Like the sun (and like the temper of the person waiting for you to load your groceries and leave that parking space), the Dallas restaurant community also rises.
Things are more than weird in the service industry right now. The state of dining, which is an already precarious industry to begin with, is being tested in ways it hasn’t been before. But if there ever was an industry to, we desperately hope, weather this virus-inflicted storm, it’s the restaurant industry.
Restaurant and bar openings? None to report at the moment. In case you missed it, the city of Dallas has mandated that restaurants and bars close to help curb the spread of the coronavirus, though takeout and delivery is still an option. We have a constantly updated list for Dallas restaurants running takeout and delivery specials. Support them.
In lieu of the usual food news, this week’s edition of News Bites, and perhaps following editions, will cover what’s relevant to Dallas dining the age of a global pandemic right now. Herein follows food news, the good, the heart-wrenching, the heart-warming, the hopeful, everything.
Stay tuned to SideDish as we also deliver stories on stocking your pantry, bulking up your at-home bar (you’re gonna need it), recipes, and more in the coming weeks.
Heard That Foundation’s “Staff Meal” Program Will Provide Meals for Service Industry Families
This Dallas nonprofit, long an ally for the hospitality community, is stepping up further to help “individuals seek out various resources, navigate the healthcare system and receive financial support during a health crisis.” The organization will soon launch the “Staff Meal” program, which will provide a meal per day to Dallas industry families for pick up. So far, outfits like Chubby Dog Farm and Profound Foods have signed on, but Heard That is still looking for ingredient and supply purveyors, kitchen space, and restaurant worker-volunteers. Contact [email protected]
Centre Will Feed 800 People Tacos
Centre, a sneaker head’s paradise in Mockingbird Station, is dedicated to helping its Dallas community when some of the most vulnerable are food insecure. So Centre founders Nick Sunderman and Michael Huff have prepaid Urban Taco enough so that 800 people can get a hot meal on them. That offer starts March 18 for any families or individuals struggling right now. Just call Urban Taco at 214-823-4723 to receive a time slot to pick up your food to avoid a rush of people. Remember, stay six feet apart and wash your hands a lot.
College Students Raise Money for Workers Who’ve Lost Jobs
When Hannah Sobolevitch and her fellow college friends returned home for the semester, they wanted to help raise money for waged workers who have lost their income due to closures in the service industry. Their Go Fund Me crowdfunding campaign, dubbed Dallas Helps!, has already raised $3,740 and counting. The funds will go to folks like the staff at Highland Park’s Chips restaurant which had to lay off 95 percent of its staff. If you can donate, if you need help reach out to Dallas Helps! on Instagram or Facebook. Similar initiatives are cropping up in Denton and elsewhere. Golden Boy Coffee, in Denton, has set up its own Go Fund Me for its employees.
Save Neighborhood Restaurants Wants to Save Neighborhood Restaurants
Craig Spivey of Bowlski’s Lakewood Theater launched a new website called SaveNeighborhoodRestaurants.com. While many third party delivery services have waived delivery fees to help people order from local restaurants, they are still charging those very hard-hit restaurants with commission fees. Spivey’s service is free for everyone. “This will be no fee to the restaurants or customers, and the current restaurant staff will do all the work and keep all the tips,” he says. He hopes this will help them stay in business during these tough times. Participating restaurants will have to follow strict guidelines regarding food prep and packaging. Same goes for the staff regarding the delivery and handling of the food. Proceeds go back to the restaurant and its workers. Reach out to 214-434-1113 or [email protected] for more info.
James Beard Award Finalist Announcement Delayed
First we reported chef Anastacia Quiñones-Pittman and her team canceled their trip to New York City. (That feels like so long ago; it was last week.) Soon, most of the James Beard Foundation events were postponed or canceled. Then the food organization announced that the illustrious James Beard Award ceremony would shift from May until sometime later this summer. Now it’s delayed the James Beard Award finalist announcement which was scheduled for March 26. We, and the rest of the food world, will have to wait to find which of our local chefs and restaurants from the semifinalist lineup have made the second cut. It feels like such a small thing right now, and maybe it is, but these accolades give restaurants much-needed attention. And anything that drives interest or traffic feels especially crucial now more than ever.
RM 12:20 Shares Its Struggle
The Dallas Morning News covered Erin Willis’ Lake Highlands restaurant and how real the struggle is for her and so many Dallas restaurants. “Willis is intent on staying in business, but you can hear the worry: ‘Restaurants will have to make cuts to be able to open again when this passes and a lot of us just won’t be able to do that.'”
Meanwhile, on D Magazine
Butcher shops are still open, y’all, and they have the fresh, farm-raised meat currently lacking in larger grocery stores.
Sure, you’ve stocked up on food at home, but restaurants need you to keep supporting them. Here’s a running list—frequently updated as much as possible—of takeout and delivery specials in Dallas and beyond.
The Dallas Farmers Market is still going strong, just with added health measures in place. As for the food and in-store vendors, they’re offering various takeout and pickup options.
Meanwhile two restaurant owners are using their social media platforms to inform the public: wash your hands, sanitize everything, and please visit your local Asian-owned businesses that are hurting.