Olivia Dish

Archive for the ‘Dallas’ Category

Fate and Fried Pies

In Barbecue, Dallas, Local Flavor, Restaurant on June 19, 2011 at 1:14 pm
Fried Pie Window

Pity the poor soul who's never had a fried pie...then buy him one.

You miss out on so much when you don’t spend time in the South. Case in point–fried pies.

I was traveling across Texas with two globe-trotting military experts. Every morning as we drove to a secure location just down the road from Fate, Texas, we saw it: a giant billboard beside the interstate proclaiming “fried pies.”

One of these worldly fellows pondered aloud, “I wonder how they fry the pies. Can you fry a key lime pie?”

Gracious. The man thought you submerged a whole, circular pie into the deep fryer.

Fried pies, y’all, are turnovers, I told them.  Empanadas. “You mean like hot pockets?” the other one asked, eyes wide.  Yessir, I do.  Where’ve you been?

The poor fellows had never had fried pies. They’d never even heard of them.  Might I add, neither of them were that young.  It seemed a shame. And I’d been craving fried pies since the first time I laid eyes on that billboard.

Seemed like fate was directing us to take that exit and dig in.

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Dessert Donuts

In California, Dallas, Restaurant, Sweets, Taste Tests on September 23, 2009 at 9:09 pm
Rustic Canyon donuts

Donuts at Rustic Canyon Wine Bar

Hold onto your canned biscuits Paula Deen:  fried dough has gone upscale.

I’ve been to at least three restaurants recently that offered donuts on the dessert menu: Local in Dallas, the chic Stephan Pyles Restaurant also in Dallas, and Rustic Canyon Wine Bar in Santa Monica.  At Stephan Pyles and Rustic Canyon, on the hearty endorsement of wait staff, I ordered them.

Both were served with fancy-shmancy cups of hot something for dipping—espresso at Stephan Pyles, hot chocolate at Rustic Canyon.  It didn’t matter.  Gorgeous though the presentations were, the fried nuggets of dough came up short.  “They’re our favorite,” my waiters promised.

But I kept thinking: my white trash donuts are better.  Was I wrong?  Read the rest of this entry »

Local in Dallas

In Dallas, Local Flavor, Restaurant, Sweets on August 4, 2009 at 2:50 pm
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The Bar at Local

When an assignment had me toiling in the land of J.R. Ewing, I looked for an escape.  A little googling turned up the restaurant Local, which no surprise, specializes in using locally-grown ingredients.  It’s in Deep Ellum, next to a butcher shop, away from highrises.  As escape plans go, this one was coming together rather effortlessly.

Perhaps I should have thought it was too easy, that danger might be lurking.  At the restaurant, I backed across the bar to photograph a wider view of the place.  I was grabbed from behind in a bear of a clutch.

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El Fenix: Hot or Not?

In Dallas, Local Flavor, Restaurant on July 30, 2009 at 6:27 pm
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El Fenix: the madreship

Here’s what I learned from working with a group in downtown Dallas.  Someone is going to insist, “We’re going to El Fenix or I quit.”  Yes, even in this economy.

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A lifesize cutout of the owner

So rather than lose a team member mid-project, we set aside our box lunches, took the elevator 35 floors down, piled into cars, and drove the 8 blocks to a Dallas (non-mental but delightfully wacky inside) institution.

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Festive decor at El Fenix

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