Scott Reitz checked out CattleAck Barbeque: Located in a North Dallas office park, this barbecue takeout joint is "is hardly a restaurant at all," open just two days a week — but hey, there is free beer. Purists may balk at the use of a gas smoker, but there's "some soulful barbecue", including revelatory housemade sausage, "great smoked turkey, and an outstanding beef rib," and smoky brisket with thick bark and "perfectly rendered" fat. An impressive barbecue sandwich called the Toddfather includes hot beef sausage, pulled pork and brisket "for a holy trinity of smoked meats." The sides are less impressive, however, including "a bland potato salad [and] a mac and cheese that is tepid and stiff." Best of all, unlike some of the other top barbecue spots, "there's no line — not yet," at least. [Observer]
Teresa Gubbins went to Super Chix: This Chick-Fil-A-esque prototype concept from Yum Brands is " located in a mildly grungy shopping center just south of the University of Texas at Arlington" and provides "an interesting and mostly good experience with some nicely conceived touches." The fried chicken sandwich "had an extra-tender texture" and "the toppings showed care," including haystack onions, pickles and jalapeno slices. Chicken tenders are offered with "a generic foursome [of sauces] that included honey mustard and sriracha." Fries "were very good... and clearly made from fresh potatoes, with skins still on," but skip the sweet and rosemary-black pepper seasonings in favor of plain salt. Frozen custard is "basically a glorified super-creamy soft-serve" and available in several incarnations including concretes and sundaes. Overall, "if you're into chicken tenders and like to keep tabs on foodie news, it's worth a field trip." [DFW.com]
Nancy Nichols revisited Bolsa: Chef Andrew Bell is "doing a fine job of carrying the philosophical flame" this six-year-old Oak Cliff staple. Menu highlights include "brilliant" venison tartare, elotes-stuffed quail that "gives the term 'Tex-Mex' new meaning," and "worthy" chorizo goat cheese croquettes. Nichols was less impressed by the service, however, pronouncing her server both "dismissive" and "curt," plus he commited the unforgivable sin of dropping the check before dessert. [D]
Leslie Brenner reviewed Sushi Sake: This 17-year-old Richardson sushi bar is "enduringly popular," but "the quality of the experience can vary wildly, depending on where you sit and the way you order." The food can be great, including "fabulous" uni and "perfect" tamago, but the critic also experienced grilled yellowtail collar that was "underseasoned and bland" and some rolls were "about as impressive as the sushi you'd get in a supermarket." Service is generally "unsmiling, unengaged, borderline unpleasant." Two stars. [DMN]
ELSEWHERE: Fort Worth Weekly ate at Taco Diner; DFW.com went to Gator's Cafe in Colleyville; SideDish tried the new Hopdoddy in Uptown; Daniel Vaughn checked out Hickory House Bar-B-Que in Denison; The Taco Trail found "fantastic" tacos on a road trip through Johnson City; The Barbecue Fiend returned to Lockhart Smokehouse.
[Photo: CattleAck Barbeque/Facebook]