Category Archives: Steven Doyle

Underground Indian Cuisine Has New Location Downtown Dallas

DSC05596by Steven Doyle

My search for the best Indian restaurants in Dallas brought me to Underground Indian Cuisine last night where I sampled some of the the tastiest dishes I have had in ages. What made it particularly special was the fact is was different than any style I have sampled to date.  Underground is a northern Indian-style restaurant, which means they use a variety f meats, but also include many vegetarian options. I dined with a vegetaran friend last night and we both enjoyed the experience without heitation.

The chef Amit Paul  studied in India under Master Chef Imtiaz Qureshi who has literally cooked for kings and presidents. The actual cuisine style Amit Paul has mastered is called Dum Pukth.

Dum pukht is a style of Indian cuisine that is slowly cooked over very low flames. Typically they will use a round, heavy bottomed pot, a handi, in which food is tightly sealed and cooked over a slow fire. There are two main aspects to this style of cooking; bhunao and dum, or ‘roasting’ and ‘maturing’ of a prepared dish. In this style of cuisine, herbs and spices play an extremely critical role. The process of slow roasting gently persuades each to release maximum flavor. The sealing of the lid of the handi with dough achieves that maturing. Cooking slowly in its juices, the food retains all its natural aromas and becomes imbued with the richness of flavors that distinguishes the dish.   Continue reading

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Maharaja Offers A Feast Fit For Kings

DSC04335by Steven Doyle

A happy find in Indian cuisine comes out of Plano and Fort Worth with a tiny restaurant called Maharaja. The very tidy and well appointed restaurant serves up a very fine version of both Northern and Southern Indian cuisine. That means the restaurant is strong for both vegetarians and omnivores. For the latter you will find beef, seafood, lamb and chicken dishes to satisfy those meaty urges, all in your favorite comfort sauces which is perfect for the turning weather. The dishes will definitely warm you up on a breezy Fall evening.

You will want to start your evening off with a cup of madras soup, the coconut-tomato soup with a hint of spice. This is definitely the ultimate in tomato soup. Also the raita salad is particularly cooling when set against some of the spicier dishes. This is made with fresh yogurt, whipped and blended with shredded cucumber, tomatoes and chopped cilantro.   Continue reading

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Getting Your Indian Fix At Chaat Cafe

by Steven Doyle

Chaat Café  is billed as a fresh and casual Indian fast food restaurant, but there is absolutely no resemblance to what you might consider fast food. The food is served in the same relative time as any other restaurant, and is hand-made to order with precision and care. The concept is a national chain, but each location has a local flair. Since Irving has a tremendous Indian population, it is very popular with the locals.

The menu at Chaat is fairly extensive with a full line of chaat, or Indian nibbles such as Pani Puri (crisp shells stuffed with potatoes and garbanzo beans) or a variety of Pakora and Samosas.

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Best Thai Opening 7th DFW Area Restaurant

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The Best Thai family is opening their 7th restaurant location in the Lake Highlands area of Dallas and it boasts the largest Thai buffet in Texas, a private dining area and a small Thai gift shop. Best Thai Diner officially opens on Saturday, November 29, 2014 on Small Business Saturday. 9170 Lyndon B. Johnson Freeway, Dallas.

Since 1996, the Best Thai family has served Thai food in the Dallas-Ft. Worth and the Best Thai Diner will be their way to provide a more diverse selection of Thai cuisines. Best Thai Diner will open for lunch and dinner with more than 25 Thai items on the buffet spread that will serve authentic cuisines represented from all four regions of Thailand. All noodles and soups will be made to order at the buffet line to ensure the freshest and best quality of food.   Continue reading

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Beans or No Beans Chili Brouhaha

chiliby Steven Doyle

Temperatures are dropping this week and many of you will be seeking out  great bowl of chili. We have some to recommend. We also have the tale of the original chili cook off in Terlingua if you are interested in any more history today. This article was read last week on the main stage of The Original International Chili Cook Off held in Terlingua each year, which we are honored. That cook off is always held in Terlingua the first week of November.

In the past few week we have been discussing the perfect bowl of red, as we do each year about this time. It is certainly something we enjoy and take to heart as a true Texas original. However, it has been disturbing as each one of these conversations always ends with a debate on “beans or no beans”.  Our stance stays true to the no beans camp. We have a few original chili recipes to prove that this is the way God intended chili to be served. Beans may join the table as a condiment, just as you might add fresh brunoise of onions, or even Fritos to make your own pie.     Continue reading

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The Chili Queens of San Antonio

chili1

From the 1860s until the late 1930s, one of the primary amusements of both visitors and locals was the food and entertainment offered in the plazas of San Antonio by the Chili Queens.

These women served chili con carne and other Mexican American delicacies from dusk until dawn at various San Antonio plazas over the years — setting up tables and benches and bringing pots of food to cook or reheat over their flickering mesquite fires and to serve by the light of their oil lanterns. As morning came, their families helped them cart everything away. Wandering musicians and singers provided a festive air to the unique proceedings—unique, that is, outside Mexico. In Mexico, the open-air plaza restaurants were not celebrated for their charming food-servers. Only San Antonio had Chili Queens—and while they liked to joke, banter, and flirt with customers, they were well chaperoned by family members who guarded their virtue.

At first, only a few women — such as Sadie and Martha, sometimes pictured in old books about San Antonio — were called Chili Queens. Sadie was called “Anglo-Celtic;” Martha was Hispanic. Eventually, the royal title was applied to all the women—most of them young and virtually all of them Hispanic.   Continue reading

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Nick & Sam’s Grill Park Cities A Beefy Blossomed Butterfly

DSC05560by Steven Doyle

Mere weeks ago the gem of what is Nick & Sam’s Grill in Park Cities performed a transformation not too unlike a beautiful butterfly. Making its way out of the cocoon in its beautiful digs on Preston Rd, the restaurant now is a defining representation of all its sister restaurants, including the eponymous steak house, Coal Vines the pizza Mecca, and more closely related, Nick and Sam’s Grill – all located in Dallas’ Uptown. It is like the owners allowed corporate chef (and now two years later to the day, partner) Taylor Kearney to extract various  individual parts into one building for a massive taste of Dallas. The winners of this grand scheme is undoubtedly the neighborhood who now flocks into the restaurant knowing that individuals in the family can get whatever they desire, because this Nick and Sam’s knows no limits.

The menu is vast, with a large and capable staff in plain view knocking out sushi, wood burning oven pizzas, pastas, seafood selections, beautifully aged beef and so much more. The bar is also a main event with a huge following for happy hour, and late evening night caps. It also lingers through out the night as a sexy spot to see and be seen. This is the ultimate powerhouse restaurant for Park Cities be it for business or pleasure.   Continue reading

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