Tag Archives: Local

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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Life, Liberty & the Pursuit of Chocolate

22 Feb

The Chevy Sweet Hunt

The Aussie & The Longhorn

Words cannot express how fun this event was!  My company, Fleishman-Hillard, held a sweet scavenger hunt, so to speak, for foodies who are prominent in the Dallas social media scene.  Not only did I transition myself immediately to this account solely to help plan this project (OK, I ❤ Chevy, too), but I also was able to tag along as an “undercover” blogger.  I helped recruit some familiar faces to participate, too!

So, the rundown:

  • 2 Video Cameras
  • 4 Stops Along the Way
  • 4 GM Vehicles With OnStar to Get Us “There”
  • 12 Foodies, Mouths Watering
  • 100+ Tweets and FB Posts For the Event
Rise No. 1

The Strawberry Soufflé

Participants were given either a Buick Regal or the new Chevy Cruze to test drive for the weekend in honor of the Hunt!  How cool is that?  Free gas and that new car smell? YES please!  Participants went from restaurant to restaurant, dessert tasting to dessert tasting, in their designated car with the help of clues and the use of OnStar.

We started at rise nº1 in Inwood Village, one of my favorite spots in Dallas!  After Urbano had to pass at the last minute due to a large party renting out the space, Sarah F. and I had an epiphany: RISE to the occasion!  And that the restaurant did!  It was definitely a favorite of the day.

Choc Secrets

Chocolate Well Kept Secrets

Second was Chocolate Secrets, a fabulous sweet boutique on Oaklawn.  I have driven by this place millions of times, but I had failed to ever stop by.  The decor was so cute, and the soothing sounds of live jazz set the mood.  Smells of wine and chocolate swirled in the air.  It was definitely a delectable experience; stop by and try the dark chocolate with sea salt caramel!

Dude, Sweet Chocolate

The Dudes & The Sweets

A quick jaunt across town to the Biship Arts District took us to Dude, Sweet Chocolate.  This was a great experience, as the owner Katherine Clapner opened up her store to us as a school of the savory and sweet!  She shared with us how she concepted, created and sold her wares, all while chopping, mushing and sharing a taste of said wares.

Bolsa

A Plate Full of Bruschetta

And finally, we ended up at Bolsa for a fun lunch.  We shared apps (like the bruschetta sampler) and enjoyed what local produce and goods the Bag had to offer.  Several hunters enjoyed what the proclaimed Bishop Arts mixologist had to offer as well.  Me? I needed a tall glass of water after all of that sweetness!

What a fabulous day, and what a fabulous way to promote local restaurants and an incredible brand!  Thank you @ChevyTexan!  Check out the new blog page, Driving the Heartland for a write up and more information on the foodies who took the tasty tour about town.

Chevy Sweet Hunters

Chevy Sweet Hunters