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February 2019

MidiCi

Chef Making Pizzas

Chef Making Pizzas

This week’s #FridayFeed restaurant branding review is MidiCi The Neapolitan Pizza Company at Walnut Hill and 75 on the Trader Joe’s side.

Order Up!

We’re always looking for buzz on fast casual concepts so when YELP called out MidiCi as No. 1, we planned our trip.  Of course that was a couple of weeks ago.

First impressions – MidiCi reminds me of a concept in a big Vegas casino. Lots of brass details, those old black fancy footed table bases, a couple of cool light fixtures. The large open kitchen was really fancy with pizza makers in chef coats, big expanse of beautiful white granite counters covered in flour and dough, pretty ingredients and 2 massive wood fired pizza ovens. There was a potted tree in the center of the space and a combination of booth seating, high tops and low tables. You order at the counter and then the servers deliver your food. Drinks are self serve and it was really odd to see a big Coke soda machine in the beverage area while everything else was more elegant. I’ll also note that the wait staff was wearing T-shirts. 

Food:

We like to try a few food items when we review, so I ordered the House meat & cheese board ($16.95). Danny and I ordered two different pizzas. I built my own with white sauce, pepperoni, black olive and mushroom. Danny ordered The Devil’s ($12.45). It was a pricey lunch.

Meat & cheese board looked good and included some grilled bread with a balsamic drizzle. One of the salamis was super spicy so we liked that one, it also had some turkey on the board which I thought was odd – is that normal? – web menu says rosemary ham but ours was smoked turkey. My pizza really wasn’t great. White sauce is not a sauce I found out, it’s olive oil on crust with some parmesan and some baby mozzarella balls – not a sauce. Toppings were spare and the crust was just ok. I guess Danny’s pizza didn’t live up to it’s name because he still ended up putting crushed red peppers on it.

Environmental Branding:

The interior design was really oddly ornate to pair with counter service and a coke machine. Let me take this opportunity to say that music is a huge part of a branded interior and the music was like a nightclub – again, I swear I thought I was in a Vegas casino. They have a playlist online. The bathrooms were notable because literally, it looked like a bathroom in a swanky night club. Glass and brass cart with selection of lotions? Soaps? Candles and succulents – crazy shiny large format tile on one wall – I should have taken photos. Here’s a photo I found online.

Digital Branding:

MidiCi’s website is moderately difficult to navigate. They have a side navigation menu that has 3-5 sub navigation options under each navigation link. This makes it more difficult for the user to find what they are looking for. Also, all their webpages are really short in length. Most pages don’t even scroll down and the pages that do only scroll once. MidiCi’s Instagram and Facebook is a little better than their website, but not much. They have beautiful food photography, but their lifestyle photos look like that of a night club.
– Danny

Something to Chew On:

Overall, I was not into this restaurant. It just wasn’t cohesive. It wasn’t comfortable. It was a mix of fancy things and graphic wall decals stuck to a fancy stucco type wall finish. The logo doesn’t really match the interior. As I’m writing this, I realize I’m not doing a great job of explaining – I think you’re just going to have to drop in and see for yourself. Since we reviewed, it’s rankings have dropped to #90 as of today.

Score:

MJ gives it a D. Danny is nicer than me so he gives it a C-.

#FridayFeed:

Every Friday, Studio B Dallas visits a local fast casual concept for lunch to critique the brand (and eat lunch). Three rules apply: it’s a concept we haven’t been to or it’s been in the restaurant news and it’s within 10 miles of our office. Wait, four rules – it can’t be sushi. Danny doesn’t do sushi. If you have any suggestions on where we should eat next, feel free to leave it in the comments. Look for our restaurant branding reviews each Friday! MJ & Danny

Bellagreen

Tea and Soda Tap
Tea and Soda Tap

This week’s #FridayFeed restaurant branding review is Bellagreen American Bistro at Central Expressway and Walnut Hill Lane.

Order Up!

This week MJ is out, so Kinsey is stepping up to the plate! Bellagreen has 8 locations with another on the way. We read about this place from Yelp’s Top 10 Best Fast Casual list – appearing at the #1 spot and for a good reason. After seeing the mouthwatering photos and reading a few reviews our expectations were high and we weren’t disappointed!

This fast-casual restaurant that has everything you would expect from a more elevated causal dining experience without any of the wait or price. They have chef prepared meals made from scratch, affordable pricing and they’re serious about their eco-friendliness. Each Bellagreen is at least 3 green star certified or more. Because their food is truly made from scratch, they can modify menu items to accommodate any dietary restrictions from Keto to Vegetarian.

