Dallas #BoozeNews: August 4, 2015

NEW OPENINGS

The Bread Winners Cafe & Bakery team announced that it will open its fifth location in Trophy Club in 2016!  The restaurant will also feature their French Quarter-style bar concept, The Quarter Bar, along with it in the planned development which will also feature hotels, retail, and other dining options.

LIMITED TIME OFFERINGS

It’s Hatch Chile time, y’all!  Check out the features around Dallas to enjoy the New Mexico chiles that are only available for a short time each year! 

  • Grand Prairie is hosting its 5th Annual Hatch Chile Festival on Saturday, August 22, 8am-2pm!  It’ll feature chiles, live music, and more.
  • Central Market returns again this year with their 20th Annual Hatch Chile Festival (August 5-18).  Stop in for recipes, lessons on handling spicy peppers, and, of course, Hatch chiles!  Don’t miss the Hot Hatch Chile Run, Walk, & Roll on August 22, too!
  • Old Chicago in Mockingbird Station will host a tapping of a Hatch Chile version of Don Jalapeño beer on August 5 at 7pm!
  • Market Street will host chile roasts the first four weekends in August, Saturdays and Sundays, at all D/FW locations during its Hatch Chile Fest.
  • Snuffer’s Restaurant & Bar (August 1-31)
    • The Hatch Chile Cheeseburger or Chicken Sandwich – start with Snuffer’s 100% fresh ground chuck burger or grilled chicken breast, then are adorned with Hatch chile peppers and diced onions, bacon crumbles, Monterey Jack cheese, lettuce, tomato and mayo.
    • Hatch Cheese Fries from Snuffer's
      Hatch Cheese Fries from Snuffer’s

      Hatch Chile Cheese Fries – hand-cut Idaho potatoes and topped with diced Hatch green chiles and Chihuahua cheese

  • El Fenix (August 3-September 7)
    • Hatch Chile Pork Burrito – Slow-roasted pork rolled and grilled to golden-brown goodness, topped with green chile sauce, Hatch green chile and queso fresco. Served with rice and beans. ($8.99)
    • Hatch Chile & Queso Blanco Enchiladas – A twist on El Fenix’s world famous enchiladas, stuffed with a blend of Monterey Jack and Chihuahua cheeses, topped with green chile sauce, Hatch green chile and queso fresco. Served with rice & beans. ($9.99)
    • Hatch Chile Stacked Crispy Chicken Enchiladas – Stacked hard-shell tortillas stuffed with shredded chicken, refried beans, guacamole and cheddar cheese, topped with green chile sauce, Hatch green chile and queso fresco. Served with rice & beans. ($10.99)

It looks like August is the month of the chile, because Torchy’s Tacos and Hopdoddy are getting spicy, too!

Torchy’s Taco’s is celebrating Some Like it Hot Month with a new taco each week … and they get progressively spicier as the month burns up.  (They call it #TorturebyTaco.)  The FIRST of the tacos is The Barn Burner and it clocks in at 20,000 Scoville units.  The last?  7 million Scoville units.  Say goodbye to your taste buds.

Ghostland Burgatory from Hopdoddy
Ghostland Burgatory from Hopdoddy

Hopdoddy Burger Bar‘s featured burger is a real scorcher, too.  Their Ghostland Burgatory is Beef Patty, Ghost Peppers (Naga Bhut Jolokia), Serrano and Habañero Peppers, Pepper Jack Cheese, Caramelized Onions, Ghost Sauce, Lettuce, Tomato, and Chipotle Mayo served on an Egg Bun.  (I was dared to try it on my last visit and chickened out.  Not literally … I still had a beef burger.)
Available: through August 9
Cost: $12

NEW OFFERINGS

Remix your Tuesday at the W Dallas Victory!  On Tuesdays, the Living Room Bar will offer REMIX, a reverse happy hour from 7-11pm with signature cocktails, small bites, and live music for FREE.

Is partying on Tuesdays too much for you?  Check out The Quarter Bar’s new Friday  party, complete with 80s music and movies from 11pm-2am.  Oh, and happy hour specials from 11am-7pm to get you warmed up ($2 domestics and wells, $4 select wines by the glass).

