Dallas, TX – Central 214

Maybe you caught a few episodes of The Naughty Kitchen, with @ChefBlytheBeck on Oxygen last year? The show revolves around Beck, a hot Dallas chef, who is running the back of the house at Central 214, the restaurant inside Kimpton’s Palomar Hotel on Mockingbird Lane in Dallas.

If you haven’t stayed at a Kimpton, first off, you are really missing out on a hospitality company that “gets” hospitality. Out **ing standing.

Beck calls her food “naughty” because she leans heavily on ingredients that we are often told are not good for us, like copious amounts of butter and the like.

The menu items shown and discussed on the show are so compelling (to someone like me), that someone (like me) might be tempted to drive 2500 miles just to eat here.

The fiery haired temptress of sinful dining prepares such delights as prosciutto wrapped cheddar (and not a slice of melon in sight!), shrimp and cayenne deviled eggs,and spicy fried lobster, with bacon cheddar grits, and these sirens of savoriness are just from the starter menu.

I didn’t plan well on the road, as far as timing my arrival in Dallas. After all, there were dozens of cheeseburgers between home and DFW. So I arrived in time for Saturday brunch, which features an abbreviated menu, and bottomless mimosas or bloodies for $20.

I mention the drinks only to highlight one of my few complaints about the day: hey, I get it entirely that restaurants make money on booze, but the third person that asked me if I wanted a bottomless mimosa or bloody mary, got the same answer as the first two guys: “no thank you.” But aha! The third waitperson (why did I have three different people working my table, anyway?) had gone to advanced school in drink peddling, and without missing a beat, launched into “perhaps some bottled water? or some….”. Apparently my cup of coffee and glass of tap water didn’t satisfy the computer’s quota for my table. By now, they had worn me down, so I gave into the $5 mini-bottle of spring water, just to send them away.

Back to the food. Chicken Fried Kobe Steak Stack caught my eye, and it was “brunch time,” so I went with it, described on the menu as coming with fried egg, spicy hollandaise, grilled toast. You people know I love Chicken Fried Steak, but you also know I have a “beef” with people that put the word “Kobe” on their menu, when it ain’t.

The only person in the world I will give a pass on this is Beck.

About five minutes after placing my order, server 2, Tweedledum, or was it server 3, came over and said “Sir, do you know that the steak comes with fried egg, spicy hollandaise, and grilled toast?”

WTF? Yes, that’s what it said clearly on the menu! It’s not like I asked for steak tartare, please, medium well. Why kind of customers do you get here, anyway?

The steak came, I enjoyed every single morsel. The hollandaise had a slight curdle, victim of not having applied the right SPB before being put under the heat lamp, but the egg was perfect, the steak breading crunchy and light, and the steak itself, more than good enough.

Was it worth $30 for a four ounce CFS, one egg, a dollop of hollandaise, a half piece of toast, mineral water, coffee, tip, and valet? Yeah, to me. I was having a fantasic day, anyway, and nice food, 80 degrees, and pseudo-celebrity ambiance made it even better. Besides, I love being in Dallas, home of the the lovely lass “the one that got away.”

There are alot of items on the regular menu I’d like to try, so hell yes, I’d go back.

Will I watch the tv show again, if it returns? Yep, Beck is funny, engaging, and creative in the kitchen. And probably other rooms of the house.

It’s hard to find any information about whether or not there will be more shows, even from insiders, apparently. I asked the maitre’d about it on the way out. “Will the TV show be back?” “What TV show?” was his retort.

Keep cooking, Blythe. You’re young, you’re sassy, and you’re gonna have a great career. And btw? I was solo this trip, because Mrs. BurgerDogBoy has a major crush on you, so it was best to leave her at home.Thought you’d like to know. (wink).

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Blythe Beck

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