Big D Blog: Cowboy Chow in Deep Ellum

December 9, 2010 by · Comments Off 

Posted By Jackson Butt

While stumbling around deep ellum dressed as a zombie, I shuffled into a place called Cowboy Chow.  As a promotion for Zombie Walk Dallas, Cowboy Chow was offering a free shot of bacon infused bourbon with any drink purchase.  So, I ordered a round and received an excellent bloody mary with tequila instead of vodka, and my complimentary shot of bacon infused bourbon. 

I don’t have much experience in infused liquors, but from what I know they are usually made with sweet things, like pineapple or orange, not bacon.

The shot looked like someone had poured the leftover bacon grease directly into the bourbon.  The congealed fat had formed hundreds of tiny white spheres that were suspended in the bourbon, so it was little surprise when the shot tasted exactly like bacon and bourbon.  I love bacon, but I think I’ll stick to eating it in solid form.

The food at Cowboy Chow is excellent.  Their specialty is brisket, which is in many of their dishes: tacos, flautas, chili, grilled cheese, and a brisket and mashed potato parfait.  I have returned to Cowboy Chow several times and have thoroughly enjoyed the menu and the service.

Big D Blog: Deep Ellum Update

December 9, 2010 by · Comments Off 

Posted By Jackson Butt

It’s nice to see some life out of Deep Ellum since the area’s collapse in 2005-2007.  There are still many empty storefronts and for lease/sale signs, but there are also some new places that I hope can stick around.  The chances of Deep Ellum returning to past glory are slim to none, but that can be a good thing.  It was the overwhelming popularity of the area that led to higher rent, larger dance clubs, and less daytime businesses. 

Besides the re-opening of Trees, there are two new music venues on Elm Street, 2826 Arnetic and La Grange.  Both of these are mid-size clubs that can accommodate around 300 people.  La Grange also has an attached restaurant. Other Restaurants that have opened in the area are the Anvil Pub, Cowboy Chow, and Po-Bill’s Cafe.

Deep Ellum still needs more foot traffic to help out business, but daytime businesses, like restaurants, shops, and galleries, will help with that. I hope that Deep Ellum continues to grow back with the support of legitimate businesses whose interest is in the neighborhood.

VIDEO: Food Stamps Save Dallas Families

December 8, 2010 by · Comments Off 

Video by Aileen Garcia

VIDEO: Food Stamps from on Vimeo.

The economy continues to affect people across the nation causing many to turn to food stamps to help feed their families.

“I just don’t want people to think that people that come to the food stamp office to apply for welfare they are lazy or don’t work,” said Patricia Wilson, a Dallas case worker. “I see a lot of working families that really work hard trying to provide for their families.”

According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture Texas has the highest number of food stamp recipients. Helping almost 4 million families per year.

“In September we only had to serve 600 people to get recertified in the month of October it doubled,” said Shriley Flinn, Supervisor at the Cadiz Health and Human Services Office.

Families must meet special need requirements to qualify for food stamps.

“You have to have low income, you have to be a citizen of the U.S., you have to have your ID, you have to have verification of where you live, and who all lives in the house,” said Flinn.

A small card can make a difference in a families life.

“As long as she is fed then that’s all that matters,” said Jessica Shotwell, a food stamp recipient. “You can tell, you know, that she’s well fed.”

“Coming first hand I just moved here with no job and without food stamps I honestly probably couldn’t feed my family,” said Wilson

Food stamps give families the opportunity to purchase healthy foods, which are more expensive than junk food.

“You would think that we would just go crazy and start throwing junk food,” said Shotwell. We don’t do that. I spend it like it’s your money that you work hard for.”

Food stamps have helped many people affected by the economy, while some people see it as an easy way out.

“They have this system, so they can I think they rely on it” said Flinn.

“I see people that have degrees that come here, but it’s just jobs are really not available to them right now and they need help, said Wilson”

Some people think those who use food stamps are taking advantage of the system, but others like Jessica Shotwell say they are just trying to find a way to feed their children.

“I’m very thankful because when she was first born you could get formula from food stamps, said Shotwell”

Families continue to struggle in the tough economy and food stamps helps them put food on the table.

