Category Archives: Uncategorized

Repeal Day 2016

Bowen House | 4-7pm | Special menu from Papas Pilar Rum

The Cedars Social | 9pm-2am | $3.33 prohibition cocktails and $5 beer, wine, and craft cocktails

Fat Daddy’s | 6pm | $5 select classic cocktails

Eastwood’s Bar | 6-10pm | 1/2 priced Old Fashioneds

The Standard Pour | 8pm-2am

Victor Tangos | 5-7pm | $0.83 cocktails

Whiskey Cake Plano | 11am-midnight | $5 classic cocktails, 20s music, photo booth, costume contest where you can win a trip to experience the Kentucky Bourbon Trail


NYLO Las Colinas | cocktail feature: Blueberry Moonshine Lemonade

So about six years ago, I published a list of happy hours around Dallas for my friends to use … and I’ve enjoyed sharing my thoughts on local watering holes and general cocktail lifestyle ephemera since.  It has been a (really) fun hobby that occupies some nights and gives me something constructive to do with my free time.  Recently, I was invited to be a Brand Ambassador for TGI Fridays and happily accepted the new challenge.  Last week, the ambassadors were brought to DFW from across the US for our brand immersion.  Other bloggers in attendance write about everything from general “mommy” lifestyle to DIY projects.  Also, I was surprised to learn that, of the eight bloggers, I am the only one who doesn’t blog full-time. (Must be nice!)

We arrived at the NYLO Plano for our overnight and were immediately taken to the Park & Preston Fridays to try some current menu items. (Have you tried the Potato Skins lately? Uhhh yum.)  TGIF is updating its recipes and doing away with preservatives and nasty stuff, so look forward to some cleaner eating when you visit.  The drinks ranged from cotton candy martinis to bourbon cocktails, and there was really something for everyone.  (But mostly everything for me.)

TGI Fridays actually holds a special place in my heart.  When I was very young, my dad worked in NOLA during the weeks and flew home for the weekends.  On Fridays, my mom would take me and my sister to have a cup of Broccoli Cheese Soup, and when we got home, our dad would be waiting.  I had a cup of soup, and while the recipe has been updated a bit (for the better), it took me back.

After our all-too-large meal, we went to see Emerald City at Cool Thursdays at the Arboretum.  (Cool Thursdays just happens to be one of my favorite events in Dallas!)  Everyone else went to bed when we returned from the concert, but, being who I am, decided to haunt the hotel bar for just one drink. (Really, it was just one.)

Day Two of our brand immersion started entirely too early, but I I did my best to be upbeat since I’m not much of a morning person.  We were taken to TGI Fridays corporate headquarters in Carrollton, which, just like the brand, is going through a slight refresh.  We heard all about the new brand inspiration and got a tour of the facility, ended with a visit to Little Fridays, the small test-restaurant in their offices.  (Did you know that Fridays hosted the first official “happy hour” at one of their restaurants in NYC?  Even more reason to love them.)

Our visit to Little Fridays was a blast.  We met the company’s head chefs (and bartenders) who are leading their menu refresh, and they seemed so proud of what they’ve done to update their offerings.  We were given the chance to try many (many) new items that will launch May 14, from their new and improved chicken fingers to steak, and of course, a whole bunch of delicious new drinks.  As previously mentioned, Fridays is ensuring higher quality in all of its products, with less preservatives and more … well deliciousness.  (When the Double Berry Mojito debuts … make sure you try it.  It’s just good.)

Perhaps the highlight of the Little Fridays experience was learning some bottle tricks from Katie Livezey, one of the finalists in Fridays’ World Bartending Championship, held every year since 1987 to find the best Fridays bartender throughout the world.  Katie not only mixed our drinks that day, but was patient and taught me a few beginner tricks.  (I was alright, but do need some serious practice.)

So, stay tuned for updates on new offerings from Fridays over the next year, and feel free to ask any questions about my new association!

Have FUN with Mom on Mother’s Day

Ditch the boring brunch and shake it up with Mom this Mother’s Day!  Here are some ideas for ways to show Mom some fun.

Bowl & Barrel – Grab your bowling shoes and buy Mom a barrel cocktail and a giant soft pretzel.

Mutt’s Canine Cantina – Bring all the bitches (err … dogs) along to enjoy the weather while sipping on a rocks Margarita made with 100% agave tequila and orange liqueur.

LOOK Cinema – Drop in for a movie and a cocktail, followed by dinner at the adjacent Coal Vines (which has a full bar). 

