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Saturday, June 23, 2018

Shell Shack - Henderson

To all the Shell Shack fans... they have moved from their Uptown location to a bigger spot on Henderson (the former Mellow Mushroom location), with more parking, and seating! And there's a patio! To those who have never been, the new space is big with a large bar area and lots of TVs for all the sports watching.

I personally have never been to Shell Shack, so I was excited to check out their preview before the new location opened on Thursday 6/21. Walking in, I immediately noticed all the chalkboard art on the walls. They showcased all the different food and drink items as well as the market prices of all the different types of seafood available that day.

Shell Shack
2326 N Henderson Ave.
Dallas, TX 75206
(877) 434-1411

We were greeted with drinks upon arrival. My friend grabbed the Blue Hawaiian (rum, blue curacao, real coco, pineapple juice) $12~ It looks fun! She enjoyed it.

Once the event started we were ushered into the dining room to get some appetizers. They had it set up buffet style. Can you say "ALL THE FRIED FOODS"?! Haha.

Crab Tater Tots - Big 'ol tater tots, filled with crab. What's not to like?

Fried Crawfish - I love crawfish. I thought it was fried well, but the batter was just a tad too salty.

Fried Catfish Bites - This was my favorite of the 3, I got a nice plump piece and it was so tender on the inside and fried beautifully on the outside.

I tried not too get very much cuz I knew there was more food coming!

For the dinner portion we sat down in the dining room. The owner made a welcome speech and gave us some background on the restaurant. This is replacing the old location on McKinney, just FYI. He also introduced the next course we were about to receive which is MORE appetizers. Each table got a sampler of the Buffalo Shrimp, Calamari, and another kind of Shrimp (cajun? garlic? I'm not sure of the seasoning). 
The Buffalo Shrimp was my favorite... that buffalo sauce is money! The shrimp IS fried just so you know, the other one wasn't. I dipped everything in that buffalo sauce. haha. Calamari was good. The owner noticed that it had gotten cold since they were waiting to bring it out after the speech, so he sent out fresh ones to every table. Eat it hot, y'all, it's good!

For the main attraction, we were gonna get a bit of everything... crabs, shrimp, corn, potatoes. We did NOT realize they were bringing a full bag for each individual person! WOW! That's a lotta crab! All the seafood is market price, so make sure you check out their board to see what's available! And oh yea... we all get bibs! Love it!

King Crab
Snow Crab
Bairdi Crab
Flavor: The Kitchen Sink - which is like ALL THE SPICES!

I'm a crab newbie, so I wasn't really sure what was what. I could tell the King Crab because it stabbed me in the fingers. haha. Those spikes are no joke! It was super meaty! And make sure you get that melted butter to dip in.

I'm not sure if it was Snow or Bairdi I liked better... I couldn't tell which is which, but I liked them better than the King. While King Crab is meatier, the Snow/Bairdi was more tender/delicate. And just a fun fact, Shell Shack is the only place in DFW that serves Bairdi Crabs. You may have heard of this crab if you watch Deadliest Catch. hehe.

Instead of everyone keeping their bags on their trays, my table dumped all the bags in the middle. YASSSS! That's the way to do it!!! Free-for-all! My friends also did NOT use gloves, like most of the other tables. I did... cuz I'm a noob and also don't like to touch food. haha. But 2 minutes in, the king crab spikes punctured my gloves so I still got my hands dirty. :P This was SO MUCH FUN, y'all. Definitely go with friends who don't mind using their hands and getting dirrrrty. And oh the corn!! That was probably my FAVORITE thing of the night! I wish they had given us each more than one. My friend gave me hers so I had two! I could've eaten everyone's! 
The potatoes were also perfectly awesome. I did wish we had gotten spicy though. I thing that would've made the flavor even better! But since it was a media event where they had to prepare for a bunch of people, it's safer to go with mild.

Catfish Basket & Fries $10.99~ We also had 2 hushpuppies in the basket. While we were cracking shells with our messy hands, they brought out MORE food. I thought maybe a basket for each table for us to sample, but no, a basket for EACH OF US! I'm pretty full at this point, how will I ever finish! haha. I made the mistake of taking a fry and couldn't really stop after that. I have no self control with fried foods if I start eating them. Fries were good.. I think they sprinkle sugar on it... Most of us ended up taking our baskets to go.

