Whistle Britches: Dallas’ Best Fried Chicken

Whistle Britches: Dallas’ Best Fried Chicken

I am Always on the Hunt for Dallas’ Best Fried Chicken

Ya’ll. Fried Chicken. Fried chicken is the world’s most perfect food. It’s a pain in the ass to get it right though. I’ve made it at home. It is incredible, and I will never make it again (maybe). The time, the mess, the grease — by the time I sit down to eat it I am exhausted. Which is why I am forever on the hunt for Dallas’ best fried chicken. There have been a few contenders over the years. My current favorite was just knocked off its throne by Whistle Britches.

I need to begin with a confession. I wasn’t excited about this place. It is way north of where I live and well outside my bubble. You know, the area around your home that you navigate easily on any given day. I have a prejudice against the suburbs, and I try to avoid going north of 635 as much as I can.

So even though the press has been great for Whistle Britches, I convinced myself it was all hype. Another well packaged fast-casual joint. It would open to much fanfare and love. Then a few short months later reveal itself as all spit and polish with no substance. I never even once considered it a contender for the ultimate prize the Dallas Best Fried Chicken title.

I owe Whistle Britches an apology.

It’s the real deal. Yes, its a hipster’s dream with great font choices and lots of succulents. Yes, the patio full of lawn chairs and picnic tables is an Instagram vision. Forget ALL THAT. The food is where it’s at! Head chef and owner Omar Flores has the chops (and the resume) to deliver the goods.

He is a Culinary Institute of America graduate. Chef Flores worked in one of best kitchens in Dallas; Abacus. He then did a much-lauded turn at Driftwood in Bishop Arts. He then opened up the beloved (and now shuttered) Casa Rubia in Trinity Groves. He is a James Beard award semi-finalist. He is named or nominated “Best Chef” by at least one publication or another every year since 2012. Whistle Britches is his latest effort and it is a gem.


Whistle Britches is located in far North Dallas (come on people, it is basically Plano). It sits in a pretty nondescript shopping center off of Frankford Road. It is not exactly in a food desert though. One of my favorite Indian restaurants is right across the street. It is also near a lovely French Restaurant, a pub, and bunches of other things. So as much as I’d like to tell you that Far North Dallas is the hinterlands, it’s not. Even if you are a little more centrally located, it’s pretty easy to get there. (and you should do that ASAP).


Before we dive into the food, let’s take a little detour through the beverage program. I wasn’t expecting there to be a beverage program to speak of, but actually, they have a nice one.


The cocktail list is full of classic cocktails with a twist. An old-fashioned aptly named Smooth Criminal, a mule made with blackberry vodka, and even an Orange Dreamsicle made with moonshine. I was happy with my Bee’s Knees, a classic gin-based cocktail. It had just enough sweetness to balance the tartness of the cocktail. I hope they take the same care with the rest of the cocktails on the list!


Their beer list has a nice combination of basic beers, local craft beers, and ten beers on tap. It has a little something for every type of beer lover.

The Wine

There is a wine list, it’s short, and it’s okay. I wish that the choices on the list were more tailored to the food on the menu, but they have chosen to serve most of their wines on tap, which limits the options available. 


Ok, let’s talk FOOD


Whistle Britches styles itself as a chicken and biscuits joint with a side of beer. So, of course, I ordered the chicken and the biscuits, but before that, I had to get some fried green tomatoes! If you are not from the South you might not know this — but we fry everything. Seriously we will fry anything. Don’t believe me? Fried butter, fried pickles, chicken fried bacon — our Texas State Fair is famous for it.

The frying process improves some ingredients and green tomatoes are one of them. So if it’s on the menu, I order it. These don’t disappoint. They have a crisp cornmeal exterior and warm but still firm interior. They are what I want from a fried green tomato.

