We love a list and a Best In Dallas list is even better! Philanthropic chef Chad Houser is here to share his Dallas delights.
Always one to add a little levity to the conversation, Chef Chad Houser often describes Café Momentum as “taking kids out of jail and teaching them to play with knives and fire.” But levity aside, it’s this charisma and passion to teach life, social and employment skills to Dallas’ most at-risk youth that makes Houser a hit with everyone from philanthropists and dinner-goers to the young men participating in the program. After 17 years as a chef, Chad sold his partnership of Parigi Restaurant to devote his full attention to the role of Executive Director of Café Momentum in 2012.
Café Momentum’s first brick-and-mortar restaurant and classroom space opened in January 2015 in downtown Dallas. Savor Dallas’ upcoming culinary extravaganza is celebrating culinary leaders like its honorary host chef. Taste Houser’s creations this Saturday, April 8 at The Grand Tasting event and read on for Chad’s Best In Dallas picks!
Houser, a serious foodie, has a soft spot for Mexican food served straight up with a side of cheeky entertainment. This informal local eatery is a favorite because of its “awesome tacos, micheladas and late night tranny karaoke on the weekends.”
Of this American brasserie next to The Joule Hotel, Chef Houser touts, “they have a good whiskey line up, great staff and are just around the corner from the restaurant.” The restaurant, close to home, is located in the heart of the business district and has an impressive array of stiff cocktails for any palate.
“I have such a man crush on Shane Pennington,” he told us of the Dallas-based visual artist. “Not only is he a brilliant artist, but he (and Joshua King and Veletta Lill) created Aurora, which in my opinion is such an incredible gift to the City of Dallas.” The biennial public art event is a favorite of this creative chef’s with its expansive interactive light, video, sound and performance art installations by international and local artists.
Brain Candy: Dallas Creatives
When asked of what inspires and expands his mind, the charitable chef had a hard time pinpointing one thing. Instead, he celebrated many. “I learn so much from having coffee or drinks with friends. I’m fortunate to have a group of incredibly smart people to talk with and learn from; Sharon Lyle, Patrick Kennedy, Peter Brown, Johnny Martinez, Jason Roberts, Catherine Cuellar and so many more,” he told us of his fabulous friends. He also enjoys “absolutely anything in the Arts District. The DMA, the Nasher, the Wyly Theatre, you name it. Such a great way to exercise your mind.”
This small freshwater lake is a local treasure. Located in northwest Dallas, it covers 205 acres of land and lies in the airport’s landing path. “I like to go to Bachman Lake, lay down on the hill at the base of the Love Field runways and watch the planes fly over me,” he said. “It’s a pretty exhilarating experience.”
Image 1 courtesy of Daniel Rodriguez. Image 2 courtesy of Pinterest. Image 3 courtesy of Listaka. Image 4 courtesy of Aurora Dallas. Image 5 courtesy of Dallas Arts District. Image 6 courtesy of The Roaming Intinerant.