Food News

Eddie V's Chef Brad Albers on the Fickle Dallas Dining Scene and its Need for More Indian Food

Yesterday, in Part 1 of our interview with Chef Brad Albers, we learned about his band "It," a tiny town in Switzerland and his new big boss. Today we talk more about the fickle Dallas food scene.

Where do you eat when you're not at Eddie V's? I actually don't eat out a lot. I come into the restaurant early and don't leave until late. Last night I ate a fajita torta at Fuel Town on Inwood and I-35 -- it's inside a gas station. Best five bucks you can spend. Really nice toasted bread, avocado and tomato. I also really like Tei Tei and Tei-An; they're both on my standby list. And I love Angelo's Barbeque in Fort Worth.

What do like about Angelo's? I'm a rib guy. I like it all, but a good rib is where it's at. They have a great rub, which is first and foremost. Then, they give it just the right amount of smoke and the ribs don't even need sauce, even though theirs is great. A cold beer and a good piece of meat -- that's good times.

Do you cook at home a lot? Not so much. We have an employee meal here, and sometimes we'll have a family meal for everybody. I get tired, believe it or not, of eating a steak every night. And after cutting fish all day, you're sort of ready to eat something different. I live across from The Cedars Social and eat there a couple times a week.

What's your favorite after-work drink? Well, I'm a vodka guy, and at Cedars Social they really hate me for that. On Monday Shinsei has half-priced sake night and that is kind of appealing to me. I've been on a Modelo kick for a couple of years now. Before that I was a Shiner purist. I've drank a lot of Shiner in my life.

Has the Dallas restaurant scene changed over the past 20 years? Absolutely. Dallas has more restaurants per capita in than any other city in the nation. People eat out like 7.7 times a week, which is more than double the national average. Twenty years ago around here it was mostly barbecue and Mexican food, and since then Dallas has had such an economic boom, and people have moved in from all parts of the country. That brought with it a more cultured palate, and an experienced diner.

How would you describe the Dallas food scene now? A lot of people in Dallas have assimilated to being foodies. There's a real social-driven food scene in Dallas. What's hot one week may not be the next. It's a real fickle market.

What would you like to see more of in the Dallas restaurant scene? Indian. Way out north the Mid-East scene is sort of picked up. But, I'm a big fan of Indian food, would love to see a few more.

What are the rules in your kitchen? Quiet in the kitchen.

Really, it's quiet in your kitchen? There's something like four hundred seats in Eddie V's. How could it possibly be quiet? Well, yes, it's a really loud environment. I'm not a screaming chef, but if you live in this environment and do 400 to 450 covers a night, there has to be total focus. We only talk what we need to talk about. No chitchat. I tell people all the time, "You better be talking about food or praying to God."

KEEP THE DALLAS OBSERVER FREE... Since we started the Dallas Observer, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Dallas, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Lauren Drewes Daniels is the Dallas Observer's food editor. She started writing about local restaurants, chefs, beer and kouign-amanns in 2011. She's driven through two dirt devils and is certain they were both some type of cosmic force.