Wednesday, April 30, 2008

"Pyle-ing" on the coffee and doughnuts in Dallas

I've been a scofflaw and neglected my blog for the last several weeks while I focused on a blogging project for work. I'm not officially done with that yet, but I needed to start catching up with my Bite & Chew updates before I started forgetting what these pictures on my Blackberry are supposed to suggest. Take for example this mysterious image.

While it may look like a whimsical art project, the fact that it's on a plate should clue you in that this is an incredible, edible dessert creation. I had the pleasure of enjoying (and the pain of not being able to sleep after consuming) this assemblage at Stephan Pyles in Dallas. They simply call it "coffee and doughnuts" but that is clearly a tongue-in-cheek moniker that undercuts this frighteningly decadent reinvention of the working man's classic breakfast combo. The base is a cajeta crème brûlée surrounding a square vessel holding a syrupy espresso flavored hot liquid confection in which sits a skewer of freshly fried powdered doughnuts. After eating this dessert, I didn't mind the fact that I was eating alone at the bar of a fancy restaurant on a business trip. I missed the group dinner earlier that evening at the same restaurant due to tech drama with my corporate blog - why can't every blog platform be as easy as Blogger?

Although the most interesting image I got was the dessert, the rest of the meal was superb. I started my solo meal with a banana empanada with cardamom scented spit roasted suckling pig. Not something I would ever conceive of combining but all I could say was wow! Even the blue corn muffins they served for me to nosh on between courses were incredibly spicy and memorable. My entrèe of barbecued beef short rib with a "criollo" tamale and a dried cherry salsita was enough to ruin every other BBQ beef experience I was to have while in Texas by rendering everything else boring and tasteless in comparison.

Stephan Pyles is a see and be seen-scene, so I was a bit embarrassed to show up in my jeans and polo shirt - bleary eyed from staring and cursing at a laptop for the last several hours. Despite my worn affect, the bar staff couldn't have been nicer. They have a flat screen TV over the bar that, rather than showing a Dallas Mavericks game, broadcasted the live action from the kitchen reflecting their pride in the food and its prep. It was a powerful statement. I even got the chance to chat briefly with an overly friendly rich middle aged couple that was grabbing cocktails before dinner. Nice folks, but they seemed to be moving through the evening in a state of extended foreplay, so I wanted them to keep on moving. They were loving life just a bit too much.

Ah - it's good to be back on my own blog.

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