OTHER NEWS

The Cedars Social is now under new ownership and management!  Stop into The Cedars cocktail den to see what Jeffrey Yarbrough and Chad Boyle will do to mix up (or shake … as it were) the menu!

RECENT POSTS

 

Event Recap: Negra Modelo + Rick Bayless

Negra Modelo = good
Guacamole = good
∴ Negra Modelo + guacamole = ahhhhmazing

Who says you won’t use math after you graduate!?

The Negra Modelo team came to town last week with celebrity* Chef Rick Bayless in tow.  Upon arrival at 3015, a private event space in Trinity Groves, we were treated to as much Negra Modelo as we could (responsibly) consume along with small bites.  Whilte warming up, we were challenged to “unlock” swag by tweeting using #ThePerfectComplement–50 tweets for a bottle opener, 100 for branded glassware, 150 for signed cookbooks, and 200 for (badass) cutting boards.  Yeah … we got them all.

*If you consider a former “Iron Chef” competitor, author, (multiple) James Beard Foundation award winner, and “Top Chef Masters” Season 1 winner a celebrity.  Because I do.

After some mingling time and plenty of light bites, we were invited to visit the buffet featuring various items that were either made to be the perfect complement to a glass of Negra Modelo or were actually made using NM.  The beer itself is a medium-bodied beer that’s on the sweeter side with hints of spice and a caramel taste and bouquet — err, nose if you’re not fancy.

After the meal, Rick sat us down for some learnin’.  He walked us through his recipes for guacamole and slow cooked lamb shoulder.  His guac was a revelation … he used tomatillo and bacon, so obviously he gets me.  Check out all the recipes he worked with Negra Modelo to great the perfect menu to make.

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Since y’all don’t read my ramblings just to hear about my awesome Wednesday night … I have some awesome recipes to help you jump on the beer cocktail bandwagon.

GRAND MARNIER MICHELADA
1.5 oz Grand Marnier Cordon Rouge
0.75 oz fresh lime juice
6 oz Negra Modelo

Pour Negra Modelo in a tall glass over ice, then stir in lime juice.  Carefully float GMCR on top. Serve with a lime slice.

MODELO MIXER
2 oz Mezcal
3 sprigs cilantro
1 oz lime juice
1/2 oz simple syrup
Negra Modelo

Muddle the cilantro and the simple syrup in a shaker, then all the mezcal and lime juice.  Shake with ice.  Pour over ice in a tall glass then top with Negra Modelo.

Negra Modelo Old-Fashioned Cocktail (recipes by Rick Bayless for Frontera)
1/3 cup freshly squeezed lime juice
2 to 4 tablespoons superfine sugar to taste
1/2 cup bourbon
Ice cubes
1 to 2 cups Negra Modelo beer
Maraschino cherries for garnish

Mix lime juice and sugar in small pitcher until sugar dissolves. Stir in bourbon and chill until needed.  Fill 4 short “rocks” glasses with ice. Top each with ¼ of the bourbon mixture. Fill the glasses the rest of the way with Negra Modelo. Garnish with maraschino cherries.
Serves 4


 


NEGRA MODELO

negramodelousa.com
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#SauzaPitcherPics & Recipes

Let’s be real for just a second: What even, is the point of ordering a beautiful cocktail if you don’t plan on giving said libation its 15 minutes of fame on social media? My fiancée knows the drill now. (One aspect in which I have him totally trained.) Whenever we order cocktails at a bar or restaurant, he dutifully slides his glass towards me without taking a sip, so I can capture his drink in its pure, unadulterated state prior to his first sip.

Sauza Tequila has picked up on the fact that folks enjoy showing off their beverages; in response, they launched a fun campaign to get tequila fans snapping and posting away on Instagram (and in the blogosphere): the Sauza Pitcher Perfect Picture project!

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According to Sauza, margaritas are the most popular cocktail to order in pitcher form; I think we can all agree, there’s just something so dang alluring about an icy pitcher of that limey goodness. (Unless you are Susie, but we won’t go there.) Margaritas also happen to be the most frequently “shared” drink on social media. (I just want to point out, someone gets paid to sit around and figure this stuff out. Where can I sign up for this job?)

