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
2726 Commerce Street | (214) 741-4406
Monday – Friday | 4-7 p.m. | $2.50 domestic drafts, $3.50 premium drafts, $3 house wine, $2.50 house cocktails
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.
1839 North Henderson Avenue | (214) 826-0505
Walking into my favorite pizza place in Dallas last week, it felt different … and I liked it. The new menu items sound incredible and the extra seating made me hopeful that I’d never have to face another 45 minute wait for a table!
The pizza at Coal Vines is TO DIE. My best friend from Austin orders a white pizza (not the white special) to take back with her each time she visits. Yes, it’s that delicious.
The mimosa was just ok; they didn’t jump on the bottomless bandwagon as so many brunch destinations have so I don’t know if I’d come here just for their drink specials. Their wine selection is good and they also sell retail if you want to take it home to enjoy.
The people who dine at this establishment are the Uptown see-and-be-seen type. They stop here and gobble a pie and guzzle a bottle before hitting the town. The only problem with that is that every time I eat here, I leave so full that I can’t rally for a fun night out!
Stop in and grab a glass of wine and a pizza; don’t forget to be extra nice to their New York implant, Uncle John at the front door! Everyone in Dallas should try this place once to know what good pizza tastes like.
Coal Vines Pizza
2404 Cedar Springs Rd | Dallas, TX 75201
Sunday | 11 a.m. – 3 p.m. | $4 mimosas, poinsettias, Pompelmos, and peach lemonade bellinis
The Lombardis know how to do brunch. $1 mimosas and bellinis can’t miss – but the food at Taverna makes the brunch that much better.
When I arrived, I was waiting on the rest of my 6-person party that was in from Pittsburgh. The waiter showed me to my table and entertained me until they showed … with one extra. “NO PROBLEM!” Another seat appeared without much drama. Five minutes later, another surprise guest. “NO PROBLEM!” Another seat appeared and all that was missing was a water.
As I mentioned, the food was great. The crab eggs benedict were (according to one of my dining companions), “The best I’ve ever had west of Pittsburgh!” There’s a compliment if I’ve ever heard one. I had the breakfast calzone and it was great, but make sure you split it because it’s HUGE.
The drinks, superb and quickly replenished … though I would say a big of creme de cassis would have made them a bit better. Pay attention to the small print; the drinks are only $1 if you get an entree.
Taverna was a great place for brunch – as all the Lombardi restaurants are!
3210 Armstrong Ave | Dallas, TX 75205-4131
You can visit a Taverna in Dallas, Fort Worth, and Austin.
Saturday and Sunday | 10 a.m. – 3 p.m. | $1 bellinis or mimosas with purchase of an entree
We all know that Kent Rathbun can cook … little did we know the man who defeated Bobby Flay on “Iron Chef” is also a master of mixology behind the bar.
After sloshing through the rain, walking through the rotating doors into Blue Plate was like walking into a (classy) cabin – I almost expected to see a crackling fire and hear a triangle beckoning me for dinner. The sidways rain outside begged a drink and our bartender, Autumn, served them up with a smile.
I had a Raspberrytini, Passionate Kiss, and the Rip Tide (Autumn’s creation). All three were fantastic (and not only because of the price tag) and the various wines ordered around the table were enjoyed, nay, savored. Special commendation should be offered for the Dirty Blue Martinis, a martini with bleu cheese stuffed olives (sadly, I am allergic to blue cheese so can’t give my personal opinion on this drink).
We ordered appetizers, chowed down on the bread basket, and sipped our cocktails without realizing 3-1/2 hours slipped by. Nine o’clock on a Friday night cut our night short but we enjoyed every second in Kent Rathbun’s world … even though the plates weren’t blue.
Rathbun’s Blue Plate Kitchen
6130 Luther Ln | (214) 890-1103
www.kentrathbun.com/blueplate/dallas | @chef911
11am – 6pm | half off $8 wine selections by the glass
11am – 6pm, 9pm – 11pm | specialty cocktails $5, traditional cocktails $4
Here’s the deal … I’d love to write a witty intro for J.Pepe’s, but I’m hungover from all the fun that started there last night! 4 drinks and an enchilada dinner into my evening I was only $13.50 down and somewhat buzzed (which for me rarely happens after only 4 drinks). Pretty fantastic for a Monday evening.
The drinks aren’t too watered down, and the bartender, Asher, was really nice (even though he wouldn’t replace our salsa??). I told him to make me my next drink when it got down to a certain line on the glass … and he did. Quite impressive. He even gave us input on a discussion we were having.
They also have a pool that people can actually use – enough said.
Bottom line: J.Pepe’s has the right idea … cheap drinks, friendly people, and a pool. Done.
3619 Greenville Ave | (214)821-6431
Monday | $2 Domestics & wells … 1/2 price enchiladas
Tuesday | $3 You-call-its
Wednesday | $1 Drafts
Thursday | 2.50 Margaritas
Friday | $2.50 Wells after 6pm
Saturday | $2.50 Wells after 6pm
Sunday | $3 Margaritas, $3 Bloody Mary
Did you know that, during Prohibition, vodka tonics were called “Victor Tangos” to ensure stealth when referring to the drink? Well, that’s the line the charismatic host, Greg Katz, fed us and immediately followed it with a letdown: vodka didn’t make its way into mainstream American culture until the 1950s (fact for the day) … it was a great story, but it’s really too darn bad that this isn’t true because that would have been a great reason to dub a bar Victor Tangos.
Barring the completely boring origin of the name, the bar has much to offer. For all you New York transplants (i.e. my boss), it did remind me quite a bit of The Volstead to which my expert in The City, Sam, took me. … for the rest of us it’s a great peek into the New York bar scene.
While the tastiness of the drinks and food cause you to overorder (and overeat!), it’s well worth it. Their signature drinks are stellar: the Pepper Smash, Moscow Mule, and the Lightening Bug. Their drinks are on the higher end of the happy hour price scale but are strong enough to make it worth it. The chicken and waffles (to the right) just won the best chicken and waffles in Dallas from D Magazine … and they are. Overall, great place for a couple drinks and dinner after work and an incredibly fun place to go on the weekends. There is a good mix of (beautiful) people there and it’s quite loud in there so you’re always sure to find someone to talk to, even if it is one of the bartenders (which I’d recommend because they are quite cheeky and fun).
3001 N Henderson Ave | (214) 252-8595
Monday | all day | $2 off all drinks
Tuesday-Friday | 5-7 p.m. | $2 off drinks