Food & Dining | KERA News

Food & Dining

Stephanie Kuo / KERA News

The sun is just creeping over the horizon on a hot July day. It’s only about 80 degrees, but everyone is already drenched in sweat because they’ve been packing and hauling dozens of 40-pound plastic tubs full of food onto a fleet of white vans.

Megan Zerez for KERA News

It’s an overcast spring morning at the East Dallas Community Garden. Voeun Tath is preparing this weekend’s harvest: heirloom lettuce and Cambodian bunching onions. She’ll take some home to her family, but most of it will end up on tables in homes and restaurants all over North Texas.

Tath is one of several hundred refugee gardeners who hold plots at community gardens across Dallas.

What's In Season In Texas: A Quick Guide

Jun 4, 2018
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Eating a ripe, juicy peach — from a fruit stand, a farmer's market or a grocery store — is a summertime ritual for many Texans. 

While we can get peaches and most produce all year round, the best chance to eat homegrown fruits and vegetables at their peak is knowing their typical season. 

Any dumpster diver can tell you: Grocery stores throw away a lot of food.

But food discarded off the shelf is just one way that grub gets trashed. There's other waste along a grocery store's supply chain —rejected crops at farms, for example — that's often overlooked. So The Center for Biological Diversity and The "Ugly" Fruit and Veg Campaign recently asked the 10 largest U.S. supermarkets how they handle food waste, and gave each store's efforts a letter grade.

Gus Contreras / KERA News

Regino Rojas has been named the sole semifinalist from North Texas for the 2018 James Beard Award for Best Chef in the Southwest.

California Bakery / Flickr Creative Commons

There’s just something about a New York bagel. But what is it exactly? And can it be found outside of the city?

Hot dogs and buns are made for each other. But while hot dogs are traditionally sold in packs of 10, buns are sold in in packs of eight.

Just off a Houston freeway, in a strip mall with an Indian tailor and South Asian grocery store, is a small restaurant with an out-size reputation. It's called Himalaya and its chef and owner is a Houston institution.

Chef Kaiser Lashkari is a large man with a bushy salt-and-pepper mustache. He's constantly in motion — greeting clients, inspecting steaming dishes carried by busy waiters, calling out to his wife overseeing the kitchen. He offers us food before we've even sat down.

Dani Matias / KERA News special contributor

There’s something about the familiar tune of an ice cream truck that sends people back to their childhood. For people in the Mexican culture, a different sound triggers similar nostalgia: Four copper bells clanging in the distance means paletas, or popsicles, are right around the corner.

Krystina Martinez / KERA News

For eight years, Leslie Brenner's been Dallas' leading restaurant critic. This week, she announced that she’s leaving The Dallas Morning News to work for a real estate startup that specializes in restaurants. 

Gus Contreras / KERA News

Cattleack BBQ in North Dallas was recently named the No. 3 best barbecue joint in the state by Texas Monthly.

It beat out local staples like Pecan Lodge in Deep Ellum and Lockhart Smokehouse in Bishop Arts. It's the first time the North Dallas joint, whose name plays off Cadillac, has been recognized on the list.

Gus Contreras / KERA News

North Texas is filled with taquerias and Tex-Mex restaurants, but there aren’t many places that specialize in Mexican fine dining. In Dallas, Revolver Taco Lounge in Deep Ellum is changing that with its new dinner concept. It’s bucking the trend that good Mexican food has to be cheap.

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One of the most common and potentially life-threatening food allergies, peanut allergy tends to develop in childhood and is usually lifelong. But new recommendations offer the chance to reduce the risk of children developing peanut allergy. 

It started with a cup of coffee, or more precisely, a hot beverage. Seven years later came fries, the now infamous eggplant and friends. Sandwich lovers waited for their time to come, while begrudgingly sending another drumstick, wishing it were barbecue.

Gus Contreras / KERA News

Whether you buy them at a store or make them in the kitchen with family, tamales are popular during the holiday season. Recipes are passed down from generation to generation. Lots of people skip the cooking and just flock to La Popular Tamale House in East Dallas to buy the corn-husked goodies.