Michelle Yam, travel, food and lifestyle photographer, paired up with Sauza to share some tips on the fine art of booztography. This is serious business, y’all.

  • Natural light goes a long way in lending appeal to cocktail photos, so take full advantage of sunshiny days, whether it’s on a patio or indoors with sun streaming in through the window.
  • Playing with focus can be a great way to set up an interesting shot. Try playing with the tilt-shift function on the Instagram toolbar in order to blur out surroundings with ease.
  • Pump up the contrast and saturation to enhance texture and drama in your shot. (pun lightly intended)
  • Shadow-jockeying is a thing, especially if you are shooting outdoors. Be mindful of where shadows are being cast prior to snapping away.
  • Play the angles. Glassware can be tricky to photograph from a straight-on view. Sometimes, an aerial shot, or shooting from an angle, results in a much more attractive snap.

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The next time you prepare a refreshing pitcher of margaritas at home, here are some tips from Bobby Gleason, master mixologist at Beam Suntory, to get your cover girl ready for her close-up.

  • Rimmed glasses– or even pitchers- take your photos to the next level. Coarse, kosher salt works best for a salt rim. Try an alternative rim, such as Tjin Spice or smoked salt for added flavor and visual interest.
  • Kick up the heat and the color with some fresh muddle jalapeño; reserve a slice of red or green pepper for the rim.
  • Opt for solid or hollow ice cubes as opposed to crushed or shaved ice; it photographs better.
  • Experiment with fresh herbs for a color accent.
  • And by all means, don’t forget the requisite wedge or slice of lime!

Preparing a pitcher of margs capable of evoking tequila envy on Insta is only half the battle though, right? Thankfully, Sauza has shared three Pitcher Perfect recipes that are perfectly refreshing for summertime- and they are easy to put together. No blender required!

Sauza Cucumber Chili Rita
2 cups Sauza Cucumber Chili Tequila
1 cup DeKuyper Triple Sec Liqueur
2 cups fresh lemon sour
Juice of 6 whole limes
Slices of limes for garnish (optional)

Add ingredients to an ice-filled pitcher. Add sliced limes and stir.
Serves 8


Sauza-Rita
1 can Sauza Signature Blue Reposado Tequila
1 bottle light beer
1 can frozen limeade
1 can water

Pour limeade and beer into pitcher with ice. Fill limeade can with Sauza Blue Reposado and pour into pitcher. Finally, add a can of water. Stir.
Serves 9


Sauza Strawberry Margarita
1 ½ cups Sauza Signature Blue Silver Tequila
½ cup DeKuyper Triple Sec Liqueur
1 cup Pucker Strawberry Schnapps
3 cups sour mix
Sliced strawberries (optional)

Add ingredients to an ice-filled pitcher. Add sliced strawberries. Stir.
Serves 8 

For inspiration, check out some of Instagram’s Pitcher Perfect offerings, by searching for the hashtag, #SauzaPitcherPics.

www.SauzaTequila.com
Twitter: @Sauza
Facebook: @SauzaTequila
Instagram: @SauzaTequila
Pinterest: @SauzaTequila
YouTube: SauzaTequila

***Sauza Tequila graciously provided me with a fun, booze-filled care package in order to assist me in the process of crafting my own #pitcherperfectpicture.***

Event Recap: Herradura Tequila Dinner at Mesero

written by Aaron Hendrickson

The best place to be on July 23rd, the day before National Tequila Day, was in the upstairs private room at Mesero by Mico Rodriguez, located on Henderson Avenue. Guests at this private event donated $1,000 per couple to the Pat & Emmitt Smith Charities to attend.

The night started with the Russ Hewitt Trio playing music while Tequila Herradura cocktails and brisket nachos, chicken flautas, and shrimp ceviche were passed to the hungry attendees.

Once the guests were called to be seated, Emmitt Smith was introduced to welcome everyone and speak briefly about his wife’s and his charity and what the evening had in store.

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“Thank you guys for supporting Pat and Emmitt Smith Charities,” Smith said, addressing the intimate crowd before the dinner got underway. “The work that we do couldn’t get done without the help and support of people like yourselves. Tonight is an opportunity for everyone here to get to understand and learn about the Herradura culture.”

