Category Archives: Reviews

This Place Doesn’t Bite

Being a Virgo, I don’t often step outside of my comfort zone, but one stop to Bite City Grill in Fort Worth changed that.

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Bite’s signature cocktails are all named after the twelve astrological signs. The menu lists characteristics and celebrity for each sign. Additionally, each signature drink comes with a eye dropper of the bitters that they suggest you add to the drink to your liking (the bartender said to experiment and only add a little at a time). I decided to try a Scorpio, Sagittarius, and a Capricorn.

The Scorpio included tequila, mango puree, lime, jalapeño, and mint. It was described as “determined, powerful, magnetic, emotional, and passionate”. (Sounded to me like the guy in high school that had a crush on me but didn’t understand the word “no”.)  The famous Scorpio listed was Bill Gates.  The drink was presented with the jalapeño and lime on a toothpick as garnish, and I went ahead and squeezed the lime and dropped the jalapeño in for full effect. The first taste was great; not too sweet, the mango was non-existent, and the small slice of jalapeño provided a little bit of spice that this drink needed to kick me in the mouth. The Scorpio came with their fruit bitters, and I went all-in and squeeze the entire dropper in my drink. The bitters acted as a neutralizer and completely overpowered the sweetness of the original drink. Overall, the Scorpio was a new twist on the simple rocks margarita.

The best drink of the night was by far the Sagittarius, and if you’re a Bourbon drinker, it’s a must-try. It’s smoked bourbon, sweet tea, limoncello, and St.Germain, but will say the main attraction is the smoked bourbon. The drink was delivered in a mason jar with a lid on, which I thought was a bit odd; once I opened the mason jar, I quickly realized the logic of the lid. They use a special gun that smokes tea leaves to fill the mason jar with smoke. As soon as you unscrew the lid, a wave of smoke engulfs you. (This is some second-hand smoke I’m totally OK with!) The first taste is definitely a surprise … the drink truly does taste like it was smoked. As I mentioned earlier, this is a must for any bourbon fan.

Bite is tucked into the back corner of Montgomery Plaza, a place where several restaurants/bars have tried before, but not succeeded. The atmosphere at the bar is the perfect spot to unwind during happy hour (4-6pm) after a hard day at the office. And, to top it all off, the bar has a few televisions if you are interested in grabbing a few drinks during the big game.

Bite City Grill
2600 West 7th Street | Fort Worth, Texas 76107
(817) 877-3888
www.bitecitygrill.com
facebook.com/bitecitygrillFW | @bitecitygrill (Insta & Twitter)
Happy hour: Monday – Friday, 4-6pm

Current happy hour specials:  

$1 Off All Draft Beers…

$6 Zodiac Sign Of The Month…


White By The Glass

5   Arca Nova Vinho Verde, Portugal
5   Dr. Loosen Riesling, Mosel, Germany
5   Sterling Aromatic White, Central Coast, CA
5   Bouchard Aine & Fils Chardonnay, France
5   Zonin Prosecco, Veneto, Italy

Red By The Glass
5   Bouchard Aine & Fils, VDP Pinot Noir, France
5   Joseph Castan Cote Du Rhone, France
5   Trevinto Malbec, Mendoza, Argentina
5   Pacific Sur Cabernet, Central Valley, Chile 

Small Bites…
5   Baba Ganoush / Caramelized Onion / Sour Cream / Fine Herbs / Naan Bread
5   Beef Jerky / Seasoned Beef Jerky
8   Lamb Meatball / Foie Gras Cream Sherry Reduction Sauce / Manchego Cheese
8   Charred Octopus / Peppadew Peppers / Ginger Aioli
6   Shishito Peppers / Sea Salt / Romesco Sauce
10   Braised Short Rib / Caramelized Onion / Horseradish Cream
9   Margherita / Roasted Tomato / Basil / Fresh Mozzarella Cheese / Tomato Sauce

Partida Tequila: Product Review

I am Florida born and raised on vodka cocktails and rum punches, but when I moved to Texas four years ago, I found my true love for tequila was just undiscovered. Whether it’s swirled with hints of fruit in a margarita or straight up on the rock, I like it smooth with salt and lime. Naturally, Texans love Cinco de Mayo because it celebrates God’s gift of Mexican food and tequila. So, as my favorite holiday quickly approaches, I wanted to share my thoughts on one of my recent discoveries, Partida Tequila.

