Tag Archives: mexican

Almeh…

21 Feb

Triston Simon’s New Digs Are A-OK – And That’s About It

Alma

Almost...

Perhaps it was the prolonged opening, pushed back again and again by torrential winds, ice and snow.  Perhaps it was the excitement that I let build too high.  Perhaps it was the legacy that sits before the Simon restaurant name that ended up leading to a let down.  Either way, our experience at Alma (the old Cuba Libre spot) was just Ok.

The Drinks

It wasn’t bad, but it wasn’t great.  We started off with some signature cocktails: hmm, interesting selection but nothing stood out.  I was expecting sangrias and margaritas, but instead we saw odd tequila based punches and brandy meets milk.  I really felt this was mixology gone sour.

Sopes

The Brandied Horchata and Tasty Sopes

The Apps

The queso fundido, featuring Chihuahua cheese and touted by the select few who enjoyed the pre-opening private dining event, was greasy and the cheese almost seemed to curdle.  A crony at the table brought up a good point: you must be careful when mixing oily and greasy together.  Chorizo is a very oily sausage, and when mixed in a mini crock with melted cheese you’ll need multiple napkins and some hand sanitizer to feel clean.  The sopes? TO DIE FOR!  They were great!  Perfect mix of veggie, crunch and flavor!

Enchilada Rojo

Just Alright: Enchilada Rojo

The Mains

Everyone on our four-top ended up ordering something different with a few sides!  This is a prime opportunity to showcase how well rounded your menu is.  I opted for the signature pork dish, the cochinita pibil (anchiote-marinated pork shank).  It was tasty, and I thoroughly enjoyed the side of mole sauce the waiter brought me; sadly, the latter was the best part of the meal.  The main component was just OK.  The enchilada rojo, featuring braised short rib, left MUCH to be desired.

Street Corn

It's the Small Things That Count: Side of Street Corn & Mole Sauce

The enchilada de pollo verde was very good!  The flavors were definitely there, and the Chihuahua cheese fit in wonderfully with this mix.  However, keep in mind  you are still pay $16 for chicken enchiladas.  The breadwinner was Michael who actually ordered the tacos de carnitas (pork jowel – you heard me) but received the tacos de carne asada.  He definitely had no complaints as this was the best entre of the night.  The meat was very well seasoned, came with an array of sauces that were delightful but not even needed, and the house made tortillas were soft and delicate.  The sides and sauces really made the meal.  The favorite of the night was the “street corn,” scoops of grilled sweet corn mixed with queso fresco and chili mayonnaise served in mini husks.  Talk about delicious!

The group was too full for dessert, but the menu didn’t even provide many tempting options. Once again, nothing stood out and no one was “WOWED” instantly.  So, it was easy to pass.

To sum up, the overall experience was fun.  The ambiance was great.  I really love what they did with the decorating, especially upstairs.  They added a fireplace which was a nice touch to a fun lounge area where patrons enjoyed pre dinner cocktails and apps.  The service was friendly – but almost too friendly.  There’s something to be said about a waiter who knows his boundaries and when to leave the table alone.  I left feeling like I wouldn’t really go out of my way to come back to Alma.  With anchors like Hibiscus and Victor Tango right across the street and at similar prices, that’s a no-brainer.  Plus, I have a problem picking out my courses at those restaurants because everything sounds SO good!  At Alma, nothing was exciting or really jumped out.

Cafe San Miguel

Try the Pomerita!

For the price, I just really was not impressed.  As before mentioned, it wasn’t the best, but it wasn’t the worst either.  Just a tip for those who want to be in the know: Cafe San Miguel is right down the street if you want regional Mexican cuisine; they are the self proclaimed inventor of the pomerita (pomegranate marg) and have a FABULOUS queso fundido, sans the grease-o.

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New Dallas Dives

26 Jan

Don’t Miss These New Dining Hot Spots

I came across this Pegasus post about new ventures in the area: Restaurant openings spell good times for Dallas scene and economy.

