Food & Drink

From Queenie’s to the Queen, a royal roundup of DFW dining news

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Gourmet donuts from Tim Love’s Back Dough in Denton.
Gourmet donuts from Tim Love’s Back Dough in Denton.

Baked With Love

Departing from his usual meat-centric repertoire, Fort Worth-based celeb chef Tim Love (Woodshed Smokehouse, Love Shack, Lonesome Dove Western Bistro) has hearkened his pastry skills to launch Back Dough, a late-night gourmet doughnut shop inside Queenie’s, his Denton steakhouse.

Served from a neon-lit back door entrance, the ever-changing doughnut lineup includes flavors like strawberry cheesecake, cookies and cream, and even savory varieties such as barbecue pulled pork and buffalo chicken. Doughnuts are light, fluffy and made-to-order, and Love has plans for customers to eventually choose their own toppings and fillings.

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Chef Tim Love is making and selling gourmet donuts from "Back Dough", which is the back door of his Queenie's Steakhouse just off of the town square in Denton. Paul Moseley

“I wanted to start it very quietly in a cool spot, so I chose Queenie’s for a test,” he says, indicating the possibility for more locations to come.

The Back Dough is open 11 p.m.-1 a.m. Friday and Saturday nights.

The concept is just one of multiple new projects for Love, including a Knoxville, Tenn., Lonesome Dove Western Bistro set to open this month, a new Love Shack location now open inside Terminal E at DFW Airport, and the launch of his own rosé. Called Love & Hope, the American-made pink wine was a collaboration with California winemaker Austin Hope.

“It can stand up to a great charcuterie and can be enjoyed all day on the porch,” Love says. The wine is currently only available for purchase by the half case ($120) online at

Back Dough is at Queenie’s Steakhouse, 115 E. Hickory St., Denton, 940-442-6834,

Ice Dreams

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Central Market ice creams Ross Hailey

Just in time for summer, Central Market has launched its own line of small-batch craft ice cream, featuring unexpected flavors with unusual ingredient combinations.

Three years in the making and sold in pint-sized cartons ($4.48), the ice creams include unique varieties like chile pepper-infused vanilla with pecans, Jamaican Jam made with dark rum, date jam and a pinch of sea salt, and lemon crème swirled with rosemary shortbread crumbles and a splash of buttermilk.

Substantial butterfat (16 percent) allows for a rich and creamy, custardlike texture that serves as a silky canvas for bold flavors. Expect the ice creams to be available year-round.

Meyer & Sage Delivers

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Jerk chicken with pineapple pico de gallo and quinoa Joyce Marshall

Named for two of her favorite ingredients — Meyer lemons and fresh sage — personal chef Callie Salls’ new culinary delivery service aims to provide busy clients with seasonal, organic, family-style meals. Salls is joined in the venture by chef Brian Johnson, whose kitchen credentials include time at the Omni New Orleans, Omni Fort Worth and Grace.

Salls, whose colorful, prettily plated dish shots have built a following on social media, prides herself on using organic chicken and beef, wild-caught seafood, Gulf shrimp, and organic and non-GMO produce. Clients may choose items that are Paleo, gluten-free, vegetarian or vegan, and a weekly tasting menu is offered at a discounted rate.

A taste of what’s to come on the Meyer & Sage menu this summer: organic jerk chicken tenders with pineapple pico de gallo paired with organic quinoa pilaf with summer squash ribbons and pistachios. Meals are delivered in high-quality glassware labeled with reheating instructions, making dinner deliciously healthy in a snap.

New Dawn for Daireds

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Daireds Cafe chef Dawn Staniford Joyce Marshall

Dawn Staniford says she’s always loved working alongside husband Blaine, helping the executive chef at downtown Fort Worth’s Grace restaurant whenever the opportunity arose. Now she’s leading her own kitchen as executive chef at Daireds Salon & Spa Pangea, where she has launched her first menu just in time for showcasing summer’s bounty.

“The menu is more spa-oriented,” she says. “I wanted to bring in healthier items that were a little nicer and a little more approachable.”

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Daireds Cafe chef Dawn Staniford prepared applewood smoked salmon Joyce Marshall

Staniford’s standout dishes, each presented in artistic fashion, include house-made smoked salmon with refreshing shaved cucumbers and cumin yogurt, grilled naan flatbread topped with Mediterranean olives, sun-dried tomatoes, feta and aged balsamic vinegar, and quinoa bowls in Southwestern, Asian and Mediterranean varieties. The cafe also touts an impressive wine list with offerings Staniford says are hard to find elsewhere, as well as a new cocktail menu that will change seasonally.

