Three years. That’s all the time it took for partners¬¬––and culinary school chums––Jason Boso and Quincy Hart to turn their dream of running a quality-driven burger joint and turn it into reality. If it sounds a little too good to be true, consider this––Twisted Root Burger Co. even has it’s own pastry chef, a veteran of the Four Seasons Hotel, who spends his time crafting rich, creamy frozen custard for the shop’s milkshakes and root beer floats. The attention to detail has obviously paid off: the company has picked up accolades across Dallas, including Reader’s Choice nods by both D Magazine and the Observer, and was also featured on the Food Network show Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives. Weighing in at a half-pound each, Twisted Root’s burgers are made from beef, turkey, buffalo, or game meats such as venison and elk, and come dressed in an endless combination of toppings. The menu of course features a handful of chef-conceived creations, such as The Spicy Goat––topped with chipotle sauce and goat cheese––but customer’s can also build their own burgers from fixings such as guacamole, garlic mushrooms, and even Cheez Wiz. Fried pickles and sweet potato chips complement any meal and are made fresh in-house, but the biggest indication that this isn’t your run-of-the-mill burger restaurant may be the ketchup, homemade from sugar, ancho and chipotle paste, and a secret ingredient. As for those custard shakes, they’re made from real cream, eggs, sugar, and vanilla, and come in a choice of flavors, such as peanut butter or cookie dough for kids, and banana-Bailey’s for adults or monkeys who have had really bad days.
As far as Antoine Hedary was concerned, cooking always involved family. Antoine grew up in Beirut, Lebanon and spent his childhood watching his grandmother prepare feasts and learning traditional Lebanese recipes from his father. The family eventually opened two restaurants together in the hills of Beirut, although the looming civil war led Antoine and his wife Leila to leave the country and create a new home in the United States of America. In 1976, Antoine chose to continue the family legacy by founding Hedary’s Lebanese Restaurant in Fort Worth and teaching his children how to prepare the same recipes that he had grown up learning to cook. The legacy still thrives today, and the newest generation of the Hedary family continues to share those original recipes with patrons who visit the restaurants that the children went on to found themselves.
This sense of tradition remains strong at Hedary's Mediterranean Restaurant, and the chefs remain faithful to authentic Lebanese flavors by growing fresh herbs and vegetables to use in their dishes. In addition to char-grilled chicken kabobs and silken hummus, the menus also include platters filled with everything from housemade spicy sausage to folded grape leaves stuffed with spiced meat and rice. The family's signature item though is the baked chicken that the chefs baste with a marinade of lemon, garlic, olive oil, and imported Lebanese sunshine.
After being widowed in 1982, Ruby Lorraine Feagan, better known as Tootie, began supporting her family one pie at a time, building her reputation as she won a succession of baking contests throughout Texas hill country. Investor Don Merrill came into the fold after reading a flattering article in Southern Living magazine and subsequently tasting one of Tootie's crusty, buttery, 6-pound apple pies. Today, Tootie and her daughter continue to ensure the quality of Tootie Pie Co. Gourmet Café's 13 signature pie flavors — which also include lemon velvet, coconut supreme, and the Rachael Ray–praised pumpkin pie — as they're carefully crafted and delivered to customers' homes nationwide. The bakery's burgeoning fame has extended to the Food Network's Kid in a Candy Store, which featured Tootie's pie-on-a-stick, slices of signature desserts skewered and dipped in chocolate.
Inside Tootie's café, the menu of gourmet sandwiches includes sweet chicken salad with red grapes and pecans and italian grilled chicken panini with roasted red pepper and pesto or chipotle mayo. Sips of house coffee and espresso-based Milan mochas clear palates between bites better than vigorously shaking them Etch A Sketch–style.
The warm aroma of freshly baked waffle cones envelops every nook and cranny of Marble Slab Creamery, revving up guests’ senses with the promise of impending decadence. As the hand-rolled cones tan in their ovens, the store’s staff bustles about the premises whipping up fresh batches of premium ice cream in the onsite creamery and helping patrons select a flavor from a list of more than 60 options. This chef-driven dedication to gourmet ice cream began in 1983 with the company’s founding in Houston, Texas, when two French chefs were enlisted to create a recipe for Marble Slab Creamery’s signature sweet-cream ice cream using their culinary expertise.
Today, staffers utilize the frozen-slab technique of ice-cream architecture, scooping each customer’s choice of ice cream and mix-ins onto a chilled marble slab to mix the separate elements into one custom mélange. Though specializing in cone-based ice-cream treats, Marble Slab Creamery also offers a menu full of other scream-worthy confections, including cakes, shakes, and pie à la mode.
Affectionately dubbed "a little piece of France" by Christina Rowland of Real Frisco, Cafe Trottoir et Patisserie transports taste buds with Parisian-style bistro fare for lunch, dinner, and Sunday brunch. Dishes feature simple, elegant preparations, with numerous sauces and vinaigrettes drizzled across seared tuna steaks and roasted duck breasts. Mimicking money-booth contestants, pear and goat cheese step into a salad arena, where they compete to snatch the most pecans out of a slippery shower of lavender-honey vinaigrette. The steak frites' Black Angus terres major is pan-seared with red-wine pan jus and laid on a plate of pommes frites and baby greens.
Indoor meals unfurl under brass chandeliers bearing clusters of golden lamps. In fair weather, the sun-dappled outdoor terrace surrounds tables in tall trees bookended by stucco walls and a large outdoor fireplace.
A marriage of former teacher Tiffany Key's passion for cooking and her creative inclinations, Haute Mama Dessert Company crafts sweet confections inside a colorful shop layered in hot pink and leopard print. Key’s eye for color informs Haute Mama’s decadent cakes, cupcakes, cookies, and other sugary morsels, which come in a rainbow of rotating flavors that draw on the chef’s southern culinary upbringing. Each batch of treats, including gluten-free and vegan goods, comes wrapped in Haute Mama's distinct pink, brown, and leopard packaging. Bright ribbons fall across the shop’s precisely designed corporate baskets, while artfully arranged spreads cater to larger events such as banquets, birthdays, or tea parties celebrating a stuffed animal’s newest litter.