Christopher Connelly/KERA News

Restaurants come and go all the time, but in Fort Worth’s West Seventh district, a taqueria is going a bit beyond a simple relocation. It’s moving an entire building, complete with its concrete slab, all the way across town. It’s a slow process — one that's weeks in the making and will take days to complete — but it’s a labor of love.

Gus Contreras / KERA News

Bon Appétit announced its list of 50 nominees for America’s Best New Restaurants -- and one of them is a family-owned taqueria in West Dallas.

www.webmd.com

The Food and Drug Administration has approved changes to the nutrition facts label on packaged and processed food, beginning with larger, bolder type to make it easier to read. What  you will and won’t find on the label has also changed.

Lauren Silverman / KERA News

They’ve earned the catchy nickname of “breastaurants” -- casual dining chains like Hooters, Twin Peaks and Tilted Kilt Pub. These restaurants do well in Texas. This year, a new restaurant opened in Dallas, and instead of female waitresses wearing miniskirts, it features male waiters in bikini shorts.

From Texas Standard:

The morning routine of Kai Alterman includes a stop at a café and a cab ride. When it comes time for her to pay,  the server slides her credit card, then hands her a screen similar to an iPad to sign – complete with choices of how much to tip. Alterman hits the middle option, leaving a 20 percent tip.

"I think this makes people tip more often, because you feel more guilty not to tip with those," Alterman says.

 


A Fort Worth business owner is working tirelessly to make sure her employees don’t fall over the financial edge. She makes it her mission to employ, educate, and embrace each and every one of her staff members.

lucyd / flickr

After a cab driver refused gratuity in Singapore, where tipping any service or food worker is not encouraged, New York magazine’s Adam Platt decided he’d try to stop tipping when he returned to the U.S. and see what happened. 

Not All Texas School Districts Will Bring Back Sodas And Fried Foods

Jul 1, 2015
Marjorie Kamys Cotera / Texas Tribune

Students eager to purchase soda and fried foods when they return to school in the fall may be disappointed, despite Texas Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller's recent announcement that both will be welcome back on Texas public school campuses after a 10-year ban. 

Gabriel Cristóver Pérez / The Texas Tribune

It's about freedom, not the fries. So says new Texas Agricultural Commissioner Sid Miller, who announced Thursday that the state will repeal a decade-old ban on deep fryers in public school kitchens.

A little more than 10 years ago, Texas banned soda machines and deep fryers in public school cafeterias.

Now the state's current agriculture commissioner, Sid Miller, wants to do away with that ban. He believes these kinds of restrictions should be in the hands of local school boards — not state regulators. But some students are among those who aren't happy about this idea.

To Some, Texas Agriculture Commissioner's School Food Plan Is Half-Baked

May 13, 2015
Gabriel Cristóver Pérez / The Texas Tribune

The reintroduction of deep fat fryers and soda machines into public schools may top the agenda of Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller. But some teachers, nurses and parents don't appear to share his appetite for sugary drinks and french fries.

Lara Solt / KERA News Special Contributor

For some North Texans, the most challenging chore of the week is buying groceries.

As part of our series, One Crisis Away, Inside a Neighborhood, KERA explores why a lot of people in Jubilee Park drive for miles to get their groceries. Or pay the price at the corner store.

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High cholesterol is one of the leading risk factors contributing to heart disease, heart attack or stroke, but your diet can help prevent that.

Study Up For Think: Barbecue Bonanza

Feb 5, 2015
freecandy13, flickr

Daniel Vaughn what is arguably the best job in America. The Texas Monthly writer is the nation’s first full-time Barbecue Editor, and a highly credentialed one at that. He’s the author of The Prophets of Smoked Meat: A Journey Through Texas Barbecue and the creator of the blog Full Custom Gospel BBQ.

At 1 p.m. Vaughn will chat with Think's Krys Boyd on what makes the perfect plate of 'cue. 

Lauren Silverman / KERA News

Pizza Hut, the nation’s biggest pizza chain, is overhauling its brand. There’s a new logo, a more casual uniform, and fresh leadership. But the biggest upgrade is the menu.  

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