Category Archives: Bar Food

Brickhouse Tavern + Tap

Brickhouse in Plano has a new menu. (More “bro” food, more potent drinks, ya know.)  I was excited to visit because I had no idea until this invite that Texas had so many Brickhouse locations! It’s the perfect restaurant to meet up with a buddy, watch a game, or have a group happy hour. Fireplaces and spacious seating areas with tables and booths are abundant in this large, yet super friendly environment.

The table of bloggers and writers started the night with some of Brickhouse’s signature drinks; I was most eager to try out their well-known Bloody Good Mary (Skyy Vodka, Zing-Zang, Guinness, and Pickle Juice topped off the specialty with salami, smoked cheddar, olives, a deviled egg, and a spiced pork rind rim). From the first sip, this bloody lived up to everything I remembered it to be–spicy and full bodied with a little snack to nibble on as you savor the drink.

Brickhouse Bloody
Bloody Good Mary

Another one of my favorite cocktails this evening was one of the drinks my awesome servers suggested, the Blackberry Collins (Tito’s vodka, St. Germain, club soda, and muddled blackberries). They top this sweet drink with a sprig of mint which offsets the sweetness, as well as a skewered blackberry … because the muddled ones unfortunately hold zero aesthetic value despite the wonderful flavor they add to the cocktail.

Although the drinks at Brickhouse are plentiful and delicious, this place doesn’t slack on their food.  Read: you’re not stuck with ordinary bar food. Brickhouse served up delicious appetizers and it was extremely hard to pick a favorite. (I will say that you can’t let the duck wings pass you by here!) These crispy wings are tossed in their house-made “Man Cave” sauce and cilantro and are served with a side of Sriracha ranch which gives it a sweet and spicy flavor. If you’re looking to add a few more appetizers to your order, don’t miss out on their deviled eggs made with smoky bacon and a hint of jalapeños, or their parmesan and panko breaded zucchini curls – also served with a side of the Sriracha ranch.

Brickhouse is home to many flavorful choices when it comes to burgers, but their chargrilled Bison Burger takes the top prize for me. They top this slightly sweet patty with jalapeño cilantro mayo, sweet, thick cuts of candied bacon, mild cheddar cheese, lettuce, tomato, and onion and serve it to you on a perfectly toasted brioche bun. If you’re a fan of bison, this dish is a must-try. I would skip the traditional fries and go for one of their many specialty French fry options. My favorite was the garlic parmesan; the spuds came out golden brown and topped with fresh garlic and parmesan cheese.

Being a recent Chicago transplant, I’m always on the lookout for great pizza. I was surprised by their brick-oven pizza; it was amazingly fresh and delicious. I ordered the Kobe Brick Pizza, which featured marinara, American Wagyu beef, brick cheese, caramelized onions, oven roasted tomatoes, crispy bacon and arugula. The pizza was served fresh from the oven and was a great spin on the classic Italian brick oven specialty. I loved the addition of kobe beef and crispy bacon!

Kobe Pizza

Be sure to check out Brickhouse and take a look at their expansive brunch, lunch, and dinner menus. There’s something on the menu for everyone and you will never leave disappointed. From their friendly and quick staff, to their fresh drink and food ingredients, you’ll experience a new favorite place on your very first visit.

Brick House Tavern + Tap Grill
brickhousetavernandtap.com
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Preston Park Village, 4900 W Park Blvd
(972) 596-0916

Picture courtesy of Brickhouse.
Anna was treated to a meal at Brickhouse free of charge.

Fat Rabbit

Dallas has a lot of restaurants come and go and come back and go again.  Upon Sfuzzi’s more recent exit from McKinney Avenue, Fat Rabbit, a new player took over its space … and brought along a logo with their own version of Harvey sporting a pretentious tux and jaunty spectacles.  Fat Rabbit came to us from a North/South Carolina restauranteur, Peter Lloyd, as his first Texan undertaking.  Apparently, we’ll see more from him as One Dallas is built (the new high-rise that is being constructed in the Hard rock Cafe field on McKinney) as he will be opening a restaurant in it.

The restaurant, complete with a generous patio and upstairs “VIP” bar (called Masque), bills itself as purveyor of American food.  While that sounds a bit “done” for the area, they do it well.  Their food selections are all over the place—just their appetizers offer items from tuna tartar to hummus to hot wings—talk about an identity crisis.  The good part?  They somehow seem to do it all right.

