This week’s round-up is great fodder for the sweet tooth-inclined. But there are also two savory gems in here — one of which is a standout bar snack, and the other is a make-at-home meal that will take you back to your childhood.
Also, if there’s something you ate recently that was so good it compelled you to send it to the group chat or post it online, I want to hear about it. Email me at email@example.com or find me on Twitter.
Pecans and fried olives at Gemma
My favorite bar snack is the piping hot Texas pecans and crisp-fried Castelvetrano olives at Gemma. Less filling than Scotch eggs, more refined than chicken wings, and way more exciting than mixed nuts, these buttery bites make for delectable and addictive little morsels to go with a drink. I ate them like popcorn, relishing the hot, creamy, crunchy nibbles almost as much as the gin in my negroni from Gemma’s negroni bar. Originally from Sicily, Castelvetrano olives are considered by some to be the world’s best olives. After munching on these, I fully understood why. — Amanda Albee, contributing writer
Gemma is located at 2323 N. Henderson Ave. #109, Dallas. gemmadallas.com.
Pasticciotto from Palmieri Cafe
The Southern Italian pasticciotto lures me again and again to Palmieri Cafe at The Dallas Farmers Market — the only place in town that makes it. The oval-shaped pastry is richer than it looks. A buttery shortcrust surrounds a generous filling of silky custard cream; my favorite version is the vanilla cream, with a few Amarena cherries adding a sweet-tart spark. If you get it to-go, you’ll want to eat it as soon as you can. It’s sold warm, which brings a melt-in-your mouth quality to the crust, and a more luxurious mouthfeel to the custard. Although pasticciotto is still good at room temperature, you could warm it for just a few minutes in the oven. Eat it at Palmieri Cafe and you can sip a superb espresso-based drink between bites.
Pasticciotto originated in Galatina, Lecce, the Southeastern Italian town where Palmieri Cafe owner Corrado Palmieri grew up. Before launching Palmieri Cafe more than seven years ago, Palmieri returned to his homeland to perfect his pasticciotto and other regional pastries, learning from a respected baker. Besides other sweet pastries — including chocolate or pistachio pasticciotto — Palmieri Cafe sells delicious savory pastries and calzones, too. You can order online and pickup curbside. — Tina Danze, contributing writer
Palmieri Cafe is located at The Dallas Farmers Market at 920 S. Harwood St., Dallas. palmiericafe.com.
Peach Cobbler Cookie at Cookie Society
It was a great food week for me. There was crispy duck confit, Neapolitan pizza, steak frites, tacos al pastor and heirloom tomato sandwiches on toasted brioche. But out of it all, my favorite bite was the peach cobbler cookie I had from Cookie Society. I’ll be honest and admit that usually cookies don’t excite me, but this was an exception. This cookie is made with a square of flaky pie dough in the middle and topped with a peach cobbler filling before it hits the oven. It’s as if a pie and a cookie collabed on a hit single, a summer anthem kind of single. The sad news is the peach cobbler cookie is a limited feature on Cookie Society’s ever-changing and inventive menu. The good news is it’s available until Sept. 30. You have three weeks until it’s gone. — Claire Ballor, food reporter
Cookie Society has two locations, one at 5100 Belt Line Rd., Suite 830, Dallas. The original location is at 9320 Dallas Pkwy., Suite 160, Frisco. cookiesociety.com.
Homemade Hamburger Helper from The New York Times
I love to cook, and my wife gets incredibly specific cravings (seriously, it’s like she’s receiving a detailed vision of the dinner from her future self). So, a few days ago she received a dinner vision in the form of a prompt: “Can we do Hamburger Helper but not terrible?” To the halls of Google I went, only to find the Valhalla of recipes for Good Versions of Stuff We Ate as Kids.
It’s an hour-and-change, NASA-accurate, blow-up-the-moon good recipe for homemade Hamburger Helper from Dallas native and cookbook author Priya Krishna (by way of Mark Rosati, the culinary director of Shake Shack). Dry white wine and chicken stock zap the smokiness and richness of bacon and ground beef. Hot sauce, a brilliant way to season instead of salt, electrifies the smooth American cheese and cheddar. It’s sticky and sensational. A direct quote from my wife: “OK, yeah, this is amazing.” A shower of chives is the final touch, because we need our vegetables. — Nick Rallo, contributing writer
Recipe at cooking.nytimes.com.
Açaí bowl at The Bodega at Hi Line
In Dallas, there seems to be a lack of healthy food options open late at night. After coming back from a trip to Los Angeles, I was craving a good açaí bowl (which California has an abundance of). Problem was, it was almost midnight when my flight landed in Dallas. I Googled the nearest places in town to satisfy my smoothie bowl urges, and to my surprise, I found what I was looking for. The Bodega at Hi Line, a superfood bar in the Design District, is open until midnight on weekdays and until 2:30 a.m. on Fridays and Saturdays. When I called to verify it was open, co-owner Lloyd Kim assured me that an açaí bowl would be waiting for me.
The bowls, which you can get in three sizes, come with unlimited toppings of organic fruits, granola and syrups like honey and almond butter. Additional available toppings include goji berries, chia seed pudding, bee pollen, golden berries, shredded coconut, cacao nibs, and traditional ice cream garnishes. For the smoothie bases, The Bodega offers dragon fruit, coconut, mango, blue dream (made with spirulina, coconut, and pineapple) and passion fruit. I added them all to my bowl with zero regrets. Generous, colorful proportions, Instagram friendly, affordable, nutritional and open late — what more could anyone ask for? My açaí bowl didn’t even make it home. I sat in my car and devoured all 32 ounces of it. — Tina-Tien Nguyen, contributing writer
The Bodega at Hi Line is located at 1400 Hi Line Dr. Suite 120, Dallas. thebodegaonline.com.