Tag Archives: SMU

SMU students can hitch a free ride to White Rock market

There's even more than local vegetables at White Rock Local Market, including local jellies, coffee and olive oil as well as meats and eggs. Oh, yeah, and you can find some pretty tasty, all-natural popsicles, too! (Photo courtesy of White Rock Local Market)

There’s even more than local vegetables at White Rock Local Market, including local jellies, coffee and olive oil as well as meats and eggs. Oh, yeah, and you can find some pretty tasty, all-natural popsicles, too! (Photo courtesy of White Rock Local Market)

Maybe it’s in my head, but it really does feel cooler. Not I-can-finally-wear-a-sweater cool, but cooler than triple-digit heat.

When this time starts coming around, it gets easier to do some outdoor activities. One place I love to be, but find myself miserably hot in July, is the White Rock Local Market. It’s not the somewhat massive arrayyou’ll find in Austin on a Saturday, but it is a good spot to find local vegetables, products, meat and — if you’re lucky and they’re not sold out — eggs.
You can tell by the crowd there on Saturdays that I’m not the only one who likes this place. But on top of that, folks at SMU are taking notice, too. Starting this month and running the first two Saturdays of each month (excluding October), a shuttle will run from the campus to the East Dallas market.
SMU students, faculty and staff now have a free ride there via the Oasis Shuttle. And they can thank students Gabriella Padgett, Paul Curry and Lisa Walters, who presented a proposal to the SMU Provost Office’s Big iDeas grant program. This shuttle program is run entirely by students, and it’s a service that’s expected to grow over the next few years.
The Oasis Shuttle will pick up at the flagpole on campus the first and second Saturdays of each month between9:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. This gives you plenty of time to stroll around the White Rock area before or after you buy your squash. You can follow updates on the shuttle on Twitter.
For those who want to visit the White Rock market more than those first two Saturdays of the month, you can take yourself. It’s open from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. through Dec. 14.
The first and third Saturdays of the month, markets are at Lakeside Baptist Church, 9015 Garland Road. The markets on the second and fourth Saturdays are at the Green Spot, 702 N. Buckner Blvd.
For more information, check out whiterocklocalmarket.com.

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Filed under Events, Local

A granola that makes a sizable impact

Plenty of people would get excited for pie. Probably more would be excited for cupcakes. But what about cereal? Better yet, what about granola?

Impact Foods has granola that can get you excited for cereal again. (Photos by TAYLOR ADAMS)

Impact Foods has granola that can get you excited for cereal again. (Photos by TAYLOR ADAMS)

There’s more than one reason I can get behind any flavor of Impact Foods’ granola. For one, the Dallas-based business is headed up by two SMU grads. Second, they’re the Tom’s Shoes of cereal: buy one $5.83 bag, and they’ll supply a meal to a starving child.

As someone who has seen hungry children on the streets of Haiti, this idea hits home for me. To read more about how Uptown residents Ben Hurt and Blaine Iler are making a difference, check out this story on them from neighborsgo.

Now, $5.83 is worth supplying food for a child, but it’s more than warranted when you get something you can’t stop eating in return.

For a while, I’ve heard that these small bags of granola were amazing — either in a bowl with milk or scooped straight out of the bag with your bare hand. When I say, “amazing,” this is a word that came from others’ testimonies. That’s an extreme statement. So when a coworker plopped a couple of bags in the food-to-share area of our office, I thought I wasn’t missing much by skipping the cereal for an afternoon snack.

Finally, about a month later, I couldn’t resist the urge to open up my own bag when Lindsey Miller, who handles public relations for Impact Foods, handed me to flavors to try.

The blueberry-honey granola is packed with clusters and a fitting breakfast food.

The blueberry-honey granola is packed with clusters and a fitting breakfast food.

I started with the blueberry-honey granola, which offers suited tastes for a morning meal. The bits of blueberry make you think of summer, and the honey isn’t just a slight sweetness, you can really taste it. This one is mostly clusters, while the other bag had lots of oats.

This other bag also had a flavor listed on the bag that I was less than excited about: pumpkin spice. The two words may get you excited — you want pumpkin everything once a chill finally comes to the Dallas air. And, I’m not totally excluded; I’ll have one pumpkin spice latte once Starbucks starts promoting them. I’m also a fan of the occasional cinnamon-pumpkin pancake. But this flavor of autumn has penetrated almost anything it can, with poor executions all over the place.