I believe that fried green tomatoes should always have some accompaniments. In a perfect world, you get something tangy, something salty and something sweet. Often this is a buttermilk dressing and some preserves. At Whistle Britches they step it up a bit and add some heat. I love the creativity of that scattering of candied jalapenos. The queso fresco gives it a nice hit of salt, and the creamy, comeback sauce balances everything out.

They also offer some of my very favorite southern classics in their starters: fried okra, pimento cheese, deviled eggs, hoecakes and of course their titular biscuits (I’ll get to those in a second!) I can’t wait to give them all a try.


They offer lots of good things. But there was mac and cheese and when there is mac and cheese there can be no other (see my story about Mac and Cheese HERE). It’s hard for restaurants to get mac and cheese right. I think this iteration is lovely, creamy and worth trying if like me; you love your mac and cheese.

I would say I wished it had a little more going on with it. I just wanted a bit more depth and complexity. Some tang from a sharper cheese or a bit of crunch from a topping. But, I also know that restaurant mac and cheese tends to be the haven of every tween and below kid. So maybe it’s perfect just as it is!


Of COURSE, we ordered the chicken. I ordered the Sir Mix A Lot. The Sir Mix a Lot consists of three pieces of fried chicken (one white and one dark and a wing) a biscuit and your choice of coleslaw or potato salad. I chose the slaw.

The Cole Slaw

I always hesitate to order cole slaw at any restaurant. I love it, but there are two schools of thought on cole slaw. Many southern chefs make a sweet slaw. Often intended to balance fatty, heavily spiced foods. I am not judging, but I don’t like sweet slaws (or potato salads for that matter).

I am happy to report the WB slaw does not fall into that category. It is very creamy with a delicate balance of saltiness and a definite hit of herby goodness from cilantro. I liked it. It was the one thing I am not in ecstacies over though. It was good, but it needs something else. Another note of umami or something else to make it sing.

Dallas’ Best Fried Chicken

The fried chicken through — my word. It is crispy, without a hint of oiliness. The pickle-brine on this chicken gives it a perfect hit of tang while at the same time delivering an absolutely moist piece of chicken. It is fantastic.  It comes with a gigantic buttermilk biscuit. That biscuit is a meal of its own. It has the crispy outside and tender, flaky crumb on the inside that epitomizes a well made southern biscuit.

I loved it. I asked for jam and butter so I could enjoy every single bite of my gigantic biscuit. Which I could not finish (but was PERFECT with my breakfast the next day!) I also stole some of Tim’s gravy because… well, because gravy. The chicken and the biscuit don’t need it, but next time I will request a side of gravy or my very own. I don’t say this lightly, but I really do believe this is Dallas’ best fried chicken! (and it is not even the best thing about this menu!)

Dallas’ Best Chicken Fried Steak

Tim got the (brand new to the menu) chicken fried steak (CFS). We had no idea they served chicken fried steak. We were only at this restaurant because Tim wanted to try their chicken. (In our never-ending quest for fried chicken nirvana.) Yet, if there is chicken fried steak it must be ordered. So he ordered it.

Yeah, this was the star of the meal.

IT IS HUGE. Also, I don’t know what seasonings Chef Flores is using, but they are chicken fried steak perfection. Sometimes you get a chicken fried steak, and it is enormous. Usually, because the steak is pounded very thin and then cooked. That is not what is happening here. You receive a beautiful, thick cut steak. It melts in your mouth when you bite into it.

You know that moment when your teeth break through the crispy exterior and sink into tender, savory meat and the smell of all the spices hits your nose? That is pure the pure CFS bliss you get at Whistle Britches. I will go back again and again for this chicken fried steak.

Tim and I have hearty appetites, and this still went home with us. (Oh yeah, and he got mashed potatoes and green beans too! They were great) The next day we transformed it into the worlds best breakfast. We toasted the biscuit, in a pan with plenty of butter. Then cut up the CFS into bite-size pieces and warmed them up in a skillet with a little oil and fried up some eggs.


I want some of that right this second. Don’t you? Yeah, get to Whistle Britches right quick and try Dallas’ best fried chicken and chicken fried steak for yourself!

