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Porch Swing

6 Flavor Sampler Pie

6 Flavor Sampler Pie

This week’s #FridayFeed restaurant branding review is Porch Swing in Mesquite, near Town East Mall at I30 & 635.

Order Up!

Because we’re friendly with the owner, we asked for a tasting of several entrées and sides so we could review more than a few dishes. Here’s what we tasted: Grilled Meatloaf, Chicken Fried Steak, Chicken Tenders and Fried Catfish. Sides included the Broccoli Bliss, REAL Mashed Potatoes, Collard Greens, Cheesy Corn Bake plus Cream Gravy, Rib Sauce, Hot Honey and steaming hot Yeast Dinner Rolls. I kid you not, the grilled meatloaf was outstanding! It comes with it’s own meatloaf gravy which was sublime. The Cheesy Corn Baked is corn, butter, cream cheese and jalapeños – SO good and has a nice little kick. Broccoli Bliss is fresh broccoli florets with shredded cheddar cheese and cranberries mixed with a creamy homemade dressing – a nice take on a cold salad. The REAL mashed potatoes were REAL good, especially with the cream gravy which I will put on everything. Last note – the house made Hot Honey is a beautiful red orange color, has a subtle but noticeable heat. Hot Honey is available for sale in the Pie Company store. Speaking of pies, Porch Swing features homemade pies sold in the brand-within-a-brand Pie Company store. I ordered a 6 flavor sampler to take to an Independence Day event. Toasted Coconut Cream, Homemade Banana Cream, Ol’ Fashioned Buttermilk Custard, Cookie Top Pecan, Cheesecake and Lemon Cream. I had a bite of every single one. All amazing.

Environmental Branding:

In the spirit of transparency, Studio B was responsible for the interior design so we think it’s great but so do so many others! This concept has gotten a lot of press. The owner is Antonio Swad, the founder of Wing Stop and Pizza Patrón. Antonio had a vision for this restaurant and he was able to communicate to us in a way that we could translate it to the space.  It’s quirky, it’s Southern but it’s polished. In fact, Mr. Swad has coined the term “Polished Comfort” to describe his latest restaurant venture. Finish details include custom stained maple butcher block tables, custom made branded picnic tables for the porch, custom branded sconces, a steel rolling pin for the door handle of the pie shop. The list goes on… The review isn’t complete without mentioning the massive outdoor covered porch and the Porch Swing LIVE stage where bands perform every Friday and Saturday Night. Guests are welcomed to get on stage, grab a guitar and take photos in front of the neon marquee.

Branding DNA:

Studio B was also responsible for the branding and packaging at Porch Swing. A version of the logo was given to us in the beginning and the color palette was established. Beyond that, we designed the sign package, menus, custom packaging, apparel, retail items, etc. The Pie Company is a separate brand within the restaurant and uses complementary graphics and colors. Individual pie slices to-go come in a cute little box with branded belly band and fork. Whole pies are sold in custom two piece pie boxes.

Digital Branding:

Porch Swing has a beautifully designed website by Raze Media. Their website uses amazing food photography, is easy to navigate and engages the user. Porch Swing has Facebook, Instagram and Twitter accounts that they post to quite frequently. Their social media highlights the mouthwatering food and the live music performing every Friday and Saturday night with a dash of marketing.
–Danny

Score:

We give Porch Swing 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

Taco Joint

The Disaster

The Disaster

“Simply Tex-Mex” “Simply Ok” This week’s #FridayFeed restaurant branding review is Taco Joint in Preston Center.

Order Up!

