Category Archives: Restaurants

A Good Friend to Have

Again, I traveled outside of my bubble.  And again, I was glad I did.  I’m sure you’ve heard the buzz about Goodfriend, the new beer and burger house over on Peavy and Garland Road one of the Vickery Park owners and a former Vick bartender, Matt and Josh, respectively.  I’ll start by saying this, don’t wait to go until after reading this — get off your ass and go NOW.

My boyfriend and I prepared for our adventure with a full tank of gas, water bottles, and granola bars stocked … you know, just in case.  The drive there wasn’t bad at all.  Take Mockingbird east and just keep onnnnnnnnn going until you see white lights strung across a huge patio on your left that will beam you in.  Parking was an issue, but I found a spot that my car hardly fit in, but fit nonetheless.  (I didn’t take the time to figure out where alternate parking was – sorry).

Give yourself plenty of time for this dinner because you’re probably going to wait.  So many make the trip for the delicious food and drink at Goodfriend that we were told that there was an hour wait.  We ordered a drink and found a seat without a grumble because the place smelled so good that we didn’t want to risk being kicked out for being bratty patrons.  The staff was so friendly that that probably wouldn’t be an issue even if we were rude.

 

Time to set the scene: a giant horseshoe-shaped bar is the center of the restaurant with bar seating on the left and restaurant seating on the right and stained glass above the bar.  The decor is a hodge-podge of rustic engineering-type paraphernalia with an industrial touch including a giant table with a HUUUUGE fan inside.  Sports fans: there are big TVs in the bar seating area and behind the bar and for commercials breaks you can enjoy the two dart boards in the corner.

The drinks were delicious.  The cocktail menu is whiskey heavy with their list of whiskey cocktails dubbed the Magnificent Seven — and they are (magnificent, that is).  I started with a Manhattan, the likes of which would have given my Manhattan-loving uncle a run for his money.  After drinking the Manhattan, I felt like I could box a kangaroo – true story.  The drinks were strong and I look forward to making a second trip to try some of the other M7s like John the Baptist, Bobby Burns, and the Goodfriend itself.

The offerings at GF include an American craft beer menu which will feature standard craft beers, seasonal beers, and special release brews.  Get bored with beers easily?  They post their “rotator” beers on a huge piece of paper inside the bar (and on Facebook) that are switched out quite often.  In addition to their beers they have a fully (and I mean FULLY) stocked bar.

Goodfriend Burger

The food was ah-mazing.  We made our way to our hard-earned table and when Matt handed us our menus, deciding which burger to order was one of the more difficult decisions I’ve faced in a month (I live a charmed life).  They offer grass fed burgers and some more exotic options as well as a veggie burger (if you must).  I landed on the Lolita lamb burger, the Boy had a turkey burger, and of course we got cheese fries to share.  The burgers were delectable and I finished every bite of mine along with a good portion of the cheese fries (the ranch is mind blowing).  The stomach ache was well worth it!

Goodfriend Beer Garden and Burger House
facebook | @goodfriendbgbh
1154 Peavy Rd., Dallas, TX 75218
(214) 324-3335

Wild Salsa

I’m always stoked to try new places and the new taco joint (if you can call it a joint) on Main was a pleasure.  Upon walking up to the front door, I was worried that the entire place would take the lead of the awkward sign in front, but it certainly didn’t.

The decor was complete with backlit Patron bottle columns (top right), authentic Día de los Muertos art from Mexico City, and a curtain separating the walkway from the bar seating area with rose designs on them.  It was quite a festive atmosphere and I look forward to heading back to explore the concrete bar further – it spanned half the restaurant!

The patio was lit by large string lights and was complete with tables and one in particular with a fire pit smack dab in the middle.  I look forward to heading back to enjoy the patio when it dips below triple-digit temperatures to watch the beautiful people frequenting the adjacent Mercantile pool.

Once at our table, our waitress recommended the Wild Rita … the Wild Rita was no slouch.   It was spicy, fragrant, rimmed with chili-lime salt, and it was BIG.  I’d give the drink a AAA rating – and I don’t even like tequila!  They also have Negra Modelo, Dos Equis, and Bud light on tap, a drink list with five interesting margaritas and six cocktails to choose from.

The only thing better than the margarita was the food.  The chips were just about average, but the avocado salsa was to die for; it’s no wonder that this place is called Wild Salsa (I went through two bowls myself before our food came).  They offer other salsas for a cost and sadly my dinner guest didn’t feel the need to try them … bummer.  I partook in the three-taco platter with rice and beans and tried three different ones … including a “lengua”, or beef tongue, and it was delicious!  They use local ingredients and they are listed on a chalkboard at the front of the shop.

Bottom line: I like a swanky place that can still keep its focus on the food and drink, and Wild Salsa does just that.  Definitely put a night aside to jump in here and enjoy the unique fare and strong drinks.