While everyone was slowing down, the owner said "well I hope y'all saved room for dessert!" Um. Sure! Bring it on. haha.

Bread Pudding (warm bread pudding topped with homemade Jack Daniels caramel sauce and salted caramel gelato) $6.99~ A surprisingly low bread pudding... usually they're more layered but the flavor was good, especially with that salted caramel ice cream. Good portion size I think.

Ultimate Chocolate Cake (chocolate cake with layers of chocolate mousse, chocolate ganache, chocolate sauce, and chocolate hazelnut gelato) $7.99~ Are you surprised this was my favorite? haha. You had me at ganache! It was delicious. I took most of it home because we were too full. And it was even better 2 days later because I let it soften for a bit after taking it out of the fridge. CHOCOLATE WASTED for reals!

Carrot Cake. So.. they're known for their carrot cake. Which is epically huge. However, my table was the last one to finish our crabs because we ate EVERY SINGLE PIECE, so by the time our desserts came out, they had ran out of the carrot cake. Sadness. So I don't have a picture, but we ended up snagging a piece from a neighboring table (don't worry, we knew the people, haha). They had barely even made a dent in it! It's almost a quarter of the whole cake I think. Now I'm not a carrot cake fan, but one of my friends was and she took the whole thing home. haha. So I think she liked it. I do have to say the frosting was quite luxurious.

We had a great time. This is definitely a place for friends who wanna just get down and get their hands dirty. The crabs were fresh and meaty. And just forgo the gloves... they're only gonna get punctured anyways. Plus, Shell Shack has the best hand washer ever!! You just stick your hands in it. It sprays and spins warm water and soap and gets everything off. Your hands feel nice and soft and clean after. Go check them out, it's a great place to watch a game too... TVs everywhere.

Thanks so much, Shell Shack, for having me!! And congrats on the new location!

*The meal was comped but all opinions are my own.*

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Tuesday, June 5, 2018

Afternoon Tea @ Potpourri of Silk

Hi All. Sorry for the hiatus... life has been busy, and well, I just haven't felt like writing! XP But trying to get back into it. I'm gonna start with one of my birthday month celebrations back in April.

I love afternoon tea, high tea, tea and pastries, whatever you want to call it. But I mostly love the ones where the mini foods are served on tiered stands. A friend of mine found this place on Instagram and so I booked it for one of my many birthday celebrations. :)

Potpourri of Silk
317 N Zang Blvd.
Dallas, TX 75208
(214) 941-9941
Price: $40 a person plus tax

A few things to note about this place... 
- Tea time is available from 10AM-3:30PM. 
- 24 Hour Advance Reservations is required. 
- It is BYOB - $10 corking fee per bottle. 
- A 15% gratuity will be applied. 
- And no children under 13. 
- When we went, they had a maximum party size of 6 people, looks like they've upped it to 8 now! Yay.

We went at the beginning of April. For some reason we had a freak cold front that weekend and it was freezing! Luckily it was nice and warm inside. The place is in an old-style house, the decor inside is more traditional, white linens, doilies, etc. Very cute. They had the classic looking tea pots and tea sets too... and the tiered stands! This is what I wanted!

We got to choose our own teas... the tea pots were huge, and I drank a whole one myself. haha. I liked that. I don't like having to ask for refills all the time.

Apricot Rose Hips on Black. The other girls loved this one.
Earl Grey Lavendar on Red Rooibos
Japanese Sencha - this one was basically all me. haha. I'm a tea purist... and quite picky. I like the simple green or black teas. The other girls shared the other 2 teas.

These tiered displays are so cute, y'all. Yay. Happy Birthday to me! :P

Tea Sandwiches:
Chicken (diced roasted chicken, shallots, fine herbs, grapes, toasted almonds, aioli, and spinach)
Beef (roasted rosemary beef, cherry tomato, confit, swiss cheese). One of my friends was still hungry so she ordered a whole beef sandwich. They also do lunch here. So you can order sandwiches, and pastries a la carte.
Cucumber (picked cucumber, cream cheese, aioli, lemon, dill, spinach)
All these sandwiches were super tasty. After our last, disappointing tea outing (surprisingly at the famous French Room), our expectations were a bit low. My favorite was the cucumber!! It looks so simple and plain but it had really good flavor!

