Tag Archives: Italian

Il Formaggio, la Carne & il Vino: Una Boccata

18 Mar

Jimmy’s Food Store: A Dallas Staple

Jimmy's Food Store

I wanted to take the time to pay homage to one of my favorite local spots: Jimmy’s Food Store.  It amazes me every time this locally owned and run Italian grocery store comes up in conversation and so many people pause and say, “Wait, what’s this place?  Where is it?”

Jimmy's Food Store

Jimmy's, Located on the Corner of Bryan and Fitzhugh

Jimmy’s has a rich history in Dallas, starting back in 1966.  Grandpa Jimmy DiCarlo owned a grocery store in South Dallas for over 20 years, and then he and his son (also Jimmy, also owned his own grocery with his wife, Marie) decided to open Jimmy’s Food Store together.  After Grandpa Jimmy’s passing, Father Jimmy recruited his sons, Paul and Michael, to work in the store.  Over the course of its existence, Jimmy’s served as an imports store catering to many different cultures in the community.

Marie DiCarlo

Mama Marie, Rolling Her Infamous Meatballs

It wasn’t until the mid 90’s that the brothers decided to go back to their roots and start featuring Italian products as the focus of the store.  Their mother, Marie, rolled her famous, home-made meatballs, and the boys started stocking the shelves with Italian wines.

Today, while you won’t see Marie rolling her meatballs anymore, her recipes are still in full force.  Upon entering Jimmy’s, you will see hundreds of Italian wines stocked on shelves, fresh produce, home-made pastas and sauces in the refrigerators (I highly recommend their lobster ravioli and tomato vodka sauce), Italian-imported sweets and the famous meat counter in the back where everyone finds their way.  The family still owns Jimmy’s, and nine times out of ten I see Mike when I walk through the door.  The staff is nothing but knowledgeable and helpful when you are trying to pick out the best salami for your dinner party or when you are perusing the wine section, broken down by Italian provinces.  You might be caught off guard by their cheese selection; Jimmy’s offers an array of cheeses to pair with your sausage/salami of choice.

Muffuletta

MMmmMm - Muffuletta

You can also order food from the kitchen.  If you are in the area and happen to be craving a muffulleta, you now know where to go!  It’s to die for!  Stop by on a Saturday for a meatball sub and snag a wine sample (they are always offering tastes of the different regions).  The house-made cannolis are nothing to be joked about.  Order a side of olives to take home with you – you won’t be sorry!

What really makes this spot unique and wonderful is its commitment to staying “local,” as well as its family roots.  So many restaurants in the Dallas area feature meats from Jimmy’s Food Store; you probably have no idea how many!  One of my favorites at Fireside Pies, the Hot n’ Crumbled, features spicy Italian sausage from Jimmy’s meat counter!  Parigi on Oaklawn, Bolsa in the Bishop Arts District, State and Allen in Uptown and Rise n°1 in Inwood Village all feature foods from Jimmy’s as well!  I love the atmosphere when you walk into the store; everyone is so friendly .  I can’t tell you how many dinner parties I’ve planned for and purchased food for there; the guys at the counter are so helpful and always have great tips for serving!  While Central Market might have a more extensive cheese selection, they have nothing on Jimmy’s meat options!

James DiCarlo

James, aka "Father Jimmy," DiCarlo

If you find yourself in the area and planning for dinner, needing something to do on a Saturday afternoon or if you happen to be coming into town to visit friends/family, definitely check out Jimmy’s!  You won’t be disappointed with the experience, the smells, the tastes – anything!  They also offer gift cards which make for excellent stocking stuffers around the holidays or gifts for the culinary savant in your life.

For more information on Jimmy’s Food Store and the history of the family, CLICK HERE.


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Having a Moment: Linda Richmond Would Be Proud

27 Jan

Sharing Sentiment w/ Morgan, Mussels & My Old Friend, Pinot Noir

That’s right – I had a life changing experience last night.  It all started over a Benny’s Bad Day recovery plan, Dancing Bull and some juicy gossip.

Urbano

An Absolute Must

My friend Morgan called me with news that employment with her current company was finally over, and she was moving on to much better things.  Celebrating the new job was immanent! BYOB + Urbano Cafe was a must; I had the wine (so I thought) and I live super close.  Reality check: my wine stash had drastically depleted since arriving home from work – what happened???  A quick text from Morgan affirmed everything was alright; a bottle of La Crema and a bottle of Dancing Bull were on the way.  Stress release – it would indeed be a good night!

I had been to Urbano for lunch before, but never dinner.  What a fabulous experience!  The venue is intimate (as you very well know if you have ever been there), but there is an adjoining bar studio next door for overflow and first taste libations.   Pop goes the La Crema.  Perched at the bar counter, we mingled with some of the staff and learned about a wonderful online community for artisans and craftsman called Etsy.com (touted as the world’s most vibrant handmade marketplace for all things vintage, artsy and, well, handmade).

On the way back to the main cafe, we passed a long, family style picnic table where appetizers were abundant – particularly a mussel dish that looked bright with color.  I thought to myself, “We will revisit this.”  Then a quick aside – when have I ever considered ordering mussels???

Good conversation, appetite evaluation and consumption of another glass of Pinot finally lead to menu selection.  Everything we tasted was amazing.  The mussels put everything to shame in comparison.  They not only melted in  your mouth immediately upon contact, but the soupy tomato sauce the mussels were served in acted as a grade-a dish in it’s own.  You order extra bread to lap up goodness such as this!  The pork poppers, salads (we tried the 1410 and shaved fennel) and chicken Saltimboca were all spectacular; I knew they would be.  We kept eating – and eating – and eating.  But I digress; let me get back to the mussels. A-MAZING.

Having a Moment

Still Having a Moment

I fear that I set too high a precedent with my first mussel eating experience.  I might never recover or find anything close to its equal in a similar dish.  Maybe I simply discovered a new favorite food?  Either way, I highly recommend them!

Last taste of the night: completely stuffed and satisfied, we rolled our way back to my house to see what Dancing Bull had to offer – NOT MUCH.  I do not recommend…