Food News

Girly Meat

Ed Bailey's making the transition from McDonald's burgers to fancy-schmancy steaks, a much happier meal.

I had the privilege of speaking with Ed Bailey, owner of 61 North Texas McDonald's franchises and among the world's richest purveyors of Big Mac attacks. Bailey recently purchased two Patrizio restaurants and is building a third.

But he is also midwifing a $6 million steakhouse in the new $500 million retail-residential development rising on North Central Expressway across from NorthPark Center. That's the same tract that was once home to the nightclubs Millennium and Club Blue Planet, run by one of those notorious Kahn brothers. Come May '08 it will host Bailey's Prime Plus. How will Bailey's break through Dallas' thick tenderloin noise?

"The niche that I see is a much more female-friendly menu and environment," Bailey says. Delete dark woods, thick brass and cigar-bar disposition. Affix windows, feminine fabrics and pasta.

"Opulent would be the key word," he adds. "Kind of like the French Room, only updated. It's going to be almost the antithesis of what you see today in Dallas...To boil it down, its kind of like flying first class for the price of coach."

Except for the "price of coach" part, this seems to be the strategy of Disco Steak, formerly known as N9NE. Upshot: Dallas will soon host more pricy marbled loins than a Hereford feed lot.

But here's the spoiler for those beef eaters wholly embracing the anthropogenic global warming hypothesis and its concomitant pieties and hysterics: It takes roughly seven barrels of oil to bring a bovine from suckling to prime porterhouse. Thus, the tofu short loin is currently among the most mispriced assets in the world. Pure hedge fund chum. --Mark Stuertz

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Robert Wilonsky
Contact: Robert Wilonsky