One of my hobbies, along with trying to keep tomato plants alive in my backyard and fantasizing about having an actual hobby one day, is asking people what they ate. I’m fascinated by other people’s food habits and live with the constant need to see if I’m missing out on some great culinary discovery. So every week I ask my colleagues about the best things they have eaten recently. Here are our meals:
Pulled chicken sandwich from La Bodega Rotisserie and Goods
This week I visited the new La Bodega Rotisserie and Goods, a delightful little fast food restaurant in Oak Cliff. They specialize in roast chicken, which you can have as a whole bird or half bird. They also have salads and sandwiches, which is what I chose, because ordering even half a chicken felt a bit overkill for a Wednesday lunch, especially having it in the car. You should have the option to take a nap after eating something like that, you know? I had the pulled chicken sandwich and happily discovered I didn’t miss out on trying the grilled chicken. The sandwich is stacked with chunks of incredibly tasty and juicy chicken with caramelized onion, jamie and mustard, goat cheese, roasted garlic, and peppery arugula. The white bean hummus on the menu is great too, with a mix of lemon and thyme. I will be back there soon. – Claire Balorfood reporter
$15 from La Bodega Rotisserie and Goods, 208 W. Eight St. , Dallas. instagram.com/labodegaoakcliff.
Native Ferments Black Garlic Mustard
Most days, my fridge is a mustard museum. The best days have the best mustards, and there’s simply no better day than the moment you pile on Native Ferments’ Black Garlic Mustard on something. Jessica Alonzo is a Jedi Pickle in Dallas. For her home pickle business in East Dallas, she spins okra, shichito peppers, beets, and green beans. It also treats yellow and brown mustard seeds, rolled in lots of honey and smoky black garlic. Brown sugar and apple cider vinegar make things boom. I lost a good hour of memory after I spread some on a hot dog in a fluffy bun – the salty sausage smoothies and fiery mustard all together is a good memory. Try a teaspoon on burgers, turkey slices, or brush your teeth. It is multi-use. – Nick Rallowcontributing writer
$14 from Native Ferments. nativefermentstx.com.
Pulpo taco at Revolver Taco Lounge Gastro Cantina
I can’t remember a seafood taco better than the octopus version at Revolver Taco Lounge Gastro Cantina, the new Deep Ellum restaurant and bar from chef Gino Rojas. It starts with a gorgeous corn tortilla, which is made to order and cut fresh from the griddle with a soft, cushiony texture. The filling – Mediterranean octopus from the Spanish Catalan coast – is cooked in a seasoned broth, then finished in a skillet with light Chilean garlic butter. This carnitas-style method of cooking results in tender, noticeably crunchy tentacles with browned and charred pieces on the edges. Dripping over it is a bright, creamy jalapeno sauce—a puree of oil, garlic, and jalapeno chiles. The only garnish is a barrage of fried shallots (serious knife skills are required to cut threads so delicately!). Served with a lemon wedge, it looked like the simplest of tacos. But while I enjoyed the combination of flavors and textures in every bite, I knew better: This was the Nirvana taco. –Tina Danes, Contributing Writer
$12 from Revolver Taco Lounge Gastro Cantina, 2646 Elm St. , Dallas. revolvertacolounge.com.
Crispy Ding Chicken Sandwich from Honor Bar
To escape the blues on Monday midday, I’ve been to The Honor Bar in Highland Park Village for a while, which of course includes good food and cocktails. The Honor Bar has one of my favorite chicken sandwiches in Dallas – Ding’s Crispy Chicken Sandwich. This sandwich consists of tender chicken pieces fried to golden perfection, accompanied by swiss cheese, mayonnaise, tomatoes, and homemade coleslaw, all of which come together in a soft bun. The secret lies in the spicy cabbage salad. Coleslaw is stir-fried with classic ingredients like curd and apple cider vinegar, but it has a spicy flavor that elevates this sandwich from natural to great. This sandwich is available at most Hillstone-owned restaurants and is a must-try. – Brian Sands, fellow reporter
$20 at The Honor Bar, 26 Highland Park Village, Dallas. honorbar.com.
Atomic Alliance Pina Colada IPA from Manhattan Project Beer Co.
The adoration for Indian Pale Ale isn’t limited to Dallas-Fort Worth, of course, but boy, do we really like IPAs. It can be hard for a local brewer to have its own niche in an IPA in a market filled with so many flawlessly crafted options, but the Manhattan Project Beer Co. In West Dallas I did just that with one of them. The Atomic Alliance Pina Colada IPA comes with a slightly hefty but manageable 7.1 percent ABV and arguably the greatest domestic example of an IPA that links old school and new school trends in IPAs. In essence, the beer is a Northeastern-style IPA where the sweetness of the fruit makes its presence known early on. But what really makes the Atomic Alliance is the addition of coconut and vanilla to the drink, along with a little lactose for a touch of fuzzy creaminess. During those hot summer months, crisp pilsner or even light, bright sour pilsners are easy to reach in there, but this is one beer that can be crushed and crushed just as much as it can be sipped and savored. – Kelly Dermorecontributing writer
Manhattan Project Bear Company, 2215 Sulfur Street, Dallas. The Manhattan Project.