Fat Rabbit is in the heart of Uptown right on McKinney, so you know that they better either do their drinks really well … or really big.  They offer a full beer list with some locals and the usual suspects, wine options by the glass and bottle, champagnes actually from champagne, and, of course, cocktails.  I was honored to have been joined at dinner by Jackie of Pretty Petals (looking adorable, as always), and we had to stay away from fried things (I’m doing the Lent thing and gave it up), but aside from our limitations, we made some great selections if I do say so myself.

Their new cocktail menu launched last week and, thanks to the manager, Trevor’s suggestion, I started with one of their new Irish whiskey cocktails (because, if you have ever read anything I’ve ever written, you know that I’m a huge Irish whiskey nut), the Ron Burgundy (2 Gingers Irish Whiskey, Benedictine, simple syrup, Peychauds & peach bitters).  If I had my druthers, I would have stuck with this drink the whole night as it was perfectly light with enough kick to keep it interesting.  Their bar program keeps it local when possible but not as a rule.  They also play with some different (yet still mainstream) ingredients to make their drinks a bit unique.

Jackie started with the Peach Keen (Deep Eddy Peach vodka, lemon juice, raspberry), which was sweet, so it’s the safer play if you don’t like spirit forward cocktails.  Their Summer Beer (Ketel Citroen, lemon, peach bitters, simply syrup, Revolver Blood & Honey) set the stage perfectly for the amazing patio season we have ahead of us–the peach bitters and the honey notes in the Revolver Blood & Honey both gave it just the slightest sweetness.

And … since apparently one cannot survive on booze alone (unfortunately) … we also dined.  We started with Tuna Tartar (scallions, sesame sweet soy glaze, togarashi served with wonton chips) and they were nice enough to bring me lettuce since the chips were fried.  The tuna came as a generous potion of fresh and tender tuna with just enough of the glaze to keep it interesting.  We followed that up with the Lamb Burger Sliders (lamb patty with pine nuts topped with roasted red peppers and tzatziki sauce) which were quite good, but weren’t our favorite.

We weren’t ready to commit to a whole, single entree each, so we ordered a few things for the table.  Again … we did well.  Their Lobster Mac & Cheese was un-real.  They add just a bit of truffle oil that balances the four cheese nicely without being overpowering.  Our lovely waitress suggested the Breakfast Pizza (candied bacon, tomato, quail eggs, Sriracha aioli), which, if you remember back to Sfuzzi, they had their own version … so it just seemed fitting.  I love that they candied the bacon for this pizza to give it a sweetness to counteract the spiciness of the Sriracha aioli (which I’d suggest getting on the side).  The winner of the night was, without a doubt, the Brussels sprouts.  I mean … hot damn, y’all.  I wanted to plant a hair in them at the very end so they’d have to bring me another order of them.  But that would be immoral … or something.

Fat Rabbit is open for lunch, dinner, and late night (SCORE) along with weekend brunch  (I’m going to get my ass in there soon to try their red velvet pancakes and mimosa bar), and they also hold events from time to time.  Tomorrow (Monday, March 13), they’ll be screening the final episode of “The Bachelor”–who do you think Ben will pick?  And later this month, they’re bringing in the 2 Gingers Irish Whiskey’s brand ambassador, James Dillon, to host a whiskey pairing dinner on March 23–3 course and cocktail for $45?  In … get your ticket to join me!

If the promise of good food and drink don’t pique your interest, maybe one of their weekly specials will.

Monday – $3 pints, 1/2 price dinner menu starting at 6pm
Tuesday – Service Industry Night (1/2 price burgers, sandwiches, & flatbreads starting at 8pm
Wednesday – 1/2 price bottles of wine
Thursday – live music starting at 8pm
Friday – DJ starting at 10pm
Saturday – brunch at 11am-4pm (mimosa & bloody mary bar), DJ starting at 10pm
Sunday – brunch at 11am-4pm (mimosa & bloody mary bar), live music starting at 3pm


FAT RABBIT
fatrabbitdallas.com
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2533 McKinney Ave.
(469) 941-4085

Vetted Well is … well … vetted.

