Teresa Gubbins’ top 5 CultureMap Dallas foodie picks from 2020
For starters, the headline is ironic. There is very little “foodie” about this list.
A real 2020 Dallas foodie list would have one elaborate yet simple pasta from Homewood Dallas, like this bucatini dusted with sourdough breadcrumbs; Chef Matt M. loves crumbs these days.
There should be a foodie find from one of the many obscure popups that multiplied during the coronavirus, possibly removed from the “Bata Eats” Instagram page. And definitely something Asian, perhaps a discovery from the Asian Grub in DFDUB Facebook page.
No legitimate Dallas foodie list would be complete without a piece Detroit style pizza and / or to take away from one of the Nashville-style hot chicken puts.
But this list doesn’t have any of them.
To his credit, there is an article from Eataly that brought Dallas into the foodie elite. Otherwise, these are just five things I liked.
Vegan Reuben sandwich at Mendocino Farms
Mendocino Farms is the California-based chain of gourmet sandwiches that debuted in Dallas in March 2020 and will open a second location in Addison in early 2021.
They have a handy to-go model and great sandwiches, including the vegan Reuben with vegan corned beef from Mrs. Goldfarbs Unreal Deli, a company that Mark Cuban, owner of Dallas Mavericks, has invested in.
The corned beef is an amazing fake with the flavorful taste and fluffy texture of the real thing. The sandwich also has apple and celery coleslaw, cucumber and smoky Thousand Island dressing on rye bread that has caraway seeds, very authentic.
White chocolate M&M peanuts
M & M’s have been releasing flavors such as coffee (also good), honey nut and chili nut for more than a decade. Their white chocolate promotion started with a white chocolate M&M in 2017, followed by white chocolate M&M peanuts in September 2018.
For 2020, they debuted in the Christmas edition of Sugar Cookie M & M’s with a white chocolate and sugar cookie flavored bowl and a crispy center. It came out in November and is now mostly on store shelves – but you can still find M & M’s white chocolate peanuts in some stores, including Walmart (and online for a pretty penny).
They are a godsend for fans of white chocolate, which has become increasingly popular in recent years – less sweet than milk chocolate and not as oppressive as dark chocolate because the peanut makes it appear “healthy”.
Integral bread in Eataly
To be honest, the best “bready” thing in Eataly, the Italian market in NorthPark Center, is the Roman-style pizza. The batter is made from a combination of three flours: 00 type flour, buratto flour, and whole wheat. The result is a crust that is thick and yet light, crispy and yet airy, and contains delicious toppings such as mushrooms and butternut squash.
But sometimes you want bread, and among Eatalys’s breads, the integral is my favorite.
If you ask Eataly, their best bread is The Rustic, a sourdough that is their best seller. You can get it plain or in flavors like olives, walnuts & raisins, and chocolate chips.
“Integrale” is Italy’s version of whole wheat bread, although it’s not as heavy or dense as whole wheat bread. Many versions of Integrale, including Eataly’s, have a bit of sweetness in them. Eataly’s also has a seed and herb mix on the loaf that gives the crust an irresistible charred toast flavor.
Red Bull Tail
This cola is part of a lemonade line that Red Bull launched in mid-2019. Named by Red Bull Organics, it has four flavors: cola, bitter lemon soda, tonic water, and ginger ale.
It really is my perfect idea of what soda should be, with artisanal ingredients and in a smaller size (8.4-ounce can, like regular Red Bull) than the usual 12-ounce soda.
Sometimes you just want a shot of something fizzy and sweet, but not a full 12 ounces, and not loaded with high fructose corn syrup and a ton of other junk.
Red Bull Cola contains carbonated water, sugar, flavor, and a range of plant extracts, including lemon, ginger, lime, vanilla, licorice, cinnamon, kola nut, cocoa, orange, cardamom, mint, pine, mace, and clove. It’s spicy, like a gourmet version of soda.
This isn’t the first time Red Bull has launched a cola: they debuted a similar cola in 2008 but discontinued it in 2011. Before their time. Pepsi launched a similar product with its line from 1893, but discontinued it in 2018.
Turnip greens at the Dallas Farmers Market
On a trip to the Dallas Farmers Market on December 5th, I got two large bunches of absolutely perfect beet greens from Gerald Pruitt of Pruitt Farms in Mexia, Texas.
Pruitt tried to give them to me for free because the turnips were small. But I buy beets for the greens. I love turnip greens.
Some Dallas classic cars still moan about the “old” farmers market and how convenient it was to pull up and shop for produce – despite the fact that most of the stalls used to be sold by vendors rather than farmers – the same not grown in Texas Fruits and vegetables that you could buy in any supermarket.
The current farmers market features actual farmers. Exclusively. It’s not as convenient as getting pineapples from Hawaii and strawberries from California, but it’s not a scam.
The Dallas Farmers Market will never be like a west coast market where so much of our food is grown. But with its cute collection of stores selling Texas meat, Texas wine and beer, popcorn, tamales, coffee, cheese, t-shirts, and gifts, some inside, others outside, it’s a lovely way to have a weekend To spend day, a place to take guests, just like the West Coast markets – and you go home with local produce.