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Chef Joshua Boneé Meddles with Dr Pepper Ribs and Marshmallow Pork Belly at the Moth

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Maybe you like a posh bistro that gives anxiety when you try to figure out which fork is for salad and which is for stabbing someone who gets a little too close to your entrée. Perhaps your jam is an outdoor casual dining experience where everyone is rocking flip flops and the swarming flies are complimentary.

Regardless of your top picks for dining, eating off the same old tired menu can become mundane. If you are looking for something more provocative, you should see what chef Joshua Boneé and his staff are brewing at Meddlesome Moth in the Design District. Boneé, who hails from Nashville, has led kitchens at Lucky’s Hot Chicken, Fine China and Stephan Pyles’ Flora Street Cafe.

To Boneé, staleness is the cousin of death, so he’s steering the 11-year-old restaurant in a new direction. He wants to keep the menu fun, funky, flavorful and affordable. He says good and sophisticated food should be enjoyed by everyone.

After a recent visit, we’ve found a few must-tries.

Dr Pepper Ribs

Dr Pepper and ribs make a delightfully Texas pairing.EXPAND

Dr Pepper and ribs make a delightfully Texas pairing.

Eric Mayne

What is more Texan than barbecue? Barbecue slathered in Dr Pepper. These ribs are sous vide and tender enough to cut just by slapping your ass and saying yee haw! These highly addictive ribs are dressed in a Dr Pepper hoisin barbecue sauce, gochujang peanuts, lime and cilantro. If you are expecting it to taste like a flaming Dr Pepper, maybe you just need to go to your favorite bro dive bar and pound Yaeger Bombs.

Deviled Ham and Eggs

Not at all like the deviled eggs mom makes at Thanksgiving.EXPAND

Not at all like the deviled eggs mom makes at Thanksgiving.

Eric Mayne

This is quite a devilish delight: Deviled eggs made with a puree of smoky deviled ham topped with trout roe and splashed with paprika. I am not sure if this was curated in a hallucinating dream sequence or if it was strategically planned. Either way, it works. The saltiness and smokiness of the ham is a perfect pairing with the egg yolk and until the trout roe comes to the party.

Crispy Pork Belly

A bit of marshmallow fluff accompanies pork belly.

A bit of marshmallow fluff accompanies pork belly.

Eric Mayne

Marshmallow fluff on one the tastiest meats on the planet? I wasn’t sure whether to eat it or call the authorities.  I opted for eating, so believe me when I say this dish is worth a try. The pork belly with its crispy exterior melts in your mouth alongside the rich creaminess of the not-so-sweet marshmallow fluff. For added boisterous flavor, the pork belly is showered with their Aztec spice, which is reminiscent of a Chinese five-spice and fajita seasoning.

Shrimp and Grits

How do you up aspire to elevate an already wildly popular brunch menu item? Put an egg in it. This dish has shrimp-cured yolk, cheddar grits, fermented chili oil swimming in shrimp stock gravy with an egg cooked at a perfect 63 degrees. (See photo at top)

Miso Bourbon Chicken

The miso bourbon chicken sits atop a plate of home cooking.EXPAND

The miso bourbon chicken sits atop a plate of home cooking.

Eric Mayne

This new innovative plate is a complete kaleidoscope of gorgeous flavors. It’s made from several vegetables like butter beans, raw corn, pickled corn, charred okra and stewed tomatoes. When you see the miso, you may think it will be a subtle Japanese-infused flavor until you get an old country throat punch of Southern flavors of soulful proportions.

Meddlesome Moth, 1621 Oak Lawn Ave. Open 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Monday – Thursday, 11 a.m.-12 a.m. Friday, 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturday, 10 a.m.-10 p.m. Sunday.

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