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Smith continued to explain his experience traveling to Guadalajara and learn the entire process of how Herradura makes the tequila, and how “it is one the cleanest tequilas out there, and that makes the taste itself very pure.”

 

After the introduction, guests were guided through the dinner and tastings by global brand ambassador for Tequila Herradura, Ruben Aceves.

 

He began the dinner explaining the concept of a tequila dinner. “We are going to have dinner like we do in Mexico–where we drink tequila before dinner, with dinner and after dinner with desert.”

Before the salad course, Jose Cortes, a third-generation Jimador demonstrated the harvest of an agave plant while Aceves explained the process.

Each course consisted of a tequila margarita pairing that included Herradura Tequila–Silver, Reposado, Ultra or Selección Suprema.

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As each tequila was presented with its course and Aceves described their qualities and how each was made.

The Cazera Salad was served with the Meserita cocktail, made with Herradura Silver, Cointreau and citrus.

The second course sampled a cheese tomatillo enchilada, pollo brasa with chipotle cheddar grits and the Mico “12” a la Mexicana. The La Dona cocktail (Herredura Reposado, Cointreau and citrus) complemented this course.

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The Pastel Cinco Leches was the final delicacy of the evening. It was paired with the El Santo (frozen Micorita made with Herradura Silver, house Sangria and Herradura Ultra). Herradura Ultra is the most recent addition to the Tequila Herradura family. It is an traditional Añejo tequila blended with premium Añejo tequila that creates a very smooth, subtly sweet tequila.

To cap off the evening, guests sampled the Extra Añejo, Selleción Suprema de Herradura, which is Tequila Herredura’s highest quality tequila.

This event raised $25,000 for the Pat & Emmitt Smith Charities, which provide educational opportunities and experiences to underserved children.  If you’d like to donate or learn more, visit www.emmittsmith.com.

If you want to sample these cocktails yourself, you can visit Mesero and experience your own tequila dinner!

Greenville Avenue Pizza Company

If there are two things I know for certain: it’s that it’s hot as balls outside and that pizza is the best thing that God made.  (Only one of those is constant.)

Greenville Avenue Pizza Company (GAPCo) is the little pizza shop on Lowest Greenville that has supplied drunkards with the perfect late night food generously sprinkled with Pizza Crack (more on that later) since 2007.  This food isn’t just any drunk food … it’s good enough to even eat sober.  The owner, Sammy Mandell, spent the evening with our group and told us about his baby on Lowest Greenville that has gone from a small pizza shop to a rebranded, refurnished restaurant that was named one of the top 100 highest grossing pizzerias in the U.S. this past year.  By which I’m not surprised at all because everything in GAPCo is made by hand–from the dough to their ranch.*  The employees, from management to delivery drivers, are 100% behind Sammy and the brand and they support the shop and each other in spades.  In fact, Sammy’s wife, Molly, not only takes charge of their snarky social media channels, but also rolled GAPCo’s meatballs for years.  (They were even dubbed “Mollyballs”!)

BOOZE INFO: GAPCo offers Texas craft beers (uhhh and some wine)–Deep Ellum Brewing Company, Martin House Brewing Company, Cedar Creek, Saint Arnold, Shiner, and Eastciders dry cider.   I mean … what’s possibly better than a cold beer and pizza when it’s 100º outside?  (Maybe just following it up with a Steel City Pop from across the street.)

We’ll get to the pizza, but we have to chat about some of their other items first.  (Because once pizza enters the conversation, that’s all there really is.)  If you’ve never branched out past pies here, you’re missing out.  The first thing that hit the table was a GIANT meatball and garlic knot.  The Meatballs are 81/19 beef (the texture is perfect), lovingly hand-packed, and served with marinara sauce that takes five hours to make.

Their salads are delicious, fresh, crisp, and unique.  The Brutus Salad was their take on a Caesar salad without being drenched in heavy dressing or sporting the cliche croutons (take a basic chicken Caesar salad, then add tortilla strips, diced jalapeños, and jalapeño Caesar dressing).  The Italian Salad–romaine, kalamata olives, pepperoncini, parmesan, shallot vinaigrette dressing–was quite good, but I’d stick with the Brutus on my next visit.

