Category Archives: Restaurants

THE SOCIAL HOUSE’S SUMMER SIPS & BITES

Summer is upon us, and we all know what that means, Dallas … patio season is now in full swing! With that said, The Social House recently had us come in to try out some fresh bites and Summer cocktails on the patio of their Addison location.

Everything we tried at the tasting was great. It may just be that I love mangos, but my favorite beverage was the Frozen Mango Margarita. The thickness of the fruit itself makes this frozen margarita taste more like a smoothie. It’s pretty awesome. If it’s food you’re after, check out the Irish Pork Nachos. They’re made with house-cut chips, topped with Ancho pulled pork, avocado mousse and pickled jalapeños …yes, it was as good as it sounds.

Whether you are looking for a great patio to lounge on a beautiful day, a tasty beverage after a long day or some delicious food for a grumbling stomach, The Social House is your one-stop shop!

PROTIP: Check out their amazing happy hour specials! For example, the cocktails shown above (or below) are all served at half-price during happy hour… Talk about the happiest of hours!

Social House Addison
5100 Belt Line Rd. #410
Addison, TX 75254
TEL: (972) 392-4300
Happy Hour: Monday-Friday from 4PM till 7PM

Life’s Better Under the Palm at Pollo Tropical

 

I may have pasty white skin and an absurd fear of sharks, but Florida runs in my blood and the beach will always be my home. That being said, the expansion of Pollo Tropical, a Florida chicken chain, to Addison sends a rush of pure bliss from my heart to my stomach.

This Floridian concept prides itself in fresh, bold island flavor using savory Caribbean spices, mixed herbs and citrus. They combine these for rubs and marinades that are the secret behind the tangy kick of Pollo Tropical’s vegetables and meats. Don’t mistake this place for another casual Mexican or Tex-Mex pit stop and miss out on items such as Refresca juices, Rum Punch, and Calypso Beef. If the bright, distinct colors and beach house facade don’t slap Caribbean across your face then go back to that bowl of melted Velveeta and put on your cone of shame.

Pollo Tropical’s menu represents the islands’ melting pot of culinary culture far different than the Mexican flavors Texans are used to. Naturally, all Texans love their meat and this joint does not disappoint. The grilled bone-in chicken is marinated in a blend of tropical fruit juices and spices and flame grilled with much TLC.  Clearly, the chicken is the star of this show (as POLLO means chicken in Spanish), but it’s so hard to choose a favorite—that’s why I order them all. One of my personal favorite is the Mojo Pork, a dish slow-roasted for four hours in a Mojo marinade of citrus juices, crushed garlic, onion, wine, and island spices that combine to create tender, juicy meat unlike anything you commonly find around town.

But one does not simply transcend to the island of Caribbean flavors without ordering sweet plantains and yuca fries. Sweet plantains are a cousin to the banana, most often baked or fried Pollo Tropical style to caramelized perfection. Yuca or cassava is the potato of the tropics that comes boiled or fried. I like mine fried and generously lathered in the cilantro garlic sauce.

Speaking of sauce…you thought Cane’s Chicken had the recipe to liquid gold? Pollo Tropical packs a punch of spice and zest with 10 unique signature sauces, including Curry Mustard, Guava BBQ, Pineapple Rum and Cilantro Garlic. Prepare yourself to make several trips, piling your table high with at least five cups of each, and smuggling out bags full of samples (it may feel dangerous, but everyone else does the same thing every visit).

Pollo Tropical provides all the island necessities to create your own TropiChop, sandwiches, salads, wraps, and even drinks. (This is Susie Drink Dallas, so clearly we speak of alcohol here.)  Choose a Caribbean beer or add Bacardi rum to one of the popular Refresca beverages, such as tropical breeze, mango peach or superfruit punch.

Dallas may be a landlocked city, but Pollo Tropical makes your beach fantasy come to life. This is their first Texas location, but expect about 20 more to pop up around Texas as diners quickly realize “Life’s better under the palm.”

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!

