Unleavened Fresh Kitchen

Farmstand Salad

Farmstand Salad

This week’s #FridayFeed restaurant branding review is Unleavened fresh kitchen at 75 and Walnut Hill in The Hill Shopping Center.

Order Up!

Unleavened Fresh Kitchen has 4 locations in Dallas. I have to start by saying I don’t love the name. It starts with “UN” and I don’t know that I have ever craved unleavened bread. It just doesn’t make me hungry. I know the name includes fresh kitchen but people don’t read so… (That’s not snark folks, I know people don’t read). The logo on the other hand, I really like. A nice fun script face in my favorite color, orange.

While I wasn’t really in the mood for something healthy, our office neighbor Erin, who reviews with us on occasion was really wanting to go there. She said all of her friends LOVE it. I believe it does skew toward the female crowd and I found out why all of Erin’s friends love it so much – free kids meals EVERY DAY after 4pm (dine in, with adult meal, 12 and under). I don’t have kids at home anymore so I don’t care about kids meals or people with kids, hahahaha – That is definitely snark – if you missed it.

Food:

The menu was not very large and it was definitely healthy. Wraps and Greens are the staples. I ordered the Farmstand “salad” and it was beautiful and tasty and very healthy. Danny ordered the Southwestern wrap in a spinach tortilla with a side of grilled sweet corn and a Superberry tea to top it off. They had a nice selection of fresh and colorful beverages and teas, including cold brew in the bubblers. They do have a morning menu which includes wraps or hash. Hash “anything” sounds good but they are across the street from Snooze a.m. Eatery so it wouldn’t get my vote in a draw. If you haven’t read our review of Snooze, go.

Environmental Branding:

The place was super cute – I loved the interior design. Very bright and modern and clean. Great chairs and varied seating. Designed by Mitchell Garman Architects, I discovered this design team is also responsible for Ascension, Twisted Root, and many others.

Branding DNA:

Great logo. Great colors. Great interior design. Really fresh, clean, healthy food with an UNcompromising commitment to fresh, creative salads and wraps. Naturally, they play off of the “UN” in the name to call out their uncommon goodliness. “Uncommon, untraditional, unexpected. This is our promise to you. Every meal. Every day.” This place is awesome if you are craving fresh healthy gluten-free foods including quinoa, farro, eggplant dip and hummus. Go! Enjoy! 

Digital Branding:

Unleavened has a refreshingly UNtraditional website that features an upward scrolling banner rather than the more traditional side to side. Their website is beautifully designed, but lacks in functionality. When you visit their website you only have two navigation options, our locations and view the menu. If you want to learn more about the brand you’re out of luck. There is a video, that you have to scroll a few times to get to,  that will give you a round-about idea on what to expect when you visit one of there locations, but doesn’t actually speak about the brand or their story. As for their social media, on their Instagram and Facebook accounts they blend enticing food photography with great lifestyle imagery.
–Danny

Score:

MJ gives it a B only because of the name. Danny gives it a B+ only because of their website downfalls.

#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

7-Eleven – Home of SLURPEES, Beer on Tap and Tacos?

7-Eleven Beer on Tap

7-Eleven Beer on Tap

Beverages are BIG everywhere! It used to be that your drink choices were soda and tea but with more and more people weaning off of sugar-filled, carbonated sodas, the beverage biz is exploding! In our weekly fast casual restaurant reviews #Friday Feed, we have the opportunity to see what’s trending. Flavored teas aren’t necessarily new but they’re definitely more common, fruity teas & lemonades (see watermelon ice tea from Twisted Root), juices, cold brew coffee, sparkling waters, and small batch craft sodas are all becoming big players.

Self-serve tap systems are definitely hot and because they’re pretty, they cross-function as experiential store design elements (see pics of Piada and Bellagreen). Clear bubblers are also becoming trendy again. There’s something about seeing the pretty colors all lined up that makes these beverages look extra refreshing (see pics from Modern Market, Subway and Unleavened).

We’re also seeing more concepts using reach in coolers to offer an even wider selection of bottled beverages, canned beers, juices, energy drinks, etc. (see Velvet Taco and Tacodeli). With the many delivery service providers (Uber Eats, Door Dash, Favor, GrubHub) delivering to homes and offices, bottled or canned drinks are preferred over fountain drinks in cups with ice, lids, straws, etc.