Lunch at Sachet

Lunch at Sachet

A Year In and Sachet is Still Going Strong

A year ago, I was beside myself with excitement. The chef/proprietors of Gemma announced that they were opening a new concept. Gemma is quite possibly my favorite restaurant in Dallas; which is saying a lot in a city full of wonderful restaurants. Their new concept, Sachet, did not disappoint. Now a year on, it continues to deliver excellence. They have not given in to the temptation to compromise. Their “Mediterranean Inspired” concept is front and center in all parts of their menu.

A Taste of the Mediterranean in a Glass

You first notice it in the beverage program. Before you even hit the wine list, your pre-meal is highlighted by Sachet’s extensive cocktail selection. There are hints of Spain with extensive gin and tonic and vermouth options. I counted ten amaro selections and a bevy of aperitifs to prime your appetite and pair with your meze.

…and Then There is the Wine

Then you get to one of the finest curated wine lists around. Since Sachet is Mediterranean focused, every wine on the list is from a wine region that actually touches the Mediterranean Sea. The wines chosen from France come from the Rhone Valley, Provence, and Corsica. Spain sees offerings from Catalunya and Valencia. There are wines from Greece, Italy. There are even areas you may have never had wine from like Slovenia, Turkey, and Morocco.

Don’t Be Intimidated, Talk to You Somm

It may seem intimidating at first, but there is always a knowledgeable sommelier on hand. They can to guide you through the list and find the best pairings for you. It is such a treat to see a thoughtful beverage program at a restaurant. Too often we see restaurants leave their wine menu as an afterthought. Wine menus that feature familiar wines that have nothing to do with the food they serve. When we look at a list like the one as Sachet, our hearts sing with joy!

You Should Really Head to Sachet for Lunch

Nestled on the edge of Highland Park and Oak Lawn, Sachet might seem too fancy for a casual weekday lunch. It does seem that people have not caught onto the idea of lunch at Sachet. They are packed for dinner service, but at lunchtime, we walked in and got a table right away. Just remember, you will need to make a reservation if you want to enjoy their meze and cocktails for dinner. The lunch menu offers a condensed list of items from the dinner menu as well as a few “lunch only” options.

Our Favorite Meze

From the Meze portion of the menu, don’t miss the olives and the beets. Nibble your olives between sips of wine. The citrus and herbs in these olives will startle you with their intensity. The beet meze is vibrant with chunks of bright yellow beets. The beets are nestled onto a plate spread thick with bright, purple, beet hummus. Bright white dollops of tangy labne (a type of yogurt cheese) round out this beautiful plate of food. You can eat this with some of their outstanding house-made pita, or not; it is delightful either way.

The Star of the Lunch Menu Though?

The Porchetta sandwich.

I am not treading new territory here. The Observer has already proclaimed that the Porchetta sandwich is a “Game Changer.” If you want to know the nitty-gritty of how the sandwich and all its components are made, their write up covers it all. Here is what I want to tell you. Run, don’t walk to Sachet and order this sandwich.

No Ordinary Sandwich

It looks like an ordinary sandwich, but if you look closer, you will see signs this is no ordinary sandwich. The bread is full of the lovely airholes that are a sign of a bread made with care and attention. You will see a line of bright green in the filling. If you didn’t read the menu carefully, you might assume that its some type of lettuce. You would be wrong. It is chopped rapini.

Savor It!

Bring this sandwich up to your mouth to take a bite. Pause for a second and breathe deep, with your mouth open and draw all that aroma into your mouth and nose. It wafts in promising all the smokey, pork goodness that can only come from that hot brick pizza oven of theirs. Then take a bite. I want you to pause for a moment here as you chew your first bite of this sandwich. The pork flavor is turned up so high; it might even make you dizzy with delight. Taste, how the bitterness of the rapini complements the fatty goodness of the pork. Notice the elegance of the little hint of Calabrian chili oil. Feel the unctuous, melting softness of the provolone.