Short Breads (served with Strawberry Jam and French Buttercream):
Brioche. (the round breads among the sandwiches) Was a tad dry on its own, but cute, and worked well with the jam and buttercream.
Classic Banana Nut Muffin. Yum, we asked for more of this.

Cranberry and Chocolate Scone. I loved the scones. I think it was my favorite sweet item.

Earl Grey Chocolate Ganache Tart. A little hard to bite into, but good flavor. Let the chocolate melt in your mouth.
Cream Puffs. It was filled to the brim with the sweet buttercream. Too much, too sweet. So I scooped some cream out and it was all good.

We had a really great time. The service was wonderful... very attentive and courteous. The food surprised us all, especially the savory ones for me. So far this has been one of my favorites in Dallas. It's good and still affordable in terms of High Tea. We will be back!!

And thanks to all the lovely ladies that shared this experience with me! Love y'all! :D

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Monday, March 26, 2018

Uchi - Sake Social

Everyone knows that Uchi is good. But I think most people also know that it's quite expensive. So you'll wanna read about this cuz their happy hour or "Sake Social" can save your wallet a little. :P

2817 Maple Ave.
Dallas, TX 75201
(214) 855-5454
Price (for HH): $$

Sake Social runs daily from 5-6:30PM. Yep, that's right, even on Saturdays and Sundays. Aside from a few holidays, they have this pretty much all year. And here's the best part... everything on the menu is LESS THAN $10... including the drinks! It's also available in the entire restaurant, not just limited to the bar. Woohoo!

I got invited to check out Sake Social back in January. My friend and I got to try a bunch of stuff! :)

Kara Kyuri (cold sake, yuzu, cucumber, thai chili) $8~ My friend got a cocktail. It sounds super refreshing. She really liked it.

Spicy Crunchy Salmon (cucumber, avocado, chili) $6~ A pretty simple roll but it was fresh and I liked the crunchy tempura flakes on the outside.

Negihama (yellowtail, negi, tamari) $6~ Also pretty simple yet fresh. I really liked the negi (Japanese long onion) in there.

Natsu Beef (squash, fennel, shortrib) $8~ What a pretty dish. That splash of green totally made the plate pop! The beef was super tender. We both loved this dish!

Gyutoro Dolma (short rib laarb, trinity puree, puffed rice) $10~ Also a beautiful dish. Just look at the colors! Especially with that blue bowl. I think this was my favorite from the Sake Social menu. I normally don't like dolmas but since this is made with untraditional ingredients, it's totally different. The puffed rice added a nice crunchy texture. The trinity puree was delicious... I think that made the dish.

Yucca Frites (yuzu kosho, labneh, herb trinity) $6~ The prettiest presentation of fried yucca I've ever seen. haha. It was fried to perfection. Each cube was delicate, crunchy, and fluffy on the inside.

Gailan (chinese broccoli, chili, white ponzu) $5~ Loved this! I'm always looking for vegetables in my meals. The flavoring in this dish was bold. And those garlic chips were everything!

We also got a few items off the regular menu.

Karaage (chicken thigh, sweet chili, seasonal pickle) $10.50~ I love their karaage, I've had it before. The sauce packs a punch. I wished it was a little crunchier on the outside though.

Foie Gras Nigiri (duck liver) $9.50~ This is a MUST at Uchi. I know the price tag is a little shocking. This is PER piece. But it's seriously one of the best bites of my life. The first time I had it a couple years ago, I actually teared up because it was so unexpectedly amazing. I'm typically not a huge fan of foie gras. But the textures, sear on the foie gras, and just the whole sensation is mind blowing. At least for me. You gotta at least try it once for yourself.

Banago (banana, black sesame, thai basil) $10~ Uchi has some really interesting desserts. They're also always really pretty. I really wanted to try this mainly because I love black sesame. It was interesting to say the least... The black sesame mousse thing was made with tofu. Not sure if I would've ordered that if I had known that little detail. I think flavor-wise, it was good... but texturally, it was a little weird for me. I loved the sesame crisps and the thai basil added a bright pop. But this is definitely my least favorite dish of the night.

All the dishes are pretty small, but shareable. We were full by the end of the meal. If you stick to the Sake Social menu, it's a pretty good deal! Our waitress, Payton, was amazing. Shoutout to her for such wonderful service. And thank you, Uchi, for having us.

*The meal was comped but all opinions are my own.*

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Value: (comped)

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