Jay Marks Foodie Friday

Foodie Friday: Hanaya Hibachi & Sushi – Yet Another Great Addition to Lakeside DFW

Just when we thought Lakeside DFW couldn’t get any better, a new Asian fusion restaurant opened its doors this week offering local residents a delicious and beautiful dining experience.

Photo Courtesty of Hanaya's Facebook page

Photo courtesy of Hanaya’s Facebook page.

Hanaya Hibachi & Sushi is owned and operated by the same people who run Kobeya Japanese Steak & Sushi in Southlake Town Square, so if you’ve dined at that restaurant, expect the same level of service, cuisine, and atmosphere.

Photo courtesy of Hanaya’s Facebook page.

Hanaya offers 8 hibachi tables for diners, or if you’d rather sit at one of their dine-in tables and enjoy offerings from their menu of sushi, ramen, and rice bowls, you can do that as well.

Photos courtesy of Hanaya’s Facebook page.

Because we wanted the full entertainment + food experience this week, we opted to enjoy their hibachi dinner and were definitely not disappointed!

Their hibachi experience is similar to other hibachi restaurants – it’s a fun, unique experience to sit around a table with people you may or may not know and watch your food be prepared with lots of extra pizzazz. But their food was different than any other hibachi food I’ve ever tasted. The menu items were the same, but the flavors infused into those menu items were uniquely Hanaya’s. I wish I could explain to you why it tasted deliciously different, but you’ll just have to go try it out for yourself!

In addition to our fun and tasty hibachi meal, we also tried one of Hanaya’s (many) signature sushi rolls – the What A Roll which has yellow tail, spicy tuna and little red fish eggs on top. All of the ingredients in the roll tasted so fresh and we wish we would have had room in our stomachs to try a few more of their signature rolls like the Flower Mound.

They also have all the rolls and sushi you’re familiar with as well. And our favorite part was their sushi bar where you can actually see all the fresh seafood ingredients they utilize in their sushi preparations!

Photo courtesy of Hanaya’s Facebook page.

Hanaya is a true Asian fusion restaurant with their fantastic offerings of hibachi, sushi and ramen. We are so glad to see them finally open in Lakeside DFW and know there are many of you who are excited they are open as well!

Keep in mind that this week was their “soft opening,” so things could get a little crowded there as lots of residents try them out this weekend. But we definitely encourage you to enjoy a fun and scrumptious meal with them.

And if you go this evening, don’t forget to check out the fireworks over Lake Grapevine which you can see from Sunset Point. And you can also enjoy music from Manny Trevino as part of the Lakeside Music Series.

*Hanaya Hibachi & Sushi is located at 2314 Lakeside Pkwy, Flower Mound 75022.

Foodie Friday: Burgers & Brats – Authentic Burger Joint Right Here in Flower Mound

When you’re shopping near the Highland Ranch Shopping Center in Flower Mound, you my not expect that you’d stumble upon an authentic burger joint right in the middle of it all. But you’d be missing out! And if you’ve never experienced Burgers & Brats, you definitely have been missing out!

Whenever I’m in the mood for a great burger, Burgers & Brats is the first local place I think of. From the moment you step through the door you’ll feel as though you’ve been transported to some small-town burger stop with its cozy seating and exposed grill area.

And burgers are obviously not the only things they specialize in (given their name). Burgers & Brats also has a fantastic selection of German-style pork sausage and pork-and-beef sausage for all you brat enthusiasts out there. It all comes direct each day from Fischer’s German Meat Market in the German town of Muenster, Texas. And they’re served up on fresh-baked bread rolls from Bayer’s Kolonialwaren und Backeri which is also in Muenster. So, no place better to find an authentic German brat! That’s for sure.

I love that you can watch them grill up your food from start to finish. With their burgers, they start with 1/2-pound of high-quality beef which is perfectly seasoned and topped with whichever ingredients you choose.

If you like your burger with some additional heat to it, give the Road Rage a try which is sprinkled with cayenne pepper and topped with pepperjack cheese and jalapenos.

For a burger with a BBQ twist, you can order the Speed Bump which comes served with bacon crumbles, chopped onions, cheddar cheese and a smoky BBQ sauce.

They’ve also got options that come with fried eggs on top, bleu cheese, or pineapple. There’s even one called the Frito Pie Burger! Um… yum! And if you want a burger made with something other than beef, they also have a Turkey Burger, a Tuna Burger and a Veggie Burger.

Or if you want something entirely different, Burgers & Brats also has a couple of sandwich options including their Philly Cheesesteak, their Reuben Sandwich and some chicken sandwich options.

I also LOVE their truffle fries which are crisped to perfection and come sprinkled with parmesan cheese and served with a side of aioli.

