Grilled Cheese Heaven In TEXAS!

GOOD DAY CHOW HOUNDS,

The History of the Grilled Cheese Sandwich, posted by “How Stuff Works”, will tell you some three-quarters of people who buy sliced cheese make at least one grilled cheese a month. Similar grilled cheese recipes are even mentioned Ancient Roman texts—and, let’s face it, the French have been making their famous croquet-monsieurs since the early 1900s. TODAY’S common notion of the grilled cheese is traced back to the 1920s. During this time, an Iowa man now considered “the father of sliced bread”, invented a bread slicer that made distributing white bread easy and affordable. Shortly before that, James L. Kraft had patented processed cheese — you recognize the name, of course! Kraft’s entrepreneurship pursuit revolutionized the pasteurizing process and ensured that cheese wouldn’t spoil, even when transported long distances. By 1914, J.L. Kraft & Bros. Company (the precursor to Kraft Foods) opened its first plant in Illinois. Factory cheese was disparagingly termed “rattrap cheese” or “rat cheese” by the fiercely proud English folks who were proud of their cheddars. It was not considered a delicacy. To them, it was simply a cheap, nutritious, and scalable product.

Gas Monkey Grilled Cheese Photo/ Chef Hollister

you’re reading this article on “”Grilled Cheese Heaven”, then I’m guessing you love grilled cheese sandwiches just as much as I do… or more. I’ll be honest; I’ve been eating grilled cheese sandwiches since I could walk! In the summer months of my childhood, I always loved to seek out a delicious grill cheese for lunch. I remember going to the old time drug store, sitting at the bar and ordering a grilled cheese. I would ask for extra cheese because the cheesier, the better. I mean, dripping with cheese. The way to go is with thick buttered bread toasted to a golden brown perfection, over a flat grill or cast iron skillet. Now that… Is a grilled cheese.

Today, I’m still the same. Possibly worse! When I order a grilled cheese, I ask how many cheeses they have in the kitchen, and/or how many types they offer. Depending on the server’s answer, I ask for ALL of it. Sometimes it’s three cheese, sometimes it’s four, and maybe even five! There can never been too much cheese. In my opinion (on the amount of cheese in a sandwich), the more the merrier. The perfection also lies in the toasted and soaked-in-butter bread. I love butter! What is a grilled cheese without the buttery toast and loads of melted cheese running down?

Many chefs have gotten extremely creative in the art of grilled cheese making. Basically, they are taking the traditional sandwich to a whole new level. I like to call this “CRAFT grilled cheeses”. There is a variety of choices to add in from the type bread, house-made bacons, meats, tomatoes, house sauces, etc. The modernized grilled cheese is unbelievably delicious and wonderful to look at.

Texas Best Chili for Chilly Weather!

It’s getting cold so that means it’s chili time in Texas, my friends. Who doesn’t love a bowl of delicious warm tasty chili layered with your favorite cheese and fixings? EVERYONE DOES.

I love chili. All my life being from Texas, I’ve tried so many bowls of chili, they have to number in thousands. Every year I judge at least 10 to 15 chili contests, and boy is that always a shocker. Just when I think I’ve tried every combination known to man, a new chili cook creates something crazy new. As a seasoned chili expert, it always surprises me. On the positive side, it’s fantastic that we have all these chefs and home cooks wanting to create some new delicious chili recipe for everyone to enjoy.

Quick Story! About two years ago I was judging a contest (I’m not going to state any names because I want to protect the integrity of the food-judging scene). At this contest, one of my good buddies was sitting next to me. I could tell by looking at his facial expressions if something was bad, good, and really tasty. Everyone started passing the chili around and we were about 7 chili bowls deep into the 20-something chili contest. I hear this gaging sound and little snicker. I look up and it’s my buddy looking like he’s about to puke all over the table. You know that look, lol! After a second he passed it to me and shook his head as if to say DO TRY THAT CHILI, DUDE. I figured he was acting or at best just exaggerating to get one over on me. When I put that big spoon full of chili in my mouth it didn’t take two seconds before I almost spit it out. It tasted like someone had put an entire container of salt and hot sauce and nothing else in this chili. That was just crazy. After the contest was over we tried to figure out what happened but we just assumed they screwed up on the mix. One would think they would try the chili before they serve it? Who knows? That’s just part of judging and one contest I’ll never forget.

On a good note, I’ve eaten lots of great chili this year and I wanted to share my great chili picks with each of you. That way you can enjoy some delicious chili in the chilly Texas weather.

My number one pick for 2019 has been around a while and knows a thing or two about some delicious Texas cooking.

I found Foodie Heaven 8 Delicious Destinations, One Street!

 Hello fellow foodies and chowhounds,

Every once in a while folks will say, “You should see this place it’s amazing”. They sometimes say anything to get your attention about something new they’ve tired. Folks just want to share their happiness! This was exactly what I was told about Restaurants On Lamar at the Taste Of Dallas this year. I just had to see it!

Last month I was invited to tour the NEW Restaurants On Lamar at the Omni hotel in Dallas. I thought to myself, it must be some restaurants inside the Omni Hotel? If I’ve learned anything in my five decades on this earth in the food and drink business is that one should NEVER EVER have preconceived notions about anything. Especially when it comes to restaurants nowadays.  Making assumptions can sometimes lead ya to be wrong.

That’s exactly what happened to me when it came to Restaurants On Lamar. What I thought about it before seeing it was nothing like it actually was… not even close!