Now let’s talk about 7-Eleven and that Beer on Tap. I LOVED 7-Eleven when I was a kid. While the last 2-3 decades have not been good for this once amazing brand, they are working on a turnaround. They just opened a brand new 7-Eleven at Sylvan & I-30 near Oak Cliff. The signs say “A store like no other”. They are calling it the Sylvan | Thirty “lab” store where it will test new concepts, platforms and products. The store also includes a Laredo Taco brand inside. This store has a wine “room”, a build your own toppings bar for frozen treats, BEER ON TAP, grind & brew coffee machines, bulk snacks and candy. A bonus for a store design nerd like myself, they have LED strip lighting under every. single. shelf. to highlight the beautiful bags of candy and snacks.

Following Amazon Go, The “lab” store is also testing “Scan & Pay” – you grab the products you want, scan them with your phone’s camera and pay with CC, DC Apple or Google Pay. Now you’re free to skip the line, you just scan your QR code at the “confirmation station” (a little white acrylic box on the counter by the front door) and get on with your day. I’m going to try it this weekend for sure. Cool stuff 7-Eleven, I’m ready for your come-back!

#FridayFeed:

Every Friday, Studio B Dallas visits a local fast casual concept for lunch to critique the brand (and eat lunch). Look for our restaurant branding reviews each Friday! MJ & Danny

Burger Wars

Burger Wars Collage

Burger Wars Collage

BURGER WARS! We’ve reviewed 10 plus burger joints on #FridayFeed. One question remains, who has the best burger in Dallas? Leave us a comment below with your favorite.

#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

Rex’s Seafood & Market

Parmesan Crusted Tilapia

Parmesan Crusted Tilapia

This week’s #FridayFeed restaurant branding review is Rex’s Seafood & Market on NW Hwy and Hillcrest in Dallas.

Order Up!

Rex’s has a super popular location at the Farmer’s Market and we heard they were opening a traditional location near Highland Park. Rex’s doesn’t really fit into a fast casual category – actually we don’t know any seafood concepts that do. You go from Long John Silvers (fast) to Joe’s Crab shack (casual) pretty much, right? But – we haven’t reviewed any seafood yet and figured it was close enough. AND, we heard that Coeval had done the design – more on them later – let’s talk food.

Upon entry, we were greeted by a server who offered us a look at the “market” case of fresh seafood, a seat at the bar or a table for two for lunch. We chose a nice booth along the wall where we had a good view of the open space. The menus were nicely designed and pretty – not a piece of paper on a clip board or busy laminated kind with cartoon photos of crabs and such. Colors are a deep ocean blue and butter yellow.

I love lobster bisque so I ordered a cup to start with and the parmesan crusted Tilapia with fried Brussel sprouts and cheesy grits for my entrée. Danny ordered the fried shrimp basket with fries and broccoli with a side of jalapeño ranch. The bisque was perfect. Creamy, velvety, yummy. The tilapia came with a lemon butter sauce on top and it was delicious. Fried Brussel sprouts  – yum. Cheesy grits – could have been cheesier. I love grits so I inquired about shrimp & grits which they said they have on the weekend brunch menu. They offer a nice selection of desserts and ice cream as well .:) They have daily specials and a sweet happy hour special M-F from 3-6 – Gulf Oysters $1 and Premium Oysters for $2 each and $2 off all draft beer and wine.

Environmental Branding:

Rex’s has a really nice neon script logo sign on a background of clean plank wood and a storefront of windows so the natural light is really nice. The overall interior design is really buttoned up. They chose a nice mix of materials and colors and have several unique design features. The nods to “seafood/ocean” were more like home decor than pier & bait shack – I didn’t see one galvanized bucket of crackers or a lifesaver or net and buoy – thank goodness! I’d call it refined casual – a great middle space between a crab shack and an Oceanaire – a neighborhood restaurant where you can get beautiful fresh seafood for lunch or dinner or pop in and have a cold draft or glass of wine while you have the market steam some clams for take out.

Since our reviews include interior design, we like to give credit to the designers. Coeval Studio is responsible for the design and have worked on so many great concepts – Whistle Britches, Liberty Burger, El Bolero, The Rustic, Happiest Hour…nice work!

Branding DNA:

Great logo, nice menus, pretty interior. The only thing missing was a view of the ocean.

Digital Branding:

Rex’s Seafood has a great website. Easy to navigate, parallax scrolling and user-friendly online ordering for pick-up. Their social media accounts feature great lifestyle photographs, mouthwatering food imagery and even some shout outs to their suppliers. Their supplier spotlight is brilliant! This shows customers that they put thought and care into where their ingredients come from.
–Danny

Score:

MJ and Danny give 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