Category Archives: Preston Hollow

Prost! At Gordon Biersch

The beginning of fall marks the start of many exciting events–the long-awaited return of college football (and tailgating) season, the State Fair, baseball playoffs–and for the German beer fan in all of us, we have Oktoberfest. While I wasn’t lucky enough to make it to the original celebration in Munich, I was able to pop over to Gordon Biersch for their house brewed beers.

Despite a vaguely German-sounding name, Gordon Biersch has a modern and diverse gastropub-inspired menu that spans from flatbreads and fresh fish to revamped pub standards.  Their brewing philosophy is based off of the Reinheitsgebot (a purity law that was created in Germany all the way back in 1516). Gordon Biersch’s beers are brewed according to these ancient rules-using only malted barley, hops, yeast and water.

A fan of darker beers, I decided on the Schwarzbier, a brown ale with a smooth, rich caramel flavor. My wife had the Hefeweizen which is a traditional style of unfiltered, wheat beer. The hints of fruit and spice make it a great beer to sip with or without food. The crew was nice enough to bring over samples of their other three beers: MarzenCzech Pilsner and Golden Export. The Golden was an easy drinking beer with crisp, subtle hops while the Marzen had a sweet, malty taste.

Hefeweizen (left) Schwarzbier (right)
Hefeweizen (left) Schwarzbier (right)

What’s really nice is that the menu gives suggested food pairings to make the most of your experience.  The Ahi Tuna Wonton Nachos are fresh tuna tossed in a savory teriyaki and topped a mountain of crunchy wonton chips.  Add grilled pineapple, pickled ginger, green onions, a sprinkling of sesame seeds and drizzled with a cucumber wasabi sauce and Sriracha cream. And the Blue Crab Spinach Artichoke Dip is served bubbling hot with grilled crostini and herb flatbread.  Rich and decadent, it may require putting in some extra cardio time, but it was a great pair to our beers.

The Woodford Reserve Bourbon Salmon is served with quinoa and kale salad and asparagus–it’s one of a number of a “lighter” dishes available that doesn’t sacrifice flavor for calories.  We couldn’t skip dessert, so we shared a warm apple crostata with ice cream.

While the real Oktoberfest is over, but Gordon Biersch is keeping the spirit alive with well-crafted beers and food offerings. Consider swinging by for happy hour (Monday-Sunday 3-7pm & 9-11pm or all day Wednesday) for $4-21 ounce GB beers.

Other happy hour specials:

  • $4 21 ounce GB beers
  • $5 hand crafted cocktails
  • $6 select house wines
  • $5, $7 and $9 appetizer and small plate specials

Gorden Biersch – Park Lane
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8060 Park Lane, Suite 125, Dallas, TX 75231
(214) 369-2739

Prost and thank you to the Dallas Park Lane location for having us in!

Pakpao Thai Brunch

I’m going to get right to it: Pakpao is Thai me up, tie me down delicious.  Now with three locations strong, Pakpao led by Chef Jet Tila serves up authentic Thai food with fresh ingredients in a really beautiful way.  (Like … actually nice to look at, but also beautifully done.)  Their food is amazing, but their brunch offerings are a truly unique take on Dallas’s favorite meal.  Think Coconut Pancakes and lemongrass and kaffir lime sausage hash.

The drinks offered at brunch are as unique as it gets for brunch.  You aren’t going to find bottomless mimosas or bloody mary bars here, but you will find refreshing options like their Thai Lemongrass bloody mary (my personal favorite in Dallas), their Lychee Bellini, and Chula-Rita.  The best part?  These delightful libations start at just $3.

Everything atop the plates that hit our table that fateful day was incredible.  Those Coconut Pancakes, tho.  If you eat anything there at brunch, make it that.  Delightfully light and not too sweet thanks to the pineapple syrup and coconut milk, I’d substitute my traditional flapjacks any day.  Another huge winner was the Wok Fried Egg Salad with crunchy cucumbers … who knew that Salads were better fried?  Pakpao did.  (This is also evident in Rachel’s comment about their Crispy Morning Glory Salad at the Plano Pakpao opening.)

While the brunch was a revelation, most of the food that they make it.  (I mean … I’m not sure why I was so surprised by all of the amazing brunch options with their track record … whatever.)  The less brunch-y items we tried were the Hoi Obh (steamed P.E.I. mussels with the most amazing lemongrass and Thai basil broth) and the Pork Congee.  The congee was, as best as I can describe it, a comforting porridge-like soup with ground pork and ginger.  I may or may not have insisted on taking home the little bit that was left just so I could taste it again.  Whatever.