That Bread… Sandwich Perfection

Next, observe the perfect crisp of the ciabatta crust. Sometimes crusty bread on sandwiches can be so crispy it cuts your lips. The texture of the bread is often so strong it competes with the ingredients inside the sandwich. Not so with the ciabatta at Sachet. The surface of the crust is crispy enough to crunch as you bite it. The inside is soft and chewy. It offers “just enough” chew to the sandwich. It does not compete with the salty, smokey, cheesy goodness inside. There is a side of slaw with this sandwich. It is good. But it does not matter, because that sandwich is everything you will ever need.

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Macellaio: Bringing their A-Game

Macellaio: Bringing their A-Game

Macellaio: The New Restaurant from the Folks that Brought You Lucia

You know the hardest table to get in town? It’s Lucia. For ages, it has been the one restaurant in the city that required careful planning. Call two months ahead for that reservation. Don’t wait until the last minute unless you want to try for the tiny bar seating. (Have a plan B people). Well, the fine folks that brought you the pasta perfection that is Lucia have opened a brand new spot: Macellaio.

Macellaio’s focus is on artisanal Italian meats like your Nona’s butcher used to make. Which explains the name. Macellaio means butcher in Italian. There are some kitschy plastic hams in their window. A little nod to the butcher inspired meats you will find inside. Once you are inside the restaurant, it is less Italian butcher and more California bistro. The big, floor-to-ceiling windows let in lots of light. The tables are small and cozy and the atmosphere, elegant, but relaxed and informal. The hostess greeted us warmly and seated us right away. I wouldn’t count on that being the case these days though. Make a reservation to be sure you get that table and don’t have to work a plan B.

Unique and Eclectic Wine and Cocktails

I’ve been to a lot of very nice restaurants, and I have experienced all kinds of service styles. My favorite style is relaxed, helpful, observant and unobtrusive. It seems as this is the level of service they are striving for at Macellaio. The waiter was familiar with all the dishes. He was very friendly and helpful with the ordering process. We tend to be pretty self-sufficent, and he took his cue from us and shared his ideas when we asked for them. He was not thrown when we asked a technical question about an ingredient. Instead, he got the owner Jennifer Uygur to come by and answer our questions. She was lovely and patient with us, and lord knows she had other priorities! It was a nice moment, and we were so happy she stopped by.

Mrs. Uygur is also responsible for the excellent and eclectic wine menu at Macellaio. You might not recognize everything on there, so be sure and talk to your waiter about what you like so they can guide you to the best pairing for your meal. We did not drink cocktails on our visit. However, the cocktail program headed up by the incomparable Ravinder Singh is lovely. I mean last year the Dallas Observer names him “Best Bartender of the Year.” So not too shabby right? You may have already enjoyed his cocktails. He headed up the bar at Boulevardier and Rapscallion for a time. The cocktail menu is creative and full of unexpected flavor combinations. I am excited to give them a try the next time I visit.

The Food!

Macellaio has two menus: a small plates and mains menu and a salumi menu. If I were you, I would order at least one thing from the salumi menu. (If you are me you will order the Chef’s choice salumi board!) Some of the items on there are works of art. Including meats from heritage breeds like the Texas red wattle pigs. (Saveur even made a case for it being the tastiest breed a few years ago) https://www.saveur.com/red-wattle-heritage-pig. The day we visited we enjoyed house-made salumi of pork jowl and fennel. It was a little stained-glass window of porky goodness. Pink and white panes of pork crisscrossed across the slice of headcheese. All that pink was set off by delicate green bits of aromatic fennel. Executive Chef, Lance McWhorter, puts out creative salumi. His program delivers on the promise implied by Maciallo’s name.

What We Ate

Daily bread: toasted wheat oat porridge sourdough, focaccia & caraway sourdough

A Bar N beef tartare with olives, anchovy, mustard greens & marrow crostini

Chef’s Choice Salumi Misti Board (Which for us included the below but its Chef’s Choice!)

