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.
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.
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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.
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 atInn 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!
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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.
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!
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
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 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 & 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!
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
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!
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!
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!
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!
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
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.
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!
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 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
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.
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.
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 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.
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!
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 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.
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.
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.
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 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!
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
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 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!
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.
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.
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!
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!
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.
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.
Hello, and THANK YOU so much for reading our Best Barbecue article for 2020. This year we’re very proud to release our Best Barbecue for 2020 on the Fox Network GOOD DAY Fox 4 show. Last year our 2019 BEST Barbecue in North Texas on ABC was extremely successful! In just over fifteen months we reached 1.2 million barbecue and food lovers. I hope you will visit some, if not all, of this year’s winners and reshare our article with your friends and family to help support local barbecue, pitmasters and deliciousness.
Below at the end of the blog we created a full list of this years winners. You may screen shot from your phone or print it off and plan your BBQ 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, barbecue, 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 has had on our economy. Restaurants, pitmasters, chefs, 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!
Wow, what a year 2020 was for the restaurant and service industry, and not in a good way. Thank goodness it’s over and we can move on down the road.
If you follow me then you know I’m extremely passionate about food, drink, creative chefs, awesome service folks, and the restaurants and grub pubs that host us. Last July I started pondering on what I could do to help support local restaurants, chefs, and the service industry. Something that was different, exciting and fun! I wanted to create something special that hadn’t been tried before. After tossing a few ideas around, the big light in the oven came on, and there it was, swirling around in my brain like berries in a blender. A fantastic and outrageous idea!
I created an outrageous, Texas-sized over-the-top menu full of unique, creative, colorful, delicious, and some massive dishes. These dishes would have to be Chef-driven, very large, creative, and delicious. A few are just simply unique but also delicious. True foodies and couples will love these dishes. They can be shared, used as food challenges, or just eaten because you love food. Whatever the reason, this menu sparks your foodie senses and will make you want to take a trip straight to Delicious-Ville. #Deliciousville
I got together with ten North Texas chefs to discuss my ideas, and some of those chefs even created new and special dishes just for the new Trey’s Chow Down Menu. I also located dishes that had already been created but would fit with the new menu. We have everything from breakfast to dinner; Burgers, BBQ, Seafood, Steaks, and more!
I made trips all over North Texas and tried every single dish myself. I watched the dishes being created and then I chowed down like a pig at the trough. What I ended up with was some unbelievably amazing dishes that are not only delicious and creative, but they are memorable as well. Dishes you can’t and won’t forget!
When you see these dishes, they are visually R.I.D.I.C.U.L.O.U.S! Every single person will say something like, “OMG, WTH Is That!” Believe me – I know because that’s all I’ve heard for the last eight months while working on this new menu.
Saturday, September 4, is International Bacon Day 2021
Everyone dreams about bacon!
When Trey’s Chow Down saw there was an International Bacon Day and it was a real thing my mouth started salivating and all I could think about was how delicious bacon truly is.
Have you ever eaten a bad piece of bacon? I think not! No matter how it’s cooked, (soft, crispy, medium, or rock hard) bacon is always perfectly delightful.
Ever since 1500 B.C. folks have been eating and enjoying bacon. That’s a long time ago, but it just goes to show you how much everyone loves bacon.
Bacon’s history dates back thousands of years to 1500 B.C. The Chinese were curing pork bellies with salt. Basically, they were creating an early form of what we know today as bacon.
I’m shocked about how long ago bacon was being eaten and was created. I wonder how the first bacon fry went down. Here piggy piggy! Come here piggy piggy! Come over here let’s see if we can fry some of your body parts up? Seems legit to me lol!
Now that I’m thinking about it, I bet they could smell bacon frying a mile away and come strolling by to see what that delicious aroma was. I’m sure smelling that bacon for the first time set their foodie senses into overdrive. Well, of course, they didn’t call it bacon at that time but we will play along as if they did.
The first bacon fry must have not only been a mess, but also an exploration to try and figure out how to eat these creatures we call pigs. You know it smelled delicious and they were like, “YES that smells soooooo good”!
Today we have all kinds of various bacon flavors, thickness, bacon dishes, and bacon farmers who create some of the world’s best bacon right here in the good ol’ U.S.A.
When I spoke with the Fox producers about Bacon Day, it was clear that everyone loved bacon and we need to locate some of the best bacon dishes in the DFW area.
I sought out to locate some of the best bacon dishes for all my fellow food lovers to enjoy and boy… Did I find some great dishes to eat. If you love bacon you will love this article and my choices.
B&B has this amazing bacon dish named after Chef Tommy. Let me tell you, “Chef Tommy’s Bacon Dish” is loaded with flavors. When I read about this dish, I had to visit B&B so I could Chow Down and enjoy it for myself. It’s prepared with fresh blue cheese, truffle infused honey, and thick house bacon. This dish meets all the requirements for an award winning dish. The taste has an amazing flavor profile, tenderness, cooked perfectly, great texture, and fantastic eye appeal. One of the best bacon dishes anywhere, period! You need to try this dish, and it’s only 20 bucks.
Dallas & Plano, Texas
Chef John Tesar always has his creative side in forward motion. I haven’t had one dish, or food item, from John that’s not totally amazing. He’s crazy about using fresh ingredients, having perfect execution, pallet busting flavor profiles, fantastic restaurant atmospheres, and amazing customer service. The Knife bacon appetizer, simply put, is deliciousness with every single bite. The succulent variety of bacon is so flavorful you will order an extra one. I know it because we did it. The dish is simplistic. A tasting of five varieties of bacon and it’s served on a beautiful wood cutting board. It is truly life-changing and you need this dish in your life.
