Food News

Dallas College Culinary Arts' $15 Weekly Lunches are Still Great

The shrimp and grits is served with a light tomato sauce and a side of braised collard greens.
The shrimp and grits is served with a light tomato sauce and a side of braised collard greens. Angie Quebedeaux
Each semester, the Dallas College Culinary Arts program hosts a weekly lunch at both its El Centro campus (in downtown Dallas) and the Culinary Pastry and Hospitality Center (at Webb Chapel Road and LBJ Freeway). We've reported on this before, but recently we took a fresh look to remind ourselves how great it is. And we feel like a fine-dining lunch for $15 deserves another shout-out.

Students enrolled in the program rotate planning the menu, cooking the meals and serving customers in a restaurant setup that is open to the public. This allows the students to practice what they are learning in a real-life environment and is a great way for diners to give back to the community and enjoy a sneak preview of the delicious cuisine prepared by future Dallas chefs. Here's a peek at a recent lunch.
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It's a fine dining experience (for $15).
Angie Quebedeaux
On our visit, the theme was “Deep South." Mardi Gras decorations adorned the entrance, and we were served a themed drink. Our table was also decorated with a Southern theme and full place settings.

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Black-eyed pea crostini.
Angie Quebedeaux
Our meal started with a black-eyed pea crostini that had bits of pork topped with dainty micro greens and a drizzle of a Cajun-style sauce. The presentation was perfect, and the trio was a promising start to the lunch.

This was followed by five just-cooked-enough (not overly, which is always a shame) shrimp over rich, buttery grits. A large side of braised collard greens was al dente, rendering a bit more texture and chewiness, which we prefer.
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Lunch was capped off with a buttermilk chess pie, drizzled with a raspberry glaze.
Angie Quebedeaux
The last course was a buttermilk chess pie with a nice raspberry glaze, a perfect ending to the meal.

All the food was tasty and it sure beat sitting in a fast-food drive-thru. Or eating another PB&J over the sink. Vegetarian options are available at most of the weekly luncheons as well. And while the semester is already at the midpoint, there are still a few opportunities to take advantage of this great program before the holiday break.

Check Dallas College's El Centro and Webb Chapel sites for upcoming themes and menus, and secure your spot. The program will resume during the spring semester, so be sure to sign up for email notifications.

El Centro Campus, 801 Main St., C Building, Room C100 (Downtown Dallas), 11:30 a.m. – 1 p.m. Thursdays.

Culinary Pastry and Hospitality Center, 11830 Webb Chapel Road, No. 1200 (North Dallas). Multiple times starting at 11 a.m. Tuesdays.
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Angie Quebedeaux is a freelance food writer for the Observer. A "ragin' Cajun" from Lafayette, she's been in Dallas since 2002. She is an HR director by day and loves to “laissez les bon temps rouler.”

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