Category Archives: Happy Hour

Houilhan’s Celebrates with a Culinary Comeback

Popular Addison happy hour destination Houlihan’s just celebrated its 43rd birthday.  As part of its ongoing birthday celebration, Houlihan’s is dishing up (pun intended) a special “Culinary Comeback” menu that features some of their most popular items from menus past through the end of May.

GRAPEFRUIT JALAPENO COCKTAIL - Houlihan's
Grapefruit Jalapeno Cocktail

I braved the torrential downpours of late to check out the “Culinary Comeback” menu with my wife.  Maybe it was the lingering effects of Cinco De Mayo, but I ended up ordering a very Mexican-inspired dinner–a  Grapefruit Jalapeño cocktail and the Achiote Grilled Shrimp Tacos (both features of the limited time menu).  The Grapefruit Jalapeño cocktail is an interestingly spicy yet refreshing drink, with Deep Eddy Ruby Red vodka, lime, soda water and fresh jalapeños.  The jalapeños may not be not suitable for those who for usually shy away from spice, but it did have a nice bite without being overpowering.  As for my shrimp tacos,  the chipotle-achiote marinade gave a surprisingly deep, smoky flavor to the dish and the chipotle mayo and sweet chipotle dressing added a nice sweet/savory touch.  These tacos are by no means your traditional, bland fish tacos.

Achiote Grilled Shrimp Tacos
Achiote Grilled Shrimp Tacos

Opting for a “girly” drink (though Susie would argue that that’s an insult to some), my wife decided on the Strawberry Basil Lemonade.  The summery mix of fresh strawberries, basil, fresh lemonade and Bombay Sapphire gin was the perfect thing to start summer (err spring?) off with a bang.  The basil was a welcome change … it’s more unique than throwing mint in it and it gave it a really nice fragrance.  Frankly, I was tempted to order one myself, but thought the pink drink looked better in her hands than in would in mine.  Paired with Houlihan’s ever so popular wild mushroom and arugula flatbread (a mix of crimini, shiitake and oyster mushrooms with a roasted garlic white sauce, a blend of cheeses and truffle vinaigrette), my wife’s combo was an excellent light and satisfying choice.

Strawberry Basil Lemonade | Picture borrowed from Houlihan’s

It’s clear that Houlihan’s has a lot to celebrate … and I love how they actually listen to their customers.  (Case in point: the comeback menu.)  Add in food and drinks features like Certified Angus beef, organic salad greens, gluten-free and vegetarian  options, and the always noteworthy happy hour menu and I will gladly celebrate with Houhilan’s.

Their Culinary Comeback menu will be available through the end of May.  Check out the menu.  Happy 43rd birthday Houlihan’s!

 

Houlihan’s (Addison location; there are 3 in the DFW area)
www.houlihans.com | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram
5225 Belt Line Road, Dallas, TX 75254
(972) 386-0689

Happy Hour: 3pm-7pm & 9pm-11pm (“Happy Apps” until close)

  • $3 domestic drafts & long island ice tea by the glass
  • $4 wells cocktails & craft beers
  • $5 traditional or fresh agave margaritas, mojitos, mango ginger or mandarin martini  and long island iced tea pitchers
  • $1 off glass of wine
  • 13 appetizers for $3.95

The Second Floor Bar

I have visited the Dallas Galleria more than few times (women be shopping’, yo), and I’m kind of mad at myself that all along, I have been missing out on the greatness that is The Second Floor by Scott Gottlich.

Aptly named, this sleek, contemporary spot is nestled away on the second floor of the Westin Galleria, and just paces away from the interior mall entrance. I had a chance to belly up to the bar to check out The Second Floor’s liquid offerings. Let me tell you, they’ve got a lot going on here, folks. This is not your average hotel bar. It may be attached to the Westin, but the sippable menu at The Second Floor easily competes with offerings you would expect to find at some of the best watering holes in Dallas. If you haven’t discovered this spot yet, it could be a game changer.  Ladies, is that shopping trip you dragged your guy on taking just a liiiitttle bit longer than originally advertised? Sit him down at the bar, and you’re solid for at least another hour. Better yet, are the odds ne’er in your favor when swim suit shopping? Screw swimsuits … they have cocktails.

When I say they do things differently here, I’m not kidding; I was impressed to learn that The Second Floor actually makes their own hand-crafted aromatic tonic, infused with orange bitters and burnt cinnamon. The Second Floor’s creative and thoughtful cocktail menu offers seasonal features in addition to old standbys; one fan favorite is the Cucumber Sip (Organic cucumber vodka, elderflower, strawberry, & soda, $12),  which I’m told is The Second Floor’s most popular drink.  I had the opportunity to sample the House Sangria ($8), which was chock-full of boozy berries that I’m told spent a good amount of time hanging out in a cognac-lemon-elderflower concoction prior to taking a dip in my glass. (Is it rude to ask for a fork to get these leftovers from the bottom of my glass?) The sangria was rich and bursting with fruity goodness, and ultimately waaayyyy too easy to drink.

