DFW Chef John Tesar WINS Michelin star!

Florida Perfection!

Chef John & Chef Gerald

Orlando Florida has a new reason to celebrate TODAY! Dallas Chef John Tesar WON a Michelin Star for his KNIFE & SPOON Restaurant located at The Ritz-Carlton Orlando, Grande Lakes. Orlando visitors can now enjoy dinning at the Michelin star restaurant because last night was a FIRST for Florida. The 122-year-old guide book announced its first-ever star rating and dining guide to Florida and chef John Tesar’s KNIFE & SPOON was among the star-rated restaurants.

John created Knife Dallas and Knife Plano award winning steakhouses serving some of the best steaks in the world. Two months ago he opened OUTER REEF in Dana Point, California with steaks, seafood and creative desserts. There’s NO stopping John now! He has no time to rest with his current venture opening in Los Colinas later this year. Knife Italian will open at the Four Seasons Resort in Las Colinas at the Ritz-Carlton later in 2022.

The Michelin star guide awarded 15 restaurants in the inaugural MICHELIN Guide to Florida 2022. Please see the link for the NEW guide below.


Michelin star 2022

When you visit Orlando a trip to Knife & Spoon is a must for anyone that wants to enjoy a wide ranch of creative deliciousness with an award winning steak, seafood and savory sweet desserts. Congratulations to Chef John Tesar, Chef Gerald and the entire team culinary team for a job well done.

A guide to KNIFE & SPOON in Orlando.

A new signature steak & seafood restaurant conceived and led by award-winning Chef John Tesar.

John Tesar was called “the single most talented cook I ever worked with” by Anthony Bourdain. Tesar also enjoys the pseudonym Jimmy Sears in Bourdain’s bestselling memoir KITCHEN CONFIDENTIAL and in MEDIUM RAW. Tesar remains a fixture of Dallas’s restaurant scene and a true “chef’s chef.” He has garnered praise from Food & Wine and The New York Times, has appeared on The Today Show and The Early Show, and is a two-time contestant on Bravo’s “Top Chef.”

Knife & Spoon at The Ritz-Carlton Orlando, Grande Lakes. Orlando

You can view my podcast with John at the link below from earlier this year.

Follow Trey’s Chow Down and Trey’s Coastal Chow Down on our social media platforms.

1937 Kansas City Burger Deliciousness

Kansas City Burger History!

Trey’s Chow Down on our MEETS, EATS and SWEETS Tour Road Trip’in the USA for deliciousness. Today we’re in Kansas City MO for some OLD SCHOOL smash burger perfection. It all began in 1937 when Town Topic Hamburgers opened for business with a very small, cozy building that’s still in use today.

In Kansas City, a little white diner named Town Topic Hamburgers opened unceremoniously on 24th and Broadway and began selling hamburgers for 5 cents each. It was opened by Claude Sparks, who at the end of his first day pocketed a whopping $21.00. It’s more than 75 years later and Town Topic is still selling hamburgers by the bagful. They still cook them the same way, with grilled onions and a steamed bun. They also have the same full breakfast line they’ve always had, and it’s all cooked fresh to order. In fact, the downtown diners haven’t changed a whole lot since the early days.

I really enjoyed this restaurant because it’s cozy, with an old school feel you notice right when you pull up. I watched folks standing around outside, waiting for chance to grab a seat and enjoy old school perfection. We were among the group, patiently waiting for our chance at one of those TOWN TOPIC SMASH BURGERS.

The service is incredible, and the atmosphere was wonderful! It felt old school, like I was transported back to the 50’s. I could hear, see, and smell the burgers sizzling on the grill. When I got my burger and took my first bite, I was in burger HEAVEN. The burger was so juicy it was running down my chin as I inhaled my burger. The smash burgers are flavor loaded with melted, gooey cheese and plenty of grilled onions to create an unforgettable burger.  These are the kind of burgers that are so delicious you have naughty burger dreams about – absolute burger perfection!

If you’re in the Kansas City area, or just passing through, you need to make that trip to Town Topic and chow down on some pure smash burger perfection.

Please FOLLOW Trey Chow Down on our SOCIAL MEDIA platforms for all our ” Delicious Destinations “ around the USA.

Trey (Chow Down) Chapman


Addictive Bark-O-lious Texas Style BBQ in California

Succulent Pull Pork, Meaty Burnt Ends, Flavorful Sausage and Sides.

Howdy, BBQ Lovers!

If you’re a barbecue lover like me, then no city, state, or country is out of reach – especially when it’s a barbecue joint that’s slinging succulent Texas-style, award-winning, and Bark-O-Licious barbecue.

As we continue on our MEETS, EATS & SWEETS Tour 2022, we headed to the small community of San Juan Capistrano, California. This is an extremely cozy and beautiful town located in Orange County, California, along the Orange Coast. San Juan Capistrano was founded by the Spanish in 1776 when St. Junípero Serra established Mission San Juan Capistrano. It’s a beautiful place with friendly folks and now offers some of the BEST BARBECUE in the state of California.

One of Four Big Beautiful Pits.

I could smell the aromas lofting in the air a block away, and my mouth started watering as we approached. When we pulled up, we saw the beautiful surroundings with the palm trees and landscape dancing with the wind. What an amazing atmosphere to enjoy some delicious barbecue.

Heritage Barbecue is a Texas-style barbecue joint offering a rotating menu of home-made sides, succulent smoked brisket, beef ribs, and pulled pork. They also offer juicy, flavor-loaded tri-tip, smoked chicken, turkey, K.C-style burnt-ends, and a variety of other proteins, even house-prepared sausages.

They have the ordering process down to a science. It’s easy and organized, and the line moves like a finely tuned Swiss watch. We ordered and then enjoyed the fresh air in the unique and cozy outdoor atmosphere. They have four massive barbecue pits on display that are constantly billowing smoke in the California sun while you sit and enjoy your barbecue. The pits are beautiful, offering a variety of colorful patinas that happen naturally in the barbecue smoking process.

When they delivered our massive order of barbecue and sides, I was blown away by the beautiful colors and plating presentation. We ordered so much food that we had two trays delivered, and both were full of deliciousness. In the barbecue world, it’s a telling sign that you’re in the right place when your food looks delicious. When folks are walking by or seated nearby, they say things like, “OH MY GOSH, HOLY COW, WHAT DID YOU ORDER, ARE YOU GOING TO EAT ALL THAT?” Or my personal favorite, “CAN WE TAKE A PHOTO OF YOUR TRAY?” These are some of the things that were said to us as we waited to dig in and go Full Tilt Boogie on our barbecue deliciousness.

Everything we tried was pure barbecue perfection. The BRISKET had the beautiful bark and smoke shine I love, and always look for. It was BARK-O-LICIOUS. The TRI-TIP was Stupid-Delicious, the PULLED-PORK was succulent and flavorful. The KC STYLE BURNT-ENDS are R.I.D.I.C.U.L.O.U.S. Each sausage bite was Pork-O-Licious! The Texas Chili and Mac-N-Cheese stole our hearts. But the Elote CORN and CORNBREAD combo… OH MY! Smoked Elote On The Cob and added the Smoked Cheddar Corn Bread Muffin to create a kaleidoscope of flavors that were simply unforgettably delicious.

Our visit was pure PERFECTION! They are one of our top destinations in the United States for 2022. The atmosphere, the service, the staff, and the delicious barbecue and sides are worth the trip from anywhere. If you make the trip to HERITAGE BBQ, you better pack your bags, because you’re headed on a one-way TRIP straight to Deliciousville. 

Remember just like the slogan states: ” Heritage Barbecue Is The Shit! ”

If you’re planning on making the trip to beautiful San Juan Capistrano I would suggest staying in downtown at Inn at the Mission San Juan Capistrano. It’s a hotel in the Marriott Autograph Collection and it’s not only beautiful it’s close to everything. It also allows you to walk everywhere and waddle back from Heritage Barbecue for a NAP after your MEAT FEAST!

Please follow our social media channels as we travel the USA on our MEATS, EATS & SWEETS Tour for 2022. We’re MEETING creative chefs, EATING deliciousness and enjoying savory SWEET treats.

Trey (CHOW DOWN) Chapman

VooDoo Doughnuts Unique, Colorful & Delicious!

Good day, Doughnut Lovers!

They told me: “The magic is in the hole!”  

As we continue our Road Trippin’ the USA: MEETS, EATS and SWEETS 2022 Tour, I’ve located another unique hand-crafted doughnut experience that is savory, sweet and sure to please your sweet tooth cravings.

Today we’re in Houston, TX at the world-famous Voodoo Doughnut. They have other Texas locations in the cities of Cypress and Austin, as well as a total of 12 other locations in six different states as they continue growing in the USA.

