Texas®

Hello, FORT WORTH FOOD PARK!!!

As a devout follower of Food Network’s “The Great Food Truck Race,” which recently completed its second season, I was thrilled to find out that I could scratch road trip to NYC so that I can consume a grilled cheese sandwich  bought off a truck from my to-do list (OK, I still want to do that, but you know what I mean). Heck, hitting the various food trucks in Austin (which has had its own race representative), has typically been a highlight of any of my trips down I-35.

Now, a north Texas denizen has to trek no further than Fort Worth for a moveable feast. The doors (and windows) to Cowtown’s new food truck park have officially opened.  Shoot, Fort Worth might now be considered the states food truck capital soon enough. 

For now, the park will be open for dinner on Thursday and for lunch and dinner on Friday-Sunday.  Located in a lesser urbanized area of Fort Worth, tenants are hoping to expand their services to six days a week as the spring season and even other developments move in.  Plans are also in the works for a horseshoe pit and a children’s sandbox, in hopes of creating a destination spot for families.  But for the time being, the six food trucks currently slinging burgers, grilled cheese sandwiches, tacos, and cupcakes, will create quite the destination spot for me and anyone else with a similar food truck obsession.

 Here’s some of the trucks offering up their brand of goods…

http://www.thegoodkarmakitchen.com/

 http://yestaco.com/

 http://www.jakesburgers.net/

 http://www.redjettsweets.com/Home.html

 http://www.leesgrilledcheese.com/

 http://nammitruck.com/

Greenberg Smoked Turkeys, a long-running East Texas family tradition, aren’t just for Thanksgiving anymore. The tradition began in the 1940’s when a Tyler man who regularly smoked meats for local families and friends shipped several dozen turkeys by train to a Dallas oilman who fell in love with the hickory fire slow-cooked bird. The Tyler-based culinary institution now ships to around 200,000 customers each holiday season.  Families not only devour Greenberg’s birds at holiday gatherings these days, though. It’s now become commonplace to have the turkeys shipped as gifts to coworkers and friends. The six to fifteen pound turkeys, ranging in price from $28-$68, can be sent anywhere. The turkeys arrive at your door, fully smoked and ready to eat. And because the company suggests that the turkeys can be eaten chilled or at room temperature, there’s almost no reason for you to step foot in the kitchen when prepping your next holiday soiree. So, I guess a Greenberg Smoked Turkey is truly the gift that keeps on gobblin’. 

To order go to www.gobblegobble.com or call (903) 595-0725.

Man, it’s been a minute, but another “Appy Hour” is nigh upon us, good folks. This Friday, November 4th, we’re reaching out to the flavors of the Far East to get all kinds of Appy.

As we’ve said before, there’s no reason you shouldn’t be rocking a BestBuzz App on your iPhone or Android, these days. It’s free and to suggest that the benefits of possessing this app pay extreme and immediate dividends is a most serious understatement.

We could go on and on about the various deals one has available to them once they download the app, but first, let’s discuss this week’s Appy Hour specifically. The Sushi Zushi in Dallas has already come to be known as one of the best spots for sushi in a city that’s grown increasingly mad for the oceanic treat in recent years. Come on by Friday between 3pm and 8pm, buzz-in with your app and proceed to enjoy the following specials that you simply can not attain without being properly buzzed…

·         $1 specialty Dolce Vodka cocktails (this will go away at 6pm, though)

·         Bar Swag Giveaways

·         Free Apps and Rolls

·         Gift Card Giveaways

·         $5 drink specials (assorted beverages)

So, sound good? I know. I know it does. We’ll see you there then! Also, give the bad boy below a scan with your app so we know you’re coming.

Sushi Zushi

3558 Oak Lawn Ave, Dallas TX, 75219

(214) 522-7253

House of Blues Entertainment unveiled its restaurant, “Crossroads at House of Blues,” a new dining experience featuring a menu created by noted celebrity chef Aaron Sanchez, known to television viewers for his appearances on numerous Food Network shows and culinary events across the country. 

Incorporating flavors from all over the world, Chef Aaron has created new signature dishes such as shrimp and grits, short rib meatball sliders, hand stretched grilled flatbreads, chile braised short ribs and street tacos.

“House of Blues is all about music, love, art and spirituality,” said Chef Sanchez.  “In many ways, those are the same ingredients for great food and that’s exactly what I’ve tried to capture in the new menu for the Crossroads restaurants.”

 
Previous House of Blues dining favorites like jambalaya remain on the menu and Chef Aaron has also created updated versions of House of Blues staples like cornbread, pulled pork sandwiches and signature burgers that feature unique twists.
 
House of Blues showcases the diversity of live music by presenting nearly every genre of music on its stages.  Crossroads at House of Blues also celebrates this spirit of diversity.  The cuisine is a mix of American and international inspired dishes created by one of the hottest chefs in America , culinary visionary Chef Sanchez. 
 
