'm not feeling well, if it's cold and rainy, or if I'm in the mood for something light but full of flavor, there's nothing better than this soup. The perfect combination of sweet and spicy, this chicken-broth based soup is loaded with fresh tomatoes, pineapple, and your choice of shrimp or chicken. It is literally not possible for me to eat at Green Papaya and not order it. A little tip—the shrimp comes with the tails still on, so it's kind of a beating to eat in the soup. Go with chicken.

2. Chicken Salad
Café Max
1600 Alma Rd., Richardson, TX 75081

Mayonnaise is my kryptonite. You can make the best hamburger in the world, but if you put mayonnaise on it, I'm out. Because of this, chicken salad is usually a no-go for me. The chicken salad at Café Max on the other hand, is a mix of roast chicken, pears, apples, walnuts and green and red bell pepper. I've never been able to put my finger on exactly what's in the sauce, but I think it's a mixture of cider vinegar, cilantro and apple juice. Whatever it is, it's delicious, and—at least I like to think—a little more virtuous than your run-of-the-mill chicken salad.

3. Cheese Enchiladas
3011 Routh Street, Dallas, TX 75201
6332 La Vista Drive, Dallas, TX 75214

Most decent cheese enchiladas are fairly crave-able, but these are irresistible. The combination of chile con carne, onion, cheese and tortillas is a classic, but these are at the top of the genre. Yum.

4. Baby Spinach Salad with Steak
State and Allen Lounge
2400 Allen St., Dallas, TX 75204

In general, I'm not much of a salad person, but I order this one almost every time we eat at State and Allen Lounge, which is fairly often. The fresh spinach, raspberry, red onion and oranges are topped with blue cheese crumbles and dressed with warm vinaigrette. Because I'm a total carnivore, I usually get the steak on top, which goes great with the other flavors in the salad. It's crunchy, sweet, tangy, and meaty. What more could you ask for in a salad? Or any meal, for that matter?

5. Crawfish Enchiladas
Alligator Café
4416 Live Oak, Dallas, TX 75204

Yes, I'm raving about Alligator Café—again. I just can't stress the greatness of this place enough. The Crawfish Enchiladas are almost always what I order. Normally cheese and seafood don't mix, but this is the exception. It's also served with dirty rice and red beans, both of which are crave-able in their own right.

Monday, October 8, 2007

The DallasEats Mixology Competition!

I don't care if we got our butts kicked, those Hott Rodds were worth the humiliation!

Speak for yourself, FP. As soon as my head clears, I'm organizing a re-match. I don't take defeat lying down. In this case, I was lying down for another reason all together. (Note to self: Cabana Boys should be enjoyed *one* at a time...two or three in one night is just plain freaky.)

For those of you who have been on the edge of your seats since "Drugstore Gourmet", you can now lean back, get comfortable and read on to find out the gory details of yet another DallasEats Feat of Strength. For those of you who have no idea what I'm talking about, you'd better do your homework: find the details of our first competition along the left-hand side of your screen, under the month of July.

The Set-up:

Five competitors (C&S and FP included, along with three other talented amateur mixologists) created an original cocktail, complete with a catchy "roll off the tongue even after three of 'em" name. The resulting concoctions were evaluated by several esteemed lushes - er, judges - and awarded points for presentation, flavor and creativity. Bonus points were given to those entries that would have been ordered again in a bar or made at home by the judges.

In a surprising upset, 1st, 2nd and 3rd places were all taken by outsiders. We here at DallasEats were amazed by the creativity, originality and personality on display at this competition! Our winners went above and beyond the call to get a houseful of boozers tipsy and keep them entertained while doing so. (Never discouraged by the democratic process, and always prone to making up our own rules, the DallasEats girls are planning a little palm-greasing next time to ensure that at least one of those shiny ribbons stays in the family.)

Below, the winning entries. Make one at home tonight for a little extra fun at cocktail hour! Or make three at home tonight for a lot of extra fun at cocktail hour - then call in sick tomorrow. You deserve it.

3rd Place - J.R.

"The Cabana Boy"

Mix equal parts:

Mango Malibu
Passion Fruit Malibu
V8 Tropical Splash

Stir and serve. Works great as a slushie, too! Garnish with pineapple, oranges and cherries.

2nd Place - Rodd

"The Hott Rodd"

Pour these three chilled liquors in the order listed (pour slowly over the back of a spoon to maintain distinct layers):

1. Godiva's Dark Chocolate Liqueur
2. Caravella's Orangecello
3. Patron's Citronage Orange Liqueur

Take a spoon and drizzle Stonewall Kitchen's White Chocolate Orange Sauce along the inside of each glass, s
prinkle orange sugar onto the sauce and serve.
Says Rodd: "This drink is sure to warm you up on a cool night and it's sexy too!"

1st Place/Grand Prize - Robin and Rob

"Mr. and Ms. Pineapple Heads"

Mix equal parts:

Pineapple juice
Fresh Lime juice
Triple Sec
Silver Tequila (Silver mixes better with fresh fruit juice)
dash of salt

3 cups of each yields about a gallon of cocktails. Serve chilled, over ice. Or in a custom-carved pineapple with maraschino cherry eyes and fresh-flower garnish. (see photo)

Hats off to Robin and Rob - the Pineapple Head is our new favorite treat!