  • Candy Cap Salame
  • Mortadella smoked, with pistachios
  • Prosciutto whole leg from Red Wattle pork aged over three years at Lucia
  • Capicola mildly spicy brined & smoked Berkshire pork collar
  • Headcheese with fennel (this was Tim’s favorite)

Slow roasted Anson Mills grits with wild mushrooms, poached egg, cacio e pepe broth

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I Should Have Eaten More Foie Gras

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You Gotta Plan Your Pintxos, But Be Ready to Change the Plan

When it comes to getting ready for a trip, I’m the planner. I like to know where I am going, how to get there, what sites should be seen or missed, where we should eat, etc. Don’t get me wrong, I am not meticulous about having everything planned out to the minute, but I do like to have an outline for the trip. I read travel books, check out online resources, and maybe some of my favorite travel shows have visited the area. However, lately, I have found that I tend to throw all of that planning out once we have our feet on the ground. There is something about being immersed in the area you are visiting that can change what you want out of it, and sometimes a local can help you with that change. This is how we found some of the best pintxos in San Sebastian, Spain.

La Parte Vieja

We rented a small apartment in the Historical Quarter of Old Town (La Parte Vieja) for our stay in San Sebastian. This area is rich in history, with cobbled streets, a fishing port, San Vincente Church, Santa Maria del Coro Basilica, and the San Telmo Museum. The streets are narrow and ancient. There are bars and restaurants crowded along each narrow street. These eateries are not competing against one another, per se. They are all part of a symbiosis of aromas and tastes. This is the gastronomic heart of San Sebastian.

Three Simple Rules for Your Best Pintxo Experience

Our hostess Monika took the time to map out some sights, and more importantly, mapped out the best pintxos bars to go to. These are the local’s bars. A place where you can see the same faces every day, stopping in for a bite and a beer at all times of the day. Most importantly, she laid out some hard and fast rules for a novice like me:

  1. Don’t be timid. Step up to the bar and look the bartender in the eye to order a drink or something to eat. The bar you are in may be very crowded. Be polite, but be forceful. Fortune favors the brave.
  2. Don’t just go for what’s on the bar. There will be a lot of options on the bar area. Most of these are cold pintxos and tapas. While good, they may not be the best the bar may offer. Take the time to look around at what others are eating. You may find what they are having is not set out. Look at the menu for other options. This is usually written on the wall behind the bartenders, if not on paper menus.
  3. Don’t worry about keeping track of what you eat. You are dealing with professionals here. The bartenders will keep track. Just be sure that if you do grab something off of the bar placements, look the bartender in the eye and show him what you got.

With those three simple rules, we were off to explore. Here are some of our favorite pintxos bars and what they serve best.

Bar Sport Calle Fermin Calbeton, 10

They had me at foie gras. I love foie gras. I don’t get enough here in Texas because it is insanely expensive and usually only bougie places serve it. But in Spain, it is not seen as a delicacy for only the ritzy fare. Our simple foie gras dish was a piece of toasted bread, two thick slices of seared foie gras, and a drizzle of aged sherry vinegar. Quite simply, this was one of the best things I’ve ever eaten in my life. The cost? Three euros. Cheaper than a cheeseburger, but so much better.

La Mejillonera Calle del Puerto, 15

This small eatery showcases two food items very well: mussels and patatas bravas. La Mejillonera is not a fancy place. Basically, a box with a whole lot of locals shoved in to get a plate of mussels and the ubiquitous dish of fried potatoes covered in an aioli-like cream sauce. You will find that the locals throw the mussel shells on the floor. This is totally acceptable. This a cheap and well-loved bar for the local scene to enjoy.