Anvil Pub – Get Mom shitty with Anvil Pub’s monstrous anti-brunch, F**k Brunch.  Choose from a huge mason jar of bloody mary, mimosa, screwdriver, and sangria, paired with a beer and garnishes big enough to count as a meal.

L’Acqua Nail Spa – Make a reservation for a mom/daughter* mani/pedi, which always includes complimentary booze. (Oh … and it’s BYOB and BYO food.)                       *Men are welcome, too … obvi.

Klyde Warren Park – Take a (literal) walk in the park and enjoy the April weather.  Grab a bite at Meso Maya (Downtown has a killer patio) and then finish the meal off with a (read 10) minis from Trailercakes.

Barcadia – Give your mom the chance to beat you at Skiball or Giant Jenga.  Sometimes competition is the best way to bond.

IFLY Indoor Skydiving** – This is a fun (and safe) way to bond with Mom.  See how she handles the 1400 hp vertical wind tunnel!  Grab some BBQ in Frisco at 3 Stacks Smokehouse after … because this …

**Book a flight at dallas.iflyworld.com

To top off the day, stop into TGI Fridays for one of their “mom-friendly” drinks, or go ahead and make them yourself!

Peach Sangria

  • ¾ oz. Hendrick’s Gin
  • ¼ oz. St. Germain Elderflower Liqueur
  • 2 oz. Seven Daughters Moscato
  • ¼ oz. Honey Simple Syrup
  • ½ oz. Peach Purée
  • 2 oz. Fresh Sour Rocks Mix
  • 2 Peach Slices, thawed
  • 3 Strawberry Slices


Cosmo Noir

  • 2 ½ parts Raspberry Vodka
  • 1 part Lemon Juice
  • 1 part Vanilla Syrup
  • 1 ½ parts Pinot Noir (floated)

TGI Fridays World Bartender Championship

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Written by Lauryn Bodden

What’s better than tasty drinks, fried cheese, and good music? Watching someone juggle my liquor before I down it.

Taking the flair of bartending to a whole new level, TGI Fridays hosted the World Bartender Championship and it was nothing less than a party. They’ve been hosting this international event since 1987, and each year the competition only gets better. But it’s not just about how high or how many bottles of liquor one can juggle … it takes personality, memorization, and time management, as each finalist must put on a show, while preparing all 5 judges’ drinks within 8 minutes.

Upon arrival, we were ushered to our front-and-center table (NBD), glistening with giant posters of each contestant’s head. Trying to stay unbiased, we gladly raised our glasses to each finalist as they came on. Each one had their own style, which made the event even harder to judge.  My personal favorites included Plano local Katie Livezey, Russel Ward of the U.K, Genrev Paul Bacasno of the Phillipines, and Andy Hool from Canton, Michigan. I’m all about American pride, but who can resist a man who not only gives you alcohol, but does it while speaking with an accent? (I’m only human, after all.)

Katie showed pure personality as she got to know each guest on a personal level. Russel was all about the jokes. Genrey actually Skyped his manager back in the Phillipines while tossing drinks. But Andy Hool had it all from precision, flawless mixology, speed, engaging service, and style, which secured him the crowning title of World’s Greatest Bartender. (And let’s just say, his bartending skills weren’t the only thing that was strong. Read: he makes a serious drink.)

What’s even better is that the House of Blues hosted this shindig. This venue provided the perfect space for staging the mock bar scenes, spectators screaming for their favorite contestant, and everyone fist-pumping with fellow imbibers for the entirety of the 4-hour event. You better believe heads were bobbin’ to the music at an accelerated pace after throwing back a couple of TGI Fridays’ signature cocktails, the BFM (Best Fridays Margarita) and The Blackberry Long Island Tea.

The BFM was smooth combination of Patron Silver Tequila, Grand Marnier, lime and lemon juice, agave nectar, and fresh-squeezed lime. Nothing too fancy here, but as a self-proclaimed connoisseur of margaritas, I would say this was a great classic version. The tartness of the BFM was a perfect partner in crime to the Blackberry Long Island Tea, a mixture of Smirnoff Vodka, Bacardi Rum, Bombay Gun, Chambord, Triple Sec, blackberries, lime juice, cane sugar, Sprite, and fresh lemon. You know those annoying people that have to slurp down every last drop of their drinks? Well yeah … that was EVERYONE holding this dangerous cocktail and I was the worst offender. #sorrynotsorry. The fresh-muddled blackberries were a delightful treat and reflected the quality of TGI Friday’s drinks, which could have easily just been subpar when it came to the open bar event. 

