Tasting notes

Posted on 19 Oct 2012 at 9:45am

Texas Veggie Fair, Burgers & Burgundy, & Pyles set to open

dining

FRIED AND ANIMAL FRIENDLY | Vegan dishes can still be deep-fried indulgences at the Texas State Veggie Fair, which moves to Reverchon Park Sunday.

ARNOLD WAYNE JONES  

Everyone knows the Texas State Fair specializes in fried foods (usually bacon is involved in there somewhere). But it’s not just at Fair Park this weekend where you can gorge yourself. Roll on over to Reverchon Park Sunday for the third annual Texas State Veggie Fair, a vegan alternative to carnivorous offerings.

If you think vegans wouldn’t know how to fry up some cruelty-free grub, oh how wrong you are. I judged last year’s competition and the selections were delicious … and no animals were harmed in the making of anything. It’s also conveniently in the gayborhood now, not a remote part of White Rock Lake. The fair isn’t just about the fried foods, though — there will also be live music, food booths and plenty of folks happy to give you info about living a suffering-free lifestyle.

The fair starts at 11 a.m. Oct. 21 and runs throughout the afternoon. Admission donations are $5–$10. For more, visit DallasVegan.com.

Burgers & Burgundy, the annual fundraiser for DIFFA, is back. On Friday, Oct. 19, founding chef John Tesar will again host the grilling gala where red wine complements burgers from celebrated local chefs. In addition to Tesar, this year’s lineup includes Tiffany Derry of Private | Social, Patton Robertson of Five Sixty, Dan Landsberg of Dragonfly and Samir Dhurandhar of Nick & Sam’s. The event is at the home of Ann and Steve Stodghill, and tickets are $75–$150. Call 214-748-8580 for more information.

Brian C. Luscher has already been tagged as the headliner for an Iron Chef-esque taco competition at the inaugural North Texas Taco Festival. Dallas Voice contributor Jose Ralat-Maldonado — who also writes about tacos for his blog the Taco Trail — organized the event, which will feature as many as a dozen chefs, restaurants, taquerias and food trucks. It will take place April 20, 2013, at the Deep Ellum Outdoor Market. Visit NorthTexasTacoFestival.com from now until then for updated information.

In related news, Luscher also named Danyele McPherson as the new chef de cuisine at the popular Grape restaurant along Lower Greenville, and Nick Amoriello is now exec chef at the newly reopened The Front Room: A Park Cities Diner inside Kimpton’s Hotel Lumen.

Openings. Two long-awaited restaurants are set to open this week: Stephan Pyles’ newest concept, Stampede 66, will begin service on Monday with a VIP fundraiser prior to its official opening. Stephan Pyles’ former executive chef Matt McCallister — who opened the recently-closed Campo — has a new place that’s his start to finish: FT33, which officially opens on Hi Line Drive in the Design District next week after its already-started soft opening.

Other recent openings: Gay-owned PhD from Eric Tschetter (he of Fort Worth’s The Pour House) opened last month and just got its liquor license — a big deal for a sports bar. It’s located in Oak Cliff. (PhD: Pour House Dallas …. Get it?) Former Dali proprietor Paul Pinnell spent the last two years in New Orleans, but is back in Dallas managing Max’s Wine Dive in the West Village. The space was previously the Borders bookstore. TJ’s Fresh Seafood Market has opened a second location along Wycliff at Oak Lawn. And former Ritz-Carlton chef John Coleman has won the right to open the newest plum spot: He’ll open the resto Savor and the kiosk Relish in the new deck park. Service is set to begin in early 2013.

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition October 19, 2012.

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