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A few new inventions that are featured on The Second Floor’s spring cocktail menu include:

  • GRILLED MARGARITA – Char-grilled orange, El Jimador tequila, Combier, lime ($12)
  • CINNAMON SIDECAR – Four Roses bourbon, Combier, lemon, cinnamon, bubbly ($13)
  • CHAPALA – Hornitos Black Barrel tequila, mole bitters, grapefruit infused agave nectar, ground Mexican chocolate ($13)

 

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Perhaps the thing I was most impressed with overall about The Second Floor’s fleet of beverages is their extensive whiskey menu. With more than 70 American whiskey offerings in total, and an equally impressive Scotch list, the menu runs the gamut from old standards to Texas labels to far more exotic options. (18-year Japanese whiskey, anyone? ) Intriguingly, The Second Floor offers a very nice variety of whiskey tasting flights. Oh, yes. Flights start at just $12, but if you’re feeling saucy, go for “The Big Spender”–this flight features three whiskeys each aged 21 years or better (Hello, 25-year Macallan), and it can be yours for a mere $100.

Additionally, The Second Floor boasts a comprehensive wine list with more than 80 offerings by the bottle, 20 of them by the glass. If you are a beer drinker, they’ve got you covered, featuring 12 premiums, 12 Texas craft brews, and 5 domestic options.  Pro-tip: With any food or beverage purchase, The Second Floor will validate your Westin Galleria parking, which is kind of awesome. Must remember this come holiday shopping.

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Stay tuned for another post soon about their new menu offerings for Summer 2015!
The Second Floor offers up some mighty fine happy hour specials.

Happy Hour- 4-6 PM, Monday- Friday

  • Specialty cocktail of the day (changes daily) $5
  • Domestic beer $4
  • “The Best $5 Wine in the City”- Honoro Vera, Garnacha OR Les Costières de Pomerols, Picpoul de Pinet

Various snacks and small bites, $2-5

The Second Floor by Scott Gottlich
The Westin Galleria Dallas, Level 2
13340 Dallas Parkway Dallas, TX 75240
(972) 450-2978

A Night with Ballast Point Brewing & Distilling Co.

A bit ago I attended a happy hour with Ballast Point Brewing and Distilling at Bird Cafe. To be honest, I didn’t know much about Ballast Point before going to the happy hour, and I learned that Ballast Point began as a small group of home brewers in San Diego, California. Most of the beers are named after fishing terms. The labels have illustrations of fish to pay homage to the brewery’s origin’s. After they made a name for themselves through their beer, Ballast Point began distilling. The company now has seven spirits they call their own.

Ballast Point happy hour beer menu
Ballast Point happy hour beer menu

I began the night tasting some of Ballast Point’s beer on tap. For those of you who like hoppy beers, go for the Grunion Pale Ale (5.5%). It has a nutty flavor as well as a summer fruit aroma. This beer won the 2015 Best of Craft Beer silver award. Next, I went for the Scotch ale. Piper Down (5.8%) is now in the running as one of my favorite craft beers … it’s not super heavy and it has a smooth taste. I tasted a chocolate, sweet after taste with this brew. This beer won the 2015 Best of Craft Beer gold award. The name came from Scottish bag pipers that drank too much … the piper became top heavy and people would yell, “piper down” when they began to fall. (I have to admit, I went back two days later for more.) My last tasting was the Victory at Sea Coffee/Vanilla Porter (10%). As expected, it was a dark, smooth brew. I am not a coffee drinker, but that didn’t not stop me drinking this beer. It had more of a vanilla taste than coffee.

San Diego Street Car
San Diego Street Car

Moving on to the spirits, I was curious about the first cocktail on the list–the San Diego Street Car (Devil’s Share Moonshine, Ancho Chili liqueur, corn water, lime, Burlesque bitters, egg white). I was puzzled by this concoction, so I had to ask the bartender how he came up with this interesting drink. He said it was his version of elotes in cocktail form. He wanted to bring out the corn flavor of the moonshine rather than mask it. After understanding the background of the drink, it made me enjoy it all the more.