Locations👉 https://www.voodoodoughnut.com/locations/ 

The Story goes: Voodoo Doughnut is the brainchild of old friends and entertainment-minded Portlanders Kenneth “Cat Daddy” Pogson and Tres Shannon. In 2000, they decided to embark on a shared entrepreneurial venture – something that combined quality hospitality with their daring do-it-yourself brand of show business.

Offering More than 50 kinds of doughnuts, they’re the originators of the Cannolo and Bacon Maple Bar Doughnuts, and of course the Voodoo Doll Doughnut. They offer 13 traditional doughnuts as well. Classic Dozen includes: Blueberry Cake, Buttermilk Bar, Glazed Old Fashioned, Raspberry Romeo, Sprinkle Cake, Powdered Sugar Cake, Plain Cake, Cinnamon Sugar Cake, Raised Glazed, Chocolate Ring, Chocolate Old Fashioned, Butterfinger, and Maple Bar.

Trey with some VooDoo Deliciousness!

They also offer a wide variety of VEGAN Doughnuts. The Vegan Voodoo Dozen option includes some crazy and some traditional. Vegan Voodoo Dozen includes: Chocolate Ring (2x), Dirt (2x), Raised Glazed (2x), Portland Cream, Maple Bar, School Daze, ODB, Voodoo Doll, and Maple Cream.

Each doughnut is prepared fresh and colorful with savory and sweet flavor profiles. I was impressed with each doughnut presentation and the wide variety of available flavors. My favorites were the Voodoo, Dirt, Bacon Maple Bar, The Grape Ape, the Raspberry Romeo and the Maple Blazer Blunt. I found this one extremely delicious! It was a raised blunt and dusted with cinnamon sugar, maple frosting, and red sprinkle embers. Each bite I took was a kaleidoscope of flavors that POPPED in my mouth! 

📝👉 https://www.voodoodoughnut.com 

The building was easy to spot with its vibrant VOODOO style imagery and pink color. I really enjoyed the colorful atmosphere with the awesome attention to detail. The service was very friendly and you really felt like they were happy to serve you. If you’re looking for a NEW doughnut experience that you will LOVE and find extremely unique, check out a VOODOO Doughnut and chow down. They’re an official Trey’s Chow Down Delicious Destination for all doughnut lovers to enjoy.

My suggestion for a trip to a VOODOO Doughnut location. “You better pack your bags because you’re headed on a one way TRIP straight to DELICIOUSVILLE!” 

“Hope See You At A Table Soon For Some Deliciousness!”

Trey (Chow Down) Chapman

Please FOLLOW us on our other social media platforms as we discover unique Burgers, BBQ dishes, seafood creations, savory, sweet and delicious destinations around the USA.


Tesar Coast to Coast Perfection in Florida & California

Good Day, Everyone!

Celebrity Chef John Tesar

About eight years ago I met a chef in Dallas who I had read so much about and heard so many stories. I had been wanting to meet him for several years, but our paths had never crossed, and I’m not one to push meetings. Being in the food and restaurant business for decades, I understand all too well the complications of restaurant operations and how short on time chefs, managers, partners and owners can be every day. Time is a commodity that everyone is short on these days, especially celebrity chefs. They have a tough schedule already, and if they’re traveling between multiple restaurant concepts, events, charity functions, meetings, and TV interviews, there truly is NO TIME to spare. With that in mind, I waited until the time was right to meet him.

When I met Chef John Tesar and got to spend some time with him hosting him on my TV show, I realized how passionate he was about the restaurant business and how he personally feels about perfection and what that word truly means. In today’s times some folks mistake passion and the pursuit of perfection for something else entirely. To be honest, being deeply passionate and dedicated toward something is a trait few folks will ever understand, but Chef John Tesar knows all too well because he lives it 24/7/365.

You can never fully understand a person by what you read or hear. You really have to spend some time talking with them to understand what they’re trying to achieve, and the path they’re walking to reach their goals. It would be safe to say that John isn’t walking anywhere – he is running full speed all the time in the relentless pursuit of creating deliciousness for everyone to enjoy.

John had been telling me for three years about his plan to open his new restaurants in Florida and California, and how excited he was to get them operational. Then, in the middle of the construction, covid hit the USA and put everything and everyone on hold. All of John’s restaurants were temporarily closed and he survived by selling his dry-aged beef to folks as they stayed at home. The NEW restaurants were on hold, but John kept on working. After everything opened back up, John hit the ground running full speed to facilitate the opening of his latest concepts: Knife & Spoon in Orlando, and Outer Reef in Dana Point, California.

As we travel around the USA, road trippin’ for deliciousness, we made the trip for the opening of Knife and Spoon at the Ritz-Carlton in Orlando, Florida. The restaurant was stunningly beautiful. The bright, bold colors, beautiful coastal furniture and decorations give the restaurant a cozy, but vibrant atmosphere. Truthfully, it’s perfect in every way: from the bar and lounge area, back to the dining room with the big moss-covered rock on display.

I love open concepts, and the restaurant is wide open so you can see all the happenings and the delicious food coming from the kitchen. You can also see the beautiful outside surroundings, which gives you a feeling of complete serenity as you enjoy your meal. Every dish was incredible – from the fresh seafood, dry-aged steaks, and savory-sweet desserts. It’s impossible to pick a single dish to feature, because they’re all creative, colorful, and loaded with a variety of flavor profiles that you will fall in love with. If you’re in Florida you need to make the trip to Knife & Spoon. I would suggest reservations, because he’s always full.

They’ve also opened a NEW Knife Burger poolside at the Ritz-Carlton, so you can enjoy a delicious award-winning Knife Burger while you’re lounging by the pool, soaking up the Florida sun. It’s KNIFE BURGER time in Florida! I guess we will have to make the trip back for a Tesar burger.

Fresh Succulent Lobster Of Deliciousness!

“Onto the next”, as they say! Last week we headed to the beautiful coastal city of Dana Point, California for John’s latest restaurant opening: Outer Reef at the Laguna Cliffs Marriott. It’s hard to keep track of everything John has going on, but when he calls, we make the trip for deliciousness. You can’t pass on a Tesar restaurant opening and risk missing those delicious dishes.

It was breathtaking when we pulled up and saw the beautiful Pacific Ocean surrounding the resort. The Outer Reef patio area fit right in and added to the beauty. The palm trees and colorful landscape were swaying in the wind like they were dancing to soulful music. My mouth started watering before I even walked into the building.

Walking in and seeing the blue colors and the big fish tank set an awesome coastal vibe. The restaurant is wide open, with a very large patio area to enjoy the wonderful outdoor California coastline. Outdoor fire places and colorful landscape make it easy to relax. It’s so beautiful that it’s hard to leave once you’ve finished your coastal dinner of perfection.

​The menu has a variety of fresh, chef-driven dishes that include fresh seafood, dry-aged tuna, 44 Farms dry-aged steaks, lobster, oysters, Passmore Caviar and so much more. John’s special dry-aged tuna is a masterpiece with an unforgettable flavor profile. It’s Ahi tuna, dry-aged for 10 days, then pounded thin and draped over three fat coins of foie gras. The dry-aged steaks are ridiculously delicious. John’s special dry-aging process gives his dry-age steaks what I like to call the TESAR FLAVOR-LOADED STEAK OF PERFECTION. Savory, meaty deliciousness that is so good you just want more with every bite.

Other dishes offered are smart to take advantage of the coastal location such as fresh swordfish, halibut, crab, cod, shrimp, and more. Top it off by ending with creative, one-of-a-kind desserts that are truly works of art.

Chef John has done it again. When OUTER REEF opens next week, it will set a new standard in Orange County, and all of California. It is a restaurant packed with deliciousness, incredible service, and coastal perfection that’s unique and unforgettable.

You can’t forget about John’s AWARD winning steak houses in north Texas because they are slinging some of the BEST steaks in the WORLD. Knife Dallas and Knife Plano have really racked up the awards. Just last week Knife was award the 26th BEST STEAKHOUSE in the WORLD. If you’ve never enjoyed a meal at Knife you need to make that trip and chow down!

“Food is an exploration of the palette!” “Try something new!” “You just might like it!”

See you at a table soon!

Trey (Chow Down) Chapman

Old School Sub Sandwich Perfection!

Sandwich Perfection isn’t easy, but I’ve discovered it! 

Meat Ball Sub!

Trey’s Chow Down says, “Forgive me father, for I have sinned. I was told at least 50 times about the deliciousness at Dino’s, and it took me 3 years to make the trip.” I TRULY WISH I HAD LISTENED “ and visited years ago when I first received the tip. I had no idea Dino’s had been slinging subs for decades in the DFW area!

Yesterday we were road trippin’ for deliciousness and took a ride over to Dino’s Subs in Arlington, Texas for an unforgettable experience. We walked through the door and could smell the sandwiches being prepared fresh. As we stood in line my mouth was watering at the thought of sinking my teeth into one of Dino’s classic subs. My excitement grew as the line moved forward little by little. It was a great experience once it was our turn to order and we stood at the glass, looking through at the fresh-cut meats and ingredients. If you love perfect food experiences then you will understand what I’m saying.