Burgers & Brats certainly draws a crowd around lunch time – and there are people who even drive from Fort Worth to come eat here! So, there’s a testimonial for you.

Hope you all have a delicious Easter weekend, and if burgers sound like something that’ll hit the spot, be sure to head to Burgers & Brats!

*Burgers & Brats is located in the Highland Ranch Shopping Center at 6100 Long Prairie Rd Ste 300, Flower Mound TX 75028.

Foodie Friday: Our Exclusive Foodie Friday Menu at Dido’s Urban Grill

After doing Foodie Friday for more than three years, we’re still experiencing Foodie Friday firsts! And this week, Chef Gary at Dido’s Urban Grill prepared a special sampling of their menu for us – and they even had special menus printed for us! Not going to lie, that felt pretty cool.

We first visited Dido’s soon after they opened in the summer of 2015 and instantly fell in love with Chef Gary’s unique and delicious culinary creations. We also fell in love with Gary’s parents, Ernie and Pam, who help out in the restaurant as well. A whole family affair!

Dido’s offers fantastic lunch and dinner options for residents of Flower Mound and is also a popular brunch destination on the weekends with menu selections like Fried Chicken & MacWaffles, their Crab Cake Benedict, their Shrimp & Grits and their Ultimate Grilled Cheese.

And here’s something you may not know about them – they cater! They can help prepare customized treats for your event whether it’s a small gathering, an office lunch or something larger.

Now, let’s talk about what was on our Foodie Friday menu this week.

Ernie first brought us a few of their most popular cocktails to sample – the Spring Heat (grapefruit vodka, rosemary & jalapeno simple syrup); the Tequila Tini (Patron, lemon juice, agave & sweet Vermouth); and the Leblon Caipirinha (Brazilian Rum, muddled lime & simple syrup). Our resident cocktail-tasters said each of the cocktails was delicious and come highly-recommended! But if you’re not really a cocktail kind of person, Dido’s also has a wonderful selection of Texas Craft Beers.

For our appetizer course, Chef Gary prepared their Crab Cakes which come served with a smoky 1000 Island sauce; their Flatbread of the Day which came topped with turkey, shaved onion, jalapeno, provolone and a smoked aioli; their Salmon Nicoise; and their Chicken Caesar Salad. Our personal favorites were the flatbread and the Salmon Nicoise!

Then for the main course we sampled the Smoked Turkey Melt served with a side of their Truffled Garlic Parmesan Tots and the Chef Special which was a Chicken Waffle Sando topped with some bacon (obviously). The Turkey Melt had great flavor and was a fantastic option for lunch. And the Chicken Waffle Sando… well, you just need to try that one for yourself!

To top everything off, we satisfied our sweet tooth with their Fresh Baked Chocolate Chip Cookie topped with ice cream!

We’ve had such fun supporting Dido’s over the past couple years. And have enjoyed watching them support the local community as well. They often host fundraisers and events at their restaurant which has really helped solidify them as a go-to restaurant in our area.

Thank you, Chef Gary, Ernie and Pam for a delicious meal this week and for making us feel a little more special than usual!

*Dido’s Urban Grill is located in the Town View Plaza at 1900 Long Prairie Rd, Flower Mound 75028.

Foodie Friday: Newcomer Mio Nonno in Lakeside DFW

Remember last week when I mentioned how happy we’ve been here at Foodie Friday with all the new local restaurants that have opened in the past month? We’re happy to report that we had another incredible experience at a new restaurant this week. So, thank you Mio Nonno in Lakeside DFW!

Mio Nonno’s menu is inspired by central and southern Italian cuisine and was expertly crafted by Chef Ati Mala who co-owns both the Flower Mound and Allen locations with his childhood best friend, Noti Krasniqi. Before opening their restaurants here in Texas, Chef Ati and Noti co-owned a Mediterranean restaurant called Andrra in the Hamptons where they served high-end cuisine largely inspired by the abundance of seafood available in that area.

Both Noti and Chef Ati pride themselves on being able to introduce Flower Mound area residents to Italian dishes they may never have experienced before – and certainly not the way they prepare them! They take inspiration from some of the top Italian restaurants in New York and deliver it to their customers here in Texas for an incredible value.

Let’s stop wasting time and get to talking about some of their delicious food, shall we?

Now, I usually don’t spend the time to talk about a bread basket at an Italian restaurant since it comes so standard, but Mio Nonno’s bread was so out of this world that it deserves an honorable mention. It is so fluffy and has an incredible flavor that’s highlighted by the smidge of sea salt sprinkled on top. And it’s incredible dipped in their oil & vinegar or the leftover sauce of any of the dishes on their menu.

