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Restaurant News

News Bites: Burrito-Delivering Robot Servers in Plano and Downtown’s New All-Day Cafe

SideDish’s weekly digest of need-to-know dining happenings in Dallas.
Joy Waters

Welcome to SideDish’s weekly dispatch of need-to-know News Bites, from quiet closures to opening updates and everything in between.

Bring On the Espresso Martinis!

La Reunion’s sibling cafe, Parterre, is now open in the downtown space formerly occupied by Ascension Coffee. Parterre opened November 8 at 1601 Elm Street with just espresso drinks and a simple lineup of classic cocktails to start. Soon, there will be breakfast tacos, with lunch and dinner menus to follow. It’s still getting its sea legs, but the all-day cafe already has a burgeoning cache of regulars from around Thanks-Giving Square.

With the team behind La Reunion, you know the coffee’s good. But you can also expect its coffee cocktail offerings to be decidedly on-point, too. Take the espresso martini. Barman Joe Rodriguez isn’t reinventing the wheel here, but with his version at Parterre, housemade vanilla bean simple syrup is shaken up with Kahlua, vodka, and a freshly pulled espresso shot of Ethiopian kerchanshe from Flower Mound’s Novel Coffee Roasters. The natural process beans give the martini a lovely, bubbly foam and a smoky-fruity flavor. These are dangerous. Go get one.

Yes, You There! Robot Server! Burritos, Please.

Word comes from Texas Monthly that a Plano restaurant—Taqueria Los Angeles—has employed an automated staff: a delivery robot bearing tacos and burritos. The taqueria, located in a nondescript strip mall, doesn’t appear to be futuristic in any other sense. But it seems to be jumping on the growing trend of robot servers filling in for the depleted pool of restaurant workers. Sci-Fi staffing aside, and perhaps most important here, “Its burritos are rolled-tortilla gold,” reports taco editor José R. Ralat.

Luna’s Tortillas y Hacienda Restaurant Closes

Halloween did give us a trick and not a treat this year when the longtime tortilla factory’s Northwest Dallas restaurant closed. The Luna family has been in the tortilla business for 97 years and the restaurant industry for 13 years. The silver lining here is that they will still make tortillas. “There’s no way I’m going to let this die out two years from hitting 100 years,” owner and patriarch Fernando Luna told the Dallas Morning News

I Guess We Have to Talk About Sugar Factory

Sparkler-studded ice cream sundaes, bombastic boozy milkshakes that go for $33, 24 scoops of ice cream topped with gummy bears and whole doughnuts—The Sugar Factory, a Vegas-based sweets shop (restaurant? Playland? Enamel’s worst nightmare?) has a new outpost in Uptown. It opened last Friday, November 5 along with tunes from DJ Nick Cannon. It’s over the top. It’s so beyond over the top that it’s circumnavigated the earth, went to the South Pole, and returned back on top, which so happens to be inside the old Ruth’s Chris Steak House on Cedar Springs Road. Dallas Morning News has more details, which will put you in a sugar coma just reading it.

Extra Bits of Food News

California chains, much like Californians themselves, are expanding into Texas. Last year, the fast-casual salad and sandwich shop Mendocino Farms landed in downtown Dallas for lunch-going urbanites. Then one opened in Addison. Now it’s eyeing two more DFW locations: a spot in Legacy West in Plano and another in Dallas’ West Village. Both are slated to debut in 2022. Another California import, Sweetgreen, is growing its Texas footprint. Popular for its hippie grain bowls and salads, Sweetgreen will open on November 23 in Uptown’s West Village. (Dang, West Village stays busy.) The healthy food chain will source ingredients from Texas producers, like Empire Baking Co., Fredericksburg Peach Co., and Marfa’s Village Harvest.

Loro, the Austin-born Asian Smokehouse by Uchi’s Tyson Cole and Aaron Franklin of Franklin BBQ, is opening another North Texas spot, this time in Addison. Details are scant for now, but expect it to open some time next year. The Dallas location of Loro opened this summer. Speaking of barbecue, or sadly lack-thereof at the moment, Heim Barbecue near Love Field is temporarily shuttered due to a fire that occurred on November 7. Owner Travis Heim guesses the joint will be closed for at least few weeks. (No one was hurt.)

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