This is grain, which any fool can eat, but for which the Lord intended a more divine means of consumption… Beer!

“Robin Hood, Prince of Thieves” – Friar Tuck

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
www.jblacks.com
2409 North Henderson Avenue | (214) 613-2525

Specials:
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

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

PERRY’S NOW HAS A LOCATION IN FRISCO, TX ALSO. CHECK OUT RACHEL’S REVIEW OF THE NEW SPOT!

Drink strength: 3.8
Overall: 4.4

Specials:

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

www.eddiev.com | @eddievsdallas
4023 Oak Lawn Ave | (214)890-1500

Specials:
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

prime hour

The buzz around Ocean Prime in Dallas was palpable when it first opened.  The people of Dallas raved about it, but some critics weren’t didn’t feel the same about the new perfectly-located seafood restaurant.  My opinion:  don’t listen to the critics (except for me, of course), and make you own decision on this resto – I personally enjoyed myself the last couple of visits, as did my friends.

After all of my friends and I finally located the spot (it’s tough to find), we sat back to enjoy the two hour “Prime Hour” which boasts food and drink specials – most are about $4 or so off the regular prices.  Cocktails are $8 and apps start at $5.  The food is “shi shi” but still fills you up; definitely try the goat cheese ravioli and the fondue!  Also, eat as much of the popcorn as you can; at first you wonder why they would bring such weak sauce to the table – and then you try it … kaBOOM … the truffle garlic butter takes over and you can’t stop eating it.

For cocktails, there aren’t many choices on the Prime Hour menu, but they edited them well and there are some nice choices: the cucumber gimlet, the blood orange negroni, and the pineapple Finlandia martini.  Definitely try the aforementioned cucumber gimlet; the men at the table were sold on it after the first sip and couldn’t get enough of them.

The atmosphere is lively and the outside bar gets a little loud.  Inside you can enjoy live music and rub elbows with the businessmen from the Crescent and the *ahem* mature women (read: cougars) of Dallas.

Random additional comments:  they have extra large Sonic ice, the wait staff is très  attractive and sassy (in a good way), the bread basket is a must, ask for water refills, allow time for your drink to be made,  the bathroom doors need work so take a friend to guard it for you, don’t go in scrubby clothes, sit back and enjoy.

Drink strength: 3 
Overall: 4.3

Ocean Prime
dallas.ocean-prime.com | @oceanprimecmr
2101 Cedar Springs Road, Uptown | (214) 965-0440

Specials:
Monday-Friday | 4-6 p.m. | $5-8 select appetizers, $8 selectwines by the glass, $8 select cocktails

long live the queen

Fish and Chips with a Pimms and Lemonade – that is what you’d get if you were in London on a nice day with the sun shining after a walk in a park (patios are tougher to find over there, though!).  It’s also what you will get at the Londoner, Dallas’s very own spot of London life which is rumored to have the best fish and chips in Dallas.  The waiters and bartenders add to the authenticity because most of them have accents – someone seriously hold me back.

Review summed up: get your butt to this patio.  It’s great people watching, plenty of seating, dog
friendly, and the shade of two huge trees provides just enough shade to make it pleasant – there is even a 2nd floor patio if you want a private table.  Both patios give a great view of Downtown, too.

The decoration of The Londoner is somewhat intriguing if you can see it; it’s always a little bit dark inside.  The ceiling is adorned with mugs of all shapes, sizes, and themes – try to pick your favorite.  Also, pay special attention to the “Queens of England” piece on the wall of the stairs.

It’s a great place if you want to have a quick drink after work or if you want to grab a drink before heading out since its location is so ideal.  Tuesday’s happy hour is well populated along with Thursday’s and Friday’s.  Weekend nights here are manic – make sure you don’t expect to find a seat or a chance at the dart board.

Drink strength: 3.3 
Overall: 4.2

The Londoner
www.londoner.com
2909 Thomas Avenue | (214) 979-2333

Specials:
Monday-Friday | 4-7 p.m. | $1 off liquor, beer and wine
Sunday | 4 p.m. – close | $1 off liquor, beer and wine

Susie knows all things boozy …