The Daily Update: Monday, Nov 29

November 29, 2010 by · Comments Off 

The Daily Update: Monday, Nov 29 from on Vimeo.

After black Friday comes cyber Monday and we have all the details, conflict between North and South Korea continues, and the makers of Fiji water call it quits.

Dallas Farmer’s Market Provides Something for Everyone

April 5, 2010 by · 1 Comment 

By Natalie Blankenship

Most people head down to Dallas’ Farmer’s Market expecting to see buckets full of brilliantly colored fruits and vegetables while farmers offer up slices of their locally grown pineapple and cantaloupe. Who knew you could also go to the market and pick up a piece of jewelry or walk away with a mosaic mirror just shipped in from Mexico?

Located on 1010 South Pearl Expressway, the farmer’s market has an enclosed shed tucked away near the back for items other than fresh produce or plants. Inside the 26,000-square-foot, newly-remodeled building, shoppers can find just about anything: A counter stocked with silver jewelry imported from Taxco, Mexico; A store with aroma therapy candles, soaps, scrubs and body sprays; An African store with T-shirts, wood products, leather products and oils; A store selling Mexican imported mirrors, paintings and pottery; A counter selling glass products; and even a sausage company.

New vendors are appearing, but old vendors will remain selling their products. Restaurants are being built as the building moves towards hosting more food and food related vendors.

Stephanie Heard, an employee of a soap shop called Abundantly Aromatic, believes that the city is doing a lot to get more customers to the market.

“They’re doing a lot of marketing and getting a lot of new vendors our here to make it grow, so the more people out here, the better the business is,” Heard said.

The idea of enclosing part of the market and adding air conditioning and heat unit happened about three years ago. At first, vendors ranged from soap to silver. The shed is currently about three quarters full, but is growing rapidly. Food vendors and restaurants predominately fill the indoor portion, but vendors like Silver Springs Design have been there for 16 years and are here to stay, said Dallas Farmer’s Market customer service employee Liz Scoggin. Soon, the building will have a Greek restaurant, a Bar-B-Q catering company and other food venues, Scoggin said.

The Dallas Farmer’s Market opened as a city owned and operated market in 1941. It underwent a $15 million renovation in the 1990′s, which included a new resource center and the indoor shed, according to the Dallas Farmer’s Market Friends Web site. The Dallas Farmer’s Market Friends organization works to raise money for development and promotion of the Dallas Farmer’s Market, according to their Facebook page.

Owner of Silver Springs Design, Audrey McGarity has been importing and selling silver jewelry out of the Dallas Farmer’s Market with her husband Johnny McGarity for 16 years. She became interested in selling jewelry after her daughter moved to Taxco, Mexico, otherwise known as the “Silver Town,” to be a silversmith and an artist.

The McGaritys spent nearly 13 years selling silver jewelry out of an open-air shed at the market alongside the fresh produce. They had garage-type pull-down doors with no heating or air conditioning.

“It was kind of rustic in here,” McGarity said.

Some SMU students don’t realize that the farmer’s market is a quick 10 minute drive from campus. Others are unaware that items other than fruits and vegetables are sold. A Plano resident, sophomore Steven Kitt says he went when he was very young but all he remembers seeing are stands with different farmers selling their produce. Kitt was surprised when he learned that artisan items, jewelry and other items non-food related are sold at the farmer’s market.

SMU sophomore Idean Saki says he has never been to the market, but he’s heard from his classmates that it’s a great place to go to pick up cheap locally grown fruits and vegetables.

George Jackson, a sophomore attending  Richland College in Dallas, lives in an apartment building so close to the market that he can actually see it from his window. Jackson said that he goes to the farmer’s market frequently to buy his groceries and to browse the indoor shed. It’s very uncommon for college students to go to the market, Jackson said.

“No one my age goes there,” he said.

When Jackson first stumbled upon the indoor shed, he was drawn in by the local free range meat and the knife sharpeners.

“It reminded me of going to horse shows and going to the exhibits, they have all the same artisan stuff,” he said.

Because the enclosed shed is going to be mostly food related, McGarity is looking on the bright side and hoping the restaurants will bring them more customers as well.

