The Top Five Bites from Taste of Dallas 2012


Jerk Chicken from The Island Spot (photos by Lesley Mann Lynch)

Fair Park was a sensory overload this weekend with the tastes and smells of more than sixty restaurants and food trucks. Out of the hundreds of food options, these are plates that stuck in my taste bud memory.

1. Jerk Chicken from The Island Spot

This was no contest. The combination of spicy, complex jerk seasoning and perhaps the crispiest chicken skin I’ve ever seen, made The Island Spot’s Jerk Chicken the absolute best thing I ate at Taste of Dallas. I could eat my weight of this chicken, as long as I had enough cold beer to wash down the spice.

Jump.

Kofta Chalao

2. Kofta Chalao from Afghan Grill

Even though a braised dish is not something I would usually order on a hot, Texas evening, I wiped my plate of Kofta Chalao clean. This Afghan Grill dish consists of sautéed chicken meatballs simmered in a house blend of spices, garlic, and onions, served over a helping of saffron rice. The meatballs were unbelievably tender and the sauce bursting with flavor built up over a long braise.

Sweet Emotion

3. Sweet Emotion from Rockstar Bakeshop

The irony is that this classic dessert flavor profile was served out of a pink and metallic food truck manned by tech-savvy ladies (my receipt was texted to me from their iPad) armed with whoopie pies. The combination of luscious cream cheese frosting and perfectly moist red velvet cake called out to me, but they have several more-adventurous flavor combos on their seasonal menu.

Dolma from Zeytin

4. Dolma, Zeytin

These cold, pungent grape leaves stuffed with rice transported me to a little cafe overlooking sky-blue Mediterranean seawater. Well, as close as $1 can get you to that sort of locale. Making these flavor-packed bundles a bargain, if there ever was one.

Emmolada from Mesa

5. Emmolada from Mesa

Catalina, Chef Olga’s mother, is the person originally behind the fantastic mole smothering this emmolada. The dish starts with a tortilla fried in olive oil, which is then dipped in Catalina’s mole sauce and topped with fresh cheese. Need I say more?

What was your favorite taste of Dallas?

Lesley Mann Lynch is a D Magazine summer intern. She went to the University of Cambridge on a full ride and got her masters in Bioscience Enterprise. She’s now at El Centro getting her certificate in basic culinary skills.

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