I love a good happy hour. There’s nothing better than drowning the day or week’s stress in a perfectly priced adult beverage with your friends, coworkers or heck, just by yourself at the bar. And the people watching? You really can’t beat it. I may even like happy hour more than brunch. Okay, maybe I’m being a little bit dramatic.Calm down, Vicky D.
Either way, Dallasites love that time of day dedicated to discounted cocktails, and if you’re lucky, specials on food as well. Well, now you can add another spot to your go-to happy hour locations. True Food Kitchen in the Plaza at Preston Center has launched a new happy hour menu that will leave you feeling much better about life without the potential stomachache and bloated belly.
Many happy hour menus around the city have fried, greasy bites of food on special – chicken wings, french fries, egg rolls, sliders, mini tacos, etc – these are the usual bites you can expect to order. As delicious as these items can be, they sometimes leave my belly feeling a little queasy. Then again, MANY things make my belly queasy, but that’s besides the point. True Food Kitchen’s happy hour menu is available Monday through Friday, from 3 – 6:30 p.m. and includes specialty cocktails, wine and beer for $5, natural refreshers for $4 and small plates that range from $4-$7. All of the items stay true to the restaurant mission of making you feel better, live longer and make your mouth happy in the process.
The entire menu is based on the anti-inflammatory diet, created by Dr. Andrew Weil, and is meant to take popular trends and pair them with healthy living. About 85% is or can be made into a gluten free. Their dishes are preservative-free, and they have vegan/vegetarian items. You won’t leave there feeling like you’re six months pregnant with a food baby.
For cocktails, they have the usual suspects – margarita, mojito, mule and martini. I am a fan of all of these beverages, but opted for a pineapple mojito because I love the freshness from the mulled mint. And this one did not disappoint. If you’re looking for something non alcoholic, the natural refreshers are packed with bright citrus, grapefruit or berry flavors, and you can add a splash of their organic and gluten-free spirits for just a dollar more.
As you sip (or down) the cocktails or refreshers, snack on one of True Food Kitchen’s small plates. The dip duet is a healthy alternative to the crunch favorite chips & salsa/guacamole/queso with hummus and a kale & avocado dip paired with pita chips. Because avocado. I am a super fan of the avocado. I could put it on everything, but this combination with kale may be my favorite partnership. It’s buttery from the avocado with a slight bite from the kale as the general manager called it “guilt-free guacamole.” Even if you haven’t jumped on the kale bandwagon yet, this is the dish you should try to introduce your palate to the possibilities of kale…beyond just a garnish on plates.
The bison meatballs are meaty, but subtle flavors from the cucumber, yogurt, mint and lemon lightens and brightens the dish making it a perfect companion to a happy hour beverage.
In addition to the happy hour menu, True Food Kitchen released their new fall menu. From the seasonal vegetable board, a kale crunch salad and the bison short rib and butternut squash pizza, there are earthy dishes to warm your insides…in a good way. And the Moroccan Chicken is a culinary manifestation of fall. Although this item has been on the menu for a few seasons, its flavor profile encompasses warm spices that remind you of the crisp time of year. The richness is attributed to the ras el hanout, a spice mixture from North African that means “head of the shop” and is usually rubbed on chicken and fish for savory dish. There is no definitive composition of the spice mixture as each shop, restaurant or family uses their own blend, but cinnamon, cardamon, nutmeg, paprika, coriander, cumin and allspice of some of the ingredients that are commonly used and that I tasted in this dish. It left me speechless as each spice tickled different parts of my tongue. I was left speechless with each bite, but then immediately wanted more. This dish is incomparable.
There’s not much that can really follow a dish like the Moroccan Chicken, but alas, dessert was coming. To continue with the fall theme, the spiced apple & goji berry crisp was my choice and just reiterated all of the deep flavors I enjoyed the entire evening. Spicy, warm apples, crunchy crisp and the cool bite from the ice cream. Couldn’t have been a better date.
I started this post talking about happy hour, but in all honesty, if you’re out with your friends – good friends – a quick happy hour can often turn into dinner, drinks and great conversation. And those are the best hours. Either way, True Food Kitchen has the menu and ambiance you feel better, live longer and make your mouth happy in the process. Sounds like a win to me.
(Disclaimer: My meal was complimentary and all thoughts are my own.)