Oh, I love me some Sugarbacon! You’re probably saying to yourself, what the heck is Sugarbacon? Well, it’s two things really; A fantastic restaurant and a delicious lip-smacking bacon dish. The team over at Sugarbacon in McKinney have come up with a flavor-packed bacon dish that will send your taste buds to the flavor town. It’s truly an opportunity to try something new and exciting. The “Sugarbacon Appetizer” is prepared with house-smoked pork belly, ancho chili bbq sauce, B and B pickles, and served on thick bacon square bites. I’m telling you right now it has a fantastic flavor profile and is downright delicious. Folks, it is absolutely worth a trip to Chow Down and see what Sugarbacon is all about.
I drove by this place at least 25 times before I stopped into Chow Down. I had heard all about their flavor-packed barbecue treats, but I kept waiting to see some photos and reviews before I made the journey because I’ve been extremely busy. That was a mistake! We stopped in and had a variety of delicious BBQ treats but what really caught my eye was the “Bacon Wrapped Jalapeños.” I eat these all the time but Cowtown’s were different. They were wrapped tightly and the bacon was glazed just enough. Damn, they were delicious so flavorful that I ate 5 out of the 6 and we ordered some more for the whole table. They really were amazing. When you get a chance, head over to Cowtown for little bacon throw down. Tell’em Trey sent you!
I have to confess something to each of you. I’ve had dreams about the bacon dish at Del’s. Oh man, there’s nothing like naughty bacon dreams folks. It’s the THICK-CUT NUESKE’S BACON AU POIVR served with a Bourbon Molasses Glaze and a side of deliciousness. Oh, the food gods are shining down on Del Frisco’s for this bacon dish! By all means, this is so good it should be illegal. The succulent bacon flavor just rolls across your tongue and sends your taste buds into full mode overload. Don’t be surprised if you have to wipe your chin after each juicy bite. A true trend sitter and it’s only 16 bucks, ladies and gentlemen.
I know you’re thinking… What did he just say? Logan’s Roadhouse? Am I reading this correct? Yes, you are! This is all about bacon and Logan’s Roadhouse locations has some great bacon. They have a little appetizer that goes by the name “Bacon On A Stick” and it’s in a bucket too. I’ve had this twice and both times the bacon was perfectly cooked, loaded with flavor, and easy to eat right off the stick. This is a great little bacon treat you will love. It’s prepared from 12-hour smoked bacon seasoned and grilled in a brown sugar glaze with a kick of spice. Served with crispy fried onions and your choice of original BBQ or Bourbon BBQ. Just damn delicious if you ask me. Your taste buds with take a trip to the “bacon flavor rodeo” and it’s only 10 bucks. Check it out!
I took a trip over the Shady Oak to try some barbecue. As I sat down and was reviewing the menu when the server said, “Hey, do you want to try some of our bacon burnt ends“? My head snapped up and said, “Do tell? Why yes I will”! Those bacon burnt ends were saucy and mouth-watering delicious. The flavor really pops in your mouth as they roll across your tongue. This is a dish you must try and price right too!
There are a lot more bacon dishes I have tried, but these are truly some of the best you will find in the Fort Worth/Dallas area. All of these truly stand on their own with fantastic flavor profiles that will leave you wanting more. As a chef once told me, “Trey, if I can leave you wanting more then I’ve done my job. I know you will come back and dine with us again”.
Please visit these local restaurants because eating and buying local is extremely important to our chefs and restaurants.
If you LOVE cooking bacon at home then I would try my favorite Tender Belly Bacon. You can locate Tender Belly at https://www.tenderbelly.com
Don’t forget to listen or watch our worldwide podcast Trey’s Chow Down Liveevery Friday on iHeartRadio, iTunes, Dash Radio or tune and watch us LIVE.
Remember, I’m passionate about bringing each of you the very food and drink experiences I can find.
After seeing the Governments RESPONSE to help the restaurant, service industry and small business I’m truly lost for words!
I still don’t think society and the government understands what supporting LOCAL restaurants really means to our local economies. Restaurants, Taverns, Pubs, and Bars drive our local economy in financial ways that we cannot see on a daily basis. More than 10,000 Texas restaurantshave already closed – some temporarily, many permanently, and with business conditions worsening, 30% percent of Texas operators say it’s unlikely their restaurant will still be in business six months from now without additional federal help. Out of those thousands, far too many of them are from right here locally in the DFW area. Remember while for us as customers it may just seem like one less place to grab delicious taco or burger, families are depending on these establishments for their livelihood. Unfortunately, we only notice when it’s too late and the doors are forever locked, and the CLOSED sign is placed in the window.
Restaurants help and drive city infrastructure with the tax money brought in. They create jobs for first-time workers, college students, young people, old people, single moms and dads, and so many others. They support local farmers, ranchers, breweries, distilleries, markets, butcher shops, tradesmen, plumbers, handymen, window companies, cleaning companies, delivery folks, computer folks, marketing, and P.R. firms. Most of these businesses are suffering or even closing, and it’s creating a devastating chain reaction that WILL NOTbe corrected anytime soon and its extremely heartbreaking for so many families.