The cafe is open daily until 5:30 p.m. (premade deli items and alcohol are available during spa hours) and spa services aren’t required for dining in or ordering to go. 2400 W. Interstate 20, Arlington, 817-465-9797,

Haute Grilled Cheese in Hurst

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Gourmet Grilled Cheese Caprese

Opening this month in Hurst, Grain & Dairy Gourmet Grilled Cheese is owner Josh Rogers’ homage to a comforting childhood favorite.

The Haltom City native and Texas Tech University grad spent 12 years on the service end of the food and beverage industry before envisioning the concept, one that will offer upscale grilled cheese sandwiches along with soups, salads, sides and dessert.

Creative varieties will include prosciutto, havarti and honeydew melon on sourdough, a veggie version with asparagus, mushrooms, white cheddar and Muenster cheese on olive bread, and a mac-and-cheese sandwich stuffed with Gouda, Parmesan, mascarpone and bacon between honey wheat bread.

Grain & Dairy will be open seven days a week, serving lunch and dinner. 1222 W. Hurst Blvd., Hurst, 817-616-3062.

Lettuce Eat

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Lettuce Cook executive chef/owner Todd Brown Paul Moseley

After serving as a boutique caterer in Fort Worth for more than a decade, Todd Brown has launched Lettuce Cook, a cute, convenient west Fort Worth cafe where patrons can also pick up gourmet meals to-go from a refrigerated case.

Opened last month, the colorful, cozy dive features made-to-order hot sandwiches and salads, as well as grab-and-go dishes available in individual or family-style servings.

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You'll Flank Yourself sandwich (honey rosemary flank steak, caramelized onions, roasted peppers and goat cheese). Food choices by executive chef/owner Todd Brown, photographed at the Lettuce Cook Paul Moseley

On a recent visit, the chef’s case featured everything from turkey meatloaf and chicken spaghetti to roasted asparagus and white truffle mac-and-cheese. Popular sandwiches include honey-rosemary flank steak on an onion roll, grilled cheese slathered with tart cherry spread, and smoked turkey on Texas toast.

Lettuce Cook is open 10 a.m.-7 p.m. Monday through Saturday. Brown hopes to add wine and beer. 5101 White Settlement Road, Fort Worth, 817-989-2665,


Funky Town Donuts, the Fort Worth-based gourmet doughnut purveyor popular for catering, now has its own storefront near the hospital district. Owned by Denton native and former home baker Brandon Moors, the shop uses fresh ingredients and homemade dough for fun flavors like Key lime pie, maple bacon and blood orange with dark chocolate drizzle. The shop is open 6 a.m.-1 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday and 8 a.m.-1 p.m. Sunday. Gluten-free and vegan doughnuts are available Wednesdays and Sundays. 1000 Eighth Ave., Fort Worth, 817-862-9750,

Avoca Coffee Roasters will open its long-awaited second location this month in a spacious spot on Foch Street. The spot will feature a roomy patio, local artwork and Avoca’s new cold brew coffee on tap. Baked goods will include treats from McKinley Bakery & Cafe, Stir Crazy Baked Goods, Swiss Pastry Shop and Spiral Diner. 835 Foch St., Fort Worth, 817-878-4249,

Grace will host a picnic on the patio paired with selections by Smith Story Wine Cellars on June 10. The menu will be served family-style and include Blaine Staniford’s Nashville hot fried quail, a progression of ceviches, achiote-marinated suckling pig with house-made tortillas, artisan cheeses and canapes. Smith Story Wine Cellars is co-owned by Fort Worth native Alison Smith-Story, who will be in attendance. 6:30 p.m., $125 (plus tax and gratuity). 777 Main St., Fort Worth, 817-877-3388,

Chef Pointe Café now has a Monday Yappier Hour. Patrons can bring leashed dogs for socializing on the covered patio during human happy hour on Mondays only, 5:30-8:30 p.m. The restaurant has even added a doggie menu with proteins, a non-alcoholic brew, and fresh dog food by Bark Avenue market and Bakery in Colleyville. Dogs of all sizes are welcome. Human happy hour is 5:30-8:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday, and includes $4 wells on Monday. 5901 Watauga Road, Watauga, 817-656-0080,

Birthday Fit for a Queen

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Britain's Queen Elizabeth II Chris Jackson AP

Though Queen Elizabeth II’s actual 90th birthday was in April, the official celebration will be marked this month with plenty of pageantry, pomp and circumstance all over Britain. On June 11, her royal highness will travel by carriage in a traditional military parade before appearing on the balcony of Buckingham Palace in all of her majestic glory.