Diving into the food! I had the The (A) Burger – all-natural 44 Farms® angus beef with mixed greens, tomato, house-made pickles, red onion and cheddar served on a brioche bun with a side of house-cut french fries. I know what you’re thinking… it’s a relatively simple order, yet the burger was packed with so much flavor due to the higher quality of beef. I would rank it second only to the best burger I’ve ever had… The Baby Bella from Liberty Burger. Kinsey had the Chicken Caesar Wrap – sliced all-natural grilled chicken, romaine lettuce, caramelized red onions, sun-dried tomatoes, parmesan & manchego cheese, tossed with their creamy chipotle caesar dressing & wrapped in a chipotle tortilla with a side of sweet potato fries. Truth be told, I stole some of her sweet potato fries and they were AMAZING! Oh and perhaps the best part of all… Bellagreen’s drinks are all on tap from their tea to their sodas. This is a very unique design component we haven’t seen in many places.

Environmental Branding:

Bellagreen, at Central Expressway and Walnut Hill, is nestled among other great concepts such as Snooze, Unleavened, Houndstooth Coffee, Civil Pour, and Hat Creek Burger Company just to name a few. The exterior has a modern appeal with reclaimed wood, large windows and a great patio area that would be perfect on a summer day. Throughout the interior of the restaurant they have intricate hexagonal floor tiling, reclaimed wood and vibrant greenery. Above one of their booths they have a repurposed wine cork mural that adds a really nice touch. Personally, the only thing that feels out of place is the chalkboard artwork on the soffit above the open kitchen.

Digital Branding:

Bellagreen has a beautiful website that is easy to navigate. On their home page they feature a video of their chefs making various foods and consumers enjoying them. I love this! It engages customers and shows them what to expect when they visit a Bellagreen. On their Facebook and Instagram, they do a great job of showing professional food photography shot from a variety of angles with great contrast. They also have great candid lifestyle photography with just a dash of marketing that isn’t overwhelming.

Score:

Kinsey and I both give it a solid A and we’ll be going back very soon!

#FridayFeed:

Every Friday, Studio B Dallas visits a local fast casual concept for lunch to critique the brand (and eat lunch). Three rules apply: it’s a concept we haven’t been to or it’s been in the restaurant news and it’s within 10 miles of our office. Wait, four rules – it can’t be sushi. Danny doesn’t do sushi. If you have any suggestions on where we should eat next, feel free to leave it in the comments. Look for our restaurant branding reviews each Friday! MJ & Danny

Snooze

Smashed Avocado Benny
Smashed Avocado Benny

This week’s #FridayFeed restaurant branding review is Snooze – an a.m. eatery on Oak Lawn in Dallas.

Order Up!

Our foodie network alerted us to this awesome brand opening just last week at the new Oak Lawn location (right next door to the Green Papaya – ya’ll know where that is – plan to valet park). Snooze has 30 locations with roots in Denver, Co.

I love breakfast foods maybe more than the next person so I was excited to go eat breakfast twice before noon. I ordered the Snooze Classic. Eggs, kick ass bacon and hash browns with coffee. Danny got the Huevos Rancheros and our foodie neighbor, Erin, got the Smashed Avocado Benny with substitution of Hollandaise sauce to Green Chili Hollandaise with a Cappuccino. The poached eggs were beautiful! Presentation and flavor of all of three meals was fantastic. They have ample options for all kinds of eaters – tofu, soyrizo, farro, porridge, etc. and of course cage-free eggs. Oh – and I have to mention that they have my favorite hot sauce line here – YELLOWBIRD Habanero and Serrano.

Service was excellent and the staff seemed really excited to work here. I imagine it is a mad-house on the weekends with the brunch crowd but if you’re a drinker, this place has a full bar with delicious looking cocktails including The Morning Marg, Orange Snoozius and five kinds of mimosas.

Branding DNA:

The interior is SO vibrant and full of color. Orange, which is the best color, is their primary brand color but they have a full “fresh retro” color palette. I was impressed right away with the totally branded interior. It’s a brand-a-palooza in there! Not only did the upholstered booths have custom embroidery, they used their logo and icons on practically everything including a wide range of fun and hip branded apparel. The Snooze AM Eatery brand is credited to XAN Creative. I checked them out and they do some awesome work!

Press:

Snooze’s wildly popular brunches land on Oak Lawn in January. Snooze is opening not just one but three locations in Dallas. Pineapple Upside Down Pancakes and Breakfast Pot Pie for everyone!

Digital Branding:

Snooze’s website features beautiful lifestyle imagery, mouthwatering super close up food photography and parallax scrolling. When you visit their site immediately you know the vibe you’ll get when you visit. Their bright and quirky attitude is infectious. It starts with the staff and carries through the entire brand all the way to the customer’s experience. Snooze does a great job in the social media department as well. On their Facebook and Instagram, much like their website, they blend appetizing food imagery with lifestyle photos and add a dash of marketing.
-Danny

Score:

MJ gives it an A for everything but the hours. Danny gives it an A+.

#FridayFeed:

Every Friday, Studio B Dallas visits a local fast casual concept for lunch to critique the brand (and eat lunch). Three rules apply: it’s a concept we haven’t been to or it’s been in the restaurant news and it’s within 10 miles of our office. Wait, four rules – it can’t be sushi. Danny doesn’t do sushi. If you have any suggestions on where we should eat next, feel free to leave it in the comments. Look for our restaurant branding reviews each Friday! MJ & Danny