I would urge you to go to your local liquor store and try out some of Ballast Point’s spirits. Here’s your shopping list:

3 Sheet’s Rum: made from pure cane sugar rather than molasses (80 proof)
Fugu Vodka: Filtered 15 times (80 proof)
Devil’s Share Moonshine (whiskey): hints of tropical fruit (98.6 proof)
Devil’s Share Burbon: American oak barrels, hints of caramel and vanilla cream (92 proof)
Old Grove Gin: made from juniper berries, rose, and coriander (88 proof)

Ballast Point Brewery
www.Ballastpoint.com
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Bird Cafe's amazing bar
Bird Cafe’s amazing bar

Bird Cafe
155 East Main Street
Fort Worth, Texas 76102
www.birdinthe.net

The “Proper” Side of Magnolia

For those of you who know Fort Worth, you know that there is a solid strip of amazing food and bars on Magnolia Avenue. I want to convince you to head out of your comfort zone and head past Hemphill to Proper. You will find easier parking and an amazing hole-in-the-wall bar. Proper put a smile on my face just by walking in the front door thanks to the comfortable, clean environment and seriously extensive drink menu. Not only do they have a lot of craft beers on tap, but they make some mean cocktails.

All cocktails are expertly measured to make sure you get consistent drinks each time you order it. The menu has ten signature cocktails along with thirteen classic cocktails.

My visit happened to be on Valentine’s day, so they had a few Valentine’s inspired drinks as well as beer flights. There was also another list of speciality drinks next to the bar, this week happened to be three drinks all including moonshine. I tried the Tennessee Farmer (sweet tea, moonshine, lime, honey, blackberries, bitters, and bubbles). This drink had a great taste and I would definitely order it again. I would bet that if you tried to stump this bartender … he’d welcome the challenge and rise to it.

If you are looking for a new place with a good vibe and great patio, Proper is your place.

Proper
Facebook | Twitter | Instagram
409 W Magnolia Ave
Fort Worth, TX 76104
817.984.1133

Hours:
Monday: 3pm-midnight
Tuesday-Saturday: 3pm- 2am
Sunday: 3pm- midnight

Happy Hour/Weekly Events:
Monday: all day (Trivia Night, no fee, prizes for top three teams)
Tuesday- Friday: 3pm-7pm (Wine Wednesday-bottle specials)
Sunday: all day (Movie Night)

Happy Hour Menu
Happy Hour Menu

A Night with Little Red Wasp and Grace

IMG_3261Last week I was invited out to happy hour at Grace and Little Red Wasp in the heart of downtown Fort Worth. Both of these amazing restaurants are owned and operated by Adam Jones–Grace is the “fancier” of the two restaurants as well as a higher price point. Grace provided a lovely experience, but Little Red Wasp was my favorite out of the two. Both of these restaurants are a stones throw from some of the best downtown Fort Worth has to offer–Capital Grille, Del Friscos, Ruth’s Chris, and the like.

The bartender reported that the two most popular drinks at Grace are the Bosc Pear Martini and the Seven. The Bosc Pear Martini (Grey Goose Le Poire Vodka, Amaretto, Lemon, Vovetti Prosecco) has a slightly slimy in texture thanks to the grit of the Grey Goose Le Poire, but the taste was incredibly silky and subtle. The Seven (Ultimat Vodka, mint, cucumber, lemon, lime, simple syrup) was almost a mojito with a kick. The outside of the glass was rimmed with salt and cayenne pepper, which certainly stayed with you after the drink was gone. Even though these were the most popular drinks ordered at the bar, I would like to go back and try some of the other mixed drinks on the menu.

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The Little Red Wasp at Little Red Wasp

So now on to the highlight of the night (for me)–Little Red Wasp. I can’t say enough good things about the atmosphere and the drinks here. I was lucky enough to get a taste of almost every cocktail on the menu, and I honestly can say that there was one drink that I wouldn’t order again (good odds), but my top two must try drinks are: the signature Little Red Wasp (Dulce Vida Reposado tequila, red pepper puree, mint, lemon juice, jalapeño honey) and the Perfect Storm (Zaya Rum, vanilla bean syrup, apple cider, ginger beer). The Little Red Wasp had a fruity taste with a nice “sting” from the jalapeno. I can now say that my all time favorite cocktail is the perfect storm. It is definitely on the sweeter side, but it is a must try. Not only does it taste amazing, I loved the presentation in the copper mug.

The Bitter Beauty at The Little Red Wasp
The Bitter Beauty at The Little Red Wasp

I am excited to go back for one of Little Red Wasp’s beer pairing dinners. On the first Wednesday of every month, they hold a five course pairing that highlights a particular brewery. In February it was Oscar Blues and March will be Panther Island Brewing.

All in all, it was a great night in two amazing places. Go for happy hour and you won’t be sorry. (Tip: try the homemade ranch and chips at LRW)


GRACE

777 Main Street
Fort Worth, Texas 76102
817-877-3388

Dining Room Hours: 7 Days a Week- 5:30-9:30
Bar Hours: 7 Days a Week- 4:00-10:00 (Full Menu available.)