One of the many perks of working with Susie Drinks Dallas is getting to try different lines of liquor, spirits, and wines. Recently, Partida Tequila sent me samples of their Partida Blanco line.  From the production to packaging to blend of flavors, this tequila will have you feeling classy and sophisticated compared to the partiers throwing back shots at the bar. Disclaimer: I am not against tossing back shots, but that would just be a waste of the goodness that Partida has to offer.

All “tequila” must legally contain at least 51% blue agave, but the best contain 100%. Partida’s agave comes specifically from their estate, rather than multiple growers, which allows for consistency and control in the production process. After 7-10 years of cultivation, the agave is harvested by hand. (Talk about a labor of amor!) Most agaves are cooked “the old fashion way,” in stone ovens, which gives a bitter taste from soot that builds in the oven over time, but Partida uses state-of-the-art stainless steel ovens. The agave bakes over a period of 20 hours under precise temperature control and then the juices ferment slowly for 36-40 hours before distillation.

The unaged tequila is bottled as Partida Blanco and the rest is aged in one-pass Jack Daniels American oak barrels. (WHAT?! Did all my dreams just come true?) The barrel provides a rich, copper color with notes of cherry, almond, dried fruit, and allspice in addition to the peppery notes lent by the agave. One can sense hints of honey, chocolate, pear, and vanilla upon tasting. Reposado and Anejo are aged 50% more than required, which only enhances the flavor profile. None of the tequila contains additives or coloring agents.

Particularly, Partida Blanco makes me feel like I should be relaxing on the beaches of Cancun as the blend of blue agave, citrus, fresh herbs, and tropical fruit, are subtle and balanced. It lends a smooth taste that lets even those that swore against the powers of tequila to enjoy the flavors. It’s a great choice for cocktails and those looking to branch out from mediocre drinks. If you’re ever going to become a tequila sipper … this is the one to start with.

Market-Fresh Mixology

I was SUPER stoked when I got a copy of Market-Fresh Mixology in my mailbox.  (Aren’t surprises the best?!)  Award-winning mixologists Bridget Albert and Mary Barranco rounded up some of the best seasonal cocktail recipes in a paperback (perfectly-sized to keep on the bar) with gorgeous photography by James Beard Award-winner Tim Turner.

The recipes call for fresh, local ingredients, which is all the rage right now, no?  Best yet, they’re arranged by season.  Want to know what drinks you can whip up with in-season fruits, veggies (yup), herbs, and more?  These ladies have you covered with easy to understand recipes with a quick guide for which glass to use and the tools you’ll need.

For Spring, they have everything from the Carrot Chic to the Spiced Beet Cocktail.  They sound odd, but really, they’re delicious.  I tried out a few with some friends this weekend, and they were the simplest recipes to follow and didn’t call for anything too extremely outrageous.  (Like, seriously, who keeps some of the crazy s**t they put in some recipes around the house?  Three kinds of bitters for one drink?  Get real … I’m a person, not a bar.)

My favorite that we tried was the Cucumber Caipiroska, made with simple syrup, cucumber, lime, and pear vodka.  I’m really looking to toting this one down to the pool this summer (in a plastic container, of course).

Another awesome part of the book is the Home Bar Essentials section, which went through the various glasses, bartending tools, and even had syrup and sour recipes.  Best of all?  There are toasts for each season.  One of the spring toasts is “May we be happy and our enemies know it.”  Cheers to that!

Order yourself Market-Fresh Mixology for just around $12 and try some of the recipes out for yourself!

AgatePublishing.com
Amazon.com

Vemma Energy Drink Review

On paper, Vemma’s Verve Energy Drink kind of reads like a dream come true. It is marketed as “insanely healthy energy,” and with the controversy over normal energy drinks like Red Bull and Monster being bad for your health, this seems like it could be a winner. Or is it?

