Sunday, July 24, 2011

How to Eat Free Food in Dallas on a Sunday

This article is part of my weeklong food blog series, "How to Eat Free Food in Dallas Every Day of the Week".

Sunday is tied with Saturday for the worst day of the week to eat free food in Dallas. This makes logical business sense because people eat out on the weekends anyway, so there's no need to entice them with free food (although there are a lot of alcoholic drink specials on Sundays). Since I couldn't find any restaurants or bars offering free food on Sundays, that leaves only the grocery-type places where you can get free taste samples, and Dallas has some pretty good ones.


First I went to EatZi's, which is akin to the ready-made foods section of Whole Foods and Central Market (without the grocery sections). These places almost always have free taste samples, but everything available to sample during my EatZi's visit was a starch product, although they are freshly baked in-house and therefore pretty delicious. The free food taste sample lineup on a Sunday afternoon around 2:30 included:
  • Whole Wheat Bread
  • Kalamata Olive Bread
  • Olive Oil and Bread
  • Crab Artichoke Dip and Bread
  • Swiss Cheese
  • Pretzel Sticks and Sweet Honey Mustard
I had been expecting more variety, like maybe a dessert, a veggie side dish, and some chicken salad. The most sustenance was in the crab dip. I strategically took the biggest pieces of each sample and generously layered on the dip. Three rounds of the crab dip sample and you'd be halfway to a light lunch. Make three laps around the store and you might feel like you ate a meal, but I wasn't about to do that and not buy anything. I managed to walk in and out without spending a penny or catching any weird looks, but I left hungry. At least the parking was also free.

Bread Winners

The closest thing you can get to free food inside of a restaurant on a Sunday appears to be the free dessert special at Bread Winners. It only comes free after purchase of an entree, but I give them brownie points (har har) for offering this special on dine in and take out orders. Going with the theme of getting out while spending as little money as possible, I ordered water and the cheapest entree on the menu: tacos, pulled pork or fish for $12.99. My fish was a bit dry (overcooked) but it came with lime sour cream and fresh mango salsa to make up for it.

With the mandatory entree purchase out of the way it was time for the free goods: my pick of anything in their pastry cases. Note my use plural there, folks, they have TWO pastry cases of homemade desserts: one for layer cakes and pies, and the other for cookies, cupcakes, cake balls, muffins, and cinnamon rolls. The Chocolate Cream Pie is usually a huge win for me, but on this day the crust was soggy and the whipped cream was stiff and tasting like Cool Whip brand preservatives instead of the homemade whipped cream that I've had here before on their French Toast. Oh well, it was free.

While their valet parking in uptown is free with a stamp from the hostess, you'd still want to tip the guy, so to truly keep costs down try hunting for a parking spot on the street behind the building. It's always iffy, but on a Sunday night there were several open spots.

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