Tag Archives: deep ellum

Ebb & Flow: more than just a pretty patio …

What do you get when you combine an expert restaurateur and a sought after music director? An absolutely adorable, bad-ass restaurant that I can’t wait to visit again. Ebb & Flow is a new restaurant in Deep Ellum founded by two experienced restaurant and nightlife veteran who just happen to be brothers, Dallas Hale and Eric Bradford.

When I went to go check it out, I hadn’t done much research (bad, I know) and just walking up to the restaurant I was immediately impressed with how cute and impressive it was. I did know that their design director described it as “your tattooed girlfriend going home to meet your parents” in a press release … and that’s pretty accurate.

The patio is adorable and the inside is even more-so. It’s a somewhat small space, but they’ve really made it work. The attention to detail is ON-POINT. There’s trendy tile work, chandeliers above the bar and the outside patio is covered with gorgeous ivy and flowers. (Bonus: the patio will be heated for winter.)

We started out the evening tentatively with their Garden Margarita because I don’t do well with spice … and it was garnished with a jalapeño slice. But I was delighted to find that it was incredible. It was light, refreshing and flavorful without the strong flavor of jalapeño and it was cooled down by the cucumber. The second cocktail was super cool. The Velvet Butterfly features butterfly pea flower that makes the drink its beautiful shade of purple.

Honestly, everything on the cocktail menu was super unique and meticulously crafted. If you’re a big fan of Palomas, you must try the Cocoloma made with coconut tequila, cream of coconut, sparkling grapefruit and garnished with tajín. I kid you not; it tastes like the beach but without the sugary syrup.

Now, the grub! As far as starters go, they had stuffed jalapeños that stole my heart. (Yes, this is coming from a spice-hater.) Stuffed with brisket and pimento cheese and wrapped in bacon … you really can’t go wrong with that. The other two apps we tried were the toasted ravioli and Cubano egg rolls. Yet another show stopper? The tater kegs!! While they aren’t the most photogenic item you’d order, just imagine a twice baked potato, deep fried and made bite-size.

My favorite entree was the stuffed chicken breast but the salmon piccata was a close second, largely because of the light lemon vinaigrette that the pasta was tossed in. To round out your meal, be sure to close it out with their good ol’ fashioned homemade carrot cake, and pair it with the seasonal old fashioned. You won’t regret it!

Ebb & Flow is now serving lunch, dinner and weekend brunch!

Ebb & Flow
2651 Commerce St Suite 100, Dallas, TX 75226
(972) 913-2322  
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Deep Ellum Welcomes a Boozy Oyster Bar

There’s a new bar in town, it’s right at the edge of Deep Ellum where Elm meets Malcom X Blvd. Formerly Idle Rye, it’s now called Bitter End.

I experienced all of this for myself when I went to Bitter End for the first time last month. The first thing I noticed was that there is a solid patio which is where they hosted Puppies on the Patio every Sunday in April where they welcome your four-legged companion and kept free pupsicles in stock. But don’t worry … the patio is always pup-friendly and there’s a chance they will bring back Pups on the Patio for an encore. (Crossing my fingers!)

Inside, you can find vibrant art of famous rock legends along the wall which ties into the cleverly named cocktails—Walk the Line, The Madonna, and The Selena, to name a few.  You’ll also find a raw bar full of oysters on ice from all over. Bitter End will always carry Gulf and Blue Point Oysters, but there are other types on rotation like Sweet Jesus oysters. (Seriously.)

If raw oysters aren’t your thing, I recommend the charbroiled oysters or clams. They are wood-grilled with garlic herb butter and Parmesan and served with a toasted baguette that is excellent dipped in the leftover herb butter! The menu isn’t all oysters—they also have burgers, Nashville hot chicken sliders, salads, lobster rolls (on pretzel buns!), and other delicious pub food.

As far as cocktails go, you’re going to want to try them all! I am somewhat obsessed with the Ziggy Stardust (rum, maraschino liqueur, grapefruit and lime). They use a mini clothespin to fasten the garnish to the glass and it’s adorable (and very insta-worthy).  If you want something a little less sweet, I would suggest you Walk the Line (bourbon, spiced pear, lemon and egg white). It sounds like a weird combo, but go with it! I also discovered my new go-to coffee cocktail—I still love you, Twilight Lounge—called the Madonna (frozen coffee liqueur, espresso vodka topped with whipped cream). It’s going to be perfect for Dallas’s hot weather and late night patio season.