Bar Txepetxa Calle Pescaderia, 5

I will speak for the majority of America in saying that we do not appreciate the lowly anchovy. After all, we really only know this tiny fish as something pulled from a can and usually plopped on a pizza by only those with the fortitude to withstand its intense flavor profile. But at Txepetxa, the anchovies are fresh and taste of the sea. Served in a variety of ways from simple pintxos on bread with a pepper sauce, to hot dishes fried with local veggies. My favorite is the simple pintxo. The anchovy is flaky white, briny, and nothing like what I have had before.

La Cuchara de San Telmo Calle Santa Korda Kalea, 4

This bar is a hidden gem tucked away by an alley to the museum, but it has some of the best food around. It is tiny and packed from the time they open, so push your way in and order! You will not find pintxos spread out on the bar so grab a menu. We shared a 45-day-aged ribeye, perfectly charred and tender and served with a chimichurri type sauce. We paired it with a risotto style rice dish with local wild mushrooms and smoked Idiazabal cheese. Once again foie gras was available, this time served in a massive portion with an apple compote and cider caramel. By the time I finished off this plate, I was sure I had gout.

La Vina Calle del 31 de Agosto, 3

A perfect way to end a night in San Sebastian is to stop in at La Vina for their specialty, cheesecake. Spanish cheesecakes are different from the New York style I am used to. The cake itself is very toasty, almost charred on top. It is served warm, and the texture is more of a soft cheese tension than cold firmness. Grab a slice with a nice Pedro Ximenez sherry to top of the evening.

Have you been to San Sebastian or other parts of Spain? What are some of your favorite places to eat? Drop us a line and let us know!

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A Night at Bodega 1900

A Night at Bodega 1900

We weren’t expecting to get in to Bodega 1900. Albert Adriá is one of the most famous restaurateurs in the world along with his brother Ferran, and both made elBulli one of the most renowned restaurants in the world. We approached his small Vermutería, Bodega 1900, in Barcelona with a “what the hell, it can’t hurt to ask” attitude. I tentatively asked the host, if we could get a table. The obvious reply came quickly. “Do you have a reservation?” “No…” I began to explain that we were walking past and decided to try, but before I could get past my first word, he turned sharply and pointed to the long bar along the wall. “Sit at the bar.” We were in! Tim and I could hardly contain ourselves. Giggling with glee was the most appropriate behavior, so we pulled ourselves together and pretended to be sophisticated adults. Ok, maybe a few giggles slipped out. There is memorabilia on the walls at Bodega 1900, but not in any obvious way. Classic vermouth posters, old elBulli menus and best of all, a collection of jamón hanging on the wall. Trust me when I tell you that there is nothing more beautiful in a restaurant than a group of cured dark pink pig legs dangling from the ceiling waiting to be carefully and expertly cut by a master. First things first, vermouth. It is a vermutería after all. What better way to begin our experience with Mr. Adriá? Our perfectly attentive host turns and asks us if we would like a drink. We order our vermouths and just a quickly as he had pointed us to the bar he asks us. “Our house-made vermouth?” “Yes, of course.” The vermouth he brought us is as dark as coca cola. It is dowdy sitting there with its one cube of ice in a simple glass tumbler. It is a basic, slightly frumpy looking drink. Like an old man in a cardigan and house shoes. There is a slice of orange and a chunk of ice. It’s not much to look at. I kind of love that about this drink. It is old-fashioned, comfortable, simple. Well, not exactly simple.

Bodega 1900 Vermouth

On the first sip, it is sweet and reminds me of vanilla and chocolate. It is a love story of a drink, both bitter and sweet. While we are sipping our vermouths, we begin to make our food choices. We go with the Jamón de Bellota. Spain’s famous acorn-fed pigs produce the worlds best ham, and the one at Bodega 1900 is even more special because it was aged for five years! We get some tomato bread to go with it (pan con tomate), navajas (razor clams), and percebes (goose barnacles). I am wiggling with excitement as we order. Our host nods with approval at our order and seems to be charmed by our joy. His smiles and asks, would you like olives as well? “Why, yes, yes we would.”