All I can say is this! It was one of those old school deli meals that you just can’t stop eating. I was like a fat hog at the feed trough. I would bite then chew, BITE then chew, BITE then chew, only to breathe when absolutely necessary! The sandwiches were so savory and freaking delicious. I had crumbs all over me from slinging the sandwiches table to mouth. Heck, I even had hot mustard on my shirt and cheeks, and I didn’t care! You know why I didn’t care? Because it was so F@$#$ Delicious! That’s the truth – all I could think was: THANK YOU SIR, MAY I HAVE ANOTHER?

If you follow me then you know I preach about how important fresh, flavorful bread is to any sandwich, burger or meal where bread is the star attraction. It’s absolutely the single most important factor in creating a delicious sandwich. Dino’s BREAD was not only on point, it was pure BREAD PERFECTION. It couldn’t have been any better – it was simply #breadperfection. They do everything with DINO’S LOVE, including freshly cut meat and sandwiches made to order.

Featured Sandwiches:

👉 The Big “D” w/ Baked Ham, Peppered Beef, Salami, Bologna, Pepperoni, Cappocollo (Imported Italian Ham) & Cheese

👉 The Dino: w/ Peppered Beef, Baked Ham, Salami, Extra Provolone & Dino Dressed

👉 Hot Meatballs with Homemade Marinara Sauce

If you’re looking for something NEW or delicious, head to Dino’s and chow down. They’re a new official Trey’s Chow Down Delicious Destination for all food lovers to enjoy. 😉😋 Oh, and tell em’ Trey sent ya! 👊

Trey (Chow Down) Chapman


A Meat LOVERS Dream Houston BBQ Festival 2022

Houston BBQ Festival 2022 at the Humble Civic Center

Just some of the meat delicious I enjoyed!

If you ever wondered how popular Texas BBQ has become, you need to look no further than the number of successful BBQ Festivals these days. We’ve attended four and hosted two in the last 6 months alone, and there have been many more that we just couldn’t attend.

Texas BBQ has really made big strides in the last 15 years, and has really surged in the last decade. While traveling around the state and attending events, doing restaurant reviews, and hosting my live TV show and podcast, I’ve seen so many changes and new ideas, and they’ve all been for the better. During my travels around the USA, I get asked quite often about the surge in popularity of Texas BBQ. I make my answers brief and easy to understand, because everyone seems to be short on time these days.

To me, the popularity is quite simple: It’s the creativity, hard work, and dedication to producing that perfect meaty flavor. It’s the TEXAS pride that says, “We’re going to be the best, create the best, and sling the BEST Q anyone has ever tasted, or we’ll die trying!” You sure can’t leave out the competitive nature of Texans – that in its self is simply INCREDIBLE! I guess to put in simple terms you can just say, “Well It’s a Texas thing and you wouldn’t understand!” LOL. 

They understood 9 years ago when they hosted the first ever Houston BBQ Festival and it’s still standing strong today!  On April 3rd, 2022, 28 BBQ Joints, chefs and pit masters attended the 9th annual BBQ festival in Humble. Trey’s Chow Down got a tip from some of our followers in Texas about this amazing festival and we took a ride out to Houston to see what it was all about. After 2 years of waiting due to covid, the FESTIVAL WAS BACK! Chefs and pit masters were smoking up Humble, TX and slinging creative, delicious Texas BBQ for everyone to enjoy.


We experienced some seriously delicious dishes and talked to some fantastic pit masters, as well as BBQ lovers from around the state. While we enjoyed all the BBQ that was offered, I wanted to highlight our favorites that were loaded with creativity and deliciousness.

Blood Bros Tx BBQ 2022

1. Blood Bros. BBQ

Chef Bao’s wonderful “Peking Rib”

The rib was colorful, creative, flavorful, and loaded with deliciousness. I really enjoyed the creativity and effort to produce this wonderful dish. Simply put, the Peking Rib was R.I.D.I.C.U.L.O.U.S! #RidiculouslyDelicious. Hats off to Chef Bao for an awesome job! Side-note I ate 3 of these ribs. I couldn’t help it. I was like A PIG AT THE FEED TROUGH!

Brett’s BBQ Shop 2022

2. Brett’s Barbecue Shop 

“The Beef Cheek Confit Dish”

Served with stock-braised mushrooms and a red wine reduction, this was a risky dish to create for a Texas BBQ Festival. When I picked it up, I told Jana this has to be savory deliciousness or people will get the wrong idea. All I could say when I took my first bite was, “JESUS! JESUS! Somebody created and executed an incredibly delicious dish!” Hats off to the chef for taking a risk and creating a dish that was unique, succulent, loaded with flavor! #Stupiddelicious I might have eaten TWO! Just saying.

3. Daddy Duncan’s BBQ 

“Smoked Dirty Rice & Pulled Pork”

Daddy Duncan’s BBQ 2022

Prepared and topped with fresh Garlic Aioli, Homemade Sweet & Spicy Hot Sauce, Cracklings, and Cotija Cheese. When I saw this dish, I simply had to try it. The wonderful presentation alone helped sell it without even taking my first bite. It was a Texas BBQ dish of epic portions, and my mouth was watering while I walked back to my table. After I took my first BIG bite, I told Jana to run over and get me another one before they were all gone. Absolutely what I expected! A kaleidoscope of flavors that POPPED on my palette with every bite. I think this dish should be named “MORE”, because MORE is all I wanted after each bite.

👉 While every dish was delicious, the TOP 3 were off the charts! I want to THANK the pit masters and chefs for all their hard work and dedication to Texas BBQ. It’s not easy, and the last 2 years have been difficult on everyone. Thanks so much for showing up and slinging deliciousness.

Chefs and Pitmasters in attendance: 1701 Barbecue, Blood Bros BBQ, Brett’s BBQ Shop, Brotherton’s Black Iron BBQ, Burns Original BBQ, CorkScrew BBQ, Daddy Duncan’s BBQ, Dozier’s BBQ, Burro & Bull, Feges BBQ, Gatlin’s BBQ, Harlem Road Texas BBQ, J-Bar-M Barbecue, JQ’s Tex Mex BBQ, Killen’s Barbecue, Lenox Bar-B-Q, Nomad Barbecue, Pinkerton’s Barbecue, Pizzitola’s Bar-B-Cue, Roegels Barbecue Co, Southern Q, Spring Creek Barbeque, Tejas Chocolate & BBQ, The Brisket House, The Pit Room, Tin Roof BBQ, and Truth BBQ

A SPECIAL THANK YOU to our followers who suggested the festival to us. With 185,000 followers on 11 different platforms, we love getting DELICIOUS TIPS and SUGGESTIONS from all of you. THANK YOU so much for following and enjoying our posts, podcast, TV show, articles and reviews. We will see you at a table soon!

Trey’s Chow Down 🙏

Best Barbecue Joints North Texas & Beyond 2020

The 50 Best Burgers in North Texas 2021

Thank you!

Trey (Chow Down) Chapman


30 Must Try Restaurants & Food in Dallas & Fort Worth for 2022 (Best Thing I Ate)

Best Thing I Ate On Fox 4 Good Day.

Hello Food and Drink Lovers!

Have you ever taken a bite of something so delicious that you thought to yourself, “I have to tell someone about this!” I’m sure you have because we all feel that way sometimes. It doesn’t matter if it’s savory, sweet, or both, we just want to tell someone about how perfect a dish was. After traveling around in 2021, eating and visiting with chefs and restaurant folks, I had an idea. I wanted to spread a little deliciousness among my friends; I wanted to share with everyone the BEST DISHES I ATE in 2021.

2021 was our most successful year at locating creative chefs and delicious dishes. We traveled through 10 different states, logging our most miles ever and visiting a record number of chefs and restaurants. I wanted to highlight some of the most unique and delicious dishes you should try in 2022.  These are my top restaurants with dishes, and there’s a big variety so there’s something for everyone!

I enjoyed visiting and eating with some of the best chefs and restaurant folks in the business. Each dish has been carefully chosen and is a chef-driven dish prepared by the best! They only use fresh ingredients, vegetables, and spices to create some bold, modern flavor profiles that everyone will love. Most of the eats are simple dishes that are prepared with passion, love, and creativity.  Remember, a simple dish is sometimes the most difficult to facilitate because all parts must be complete perfection. I believe that in most cases simple is better because it gives each ingredient that culinary jingle to create deliciousness.

Knife Dallas Photo: Robert Jacoblerma

After the last 2 years I think it’s safe to say that we all need to save a little money in 2022. This is not only a list of deliciousness, but most of the dishes are also affordable so that everyone can enjoy them. I’ve listed a few that are a little pricey, but every now and then we can splurge to treat ourselves and our families. We all deserve to be treated like KINGS and QUEENS occasionally!