From Mio Nonno’s Antipasti menu Noti brought us their crispy-fried polenta served in a gorgonzola cream; their Gamberi Arrabiata which are sauteed shrimp in a white wine lemon sauce (this is a great dish to dip the bread in); their steamed mussels served in a seafood tomato broth; and their fresh-made potato gnocchi served up in a cheese sauce made up of fontina, gorgonzola, pecorini and reggiano cheeses.

Noti mentioned that one of their most popular dishes from their Allen location is actually their Eggplant Parmesan. And it became popular after they decided to introduce it to customers at no cost. When customers found out it was eggplant they were eating (and loving), they were shocked! But with it’s perfectly fried exterior and the delicious capellini pasta it’s served over, it’s not hard to see why this quickly became a customer favorite! All of Mio Nonno’s string pasta is made fresh by a local Dallas pasta-maker and you can taste the quality and freshness in each of the dishes it’s used in.

In addition to the Eggplant Parmesan we also sampled their Prosciutto & Arugula pizza made in their wood-fired oven; their Russia pasta made with rigatoni, grilled chicken and a spicy vodka sauce; their Chicken Caccioatore; and their Lobster Ravioli.

We also had the opportunity to try the dish that Chef Ati and Noti are probably the most proud of and that is inspired by some of those top New York Italian restaurants.

Their Ciopino (which they say you can’t get the way they make it at any other restaurant in DFW) is essentially a seafood medley soup served in a light seafood broth (called fume). All of the various seafood (which includes fresh salmon, shrimp, calamari, clams, scallops and mussels) are perfectly cooked and the broth has an incredible flavor. Definitely recommend!

We’re here to tell you that these guys came to PLAY here in Flower Mound. If you’re a fan of Italian cuisine, you are going to love restaurant. We’re confident they’re going to do very well here – they’ve already received lots of love! It’s the perfect atmosphere whether you need a spot for a fun lunch out, a business dinner, or for a romantic meal. Even if you just want to sit at their bar and enjoy a drink while watching the game, Mio Nonno has a space for you!

We’d absolutely recommend you find a way to get over to Mio Nonno this weekend if you haven’t already and be introduced to some Italian dishes you may have never even heard of before. We promise you won’t regret your visit!

*Mio Nonno in Flower Mound is located at 2450 Lakeside Parkway Ste 100, Flower Mound TX.

Foodie Friday: Authentic Texas ‘Cue at 407 BBQ in Argyle

After much begging and pleading from their loyal catering customers, there’s a new Texas BBQ spot in town – 407 BBQ located off FM 407 in Argyle near the Paradise gas station on the west side of I-35W.

Owner Bryan McLarty and his team have been serving up authentic ‘cue via their catering business for around 17 years and decided in the last year to satisfy their customers’ demands and open up a restaurant location where people could come enjoy their food fresh from the kitchen. But they still offer full catering services too, so it’s really the best of both worlds!

You can tell that Bryan and his staff LOVE what they do. Each person that walks through their door is made to feel like their most favorite customer – even if you’re a first-timer! And when we asked them which of their cuts of meat was their favorite, each of them had a different answer before basically telling us, “It’s just too hard to choose just one.”

Before I even get around to telling you about their incredible food, let me preface this post with this one thing. 407 BBQ is a truly authentic Texas BBQ spot – you can tell that with every bite of their food that you taste. That also means that their food is served on a first-come first-serve basis. Once they sell out of something, they’re out for the day! So, we recommend getting out there as soon as possible to make sure you can try as many things as possible. Because it’s all delicious.

We were able to try out a whole smorgasbord of their meats including: jalapeno cheese sausage, hickory sausage, sliced brisket, pulled pork, turkey breast, and ribs. We had ours in the form of a meat plate, but you could also get it served up on a sandwich bun, stuffed in a baked potato, by the pound, or served up family style.

Now, here’s how I know I’m eating great barbecue – YOU DON’T NEED THE SAUCE. The flavors incorporated in the meat should always be able to stand alone, and the sauce should just be extra. And I can honestly say that I could have eaten every single cut of meat we tried without the sauce. But don’t get me wrong, their BBQ sauce is delicious too. It’s the perfect combination of sweet with a little kick of heat that gets you after you take a bite.

407 BBQ serves up some delicious and traditional Texas barbecue sides as well including baked beans, potato salad, coleslaw, baked potatoes and smoked corn. And on Tuesdays and Wednesdays they serve mac ‘n cheese which we heard is delicious. So, looks like we’ll be heading back on one of those days soon.

407 BBQ may be small in size but it packs a big punch. We loved every minute we were there and even met a few other first-timers who were just as smitten with this place as we were. So, while it may be a bit of a drive for us Flower-Mounders, it’s definitely worth it!

*407 BBQ is located at 1213 FM 407, Argyle TX 76226.