Wednesday, April 9, 2008

A few things I'm in love with this week...

Here are a few things that have captivated me, food-and-beverage-wise, in the last week or so. Below you'll find an offbeat recipe, a new grocery item and a must-visit winery right here in Dallas (it's classy and sassy, just like you-know-who). I'm sure that one or more of them will be up your alley, too.

Ingrid Hoffman's Mini Cuban Burgers (Fritas)

I love Ingrid Hoffman and her Latin-influenced cusine. What a welcome change of pace from the endless parade of Italian iterations that seems to be taking over my favorite cooking shows! These sliders are exceptional: sweet, tangy and a little bit like a meatloaf sandwich with a kick. Be advised that the recipe made 24 generous mini-burgers for me (the link above will tell you 12, but I believe it's a misprint). I was pleasantly surprised by the surplus - a little time in the kitchen gave me dinner plus a freezer full of burger-liciousness for cravings to come.

Orowheat Double Fiber Bread

Finally, a great tasting whole wheat bread that doesn't suck all the moisture from your cheeks in the time it takes to eat your sandwich. It's so good, in fact, that I'd choose this bread over just about any other sandwich loaf, even if it wasn't so nutritous and packed with fiber. You know, when you're a semi-pro eater like me, you've got to give yourself good stuff whenever you can. That way you can justify the ginger creme brulee you might happen to sneak in after lunch once in a while (totally hypothetically speaking).

This Lakewood gem is a must-visit for anyone who loves wine. The space is eclectic and warm, and the wines are earning praise left and right. Slip into the tasting room on a Saturday afternoon for a sip of something cool, or head over after work for a light dinner of pate and artisinal cheese. Gaze at the crystal chandeliers twinkling over oak in the barrel room, then head out on the patio for a little people-watching. Don't forget to take home a bottle or two of the award-winning rose or whichever winds up being your new fave from the Times Ten line-up.

DallasEats in the Locker Room: Denied

Just recieved this from the Mavericks PR person:

We are only credentialing sports bloggers. Although I appreciate your interest in the team, we are unable to credential you at this time. Thanks.

I guess we'll never know if Josh Howard prefers Freebirds or Chipotle. Sigh.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

DallasEats: Coming to you from the Mavs locker room?

In case any of you don't read Blog Maverick as religiously as I do, check out Mark Cuban's latest display of greatness in the face of the NBA's sorry-ness. Oh, how I love him. I submitted a post to see if DallasEats could get into the locker room to find out the Mavs favorite restaurants and recipes, so maybe my unique spin (and the fact that I am a true MFFL) will get us in there. Stay tuned...

Click here to read my desperate pleadings (I'm number 84):

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Food Find: Chaat Cafe's Chicken Wraps

18101 Preston Road
Dallas, TX 75252
Phone: 972-713-0003

I have driven past Chaat Cafe, which is at the corner of Preston and Frankfort in Plano, probably 100 times before I finally tried it. Holy smokes am I glad I did. During my first visit just a couple of weeks ago, a new food obsession was born. Their chicken wraps, particularly the Desi Chicken Wraps, are heaven on earth.

First of all, the chicken isn't just wrapped in your standard cold, hard tortilla. At Chaat Cafe, they are wrapped in warm pieces of fresh naan bread. For those of you unfamiliar with naan, it's kind of a middle eastern cross between a tortilla and a pita, only fluffier. That's probably a horrible explanation, but the bottom line is--naan is freakin' delicious.

The Desi is stuffed with tandoori chicken, which is chicken that's been marinated with yogurt and spices then cooked in a clay oven, and also cucumber, tomatoes, onions, cilantro, and green chilis. It is served with a mint chutney and a tamarind chutney. I especially liked the sweet/spicy combination of the tamarind chutney, but both are delicious. All of the ingredients are fresh, and they all work together perfectly. The chicken is spicy, the naan is soft, the veggies are crunchy and the sauces add just the right amount of punch.

I suggest that you run, not walk, to either the Plano location or the Irving location (sounds like it's in Las Conlinas somewhere) to try these gifts from above. You won't regret it.