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.
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.
Owner Shawn Danapong spends a lot of time in Thai Pan’s kitchen, where he proudly observes his team of chefs doing what they do best: seasoning curries, stirring pots of soup, and baking heaps of shrimp in a clay pot. The resultant plates of steaming Thai fare make their way to a dining area filled with soft music and small plumes of vapor that swirl above pad thai, fried rice, and stir-fried veggies doused in oyster sauce. As diners dip into the generous portions and help themselves to BYOB libations, a small fleet of televisions flickers to life with sporting events.
When Mason Arnold left the University of Texas with his chemical-engineering degree in hand, he was appalled at how chemical fertilizers were hurting the local environment. Empowered by his belief in organic farming and landscaping, he and his business partner sought to find a way to get nutritious and fresh food to homes while leaving a minimal carbon footprint. The result was Greenling, an online shop with an extensive selection of pantry items, meats, produce, and dairy products from local farmers and national organic brands.