So, pumpkin spice and granola? I wasn’t setting the bar high. I also intended to share it, until I tried some.

The pumpkin spice granola has oats and pumpkin seeds--all of which you'll want to consume.

The pumpkin spice granola has oats and pumpkin seeds–all of which you’ll want to consume.

I almost had no control. The flavor is delectable, but subtle. There isn’t an overwhelming, almost- heat of a spice, but a sweet warmth that has plenty of sugar and cinnamon. While the honey-blueberry granola is an ideal breakfast, this would be a good choice for dessert.

Impact Foods has the pumpkin spice for the season. Its other, year-long flavors include maple oat and vanilla almond, which I already have confidence in.

If the taste isn't enough, the fact that Impact Foods gives back for every bag purchased will interest you.

If the taste isn’t enough, the fact that Impact Foods gives back for every bag purchased will interest you.

Impact Foods
Impact Foods granola is vailable at stores such as EatZi’s and Whole Foods; you can also visit the Impact Foods website to order online and see what other local stores carry the product.

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Filed under American, Breakfast

Pho is for Lovers: A cure for what ails you

Just the smell of pho can make you feel like your cold is going away. What’s nice about the smell coming from a bowl at Pho is for Lovers, though, is that you didn’t have to go up to Richardson or Plano to get it.

The beef pho at Pho is for Lovers comes with filet, brisket and meatballs. (Photos by TAYLOR ADAMS)

The staff at pho is efficient in taking and preparing the orders, whether or not you’re staying in or taking a bag of the soup home to assemble yourself. If you’re a Dallas resident, then your drive home isn’t what it might be from a good joint up north, so your broth stays a piping-hot temperature.

The noodles at the bottom of the bowl are significantly better than when the restaurant opened up in the summer of 2011. Staying loose, they mix well with the beef filet and brisket which the steaming broth is finally poured over. (The beef pho comes with meatballs: I do recommend skipping these round, rubbery concoctions.)

The brown, paper sack is packed with broth, the pho necessities of noodles, scallions, onions and beef, optional items of sprouts, basil and sauce, and chopsticks.

After a crumple of basil and a squeeze of lime is added, a balanced broth offers a savory taste full of scallions and cilantro. A hint of ginger brings a slight sweetness that’s needed but not overwhelming.

The brisket is nothing too special: fatty, short slices of the beef get entangled in the noodles and offer a buttery bite. The real satisfaction in protein comes from the lengthy slices of filet. Cooked barely enough to be edible from the broth, this tender meat is worth digging through the soup with your chopsticks.
There’s plenty of other menu items to pursue if you’re not a pho lover or if you’re not looking to soothe your worsening cold. Try the grilled pork banh mi for a salty, crisp meat paired with fresh veggies in a light baguette.

The beef pho to go with filet and brisket.

Pho is for Lovers
Location: 5521 Greenville Ave., Ste. 105, Dallas972-708-1028
Hours: Monday through Thursday, 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Friday and Saturday, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Sunday, 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Price: $
Service: Friendly. Walk-up order, to-go orders available
Ambiance: Clean, modern feel
Attire: Casual
Payment Information: Major credit cards accepted
Alcohol: None served
Seating: Indoor, with a few tables and chairs outside on the sidewalk

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Filed under Vietnamese

Strive for taste sometimes becomes desperate at Desperados

The thought of having a cheese enchilada and a margarita on the rocks within walking distance sounds like a fine setting.The idea would be better, however, if it were on a beach and the destination were some place other than Desperados Mexican Restaurant.

The namesake tacos are fine and a safe order when dining in the intimate joint. Crispy, greasy flour tortillas hold melted jack cheese in the middle of the fold, topped with cuts of steak (or chicken, if you so choose), a few dices of tomatoes and a thin slice of fresh avocado.

Desperados tacos (Photo by TAYLOR ADAMS)

Dressed shreds of lettuce sit on the side of the Desperados tacos. While that space on the plate would be better suited to some rice, the lettuce does bring a chilly freshness to the greasy, but savory tacos. The shell is salty, the steak is well seasoned and the cheese is perfectly melted. (Come in after 5 p.m. on a Thursday and get these for $5.95 instead of $9.99 and they almost taste a little better.)