Huge Knife & Fork

Big Silverware is Funny

I would definitely take a minute to peruse that list towards the bottom of the page which spells out more than twelve new restaurants that are sure to peak your curiosity!  Note a prominent trend in this list, too.  Looks like elevated south of the border is the new black.

As you know, I will be partaking in Alma’s soft-opening next week, so I found the info on Komali to be of special interest as well.  For those who don’t know, Komali is yet another local favorite to-be which will feature regional Mexican cuisine, conceptualized by Salum head chef and restaurateur, Abraham Salum.  Let’s hope Komali is a bit better than its next door neighbor, which I found overrated.

My apologies for all the posts regarding new restaurants!  I guess it’s just that time of year…

Nourishing and Delicious – Alma Arrives!

25 Jan

The highly anticipated opening of Tristan Simon’s new Henderson hot-spot has finally arrived!  Filling in the old Cuba Libre space across from the Old Monk, Alma sings to new inspiration focusing on regional Mexican flavors.  Reports of the past weekend’s private event Tristan hosted for personal friends to preview the Alma experience have left the every-man hungry for more!

Alma Executive Chef, Michael Brown

Executive Chef, Michael Brown

Sorry Rick Bayless, but Dallas has gained one hot chef!  Previously the executive chef at Red O in LA, Michael Brown comes to the Big-D with high hopes of carrying on the Tristan Simon dynasty.  Brown brings quite a bit to the table, including a resume rich with history (including stints at several Wolfgang Puck restaurants throughout California).  I have the highest hopes for this restaurant rejuvenation as all of the elements are starting to come together.  Reading about, as well as talking about, the projected menu is enough to wet my palate.

Alma will feature an elaborate range of elevated Mexican cuisine, from the Chihuahua cheese appetizer (queso on steroids), to a spit-roasted whole pig (cochinita), to delicate and delectable dessert options (tres leches anyone?).  Brown promotes an experience that includes new and extremely familiar food options – all of which will leave you and your stomach in a state of dining bliss.

Alma Offers New & Exciting Flavors

Alma Offers New & Exciting Flavors

The closing of Cuba Libre’s doors has been a topic of frequent conversation.  The overall mentality regarding the restaurant in its last days was simply, “Meh…”  The management had changed.  The staff was not as sharp.  The prices had increased, while unfortunately the quality of the food had decreased.  It just wasn’t the same.  With Alma comes a Tristan intervention!  Bright and shining days are on the horizon!  Words cannot express how excited I am to see for myself the fruits of this face lift.  Needless to say, I will have much to report back after my first Alma dining experience at the soft-opening on February 1st!

Tasty tidbit: “Alma” is the feminine version of the Latin word, “almus,” meaning bountiful and nourishing.

Kogi Comes to Dallas as Goghee

19 Jan
Korean-Style Tacos

Korean-Style Tacos

I noticed an announcement on THRILLIST the other day.  One of California’s hottest taco trends, Kogi BBQ, has influenced one of Dallas’ newest grab-n-go’s.  Goghee-to-Go features a variety of Korean BBQ dishes, specializing in Korean-Mexican fusion and rich flavors.

Goghee’s principals are based on speedy service and quality food.  All their ingredients are fresh, and food is made to order.  Critics and bloggers are already touting the beef tacos; their beef is shaved rib-eye, seasoned and marinated overnight in soy sauce with sugar, ginger, and garlic.  Looks like the menu offers up traditional options (tacos, burritos, nachos, quesadillas, etc) with complex and new flavors.

I really want to try out this new spot!  It’s located by the original Sonny Bryan’s off of Inwood – south of Lover’s Lane, closer to Harry Hines and the Medical District.  It’s a little out of the way for me, but it sounds like it’s definitely worth it.  Let me know what you’ve heard or if you’ve tried it for yourself!!!

Little tidbit of trivia: the Korean word “kogi,” which translates to “meat,” is often mispronounced.  When said properly, it sounds literally like go-ghee, hence the owners’ choice in name.  Gimchee (Korean slaw, formally spelled “kimchee”) is a great addition to any plate at Goghee-to-Go.