These Guys Can't Beat the Heat, but They Stay in the Kitchen. Here's How.
Bradley Anderson, left, with a drink that isn't pink. Must have been a cooler day. (That's chef Nathan Tate and brother Brooks Anderson beside him.)
In case you haven’t gotten the memo, it is hotter than hell outside, the kind of heat that makes us wonder how the original Texans decided to stay in this Godforsaken pit of hell. When it’s 105 out, the traditional ways of cooling off — like getting naked or cannon-balling into a pool, or both, though apartment managers tend to frown on the latter — which means you’ll need to make some strategic eating and drinking choices if you hope to survive the most terrible time of the year.
Surprisingly, even when it’s this hot outside, people are still packed into burger joints and Tex-Mex spots like it isn’t too damn hot to eat anything that isn’t a salad, or raw. Or a raw salad. Just in case you’re an idiot who doesn’t know how to eat for the season, we asked some of our favorite Dallas chefs and restaurateurs what they like to eat (and drink!) in such unbearable weather.
Brian Luscher, Luscher’s
Never one to shy away from the truth, Brian Luscher says that “when it’s this hot, the last thing I want is to feel full.” As a result, the chef subsists on “small salads,” protein bars and “bits and pieces, here and there.” “I don’t like eating when I’m sweating,” Luscher says. “That’s an old Army thing. If it’s 106 outside, can you imagine what the temperature is at the grill station? Or on the rings. Ugh.” Luscher washes his bird food all down with ice cold water — not iced water — and Lone Star that comes straight from an ice bucket.
Eric Shelton, Cafe Momentum
You might not think he’s a fancypants, but Eric Shelton likes to cool off at newly opened hotspot Uchi. When dropping by Uchi to take in the free air conditioning, Shelton orders the Uchiviche, made with impeccably fresh fish such as snapper and salmon. If he’s feeling a little less upscale, Shelton sweats it out at Monkey King Noodle Co. for an order of cold chicken noodles.
Sam Wynne, Braindead Brewing
Being a beer junkie, Wynne looks for the more drinkable brews when the mercury is up. “Berliner Weisse and Gose are my go-to summer drinks,” Wynne says. “I guess summer is taco season for me. I take the opportunity to eat a few more salads than I usually do, but tacos keep things light and tasty.”
Brian Zenner, On Premise/The Mitchell
If you’ve ever seen one of Zenner’s Thai-influenced menus, you're likely not surprised that he looks to Thailand — also known for its impressively hot temperatures — when he needs to cool off. The dish here doesn’t really matter, so long as it is “spicy as hell,” and washed down with Singha, a light Thai lager. “The Thais know how to deal with the heat,” Zenner says.
Bradley Anderson, Rapscallion
We’ll just let Rapscallion’s (and Boulevardier's) co-owner Bradley Anderson speak for himself. “In a futile effort to beat the heat, my dipsomaniacal tendencies direct me, without fail, to rosé! My current pink drink of choice is the Provençal-styled 2014 Bonny Doon Vin Gris de Cigare. Delicious on its own and a perfect companion to fresh-shucked oysters.” Happily enough, you can belly up to the raw bar at Rapscallion for budget-friendly bivalves that will help you keep your own internal temperature at a reasonable level.
Get the Food & Drink Newsletter
Our weekly guide to Dallas dining includes food news and reviews, as well as dining events and interviews with chefs and restaurant owners.