Del Frisco’s Double Eagle Steakhouse

Del Frisco’s Double Eagle Steakhouse is one of the staple steakhouses not just in the Dallas area, but in the country.  Its longstanding ranking among the best steakhouses made tonight’s visit to the flagship location pretty exciting for me.

The night of excess started with an Old Fashioned in true Susie fashion (Knob Creek Bourbon, muddled cherry, orange, sugar & bitters).  It was quite standard (as I’m super spoiled when it comes to OFs) and nothing too extraordinary, but you could actually taste the bourbon used and it wasn’t too diluted, which gave it a really delightful flavor.  (Because … ya know … I love bourbon.)  Luckily, the rest of the drinks were much more unique.

If you’re in for just one drink, make it Del’s Manhattan (Maker’s Mark Bourbon, Dolin Rouge Sweet Vermouth, bitters, Luxardo cherry).  It’s as smooth as a baby’s rump and as strong as Arnold back in the day.  They actually have barrels of Maker’s Mark in the upstairs office that they use (no, I wasn’t allowed to visit them), and the Manhattan is make with Luxardo cherries (because are there any others?).

Next up was the Pomegranate Martini (360 Vodka, PAMA Pomegranate liquor, splash of cranberry), which was quite sweet and reminded me of a drink my favorite cocktail creator/roommate, Sam, would make me after a long day of classes (and before my night classes) back in the day.  PAMA gives any cocktail an incredibly rich flavor —- and it makes it healthy, right?

Last up was the Blackberry Ginger Cocktail (Woodford Reserve Bourbon, fresh blackberries, fresh lemon juice, mint, splash of ginger beer).  It sounds like a girly little drink, huh?  WRONG.  It’s a powerful and flavorful little libation with a perfect splash of ginger beer to give it a little tingle and bubble.

As for food, we started with crab cakes (holy awesome … no filler here!) and onion rings (double awesome … they’re as big as my hand), and then proceeded to entrees.  I couldn’t resist the “feature” of three 4oz steaks with different sauces on each (fois gras butter, port wine, and peppercorn … I think*).  The steaks were tender, juicy, and amazingly savory.  Dessert was pretty incredible (lemon cake and cheesecake).  Their cheesecake is whipped, not baked, which makes it so light that it’s completely irresistible.  Like seriously … I’m meant to be on a diet and I definitely partook in (and took home leftovers of) most of it.  The crust is made with pecans, so if you have a nut allergy, you’re shit outta luck.  (Whatever, dude, more for me.)

Last note: Don’t expect to park your own car here … go ahead and resign yourself to the fact that you’re going to valet.  Even on a Monday night there wasn’t a parking space to be found.  No cash to tip?  No worries … they’ll let you charge a card to get some cash at the bar!

Del Frisco’s has already released their Valentine’s Day menu and are accepting reservations, so (for the guys out there), get a move on and make your girl’s day by having a plan for the night.  (And don’t forget the flowers and lingerie.)

*I’m not a food blogger … I do drinks.

Del Frisco’s Double Eagle Steakhouse
delfriscos.com | @del_friscos | Facebook.com/DelFrisco
5251 Spring Valley Road
(972) 490-9000

****I was invited to join Del Frisco’s for a meal this evening and my meal was on the house.****

P.F. Chang’s

Saké has met its match at P.F. Chang’s!  The every-man’s “fancy” Asian Bistro has revamped its cocktail menu to include some more well-known cocktails than previously offered, such as a Moscow Mule, sangria, and their version of a Bloody Mary, the Sichuan Mary.

My party tried the Moscow Mule (not terrible at all, and quite strong), the sangria (really nothing too unique, but it’ll hit the spot if you’re looking for something refreshing), and the Manhattan Gone A-Rye (delicious and strong as s**t … if you like Manhattans).  I was pleased by the flavors, and look forward to trying the Coconut Lemon Sour and Black Tea Gimlet on my next visit.

P.F. Chang’s still offers a full bar, beer (lists customized with regional offerings), wine, and saké.

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