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Saap's owners will now be able to make more of their popular beef jerky.EXPAND
Saap's owners will now be able to make more of their popular beef jerky.
Kathy Tran

After Years of Pop-Ups, Saap Lao Lands Its Own Kitchen

Saap Lao Kitchen, known for its savory beef jerky, has been popping up with events around Dallas for the last three years. Come the end of the month, the owners are holding an event to celebrate their new headquarters in Bedford.

"We were looking for a kitchen where we could produce primarily our beef jerky. That's the majority of our business," says Kim Chanthorn, who's a co-founder of Saap along with five family members. "We'll still be operating in Dallas, but Bedford offered us a good location where we could be in a kitchen to operate out of."

Beginning from a 2015 holidays goal of having one pop-up the next year, this family eventually developed a following from pop-ups, selling at the Farmers Market and posting on Instagram.

At events, they have Lao dishes alongside their jerky, which frequently sells out, Chanthorn says.

"The just-right spicy version has a first taste of a sweet, sticky glaze that could be applied to barbecued pork ribs. Sesame oil works its flavor into the corner like a shy person in a group photo. Then, suddenly, the heat arrives like a lightning bolt, chile peppers stabbing and lingering long after the meat is chewed and gone," critic Brian Reinhart wrote in 2018.

The team at Saap Lao Kitchen (from left): Frank Chanthorn, Elson Douangdara (bottom), Cliff Douangdara (top), Kim Chanthorn (top), Frick Chanthorn (bottom), Sandy SichanhEXPAND
The team at Saap Lao Kitchen (from left): Frank Chanthorn, Elson Douangdara (bottom), Cliff Douangdara (top), Kim Chanthorn (top), Frick Chanthorn (bottom), Sandy Sichanh
Kathy Tran

Having a full kitchen to prepare jerky means more of this flavor for more people. Chanthorn says there will be limited retail hours starting in October, too.

The celebration of their new spot will be 6:30-9:30 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 28, at 2816 Central Drive, Suite 180, in Bedford. Expect a menu of Lao food: grilled wings, Lao sausage, nam khao, chicken laab, egg rolls, kua mee, sticky rice and jeow som.

Jerky deals and entertainment are planned to complement the Lao plates, while people can see where Saap operators will be producing items in their next phase of business.

They'll still do occasional pop-ups, and jerky is available for purchase online. If you really want to know what a pop-up of theirs is like, see our slideshow of the one they ran at Four Corners Brewery last month.

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