I truly hope that you’ll take some time and visit at least a few of these restaurants. As we know, restaurants have been suffering and playing catch up this last year, so any help you can give them would be greatly appreciated. If you have friends and family over for the holidays, now is the time to visit these unique restaurants and chow down on something special! Remember, nothing – NOT a conversation, NOT a handshake, or even a hug establishes friendship so forcefully as eating together with laughs and smiles!

Disclaimer: My Must Try list for 2022 DOES NOT include my BEST BBQ 2021 or BEST BURGERS 2021. You will have to visit my Best Burger List and my Best BBQ List to see those dishes. 

Are you ready for your tour of deliciousness? Here we go!

Knife Dallas   

Dallas & Plano, Texas

Chef John Tesar

Dry Age Steak /Bacon Sampler

Chef John Tesar has done a masterful job at creating a steakhouse that exceeds all expectations of what a steak dinner experience should be. He offers a Texas-sized variety of meats and cuts where a true steak connoisseur will feel like a kid in a candy store. His “Bacon Sampler” appetizer melts in your mouth with each bite. They have custom-crafted desserts, cocktails, and appetizers that will make your mouth water and your pallet dance. One of the BEST offerings at Knife is a dry-aged steak from John’s mesmerizing dry-age cooler. You can stand at the window, slobbering while you stare at the meats dry-aging second by second.  John’s dry-aged beef has a different flavor profile compared to what I’ve tasted in the past. Their process makes for a very intense flavor, creating hints of blue cheese, truffle, and popcorn butter. In my opinion, John’s flavor profile created at Knife is different and pure meaty perfection and it’s very addicting. Knife Dallas, Knife Plano and NOW John’s restaurant Knife & Spoon in Orlando, Florida is a MUST TRY in 2022. Watch Chef John Tesar on Trey’s Chow Down: https://watch.tcncountry.net/home

Wild Acre Camp Bowie  

Birria Grilled Cheese (Wild Acre Camp Bowie)

Fort Worth, Texas

Chef David Hollister

Birria Grilled Cheese /Meat Ball

I met Chef Hollister years ago and I’ve always enjoyed his food. I’ve hosted him on my TV show and podcast several times and have always enjoy his insight into the culinary world. He’s helped create some very successful restaurant concepts and has become a celebrity chef through his hard work and dedication to his culinary passion. He is an extremely creative chef and loves slinging deliciousness. His dishes are always beautiful, colorful, and loaded with flavor. His newest creation, a fresh-prepared “Birria Grilled Cheese”, is truly a culinary masterpiece. While it may sound simple by name, the way it’s prepared is anything but. ONE bite and you will be hooked for life! Its savory, cheesy, meaty deliciousness with a unique and unforgettable flavor profile. Wild Acre is a must visit in 2022! While you are there, add a Skillet Meat Ball if they’re available, and grab one of Wild Acres tasty CRAFT BEERS!

 Hawkers Dallas   

Deep Ellum, Texas

Chef  Jorge Da Rocha

Roti Canai / Pad Thai  (Cover Photo)

Hawkers Dallas opened in late 2021 in Deep Ellum. We took a ride over and spent some time with the staff and enjoyed a fabulous meal. They are an Asian street food concept specializing in creative, fresh, chef-driven eats as well as colorful, exotic craft cocktails, all wrapped up in a vibrant atmosphere. They have unique dishes that are loaded with deliciousness and quite addicting. We fell in foodie love with two dishes in particular. The “Roti Canai”, which is fresh-prepared Malaysian flatbread, served with Hawkers signature curry sauce.  You pick them up, rip them, dip them, and enjoy the unforgettable flavor. It truly has the WOW factor of savory deliciousness immediately when you take the first BITE! They also offer a “Pad Thai” dish that is a Hawkers Staple. If you’ve enjoyed Pad Thai before, I can promise you it’s not like this one. Prepared fresh with shrimp, chicken, red chili pepper sauce, eggs, veggies, and wok-fired to perfection, this dish has a variety of fresh and simple ingredients that when combined offer a true kaleidoscope of flavors that you will love! #StupidDelicious – Hawkers is a must visit in 2022!

B&B Butchers   

Fort Worth & Houston, Texas

Chef John Piccolino

Chef Tommy’s Bacon / Steak

Chef Tommy’s Bacon (B&B Butchers)

B&B Butchers & Restaurant in Fort Worth and Houston offer a cozy but vibrant atmosphere with incredible service. The menu is loaded with delicious, chef-driven eats, but I want to focus on a bacon appetizer that I’m in LOVE with. It can also be eaten as a main dish for lunch or dinner. It’s called “Chef Tommy’s Bacon”, and you need to try it! Tommy’s Bacon is prepared fresh bacon, house Roquefort blue cheese, and truffle infused honey. This dish will send your taste buds to the FLAVOR RODEO and fill your belly with delight. I truly wish I could convey through words how delicious this dish tastes, but the words don’t exist. I guess you’ll have to head that way to experience it for yourself! Saddle up for the flavor rodeo with each bite, because B&B Butchers is a must visit in 2022!

Seven Doors Kitchen & Craft Cocktails  

Grandscape The Colony, Texas

Chef Jacob “Smiling” Quintana

Candied Bacon / Old Fashion

I’ve enjoyed my culinary conversations with Chef Jacob because he’s loaded with culinary passion. Seven Doors opened during the pandemic and have been setting North Texas on fire with their creative fresh cocktails and delicious dishes. They have a colorful interior based on seven different old doors from around the world. They are simply a chef-driven, from-scratch concept that believes in creative eats featuring layered flavors, tasty craft cocktails, and plenty of deliciousness. Chef Jacob and his culinary team believe in only using fresh ingredients to achieve some bold flavor profiles. The first time I tasted his candied bacon, I went nuts and had to put in two orders because I couldn’t stop eating it. It has a candy apple-like texture, with a slightly chewy crunch, but not overly sweet. It’s lick-your-fingers delicious. Seven Doors is a must visit in 2022! Watch Chef Jacob on Trey’s Chow Down LIVE: https://watch.tcncountry.net/home

Brick & Bones   

Deep Ellum, Texas

Mexican Fried Chicken / Mac N Cheese

I like this chicken so much that I featured it on my BEST Chicken Dishes special on ABC Channel 8 AND my BEST Chicken for 2021. They are located in Deep Ellum in the heart of the arts district. I love the name Brick and Bones, kinda catchy! Classified as Mexican Fried Chicken, it’s something you’ve never tasted before. They will tell you it’s a throwback bar in Deep Ellum, focused on craft Mexican fried chicken, great cocktails, and curated spirits. They started in the kitchen, where they cooped up and built a menu centering around Mexican-inspired fried chicken, which is their specialty! Prepared with fresh chicken and over 15 different fresh Mexican spices, it’s crispy ridiculousness! The first time I put this chicken in my mouth I said, ”S!@#$%^& W.T.F.” because it was so damn delicious! I ordered a second helping because one just wasn’t enough. If you love lip-smacking savory chicken – some of the BEST in North Texas, then head over to see them at B&B. Oh and don’t forget the Habanero Mac-N-Cheese with your fried chicken. Brink & Bones is a must visit in 2022!

El Relleno (Nico’s Pizza)

Nico’s MX Pizzeria   

North Dallas, Texas

Restauranter Nico Ponce

Executive Chef Juan Manny Reyes

El Relleno Pizza / Short Corn Ribs

I was excited to be invited to Nico’s when it opened in North Dallas in late 2021. They brought Mexican street food to Dallas and combined it with pizza. Chef Juan is from Mexico, so the dishes are authentic, creative, and extremely colorful! We tried several delicious dishes, but the one that won our hearts was the “El Relleno Pizza”. When they set the pizza down in front of us and I saw the Chili Rellenos and fresh flowers layered on top, I went into full tilt pizza boogie. You read that correctly: the pizza is layered with edible Marigolds – I couldn’t wait to try a slice! It’s prepared with Nico’s deep dish pizza crust, farm-fresh chili relents, fresh salsa verde, a Mexican cheese blend (Oaxaca, Chihuahua, Asadero, Mozzarella), and poblano sauce, topped with farm-fresh diced tomatoes and fresh picked edible Marigolds. The presentation is unforgettable, and the flavor is savory, cheesy deliciousness with floral notes that you will savor forever. Don’t forget an order of “Short Corn Ribs”! Nico’s is a must visit in 2022!

Provender Hall   

Fort Worth Stock Yards, Texas

Chef Marcus Paslay

Wedge Salad / Pimento Cheese Dip

I’ve known Chef Marcus for years, and every concept he creates is unique and loaded with fresh chef-driven eats. Provender Hall is located in an old mule barn that has been restored with a colorful chic western vibe with a casual atmosphere. Chef Marcus believes in offering fresh, colorful, and creative dishes loaded with unforgettable flavors. They have a variety of tasty dishes and daily specials that everyone will enjoy, but I want to highlight what I consider to be the BEST Wedge Salad in North Texas. I’ve eaten a bunch of wedge salads this year on the hunt for the BEST! Marcus and his culinary team are slinging a wedge salad with a favor profile all its own. It’s prepared with farm-fresh lettuce that’s chilled to perfection, a house-made dressing that’s savory, a bit creamy with notes of dill and loaded with deliciousness. If you love wedge salads, you must try this one. Don’t forget the house Pimento Cheese Dip. Provender Hall is a must visit in 2022!