“We’re hoping it’s going to help everybody,” McGarity said. “I think it’s going to get better.”

According to Heard, owner of Abundantly Aromatic, Renee Mitchell makes all of her products in her kitchen and in her garage. She has been at the market for about eight years, but has sold her homemade products out of her home for even longer. Her business has continued to grow with her booth at the farmer’s market, a booth in Coppell and a recent contract to have her merchandise at Central Market, Heard said.

Sometimes it’s difficult for small businesses at the market to advertise. Abundantly Aromatic has both a Web site and a page on Facebook. Not only do they have their business name online, but they also have a more efficient way to bring business in.

“Her products are just repeat customers coming back,” Heard said. “It sells itself, basically.”

Arts Beat: The Art of Brunch & Breakfast

April 19, 2009 by · Comments Off 

Spring is in the air, and there’s nothing better than – having slept in – sitting outside on a patio enjoying breakfast … Or lunch. Brunch is undoubtedly my favorite meal of the week, and I’d guess the same for most Dallas denizens. Most restaurants offer a special brunch menu, and some of the items are like works of art (except better, because you can eat them).

The cardinal items on a brunch menu are a) pancakes and b) eggs and omelets. Yesterday I went to Original Pancake House, where the pancakes aren’t “International,” but darn good anyway. Open until 2 p.m. daily, it’s clearly a brunch expert. Almost everything on the menu came with a side of “three delicious buttermilk pancakes.” Their omelets were massive, and so were the plates of French toast. I opted for a “smaller appetite” dish of one scrambled egg with three blueberry pancakes. Good thing I downsized, or else I probably would have eaten another stack of those fluffy, powdered sugar dusted flapjacks. And just take a look at a picture of their Dutch Baby pancake. Mmmm. Poor IHOP…

For eggs, go to La Duni. If you haven’t tried the Huevos Finos – poached eggs with Gruyere cheese and Hollandaise sauce in a piping hot popover – prepare to be enlightened. The prettiest presentation is the homemade yogurt & granola. The granola is perfectly packaged, and the plate comes with honey in a shot glass and a side of bananas and strawberries.

Other brunch faves: Beignets at Toulouse, frittatas at Penne Pomodoro, sandwiches at Bread Winners, and the buffet at Blue Mesa.

They’re just more reasons to look forward to the weekend.

–posted by Jaimie Siegle

Arts Beat Blog: A New Taste of Italian

April 16, 2009 by · Comments Off 

Are you looking for some good Italian food other than Olive Garden? Well, your best choice is to head to Campisi’s off Mockingbird. The boxed-in restaurant with hardly any parking space has plenty of room for its customers on the inside. There are seats in the entrance, a corner room to the back right, and a huge bar area to the left.

The lights were extremely dimmed and set the mood for a nice family, friends or couple dinner. I was escorted to the table right in front of the big screen at the bar. The waiter was on time; she kept the tasty strawberry lemonades coming.

The waitress brought out Campisi’s delicious salad. It reminds you of Olive Garden’s salads, but it has a different taste to it. It’s by far the best meal of the night, if you are a salad eater. Campisi’s is known for its pizza to some people, but I prefer not because it doesn’t look or taste like Pizza Hut or Dominoes. On the other hand, I ordered the chicken parmesan and fettuccine alfredo with a side of toast.

Overall it’s a nice place to go out and watch the games, or plan a nice dinner with two or some family. Campisi’s isn’t your typical Italian food – It’s a family restaurant and a place you can eat old-fashioned Italian food.

Posted by Brittany Gilliam

Arts Beat: Yogilicious is Delicious

April 8, 2009 by · Comments Off 

There is no way of getting around a sweet tooth in my family. Growing up, we always had dessert and if we didn’t make a chocolaty concoction pre-made, then we were in the Dairy Queen drive-through as fast as you can say Reese’s Pieces.

When I left home in Oregon, it was the end of my childhood.? Because I was the youngest of six and left my parents empty-nesters, I no longer crave my “chocolaty concoctions.” Like all kids, you grow up at your own pace and start to figure out what we like and don’t like and what we can’t live without.