Vet – verb \vet\ the careful and critical examination of quality

Vetted Well, the new bar above the recently-opened Alamo Drafthouse on South Lamar, may be one of my new favorite places.  Damn good food, a great beer selection (complete with 10 perfectly-paired boilermakers), one of the best rooftop patios in Dallas, themed private karaoke rooms, and a location directly above a quirky movie theater make for a great experience.

While Vetted Well does a lot … well … they have done well in not specializing in anything at the expense of others.  Perfect example: they have a damn good (local) beer selection (cans, bottles, and a bunch of drafts), but also have awesome cocktails and a small (but thoughtful) wine list.  They have some healthy food, but also some food that makes you want to break your Lenten commitment not to eat fried food (oops …).

IMGP5701

My review was actually my second visit … my first visit was with a  couple girlfriends after a movie to catch up a bit.  We enjoyed a shit ton of popcorn (which, if you order in the bottomless popcorn in the theater, you can continue working on finding the bottom upstairs), a Darker & Stormier (a seriously delicious take on the Dark & Stormy–apply brandy, Black Seal rum, ginger, lime, and crushed ice) and The Traveling Man (Eagle Rare 10 Yr. & Karback Weekend Warrior whiskey).  I was so excited to come back, that I nearly died when I saw the email inviting me in for a review.

I was spoiled with a couple boilermakers, a couple cocktails, and alllllllll the food (more on that later because, cocktails).  Their Moscow Mule was the traditional recipe (vodka, lime, ginger beer) and was well mixed, but the copper vessel was badass–because I’m kind of over copper mugs.  Next out was the Kentucky Buck (bourbon, strawberry, lemon, bitters, ginger beer), which was completely refreshing and I cannot wait to sit on their patio and sip one three of these on a warm, spring afternoon.

Let’s get back to those boilermakers.  Ten options, all decidedly Dallas with names like The Grassy Knoll and The Big Tex, make for a good challenge.  I’m four down so far, (… not as accomplished as Kevin, but I’m working on it) and I’m enjoying the progress.  Paired thoughtfully, my favorite so far is The Sears & Roebuck (Gran Classico & 512 Pecan Porter), but I look forward to trying the remaining six to see if it stays on top.  (There was talk about the technique behind drinking a boilermaker.  Do you take the shot of whiskey then sip the beer, sip both at once, or dunk the shot?)

Now … the food.  Everything they make is as homemade as possible from the mustard to the … other delicious stuff, and they also source from local vendors like Empire Bakery.  They’re currently serving lunch from their kitchen with brunch and then dinner to follow, but if you’re up there for dinner now, you can get items from the Alamo Drafthouse kitchen.  They bring it up with a dumbwaiter,  which they claim can hold 200 pounds … and I’m still upset they wouldn’t let me ride in it.  (Read: stay tuned for a staged dumbwaiter incident complete with live Twitter feed.)

We started with the Biscuit Beignets.  They hit the table and I knew my Lenten “no fried food” pledge was in trouble.  I figured that, as my mom says, Sundays are cheat days … and I’d been to church earlier.  So, I dug in.  I’m damn glad I did.  These fluffy, fried nuggets are perfectly light and come with dippable cinnamon sugar, raspberry syrup, vanilla bean crème, and spiced rum caramel.  Hot damn.  Next up was more fried goodness (because why just be a little bad?), Croquettes with smoked gouda, potato, bacon, and green onion, and served with a dill-lish dill ranch.  (Terrible joke … sorry.)  To round out the first “course”, they brought out the Panzanella Salad which, aside from the Brussels sprout I snuck off the plate while taking a picture, was snapped up before I could take a bite.

The heavy hitters of the meal were still to come–the 24-Hour Brined Pork Chop, Chicken Fried Chicken with Local Honey, Carved Turkey on Hippie Bread, and the Cubano sandwich.  All delicious and all recommended.  They mix it up by serving the pork chop with a waffle–take that chicken and waffles!  I’ll be having this one again thanks to the incredibly flavorful chop.  My other favorite was the Cubano (roasted pork, sliced ham, Swiss cheese, house pickles, and beer mustard served with traditional tostones).

I’m actually upset with myself for not requesting the Vetted Well Burger … this thing is a work of art–a burger with pork beans and pork belly?  That’s some genius shit right there.