Parlor Donuts 

Lake Worth, Texas

Family Owned

Layered Donuts

When I first heard about Parlor Donuts and how they are layered, I couldn’t wrap my head around it as I’ve known how donuts have been made for decades. Parlor uses a unique technique to create their signature donuts. It’s the layers in their doughnuts that make them so special. PARLOR dough is layered in butter, making it flaky and sweet. Beyond their amazing dough, they work hard to offer an incredible selection of over 20 flavors. For this reason, they believe you will leave their shop saying, “This is the best doughnut I have ever had.” I can honestly tell you without hesitation that it’s the BEST DONUT I’VE EVER EATEN! Parlor Donut is a must try in 2022!

Vaqueros Texas Barbeque 

Grapevine, Texas

Pitmaster Trey Sanchez

Birria Tacos / Nanner Puddin

Mini Taco Flight (Tejas Bishop Arts)

Pitmaster Trey Sanchez has been around World Class Bar-B-Q and the Bar-B-Q business since he was a kid. His dad was in the food business and passed on that spark for creating deliciousness to Trey. Located in Grapevine at Hop and Sting Brewery, he has award-winning smoked meat Birria Tacos that have been featured on numerous national TV shows and social media.  His Birria Tacos are so dam tasty they’re actually famous, FAMOUSLY DELICIOUS that is! I want you to think about taking a grilled taco and dipping into fresh consommé sauce which I call taco gravy. That’s Birria Tacos! His brisket is flavor-loaded, bold, and he offers house-prepared sides that are always on point and loaded with deliciousness. Don’t forget his NANNER PUDDIN! It’s savory sweet deliciousness to die for! Watch Pitmaster Trey on Trey’s Chow Down LIVE: https://watch.tcncountry.net/home

Tejas Bishop Arts  

Dallas, Texas

Chef Nick Hurry

Mini Taco Flight

We discovered this little hidden jewel which is in Dallas in the Bishop Arts District. Tejas is a trendy TEX-MEX spot slinging chef-driven eats and craft cocktails with agave-forward spirits and includes some colorful signature drinks. Chef says, ” It’s the BEST of Mexico and Texas combined.” Tejas was transformed during the pandemic from a counter-service only to a full-service restaurant. It offers a vibrant and upbeat atmosphere with a creative menu loaded with deliciousness. The Chef’s Mini Taco Flight is savory, unique, taco deliciousness that I fell in love with.  You can choose from SIX or TWELVE TACOS with your choice of picadillo beef or poblano chicken. Each bite is a flavor explosion in your mouth, so buckle up and get ready for a taco surprise! Tejas is a must visit in 2022.

Bankhead Brewing  

Fort Worth, Texas

Chef Driven Eats

Lobster Mac-N-Cheese

Located in Fort Worth in the West 7th Street area, Bankhead Brewing is a craft brewpub offering fresh, chef-driven eats and tasty craft beers. They opened during the pandemic and have been a driving force in the vibrant west 7th street area slinging deliciousness and fun. Their craft beers have won awards including 2018 Silver Medal Winners at the Great American Beer Festival for their Southern German-style Hefeweizen (Hoofer’s Hef). When we heard about the fresh Lobster Mac-N-Cheese I couldn’t resist the culinary tug to try this dish. Prepared with various cheeses, fresh lobster, and pasta, each bite is a karate chop of savory cheesy deliciousness. A must try in 2022. Don’t forget an award-winning craft beer!

Connecticut Lobster Roll (E.H.S.C.)

East Hampton Sandwich Shop  

Dallas / Fort Worth Texas

Chef Driven Sandwiches

Connecticut Lobster Roll (Warm)

 The story goes: Their first location opened the doors in 2012 after founder Hunter Pond realized his penchant for flavorful, perfectly prepared sandwiches outweighed his commitment to the law degree he was pursuing. When I first visited East Hampton, I was impressed with their fresh-prepared sandwiches. In a world that is saturated with sandwich shops they stand alone in the pursuit of creative deliciousness. The Connecticut Lobster Roll is served warm and offers a unique flavor profile that is savory, buttery deliciousness you can’t forget. Each bite I took was better than the last, truly an unforgettable sandwich. Prepared with a hot butter-grilled N.E. Atlantic lobster knuckle + claw meat and Old Bay seasoning, then stacked inside a fresh toasted bread roll that is light, airy and flavorful. You also get your own little container of fresh, melted, clarified butter to pour over the sandwich. WOW! This sandwich is so good it would make a Pit Bull break it’s chain! A must try in 2022 if you’re looking for true sandwich perfection!

Jose On Lovers  

Dallas, Texas

Chef A.Q. Pittman

Any Dish Offered (On Cover)

Jose On Lovers is one of those rare restaurants offering perfection with every dish prepared. They have a creative, fresh take on contemporary Mexican cuisine. Chef A.Q. Pittman and her culinary team create some of the most beautiful, colorful, and vibrant dishes in the Texas dining scene. Her team plates every dish to the finest detail, creating deliciousness that is unforgettable. They only source and use authentic, fresh ingredients and vegetables to achieve the best possible flavor profiles, offering a kaleidoscope of flavors with every bite. Jose is truly an unforgettable dining experience for Mexican food lovers, art lovers, and Craft Tequila Lovers alike. I was lucky enough to host Chef AQ on Trey’s Chow Down LIVE and it was a culinary education and the life of a passionate chef in the pursuit of perfection. Jose is a must visit in 2022 and is one of favorite Mexican restaurants in the USA! Watch Chef AQ Pitman on Trey’s Chow Down LIVE: https://watch.tcncountry.net/home


Texas Locations

Sizzling Family Platter #2

I was in disbelief when I learned about the new BIG FAMILY MEATY Platter they’re offering at PAPPASITO’S location across Texas. When someone in Texas talks about barbeque, beef, or steaks, they tend to exaggerate. This is the reason I didn’t believe the size of the Family Platter until I saw it for myself. I heard the meat and vegetables sizzling as the platter approached, and my mouth started watering. WOW! My mind went into full tilt Foodie Boogie because it smelled like meaty deliciousness and looked like heaven on a platter. I was truly SHOCKED by the number of proteins and vegetables we received. They said it would feed 4 people but truly it’s more like 6 or 7.

Sizzling Family Platter (PAPPASTIO’S CANTINA)


The platter includes Fresh Quail, Fresh Beef Fajita meat, Fresh Grilled Chicken meat, Fresh Jalapeño Cheese Sausage, Mexican rice, house beans, fresh cut jalapeños, fresh prepared quac, and we added extra sour cream and shredded cheese. We enjoyed the fresh chicharrones with house queso and chili Con-Queso. Talk about a FULL MEAL DEAL! It’s truly a meal for meat lovers to enjoy! A must try in 2022.

K POP Burgers  

The Colony Texas

Chef Kevin Lee

Asian Infused Burgers

I’m going to tell you right now: if you don’t want to eat massive burgers, DO NOT go to K POP. Every burger they offer is a massive stack of meaty, savory deliciousness. Once your burger arrives at your table you will be slinging sauce ear to ear. I tried the 3.5 Pound “Bang Tan Burger”, which was loaded with eight (1/2 Lbs) fresh Angus beef patties (x5), grilled pineapple (x2), grilled jalapenos, grilled spam patties (x2), American cheese (x6), pepper jack cheese (x4), and fresh house prepared K3 Sauce that will have you licking your lips in a food coma. All the burgers on their menu are loaded with flavor explosions, you can’t go wrong! If you’re a burger lover head over to K Pop. They are a must visit in 2022.

Shell Shack Restaurants  

DFW Locations

Fresh Chef Driven

The Heavy Weight / Crab Tator Tots

Seafood Deliciousness (Shell Shack restaurants)

Shell Shack specializes in fresh, chef-driven seafood dishes, sides and desserts. I love the BIG bags of fresh seafood and the amazing Crab Tater Tots. All-day seafood, “THE HEAVYWEIGHT” – prepared with two lbs. of SNOW CRAB, two lbs. of SHRIMP, one lb. Of KING CRAB, two fried FRIED CATFISH FILETS, eight FRIED SHRIMP, eight CORN, twelve POTATOES, twelve SAUSAGE, fresh FRIES, and loads of HUSHPUPPIES. Wow, a seafood experience like no other! Seven pounds of smack you in the face seafood deliciousness. Feeds five to six people and is market priced. Don’t forget the fresh crab tater tots, they are always GBD Golden Brown and Delicious. Shell Shack a must try in 2022.