Happy Hour: Half Price Bubbles (by the bottle, half-bottle, or glass) 4:00-6:00 daily
Women and Wine: Wednesday nights 4:00-7:00 ($10 gets you three glasses paired with light bites)

LITTLE RED WASP
808 Main Street
Fort Worth, Texas 76102
817-877-3111

Hours: Monday- Friday- 11:00-10:00
Saturday-Sunday- 10:00-10:00 (Brunch- 10:00-4:00)

Happy Hour: 7 days a week- half off draft beer from 3:00-6:00

Yard House Measures Up

If you can’t find something to love at Yard House, you either hate good food, cold craft beers, and carefully mixed cocktails … or you’re wrong. Addison’s newest watering hole, Yard House, is a place where with so many choices that repeat visits are a must.

The drink menu offers up an impressive (and massive) list of American and international craft beers, cocktails, wine and sake.  For those counting calories, but needing to indulge in an adult beverage, the drink menu includes a selection of cocktails between each 150-200 calories such as the Citrus Crush, Skinny Margarita, and Juniper Fusion.  In addition to an already abundant amount of options, the restaurant mixes it up with a rotating selection of brews for their Chalkboard series.

Ruby Red Cocktail
Ruby Red Cocktail

Given the ample selection of beers, I thought it only proper to go with a tall, cold draft brew,  Blood and Honey from Revolver, before going back to more familiar territory with an Upper Manhattan cocktail, featuring a peach puree that added a nice touch to this well balanced drink. My better half opted for two of the house martinis (one at a time of course), the Ruby Red and the Strawberry Fields, both of which she would have liked to order seconds of. But lo, reason prevailed on a Tuesday night and she stopped at one (of each).

Yard House craft beer
Blood & Honey

The food menu (whose length rivals the drink menu’s) has a nice selection of food — animal, vegetable or mineral. From a wide selection of bar snacks to full-blown meals, there is something that can and will satisfy anyone’s booze-fueled whims. Carnitas tacos, spicy Thai chicken pizza, Hawaiian poke stack … the bottom line is that you should go to the Yard House hungry!  Take my advice and try the Mac & Chesse – chicken, bacon and wild mushrooms mingle with pasta in a decadent cheese sauce with hints of truffle. If that’s not the perfect food to go with one of Yard House’s craft brews, I don’t know what is.

Picture courtesy of Yard House

The interior of Yard House is just the right mix of modern upscale and contemporary casual. (Think Kona Grill meets BJ’s Brew House.) It’s a great place for a little after-work drink or a fun first date where you may need some distractions. There is an outdoor patio, which would be a great place to relax, drink a beer and watch a game or two.  The large, central  bar is a great place to pull up a chair and admire the 100s of beer taps all waiting to be pulled.

Yard House Bar Addison, TX

No one can go to Yard House and not talk about the music. The playlist was the absolute perfect mix of everything from classic rock to modern day hits varying from rock to reggae and everything else in between. It took everything in me not to get up and start dancing, but there may have been some head bobbing going on.

Give Yard House a try-and if you see a bald fellow rockin’ out…it’s not me.

Yard House
www.yardhouse.com | (972) 716 – 4004
5100 Belt Line Road, Dallas, Texas 75254
Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Pinterest

Happy Hour:
Monday – Friday: 3 pm to 6 pm,
Sunday – Thursday: 9 pm to 11 pm

  • $1 off domestic pints and well drinks
  • $2 off craft & import pints and goblets, domestic half yards,  Fresh and Skinny™, beer cocktails and mules, call & premium spirits and wine by the glass
  • $3 off house martinis
  • $4 off craft & international half yards

 

TGI Happy Hour!

So, us Dallasites seem to forget about the West End from time to time.  Luckily, a friend was in town for work and we decided to take a little jaunt into the historic district to enjoy a couple cocktails and Endless Appetizers at TGI Friday’s with a third buddy.  Parking was easy at the meters, which is usually what us non-Downtowners see as the turn off for venturing into the one-way-street nightmare that can be navigating Downtown Dallas.  (Just make sure to set your phone’s timer so you don’t get a ticket!  That $25 slip of death can really ruin a happy hour.)

During the happy hour (which got even happier after each drink), we got into some Jackberry Smashes, Peach Honey Smashes, Hendrick’s Coolers, regular ole’ Captain and Cokes, and more.  (Way more.)  Since it was happy hour and Endless Apps were still in full effect, I decided to treat.  Three+ cocktails each, appetizers, and the epic Oreo Madness later “baller” status was achieved that evening for just $67.  (You’re welcome, Cody and Ben.)

Word on the street is that they’re doing a rib special (stay tuned for the delicious details on that).

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