Overall, Vetted Well is quite the delight.  The patio is unreal–both the front and back one.  The front patio has a great view of Downtown Dallas and the back patio is complete with locally made furniture and a giant outdoor screen where they’ll show classic movies a couple times a week.  If that’s not enough entertainment, check out one of their four themed private karaoke rooms for rent by the hour to accommodate 6-20 people.  You know I’ll be hitting those rooms hard with some hardcore Hall & Oates.  The karaoke rooms will be open to the public starting Thursday.

I can’t wait for the next rainy weekend when I can commit to spending an entire day bouncing between the theater and Vetted Well to get my hands on their burger.  Who’s with me?

Overall, I think their name is deserved.  I was told that “vetted” is used often in the military as a quality check.  While I’m not military, I feel as though I can still give this place my seal of approval–it has been vetted … and it’s gooooood.


VETTED WELL
vettedwell.com
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1005 S Lamar St, Dallas, TX 75215
214-695-7009

SUN-THURS: 11:00am – close
FRI-SAT: 11:00am – 2:00am

Plucker’s: Addison

After much anticipation, we arrived at the Addison Pluckers “soft opening” to see a line that must have been a couple hundred customers eager for some wings and beer.  There is plenty of parking available around the restaurant in the Village on the Green Shopping Center sparing people from playing parking lot Hunger Games.  All the tables are good size and able to accommodate groups (i.e. plenty of room for multiple plates, Motherpluckers, baskets, AND drinks without feeling like you’re flying coach and have to keep your arms tucked to avoid getting knocked around).  The restaurant is loaded with large flat screens on nearly every wall, facing every direction, making it impossible not to get a good view of the game.  (Sorry, non-sport enthusiasts … yes, we’re listening to you even if we’re not looking at you.)

Being Pluckers virgins, we relied  on our waiters (one trainer & one learning the ropes) for recommendations.  They done good.  (Note, Pluckers doesn’t use table runners or bussers, instead these type of tasks are a basic expectation for all staff which translated into prompt and attentive service throughout your visit.)

We started off with a baskets of Magic Mushrooms, complete with their famous Dirty Bird sauce, and washed them down a signature Pluckers Lemonade for myself (a vodka Lemonade cocktail perfect for a sunny spring day) and a Psychedelic Frog (a 4 liquor, 3 mixer neon green drink) for Katie*.  Both drinks were served in mason jars, which is just cool.  Pluckers’s cocktail menu offers diners better-than-typical drinks you wouldn’t expect to find at a wing-bar, like Toxic Tea (a sweet tea, lemonade, vodka drink), the Batman (made with Austin’s own Tito’s Vodka), Effen Good Bloody Mary, and more.  The drinks were decently strong, and incredibly dangerous.  (Wait, there was a bunch of liquor in that? Someone call Uber.)

 

For the main event, we ordered a basket of boneless wings with spicy mandarin sauce and the buffalo chicken sandwich.  Among the plethora of places serving wings these days — most of which all I have frequented many times over — the wings really differentiate Pluckers from the others.  The wings themselves were hefty, providing considerably more meat than I was use to getting, and they are perfect glazed in the requested sauce and not drenched or dry fried batter nuggets commonly met with disappoint by wing lovers everywhere.  The wings and sandwich were enjoyed with our second round of drinks, the Batman and the Effen Good Bloody Mary (which seriously lived up to its name).

Bottom line:  This place has good food, GREAT wings, and some unique food options (like the fried Twinkie!) along with decent prices and attentive service.  Drink-wise, they have a variety of “specialty” drink options and plenty of beers on-tap (because: sports + beer = good).  Pluckers is making a (bigger) name for themselves in DFW with more locations opening left and right, and rightfully so! Needless to say, I know where I’m watching the NBA playoffs!


Pluckers Wing Bar – Addison
www.pluckers.com | @pluckers
5100 Belt Line Road, Suite 520 | Addison TX
(972)490-WING

Daily Specials (full list of this location specials here)
Monday – drink specials/All You Can Eat Wings (every other week)
Tuesday – Texas Tuesdays (drink specials on TX beers and liquors)
Wednesday – Pluckers Club Special (coming soon)
Thursday – Tijuana Thursdays(drink specials on Mexican beers and liquors)
Friday – Teacher Freebie Friday

*Note from Susie: Katie is his beautiful, new bride (of one month).  Send them your congratulations!!

Picture of Motherplucker borrowed from Pluckers!