Acme F&B Goes Whole Hog

McKinney Avenue's newest restaurant is turning heads - and eating them.

The offal schnitzel was a letdown, too. The small pieces of meat were oily, lost some breading and seemed out of place in an otherwise beautiful plate boasting capers, arugula and a fried egg with a perfectly runny yolk. Had the kitchen "schnitzeled" a tender, pounded piece of pork, this might be one of Acme's best plates, but while the restaurant should be praised for embracing nose-to-tail cookery, there are other ways to get customers to eat organs than breading and bubbling oil.

Ditto on the croquettes used to hide sweetbreads and tongue in a suspension of runny bechamel. If a restaurant is to educate its diners on the enjoyment of offal it has to make the organ meat the center of the stage. It has to let the guts shine.

Want proof? Try the charcuterie plate. The headcheese is a loose pâté made from the cooked face of a pig. The meat is coarsely chopped, lightly seasoned and subtly supported by a fig compote — it's delicious. There's a chicken liver mousse that shares the plate too. Only earthy liver dominates the palate as the smooth texture melts away, yet it's so rich and flavorful it draws an audible sigh at first bite.

Pork loin chop with cream peas, ham and morels.
Lori Bandi
Pork loin chop with cream peas, ham and morels.

Restaurants like Lucia and Campo have proven there are adventurous diners in Dallas, ready to expand their palates and explore a style of cooking that has been mostly dormant here for decades, if not forever. They've eaten pudding thickened with pig's blood and the raw hearts of cows and licked their plates clean, but they've been stuck in bohemian Oak Cliff. Acme F&B has a chance to teach a new set of diners that eating meat isn't all about rib-eyes and fillets — there are blood and bone marrow and guts, too. A whole-animal allocation program shouldn't be about disguising organ meats, but celebrating them for what they are: interesting, flavorful cuts some might otherwise never get to know.

« Previous Page
 |
 
1
 
2
 
All
 
My Voice Nation Help
4 comments
beda50
beda50

My question to you, Scott, is, if you were eating out on your own dime, how often would you return here for a $30 pork chop?  Or how often would you frequent Oak?  These places may be totally fantastic, and if there are enough 1%ers out there (not those who charge on their cards and still carrying the balance a year later) then more power to them.  As for me, I would try all of these places once because I like good food/new places, but they wouldn't be in my rotation of places that I would go to on a monthly/bi-monthly basis; I would think repeat customers are what keeps any restaurant in business.

Myrna.Minkoff-Katz
Myrna.Minkoff-Katz topcommenter

The chicken and dumplings cost $33 and were not very good.  Yikes, what a rip-off.

scott.reitz
scott.reitz moderator

 @beda50 Not often at all. In fact probably once or twice a year, and only if the menu changed significantly with seasonality or some other driver. But I would go back. At this price point I'd be more inclined to eat at Oak (I think the execution is better across the board and the prices are the same, if not cheaper) but Acme has an amazing atmosphere, good service, and the main dishes are interesting enough to warrant some time here.

 
Loading...