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News Bites

News Bites: BrainDead Dies and the Sandoitchi Pop-Up Returns Home

SideDish’s weekly digest of need-to-know dining happenings in Dallas.
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the exterior of BrainDead Brewing in Deep Ellum with an elevated patio.
Bret Redman

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

BrainDead Brewing’s Swift Closure

It’s the end of the year now, somehow, which means bars and restaurants and other providers of hospitality are deciding whether they want to take on another year. While 2020 was rough, 2021 was no picnic either. In a Facebook post on November 26, BrainDead Brewing announced that it was its time. “We are thankful for everyone that supported us through almost 7 years of brewpubbing in Deep Ellum, the best neighborhood there ever was…. “We appreciate every person that has ever walked in our doors and given us any of your time and hard earned money. We’re sorry that we gotta go but we love you and wish you the best!” 

Sam Wynne, who opened BrainDead in 2015 with Jeff Fryman, brewer Andrew Huerter, and chef David Pena, told Dallas CultureMap that he, too, found out the news via Facebook.

Sandoitchi Is Still Popping

…Up, that is. The roving pop-up that draws big lines from California to North Texas is back again. After arriving onto the scene last summer, Sandoitchi has made a buzzworthy name for itself (even celebs love them). It is heading to other towns (Houston, San Diego, Oklahoma City) before making a homecoming—and then another—in Dallas.

Sandoitchi will have its famous Japanese sandos in tow for its two-week Home for the Holidays pop-up in Uptown at The Palms (2922 N. Hall St.).

The menu:

  • Egg salad sando ($9)
  • Curry chicken katsu sando ($13)
  • Hot truffle chicken katsu sando ($13), with black truffle Kewpie mayo.
  • Strawberry and cream sando ($9), a nod to strawberry shortcake, a treat often eaten during the holiday season in Japan.
  • A5 Hokkaido wagyu tartare sando ($80), labneh, herbs, caviar. First time doing this sando in Dallas.
  • Sides: winter citrus salad; charred sweet potato.

Preorders for the first week start December 5 at 6 p.m. (pick up on December 7, 9, or 11). Follow Sandoitchi on Instagram for updates.

Metropolitan Cafe Shutters Downtown

Another closure posted to Facebook, and then shared via food media, comes from Metropolitan Cafe:

“This is not due to any health issue or injury, or anything forcing us to stop. It just seems that this is the right time to move on. 20 years in one place is a long time, not to mention operating that whole time in a high-traffic, volatile, rapidly changing spot.”

It’s hard to argue with, We’ve truly just had a good, long run and it’s time to shut it down. Good things simply come to an end. Metropolitan Cafe’s end was the day before Thanksgiving. Metro Cafe is one of those dying breeds that is less about “a concept” and more interested in providing a hot cup of soup or a Greek-style chicken dish. Its owner told the Dallas Morning News that its regulars made it feel like a bar without booze. 

Zavala’s Barbecue and Coffee—and Beer, Possibly!

Dallas Morning News reports that the Grand Prairie barbecue joint is opening a standalone coffee shop tucked just behind it. It will have a drive-thru and familiar coffee to those who’ve frequented Zavala’s. Mas Coffee Co. has operated out of the barbecue spot since 2019. Now it’ll have its own space and room to serve barbecue breakfast tacos.

Roots Southern Table Lands on Esquire’s 40 Best New Restaurants List

Tiffany Derry’s restaurant in Farmers Branch lands squarely in the middle of the mag’s Best New Restaurants list at number 19. It has been an accolade-filled inaugural year, thus far, for Roots Southern Table. Read dining critic Eve Hill-Agnus profile of Derry from the August 2020 issue and my opening dispatch when Roots finally arrived this June.

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