Dallas Gift Ideas for Food Friends on Your Good List

Chicken-fried steak at Loco Coyote
Chicken-fried steak at Loco Coyote Loco Coyote
In the spirit of giving, we’ve collected a few gift ideas for anyone who likes to eat, drink, have fun, appreciates finer or lesser things, or just do stuff.

After being named Bon Appétit's 2019 Restaurant City of the Year, we’ve got a virtual foodie playground right under our noses. Pull in the craft beer and whiskey scene and, well, now it feels overwhelming. There are countless gift cards and homemade date coupons you can make. And you should!

But, we've found a few things lazing under the radar. These are outside-the-box type things.

For The Person that Has Everything, But Time with You and Chicken-Fried Steak

Chicken-Fried Steak at Loco Coyote

We all have those people on our list who, in their way, have everything they want or need. These are the hardest people to find things for. And if your parents fall into this category, all they probably really want is a little time with you. In this case, a road trip and the biggest chicken-fried steak (photo above) is perfect.

The Loco Coyote Grill sits in a field in the middle of nowhere outside of Glen Rose. All the servings are huge: onion rings, burgers, plates of barbecue, brisket tacos, catfish. Wear your elastic pants. This place is a little gem tucked in the hills out in the middle of nowhere. And the entire experience — from the locals, to the wait staff, the drinks, the piles of food, the country roads to get there — are pure greatness.

They’re open 5 to 9 p.m. Thursday and Friday; 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Saturday; and 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday.

Go. Do this. Take a road trip on a weekend with mom, dad or whoever. It’s an hour and 25-minute drive from Dallas. You spend that amount of time getting out of the Kroger parking lot.

For the Hardcore Foodie

Dinner at Fauna

OK, definitely not under the radar. But, if there’s a foodie on your list, show them you know exactly what's what with a dinner at Fauna. Located inside Stephan Pyles Flora Street Cafe, this is a 16-seat restaurant that serves a “luxury multi-sensory dining experience” with an “innovative 12-course tasting menu paired with unique beverage selections.”

Reservations are a must, and seats are on sale for Friday and Saturday nights only.

For the Person Who Loves Brunch & a Weird, Good Time

To Wong Foo, Thanks for Everything! Julie Newmar Brunch Screening at Alamo Drafthouse

You can't beat Alamo Drafthouse for their classic features, go-hard cellphone policy and watching parties. Plus, they have got a solid breakfast taco.

As part of a series in which they’re bringing back films they consider underappreciated, in January they’re serving a brunch and themed mimosas for a special screening of To Wong Foo, Thanks for Everything! Julie Newmar, starring Patrick Swayze, Wesley Snipes and John Leguizamo.

The movie will be at Alamo Drafthouse theaters around the Dallas area Sundays, Jan. 12, 19 and 26. See their site for specific times. Seats are $8; brunch and mimosas are additional.

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The Morning After returns Feb. 8
Melissa Hennings

For the True Brunch Goer

Morning After Tickets

The Dallas Observer's fourth annual Morning After brunch event returns in February, and tickets are on sale now. Get them before Saturday, Dec. 21, to save some money while prepping for all the brunch foods you can eat from a number of restaurants.

For the Craft Beer Do-er

Community Beer Company's Seven-Year Anniversary

There are a lot of beer events every weekend, but one that stands out is Community Beer Company's seven-year anniversary party on Saturday, Jan. 25.

They’ll have more than 70 beers on tap, live music and more portable restrooms “than last year.” There are three levels of tickets, which are available for presale only. (No tickets at the door.) Prices range from $30.77 to $67.77.

For Your Other Craft Beer Do-er

Peticolas’ Eight-Year Anniversary

Peticolas is also having a post-Christmas party, celebrating eight years in the brewing business and the passage of beer-to-go legislation. For this event, they’ll have a new cheer vanilla imperial stout aptly named “Worth the Wait.” There will be more than 25 beers on tap, including some special brews. Tickets, some including beer to-go, range from $40 to $100.

For The Cheese Lover

The Mozzarella Company

Dallas’ very own Mozzarella Company runs cheese classes pretty regularly. One that stands out aside from the “Hands-on Cheesemaking Class” is a “Beer and Cheese Pairing” class March 12.

For Your Other Cheese Lover

Scardello Artisan Cheese

Scardello has a holiday gift set at three different price points with options that offer a bit of guidance, but also allow you to make it special. There are also special Texas boxes and other themes you can go with.

For the Whiskey & Smoked Meat Connoisseur

Firestone and Robertson Distilling Co. and Meat Church

Jan. 12, Firestone and Robertson Distilling Company and Meat Church are hosting an event/clinic where they’ll teach you how to cook a perfect brisket, burnt ends and pork belly. Then, you’ll get a tour of the Whisky Ranch’s Still House, a taste of TX Whiskey and three cocktails. Tickets are about $150.

Not a ding dong thing wrong with a ticket to this under a tree. 

For The Baker or Bread Lover

Barton Springs Mill Grains

Barton Springs Mill is doing really fascinating things with grains by growing varieties of organic crops that were seen under our splendid sun in the 1800s, unfettered by our modern-day nuances. They’ve partnered with farmers across the state to grow these heritage grains. We talked about it here before. The investment in the land by the farmers and miller was a risk all the way around, but it worked.

And you can now reap the rewards. It’s too late to have the grain shipped, but you can get a gift card on their site, so the baker can choose exactly what they want to get. Flour, as it turns out, isn’t all the same. So, a gift card is really better in this situation.

The Hardcore “Texas Food is Amazing” Person

A Foodways Texas Membership

Foodways Texas is an interesting and important organization with a mission is to “preserve, promote and celebrate the diverse food cultures of Texas.” It’s a nonprofit, member-driven organization that hosts barbecue camps, a Camp Vino and smaller events throughout the state. You can gift someone a membership, which will allow them to support the “educational food-based seminars, promoting local food networks, and partnering with universities and other nonprofit organizations to educate future generations about our food histories, cultures, and emerging trends.” They can also get in a lottery for a barbecue camp and attend other events that are all member exclusives.
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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.