Ruth’s Chris Steakhouses  

DFW Locations

Fresh Steaks & Seafood

Chef Driven

Baked Cheese Stuffed Chicken Breast

I’ve been telling food lovers about this chicken dish for a decade. Now before you say, “What? Isnt Ruth’s Chris known for fancy steaks?” Yes, they are, but I can promise you the chicken is the sleeper on their menu. I’ve been eating this chicken dish for years and I can honestly say it’s at the top of any chicken dish I’ve ever eaten anywhere in the world. I say with confidence that you will be blown away. It’s presented hot, crackling, and bubbling with butter and a beautiful golden brown crisp skin. The aroma of this dish as they set it down in front of you is head-turning. I swear, when I order this dish, folks around me will ask, “What in the world is that?” I always say with a grin, “Why, it’s STUFFED CHICKEN BREAST!” It’s prepared with a double-breasted chicken that’s been oven-roasted, stuffed with garlic herb cheese, and topped with lemon butter. Trust me and go try this succulent, cheesy, flavor-layered dish at Ruth’s Chris Steak House. It’s a must try in 2022 and one of the BEST THINGS I’VE EVER EATEN!

Bushi Bushi Dum Sum Palace 

Addison, Texas

Chef Driven

Soup Pan Fried Dumplings

Crab Truffle Mac-N-Cheese (Drake’s Hollywood)

They opened about six months ago in Addison and specialize in fresh appetizers, soup, Dimsum, entrees, desserts, and craft cocktails. When I heard about a place called DUM SUM Palace I wasted no time at making my way to chow down on some of their award-winning dumplings. They prepare the dumplings fresh daily using locally sourced ingredients and vegetables to create dumpling love affairs. The Soup Dumplings are my favorite because when you bite into them, they release a river of flavors running through your mouth that are unforgettable. Bushi Bushi is a must visit in 2022 for an unforgettable dumpling love affair.

Drake’s Hollywood  

Dallas, Texas

Chef Driven

Snow Crab & Black Truffle Mac N Cheese

Drake’s a dark, cozy, old-fashion Hollywood style eater that is loaded with charm and coziness. Old painted Hollywood actors line the walls of the dining room and bar area. Drake’s offers plenty of chef-driven deliciousness like pizzas, steaks, and crazy desserts. I want to discuss the mega cheesy “Snow Crab & Black Truffle Mac ‘N’ Cheese”. You just can’t go wrong with this savory, gooey, cheesy, flavorful, and delicious seafood Mac-N-Cheese. It’s always served HF&D Hot, Fresh and Delicious! A must try in 2022.

Doc B’s Restaurant & Bar

Fort Worth & Dallas, Texas

Chef Driven

1lb Angry Meat Ball

I don’t know the story behind Doc B’s, but I do know they’re slinging creative deliciousness all day. They have open spaces for dining rooms and wonderful outdoor patio areas. Eating outdoors in Texas with a pound of meat sitting in front of you is what food dreams are made of. The 1 Ib. Angry Meat Ball is served in a big cast iron skillet, topped with a spicy house tomato sauce, fresh ricotta cheese, and house garlic bread. When you take the first big bite it’s a karate chop of flavor in your mouth… K POW! If you love meat balls, it’s a must try in 2022.

Malai Kitchen  

Fort Worth, Southlake, Dallas Texas

Chef Driven

Drunken Noodles

Fresh Lobster Ravioli (Saint Rocco’s)

I like to call Malai Kitchen the “Flavor Palace” because every dish I eat here is loaded with tastiness. Every single bite I take of anything here puts a smile on my face and happiness in my heart. All the dishes are colorful, fresh, and creative! The service is always perfect, and the staff is happy to help you. The atmosphere is upbeat, open, and very bright. I just can’t get enough of Malai Kitchen and my favorite dish is the Drunken Noodles. I can smell it before they set it down in front of me. They are the BEST drunken noodles I’VE EVER EATEN. I’ve even had delicious dreams about this dish! You need to head over to Malai Kitchen and for some noodle deliciousness. They are a must try in 2022.

Saint Rocco’s New York Italian  

Trinity Groves, Dallas

Chef Jay Valley

Lobster Ravioli

If you love to be entertained, drink, and CHOW DOWN, then Saint Rocco’s is a spot you need to check out. They have a vast array of different fresh prepared dishes and tasty craft cocktails. The atmosphere is colorful, old-school Italian with some fantastic views of downtown Dallas. Trinity Groves is one of my favorite spots and chef Jay Valley and his culinary team are one of the best in the Dallas food scene. The “Lobster Ravioli” is prepared fresh by hand daily using only the freshest ingredients, and Jay’s grandma’s old Italian cooking technique. When the dish arrives, you can see the fresh ravioli floating on a bed of the house prepared lobster truffle cream sauce. When you take your first bite its savory, creamy, a little cheesy and a load of deliciousness. It’s so dam good that I’ll do things to that dish that’s probably illegal in most states. YES! It’s that good! A must try in 2022!

Pho District  

7th Street Fort Worth, Texas

Chef Kenzo Tran

Sizzling Beef & Chicken Platters

Pho District has been open since 2018 and I’ve been eating there since the first day the doors slung open. It has a hip vibe and open spaces featuring modern takes on Vietnamese street food. They use fresh, locally sourced ingredients to create some street food deliciousness. I’m in food love with the sizzling platters! You can hear and smell them as they approach the table with the platters. The dish is served in a cast iron skillet in the shape of cow and is hot, sizzling and meaty goodness. If you love sizzling meat, you need to try this dish because it’s worth it and you need it in your life!  Must try dish in 2022!

Jonathon’s Diner  

Dallas, Texas

Chef Jonathon

Danger Dogs / Fried Chicken & Waffles

CoCo Shrimp Sampler (CoCo Shrimp)

One of my favorite little places in Texas, or anywhere for that matter! I stumbled on this place by accident four years ago, and I loved it from the first time I laid my eyes on it. It’s located right off Beckley Ave. in a little neighborhood in Dallas. There is just something to be said for a cozy little laid-back diner that is full of charm and energy. I can’t truly describe the feeling when you walk in, but it just feels friendly and comfortable like you’re supposed to be there. This is the cozy type of place my mom, grandad and grandma would have loved. I sit at the bar and order this dish called “Danger Dogs.” Yeaaaahh, you read that correctly, Danger Dogs! I love creative menu options and I just had to order these. After they sat them down in front of me and I took my first bite I was HOOKED like a fish on a pole. I’ve been back four times to chow down on Danger Dogs and chicken and waffles, and you should too. They have a variety of tasty, creative options for you to enjoy with craft cocktails too. Don’t forget the brunch items… WOW! Make plans to visit Jonathan’s and find out why I love them so much. It’s just cozy, delicious perfection! A must visit in 2022

CoCo Shrimp  

Fort Worth, Texas

Chef Driven Shrimp Concept

Shrimp Sampler

I first visited CoCo Shrimp two years ago, and that started love affair in Texas. They story goes: The Coco Shrimp dream began while they were attending BYU-Hawaii. Over four, adventure-filled years, they fell in love with the laid-back lifestyle of the North Shore of Oahu. They became enamored with the way food played such an important role in the Polynesian culture.  They moved back to Fort Worth, their hometown, and opened CoCo Shrimp specializing in fresh shrimp dishes and tacos. People have fallen in love with CoCo Shrimp and everything they are slinging out of the kitchen. The first time I walked through the doors, I could smell the strong hints of sweet garlic, onions and herbs. My foodie barometer was on full tilt. I ordered the Shrimp Sampler, and the rest is history. It was a bath of Polynesian, shrimp flavored deliciousness! They are a must visit in 2022. Throw that door open and Tell’em you’re diving in for a shrimp platter.

Little Red Wasp 

Sundance Square Fort Worth, Texas

Chef Blaine Staniford

“Fried Chicken & Biscuit” Parker House Rolls

Cheddar Cheese Fried Chicken Biscuit (L.R.W.)

Little Red Wasp Kitchen and Bar is nestled in downtown Fort Worth between two steak houses. This restaurant is a chef-driven, knife and fork sandwich concept by Chef Blaine Staniford and Adam Jones. They are slinging deliciousness with every dish on their menu. I’ve featured them so much, one would think they are paying me, but one would be wrong! I just love the cozy atmosphere, great service, and creative dishes. But I’m in love the Wasp “Fried Chicken and Cheddar Cheese Biscuit.” It’s prepared with a fresh house cheddar cheese biscuit, house prepared black pepper gravy, and an awesome big fat n’ juicy fried chicken breast. You must have a knife and fork to eat this beast of a dish. It’s packed with flavor, and you will be sopping up the gravy with your little fingers and licking them all up, I promise you that! Get to the WASP because It’s a must visit in 2022!

