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Food Local Exploration

Finding Lobster Rolls in Dallas

December 18, 2016

You know those times when you see something and say to yourself, “Yup, I need that in my life right now.” That’s exactly what happened a few days ago when we sat and watched a guy challenge Chef Bobby Flay to a lobster roll battle on the Food Network.

Throughout my entire childhood, I was close to an ocean. Being raised along the eastern coast of the US and Puerto Rico, seafood was always in abundance. I frequently craved fish, shrimp and crab legs and it wasn’t difficult to find good seafood at a decent price. But chief among my seafood obsession is lobster.

For me, one downside to living in Dallas is that we’re pretty far inland, and to be honest, I haven’t actively sought out seafood in my local area. I’ve stayed fairly content with the thriving Tex-Mex scene, succulent barbecue joints and raking in Pei Wei rewards points. But coming out of that episode of Beat Bobby Flay, my seafood itch hit with full force.

To my surprise, there were more than a couple places serving up lobster rolls in our area. I thought for sure we’d have to go downtown to have a chance. Lo and behold, ten minutes from my house Sea Breeze Fish Market & Grill has been serving up some of the best seafood in Dallas for a while now.

The restaurant itself is a nice establishment. I was expecting something a little more “hole-in-the-wall.” Aesthetically it felt fairly modern and nautical. I wish I had time to read through the menu more, but after quickly grazing their options, I put in my order for a New England Style Lobster Roll and a side of Andouille Dirty Rice. My mind was set, but had I actually read the menu, I’m sure plenty would have called out to me.

Ten minutes later I had a beautiful lobster roll, dirty rice and two hush puppies sitting in front of me. The sides were good but were overshadowed by the deliciousness of the roll. Lobster claw meat on its own is amazing – sandwiching it between buttery bread is otherworldly. Biting into the sandwich was nothing short of glorious. It was buttery, smooth and the lobster was the star. Other places tend to top it with a slaw and whatnot. Not this place. It’s 100% about the lobster which I appreciated.

In total, my meal ran me $16 plus tax. A small price to pay for great seafood in an place where lobster rolls aren’t commonplace. If I could, I would have paid $50 for a the same sandwich the size of a footlong from Subway.

I was fortunate to exchange a few words with the owners of the restaurant and they are adamant about the freshness of their food. They source the seafood from markets themselves and seem to be great, passionate people. From a lunch perspective, this place is certainly baby/children-friendly with ample space to have your stroller table-side if needed. I couldn’t imagine it’d be too different during dinner hours.

Sea Breeze Fish Market & Grill is located at Lakeside Market, 4017 Preston Rd #530, Plano, TX 75093

Local Exploration

Hey There, Pumpkin.

September 25, 2016

Calloway’s Nursery is a spot we’ve driven past numerous times. Every time we saw it, we thought nothing of the place. En route to a destination you typically pay no mind to the places you’re actually passing. Luckily, we were tipped off about this local Texas gem and decided to see what it was exactly.

Calloway’s Nursery has been selling quality plants and greenery throughout North Texas for the past 30 years. Until Friday, I’d only ever associated the term “nursery” with infants and young children. Well, after a fun little trip to this new discovery, we’re now very familiarized with the concept of a garden nursery – and we’re kind of diggin’ it.

When we walked in, we quickly noticed they boasted the coolest assortment of pumpkins and plants we’d ever seen. We wouldn’t exactly classify ourselves as botanists, green-thumbs or gardening hobbyists. In fact, we don’t own any plants…other than a miniature bamboo tree in our office. That being said, even we were impressed to see what they offered in their greenhouses. The sheer variety of pumpkins was impressive to say the least.

If you don’t know us, we’re massive fans of Autumn. Fall is arguably our favorite season as it ushers in birthdays, sweater weather, festive family gatherings, and seasonal decorations. In our family, we go all out with decor during this time of year. Some people consider September too early to start, but we think it’s just right. Besides, if we’re going to spend a wad of cash on pumpkins, we’ve got to get at least two months out of em, right?

So what kinds of pumpkins do we aim for? To us, the uglier the better. We seek out those warty, weird ones and supplement them with a variety of gourds. Of course we’ll nab some of the classic orange ones you carved as a kid, but we like to diversify the color tones, shapes and textures. Lastly, and most importantly, we love those stems. The oversized, oddly curled stems are highly coveted (and pricier) targets for us. We’ll leave you with this bad boy:

Local Exploration

Steel City Pops

September 14, 2016

If you’re a Dallas resident, you know of some hotspots that are inherently “Dallas.” HG Supply Co., Emporium Pies, Katy Trail Ice House and Hypnotic Donut are just a few on the list. Among them is another local spot called Steel City Pops where they dish out a summer classic – popsicles. Living up north, we don’t really make the short, 20-minute drive down to enjoy many of these trendy spots. Luckily, starting Motion Butter has afforded us the chance to visit those places on our own time without the peak hour crowds. Yesterday, we finally got a taste the treat Dallas has seemingly fallen in love with. Would they come anywhere close to my childhood favorite, Ninja Turtle popsicles (complete with gumball eyes)?

 

At first glance, the Steel City pops weren’t very spectacular. They look like the kind of popsicles you make at home using an oversized ice tray. At $3 a piece, I felt a little underwhelmed when they handed me a simple popsicle in an unbranded cellophane wrapper. It looked nothing like my Ninja Turtle popsicles. So this is the cool thing I’ve heard so much about?
Will this taste as good as people say? Indeed. Indeed it did.

Despite the simple aesthetic, tasting one of those bad boys for the first time on a 90˚ summer day felt incredible. I opted for the peach flavor while Katie went with watermelon. I can’t speak for all of the popsicles they offer, but they crammed a lot of flavor in the ones we had. I expected a fairly watered down taste. Instead, I got a very real hit of peach, almost as if it was a virgin peach daiquiri. I could see miniature shreds of peach skin and after a little bit of Googling, I found it’s only ingredients were: peach, lemon juice, salt, organic cane sugar and water.

Apparently, the family that started Steel City Pops made all-natural ingredients a priority. They left their jobs to pursue their passion of creating a colorful and healthy treat inspired by Mexican paletas. Learning that made me respect them all the more. We thoroughly enjoyed what they’ve created and what Dallas as come to embrace as a local summer treat.

Check out what they’ve got here before summer is over:
Steel City Pops Flavors

(Let’s be honest, summer doesn’t end in Texas until November. You have plenty of time.)