Dallas has few diversions other than eating, drinking and shopping.....and shopping does not interest us.
So we spend our time hopping from restaurant to restaurant and to every pub that we can find in search of the perfect meal and the perfect beer.

We randomly review restaurants and bars, dishes and beers at whim and give our brutally honest opinions of our findings. And while we concentrate on Dallas, we travel far and wide to sample cuisine from all regions of the country and beyond.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Restaurant Review - Flipping Out Crepes & Coffee

Have you ever had a Crepe?  "Like the ones at Denny's"?  You ask.  Kind of, but not really.  I am talking about the real thing, like the ones you get on a streetside cart in Paris.  "How in the hell would I know what those are like?"  you exclaim,  "I've never been to Paris, unless you mean Paris, Texas in which case yes, I had crepes at the Denny's".  No Bubba, you really should try the real thing and I am going to tell you where you can get an pseudo-authentic crepe right here in DFW.  Why pseudo-authentic?  Let me 'splain, Lucy.

A crepe (pronounced 'krep' if you must know) is a pancake and before you ask, not like the ones at Denny's or even IHOP.  They originated in Brittany (which is part of France, not England) and are very thin and made of buckwheat.  If you get chance to watch them make one you will notice that they pour the very thin batter on a grill and shape it with a spatula instead of dumped from a bucket into a frying pan like the ones we are used to eating.  The crepes themselves are quite authentic and quite delicious.  Now here is where the pseudo comes in, the fillings are quite un-French, which should please the France bashers out there to death.

Scott Hoffner, the chef and owner of the establishment, graduated from Johnson and Wales University and was a chef at Ojai Valley Inn and Spa and is now the personal chef for Dallas Maverick Tyson Chandler.  Scott is also a bit of a panderer, which can be a little annoying, but is truly a nice fellow that loves to chat, he also has created some dandy crepes for you to enjoy.

The restaurant itself is in Addison is a tiny building in a parking lot on Beltline that has been a hotdog shack, a cell phone store, a flower shop and only god knows what else.  Finally the little shack has found someone who can make it something other than a home of broken dreams.  It is so tiny in fact that you will notice as you walk in, the there is nowhere for you to sit your weary bones down and enjoy your new favorite treat.  In fact, if there are more than 3 people inside you will be able to touch strangers inappropriately and then be able to convince them that it was truly an accident, you pervert.  They do have several tables set up outside behind the store for you to use at your leisure.

Flipping Out offers you breakfast crepes (no, not like Denny's, let it go) like the Mile High Club which is Danish Ham, smoked bacon, egg, bell peppers, onions and swiss cheese smothered with a bacon mushroom cream sauce all tucked nicely into the crepe.  The crepe is folded into a cone so that you can eat it like a sandwhich. 

You can get Savory crepes like the Tyson Chandler (hmmm, now where have I heard that name before) which is roasted chicken, spinach and mushroooms smothered with a creamy bacon cheese sauce, again tucked into a crepe.  Or my favorite Lemon Chicken, herb crusted and served with asparagus, parmesian and lemon cream sauce. 

Or go for a desert crepe like the Nutella served with the hazelnut chocolate, strawberries and bananas.

This little restaurant that could serves up crepes which will be familiar, yet unfamiliar to those who know crepes and an exotic delight for those who only know those served by you know who.  Give it a try and thank Scott for taking the risk, you will be happy you did.  Oh, and try the coffee, it's dandy.

Flipping Out Crepes and Coffee
4021 Beltline
Addison, TX

Monday, December 26, 2011

Beer Review - Lump of Coal Stout

Ridgeway Brewing Lump of Coal Dark Holiday Stout - 8% ABV

I love Christmas ales.  I love winter stouts.  I love holiday porters.  Most breweries give a merry nod to the holidays by producing one or two of the aformentioned lovlies, all for me.  That's correct, they are all made specifically for me, but as that I am a really nice guy, I am willing to share. 

Have you ever heard of Ridgeway Brewing? No? Probably because it is relatively new, founded a only a few years ago in South Stoke in southwest of England by Peter Scholey. Now Peter, you see, was once the head brewer of a magnificent brewery named the Brakspear Brewery in Henley-on-Thames which had been producing famous ales since 1779, but the owners sold it off in 2002 to make way for a hotel. Poor misguided bastards.

Ridgeway brewing goes about the holiday brews a little differently, as far as I can find, they only produce winter ales.  Santa's Butt Porter, Bad Elf IPA, Seriously Bad Elf Ale and this beauty, the Lump of Coal Stout.

This stout pours dark, not so dark as its namesake, but every bit as dark as a stout should be with a bit of ruby red coloring at the edges.  You may be fooled by the lack of nose that the beer will be light and flavorless, but you, my friend, would be wrong.  But don't expect a heavy, thick stout either, this one is lightly textured and lightly carbonated.  You will taste coffee, chocolate and a bit of dark fruit.  The hops are present, but only expose themselves as you swallow it down.
It is not a great beer, but not a bad beer either and with all of that alcohol you can sit by the fire playing with your new iPad amid the debris of present wrappings from toymaggedon and not feel the pain as you contemplate how to pay for all of this.

Ridgeway Brewing
6 Chapel Close
South Stoke RG8 0JW
Telephone: +44 (0) 1491 873474