Crack open a can of the bright orange Verve original, Bold, Partea (really?), or the Zero Sugar and you are greeted with a a nice aroma of citrus. The taste somewhat resembles a citrus blend of pineapple and orange juice that has vitamins added to it. There actually is no orange juice or pineapple in it, so I believe this is what the main ingredient, Mangosteen, tastes like. The citrus is somewhat consistent throughout the line of drinks, with the Bold being a little more…well…bolder, for lack of a better word, and the Sugar Free being a little less sweet. The Partea, being my favorite of them all, taste like orange juice and slightly sweet tea mixed together. It may not sound all that tasty, but it was delicious. There was no aftertaste at all to speak of which I am quite happy about. Overall, all of the drinks were crisp, refreshingly tropical in flavor, and had a hint of carbonation but not overpowering.

Now, looking at the nutrition labels, and you can see why it is labeled as a “healthy” energy drink.  The fact sheet says there are three products inside Verve. A “refreshing, fast-acting energy blend. An ultra-premium vitamin and mineral supplement. And a powerful super juice with mangosteen and aloe phytonutrients.” All of these are natural ingredients that come from plants and there are no artificial flavors or colors in the formula.

To compare to the equivalent 8.4 oz RedBull, Verve is packing less caffeine, (which is probably why I did not feel any buzz from it,) less calories, less sugar, and less carbs. All of which are by a margin of 9g or more, which may not sound like a lot, but it can make a big difference.

Just looking at the labels, it does indeed look like the Verve is a slightly healthier choice from the current energy drink dominators. The taste is pretty good, and the ingredients all come from nature which is a huge advantage. If you happen to come across one at the supermarket, and my guess would be that it would most likely be in a Whole Foods or Central Market, you might as well pick one up and try it for yourself.

Since this IS susiedrinksdallas.com, we’re going to offer the obligatory cocktail recipes to use Verve in the most boozy (and delicious) ways.  We tried out a couple, and our favorites were definitely the Citrus and the Orange.

Verve! Caribbean Passion
1 Can Verve! Bold Energy
2 Ounces Raspberry Vodka
2 Ounces Malibu
2 Ounces Cranberry Juice
Splash of Sprite

Verve! Orange
1 Can Verve! PARTEA
2 Ounces Orange Vodka
1 Ounce Peach Schnapps
Splash of Sprite

Verve! Cosmo
½  Can Verve! Zero Sugar
2 Ounces Vodka
½  Ounce Triple Sec
1 ounce Cranberry Juice
1 Cup Lime Juice

Verve! Creamsicle
1 Can Verve! Original
2 Ounces Captain Morgan
2 Splashes of Sprite

Verve! Citrus
½  Can Verve! Low-Carb Shot
2 Ounces Citrus Vodka
1 Ounce Chambord Liqueur
½  cup Grapefruit Juice
A splash of Sweet n’ Sour mix

useful site

Crabbie’s

Don’t you hate it when you’re drinking a Moscow Mule and think, “Oh, gee, this is delicious, but I wish this was a bit stronger.”  (Yeah, me, too.)  Here to answer the call: Crabbie’s Alcoholic Ginger Beer, the UK’s best-selling ginger beer … that just happens to be alcoholic.

Good enough to drink by itself (over ice), Crabbie’s is made with four secret fruits and spices, combined with ginger and then steeped for eight weeks. At 4.8% ABV, it’s in the same ABV bracket as the Buds and Millers.  It is fermented, which really comes through in the taste, which (thank God) isn’t too spicy.

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Check out some of the drink options to use with Crabbie’s below (other than Moscow Mules … if you must, you must).

GINGER MIST
– 1oz gin
– two small slices of lime
– 4 small sprigs of cilantro
– crushed ice
– Crabbie’s

Muddle three sprigs of cilantro and one slice of lime in a shaker.  Add gin and ice and shake.  Strain into a martini glass and top with Crabbie’s.  Garnish with cilantro sprig and slice of lime.


CRABBIE’S CUP #1

– 2 slices of cucumber
– berries
– 1/2oz sweet vermouth
– 1/2oz triple sec
– 1oz gin or vodka (drinker’s preference)
– Crabbie’s

Muddle cucumber and berries in pint glass.  Add ice and other ingredients and top with Crabbie’s.  Garnish with mint.