The decor is simple and seemingly authentic down to the ingredients  stacked thoughtfully on shelves below the open kitchen window.  Located directly beside its sister restaurant, Oak, it’s easy to miss since it’s not visible from the street.

Stop in to one of the three locations for a brunch you won’t soon forget … just make sure to invite me for some coconut pancakes.


PAKPAO THAI

pakpaothai.com
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3 locations (Design District, Plano, and Preston Hollow)

BRUNCH SERVED 11am-3pm SATUDAYS AND SUNDAYS

***Pakpao invited me in to check out their brunch offerings.***

Matchbox – Preston Hollow Village

It’s officially patio weather, y’all.

We all know how much Dallasites love drinking their booze on patios on a beautiful day, and 2016 is shaping up to be a good year for dining and drinking al fresco. (Hold the rain and hail, please.) And wouldn’t you know it … there’s a new spot for just that; Matchbox American Kitchen + Spirit opened up its first Texas location in Preston Hollow, just in time for all of us to eat, drink, and get a nice base tan, all at the same time on its roomy outdoor seating area.

When I arrived, I had my eyes on the prize–the cocktails (obviously). I ordered the Southern Charmer (bourbon, peach nectar, and black pepper-ginger syrup), which is shaken and poured over ice then garnished with a lemon slice. (And so continues my lemon obsession. 🍋) From what I could tell (and taste), there are also a few dashes of Angostura bitters on top, but it’s not listed on the menu. Try it out and let me know if I’m off the mark. Ahhh … it was the perfect patio cocktail–refreshing, boozy, with the sweetness of the peach nectar balanced out by the bite of the pepper and ginger.  I could/did drink many of these bad boys–charming or not.

image11
Southern Charmer (note: not Tiffany’s hand.)

NOTE FROM SUSIE: Make sure to peruse their entire cocktail menu along with their wine list.  Matchbox has private label wine that isn’t half bad! Their Jalapeño Cucumber Margarita packs a bit of spice to keep things interesting and their Patio Pounder Lemonade made with house infused watermelon vodka is everything summer is made of.

Of course, if I’m going to commit to drinking all of Matchbox’s cocktails, I needed some food to do so. (It’s a marathon, not a sprint, guys; remember that.) Fortunately for me, there was no shortage of delicious appetizers from which to choose. Given my penchant for a well-stocked charcuterie board, that’s where I daintily voraciously started my culinary adventure.

Heaping mounds of prosciutto, wedges of creamy brie, quince cubes, overflowing plates of gherkin pickles, grain mustard, and briny olives … oh my. The portions were more than satisfying, and it’s not typical to find the sweet quince offering on the boards I’ve seen in Dallas thus far, so that was a tasty addition to the usual charcuterie spread. I overdid it on the prosciutto and cheese (as one does), so the rest of the appetizers are nibbled, but nonetheless thoroughly enjoyed.

Charcuterie Board
Charcuterie Board

 

The spread consisted of standard (albeit, high-quality and well-executed) crowd-pleasers. The Mini Meatballs are a combination of angus beef, veal, and pork, and were wonderfully tender and are served in pepperoni sauce and topped with pecorino romano cheese. I (somehow) managed to keep my intake of these to just two. (I should get a ribbon for that.)

If you look REALLY closely, you’ll see 3.6.9 Mini Burgers peeking out from a mountain of crispy fried onions. The trick is to extract a mini burger from the plate, grab a small mound of crispy onions, add it to the burger, and have at it. Let me just say, these are definitely mini burgers and not sliders. The buns aren’t made of sweet rolls; they’re toasted brioche, and the patties are substantial and individually cooked to a perfect medium.

As soon as they brought out the Spicy Tuna Tartare Tacos, I knew these were a best-seller. Their fresh, cool tuna’s delicate texture  juxtaposed with the crispiness of the fried wonton taco shell … it’s a classic for a reason. And don’t skimp on the Sriracha mayo.

And who doesn’t like a good chicken strip? These bad boys, dubbed Ted’s Tenders,  were huge! Did I eat one all by myself? Yes! (Shut up. I have NO regrets.) It was the way I like my chicken strips: not overly breaded and still juicy and flavorful on the inside. I don’t know who Ted is … but I like him.

