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Mudhen’s Fresh Fare Is Hit Or Miss; Maple Leaf Diner Falls Flat

This week in Dallas restaurant reviews

Mudhen might be a little too healthy
Mudhen might be a little too healthy
Kathy Tran [EDFW]
Amy McCarthy is a staff writer at, focusing on pop culture, policy and labor, and only the weirdest online trends.

This week, Dallas Morning News critic Leslie Brenner scoped out Mudhen, restaurateur Shannon Wynne’s new farm-to-table spot at the Dallas Farmers Market. On her visits, Brenner found that Chef Suki Otsuki’s dishes, created in conjunction with nutritionist Mark Herrin, were maybe a bit too health-focused:

A kidney-shaped tray holding clunky hummus flecked with shishito peppers and a beet muhammara that never let you forget you were ingesting a superfood came with carelessly sliced raw celery and carrot sticks and steamed cauliflower, kale chips and seeded crisps. Six months after Philadelphia chef Michael Solomonov's stunningly easy recipe for perfect silken hummus went viral, you'd think a high-profile restaurant could turn out something more refined than the stuff that comes in a plastic tub in the supermarket.

Brenner did, however, praise Mudhen for its gluten-free offerings and careful attention to food allergies, and raved about Otsuki’s fish dishes. Two stars.

The Dallas Observer’s Kathryn DeBruler trekked to North Dallas to file a review of Maple Leaf Diner, the Canadian comfort food spot that’s a Food Network favorite. Unfortunately, even the poutine fell flat.

An order of poutine — which should have been the star of the show — amounted to little more than the sum of its parts. It is difficult to go wrong with thick-cut fries drowned in brown gravy and littered with melting cheese curds, but this iteration of the famous Canadian junk food proved only fair; a gastronomic shrug.

Elsewhere, D Magazine’s Nancy Nichols checked out Roman Cucina, finding plenty to love about the restaurant’s “Dallas Italian” cuisine. “Roman Cucina and other restaurants like it are the workhorses of our dining community,” she wrote. “They are the places that serve food and drinks that satisfy their customers, not James Beard Award scouts.”

Duly noted.