The attempt at queso (Photo by TAYLOR ADAMS)

But the perfection in melted cheese isn’t always accomplished. The queso comes in a small cup, topped with a sprinkle of paprika, looking similar to Mi Cocina’s, but not living up to that taste. There’s effort put into it, with a small presence of peppers, but it lacks onions and any real kick or flavor. Needless to say, I can safely assume it’s a queso of which Leslie Brenner would definitely not approve.

The servers are quick and attentive, though there’s a good chance you could have three or four attending to your table during your meal. Our first waitress suggested that my order of sangria be upgraded to the larger, 12-ounce option. After seeing the other miniature glasses beverages came in, the $1.05 upgrade seemed worth it. The sangria is a little too artificially sweet, similar to the way plastic bottles of grape juice are loaded with just too much sugar.
Even while it’s somewhat buried by being at the bottom of the tri-fold menu, the list of Tex-Mex options should taste better. If visitors dare to go with these, they can choose from a meal of two, three or four options, all of which come with sides of fresh and flavorful rice and a small puddle of refried beans that need some salt.

Cheese taco and cheese enchilada are two options for a Tex-Mex plate. (Photo by MICHAEL DANSER)

The cheese enchilada and soft cheese taco sound like safe options, but the enchilada simply lacks significant flavor and the soft cheese taco has a fresh corn tortilla drowning it what appears and tastes to be the same disappointing “queso” that arrived in the white, plastic cup before the meal.

Desperados Mexican Restaurant
Location: 4818 Greenville Ave. in Dallas, 75206 (See website for other location)
Hours: 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday through Thursday, 11 a.m. to 11 p.m Friday through Saturday
Price: $-$$
Ambiance:  Intimate, casual, quick service
Attire: Casual
Payment Information: Major credit cards accepte
Alcohol: Full bar

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Filed under Tex-Mex/Mexican

New York Subs a Dallas standard

In Philadelphia, it’s a hoagie. In Boston, a grinder; in Chicago, a sub; and in some parts of New York, it’s a wedge.

While growing up, my mother would always call it simply a sandwich; it quickly became known as a sub to me.

My brother and I didn’t grow up in Chicago, but we did live near New York Sub in University Park.

It was a favorite destination for bike rides with friends, but even when going to school at SMU, it remained a convenient and desired lunch spot.

It is the kind of ordering line where you have to know what you’re getting. Don’t go up to the person behind the high counter and waste time, asking what kind of cheese is available. It’s best to pick your favorite and hope they have it (and they probably do, as long as it’s nothing too daring.)

A sandwich of ham, salami, provolone, lettuce, oregano and oil from New York Sub. (Photo by TAYLOR ADAMS)

The best option here is to go with the cold cuts. The thinly sliced meat is perfectly folded underneath the shredded lettuce. Even more importantly, on top of the lettuce is the adequate amount of oregano and oil.

The pastrami is a good slice of meat, though it’s not the best “hot” sandwich to get here. Though the bread is warm and soft, your selected cheese won’t be.

A simple pastrami and Swiss with mustard is easily achieved at the Eastern U.S. chain D’Angelo’s, where the pastrami is appropriately griddled with fresh slices of Swiss on top.

A pastrami and Swiss sandwich with mustard at New York Sub. (Photo by TAYLOR ADAMS)

In Dallas, even, there are probably better choices for this. The bread is fine, but not worthy of saving this sandwich.

Go with the cold cuts and oil (on white bread, of course) and you’re golden.

New York Sub

Location: 3411 Asbury St., Dallas, 214-522-1070
Hours: Monday through Sunday, 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Ambiance: Casual, worn booths filling the dining space for those who don’t take their sandwiches to go
Payment information: Major credit cards accepted
Alcohol: none served

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Filed under American, Sandwiches

Piggie Pies raises the bar in delivery pizza for Upper Greenville

Consider yourself lucky if you live within delivery distance of an acceptable pizza place. Pizza Hut doesn’t count and Papa Johns isn’t quite good enough. Piggie Pies, however, is.


A small pizza with pepperoni, olives, onions and cheese from Piggie Pies Pizza and Pasta. (Photo by TAYLOR ADAMS)

Having just moved within the three-mile radius of Piggie Pies’ delivery area, I’m fortunate to have a cheese-covered pie at such a convenience.

While the mozzarella cheese coats whatever toppings the pizza has for the night, the sauce doesn’t have a chance of being hidden. Boasting garlic and oregano in every red bite, the flavor overtakes whatever taste the bread might have.