Chabelo’s Food Truck  

Paris Texas

Chef Driven

Cheesy Birria Pizza

Located in Paris, Texas just north of Dallas, they offer the best Birria Pizza I have eaten in Texas to date. When I walked up to place my order, I was greeted by some extremely friendly people with big smiles. It was difficult to stand there because the delicious smell was pouring out from the trailer. I could see and hear the Birria Tacos sizzling on the grill! I placed a big order, but I’m going to highlight and feature the Birria Pizza because it was truly unbelievable. When I grabbed the pizza box it was very heavy, and I knew that meant only one thing – It was going to be loaded with tons of cheese ?and plenty of deliciousness.

What I discovered was one of the BEST BIRRIA PIZZAS in Texas, and I’ve eaten quite a few this year as I’ve been on a mission to discover the BEST. The Pizza was prepared fresh to order, so it takes about 20 to 25 minutes, but it’s so worth the wait! It had loads of cheese, fresh house-prepared sauces, farm-fresh onions, and cilantro chopped and bagged separately. It also came with fresh grilled onions that were caramelized to perfection on the grill. Every single bite you take from the first to the last will have you saying OMG, OMG, OMG because it’s loaded with deliciousness and each bite is sinful! I promise you will be praying to the flavor gods for more! A must visit and worth the drive to Paris, Texas in 2022. Make a day of it because Paris is a beautiful old East Texas town full of charm.

 Jazzy’s Tacos  

Dallas / Fort Worth, Texas

Chef Driven Mobile Concept

Fresh Birria Tacos

I met Chef Jose and Chef Jazmin just a few short months ago in Deep Ellum. They were slinging taco deliciousness, and when I say slinging, I mean deliciousness was flying everywhere! Everything I tried from their grill was stupid delicious. The fresh prepared tacos, Birria Tacos and Birria Taco Pizza and desserts… all amazing! I’m going to focus on the Birria Tacos because they were taco perfection. The Birria Tacos were served Golden Brown and HF&D – hot fresh and delicious. Loaded with succulent and flavorful meat, cheese, farm-fresh onions and cilantro.

New Hops & Hens (Restaurants On Lamar)

If you’re looking for some Taco Deliciousness you need some Jazzy’s Tacos and Jazzy’s Sweets in your DIET. They are a must try in 2022!

Hops & Hens  

Restaurants On Lamar

Dallas, Texas

Chef Driven

Fried Chicken Sandwiches, Tenders & Sides

The NEW concept Hen & Hops is open at the Omni Dallas Hotel and is located on Restaurants on Lamar across from the Omni Hotels & Resorts. Created by the Omni and their award-winning culinary team, it’s a new concept specializing in fresh farm to table chicken dishes, sides, desserts, and craft beers. They really did a fantastic job of creating the concept, menu, fresh dishes, and the vibrant atmosphere.

The only use fresh, locally sourced ingredients and vegetables to create some bold modern American flavor profiles that are flavor loaded and delicious. I love their signature batter because it’s light, flavorful and turns a perfect golden brown. After cooking, the fried chicken is light, savory, and cooked GBD #GoldenBrownandDelicious. They offer plenty of sides and salads that are served fresh. All the dressings and flavorful sauces are also prepared in house by the culinary team. The chicken and sides are a kaleidoscope of flavors with each bite. If you love chicken HOPS & HENS is a must visit restaurant!

Bisous  Bisous Patisserie  

Uptown Dallas, Texas

Chef Andrea Myer

An intimate French Chef-driven bakery known for its unbelievable macarons & other French pastries, with a coffee bar & cozy patio seating. If you follow me, you know I LOVE my sweets! I love the creative, colorful, and delicious, sweet treats that come from Bisous Bisous Pâtisserie in Uptown. They are truly some of the BEST I’ve ever eaten in the WORLD. That’s a big and bold statement, but it’s TRUE. Chef Andrea Myer and her culinary team are slinging some colorful and beautiful pastries that are prepared fresh in house. They only use the finest ingredients sourced locally to create some unforgettable sweet and savory flavor profiles you will love.

If you love sweets and pastries like I do, head over to Bisous Bisous Pâtisserie. I promise it’s worth the drive from anywhere in the DFW area. They are a must visit in 2022.

Thank You I hope you enjoy the deliciousness!

Trey (Chow Down) Chapman



10 Best Mac-N-Cheese Destinations Dallas & Fort Worth 2022

Howdy Mac-N-Cheese Lovers!

Drake’s Buffalo Mac-N-Cheese.

I always enjoy a little history with my food because I think it’s important to discuss the history of food. The first modern recipe for macaroni and cheese was included in Elizabeth Raffald’s 1769 book, The Experienced English Housekeeper. Raffald’s recipe is for a Béchamel sauce with cheddar cheese—a Mornay sauce in French cooking—which is mixed with macaroni, sprinkled with Parmesan, and baked until bubbly and golden brown. WOW! If that doesn’t sound delicious and straight from 1769.

I don’t know how someone COULDN’T be in LOVE with a bowl of fresh, savory, cheesy Mac-N-Cheese. Ever since I was a child I enjoyed Mac-N-Cheese. It’s always had that fresh culinary jingle that I love. There are so many creative variations of this classic dish that you can enjoy from chef’s menus these days. They offer it with multiple fresh cheeses, crab, lobster, bacon, smoked brisket, garlic, onions, chives, and even fresh truffles. No matter how you enjoy Mac-N-Cheese, there is a dish for you to chow down on in the North Texas area.

I enjoy the savory, buttery, seriously cheesy Mac-N-Cheese so all of my winners on this year’s list will be loaded with cheesy deliciousness. I just can’t see Mac-N-Cheese being served any other way! I spent all year hunting for the best Mac-N-Cheese that North Texas has to offer, and we found some great ones. Are you ready for your tour of baked, savory, cheesy deliciousness?

Chef and Pitmaster Mac-N-Cheese creations:  

1.Drake’s Hollywood   

Dallas, Texas

Chef Driven

Baked Snow Crab & Black Truffle Mac N Cheese (Cover)

Baked Buffalo Mac-N-Cheese

Knife Dallas Johnny’s Mac.

Drake’s is a dark, cozy, old-fashion Hollywood style eatery that is loaded with charm and coziness. Old painted Hollywood actors line the walls of the dining room and bar area. Drake’s offers plenty of chef-driven deliciousness like pizzas, steaks, and crazy desserts, but I want to discuss the mega cheesy “Snow Crab & Black Truffle Mac ‘N’ Cheese” and the “Buffalo Mac-N-Cheese”. You just can’t go wrong with this savory, gooey, cheesy, flavorful, and delicious Mac-N-Cheese. It’s always served HF&D Hot, Fresh and Delicious! Better make reservations before you head out!

2 Knife Dallas    

Dallas & Plano, Texas

Chef John Tesar

Johnny’s Mac-N-Cheese & Bacon Bread Crumbs

Chef John Tesar has done a masterful job at creating a steakhouse that exceeds all expectations of what a steak dinner experience should be. He offers a Texas-sized variety of dry aged meats and cuts where a true steak connoisseur will feel like a kid in a candy store. I want to discuss Johnny’s Mac and Cheese & Bacon Bread Crumbs appetizer that melts in your mouth with each bite. It’s served with fresh mac, a slightly crispy baked top that is loaded with savory, bacon, cheesy, bread crumb deliciousness. Check out Knife in Dallas or Plano for some cheesy perfection. Better make reservations before you head out!

3 Bankhead Brewing   

Fort Worth, Texas

Chef Driven Eats

Lobster Mac-N-Cheese

Bankhead Brewing Lobster Mac.

Located in Fort Worth in the West 7th Street area, Bankhead Brewing is a craft brewpub offering fresh, chef-driven eats and tasty craft beers. They opened during the pandemic and have been a driving force in the vibrant west 7th street area slinging deliciousness and fun. Their craft beers have won awards including 2018 Silver Medal Winners at the Great American Beer Festival for their Southern German-style Hefeweizen (Hoofer’s Hef). When we heard about the fresh Lobster Mac-N-Cheese I couldn’t resist the culinary tug to try this dish. Prepared with various cheeses, fresh lobster, and pasta, each bite is a karate chop of savory cheesy deliciousness. A must try in 2022. Don’t forget an award-winning craft beer!

4. Brick & Bones    

Deep Ellum, Texas

Habanero Mac N Cheese

Brick & Bones is a cozy little food and drink joint located in Deep Ellum arts district of Dallas. I discovered Brick and Bones a few years ago and fell in love with the fresh-prepared menu items. They offer some of the BEST Mac-N-Cheese in North Texas. The Habanero Mac-N-Cheese is served baked, savory, and cheesy. Topped with fresh chopped bacon, each bite offers a little heat but is loaded with flavor. If you love Mac-N-Cheese, you need to check out Brick and Bones. You can also order it TOGO! Your choice, should you make the trip.

