mario sabino’s

Thanks to one of my delightful readers, Candace Drury, I knew about this little gem of a watering hole.

I’ll start by saying that it’s kind of tough to find … not really tough but it’s just further than you’re probably accustomed to driving down Lemmon to find good margaritas (cite: Uncle Julio’s and Gloria’s). When you find this place, though, sit your butt down and order a margarita as fast as your mouth can say the words. They have margaritas that will make your head spin (both because they are good and because they are so strong). Blackberry, blueberry, guava, and pineapple along with their traditional margarita are available.

The happy hour hours aren’t anything to snear at … it’s all day every week day. Not bad, eh? It’s nice to have the chance to take your time getting to happy hour and not worry about missing last happy hour call.  As my mom said, “It’s always happy there!”

The place is good for some margaritas, that is for SURE. For food, I’d stick with something simple. It’s really pretty generic food (not bad at all, just generic) so just some queso with your margaritas is probably the best plan.

Candace told me to ask for Pancho because he is the best but he wasn’t working the day I was in. It wasn’t a big deal because the rest of the staff is snappy and incredibly friendly. I asked our waiter to have a blueberry margarita ready for my mom when she met us and he set it down less than 30 seconds after she sat down – frozen as it could be. Mario is usually there hanging out at the bar overseeing his staff. I don’t know where “Sabino” came from, but it’s comforting when the owner uses his own name — or at least part of it.

Drink strength: 4.3
Overall: 3.6 

Mario Sabino’s
5404 Lemmon Avenue | (214) 599-9744

Sunday | after 4 p.m. | $2 house margaritas
Monday-Friday | all day | $3 house drinks (including mojitos), $6 specialty drinks

Flip-ping Good

Flips is one of those places that you find a reason to go to.  Since there’s really a little bit of everything here, that’s not hard to do. 

A mouth-watering burger, a mini-arcade, a to-die patio (complete with plenty of seating, misters, and a huge projector), six pool tables, two bars, plenty of flat screens, incredibly clean restrooms, and bomb-a homemade chips are just a few of my favorite things about this laid-back resto.

Flips has something for families, sports nuts, pool junkies, bar flies, and the rest of us (though I guess I am considered a bar fly, so the rest of YOU).  Walking into Flips, you are greeted by a HUGE stuffed bear on either side of you and a friendly hostess.  You choose which bar or seating area fits your needs at the moment (basically whichever is closest to the huge flat screen playing what you want to watch or the large taxidermy* you want to sit under) and take a seat to peruse the menu of goodies. 

Drinking at Flips seems like a good idea, and when you see the happy hour prices and drink specials, you realize that it’s a brilliant one.  They not only have a stellar happy hour lineup, but they also offer deeply discounted drinks each day, (wait for it…) ALL DAY.  They aren’t slouches over there, that’s for sure.  The drinks are just strong enough to make them interesting but not so strong as to make you questionable while trying to balance on one foot to get the 8-ball in the corner pocket to win the pool game (it darn near made me more confident I was going to make it!).

The sweet potato fries are pretty darn good along with the hand-cut potato chips.  You can’t go wrong with most of the food unless you’re a vegetarian (which a mural on the wall very clearly states isn’t healthy).  The burgers are made with USDA choice chuck and are freshly ground.  All burgers are $8 so it eliminates the dilemma of whether to splurge and spend the extra $2 for the mushroom swiss vs. the traditional.  The serving sizes won’t leave you wanting more; Flips portions are very value oriented.

The wait staff is friendly and very outgoing.  They can chat to you with a smile and still do their job very well.  I don’t think I ever had less than a third of a glass of Diet Dr. Pepper before another was offered up.  Also, have them tell you about the fireballs … you must try.

The only drawback about this place for this Dallasite is just that, I live quite far from it.  From now on, the meetings that take me across the Metroplex will be strategically scheduled to ensure a pocket of time to visit the Flips bear (who has his own Facebook page … seriously).!/LILLFLIP?ref=ts

*No animals were harmed for the specific purpose of display in a Flips building.  All taxidermy was purchased at a charity auction whose proceeds went to the preservation of wildlife … ironic, eh?

Drink strength: 3.8
Overall: 4.4

Flips Patio Grill
Fort Worth | 6613 Fossil Bluff | (817) 847 4424 | | @flipsfortworth
Grapevine | 415 West State Hwy 114 | (817) 251 9800 | | @flipsgrapevine

Fort Worth Location:
Happy Hour | all day Monday, Tuesday-Friday 3-8 p.m., Saturday 11 a.m. – 8 p.m. | $2 domestic drafts, $3 import drafts and wells 

Monday | $2.25 domestic bottles, $2.50 domestic pints, $3.50 import pints and house wine, and $3.25 wells
Tuesday | $3 Tito’s, $5 Tito’s and Red Bull, $2.50 drafts, LIVE MUSIC at 8:30 p.m.
Wednesday | $3 22 oz. domestic drafts
Friday, Saturday | $2.25 domestic bottles, $2.50 domestic pints, $3.50 import pints and house wine, and $3.25 wells
Sunday | $2.75 Corona

Grapevine Location:
Happy Hour | Monday-Friday, 3-8 p.m., all day Thursday | $2 domestic drafts, $3 import drafts, $3 wells

Monday $4 bomb shots, $3 Crown and down, $2.50 wells
Tuesday | $2 domestic pints, $2.50 import pints, TRIVIA at 7 p.m.
Wednesday | $2.50 22 oz. big boy domestic drafts, $2.75 Tecate and Corona bottles
Friday | $2.75 Tecate and Corona bottles
Saturday | $2 domestic pints, $2.75 Tecate and Corona bottles
 | $2 domestic pints

J. Black’s feel alright lounge – CLOSED

With all the hype I had heard about the new bar/eatery on Henderson, I was stoked to try J. Black’s.  With each brick that went up, my anticipation grew.  As it turns out, my stomach and I could have put off the visit.  We showed on their grand opening and walked into a bar that may as well be Blackfinn moved from Beltline to Henderson; there just isn’t really anything novel about the place.  The patios are nice so sit outside if you can find a spot and stand the infestation of flies.

The crowd is basically the Dallasites who had been cast out from Liar’s Den/Madison/Geisha House; look for expensive cars, fake tans, and tight shirts … nothing like their Austin version.  If that’s your scene, eat it up because there is plenty of fun to be had and people to meet.  You can people watch while waiting for your waiter (who may take a while).

The drinks aren’t awful; some are creative but most are weak.  The orange mojito isn’t worth the excitement because the first sip proves that it is all orange and no mojito – expectation hangover.  The Texas Martini isn’t as good as Blue Goose’s but will do.  The drinks don’t really pack enough punch to carry their price tag.

Their food is another story.  I don’t consider myself a foodie; I know when something tastes good but that’s really it.  That being said, I wasn’t a huge fan of their food other than their homemade croutons.  I may have tried a couple more of the apps if they hadn’t made my stomach hurt.  :/

Basically, try it if you feel compelled … but it’s not necessarily a must-do unless you’re ready to wait a good while for your drinks.

Drink strength: 2.8
Overall: 3

J. Black’s Feel Good Lounge
2409 North Henderson Avenue | (214) 613-2525

Monday-Friday | 4-8 p.m. | $1 off all drinks, 25% off bottles of wine, 1/2 price select appetizers
Sunday | all day | $1 off all drinks, 25% off bottles of wine, 1/2 price select appetizers

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


Drink strength: 3.8
Overall: 4.4


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 | @eddievsdallas
4023 Oak Lawn Ave | (214)890-1500

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

Susie knows all things boozy …