Chef Jose Meza works at the newly opened Jalisco Norte.EXPAND
Chef Jose Meza works at the newly opened Jalisco Norte.
Courtesy Jalisco Norte

Food News: Dodie's Catches Heat For Caitlyn Jenner Joke, Jalisco Norte Opens and More

In this week's roundup of Dallas food news, an Allen restaurant provokes the internet's ire, a new bakery opens downtown and an "authentic" Mexican restaurant opens in Turtle Creek Village:

  • Dodie's Place Cajun Bar & Grill in Allen has learned what it's like to go viral, and it's not because of the food. The restaurant has been catching serious flack this week after the Daily Dot published a story with the headline "Texas restaurant uses transphobic Caitlyn Jenner posters to designate bathrooms." The door to the men's room depicts a massive photo of young Bruce Jenner. The women's bathroom door shows an image taken later in Jenner's life, after she transitioned to a woman and became Caitlyn Jenner. The Daily Dot's piece took the restaurant to task for the signage choice:

    Obviously, demarcating gender with before and after photos of a transgender person is incredibly insensitive. By designating Jenner as a man before her gender transitioning, the images imply that gender is only skin-deep. In reality, science suggests that transgender people experience gender dysphoria because they experience their gender identity psychologically, not just physically. In other words, Caitlyn Jenner was a woman before she began changing her body and name.

    The piece argues that the joke also feels insensitive because of the long-running Texas bathroom bill debate. While Dodie's has yet to comment on the door controversy, The Dallas Morning News reports that Jess Herbst, a transgender woman and the mayor of New Hope, a small town a few miles north of Dodie's, took to Twitter to call the doors "offensive to trans folks." The negative attention isn't unwanted, apparently: According to DMN, Dodie's owner Kyle McPherson posted on a personal Facebook account that the pictures "FINALLY" got the media's attention.

  • Yesterday, NL Group (Front Room Tavern, Dish) opened Jalisco Norte, its new "authentic Mexican kitchen and bar, inspired by regions across Mexico," in Turtle Creek Village. The restaurant, at 3858 Oak Lawn Ave., is open for dinner under the direction of chef Jose Meza. Lunch, weekend brunch and Lonchería, "the walk-up market window," are forthcoming, according to a press release. The restaurant has aggressively branded itself as a purveyor of authentic Mexican cuisine, but you'll also find purely American dishes such as nachos on the menu. The cocktail program focuses on "agave-distilled spirits including familiar options such as tequila and mezcal, as well as sotol and bacanora," according to a release. Check out the menu below.

  • Al Biernat’s North, the steakhouse's new location at 5251 Spring Valley Road, starts serving lunch Monday, according to a press release, and it's opening its "distinctive second level" next week. "The site, previously home to Del Frisco’s Steakhouse, has undergone $4 million in renovations to fulfill Al Biernat’s vision for the restaurant," according to the release. "One of the most extraordinary design ideas was to create an upstairs space unlike any other restaurant in the city." The restaurant describes the second floor as a "hidden element."

    "Wander upstairs and you find the distinctive 'Blue Bar,' an intimate bar that leads to a lounge overlooking the vestibule and main entrance of the restaurant," the release continues. "Travel further and you’ll find a covered heated rooftop terrace nestled in the trees with a great view, exclusive ambiance and two TVs."

  • Headington Companies, the developer behind the Joule and Wheelhouse/Sassetta, opens a new concept Monday: Commissary, a bakery, butcher shop and "market cafe" two blocks from the Joule, according to a press release. "The street-level space will feature an in-house bakery and butcher shop with handmade pastas, cheeses, sausages, grab-and-go sandwiches, soups, pastries, gelato, craft coffee, wine, beer, and an artisanal marketplace," according to a release. The commissary kitchen has already been supplying bread and other items to Headington's other concepts, but now it will be open to the public with a characteristically modern space.

    "The 2,500-square-foot ground floor captures the open ambiance of a traditional bakery, and complements the striking porcelain tiles," according to the release. "Commissary’s wide selection of house-cured meats, rotisserie, fresh breads, pastries, and pastas all pair thoughtfully with a handful of carefully curated accoutrements available in the retail area. Operations run practically around the clock in an expansive subterranean space, which features a 5,000-bottle wine cellar, a walk-in dry-aging cooler, and an Empire MecaMATIC 6-deck tunnel oven, which is stuffed to the crust by 4 a.m. each morning with 150 loaves — foccacia, sourdough, rye, baguettes and more."

  • Perry's Steakhouse and Grille is about to open its third North Texas location, this one in Grapevine. The 10,000-square-foot restaurant opens in December at 2400 W. State Highway 114. "Perry’s fans will discover a stunning new look and feel unique to the Grapevine location," according to a release. "From the vibrant color palette to its exquisite use of glass, lighting and other textures, every detail in the restaurant was deliberately selected to create an inviting environment that the local community will appreciate, whether they’re enjoying Pork Chop Friday Lunch, a business meeting or an elegant celebration."

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