When I pulled up to the Omni I drove past a cluster of restaurants across from the Omni on Lamar Street. It was at this point I started to grasp what was happening. Restaurants On Lamar is an amazing new concept at the Omni Dallas. They have eight different restaurants, three different bars, each with beer, drinks, or creative cocktails. Each location falls under one blanket drinking permit so you can walk around with your drinks while you dine and socialize. It also includes one of the largest sports bars I’ve ever visited with private booths and VIP areas available. These restaurants are eight separate concepts complete with skilled chefs with creative farm-fresh chef-driven menus at each one. They have award-winning cuisine with impeccable customer service. They have creative and colorful cocktails that number in the hundreds tasting like heaven. To make this new concept even better they have FREE parking for customers. I’m talking about over 400 spaces plenty of parking NOT like you normally find in the DFW area these days where you’re hunting for a parking space or walking a mile after parking. FREE parking in downtown Dallas, WHAT? Well now! Free parking, eight different restaurant concepts, three bars, a sports bar, four patios one with a big outdoor fireplace, and a roof top patio and bar all in the same location? Boy, now you have my attention!

Think about the holidays, birthdays, parties, events, and anniversaries that can be celebrated at Restaurants in Lamar. I want you to stop and think just consider this fact for a minute… You have family in town, but it’s hard because so many folks like different cuisine and they just can’t decide where to dine. Well, at Restaurants on Lamar that is not an issue. You can visit several locations and enjoy different food cultures and food groups. Maybe you want to have a special anniversary you can eat in one spot, have dessert at another spot, and then have a few cocktails after that. You never have to leave Restaurants On Lamar.

Here is my favorite situation of all, the family trap. Honey our house isn’t big enough to have all your family members; I don’t want them all over here at the same time! What do we do? Well, Trey’s Chow Down just saved the day, your relationship, and your families combined over all happiness. Invite them all to meet you at Restaurants On Lamar for an evening or daytime packed with family fun and deliciousness. Heck, have them meet you at the Biergarten On Lamar first get them all to lighten up before you head out on your restaurant tour. If they’re coming from out of town they can book a room at Omni and BAM you meet them at Restaurants On Lamar a.k.a. a Trey’s Chow Down delicious destination.

Now that I have your attention I want to discuss each restaurant concept so you understand what we are talking about at this delicious destination.

BIERGARTEN

An authentic, German-style beer garden greets guests with a selection of German beer and cuisine. Diners and drinkers can enjoy views of the skyline on a wrap-around patio and take in a delicious trip to Germany via bratwursts and schnitzel. Biergarten also serves up local Dallas brews for those wishing to stay close to home.

BLACK SHIP LITTLE KATANA

East and West collided in 1852, when Matthew Perry of the USA Steam Navy was assigned to open ports to the west trade. Saltwater stained his metal ships black as he made his way to Japan and therefore, the Japanese referred to them as ‘black ships’. The story is brought to life in traditional Japanese, Korean and American dishes.

BOB’S STEAK & CHOP HOUSE

Bob’s Steak & Chop House is a nationally renowned steak house specializing in the finest corn-fed, Midwestern prime beef. The menu formula at this Dallas culinary landmark is simple: incredible meat, gigantic shrimp, fabulous salads and decadent desserts. Classic steak house food prepared and presented in a manner that Bon Appétit calls “the kind of fare you’ll want to go back for again and again.”

Quality and service are two of the main ingredients that make up the culture, along with a quintessential Dallas dining experience. Because of the caliber of the product, servers exude a friendly confidence that charges the atmosphere and restaurant with vitality. Award-winning food, educated service, and warm, classic décor make dining at Bob’s Steak & Chop House an outstanding experience.

CAFE HERRERA

In 1971, Momma Herrera opened her first restaurant with the familiar recipes she grew up within Mexico. Fast forward to 2015 and the family tradition is carried to Omni Dallas’s Restaurants on Lamar with the Herrera family continuing to showcase the authentic, upscale Mexican cuisine including classic enchiladas, street tacos, and signature margaritas. Vibrant colors and fixtures complement the textures of Mexico the Herrera family grew up in and give guests a lively backdrop to a fun foodie adventure.

COAL VINES

A casual, neighborhood restaurant, Coal Vines brings New York style pizza and traditional pasta dishes to life. Also featured is a wine list with something for everyone’s palette and budget so diners may take in fine vino without breaking the bank. Dine with the locals at Dallas’ favorite pizza destination or enjoy delivery to your room.

A cocktail from Pegasus Bar

TEXAS SPICE

Texas Spice, serving three meals daily, captures the true flavor of Texas with an emphasis on local ingredients and southern style offering a twist on hometown classics. The innovative farm-to-market concept incorporates the freshest ingredients to create great food and a casual dining experience. The rustic interior was designed with repurposed materials that include red brick walls, garage-door-style doors, and wood details. Whether dining in the main dining room, a private dining room or on the spacious outdoor patio, every guest is sure to feel connected to the history of Dallas while enjoying the comfort of a home-cooked meal.

Texas Spice “Recently named a Diners’ Choice Winner by OpenTable.com.”

THE OWNERS BOX

The Owners Box at Omni Dallas Hotel is a sports lover’s dream with state-of-the-art features and the latest technology including a 16-foot screen for viewing the game. The full-service bar and authentic menu is just the start to an amazing sports bar. Never miss the game again with private game-watching tables that include sound isolating technology and interactive scheduling to fit your needs. Enjoy the big game from every angle on multiple LCD HDTVs, patio dining and oversized seating areas.

After 9:00 p.m., guests must be 21+ to enter The Owners Box. This time is subject to change due to special events; please contact the hotel with any questions.

Pegasus Bar Omni Hotel

Pegasus Bar is overlooking restaurants on Lamar and is Texas chic. Great drinks, cocktails, trendy décor and good vibes. You can see the big restored neon Pegasus Bar from the windows. They also have a big outdoor patio to enjoy with a big floor space if you so desire to move about.

See you at the table!

Trey (Chow Down) Chapman