Our olives come out first, and it dawned on me. These olives were THE OLIVES. The famous elBulli olives. These were the olives that began the wave of molecular gastronomy that transformed menus across the world. We, of course, need a little explanation on how to eat them because these are not olives at all. They are a magical suspension of liquid that is the essence of everything olive in a bubble of liquid on a wooden spoon. It looks just like a giant green olive. It is oval, and shiny and presented like it is the most precious food item you will ever eat. One olive on a spoon, ready for you to discover its mysteries.

We slide them onto our tongues and as instructed, press the olive onto the roof of our mouth with our tongues. The olive bursts in my mouth and olive flavor washes over my palette, and I close my eyes in pure joy. They are olives; they are playful they are lovely.

Next? The jamón and the pan con tomate. The jamón is a woven mat of perfectly thin slices. None are too thick, none have any stringy parts. They are paper-thin slices of the world’s most perfect food. When I slide one of these pink and white little morsels in my mouth the difference between this jamón and all others I’ve had is clear. It is salty and sweet, and the fat is so soft it melts and wraps around my tongue in the most decadent way possible. Is it the five years of aging? The perfection of the slicing technique? The fact that this jamón has probably never been refrigerated? Yes, it is all those things. Every step of the way from birth to slice of perfection on my table led to this moment of perfect flavor and texture. I am grateful.

Accompanying it is the pan con tomate. I wasn’t expecting much. This ubiquitous Spanish bread can be underwhelming sometimes. Often the bread is bland and flabby with no flavor or personality; the tomatoes watery and sad. This is not the case with Bodega 1900’s pan con tomate. The bread is a perfectly crisp crouton. The tomato on top is sweet and tart and as red as a strawberry. Each toast perfectly accented with flaky sea salt that melts slowly in our mouth along with the tomato and the jamón. It might be simple, but it is the most delectable version of itself I have ever had.

Next up, razor clams. I love these bivalves. I’ve only ever had them when I am in Spain because they aren’t available in the middle of Texas. These particular navajas are the most beautifully presented version I have ever seen. Each one topped with a white escabeche that is mildly vinegary and a great match to the briny razor clams. Then we waited. I have been waiting to eat precebes again for 6 years, and I needed to wait just a little bit longer. Apparently, percebes take a while to prepare. I was okay with the wait, I was, after all, sitting in one of Ferran Adriá’s restaurants in the middle of Barcelona. I was happy and content to sit there all night! Tim on the other hand, while glad to wait, was horrified by the plate of food in front of us.

Those teeny tiny dinosaur legs did not look appetizing to him AT ALL. Whoever ate percebes for the first time must have been blinded by hunger. Despite their disconcerting appearance I love the sweet almost lobster-like flavor. You have to pop the precebes meat out of a thick purple tube, which isn’t all that difficult and certainly easier than crab or lobster. It does, however, get you a bit messy. I was enthralled and thrilled and totally excited to eat them up. Poor Tim, on the other hand, watched on in horror. He is unconvinced that there is any reason ever to eat precebes. After I gobbled up all the shellfish, we were, of course, offered the dessert menu. The waiter provided dessert suggestions. A slice of cheesecake and melon infused with white vermouth. How could we resist? I learned two things. First, the Catalan people LOVE their cheesecake and second, melon infused with white vermouth is flipping amazing.

The cheesecake (like our humble vermouth) is the most basic of desserts. No garnish, no drizzle, no crumble, nothing. It was completely unadorned. Just a simple wedge on a plate. Now, that might lead you to believe this cheesecake is nothing special. This is not the case. The cheesecake is creamy and much less sweet than its American counterpart. The best part though? The toasty skin. It makes it. There is a hint of citrus in the cheesecake too, but for me that brown toasty skin on the cheesecake makes it.

