Rattlesnake Bar

UPDATE: Please see bottom for updated offerings.

The Ritz Carlton represents luxury and class around the globe – to me, it’s happiness. The atmosphere of the dimly-lit Rattlesnake Bar is cool and laid back … until the evening clientèle arrives, that is.

After work, stop by the bar to lounge on the sumptuously stuffed sofas and chairs and sip on extremely strong, expertly mixed cocktails to wind down from the day. Immaculately dressed bartenders will craft the drinks while you are offered free sips of mini margaritas and some of the best guacamole I’ve ever had (begins at 6pm, M-F). To drink, I strongly recommend the John Daly (yes, after the PGA champion), it’s your decision to order the pack of Marlboro offered on the side or not.

If you wait until the veil of night to try out the bar, you will be in for a completely different experience. Cue the Dallas socialites, golddiggers, unctuous lounge lizards, and little old couples just finishing dinner at Fearings (just named one of the top 10 best restaurants in the world). The Ritz accepts and caters to all kinds. The people-watching at Rattlesnake Bar is the real treat – go to see and be seen; just don’t wear anything too shiny or you’ll be a target.

The staff is what you would expect from the Ritz and more, and the complimentary valet is one of the most efficient I’ve ever seen (and they aren’t terrible to look at, either). Everyone in Dallas should experience this bar at least once … so slither on in for a drink and a wink.

The Rattlesnake Bar in the Ritz Carlton
2121 McKinney Ave | (214)922-4848

Offerings (updated 5/25):
Wednesday and Thursday | 5:30 – 7 p.m. | Dean’s Two-Bite Tacos passed around the bar (and the outside bar) 

J. Pepe’s (closed)

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.

J. Pepe’s
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

Victor Tangos

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).

Victor Tangos
3001 N Henderson Ave | (214) 252-8595

Monday | all day | $2 off all drinks
Tuesday-Friday | 5-7 p.m. | $2 off drinks

Susie knows all things boozy …