Locally, The British Emporium will host a toast to the queen at about noon June 11. Guests will enjoy light refreshments, hear a guitarist play God Save the Queen and sign a large birthday card that will be sent to Buckingham Palace. A retired Grenadier Guard will also share stories about his experiences serving her majesty (140 N. Main St., Grapevine, 817-421-2311,

Royalists hosting their own parties will want to have the queen’s favorite birthday cake on hand for the occasion. Darren McGrady, former Buckingham Palace chef to the royal family, shares the time-honored recipe for the classic chocolate cake, which dates to Queen Victoria’s tenure in the 19th century. McGrady, who now lives in Plano and serves the DFW area as a personal chef and caterer, fine-tuned the recipe for Queen Elizabeth II and says every member of the family requests the cake, which is always to simply say “Happy Birthday.” The recipe appears in his cookbook, Eating Royally (Thomas Nelson, $24.99).

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Chocolate Birthday Cake

Makes about 10 portions

• 1 pound Ghirardelli dark chocolate

• 1 pint heavy cream

• 2 ounces flour

• 1 ounce Dutch cocoa powder

• 2 eggs

• 6 egg yolks

• 4 ounces granulated sugar

• 2 ounces melted butter

1. At least 6 hours before baking the cake, prepare the filling. Melt 8 ounces of the chocolate and bring to boil  1/2 pint of the cream. Pour the cream onto the chocolate and whisk it until smooth, then refrigerate until set.

2. Sieve the flour and cocoa together and set aside.

3. Heat oven to 350 degrees.

4. Set a pot (large enough to hold a mixing bowl) half-full of hot water on the stove and bring water to a boil. Line an 8-inch sponge tin with parchment paper and grease.

5. In a mixing bowl, add the eggs, yolks and sugar and whisk together. Place over the pot of hot water to allow the mixture to heat up. Whisk the egg mixture until it doubles in volume and then fold in the butter and flour mixture. Spoon the mix into the cake tin and bake for about 20 minutes, until the sponge springs back when pressed. Remove from the oven onto a cooling rack.

6. Melt the remaining 8 ounces of chocolate and bring to boil the remaining 1/2 pint of cream. Pour the cream onto the chocolate and whisk it until smooth and then set aside, off the heat.

7. Slice the sponge into three discs and spread the chilled filling onto the bottom two discs and reassemble the cake. Add the remaining filling to the hot chocolate mixture and whisk to combine. Place the cake back onto the cooling wire and ladle the topping over the sponge, allowing it to run down the sides. Cool the cake for at least 2 hours before decorating and serving.


— Chef Darren McGrady, 214-293-4516,

Manly Treats

Combining two of any man’s favorites — bourbon and bacon — “Man Bars” ($44 for eight) from Sugar & Frosting in Keller are sure to satisfy Dad’s sweet tooth.

Owner and baker Melody Fitzgerald says the sweet and salty treats are a hit with the guys.

“This isn’t some dainty pastry,” Fitzgerald says. “It’s chocolate, bacon, bourbon and caramel, perfectly balanced in this tasty, gooey, not-at-all delicate, mouthful of deliciousness. The only thing missing is a porterhouse and the cigar.”

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The Man Bar includes dark bittersweet chocolate, marshmellow, scotch, caramel and candied bacon. Photo by Jeena Stephen

Man Bars

Makes 8 large bars

1 pound bittersweet chocolate

1 10-ounce bag mini marshmallows

1/4 cup bourbon, whiskey, scotch or brandy

1 cup caramel sauce

1 pound Candied Bacon (recipe follows)

1. Melt half of the chocolate and pour into an 8-inch baking pan lined with parchment paper, spreading evenly. Chill until set.

2. Melt marshmallows in a pan over medium heat. Stir until completely melted and sticky. Add liquor and stir until combined. Pour marshmallow mixture over chilled chocolate layer and chill until firm.

3. Pour half of caramel sauce over chilled marshmallow mixture. Chill until set.

4. Melt remaining chocolate and pour over chilled caramel. Spread evenly. Press Candied Bacon onto chocolate layer and chill for at least 1 hour. Cut bars into squares, then triangles, and serve.

Candied Bacon

3 tablespoons water

3 tablespoons granulated sugar

1 egg white

1 pound thick-cut bacon, cooked and coarsely chopped

Heat oven to 325 degrees. Whisk together water, sugar and egg white until combined. Toss bacon in mixture and pour on parchment paper-lined baking pan. Bake for 20 minutes.


— 126 Taylor St., Keller, 817-562-2500,