5. Twigs American Kitchen 

The Colony, Texas

Chef Driven Concept

Cast Iron Crab Mac-N-Cheese

Located at Grandscapes in The Colony, Texas, Twigs is a chef-driven concept that is slinging fresh deliciousness. I discovered their fresh Skillet Crab Mac-N-Cheese early in 2021 and fell in love with the savory, cheesy flavor profile. It’s prepared with fresh crab, loads of cheese, and baked to savory cheesy goodness. Each bite has the perfectly cheesy karate chop of flavor. It’s simply cheesy perfection! Take a ride over to Grandscapes and enjoy Twigs – you will thank me later. Don’t forget the savory and sweet fresh donut holes for dessert!

The Londoner Pub Mac.

6. The Londoner Pub 

Colleyville & Addsion, Texas

Chef Driven

Fresh Mac-N-Cheese

Located in Colleyville and Addison, the Londoner is slinging some fresh-prepared, authentic English deliciousness. I fell in LOVE with the simple Mac-N-Cheese because it was served extra cheesy. Prepared with long holey pasta, loads of cheese, chopped bacon, fresh parsley and served in a Texas-size bowl. Each bite is extra cheesy and crates a flavor explosion in your mouth because the cheese gets trapped inside the long holey pasta. If you love Mac-N-Cheese head over to the Londoner and don’t forget to crab an order of the fresh Fish-N-Chips!

7. Pecan Lodge BBQ  

Deep Ellum Dallas, Texas

Pitmaster Driven

Pitmaster Mac-N-Cheese

Doc B’s Cast Iron Skillet Mac.

Pecan Lodge is an award-winning Texas craft barbeque restaurant located in the Deep Ellum Arts District of Dallas. They offer fresh pit master-prepared deliciousness daily. The Mac-N-Cheese is considered a side option at Pecan Lodge, but that doesn’t matter because you can order however much your heart desires. Topped with bacon or brisket, it’s served HF&D Hot Fresh and Delicious. Each bite is savory, cheesy deliciousness in your mouth. Don’t forget some smoked fresh Texas Craft Brisket with your fresh Mac-N-Cheese.

8. Doc B’s Restaurant & Bar  

Fort Worth & Dallas, Texas

Chef Driven

Cast Iron Skillet Mac-N-Cheese

I don’t know the story behind Doc B’s, but I do know they’re slinging creative deliciousness all day. They have open spaces for dining rooms and wonderful outdoor patio areas. The fresh prepared cast iron skillet mac-n-cheese is served with a baked, slightly crispy outside shell with a soft savory cheesy inside. It’s always served GBD Golden Brown and delicious. Don’t forget a Big TEXAS Angry Meatball.

9. Cane Rosso  

DFW Locations

Chef Driven Pizza Concept

Fresh Skillet Mac-N-Cheese

Cane Rosso Mac. (Photo Cane Rosso)

Cane Rosso offers wide open spaces slinging fresh-prepared craft Neapolitan style pizzas. They only use fresh ingredients to create deliciousness and the fresh-prepared Mac-N-Cheese is no exception. It’s cheesy goodness is unforgettable. Prepared and baked in a skillet with fresh fontina cream, provolone, mozzarella, parsley, crispy garlic breadcrumbs, and you can add bacon marmalade & white truffle oil to create savory cheesy perfection. If you haven’t this dish you should probably head over and chow down. Don’t forget one of these Neapolitan style pizzas.

10. Palmer’s Hot Chicken  

Dallas, Texas

Chef Driven Concept


Palmer’s offers award-winning hot chicken, sides, and craft cocktails. They have a big wide-open dining room and a great patio if you love the fresh Texas outdoor air. Their Mac-N-Cheese is considered a side item, but it’s loaded with savory, cheesy deliciousness with each bite. You can always add some chunks of famous Palmer’s Fried Hot Chicken to create Mac-N-Cheese perfection.

If you love fresh Mac-N-Cheese, I strongly suggest you try some of these delicious spots in North Texas. Please follow us on our social media platforms for daily delicious ideas and creative chefs. We are passionate about locating and reporting on deliciousness!

Trey (Chow Down) Chapman

Please follow us on our social media platforms for daily deliciousness. I’ve been covering food, chefs and deliciousness for decades.


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Hello Chow Hounds!


Last week Trey’s Chow Down took another Road Trip for deliciousness as we headed out to beautiful East Texas to the town Paris, Texas. Paris is a wonderful and beautiful city, complete with a downtown country feel and beautiful views. Paris is in Northeast Texas at the western edge of the Piney Woods.  It’s in Lamar County and as of the 2010 census, the population of the city was 25,171.

We made the trip to Paris because someone told me about a little food trailer slinging some of the BEST BIRRIA TACOS, PIZZAS, and RAMEN in Texas. If you follow me, you know we live to discover deliciousness for our followers. I’m telling you this an amazing find!

What is Birria? Let me explain! Birria is a Mexican dish from the state of Jalisco. The Spanish term “birria” is used to describe immaterial things without value or quality. It is a traditional ancestral soup or stew made from a combination of chili pepper-based goat meat adobo, garlic, cumin, bay leaves, and thyme, and cooked at a low heat. After cooking it’s usually simmered for about 20 minutes, then blended in a high powered blender until nice and smooth. An authentic Birria Taco, Pizza or Burrito is served with “Consome de Birria” sauce and it is #StupidDelicious.

The BEST Fried Chicken in Dallas and Fort Worth, North Texas.

Howdy Fried Chicken Lovers!

Rapscallion Dallas “Long Walk To Nashville” Fried Bird. ABC Studios.

I’ve been excited and wanting to create my list of top fried chicken joints for over two years, but like fried chicken itself, you just can’t rush perfection. We’ve been enjoying fried chicken all over North Texas from casual, fast casual and fast-food joints and I’ve finally decided it was time to let the feathers fly and expose what I consider to be the BEST fried chicken in the North Texas area.

We have many places selling various forms of chicken nowadays, so I want to be clear about what I mean when discussing fried chicken. I’m talking about fresh, bone-in chicken fried to GBP – Golden Brown Perfection. Wikipedia defines fried chicken as: “Southern fried chicken,” also known simply as fried chicken, is a dish consisting of chicken pieces that have been coated with seasoned flour or batter and pan-fried, deep fried, pressure fried, or air fried. The breading adds a crisp coating or crust to the exterior of the chicken while retaining juices in the meat.

Growing up, we served fried chicken at some of our Chapman Family Restaurants and it was very good. Under our restaurant umbrella we also owned a Churches Fried Chicken franchise, and this is where I truly learned the preparation techniques and the time it took to cook and deliver fresh fried chicken. There really are no shortcuts in the process – if you try and eliminate a step, you’re asking for subpar chicken. Preparing fried chicken isn’t very technical, but I strongly believe that simple cooking processes are sometimes the hardest to pull off. The simpler the dish, the less places there are to hide from subpar preparation.

The 50 Best Burgers in North Texas 2021

Howdy Burger Lovers!

I’m honored to present this year’s BEST burger winners. Any burger on my list is here because they are fresh and delicious. Please support local and try all of these burgers. Below at the end of the blog we created a full color poster of this years winners. You may screen shot from your phone or print it off and plan your BURGER adventures of 2021. By saving our list you will have instance reference for your barbecue cravings. 

WOW! What a year 2020 was for the restaurant, food, and culinary world. In my five decades in the restaurant business, I’ve seen disasters of all types and nothing comes close to the devastating effect Covid-19 had on our economy. Restaurants, chefs, pitmasters, and restauranteurs had to make big changes if they wanted to survive the pandemic. Nationwide, we lost over 251,000 restaurants forever and 2.5 million restaurant jobs at the latest estimate. The good thing is that NOW we are on the mend and the Texas economy is in full giddy-up mode! This is why it’s so important to support local restaurants to keep us in giddy-up mode.

Even though things were crazy due to Covid-19 we still worked hard reporting on food and hunting down the best burgers we could locate in North Texas. The pandemic allowed us plenty of extra time to chow down on some tasty burgers; it also allowed burger creators time to come up with some new delicious and creative burgers for all of us to enjoy. If you follow me, you know how much I enjoy a great and tasty burger.  This is our seventh year for the BEST BURGER contest in Texas and I’m excited to tell everyone about my delicious burger discoveries.

Did you know that burgers are one of the most sought-after sandwiches in the world? The burger business is crazy in the U.S.A. I don’t have the newly updated numbers of burgers sold in 2020 during the pandemic (and it would be an oddly skewed amount), so we are using the last updated numbers. A national research company states that we sell 6.48 million burgers a day, and around 75 burgers a second! What? Yes, 75 burgers a second! This roughly breaks down as 4,500 burgers every minute, 270,000 every hour, 6.48 million a day, and 2.36 billion burgers a year. A worldwide research study states we sell 50 billion a year worldwide. 50 Billion a year that to me is shocking, but I know how many folks just love a succulent, savory, and delicious burger.