Category Archives: Neighborhood

holler for a … palmer? (CLOSED)

New to the Dallas happy hour scene, Charlie Palmer is a gem.  Like some of the other upscale restaurants around our fair city, Charlie Palmer offers to-die-for drinks and sumptuous food to snack on at a good price compared to the usual prices.

The hotel (The Joule) is intriguing with somewhat out-of-place decor that seems to still work – site: the large wheel in the lobby (their bathrooms are pretty interesting, too).  The restaurant has a nice ambiance if it is a little close to the Downtown traffic – but it is very chill and the patio is laid back with really interesting people watching.  Sit back in their comfy chairs and watch the beautiful people checking into the hotel and the businessmen and women hustling around after work – just keep your eyes open for the guy on the street that may try to sell you poetry when you’re waiting for your car at valet.

Speaking of valet, it’s $10.  Try to park in the parking garage across the street and it’s only about $5.

The drinks … let’s talk about the drinks … they.are.a.ma.zing.  They are incredibly creative and quite delicious.  You have your choice of six fancy cocktails for half off along with the Charlie Palmer private label ISC Pinot Noir or single malt scotch. Try the Perfect Pear which is perfectly sweet or the Thin Mintini which will take you back to your days in the Girl Scouts (or at least it did for me!).  If you want to feel that you’ve done your part to save the planet for the day, get the Treetini; Live it Green and VeeV will plant a tree for each one sold.

Get a little snack to go along with your drink.  I recommend the fries; while they come in a trough (which is somewhat troubling if you think about it) but the bearnaise sauce makes up for any discomfort about the serving plate.  Also try the lobster corn dogs … yum.  Enjoy a taste of the incredible restaurant’s small bites menu for 1/2 off during happy hour!

Try Charlie Palmer for its happy hour – at least so you can try their amazing fare and drink!  I know I’ll be back for more.

Charlie Palmer at The Joule
www.charliepalmer.com | @thejoule
1530 Main Street | (214) 261-4600

Specials:
Thursday and Friday | 4-7 p.m. | 1/2 price small bites menu and selected drinks

Time Out Tavern

In a day and age when it’s hard to find an authentic sports bar, the Time Out Tavern (affectionately known as the TOT) holds true to the name and delivers a respite from the hustle and bustle of Dallas life.  From the walls plastered with old sports headlines from newspapers and sports memorabilia to the pool, shuffleboard, and video games, the TOT really gives men’s men a place to get away and relax like they did back in the day … but women are welcome, too – but only if they know which teams are in the Final Four!

Here is what they have to say about their establishment: “…the bar with a heart. Since 1988, the TimeOut has provided the ideal social venue for armchair quarterbacks, political hacks and feminist rabble-rousers… we also happen to be a great place to come as you are, hang out and enjoy. Your secret is safe with us… just get over here & have some fun….please, don’t screw the place up.”

The drinks are pretty strong but you need to articulate when you’re speaking to the bartender; we ordered 4 drinks and of those, 3 weren’t correct.  We couldn’t get mad, though … he was dressed like a referee and we were afraid we’d get a yellow card.  They also are good for a quick quip.

After 5, the businessmen trickle in and begin bickering about their (least) favorite sports teams and players.  Though it gets a little rowdy, they keep to themselves and won’t bother your game of CLASSIC Big Buck Hunter.

Just don’t call the place … they’re entirely too busy to talk to you.

Drink strength: 3.75
Overall: 4

Time Out Tavern
www.totdfw.com
5101 West Lovers Lane | (214) 956-9552

Specials:
Monday-Friday | 11 a.m. – 7 p.m. | $2.75 most beers, $4.50 wells

my main squeeze

The Grape has gotten a lot of attention for its burgers … but it’s sooooo much more than an amazing burger that is so good that it is only sold two days a week and caused the restaurant to hire an extra hand in the kitchen to prepare.

Their happy hour is brilliant; you can get cheap drinks while paying next to nothing for the amazing food they serve (especially compared to their regular prices).  We took part in wells, martinis, fries, the cheese plate, the mini brat burgers, and plenty of sunshine.  Try the fries, you won’t be sorry … but make sure you have a piece of gum to chew after!

