In this week’s roundup, Sarah Blaskovich shares one of her favorite salads; Kevin Gray will convince you that bánh mì and pizza go well together; Tina Danze will make you make projects around cheese; Amanda Albee gives a great Monday night dinner idea; Tina-Tien Nguyen shares a summer special at a cafe that’s about to disappear for the year; and Kelly Dearmore is gearing up for fall with a beer that tastes like a cup of Reese’s Liquid Peanut Butter.
Here are the best things our food writers ate this week.
Chicken Parmesan Pesto Bowl at Sweetgreen
It’s not often I get excited about a salad, but I always come back to the Pesto and Parmesan Chicken Bowl at Sweetgreen. “Salad” might not even be the word here, since spinach is just a small part of the mix of roast chicken, shiny veggies, quinoa, pesto dressing, and hot sauce. The crunchy herb za’atar breadcrumbs are my favorite part. I also like that the employees at Sweetgreen ask how much dressing you want – no shade for people like me who want a heavy squeeze of that delicious pesto dressing.
Sweetgreen is a Los Angeles company growing in North Texas. Restaurants are now open in West Village, Deep Ellum and Lakewood, and Fort Worth is next. It is valued at just under $2 billion and recently went public. I’ll keep an eye on this place – and you should too. – Sarah Blaskovitchsenior food journalist
Bánh Mì Pizza at Neony Pizza Works
The pizza is good and the bánh mì is good, so it stands to reason that a bánh mì pizza would also be good. But you never really know until you eat the two in their combined form, which you can achieve at Neony Pizza Works, Oak Cliff’s friendly pizzeria. It starts with a 72-hour dough and is topped with mozzarella, cilantro aioli, lemongrass sausage, cucumber slices, pickled carrots, and fresh cilantro. The dough is soft and fluffy, and the pizza tastes fresh and surprisingly light, hitting some of the characteristic flavor notes of a bánh mì while still being a pizza. I also ordered the Cup and Char, another fancy concoction topped with pepperoni, tomato sauce, mozzarella and mascarpone. It may have been overkill, but you only regret the pizzas you didn’t eat. – Kevin Graycollaborating writer
Neony Pizza Works is located at 829 W Davis Street, Dallas, TX. neonypizza.com.
Two new cheese finds from Scardello Artisan Cheese
Sometimes I fall for an obscure artisan cheese; at $6 to $8 for 1/4 pound, I justify it as affordable luxury. If it’s a cheese I’ve never heard of, madness also brings a whiff of adventure. Recently I got lucky and scored two exquisite cheeses at Scardello: one made by a small producer in Spain, the other from Jasper Hill – a Vermont dairy farm, creamery and winery. cheese.
Leonora A Fuego is a dense and creamy, soft goat’s cheese rolled in pimentón (smoked Spanish paprika) before being aged for 40 days. Decadent and complex, the cheese shows off a lemony flavor, some acidity to balance its richness, and a spark of spice and smoke. Accompany it with a fruity sparkling rose or an off-dry Riesling.
Whitney, an Alpine-style raw milk cheese, won the Best of Show award at the 2022 American Cheese Society competition. It takes a lot to make it, and the result is a sense of place you can taste, along with a wonderfully smooth texture. It all starts with cow’s milk from grass-fed cows at Jasper Hill Farm. As the cheese ages in an underground cellar, it is washed in cultured brine infused with spent yeast – a byproduct of a nearby natural cellar. The result is a buttery, nutty cheese with a balance of sweet cream and fruity, earthy funk notes. It’s great on its own, and also as a melty cheese – try it on toast or potatoes. Accompany it with a hard cider, a seasonal beer or a fresh, mineral white wine, such as a Grüner Veltliner. —Tina Danze, Contributing Writer
Leonora A Fuego ($24.50/lb) and Whitney ($32/lb) from Scardello Artisan Cheese located at 3511 Oak Lawn Ave., Dallas, TX. scardellocheese.com.