Lacking in originality, the restaurant’s website is proud of its “fresh toppings,” but nothing that has made its way on a pie has proven that the words are a lie. Veggies are crisp and meats are flavorful–the pepperoni is soft with a kick and the sausage is authentic enough when covered with cheese.

The menu also has a list of pasta that’s dense enough to find something worthy, with the cream-based sauces proving to be the best. The red sauce is acceptable and the meatballs aren’t the worst for delivery options.

The chicken Alfredo has a sauce thick and deserving of its name, unlike the runny, savorless imitations around Dallas. The carbonara can fill one up after a few bites: the Alfredo in this is overpowered with salt by the bacon and ham that’s tossed with sautéed onion, tomato and pasta.

This isn’t the best pizza I’ve tasted in Dallas. If I lived closer to Fireside Pies, I might opt for take-out over delivery. As that’s not the case, delivery will do; and with Piggie Pies, it will do just fine.

Piggie Pies Pizza and Pasta
Location: 5315 Greenville Ave., Suite 120B, 75206, 214-821-6465
Hours: Sunday through Thursday, 11 a.m. to 12 a.m., Friday and Saturday, 11 a.m. to 1 a.m.
Price: $
Ambiance:  Small dining space with few tables and, usually, a line of customers to take their pizzas to-go
Attire: Casual
Payment Information: Major credit cards accepted
Alcohol: None served

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June 2, 2012 · 10:58 am

Dive into Snider Plaza’s seafood

Casual seafood dining is less than abundant in our landlocked city of Dallas, making a menu like that of Dive Coastal Cuisine look appealing to many diners.

Chef Franchesca Nor has an excellent list of items on the chalkboard menu above the ordering counter. A number of people take their time looking at this hand-written list, which doesn’t seem extremely welcoming by most behind the register who quickly question if the customer’s ready.

The curry shrimp wrap at Dive Coastal Cuisine. Photo by Taylor Adams

The cool colors of white, teal and blue tones throughout cool a customer’s mood and reflect Nor’s Southern California upbringing. She is there much of the time, making the experience the best you’ll be able to get at the restaurant. This care is translated to many of her food items, including the mahi-mahi, prepared to a tender meat with flavor throughout.

The ahi tuna wrap is another satisfying meal on the menu, which has more than these two items making it a healthy one. Ginger slaw mixed in with cucumber, avocado and a mildly coconut rice makes the seared ahi tuna scrumptious in any bite of the wrap — it’s probably that chili ponzu sauce covering it.

One to avoid, though, is the curry shrimp wrap. They might as well leave out the unseasoned shrimp and make it a veggie-curry wrap. The rest of it is fine, filling the spinach tortilla with coconut rice, greens, cucumber and the sweetness of granny smith apples that pair perfectly with the curry. Disappointment ensues when biting into a chunk of shrimp. Even the extra sauce on the side won’t save this one.

A couple of sides really excel, giving hope to others on the menu. Though they look like nothing special, the mashed potatoes carry a richness in every bite that could make them worthy of an entire meal. The French green beans are the salty and simple perfection that they should be.

The mahi-mahi with mashed potatoes and green beans. Photo by Michael Danser

The little neck and clams come tossed in a perfected pesto and angel hair pasta. Grilled bread makes it an even more indulgent meal.

The menu also has a long list of salads and cocktails. Beer and wine are served, which are probably the better alcoholic choices. The twisted mojito is a drink too tart to sip. The different iced teas at the “iced tea bar” (a small counter to the right of the ordering counter) has refreshing options.

Though Dive offers plenty of options to keep diners on a diet, the sweet list is a decent one, with an ice cream-covered Heath bar that sounds interesting and a key lime pie that has become a staple of the joint (at least, according to the handwritten menu). Shortly after the restaurant opened, Nor tested the pie on her menu, working on the granola, ginger snap and graham-cracker crust.

As with many healthy dining options, it’s not a cheap dinner for two. It’s a place to go with the safe and simple items that are more likely to be worth the money.

The twisted mojito at Dive Coastal Cuisine. Photo by Taylor Adams

Dive Coastal Cuisine
3404 Rankin St.  in Dallas 75205, 214-891-1700
Monday – Saturday, 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Ambiance: Indoor seating. A walk-up ordering counter makes it feel like a quick and easy dining spot.
Attire: Casual
Payment Information: Major credit cards accepted
Alcohol: Wine, beer and special cocktails

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Filed under Seafood