The best thing about living in a neighborhood like Oak Cliff, Texas is that it truly is a neighborhood. We have our own bakeries,meat markets,artists,and best of all we have restaurants that serve everything from thick juicy burgers (Hunkys) to vegetarian (Spiral Diner).
I feel very fortunate to be able to drive less than a mile and be able to experience food and dining that I think is some of the best in the US. As a foodie I’ve had some remarkable meals but when I want to “come home” I go to Hattie’s. Imagine an experience where you can feast with your eyes as well as your palette. Hattie’s is an anchor of the Bishop Arts District of Oak Cliff and is a destination not to be missed. The restaurant is very Southern – from it’s hospitality to it’s menu but with a contemporary twist. The owner is usually there to welcome you, we have fallen in love with Sam who fixes us the best drinks in town (and remembers us the next time we visit and what we love to drink!)and the wait staff has always been very knowledgeable about the menu and generous with their recommendations.
The menu? Heaven on a plate. If you have never sampled Fried Green Tomatoes, this is the place to experience them. I’ve ordered them more times than I care to admit and they have been perfection every time. Even something as simple as the house salad is something to fall in love with, and I have.
Don’t overlook the specials, because they are typically designed around the freshest ingredients available. I went in last week planning on ordering the prerequisite fried green tomatoes and a salad, but after hearing about the Porterhouse steak and bean medley I had to try it. And I wasn’t disappointed -the portions were large enough that I had some to throw some on the grill and enjoy the next day.Call me crazy, but I have decided my personal diet plan is if I am going to put it in my mouth it is going to be something I enjoy and the freshest, best, most favorable item that I can find. Hattie’s makes it easy, and that is one of the reasons I go back as often as possible.
If you aren’t as fortunate as I am to live in the neighborhood you should at least check out their website. The photography is spectacular and it will give you a great excuse to come and visit.
I am so excited that Dallas Superstar Lisa Garza has made it to the finals of The Next Food Network Star!
I’ve been fortunate enough to meet her and experience her food, and she not only deserves to be on the show she deserves to win.
The first time that I noticed Lisa it was at a Savor Dallas event that her restaurant was participating in. She has such great style – every time that I’ve seen her it has been with her wearing one of her signature aprons that I love. She just has such a great presence, and seems to understand what it takes to be a public presence. I can’t wait to see the show and see how she does!
One of the bonuses of living in an ethnic-diverse neighborhood is getting to experience other people’s cultures. My Hispanic neighbors know how to entertain, and I think that some of their grilling skills could put The Food Network’s Sandra Lee of Semi-Homemade Cooking with Sandra Lee to shame. Oh wait – my grand-daughter’s cooking skills are better than hers so probably bad comparison.
When it gets hot around here we start having these street vendors come around that have bicycles with a cooler on the front. They sell various Hispanic goodies, but my favorites are the ice pops that are made locally with great gourmet flavors. Pineapple, vanilla with raisins, and my favorite – mango with chilies. They typically cost $1.00 and are filled with fresh fruits and juices, little or no added sugars and are around 100 calories each. You just can’t beat them. I just got back from walking the dogs and passed a vendor so now I’m treating myself with a mango chile. Fortunately I like hot, spicy foods because these really pack a punch!
There’s nothing like a professional stirring up a pot of controversy, and a recent Blog posting by Anthony Bourdain about “talent” at the Food Network has done just that. His witty and insightful comments about the dumbing down of the Food Network have been showing up on Blogs coast to coast so he obviously was expressing an opinion that many share.
His comments about never-a-lifestylist Sandra Lee:
“SANDRA LEE: Pure evil. This frightening Hell Spawn of Kathie Lee and Betty Crocker seems on a mission to kill her fans, one meal at a time. She Must Be Stopped. Her death-dealing can-opening ways will cut a swath of destruction through the world if not contained. I would likely be arrested if I suggested on television that any children watching should promptly go to a wooded area with a gun and harm themselves. What’s the difference between that and Sandra suggesting we fill our mouths with Ritz Crackers, jam a can of Cheez Wiz in after and press hard? None that I can see. This is simply irresponsible programming. Its only possible use might be as a psychological warfare strategy against the resurgent Taliban–or dangerous insurgent groups. A large-racked blonde repeatedly urging Afghans and angry Iraqis to stuff themselves with fatty, processed American foods might be just the weapon we need to win the war on terror.”
And about one of the nicest (and smartest) guys on television today:
“ALTON BROWN: How did Alton slip inside the wire–and stay there all these years? He must have something on them. He’s smart. You actually learn something from his commentary. And I’ll admit it: I watch and enjoy Iron Chef America-in all its cheesy glory. Absolutely SHOCKED and thrilled when guys like Homaru Cantu show up as contestants–and delighted when Mario wins–again and again, forestalling his secretly long-planned execution. His commentary is mostly good. And that collar-bone snapping fall off the motorcycle on Feasting On Asphalt? Good television!”
Bourdain also had great commentary on one of my favorite new shows: Ace of Cakes: “That said, it’s the only “kicky, new, cutting edge, in-your-face” hopeful they’ve managed to trot out of any quality in memory. Hope it lasts. Wait till they try and put the poor bastard on a pony–or do a “Tailgate Special” with the usual suspects. Or a “Thanksgiving Special” where he has to sit down with the bobbleheads and pretend to like it. On balance, it’s still probably the best new project they’ve come up with in a long, long time.”
Trust me, the entire article is a must read for anyone that’s concerned about the culinary crisis in America, or is just in the mood for some great snarking. Great job, Chef Bourdain!