Extra info: they have a great wait staff, everyone is very friendly.  Food is served late on Fridays and Saturdays (but I don’t know how late).  ALSO, they may be opening for some serious late-night drunk taco action because they have what looks like a to-go window on Main.

Drink strength: 4.5
Overall: 4

Wild Salsa 
www.wildsalsarestaurant.com
1800 Main St (Downtown) | 214-741-WILD

Specials:
Monay-Friday | 4-7 p.m. | $3.50 beers, $4 house margaritas, $4 wells

Bailey’s Prime (Closed)

Bailey’s, the Cedar Hill transplant that opened a couple years ago in the brand new Shops at Park Lane, is HANDS DOWN one of my new favorite fancy happy hour spots.  I’d say it’s right up there with Perry’s, only trumping it with its longer hours.

After visiting Bailey’s for a “working” lunch and Mother’s Day brunch, I was eager to try their famed all-night happy hour.  I was glad I finally made it in because my time there was one of the more fun nights I’ve had in a while.  (I’ll attribute that a little to the company and a little to the location.)

The whole staff seems to be there to make your experience amazing.  Perfect example: my mom invited me to meet her when I was walking out of the grocery with items that needed refrigeration.  On the way to the resto, I called and asked if they could free up some fridge space for my groceries and they gladly obliged.  The bartenders (Pedro and Kelly) will get you anything you want and will even take you for a swing on the dance floor if you so desire; on that note, Kelly is one of the better bartenders I’ve seen in Dallas from a service standpoint.

The drinks are delicious and STRONG.  Try some of their signature cocktails offered on the happy hour menu like the Cosmotini, Pomegranate Martini, or the bourbon-based, Forty Apples.  I enjoyed the VERY cucumber-y Cucumber Martini and would have died to try the French Seventy Five Martini – I didn’t want to venture into champagne on a school night.

The food is equally as good (and equally as discounted).  We got an order of their homemade chips and they were delicious as was their fresh-baked bread.  You know a restaurant is good when you see Kent Rathbun stop in for a bite!

Last word: Make sure you check in on Foursquare because they have one of the most generous check-ins specials I’ve seen – a free glass of their house Malbec, no strings attached.

Drink strength: 4
Overall: 4.5

Bailey’s Prime Plus
www.baileysprimeplus.com
8160 Park Lane #130 (Shops at Park Lane) | (214) 750-8100

Specials:
Monday-Thursday (4-7 p.m.) and Friday (4-11 p.m.)
$5 house wines, $6 signature cocktails, $2 domestic beer, $4 well drinks

Live bands:  Friday and Saturday nights

Perry’s Steakhouse | Uptown Dallas

Let’s start with some education: the restaurant on Routh many Dallasites know of as Perry’s has changed its name to The Place at Perry’s.  Don’t be confused because they are both steakhouses – however, I am giving my thoughts only about the newly opened Perry’s on McKinney.  That being said, here we go!

My visit to Perry’s was one of the most enjoyable happy hours I’ve had in quite a while.  I have been back since my initial visit and loved it as much as I did the first time around – maybe even more actually.

Picture courtesy of Perry’s Steakhouse

From now on, you will be able to find me here most Fridays starting around 3:30 p.m. partaking in their Friday lunch special of Perry’s Famous Pork Chop served with whipped potatoes and homemade applesauce for only $13.95 before 4 p.m.  If a pork chop doesn’t tickle your fancy, take part in one (hell, two, three, or even four) of the Social Hour appetizer options.  My favorites were the fried asparagus with lump crab meat*, homemade Polish sausage, and the Kobe burger.  My friend Casey made the following comment after eating the Kobe burger: “THIS burger for is on happy hour?”*  Glances at girlfriend and says emphatically, “We’re comin’ back!”

After eating your fill, stay for a couple hours and enjoy the cocktail offerings they have for Bar 79 Social Hour.  There is a cocktail for everyone here.  If you can’t decide, try the flight of cocktails which includes three inventive concoctions in sippable sizes.  Their mojitos are the perfect drink for summer, hands down.  In addition they have a drink that is Perry’s take on a Manhattan that the men at the table thoroughly enjoyed (a few times over).  Their fruit is incredible and is prepared fresh daily; head chef Danny does fruit quality control daily to ensure it’s at its best.

Aside from the fantastic discounted food and drinks, the atmosphere is relaxing and inviting with live music to lighten the mood in the bar and entertain.  There is an air of sophisticated relaxation in the bar area and the patio boasts a giant inverted umbrella with plenty of seating.  If you want to catch a game without spending time at a dive bar, they have a TV behind the hand-etched glass bar (with hilarious quotes about drinking) so you can nosh on their brilliant food while watching.  If you can, try to get the middle table, though, you’ll feel like you’re in the VIP section!