Now, a pizza place with salads options … that’s super expected.  But … a pizza place with wings good enough to stand on their own is a diamond in the rough.  I don’t know if I’d ever attempt these spicy pieces of chicken goodness after a couple drinks, but sober, I’d eat the shit out of these fried Hot Buffalo Wings and would only pause to find a napkin and make sure my lips were still intact.  And that aforementioned homemade ranch … it kind of makes these transcendent.  The Lemon Pepper Wings had a perfect crisp to them if you’re into that not-as-saucy situation and the lemon flavor in the seasoning is surprisingly refreshing.

Hot Buffalo Wings

No … for the main event: the pizza.  I think Bill Murray said it best when he said, “Unless you are a pizza, the answer is ‘yes, I can live without you.’”  Amen, brother.

GAPCo’s pizza, like its other menu items, are made with homemade ingredients.  You can TASTE the love in these slices.  The fresh cheese, delicious meats, veggies, and more come together in a beautiful symphony of flavors and crispiness.  Have it drunk and you’ll never ask your Uber driver to take you through the Whataburger drive-though again.  The pieces hold up nicely without that sad wilting effect brought on by too much grease and not enough “crusture”.  (Crust structure … it’s going to be a thing.)

I think it was all over for me when I had my first bite of the Supreme Pizza–pepperoni, ham, green peppers, onions, mushrooms, bacon, and olives.  I mean … the bacon wasn’t just any bacon; it was just thick enough to really stand out in a crowded pizza but not feel like you’re missing a helping of eggs.  (And once that Pizza Crack hits the cheese, you know it’s all over.)

Their famous Pizza Crack is made with garlic, salt, and their special mix of spices.  Apparently they sell enough of this stuff that they’ve started selling jars of it.  Full disclosure: a jar of this was one of the first things in the cabinet at my new condo.

Stay tuned to GAPCo for more new offerings coming up … they have a great product and are finding more ways to evangelize to the people of Dallas.  Recently, GAPCo came out of the cover of night and they’re now open for lunch.  The lunch special is $10 for a slice of cheese or pepperoni pizza, caesar salad, and a fountain drink.  (And they’ll start offering brunch in August!)

GREENVILLE AVENUE PIZZA COMPANY
www.gapc.co | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram
1923 Greenville Ave (Lowest Greenville)
(214) 826-5404

Hours:
open for lunch daily at 11am
open for dine-in and delivery until:
– 1am on Mondays
– 3am Tuesday – Thursday
– 4am on weekends

*Unlike some places … they don’t discriminate against ranch-eaters.  (We’re people, too–we just happen to be Texans.)

Summer Sipping: UV Sangria

It’s a hot summer day in New York City with the sun shining and people watching at its peak. I find myself in a dilemma. On one hand, I couldn’t imagine anything better than a cool pitcher of red sangria and a picnic spread on the Great Lawn at Central Park. On the other hand, it’s hot and it’s Saturday and I just want to cut loose with some friends.

Enter: UV Sangria

This drink brings the best of both worlds with sweet notes of citrus and exotic fruit alongside that sultry burn of liquor. It’s the first ever of its kind, which makes you wonder, “Why has no one else thought of this yet??” (Note: UV Sriracha hit shelves just before this baby did.)

Upon my first sip, the hairs stood up on the back of my arms. Maybe, I just forgot this was vodka not the mulled juice I’m used to? Maybe it’s a drink that grows on you? Or maybe the more you drink the less you care? Whatever the case, my second go around proved successful as I mixed the spirit as it should be: pitcher-style for all to enjoy.

Combine UV Sangria with sprite, sliced fruit of your liking, and serve over ice for optimal boozing purposes. It’s the American twist on a Spanish classic that makes it perfect for cocktails during outdoor entertaining season and get-togethers with friends and family. (To be honest, it may be why my Fourth of July was such a hit.)

