Chef Nordeen Bennai believes in the value of homemade food. During his childhood growing up in a traditional bakery, the chef learned that people will come when the food is good and the price is right. From the kitchen at the Korner Cafe, Chef Bennai whips up breakfasts, lunches, and dinners in savory and sweet permutations, such as homemade rum raisin bread pudding, coconut shrimp, and grits with gruyere cheese stirred right in. In the caf?, guests can gaze through the windows and across the street to the high school in Lewisville, or make room under their tables to harbor fugitives from English class.
Whoever said everything was bigger in Texas must have been referring to Fred and Dianne McDonald's company vision. As Fred says, they ?put a lot of L-U-V? into barbecue that they hope will one day reign as the best in the state. It's on its way?the barbecue is so painstakingly produced that many customers don't need to sauce it, and instead sop up the eatery's tangy, housemade marinade with bread or use it to paint the faces of children sleeping at nearby tables. Aside from the ribs, pulled pork, and preservative-free sausage the McDonalds smoke over Texas wood, Fred ignites palates with tamales his grandfather taught him to make while growing up in the southern part of the state. On Friday nights, live blues musicians?featuring house band Kenny Strauther and Second Hand Smoke? take to a stage that has been graced by Jimmy ?Preacher? Ellis and a former member of The Gap Band, both of whom, according to NBC DFW 5, also stuck around to nosh on the restaurant's eats.
The smell of fried catfish and laughter of customers didn’t always fill Memphis Catfish’s cozy eatery. In fact, the Frisco joint almost never opened, since the owners faced a slew of problems early in the southern food eatery’s inception. But what seemed like a curse eventually turned into a blessing as locals in the community rallied together, donating a stove and deep fryer as well as funds. This display of kindness fueled the owners to follow through with their dream restaurant, which now serves affordable and authentic southern cousine.
Retaining an atmosphere reminiscent of “Big Momma’s kitchen,” both of Memphis Catfish’s restaurants allow diners to slow down and unwind as they dig into hearty Southern eats that range from house-made hush puppies and candied yams to US-bred catfish fried in gluten-free oil. Though catfish and butterfly shrimp are the stars of the menu—served in everything from po’ boys and tacos to baskets filled with fries—the chefs also grill hot links and sausages shipped from Memphis.
Cooking techniques from different continents—and centuries—come together at Jimé's Kitchen, a Lewisville eatery that opened in May 2013. That’s because the spot’s cooks craft traditional African cuisine and southern soul food classics as well as dishes that developed on pre-Civil War plantations, fusing together the flavors of two worlds. Plates of fried chicken, crawfish étouffée, and meat loaf share table space with goat meat moi moi and ogbono soup with oxtail.
Most of the meats at Smokin' J's BBQ, from their brisket to their St. Louis ribs, are dry-rubbed before chefs impart a smokey flavor by placing meats in the hickory smoking pit for up to 14 hours. Patrons can then enhance these flavors with the house's signature Dr. Pepper BBQ sauce, which is made in small batches to prevent flavor loss or accidentally starting a new economy based off the currency of sauces and rib bones. For those who are unsure which dish would suit them best, the chefs dole out samples of everything on the menu to better aid dine-in and meat-by-the-pound ordering.
At Good Times Cajun, bayou traditions take center stage, just like when a airboat arrives at any neighborhood car show. Here, chefs deep-fry slices of gator to serve with a creole mustard, stack po' boys with fried catfish, and line flour pastries with a Cajun cream sauce and Louisiana crawfish tails. Other regional dishes include red beans and rice, which sit beside the crawfish ?touf?e and jambalaya. Staff pair these dishes with beer and wine and are available for dining in or to-go meals.