Surrounded by the unique folk art that fills the walls of the restaurant, Crossroads at House of Blues is a place where food, music and art intersect.
 
The new imagery for Crossroads at House of Blues is a combination of antique road signs and U.S. roadmaps. The rusted vintage road signs come from all over the world, reinforcing a multicultural cuisine back-story while also incorporating the overarching juke joint/roadhouse textures of the House of Blues brand.  The signs, maps and branding provide a subtle overall roadmap to the Crossroads experience.

The junction of Highway 61 and Highway 49 in Clarksdale is also designated as the famous crossroads where, according to legend, Robert Johnson supposedly sold his soul to the Devil in exchange for mastery of the blues, the truly American art form that the House of Blues clubs pay tribute to every day.

 

 

The above poster pretty much says it all. Texas versions of Oktoberfest brews (sounds familiar), north Texas bands, and the very cool Bryan Street Tavern will surely make for one heck of a weekend party. Saturday’s bill features a rocking vibe (don’t miss the mid-day sets from Soviet and Bad Design) while Sunday’s features a practical all-star line-up of Dallas’ best country acts (read: King Bucks, Grant Jones, The O’s, among others).

Don’t miss it. The above, award-winning poster will also be for sale there. Just in time for your holiday shopping, right??

Edible Austin’s Eat Drink Local Week is full of cool events that give everyone even more examples of why Austin is such a great and unique place to be. Perhaps the coolest event is the one that kicks it all off on the morning of December 3rd.

For starters, The Urban Farm Bicycle Tour just sounds cool, doesn’t it? Second of all, it is a cool event. Austin has always been a great biking town, and now, add pit-stops that include food from the best local farms and chefs in town and you have the best bike ride scenario this side of the French Alps.

For this, the fourth edition of the Bike tour, there will be 20 participating farms providing goodies at the various optional stops for this self-guided bike tour. Depending on where you start your tour, the ride can be up to 20 miles. So, yeah, that averages out to at least one local farm per mile. A pretty sweet ration, I’d say.

Yes, you will benefit greatly from a fun ride and great food, but even better, a couple of worthy organizations will also see some of the benefits from the Tour. the Sustainable Food Center and Urban Roots, two groups that look to get the word out about the advantages of living a more sustainable lifestyle, make for completely appropriate beneficiaries.

So, check those bike chains and get ready to raid Austin’s Urban Farms.

There’s a legit case to be made for why just about any season is great when it comes to seasonal brews. For this dude, however, Fall is about as good as it gets. The summer ales are great, and the winter warmers are perfect for those icy nights where the city seems to be shut down, but dang it if the ingredients that are fall staples don’t make a mean stein of lager.

For this north-Texas dweller, Fall beer season officially begins with the opening of Addison’s Oktoberfest. Even if I don’t actually go and partake of the admittedly limited marzen-flavored offerings, it’s just a good time-marker to leave the lighter pils and ales on the shelf and start spending some quality time with brews that get a tad darker and typically don’t require a lemon or lime to accompany it. Perhaps the various Oktoberfest brews and fall seasonals are the long-sleeve T-shirt that bridges the gap between summer tanks and swim trunks and the sweaters that enrobe us all in the winter months.

As you might’ve guessed by now; I haven’t exactly begun my Oktoberfest drinking season by hitting the Import section of the local beer depot. I’ve begun my seasonal celebration on the “Made in Texas” end of the aisle. Of course, we all know about Shiner Bock’s dependable ability to produce quality seasonal brews that often eclipse the greatness of the original style that made it’s name. While their Oktoberfest is surely a worthy one to grab, it’s not the best of the Texas lot, and by now, Shiner has become such a big deal in so many parts of the country, outside of the state, that it might be more of a stretch than any of us ever imagined to simply call Shiner a “Texas Beer”. Don’t get me wrong, of course it’s still an icon of Texas pop-culture and still very much a Texas creation, but it’s not just ours anymore, you know?

While I’m certainly leaving some out, there are three Texas-brewed Oktoberfests that are pretty available for just about any Lone Star resident that can help any beer lover ring in the season of Baseball playoffs, NFL regular season and raking leaves off of the lawn, once they’ve fallen from their trees.

St. Arnold Oktoberfest (Houston) – Perhaps the richest in flavor of the ones we’ll discuss, it’s a full bodied brew that has a heavier mouth feel than the others as well. I wouldn’t call it refreshing, but I would call it a great beer to sit and enjoy casually when you have the time to actually give some thought to what’s in your stein during that first slight, sub-75 degree “chill” in the air.

Rahr & Sons Oktoberfest (Ft. Worth) – The resilient brewer has certainly made a major comeback from the winter storm that collapsed their roof and crippled their operation during the icy weather of last winter. While not as rich as St. Arnold’s, it has a cleaner finish with every bit of flavor in it’s Marzen-styled, deep amber glory as its counterpart from Houston.