Their drinks were strong enough to give us quite a fun feeling and the need to partake in more rounds of appetizers.  The dirty martini could have been been shaken for a few more minutes but was overall superbly mixed.  The drinks became successively stronger as we sat.

The patio at The Grape is very nice other than its proximity to the street – it’s slightly loud during “rush hour”.  Take a pair of sunglasses and speak a little louder and you’ll be set.  Sit in the bar, which has an incredibly cool with an old-timey feel; they keep the doors open so you can still feel the nice breeze without the noise.

The wait staff is incredible.  Each and every one of them cater to your any need and in a snappy way … and with a smile.  I haven’t ever had anything but an amazing (if not exemplary) customer service experience here.  The chef will even walk around and chat when the kitchen isn’t slammed.  The best thing about The Grape’s happy hour: they make sure you know when it’s last call.

Their brunch is also quite a pip; the wounded yellowbird is addicting and the food is amazing.  It’s worth getting out of bed after a night out to have a meal here.

Drink strength: 4
Overall: 5 (just FYI … I think this is my first 5!)

 

The Grape Restaurant
www.thegraperestaurant.com
2802 Greenville Ave | (214) 828-1981

Specials:
Monday-Friday | 4:30-7 p.m. | $2 domestics, $3 wells, $5 glasses of wine, select appetizers under $6
Sunday | 10:30 a.m. – 2 p.m. | $6 Wounded Yellowbird and bloody marys, $4 mimosas

research this

Incredibly hungover, I slung myself out of bed to vacate my house for a showing that was to arrive within the hour (p.s. shameless plug: if you’re looking for a townhouse in University Park – I have one for sale!).  Luckily, I had a brunch at R+D Cafe to occupy my mind and motivate me to get dressed despite my pounding headache (I had forgotten to take The Hangover Cure again … you’d think I’d learn).

Upon arrival, we had a reservation and actually had to wait (that’s a good sign – follow the crowd to the good food, right?).  Looking around, I was reminded of the incredible meals I’d had in this restaurant on previous occasions and my stomach grumbled, begging for the gastronomic orgasm that it knew was imminent.  Any restaurant by the developers of Houston’s is worth it’s weight (in drinks).

Sitting down, drinks were ordered to serve as the hair of the dog – we were delighted that there were drink specials for brunch.  I ordered a bloody mary and sat back in anticipation.  When the drinks came … well, to say the least it was an expectation hangover.  Their bloody mary tasted like cocktail sauce with a touch of clam and was pretty thin and had big chunks of peppercorn.  Usually, a little clam juice is fine, but this just wasn’t right.  The waitress told us that they make their own BM mix … and that answered my question.  I ordered a screwdriver and the waitress was nice enough to take the offending drink off the bill.

All of the other drinks we ordered were delightful and strong enough to make a difference.  The food was fantastic as was expected.  Definitely try some of their mango sushi and the dips – the meals are large so be prepared to roll yourself to your car after a meal.  Watch how much you order, it adds up quickly.

The atmosphere is very older Park Cities mixed with the more laid-back and obviously hungover young Dallasites.  The decore of Cafe R+D is delightful – modern and clean and has just the right amount of pretension.

Sadly there isn’t a happy hour here, but they are “researching” a new strategy: any alcoholic drink that comes in a regular glass is $8 and anything in a martini glass is $9.  I can’t decide how I feel about that but … it is what it is.

Drink strength: 3
Overall: 4

R+D Kitchen (or Cafe R+D)
www.hillstone.com
8314 Preston Center Plaza Drive | 214-890-7900

Specials:

ALL DAY EVERY DAY | $8 all drinks, $9 martinis
Saturday & Sunday | til 4 p.m. | $4 bloody mary, mimosa, greyhounds, and screwdrivers

Muddy Waters

This Dallas legend has been around for quite a while and is a bastion of the Dallas local music scene.  If you ask any of the guys from the Local Yokel show, this is one of the places in Dallas you MUST go … just so you can say you’ve been.

