It is the time for street food. For night markets. Adventurous palates crave more—more crunch, tang, funk, and sweetness. If ever there were an indication of that, it’s the flourishing of pop-ups of late, clustering in “night market” events that mimic, in their own ways in various parts of Dallas, the famous street-food markets of Singapore and Taipei.
And so I was curious to see the lineup for this Saturday’s Night Market evening that’s part of the 7th annual Chefs For Farmers weekend. Yes, there are Fletcher’s Corny Dogs, and street-food fare that speaks of our place astraddle between culinary cultures—like beautiful elotes en vaso from Trompo and bowls of beef chili topped with beef bacon from Billy Can Can.
But for co-founder Iris Midler, inspiration came from visiting her brother in Taiwan and immersing herself in the sensory overload of the night markets of Taipei, where Shilin Night Market reigns, a labyrinthine warren of alleyways filled with skewered meats, fried chicken cutlets as wide as a human face, and ice cream confections that defy imagination and gravity.
I can’t promise Chefs For Farmers will recreate that in Victory Park on Saturday—though if a place of sensory overload is the goal, that may be our closest near equivalent—but I do know that the offerings speak volumes about where we are as a city, pushing boundaries, forging new culinary paths.
Donny Sirisavath of Khao Noodle Shop, recently back from representing us at the Bon Appetit 10 Best New Restaurants party in Brooklyn, will bring pork offal straw-noodle soup, with pork sourced from a farm in South Texas (near, if you remember, his San Antonio roots) and meticulously hand-rolled, hand-made straw noodles in a long-simmered broth infused with the meaty depth of duck carcasses.
The Filipino pop-up Not Your Lola’s has harnessed boutique beef (A Bar N Ranch) and local oyster mushrooms (Texas Fungus) to fill lumpia, the ultimate Filipino party snack that they plan to stuff into totable boxes. Luis Villalva of El Come Taco will present cow-head and veal sweetbreads in simple street-style tacos; The Owners Box will peddle slow-braised beef tongue tacos; and Fort Worth’s Tokyo Café will have Japanese curry laced with tender braised tripe. They are all offerings you can cradle in your hands, intended to take you somewhere. No one—no one—has shied away from the guts, the grit, the famously Anthony Bourdain-coined “nasty bits.” They have, in fact, triumphantly put them forward as delicious and, on top of it, thoughtfully sourced.
To me, that’s something worth showing up for.
Details and tickets here.
VIP 6:30 pm – 10:00 pm; General admission 7:00 pm – 10:00 pm
Victory Park Lane & High Market Street
Tickets: VIP $95; GA $75 per person