The wait staff at Perry’s is unmatched; they offer VERY helpful suggestions, crack jokes, and are incredibly attentive.  Between Mark, Howard, Rich the bartender, Kennan, and Martin, our waiter, we were never in want for another drink or a even a napkin.

I’ll see all of you there on Friday!


Perry’s Steakhouse & Grille

www.perryssteakhouse.com
Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Pinterest
2000 McKinney Ave., Suite 100 | 214-855-5151

PERRY’S NOW HAS A LOCATION IN FRISCO, TX ALSO. CHECK OUT RACHEL’S REVIEW OF THE NEW SPOT!

Drink strength: 3.8
Overall: 4.4

Specials:

Social Hour | Monday-Friday, 4-6:30 p.m.
discounted seasonal cocktails, wines, and appetizers

Live Music | Monday-Thursday, 6-10 p.m.
Friday & Saturday | 6-11 p.m.

*Initial post written quite a while ago.  Pricing has been updated to reflect changes!

Eddie V’s

Since being into Eddie V’s, I have heard their advertisements on NPR quite a few times (yes, I am an avid listener and junkie), and each time I hear it, my mouth waters; it has to be a Pavlovian response.  Juicy steaks, ridiculously fresh seafood, fantastic live music, a touch of opulence, and inventive drinks … just a small taste of what the Austin transplant, Eddie V’s, has to offer.

Two of my man friends and I took an evening off from our hectic lives to relax and enjoy the V Lounge in the newly opened watering hole and eatery on Oak Lawn.  Right out of the gate, we knew we were in for a treat when we walked into the dimly-lit resto and were greeted by three friendly staffers and let into a beautifully decorated dining room with a large wrap-around bar.

We sat in the lounge so we could fully enjoy the live music from the band which boasted covers of my favorite genre: the Rat Pack, Frank, newer pop(py) songs … and they accept requests.  I got a “shout out” and it was definitely a highlight!

The service left nothing to be desired and the wait staff was fun, bantered with the table, and was quick to suggest the best of the best on the menu – both food and bar.  Our table had quite a few drinks and they were all incredibly creative and stout!  Their martini was perfectly dirty and just reading their list of mojitos and margaritas alone is enough to make your taste buds stand at attention – and they don’t disappoint.   As you can see below, the menu offers a plethora of happy hour drinks and half price appetizers at a great price.

As for food … while I am no foodie, my friend who has been to culinary school and makes food to curl your toes was just as impressed with the food as I was.  Their crispy cashew calamari is some of the best I’ve ever had.  The Maryland style all lump crab cake is a force with which to be reckoned and lives up to its name; it doesn’t mess around with its helping of crab.  At the prices during happy hour, try as many as you can fit in your stomach!

Bottom line: try out Eddie V’s.  It’s great for a nicer night when you want to ditch the flip flops and enjoy a more mature group at HH.  Their happy hour is an economical way to try the amazing offerings they have!

Drink strength: 3.8
Overall: 4


Eddie V’s Dallas

www.eddiev.com | @eddievsdallas
4023 Oak Lawn Ave | (214)890-1500

Specials:
Happy Hour Nightly | 4-7 pm | $5+ drinks below, $0.75-8 select appetizers
Martinis: Original, Jolly Rancher, Passiontini, green apple, mai tai-tini
Mojitos: original, raspberry, orange, citrus, dragon berry
Wines by the glass: Chardonnay, Merlot, Cabernet,
Hand crafted margaritas: Blood orange, passion fruit, pomegranate pink grapefruit

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

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

Campisi’s

The Campisi name is well known in Dallas (and across the US thanks to Courtney’s work with Playboy and Corky’s reality show) and for a good reason … they make a damn good pizza.

The Downtown location’s happy hour is quite a deal: drastically discounted drinks and free pizza.  Who would turn this deal down?  We decided to take a nice walk from my friend’s place instead of desperately looking for a place to park (which I’d recommend) and it proved to be the best idea we’ve had in a while – NONE of us should have been driving after our happy hour at Campisi’s!

The wait staff was incredibly helpful and Sarah, the bartender, was good for a couple jokes and played along with our silly bar games.  Service was snappy and they made sure that we got as much pizza as wanted before it was confiscated by the kitchen.

Most of the people at happy hour were the Downtown crowd just grabbing a quick drink and a bite and the others who just finished work.  None of the happy hour goers strayed outside of their groups, but everyone was fun to watch.

Since you can’t beat this deal, take part – who knows, you may see one of the famous family members while noshing.

Drink strength: 3.5
Overall: 3.8

Campisi’s Downtown
www.campisis.us
1520 Elm St, Ste 111 | (214)752-0141

Specials:
Monday-Friday | 5-7 p.m. | $2.50 domestics, house wine, $3 wells, and all other drinks discounted, also – FREE PIZZA