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Distilled four times, UV Sangria brings a blend of citrus with a light zest in the background, finishing with an exotic taste that lingers on the palate. UV Vodka offers a diverse portfolio of over 20 fun, colorful flavored vodkas. The lineup also includes interesting flavor profiles of UV Blue Raspberry, Sugar Crush, Cherry, Apple, Salty Watermelon, Chocolate Cake, and even Candy Bar.

The suggested retail price is $12.99 for a one liter bottle, $11.99 for a 750ml bottle and 99 cents for 50ml bottle.

Here are a couple recipes for your next summer gathering:

SANGRIA SUNRISE
1 part UV Sangria
1/3 part grenadine syrup
3 parts orange juice

Pour over ice & garnish with orange slice.


SANGRIA MARTINI
1 part UV Sangria
1 splash cranberry juice
1 splash triple sec

Shake with ice and strain in a martini glass

UV Vodka
www.uvvodka.com
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***Disclaimer: This beauty came to me for free from UV. God Bless America.

Summer Beer Review: Traveler Beer Co. Curious Traveler & Illusive Traveler

Drinking in the south is simple. The weather, with a handful of seasonal swings, stays steady enough that it’s easy to stick to favorite beers and favorite types of beers. I had narrowed my focus to a point of detriment, falling into the same hophead pursuit that has choked away many-a palate; “If it’s less than 90 IBUs, it’s really not a beer…” or something similar and just as stupid.

However, moving to the North East last November taught me a few things. (That’s right … I left Texas.) Not only can I now shovel a snowy driveway like a boss, but I can also appreciate the stark differences between Fall, Winter and Spring. As the snow piled up, I stuck with my IPAs, but once the snow started melting, I found myself looking for anything that didn’t remind me of staring at the window at drifts and ice. Specifically, I missed walking up to an outdoor patio year-round and grabbing a cold Shiner Ruby Red on draft. That quickly went from nice change of pace to “why did I move to this place and what did I do to deserve this?” (Y’all … there’s a LOT of snow up here.)

I’m not one for sweet beer, so I decide to include some background on my mental state for this entirely subjective review experience. The good folks at the Travel Beer Co. had two summer shandys for review – the Curious Traveler Lemon Shandy and the Illusive Traveler Grapefruit Shandy – right around the time all this was coming to a head. They showed up just in time for a Fourth of July weekend get together by the pool, so I figured this was destiny.

I started with the Curious Traveler (lemon) and was impressed. I was expecting these beers to be cloyingly sweet and make me lose my will to drink halfway, but it was very well-balanced, striking the mid-spot between “someone dumped lemonade in a lazily-brewed hefeweizen” and “check out this intense lemonade we sprinkled with beer at the last minute.” The flavor and sweetness was not overpowering and I ended up drinking a couple of them very happily. I also had a few others try them and they agreed with the claims, with several shocked “hey, I’d actually drink that.” It was a tough, but fair, crowd. The beer was refreshing and balanced, especially with the subtle lime test helping it feel a bit different from homemade summer as well. It may not be for everyone, but it fit the day, my mood and the experience perfectly. Yay, America!

From there, I knew the Illusive Traveler (grapefruit) was either going to kill my cravings mentioned earlier or kill my spirit like so many overly-sweet grapefruit drinks are currently doing across the country, so I decided to jump in quickly once I finished my first bottle of the Curious. This one really shocked me – it had a strong grapefruit taste, but again, not the sugar rush I was bracing for, even after a whole bottle. I immediately grabbed another one (day-drinking is just the best) and finally scratched the spring/summer grapefruit itch that had been nagging me. The Illusive was definitely my favorite (and to be fair, the crowd had no such prejudices or cravings) and one I would recommend to anyone even entertaining the idea of a nice, lighter option to enjoy on a warm day.

Each of the shandy-style beers (including some promising sounding seasonal brews) has their own subpage on their website, so start here (travelerbeer.com) to find descriptions, recipes, for cocktails (which I regret being too overeager to even wait for), and other info. There’s also a zip code search tool so you can find their beers nearby, and they are pretty widely available; I’ve seen it on tap in at least 3 out of every 4 bars since. (Praise be.)