Pizza Ortolana at the CiboDivino Marketplace
When Monday’s flooding forced me to take a detour on my school-to-home commute, my daughter and I ended up at Cibo Divino Marketplace, a place I consider Dallas’ best kid-friendly restaurant for parents who like to snack. Their wood-fired pizzas are guaranteed kid-friendly, but when I learned that Mondays are $10 pizza nights, I ordered an Ortolana for myself in addition to my daughter’s cheese pizza.
I had planned to take the pizza home, but after opening the box to take a picture, as food writers do, I couldn’t resist one bite – and then about 20 more – of this gooey pie that was literally dripping with late summer harvest vegetables. like braised zucchini, roasted peppers and sun-dried tomatoes. Grana padano graters gave the pizza salt, fresh arugula brought pepper, blackened crust bubbles a bit of crunch and a sip of extra virgin olive oil glided it for maximum crunch. pleasure. As I have always enjoyed Daniele Puleo’s quality but affordable wine list, I also had a glass of tempranillo. For $10 and an easy respite from traffic, the Ortolano pizza is the best thing I’ve eaten this week. – Amanda Albeecollaborating writer
CiboDivino Marketplace is located at 1868 Sylvan Ave., Suite D100, Dallas, TX. cibodivinomkt.com.
Sourdough Toast + Peach Preserves and Strawberry Field Latte at Staycation Cafe
At Staycation Coffee in Richardson, you can always enjoy the special delicious summer menu, the Sourdough Toast + Peach Preserves. Peach preserves are made by chef and owner Nicole Gregory, who drew inspiration from her upbringing in the countryside harvesting fresh jam and baked bread. The sourdough, which comes from Doughregarde’s Bake Shop, is a perfect pairing with peach jam. The two together are beautifully balanced and unforgettable. The crunch of the warm toast, along with the delicately sweetened peaches, make for a classic Southern comfort food snack, or as Staycation barista Brandon Giddens likes to describe it, “a summer morning country feel.” The dish also comes with butter, which perfectly complements the preserves.
And I can’t forget to mention the summer drinks. Strawberry Fields Latte is one of Staycation’s most popular drinks. You can order it hot or iced, but I highly recommend making it cold. After all, it’s still hot outside! Like Peach Preserves, this is also one of Gregory’s homemade recipes and is made with basil syrup, oat milk, two espresso shots from Tweed Coffee Roasters, and fresh strawberries. Iced latte alongside canned peach toast is what every Texan should experience in the summer – Southern hospitality through a home-cooked meal. – Tina Tien Nguyencollaborating writer
Staycation Coffee is located at 201 S. Texas St., Richardson. staycationtx.com.
Peanut Butter Temptress from Lakewood Brewing Company
I’ve noted it before in this delightful weekly space, but it bears repeating — I’m a sucker for imperial stouts. The more imperial the stout, the better. So velvety that the only more appropriate name might be Royal beer. In D-FW, craft beer lovers are blessed with a glorious lineup of imperial stouts from local brewers. While others might take the start of football season or a new school year as official markers of the arrival of fall, I take the arrival of Lakewood Brewing Company’s Peanut Butter Temptress as my sign that fall is coming. summer is coming to an end.
This beer is part of the brewery’s Seduction Series, which features flavorful stouts using the brewery’s beloved Temptress Imperial Milk Stout as a base. The Peanut Butter Temptress is, as the brewery suggests, like drinking a cup of Reese’s Peanut Butter. The first puff of sweet roasting from the glass is a treat in itself. Brewed with peanuts, sea salt and cocoa, this 9.1% ABV delight is ideal for dessert or for a laid-back weekend sip when you feel like a little treat after a long week. Peanut Butter Temptress is available in 4-packs and on draft at various outlets and bars as well as the brewery dining room. – Kelly Dearmorecollaborating writer
Lakewood Brewing Company is located at 2302 Executive Dr., Garland, TX. lakewoodbrewing.com.