HORSE’S NECK

– 1.5oz brandy
– 5oz Crabbie’s
– thin twist of lemon peel

Mix all ingredients together in tumblr glass over ice.  Stir.

Crabbie’s is now also available in strawberry, orange, and diet.  (I didn’t try those … but they sound good!)

***Please note, Crabbie’s sent me a bottle to try, but I’d already ordered one of my own at Trinity Hall … and loved it both times!***

Gin O’clock

G&T.  Bramble.  French 75.  Negroni.  Gimlet.  Aviation.  Gin Fizz.  Bee’s Knees.  Martini.  The list of amazing things you can do with gin are endless (and even include using it as mouthwash and an arthritis treatment — seriously).

Tanqueray is one of the usual suspects, and has been since the 1830s.  A genius mix of botanicals (juniper, coriander, licorice, and some other delicious things), Tanqueray is the perfect base for some really delicious cocktails.

I treated my coworkers to Gin O’clock last week, and we had ourselves a great time (minus the gincident).  I tried my hand at a few recipes, which turned out pretty damn well (which is easy to do with the ingredients*).  Check ‘em out below.


TEN SOUTHSIDE

  • 1 mint sprig (more for garnish)
  • 0.5oz lime juice
  • simple syrup
  • 1.25oz Tanqueray
  • club soda

Muddle the mint, lime juice, and simple syrup.  Add Tanqueray and stir.  Pour into highball glass over crushed ice and top off with soda.  Garnish with mint.

TANQUERAY FIZZ SEASONAL “SIPPER”

  • half a lemon
  • fresh berries of your choice
  • 1.25oz Tanqueray
  • 0.5oz simple syrup
  • club soda

Crush the lemon in a shaker and lightly muddle the berries.  Add gin and simple, shake, and strain over ice in a highball glass.  Top off with club soda.

TANQUERAY BASIL SMASH

  • 2 parts Tanqueray
  • 1 part lemon juice
  • 1 part simple syrup
  • fresh basil leaves

Muddle basil leaves and lemon juice.  Add simple and gin.  Pour over ice in a short glass.  Garnish with basil leaves.

*My theory (which I ascribe to Sam White, is that good + good = really good.  It’s usually true.)

***I was given the bottle of Tanqueray to try out some of these scrumptious cocktails.***

The New Old Bar

Step 1: Order The New Old Bar.
Step 2: Wait to receive the book with great anticipation.
Step 3: After you get the book, stock your bar according to the book’s instruction.
Step 4: Make every drink, app, syrup, and infusion they have a recipe for STAT.

Product Review: POPTAILS

We live in Dallas … and let’s face it, it’s hot.  With the rule and not the exception being 100+° days, we’re all in need of some relief, and this handy dandy handbook delivers just that in the form of alcoholic popsicle recipes.

POPTAILS by Erin Nichols is a guide to 60 boozy treats-on-a-stick that will help make this warm effing hot summer a bit more bearable.  Erin created recipes for everything from a margarita or root beer float to the “Triple Berry Threat” and “The Highbrow Pear”.

After trying some of the recipes myself, the “Moscow Mule” (surprised?) and “Mom’s Apple Pie” are definite recommendations.  So you don’t make some of the mistakes I did, I’ve come up with some tips:

  • Follow directions!  Don’t try to be a hero —- Erin has slaved over these recipes to hone the perfect proportions
  • Let them freeze completely.  Cutting corners and trying to consume these delicious nuggets of icy alcohol is not recommended because the alcoholic elements may take longer to freeze than the rest, making it a sloppy mess if you get too anxious.
  • Distribute napkins with your poptails
  • Use popsicle forms that allow you to use real popsicle sticks instead of plastic ones (the wood grabs the pop better making it easier to remove)
  • Make sure you prepare the alcohol as directed
  • Be patient when removing the poptails from the forms

My lovely (not) pictures are to illustrate how lovely they turned out. (I didn’t even make any of the pretty ones with fruit inside.)  Popsicle forms are easy to find (Wal-Mart has some or you can go with a disposable tube option like Zipzicles), but you can also rig some of your own.  Note: they were not only pretty (IRL), but also stinkin’ delicious.

The book is available on Amazon, so get to ordering and get some in the freezer STAT!