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Scott -- DFW

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Everything posted by Scott -- DFW

  1. If this meal is representative of what Lanny does every night, there is no comparison. It blows the curve. I haven't had a better meal at any Mexican restaurant in the US. Top shelf. In the same category as the usual suspects (e.g., Mansion, Tasting Room, Abacus, Aurora, Nana). Mobil 4-star territory. Scott
  2. It's been so long since I've lived in Fort Worth that I forgot what a mad-house Joe T. Garcia's is on a Saturday night. The line snaked from well outside the building through to the inner patio, into a raucous sea of customers. A word to the hostess that we were there for Lanny's, and we were led past the noise, mob, and Tex-Mex, ending up in a cozy room near the back of the patio where chef Lanny Lancarte II does his work. There we met fellow e-Gulleteers who had also converged in Cowtown with high hopes for the seven-course Nouvelle Mexican degustation menu Lanny had planned for us. On t
  3. I think you've clearly sketched out some reasonable complaints about your meal. As to your comments about repetition, I had some similar thoughts after my meal there, though I wasn't quite as bothered by them. And, upon further reflection, I'm even less troubled. Why? Because I think the repetition only stands out because the food is unusual. ExtraMSG asked about the seemingly high number of sous vide preparations (i.e., five). That did seem high. But, had this been a traditional tasting menu, would anyone have thought to complain about a little under a third of the courses being *saut
  4. Good questions. I'm afraid I don't have good answers. As for the quality, I can't really say, since I've never done a blind taste testing of sous vide v. conventionally prepared ingredients. Since the technique seems to be expanding in upscale kitchens, I assume some chefs have conducted such testing and found that sous vide cooking produces a superior result. I had no complaints with the taste or texture of any sous vide preparation at Moto. As for whether the number of sous vide preparations "made sense," that's more of an aesthetic question. Running down the list, it looks like about
  5. September 4, 2004 I repeatedly checked my MapQuest printout as I walked from my hotel to Moto last Saturday night. I’d heard it was in a warehouse district, but supposed it would be a gentrified, glowing, populous, erstwhile warehouse district, ala Dallas’s West End. Not so. Large trucks lined the dimly lit street, with choking abattoir odors emerging from their open backs as workmen hosed them out. Because of its understated sand-blasted glass façade, I passed Moto without recognizing it as a restaurant, my eyes being drawn to splashy lights farther down the block. I quickly backtracked,
  6. Lanny, 1) Assuming you make corn tortillas in your restaurant, do you use fresh masa (and, if so, do you make your own)? Commercially produced masa harina? 2) What Mexican ingredients would you most like to have, but have trouble getting here in Texas? Thanks! Scott
  7. Bad news. Benaka, which had been one of my favorite Indian restaurants in DFW, closed about a month ago. I'm hoping they relocated, but their web site doesn't say anything about that. As a consolation prize, a new Indian restaurant has opened in its location (2836 N. O'Connor, Irving, TX)--Masala Grill, which is operated by the people behind Bombay Sweets (on eastbound 183 in Irving). I've only had one meal there--veggie samosas, malai kofta, and veggie biryani--but it was pretty darned solid. Definitely worth a repeat visit for more menu exploration. Scott
  8. Photos were taken through the glass (except for the croissant and eclair picture, which was taken with them sitting on top of my desk). I tried to take a few "big picture" pictures, but they didn't turn out, due to glare from the curved glass of the cases. They aren't doing breads--just sweets. (They do make brioche loaves, though.) Scott
  9. Well, I've gone back once (sometimes twice) a day, working through the offerings. The mornings mostly feature breakfast pastries: scones, cinnamon rolls, brioches, filled croissants (e.g., chocolate, smoked ham and gruyere, etc.), and sticky buns. (They open at 8:00 AM and close at 6:00 PM on weekdays.) Closer to lunchtime, the dessert pastry options expand: tartlets, ...cakes, ... eclairs, ...cookies, biscotti, mousses, and other goodies. The pastries are as delicious as they are beautiful, featuring premium ingredients (e.g., Valrhona, Cluizel, and Scharffen-Berger chocolates, Tas
  10. About a week and a half ago, DoughMonkey opened in Snider Plaza. Beautiful, tasty cakes, cookies, and pastries. I'll post more details and some photos after another few trips. But I wanted to go ahead and alert people that this shop is open and definitely worth visiting. From what I've read on-line, it looks like the owner, Rhonda Ruckman, is a transplant from Florida. Before setting up there, she was assistant pastry chef at the Four Seasons in Beverly Hills (where she made a wedding cake for Christian Slater that was featured on the cover of People magazine). Looking for a larger market
  11. If I were eating mail-order from Texas, my top two links would be: Black's BBQ (For brisket and sausage.) Mozzarella Company (For...well, just about anything they make.) As for the links you've posted, Southside's sausage is very good, as is that of most of the famous BBQ spots in that area of central Texas east of Austin (e.g., Black's, Kreuz, Smitty's, Luling City Market). The Dallas Tortilla & Tamale factory makes pretty good tamales. But, even when they're fresh, they're not better than you can make at home; so I'd probably pass on them. Scott
  12. Having read several glowing recommendations, I recently visited First Chinese BBQ. They have several locations in the metroplex--Plano, Richardson, Carrollton, and Arlington. The one I visited was in a Plano red brick strip center at 3304 Coit (just north of Parker). As soon as we walked in the door, we saw a heated meat case displaying dangling roast ducks and chickens, small bins of tripe, and even a roasted pig's head. The interior is clean and well-maintained, with basic appointments. The menu is large and diverse, leaving a first-timer like me at a loss. Fortunately, I had some dir
  13. That would be the Turkey Shop & Cafeteria on the northbound side of I-35 (about ten miles south of Hillsboro). With its big turkey sign, it's hard to miss. Scott
  14. After hearing many glowing reports, I recently went to the Dairy-ette for the first time. The decor is, well, '50s burger shack. No frills. The booths look and *feel* like they've been there since the beginning. Not much on the walls except for the Coca-Cola sponsored, interior illuminated, moveable type menu board. Waitresses were very friendly. We started with a chocolate shake and malt. Both were above average--very thick, creamy (and, on the malt, heavily malted), and generously portioned for the price. She had a cheeseburger with everything on it. I had the chili cheeseburger and fries.
