CuriousDish: What’s Hot in Dallas, What’s Not?

Lady Gaga, the new Madonna.

Trends come and trends go.  Some of us witnessed the frozen yogurt craze in the 80s and early 90s.  Now it’s back in a big way.  Or is it gone already?  Are we really, as DMN’s Leslie Brenner contends, in the midst of a taco uptrend?  Or is she very late to the taco party that has been happening here for decades?  How long before all of the cupcakes stores are empty waiting for the next cupcake?  Oh, it’s here! Cake balls. I guess I should ask what is the next cake ball?

Jump for the fascinating, decidedly unscientific data.  And then tell us, what’s the best trend you’ve seen lately?  What do you really enjoy?  And which trend do you just shake your head at, and wonder, “Why?”

I admit there is nothing even remotely coming close to scientific about this investigation.  Let’s just Google and see what we come up with, OK?

Frozen Yogurt

Frozen Yogurt (from Google Maps)

Looking first at frozen yogurt shops.  Take a look at those dots.  There are even overlapping dots.  Do we need that many Froyo shops?  I’d say, a decided yes, to good frozen yogurt on a hot day in Dallas, Texas.  As a comparison, go look at the number of dots for frozen yogurt in Pittsburgh.  I count only about 10.  We love our ice cream, frozen yogurt and gelato in Dallas–ten minutes of relief from the heat.  Or a great bribe for the kids.  Sewell Automobile dishes up some Paciguo (I know, it’s not technically froyo) in their service bay while you wait for your car repair.  Yes, in Dallas, we deserve as many as we can get.


Tacos (from Google Maps)

Let’s look at the taco dots.  Is the taco stand on the upswing, or has it peaked?  Time will only tell if some of the newer restaurants make it.  I would argue though, that a taco diner is not a new trend in Dallas.  They’ve been here forever and will continue to be.  Only a real Texas native can recognize that.  Escondido, Sol’s, Herrera’s, and even Taco Diner, and Tin Star have been here now longer than a trend would make.  No, taco stands are not new.


Cupcakes (from Google Maps)
Cupcakes (from Google Maps)

So how about cupcakes?  If you want a little shock, go ahead click on that link.  Amazing.  Look at those dots.  Count me in the “I don’t get it” line for cupcakes.  Why would anyone stand in line in Dallas heat for a cupcake?  Please someone tell me this is a fast trend on a downward slope.


Cakeballs (from Google Maps)

Only a few for cakeballs.  Does this mean it will never happen or that the masses haven’t hooked on to this next fine trend?

Is there another trend like these coming?  Are you a cupcake visionary?  What do you want more of?  Less of?  What’s the next hot thing? I like to find dots.


  • Stephen

    One interesting thing I learned from the above is that West Texas is next to Victory Park!

  • Me!

    Beer seems to be very popular

  • Lee

    I think you missed the point of Leslie’s article. It’s not that taco stands and diners are new, it’s that there is a wave of trendy, less than authentic, poseurs popping up everywhere. I’m a native Texan (from the Valley) and a big fan of tacos, but even I can see the gourmet taco trend, and it’s silly.

  • iluvfoo

    Look to another city (LA, NY) to see what will be the next trend in Dallas. We are always a bit behind.

  • My hopes are that the upcoming trend is for beer and wine to be sold at my neighborhood Whole Foods.

  • dooby

    Donuts. The future is donuts. If people will pay that much for a cupcake, they will pay it for a donut. Anyone who has had a tres leches donut at the Donut Plant in NYC has seen the future.

    Hypnotic Donuts in N. Dallas is the beginning.

  • George

    Good points, Amy and Lee.

    The constant Brenner-bashing on SideDish really seems inappropriate and petty. You should at least understand what she wrote before attacking it.

  • Beer does tend to trend up and down, but they are minor waves. Remember Yegua Creek Brewing Company? Toby O’Brien (then-owner, now running Eat the World) says he still has the tanks in storage. Then there was Copper Tank in Deep Ellum, a cool place in an old Cadillac dealership. They lasted less than a year before the trend started sliding downward. Yegua lasted longer because of outstanding food.

    For more Google dots fun, try “beer in Dallas, Texas”:,-96.808777&sspn=0.18859,0.445976&ie=UTF8&radius=15.53&split=1&rq=1&ev=zi&hq=beer&hnear=&ll=32.864305,-96.808777&spn=0.195807,0.445976&z=12

    Pretty much a beer desert in Uptown, Park Cities, and Preston Hollow.

  • Steven Doyle

    Amy: don’t you find it a bit curious that your Whole Foods doesn’t sell wine but they recently said the reason they cannot open in OC is because they canot sell beer and wine?

    Fortunately I live near grocers (including WF) that sell wine, but still laugh at silly statements like they made.

    I am with you on the zoning outrage. I have friends in your neck of the woods where I need to drop in for a quick few bottles and had to drive many miles to get what I need.

  • Steven, Oak Cliff isn’t REALLY dry, that is one of the misunderstanding of this argument. You can open a BBQ place, or Grill, and serve alcohol in dry Oak Cliff about as easily as you can in dry North Dallas – as long as they get a club permit and take down membership data.

    The unfortunate thing is the cost of purchasing at a 4th tier (through a retail store) makes margins lower (sales price – cost of alcohol) than neighbors that are wet. Therefore you give your wet, or modified-wet neighbors an advantage in profitability, and a greater chance of paying off that bank loan they used to start the business.

    Who makes that “extra money” from the 4th tier? Not the city, not the taxpayers, it’s about 3-4 retaillers, splitting up over a quarter million a month in markup, by my estimation.

    I would also argue that the Whole Foods at Preston/Forest would have expanded into a larger store (taking over the CVS space next door) if they were able to sell beer and wine. Rumor has it that Tom Thumb on the opposite corner is also saving the old Petco space for the exact same reason.

    Personally I’d rather have the beer-wine thing a little more spread out like other cities. Otherwise you have large disruptive pockets of late night liquor-houses serving minors who then T-Bone other cars. And their location congestion just makes it harder for the residents in the neighborhood to fight. Siphon off some of that business and a few of these late night places in wet areas WILL close.

    Everywhere I look I see great spots for an Old Monk – near me. Sob!

  • Marcus

    I agree with Lee’s point about Brenner’s Taco article. The point was misrepresented by Nancy and now George Lewis.

    I also agree with (commenter) George. I am disappointed and turned off by Nancy’s ongoing rude behavior towards Leslie and before her, Bill Addison.

    Grow and strengthen your audience by focusing on your work, not jr. high politics.