In this week's big DFW food news, the Dallas dining community is shocked by a chef departure, fair food hits Walmart, a new "Asian foodie destination" is coming to Plano and more:
- As the State Fair of Texas approaches, the buzz just keeps growing — particularly related to this year's food offerings. One of this year's biggest fair food items is about to pop up in an unexpected place: a Walmart in Plano. Isaac Russo, the man behind the cookie fries that won most creative at this year's Big Tex Awards, is opening State Fair Treats, an eatery serving up foods like corn dogs and funnel cakes, in the Plano Walmart on Sept. 20, The Dallas Morning News reports. Russo is hoping to expand the intra-Walmart concept nationwide.
- The latest addition to Sylvan Thirty is celebrating its grand opening this weekend. JuiceLand, an Austin import in a development with several Austin-bred businesses, is now open and celebrating its grand opening with half-off drinks all day, from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m.
- By far the biggest and most shocking news to hit the Dallas restaurant scene in the last week: Leslie Brenner broke the news that rock star chef Misti Norris is leaving Small Brewpub , the Oak Cliff bar, restaurant and brewery she put on the map with outside-the-box dishes and a meticulously curated charcuterie program. "The ownership here has decided to go in a different direction," Norris tells Brenner. Small's menu has already been truncated, the mains and pasta dishes removed to focus more on sausages and other bar-friendly small bites. The news is saddening, to be sure; the idea that Small could be struggling even under the creative sorcery of the biggest chef in Dallas right now is frustrating, and could be a sign that the infusion of craft and food and coffee on Jefferson is not quite as well received by the neighborhood as Oak Cliffers had hoped.
- Following the success of Carrollton's "Asian foodie plaza," a 110,000-square foot "Asian foodie destination" called Frisco Ranch will break ground in Frisco in October, according to a press release. The new plaza will have a lot of the same businesses as the Carrollton center: a 44,000-square foot 99 Ranch Market, a 10,000-square foot Japanese Daiso (a popular Japanese dollar store), a second North Texas location of 85°C Bakery Cafe, a beloved Taiwanese cafe and bakery.
- Next week, Wild Detectives in Bishop Arts is hosting Gastro Week, which will feature several nights of events, with tapas available from Wednesday, Sept. 21 through Sunday, Sept. 25. "Our friend Spanish chef Iñaki Betrán is coming and he’ll be preparing delicious pintxos (tapas) in the Basque way," says Andres de la Casa Huertas, brand director at Wild Detectives. "Iñaki is one of those super interesting chefs that has come out of the recent Spanish culinary revolution, the so-called modern Spanish cuisine." Check out the bookstore-bar's website for a full rundown of the week's food events.
- A new ramen and izakaya restaurant is now open in Plano, CultureMap reports. Yatai Ramen Izakaya opened yesterday at 2001 Coit Road.
- A trade publication has named a Dallas bar one of the country's best places to sip bourbon. The Bourbon Review has named The Standard Pour one of America's 80 best bourbon bars, according to a press release. Check out the full list of winners here.
- Top Knot has announced changes to its Sunday brunch by launching "Top Knot and Chill" on Sept. 18. The new brunch will feature "rosé all day" (half-off all rosés by the bottle or glass), specials on carafes of bubbly cocktails, a DJ and Cowboys games on bar TVs. Brunch runs from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. every Sunday.
Target is about to expand its grocery selection in DFW with more organic and fresh produce, DMN reports. "Target is about to start remodeling 30 of its Dallas-Fort Worth stores to reflect its new grocery strategy: to be a convenient grocery shop vs. trying to be a full-service grocer for a one-stop shopper," DMN writes. Dallas is the only market that's getting the grocery haul, which will feature an expanded selection that looks more like a standard grocery store rather than a few shelves of snacks and LaCroix.