  15. Thanks for the report. Excellent photos! Scott
  16. Grant Achatz--an e-Gulleteer and recently departed chef of Trio (where he earned 5 Mobil stars)--has used acorns in his cooking. See the following response to a question by Cabrales in a Chicago forum Q&A: For some acorn (and other related) recipes, check out this Acorn Link. Scott
  17. Waco is almost equidistant between the cities. There are a few decent options there (burgers at George's, the "gut pack" at Vitek's, etc.), but nothing worth writing home about. But about 20 minutes north of Waco is West, a Czech community which is noted for its kolaches. That might be worth a stop. Scott
  18. Therese, Thanks for the input. I tried the butter chicken a couple of nights ago. Darker in flavor than I'm used to with that dish, but very tasty. Much more in line quality-wise with my first meal there. $8 for a dinner for two on a Saturday night. I'll keep plugging away at the menu. Scott
  19. A while back, I went to Kuby's--a German deli near SMU in Dallas--and bought one of each of their housemade German sausages (omitting their andouille and Southwestern style links). I took them to a friend's house where we grilled them all, along with some storebought Johnsonville brats. I then conducted a blind taste testing of the sausages and noted the rankings. The Johnsonville brats, surprisingly, came out on top. Frequent complaints about the more authentic German sausages included (a) thick, offputting casings, (b) unpleasantly soft and smooth textured meat, and above all © blandness
  20. Nessa, That's the place. Like you, I was disappointed with it. (I've heard the same from Indian friends.) However, the few occasions when I've been to their Irving location, the quality has been much, much better. I'm attaching a couple of old reviews below, so others can get a sense of what we're talking about. The first one is for the Irving location. The second is for the Richardson spot next to Taj Mahal Imports. Scott ----------------------------- Hot Breads is an international chain bakery, fusing French baking and Indian flavors. Last weekend, I finally had a chance to swing by an
  21. Okay, the jury's still out on this one. I went back last night and had two more entrees--malai kofta and chilli chicken. The veggie curry was mediocre buffet quality and the chicken was only slightly better. A dessert of pista kulfi (served in a small clay flowerpot!) had good flavor, but was very icy--so much so near the bottom that it was like a crystallized mille feuille. Still a decent value; but this meal was of more fast-food quality than the first. I'll probably be back, in hopes of finding more winners on the menu. Thanks for chiming in, Nessa. I too would be interested in hea
  22. Zyka sits in the corner of the Beltline/I-75 strip mall that contains Taj Mahal Imports, Bombay Chinese, and Hot Breads. In format, it falls in the fast casual category--styrofoam plates, plastic utensils, no table service, but a fuller menu than one would expect from a true fast food restaurant. Decor is spartan. Seating is ample. A number of Hyderabadi specialties distinguishes Zyka's menu from the competition. We started our lunch with an appetizer of "Chicken 65," which they claim won critical awards at their sister restaurant in Atlanta. Tender chunks of ginger- and garlic-marinate
  23. Thanks to everyone who chimed in on my requests for info. As you'll see from the brief report below--excerpted from an e-mail to a good friend and Portland e-Gulleteer ExtraMSG, hence the informality--we ended up modifying the original itinerary on the fly. ---------------------------------- 1) St. John. Went here for lunch on the day we arrived. Had the marrow and parsley salad as a starter. Two slices of toast, several segments of hot roasted bones, a salad of parsley and shallots, and a small pile of gray sea salt. Okay, but nothing outstanding. The parsley flavor was so strong tha
  24. Having been back to Fireside Pies a couple of times, I echo one of the complaints made by the DMN reviewer. On some pizzas, the ingredients are presented in unwieldy chunks. It's not that they use too much of the ingredients; they just fail to cut them into manageable sizes. The sausage pizza, for instance, features a spicy sausage from Jimmy's. Instead of crumbling it or slicing it thin, you end up with inch-and-a-half long segments of the thick links--three or more bites worth, if you were to cut it up. This makes the pizza difficult to eat. But it also concentrates a flavor that needs
  25. Robyn, Thanks for passing along the information. After Moby's warning about Zaika, I went back through the archives more carefully, discovering several negative reactions to the food and prices. I've ditched that plan and am now leaning more towards Mela, which seems to get widely favorable treatment on the board as better food at a better value. As for "mid-range," I meant relative to the other prices I've seen for London restaurants. I'm hoping that if I keep looking at the prices, the sticker shock will have worn off by the time my plane lands on Thursday morning. Scott
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