My overall take away from my Matchbox experience?  It’s a fun spot with a cool vibe, and the food and drinks aim to please both the masses and those of us (ahem) with a bit more of a refined palate.  If I worked nearby, that’s where you’d find me after 4PM most weekdays. I wouldn’t be alone; Matchbox is already hoppin’ with the business happy hour crowd. The patio was teeming with business people in suits, all eating, drinking, and being merry when I arrived, and they were still going strong when I left. Cheers to them! They know how to marathon it, too.
Matchbox American Kitchen + Spirit
matchboxrestaurants.com
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7859 Walnut Hill Lane, Suite 140
Dallas, TX 75230
(844)712-2369

Mon-Thurs: 11AM-last seating 10:30PM
Fri: 11AM-last seating 11:30PM
Sat: 10AM-last seating 11:30PM
Sun: 10AM-last seating 10:30PM
Sat-Sun Brunch: 10AM-3PM
Mon-Fri Happy Hour: 3PM-6PM

Breadwinners New Cocktails

Breadwinners recently debuted its new cocktail menu … and let me tell you, they’re worth trying.  From the skinny to spicy to sweet, they have something for everyone.

They are featuring what they’ve dubbed “Hangover Elixers”, their traditional mimosa, Bloody Diablo, Tito’s Texas Sunrise, and the peach bellini.  Of the drinks at the event, I have to say that BW’s Bloody Mary was one of my favorites.  It had just the right spice-factor and, of course, was adorned with bacon — which, let’s face it, makes everything better.

They included some new signature drinks in their new menu including an unexpected herby drink, the Basil Berry Cooler with vodka, fresh basil, and blackberries.  It was one of my favorites from the evening and it’s a definite recommendation.  Other new signature cocktails include:

  • Texas Bluebonnet Mojito: Texas rum, fresh mint, berries, lime
  • Prickly Pear Lemonade: vodka, lemonade, prickly pear nectar)
  • Big Easy: Southern Comfort, Chambord, lime
  • Frozen Cherry Limeade: 3 Olives cherry vodka, cherry juice, lime)
  • Ultimate Chocolate: Godiva, Stoli Vanil, Baileys
  • Orange Julius: Pinnacles whipped cream vodka, orange juice
  • Superfruit: Absolut Citron, berries

I really enjoyed the Frozen Cherry Limeade; it wasn’t too sweet and definitely had a nice amount of vodka for a frozen drink.  Remember: drink slowly and press your tongue to the roof of your mouth to avoid brain freeze.

The crowning glory of the new cocktail menu is their skinny options of which all of the cocktails are 125 calories or less.  SAWEEEET.  Breadwinners is now offering skinny versions of the cosmo, margarita, and lemon drop.

Overall, their new options are tasty and pack enough of a punch to merit the $8-10 price tag.  The new drinks are available at all three locations and some will be available at sister bar, Quarter Bar.

Dish

Each time I try a new place, I walk in with a flurry of excitement and my taste buds standing at attention.  My expectations are usually a little high, but with DISH they were matched.

On my first visit here, I was with a group of nine taking advantage of the Yelp! Eats deal ($25 for three courses à la KERA Restaurant Week – and yes, this was quite a while ago) and DISH was our restaurant of choice.  Dinner was at 6 p.m., Wicked was at 8 p.m. … and that apparently wasn’t a great plan.  After reminding our waitress multiple times and urging her to quicken her step, we still missed the first scene.  Despite the somewhat slow service, our waitress was very nice and suggested some great cocktails and food choices.

We all agreed on some flatbread for the table and that was the best choice we made all night!  The mushroom flatbread was to-die AND was half off – it doesn’t get better than that.  As for the salads, they are fresh and nicely presented but watch out for the juicy tomatoes … they may squirt and ruin your neighbor’s new, white shirt (sorry, Brando!).  The food menu has a wide range of options from pasta to short ribs that fall apart and will haunt your dreams they are so good.  It is their take on comfort food.

As for drinks, they have very inventive drinks that they have dubbed “culinary inspired drinks”.  If you’re looking for a sweet drink, try the Prairie Pomegranate Mojito, the Kiss & Tell, or the Strawberry Basil Margarita.  For more masculine options, go for a Manhattan becase the whole bar menu is skewed sweet.

The restaurant itself is very edgy.  The decore is quite innovative and, be prepared, the bathrooms are coed.  Most everyone there is interested in men anyway, so it doesn’t get awkward.  The wait staff is, on the whole, incredibly hospitable.  On my second visit, which was for a friend’s birthday, they brought a round of champagne for the table and a complimentary dessert.  Not too shabby.

Extra tip:  Parking is really difficult around the restaurant so definitely have a couple bucks so you can valet.

Go in with deep pockets and an appetite, you’ll need both.  Save room for dessert.

Drink strength: 4
Overall: 4.3

DISH
www.dish-dallas.com | @dish4123
4123 Cedar Springs Road | (214) 522-3474
8611 Hillcrest Avenue, Suite 100 | (214)363-3474

Specials:
Monday-Friday, 4-7 p.m. & Thursday, 9-11 p.m.
$2 off specialty cocktails, $4 calls, 1/2 price flatbread

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