At the very least, if you ever find yourself in a situation where someone you love is about to purchase a canned margarita beer drink, stop them quickly, open one of these, and pour it down their gullet. Trust me; everyone involved will be better for it.
The Traveler Beer Company
travelerbeer.com
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Hickory by Kent Rathbun

Kent Rathbun. (Not Ken Rathburn or Kent Rayburn.)  However you may butcher his name … you know that he knows what he’s doing.  We can thank him for the amazing concepts like Abacus, Jasper’s, and (formerly) Blue Plate … and now his newest venture, Hickory Plano, can be added to the list.

Their amazing PR girl arranged a bus to take us alllllll the way up to Plano to check out the new concept … which, if you know me, was a huge treat because I hate to drive.  Like …I hate it real bad.

The drive took us up the Tollway just past The Shops at Legacy (the home of Kent’s Jasper’s).  Upon arriving, Kent greeted us and showed us around the newly renovated space.  Expect a lot of raw wood, metal, and deep reds and browns.

While Hickory is a BBQ joint, the drinks leave nothing to be desired (except maybe another one).  They offer a full bar that can crank out anything from a Barrel-Aged Old Fashioned featuring Makers 46 to classics–Moscow Mules, anyone?  If you want to get a little crazy, check out their Cactus Juice (Avion Reposado, Triple Sec, prickly pear nectar, and lime).  And make sure to check out their Texas cocktails featuring Deep Eddy drinks.

If you’re into the beer situation, they have some great local options, but certainly not an extensive list–select crafts on tap and a handful of bottled options.  Their wine list includes a couple Texas wines and a curated list of decently priced options.

When the food started hitting the table, we all knew we were in for a long night.  I LOVED the salad options, which sometimes can be a bit lacking at a BBQ restaurant.  I almost couldn’t get enough of the Shrimp & Crab Coleslaw that featured a spicy cilantro vinaigrette that I could just about take a straw to.  I would also have to say that the Fried Green Tomatoes with charred jalapeño ranch were unreal. (We may or may not have been fork-fighting for the last piece.)  A starter that cannot be missed is their Smoked Sausage Fondue featuring whichever of their house-made sausages they choose for the day with creamy, cheesy goodness.

When I saw the entrees, I was so thankful knowing that we had a bus to take us back as I knew I’d have at least half and hour to recover before getting behind the wheel.  (I mean that not due to the drinks … but due to the sheer amount of meat I was about to consume.)  Their options for mains range from traditional burgers and sandwiches (and some not-so-traditional ones) and meats.  Some seeeeerious meats.  Their “little red smokehouse” prepares heavenly cuts that are sold by the 1/2 pound like their Smoked Pepper Crusted Wagyu Brisket, Hickory Smoked Turkey Breast, and Shaved Roti Pork Shoulder.  All of the meats were quite flavorful and I’d return for any single one of them, but some were a bit on the salty side.  That just means that you need to balance the meats with their Charred Corn Bread which was UNreal.  Get into that and don’t miss the Round Rock Honey butter that comes with it.

All of the sides that we tried were good, but the Crispy Brussels Sprouts were in the only bowl that saw the light of day.  These things, y’all, are f**king amazing.  (And not just because I love Brussels sprouts.)  Don’t miss the Blackstrap Molasses Baked Beans, too.  I mean … these beans have bacon on top.

The meal was coming to an end (so we thought) when dessert came out.  Instead of one of their Shareable Desserts for the table, they brought us all of them.  We tried Maw Maw’s Buttermilk Pie, which was a light-ish option but wasn’t up my alley, the Texas Size Chocolate Cupcake, which had a bit of spicy bite to it, and the Skillet Cobbler, which I’d eat all day every day!  The crunch on top was a perfect textural balance to the gooey fresh berries it hid.

Overall, the meal was overwhelming … and I don’t mean because of the amount of food, but because of how amazing everything was.  I don’t know why I expected anything other than brilliance from Kent Rathbun!

Make the drive–just plan to give yourself some recovery time before driving anywhere after.  Because … meat.
HICKORY BY KENT RATHBUN
www.hickoryplano.com | Facebook | Twitter
8100 Dallas Pkwy #115, Plano
(972) 712-7077
IMGP3683

susie knows all things boozy in dallas …