There’s absolutely no reason not to check out Legacy Hall, not even if it’s a long commute to dinner.
The area’s first dedicated European-inspired food hall — all 55,000 square feet of it — might be a long drive for some in DFW (it’s in Plano’s new Legacy West development) but it has instant draw — and appeal.
A sneak peek at the venue, which officially opened Wednesday but still was getting its last tweaks and build-outs last week, found the attractive space (think industrial modern) buzzing with activity. Alas, there was no food to try nor beer to drink, but that all changes this week.
In fact, one could argue that this wonderland with its surplus of options will make any indecisive orderer positively blanch. Tacos, flautas or quesadillas? Bao buns or bánh mi? A burger from John Tesar or fellow “Top Chef” alum Tiffany Derry’s fried chicken?
“We want people to come in and discover,” he said, adding that he received 250 applications for food stalls, and calculates that restaurateurs had a less than a 10 percent shot of getting the green light.
What all of the concepts share is they are innovative, Garza says, tying into dining trends, as well as pointing diners to the future of food.
To that end, there are naan sandwiches from Blist’r Naan Wraps, zeppelin sliders on pretzels at Tap Room Kitchen, poke at FreshFin Poke, Peruvian rotisserie chicken at Bravazo and … well, the list seems to go on and on.
There’s also a working brewery — Unlawful Assembly Brewing Co. — on the third floor, plus numerous other bars in which to imbibe (Bar Main and Good View — to name a few), and then there’s the game-changer: an outdoor stage called the Box Garden. The area is 15,000 square feet of stage and food/drink vendors, which is set to open in March.
Garza says the stage will be set for continuous programing, whether that means a band, a singer-songwriter or even a yoga class, and it’s something that sets this food hall apart from virtually all others around the world.
But back to the food. For your money (and note, the venue is a cash-free zone, meaning debit and credit cards are accepted, but cash can be converted into a “Hall Pass” near the information booth on the lower level), here are some of the best bets:
Roots Chicken Shak
Where it is: Level one, between Tacos Patron and Shawarma Bar
What to try: Duck-fat fried chicken
Why it’ll be good: Tiffany Derry’s chicken is near-legendary, but here’s hoping her Caesar salad riff — she was testing it days before the opening — makes the cut. A combo of kale, romaine and mustard greens topped with bread crumbs and anchovies, the salad promises to be a textural marvel.
Where it is: Level one, at the Windrose Avenue entrance
What to try: Well, you know. John Tesar told Burger Business last year that his stall — his first KB outpost in the country —will offer five burgers, two types of fries and shakes. (Tesar plans to open three more locations of Knife Burger, including one in a planned food hall at Fort Worth’s Crockett Row at West 7th.)
Why it’ll be good: Expect the famous Ozersky burger (a popular item at Tesar’s Dallas steakhouse Knife), named for the late food writer Josh Ozersky, which pays homage to all that is good and simple in a very good cheeseburger: Great meat from Cameron’s 44 Farms, gooey cheese and don’t forget the house-made pickles. Knife’s cult-favorite avocado fries are also rumored to be on the menu.
Whisk & Egg
Where it is: Just a skip and a jump from Knife Burger.
What to try: Crepes, made before your very eyes, that serve as conduits for extremely outrageous egg sandwiches.
Why it’ll be good: Garza says the concept is from the mold of a famous Los Angeles egg sandwich restaurant with a name that can’t be printed here, which has been luring hungry, melted cheese-seekers/Instagrammers since 2014.
Sea Breeze Lobsta and Chowda House
Where it is: On the second floor, reached via the stairs, elevator or escalator, abutting the venue’s biggest seating area (about 500).
What to try: Lobster rolls will be served two ways — with mayo or butter. ’Nuff said.
Why it’ll be good: Since 2007, the owners of Sea Breeze Fish Market and Grill in Plano have been serving delectable fare. The family behind the concept has been doing research in New England, so the clam chowder should be about as authentic as you can get here.