Ever since I have been living in Texas, I have developed a love for frozen-yogurt, something I never knew existed in my childhood. Although Eugene, Oregon is not the trendiest spot, it can usually keep up in its own way. However, frozen-yogurt was non-existent.

I live in the West village neighborhood where the sun seems to always shine on all the right places, including Yogilicious. I walked in one fall evening after my sorority chapter and was intimidated by all the machines. I wasn’t sure how to approach this fro-yo madness. There were close to 12 different flavors and people could taste any of them before making a final decision. This was heaven to me.

About four of the seven nights per week, I get Green-Tea fro-yo at Yogilicious. I’m not your typical zen-powered, yoga buff, but this green-tea frozen-yogurt has become an essential part of my daily routine. Think what you want, but I like to think its as good for me as green-tea is for anyone. After all, green-tea is supposed to be apart of everyone’s diet on a daily basis. I’d say I’m off to a good start.

A small cup that is not-so-small, gives me a boost of energy. It is a zing, bitter taste that captures my palette each time. It doesn’t hurt to add some sort of textured crunch to your delectable dessert either. I usually choose the yogurt chips, but other times, the granola is mmm…mmm…yogilicious!

Yogilicious:? 3800 McKinney suite 160,? Dallas, TX 75204

(214) 521-7888

Posted by Christina Murphy

Campus News Blog: Frozen Yogurt Trend Hits Dallas

April 2, 2009 by · Comments Off 

Posted by Nikki Pasrija

Orange Cup. Yogilicious. I Heart Yogurt.

Look around Dallas, and you’ll see that the frozen yogurt trend, or fro-yo, has taken off.

D Magazine gives seven reasons why Dallas-ites love this ice cream substitution. Whether it’s health reasons (immunity boosts? calcium?) or the concept of building-your-own (found at hotspots like Yogurtland, Yogurtville, and Yogilicious) it seems like frozen yogurt is on a fast track.

Frozen yogurt purveyor Red Mango opened its first U.S. location in July 2007 in California. Frequent celeb-sightings helped re-popularize the dessert, and now the Korean-based company is expanding rapidly (although it’s not in Texas yet).

But Dallas seems to have sprouted its own crop of fro-yo locations, from the nearly mainstream Wild about Harry’s to the less well known like Bliss and Natsumi. Especially popular is the idea of self-serve. It’s a veritable yogurt buffet of soft-serve and fresh toppings.

So go ahead, dig into the trend. But if it’s health reasons that make you choose yogurt over ice cream, be wary of that build-your-own deal.

Arts Beat: You Feeling Lucky?

March 30, 2009 by · Comments Off 

After waking up craving a big, cold, glass of water and a meal that could take any hangover away, my friend and I headed to Lucky’s. We drove around for what seemed like hours looking for a parking spot but finally found one across the street. We walked up to a silver, shiny building with the bright green letters that spelt Lucky’s. It looked like this building had taken a ride in Doc Brown’s DeLorean straight from the 1950′s.
Once you stop being mesmerized with how the sun hits the shiny building and walk inside, you will see it is bustling with people. The atmosphere once inside is very welcoming to ALL types of people. You can not deny all the different characters in Lucky’s. I do not recommend Lucky’s for all you country club, super conservative, sweater tied around your neck people, you MUST be opened minded to feel comfortable at Lucky’s, just to be honest.
The food is descent. It will fill you up but might not hit the spot you want to fill. My friend ordered the breakfest tacos and was a bit disapointed. The mound of eggs with cheese melted on them sat next to refried beans. Instead of the tacos being put together for you, they came out fajita style. We couldn’t figure it out but they were just missing something. You know, that something that takes an okay meal to a great meal.
My breakfest sandwich wasn’t bad. I would not order this on a date, it fell apart in several places and was VERY messy. I had to ask for a second napkin, not the most lady like meal. The two toasted pieces of bread were suppose to hold together the egg, lettus, bacon, but became so crumbly I was forced to use my fork and knife. Once I figured out how to eat the sandwich, it was a satisfying meal.
All in all you go to Lucky’s for the feel of it. The food is not terrible but there are better places to eat, but only at Lucky’s can you get the true feel of the 50′s mixed in with very modern characters.

Posted by Mary Summers

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