I like tacos and I love queso, so taking a preview of the menu on the website, I was prepared to order the “Disaster” which is a big bowl of cheesy queso with meat, pico and guac and a giant basket of chips. I got suckered into ordering the Wednesday special – the sour cream chicken enchiladas, because obviously the specials sign caught my eye AND because the menu was pretty busy AND I felt “order pressure” at the counter with people waiting behind me. You know what I’m talking about. Danny ordered the Spicy Pork and the Spicy Fried Chicken tacos. As we find at most restaurants, what most people think is spicy is not really spicy at all. I guess spice is different than hot, that’s fair. He said they were “ok but not hot.” The disaster & chips came out first and it was pretty good. My enchiladas were ok but presentation was not great. It came in a round aluminum pan. My issue with the food is that there are so many taco concepts in Dallas that have elevated their food and presentation and brand, that while it might be pretty popular with the locals, I just didn’t see anything WOW on the menu, on the walls or on the table. The iced tea was fresh. 😉 

Environmental Branding:

Taco Joint’s Preston Center location is the brand’s fourth location. It occupies the former Extreme Pizza space. I’ve always loved this space because it has a built in covered outdoor patio in front which I think makes for a nice inviting entry and opportunity to put your brand in the face of passers-by. This strip gets lots of walking traffic and it was pretty busy when we got there with a line at the counter. Beyond my love of the entry, this brand is not very polished like many of the other restaurant brands we review. It reminds me of Texadelphia – just a neighborhood joint with unspectacular furniture and decor. The walls were filled with album covers stapled to the wall. There were some painted murals as well. The menu board is total chaos. Chalkboard-style, filled edge to edge and draped with some colored christmas lights. No signature light fixtures, no feature decor items. Since “joint” is in the name, the environment did meet that expectation.

Branding DNA:

Taco Joint has a decent logo and custom printed cups. They serve their food in red plastic baskets lined with tissue & foil. I didn’t see any custom bags or other branded items. The had good exterior signage. I think part of the mass appeal of this brand is its “joint-ness” and its history. I give mad props to restaurants that make it 11 years and expand because they must have decent food and a local following. I’m just saying that new customers can only judge a place on its current merits and I think it could up its game.

Digital Branding:

We always check out the website before we visit a restaurant. The design of the website was pretty good I thought. Great use of color, graphics and typefaces. I only had issue with using the menu. I’d prefer that Breakfast, Lunch/Dinner and Tacos/Combos were one scrolling menu so I could see everything without having to  click on a different tab. To say their social media accounts could use some love would be an understatement. Taco Joint has social media accounts, but it’s been years since they’ve made any posts. To me this feels like a huge missed opportunity, especially in today’s digital age.
–Danny

Score:

MJ gives it a B- and Danny gives it B

#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

Paciugo Summer Promotion

Dreamsicle Smoothie & Lemonades

Dreamsicle Smoothie & Lemonades

Dreamsicle & Cold Brew Coffee Promotion

Shout out to our client Paciugo Gelato and the recent launch of the Orange Dreamsicle Gelato and Cold Brew Coffee promotions! Studio B designed all in store marketing materials for these campaigns. Go get yourself a Dreamsicle Pop or Gelato cone. It’s a summertime favorite!

Wheelhouse

18-Foot Art Installation

18-Foot Art Installation

#FridayFeed happy hour edition! This week’s restaurant branding review is Wheelhouse located in the Design District.

This week MJ is on vacation, so Kinsey and I are taking over! Wheelhouse is located off of Oak Lawn and Hi Line in the Design District.

Order Up!

Let’s dive straight into the drinks! I ordered a Sippin’ Time – Texas sweet tea vodka, mint, lemon and club soda that come in a tall glass. It was the perfect drink to order for a hot summer day. Kinsey ordered a Kickstarter – a bright green drink with mezcal, poblano pepper, lime, pineapple and cumin bitters. Fair warning, this drink is not for everyone. If you don’t like the combination of sweet and smoky flavors, then this drink probably isn’t for you. The menu is a bit pricey, but I guess that’s to be expected given the location.

Environmental Branding:

Wheelhouse has a great industrial interior complete with large doors that span along one side of the exterior and open up to the outdoor shared patio space with sister brand Sassetta. A huge 18-foot all white art installation of a falling man, located on their patio, is arguably their most distinct feature aside from their refreshing cocktails. You can spot this enormous installation driving along Oak Lawn. 

Score:

Overall, Wheelhouse is a great place to hangout and have a couple of drinks. Danny and Kinsey give it a solid 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