Everyone between Fort Worth and Dallas already seems to know about Orchid City Cafe.
The rest of us had to learn about entrepreneur Martin Doan’s Cajun-Asian fusion cafe and its new menu item: Thai-style rolled ice cream.
Orchid City was already popular for fresh crawfish, seafood, giant burgers and boba teas. It’s the perfect concept for the university neighborhood near Tarrant County College Southeast.
The newest addition is rolled ice cream, made in thin layers on cold metal plates and then peeled up with a spatula into tightly wrapped coils of soft, sweet chill.
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The ice cream comes in the traditional homemade coconut flavor, or in other flavors such as strawberry-cheesecake, mango, green tea or Oreos-and-cream ($6).
Rolled ice cream and custard hit Los Angeles and New York last year, and has drawn lines up to an hour long this summer in Philadelphia and Atlanta.
One night this week, Orchid City was filled with an amazing cross section of restaurant patrons: students drinking Boba tea or smoothies alongside couples delving into buckets of crawfish.
When it opened, Orchid City gained quick fame for its skyscraper burgers, including a blackened burger with pepper jack cheese, Cajun shrimp and crawfish tails ($10.95 with fries).
The gumbo is exceptional, loaded with chopped pepper, garlic, shrimp, crawfish, chicken and sausage ($6.95-$9.95).
Doan, from Fort Worth, had a hand in other successful seafood and burger restaurants, including his family’s former Doan’s Seafood in Arlington.
“Food is my passion and I like doing new concepts,” Doan said this week. He plans a crab restaurant in Carrollton.
“We make the ice cream from scratch every day. We’ll keep doing it. It’s another way we bring more personality to our food.”
Goodbye Zodiac, hello NM
Update on the Neiman Marcus restaurant inside the new store opening by spring in the Shops at Clearfork:
The new NM Cafe will include a full-service bar and restore a tradition long gone from the old Neiman’s store: Sunday brunch.
It’ll have picture windows overlooking the entire shopping complex, going up now on the Chisholm Trail Parkway.
Dining deal notice
Reminder: DFW Restaurant Week specials continue through Labor Day weekend.
Restaurants serving $35 or $45 specials through Sept. 4 include Capital Grille, Del Frisco’s Double Eagle, Eddie V’s, Fixture Kitchen, Max’s Wine Dive, Ruth’s Chris Steak House and Silver Fox Steakhouse, Fort Worth; Cacharel and the Melting Pot, Arlington; Silver Fox Steakhouse, Grapevine, The Classic at Roanoke, Roanoke; and Kirby’s Steakhouse, Southlake.
The $20 lunch special is available through Sept. 4 at Capital Grille, Fixture Kitchen and The Classic. It ends Sunday at Del Frisco’s Grille.
The Lena Pope children’s agency gets a $4 gift from each lunch, $7-$9 from each dinner.
Shaking up Dallas
New York’s famous Shake Shack opens the first of two area locations Thursday at 2500 N. Pearl St. in Dallas.
But Austin diners seem less than impressed with the New York legend, comparing it on social media to an In-N-Out with crinkle fries.
The second Shake Shack will open later in Plano.
(Fort Worth doesn’t need one: We have the Love Shack.)