As if I didn’t have reason enough to mark next year’s event on my calendar, TGI Fridays donated all proceeds from local, regional, and division bartender competitions to Feeding America, the nation’s leading domestic hunger-relief charity.

If you wanted an excuse to get rowdy, tipsy, and wowed by great talent, then that should pretty much do it. TGI Fridays you did me good. I’ll be back next year and everyone else should be, too!

2014’s Bar-cademy Awards (The Doscars)

Me and a couple of my cronies, Oh Hey Dallas and Foodbitch, decided to put a list of our favorite items/restaurants/venues in honor of tonight’s Academy Awards.

And the winners are …

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Best International Food: Lucia

Best Southern Charm: Sissy’s

Best Vegetarian Fare: Spiral diner

Best Local Hero: TIE | Scardello, TJ’s Fish Market

Best Romance: sharing the Nutty D’Angelo at Perry’s Steakhouse

Best Drama: Chef John Tesar

Best Newcomer: TIE | True Foods Kitchen, CBD provisions

Best Bar Newcomer: The Blind Butcher

Best Costume Design: Crushcraft

Best Visual Effects: Savor

Best Taco: the Sam Diego from SoCal Tacos

Best American Classic: the Fruity Pebbles Shake from Village Kitchen

Best Pizza: Cane Rosso

Best Burger in a Supporting Role: Chicken Fried Burger from Liberty Burger

Best Burger in a Leading Role: the Classic Cheeseburger from The Grape

Best Cocktail: the belle femme at Boulevardier

Best Hangover Cure: the Bob Armstrong Dip at Matt’s Rancho Martinez

Best Mixing: Tate’s

Best Day Mixing:  F**k Brunch at Anvil Pub

Best Dive Bar:  Double Wide

Best Editing: Parigi

Best Adapted Restaurant: BARTER

Best Sound Mixing: The Rustic

Best Hidden Gem: MESA

Breakout Chef of 2013: Omar Flores (James Beard Nominee) for his work at Casa Rubia 

Best (Re)Directing: Stephan Pyles

Lifetime Achievement Award: Dean Fearing 

It was a big year for turnover in Dallas’s service industry.  We’ve compiled the biggest closings for 2013.  Au revoir … you will be missed.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9hpG0sRwnx8?rel=0]

Where to Celebrate National Margarita Day 2014

On February 22nd, here are the places that you should be drinking.

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  • CANTINA LAREDO
    Addison, Frisco, and Grapevine 
    | February 22 and 23rd, their Tres Amigos Casa Rita (pictured on the right) will be only $8 (regular price: $12.25)
  • DEL FRISCO’S GRILLE (Southlake) | Try their Pomegranate Margarita (Camarena Reposado Tequila, Cointreau, Pom Juice and a Splash of Sweet N Sour) OR their Margarita 160 (which is only 160 calories)
  • EL FENIX (all locations) | house margaritas are $2.95 all day
  • LA VENTANA (Victory Park) | $4 blue margaritas
  • ON THE BORDER | $1 margaritas (12oz, on the rocks or frozen, using Gold Tequila)
  • PEAK AND ELM (Far East Dallas) | FREE margaritas
  • URBAN TACO | mention #urbanrita and get $3 margaritas (limit 2)
  • VICKERY PARK (Knox) | $4 frozen margaritas, $6 beeritas, $10 Mexican beer buckets, house-infused tequila specials
  • WINDMILL LOUNGE (Dallas)
    Enjoy their featured drinks, The Honeymoon and the Chili Margarita, both created by the infamous Charile Papaceno

RECIPES

THE VERACRUZANA PINEAPPLE MARGARITA

2 parts Milagro Reposado Tequila
¾ part Agave Nectar
1 part Fresh Lime Juice
4 Pineapple Chunks
2 Basil Leaves

Muddle pineapple and basil leaves in a Boston shaker. Add remaining ingredients and shake vigorously with ice. Strain into a rocks glass with fresh ice. Garnish cocktail with pineapple and basil.

THE PARTIDA MARGARITA
1.5 oz Partida Reposado
3/4 oz agave nectar
3/4 oz water
juice of one lime

Shake, strain over fresh ice. Garnish with a lime wheel.

CAMUS-RITA
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2 oz. CAMUS VS  Elegance
1 oz. lime juice
1 oz. orange juice
1 oz. triple sec

Shake all ingredients with ice and strain into glass, garnish with slime of lime.