The melon delivered to the table in all its lime-yellow glory was beautiful. It was sprinkled lightly with marigold petals that contrasted beautifully with the color of the melon. I took my first bite and somehow the vermouth had amped up the melon flavor, made it sweeter, and added a touch of complexity. If there had been a whole melon in front of me, I would have eaten the entire thing. We tried to savor every bite, slow down and enjoy every single morsel. I think we accomplished our mission! When the waiter came by to check on us and clear away our plates, of happiness must have been apparent. “Did you like the melon” he asked? “WE looooooved the melon!” we exclaimed. And in perhaps the highlight of my evening our waiter smiles a huge, authentic smile and tells us, “I’m so glad, it’s my favorite”

A Tiny Bit of Paris in Mockingbird Station: Edith’s French Bistro

A Tiny Bit of Paris in Mockingbird Station: Edith’s French Bistro

Food You Want to Eat at Mockingbird Station?

It has always been a disappointment to me that the food at Mockingbird Station was meh at best. While you can get an amazing cocktail at People’s Last Stand and they serve some pretty tasty bites, every other restaurant that has rotated in and out of this center has been food I forgot about as soon as I ate it. Who even remembers what was there? I mean honestly how is a gal supposed to do art-y film and dinner when the food options are so blech? Well thankfully things are looking up at Mockingbird Station. Not only are they getting that desperatly needed (potentially life-saving!) pedestrian bridge they are also getting a bunch of new food options. The Mr. and I went at to the Angelica last night to watch the super artsy film “Final Protrait” (PS: If you like art, you should do see it!) and after all that French cursing and cigarette smoking what we needed was a bistro! So with low expectation we decided to try out Edith’s French Bistro.

Stylish Comfort

I’ll be perfectly honest here, I am pretty sure this place is bigger and cleaner than any Bistro in Paris, but I don’t care. It is adorable! Full of light and natural elements, like a full wood wall and a leafy backdrop at the bar it just feels like a place you can hang out with a coffee and a good book.

The menu is equally comfortable, with mac and cheese, classic tomato and french onion soups and of course steak frites. But there are more unexpected options like a duck and apple salad and a chateaubriand for two (when was the last time you saw that outside of a Julia Child cookbook?!). Their wine menu is also quite nice. In a sea of generic wine menu’s in this town its nice to find a moderatly priced restaurant with a wine menu that reflects the concept and also delivers good wines at a great price. Oh… and did I mention? The BAKED GOODS. People, seriously… they have so many delicious sounding options and the bakery section is just adorable! We resisted this time, but next time we may just have to split a slice of cake of a chocolate croissant.

BREAKFAST: the Best Meal of the Day

Or am I coming back for breakfast? I’m a sucker for breakfast food. As I have mentioned before, BRUNCH is my favorite meal of the day. So their breakfast ALL DAY menu is right up my alley. I’ll have to report back soon because that Raclette breakfast is calling my name.

Comfort Food with a French Twist

Ok so I could not resist the Champagne Shrimp Mac and Cheese. It was studded with slivers of asparagus and was as creamy and delicious as one could hope. The raclette probably helps alot with that! The shrimp were perfectly cooked and there were plenty of them in my serving. Tim had the Soupe Velouté De Tomate and the Croque Madame. Yes, he basically had grilled cheese and tomato soup. Don’t judge, it was cold this weekend! Anyway, YUM. The soup had lots of flavor and the little drizzle of spring onion oil was a nice touch. Little toasted baguette slices are exactly what you want with this soup! They seem to have the little simple touches down in this place. Not too much of anything, just enough to make it special without kicking you in the teeth with how FRENCH they are. Its nice to find a place that feels comfortable and comfortING. Oh yeah, and that Croque Madame? Lovely. Perfectly fried egg on top, lots of cheese and ham inside. Cooked perfectly golden brown.

I’m not sure why this place isn’t up to its gills in couples and gal pals. Maybe it was the chilly temps this weekend? I was more than a little bit pleased with this little place. There are tons of other items I want to try on the menu. Next time you find yourself at Mockingbird Station you should give them a try. Seriously, so good!

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