The night we went, we sadly didn’t do our homework; it was open mic night.  No one was playing when we were there but a DJ was setting up (it looked like it would have been entertaining to stay!).  So, we did the next best thing and fed our dollar bills to the jukebox and played a few rounds of pool.

The drinks were pretty misleading … I had a few and was quite festive though I thought they tasted weak.  The drinks were so misleading that I felt confident enough to order jambalaya (very out of the ordinary for this girl!) when we ventured over to Alligator Cafe to grab a bite when we discovered Muddy Waters didn’t have any food offerings.

The bartender was efficient and the regulars were bizarre to say the least (and one was a bit smelly).  This wouldn’t be a bad place to grab a round of pool or listen to a great local band … try it sometime.  🙂


Muddy Waters

1518 Greenville Avenue | Dallas, TX 75206-7413
(214) 823-1518

Specials (as of 2/10/10):
Monday-Friday | 4-8 p.m. | $2 wells, domestics, and drafts, $1 off all other drinks
Tuesday | all drafts | $2 wells and drafts
Monday | all day | $1 drafts

Angry Dog

All the way down in Deep Ellum, beside St. Pete’s, a quiet evening amongst friends began with cheap wells and drafts and a plate of chicken wings.  As we recapped our days, our blast-of-a-waiter, Vincent, entertained us with his attempt at a German accent.

The night was filled with Angry Dogs (the namesake of the chow joint, a fully loaded hot dog complete with a side of beans!) and drinks.  Their alcohol spread is impressive but know that they don’t consider Franconia domestic – even though it’s made in McKinney!

The crowd wasn’t what one would expect from Deep Ellum because Angry Dog is loved by all and it’s reputation reaches quite far.  Give it a chance and definitely make sure you put plenty of nickels in the meters, though … the meter maids in that neck of the woods are vicious (two of our four cars got $35 parking tickets for expired meters – one only by 8 minutes!).

Drink strength:  3
Overall:  4

Angry Dog
www.angrydog.com
2726 Commerce Street | (214) 741-4406

Specials:
Monday – Friday | 4-7 p.m. | $2.50 domestic drafts, $3.50 premium drafts, $3 house wine, $2.50 house cocktails

amster-DAMN bar (Closed)

With the places I’ve spent time in Dallas, Exposition Park was new to me.  The drive down there from my office and finding parking was a bit stressful (my friends did the smart thing and took the Green Line which stops right across the street from A.B.)  but when I arrived, a drink was promptly shoved into my hand and we ventured out onto the roomy patio.

The patio has quite a bit of “potential”; the night we went it was a bit cool but I can imagine how nice it would be on a beautiful Dallas Spring day.  We caught up and sipped our cheap(ish) drinks … and then another drink … and then another.  It’s the kind of place you get caught up and spend a bit too long drinking (in a good way).

The waiter was nice enough to bring drinks out to our table since we were the lone group braving the chilly wind.  He was quite friendly, also.

Check out their blog … it’s so incredibly random but interesting.

Thumbs up:  fun area, pizza place right next door, Green Line is WAY convenient, AMAZING music, fun decor

Drink strength:  3.5
Overall:  4

The Amsterdam Bar
831 Exposition Avenue – Dallas, Texas 75226 | (214) 827-3433
www.amsterdambar.blogspot.com

Specials:
Monday-Friday | 2:30-7 p.m.  | $1 off drafts & wells
Tuesday | $3 pints
Wednesday | Motorcycle Night | drink discounts if you show up on a crotch rocket!

Louie’s

So many people have emailed asking me to review Louie’s … but bad news: Louie’s doesn’t have drink specials, so it’s not completely in my wheelhouse.  Sorry!

Their pizza, drink strength, and people watching is great, though.

Make sure you have cash or an AMEX on you, it’s all they take.  Don’t get mushrooms on your pizza; they’re fresh, not cooked.  Also, know what you want and don’t put the wait staff out too much; they’re cranky.

Louie’s
1839 North Henderson Avenue | (214) 826-0505‎