Real Ale Brewing Oktoberfest (Blanco) – With the cleanest finish of these three choices, it also might be the one that casual beer drinkers might prefer, thanks to a less aggressive overall flavor. It’s a good beer, and will still rank higher than your Sam Adam’s Oktoberfest’s and other larger breweries versions, but it isn’t likely to pass the test when pitted against the brewers who want to really make a strong point with perhaps the most famous of all seasonal styles. But, hey, it’s still good.

For those (like me) who also like to give a number of brews a try, give this list from the recently-defunct D/FW QUICK a try. It’s from last year, but it gave me a wonderful tour of beers that fit perfectly into the season.

Ft. Worth has certainly got this festival thing figured out. For those who maybe unaware, Ft. Worth’s Mayfest and Main St. Arts Festival are among the states (the country’s??) greatest outdoor and family friendly weekends of good-times, without question.

A relatively new one has been added to the docket, and judging from the line-up, it’s a good bet to join the ranks of great festivals that Ft. Worth will boast about to other, less-festival savvy neighbors for years to come.

What began as Jazz by the Boulevard a few years back has now blossomed into a multi-genre two day event with a bill that tips its hat to the festival’s jazz roots, as well as caters to indie-kids, frat boys and rockers who arent exactly in the prime of their youth any longer.

For a second, let’s try not to focus on the scrumptious offerings form the fleet of food-trucks that will be offering goodies to festival attendees. Let’s just talk about the musical offerings. Notable north-Texas acts, several of which have been discussed here on Best of Texas, such as Calhoun, Oil Boom, Seryn, Telegraph Canyon, The Orbans and John David Kent will prime the outdoor audiences for national touring headliners like Dawes (harmonic folk-rockers from California), Lucero (gritty cow-punks from Memphis) and the resurrected Meat Puppets (psych/punk/alt-rock pioneers now living in Austin) will join the likes of Kermit Ruffins (New Orleans king of swing and a regular on HBO’s Treme) and even Marica Ball will be on hand to close out the fun on the various stages over Friday and Saturday night.

Don’t Forget to check-out the after-party scene, too. Our personal favorite? the Friday night schedule at Lola’s where Johnny Corndawg, Robert Ellis and The King Bucks will each offer a different version of classic country sounds. 

WHAT: Ft. Worth Music Festival

WHEN: Sept 30 – Oct 1

WHERE: Will Rogers Memorial Center in Ft. Worth’s Historic Museum District.

WEBSITE:   http://www.fwfest.com/

 

There are precious few things that Texans hold more dear than a beautiful, perfectly smoked, juicy brisket. It’s safe to say, however, that helping fellow Texans in dire need is certainly one of the things that easily charts higher on that list.

For Hill Country dwellers, both lending a helping hand and carrying away some free BBQ can be done at the same time on Thursday at Rudy’s “Country Store” & Bar-B-Q in New Braunfels.

The Cans for Q Benefit looks to obtain donations of clothing, blankets, canned goods, bottled water and other vital items that will go a long way in assisting the victims of the recent wildfires in Bastrop County. In return for your generosity, you’ll walk away with a free quarter-pound of Rudy’s Brisket. A better deal for some great BBQ will be impossible to find.

Helping make it all happen for those who’s lives were devastated, and possibly destroyed, by the recent wildfires in Bastrop County is none other than the host of the excellent meat-and-Tex-centric PBS show Daytripper; Chet Garner.

The whole process couldn’t be easier, and the benefits of free food and being a galvanizing force in a community that’s hurting are certainly too much to pass up, right?

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What: Cans for Q Benefit

When: Thursday, Sept. 15, 2011 6:00pm – 9:00 pm

Where:Rudy’s “Country Store” & Bar-B-Q (936 Loop 337 New Braunfels, TX)

How:Bring any of the following items and receive a free quarter-pound of brisket, courtesy of Rudy’s Bar-B-Q ~ Non-perishible canned goods, toiletries, shampoo, soap, bottled water by-the-case, blankets, towels, diapers, clothing and shoes for either gender.

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You may remember a while back, we had a bunch of you out for one of our “Appy Hours” at The Nodding Donkey in Dallas. There’s been little debate as to whether the Thomas Ave spot is a quality stop for drinks and general after-work revelry. Now, with a new menu, it’s an even more attractive option. The Nodding Donkey has gone from being a “decent place for a drink” to the “perfect place to spend an entire evening.”

The goodies that have already become neighborhood faves remain on the menu – this isn’t some desperate overhaul, now – along with some lighter items that had been requested by many of the bar’s regulars. Want to take a look? Check out the Donkey’s website for a better look.

Also, be sure to check these specials out on specific nights of the week…

  • Sunday: $9.95 Baby Back Ribs
  • Monday: .50 cent Wings, $2.00 Purple Nurples and Deep Eddy Sweet Tea Vodka and $3.00 Jameson’s and Miller drafts.
  •  Tuesday: Trivia Night, $9.95 Bone-In Pork Chop
  • Wednesday: $8.95 Chicken Fried Steak with all the fixin’s