Orlando Florida has a new reason to celebrate TODAY! Dallas Chef John Tesar WON a Michelin Star for his KNIFE & SPOONRestaurant 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 REEFin 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.
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.
Trey’s Chow Down on our MEETS, EATS and SWEETS Tour Road Trip’in the USA for deliciousness. Today we’re inKansas 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.
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.
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 Barbecueis 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.
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.
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.
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.
Sandwich Perfection isn’t easy, but I’ve discovered it!
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?
Houston BBQ Festival 2022 at the Humble Civic Center
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.
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.
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?
Baked Snow Crab & Black Truffle Mac N Cheese (Cover)
Baked Buffalo Mac-N-Cheese
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!
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!
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!
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.
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!
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!
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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 tastyburger. This is our seventh year for the BEST BURGERcontest 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.