Now let’s talk about their events…
Mondays and Tuesdays, ALL DAY: $5 champagne and $1.50 oysters
Every day, 5-7pm: $5 wells, wine and beer
7 days a week, 10pm-2am: reverse oyster happy hour with $1.50 oysters

There are more than 20 TVs, so it’s also a perfect spot to watch your favorite sports team and there will be various specials for select games. Now would be a great time to check out Bitter End while cheering on your favorite Dallas team …

2826 Elm St, Dallas, TX 75226
(214) 792-9888

So I like Bloody Marys (thick ones that you have to chew on).  You know those nasty aerosol perfumes in the grocery store that say “If you like ____, you’ll love this?”  This takes that and blows it up x100.  If you LIKE Bloody Marys, then you’ll LOVE Anvil Pub with they’re hosting F**K BRUNCH, their answer to Dallas’ frou-frou brunch scene.

Anvil Pub in Deep Ellum is quite a bar (I don’t know if I’d dub it a true pub because they don’t serve real snakebites).  Bikes hanging from the ceiling, bartenders with five different colors of hair (that’s just one bartender), and a food menu vegans can even enjoy.  I’ll make the trek down to Deep Ellum with my boyfriend on Tuesdays for half price food, or with friends on a busy Friday for a late-night pizza*.  It’s good for all occasions (except brunch with the future in-laws).

Back to the food … it’s good—no, great—and it’s not typical greasy bar food.  You won’t want to die when you roll back to your car after an appetizer (get the triple dip) and an entree (get anything).  It’s a bit slow, so don’t get food if you’re in a hurry.  (I’m serious.  Good things come in time.)

OK … now … let’s talk about brunch, baby
Let’s talk about you and me
Let’s talk about all the good things
And the bad things that may be (at Anvil)
Let’s talk about brunch.

Anvil has one of the most unique brunch offerings in Dallas.  Just scroll up … that’s their brunch.  Order from their three-option menu (Bloody Mary, mimosa, or screwdriver), and you’ll be delivered (albeit after 20-30min) a GIANT** mason jar filled with delightful intoxicants with a skewer of delicious and unexpected things to soak it up for $20. Mimosas have actual cinnamon rolls on them, and Bloody Marys have sliders … among many other things.  Oh, did I mention that your brunch comes with a beer kicker?  Yeah … does.

Anyway, do this.  Don’t order too much food if you’re partaking in F**K BRUNCH, as you really don’t need much more.  (Oh Hey Dallas and I ordered a pizza and chicken fingers and hardly touched any of it.)

Enjoy … and say hi to the Holmans while you’re there … because they’re awesome.

2638 Elm St, (Deep Ellum)
(214) 741-1271

*Try getting a Russian Roulette Bullet … one piece is sprinkled with pepper for $0.50.  What a deal? 
**Mustard bottle included in picture for comparison.

La Grange (Closed)

Being one who writes about bars is fun really fun. However, there is a slight occupational hazard that comes with the territory, not a kind of hazard you’d have to contact Yarborough Applegate Attorneys at Law
for though – forgetting to take notes and having to make multiple visits to a bar to remember enough to write about it… hence the title.

La Grange is one of the newer bars-slash-restaurants in Deep Ellum that has grabbed quite a bit of attention out of the gate (it was voted 2010’s Best Bar in Dallas by the Dallas Observer). The lucite, illuminated deer heads give you a preview of the attitude of La Grange upon walking in – cheeky and a little hipster. The owner, Stephanie Schumake said right, “It’s not uber cool, it’s cool enough.”

Created to be a live music venue, the acoustics are amazing. Since they have live music almost every night, the custom-designed stage and sound system give The House of Blues a run for its money. I have enjoyed what I’ve heard so far but couldn’t tell you what the heck their names are. So, take a gander at their lineup here.

Among the randomness, there is a little cafe connected with a yummy-sounding menu (sadly, I only had a chance to try the queso — so good!), adorable restrooms (the women’s, of course), and a patio that is to-die-for. Couches, benches, and other assorted chairs make for a great atmosphere and could be one of the best patios in Dallas (for a small group).

The clientele is very Deep Ellum and the bartender that served me all three times was a tall drink of water and had a cheeky ‘tude on him. I’ve never been on a weekend (the one time I tried there was a band and cover and, well… I don’t pay cover!) but the happy hour crowd is thin so take your own fun with you.

Now, let’s get down to the fun part … the drinks. I started off two of my visits to La Grange with a 32°, their adult snowcones that are de-lish. Have them freshly shave one of them and douse them with their syrup and stick a test tube of fun in it. See mine on the left complete with rum shooter.

Their drinks are strong enough to get your night movin’ and the conversation flowing. The last time I was in, I learned a little more than I wanted to about my coworkers (and vice-versa), and my second visit was on a 2nd date – since I’m still seeing him, I guess that means the drinks helped break the ice. Get what you want because the drinks are quite reasonably-priced and well made. The bartender even put forth the extra effort to make my friend a vodka gimlet with FRESH lime – lots of lime and squeezing required.

I’m going to wrap it up because, for me, this is a verbose review. So, in short: make La Grange a must-try.

Drink strength: 4
Overall: 4.2 (if you’re inside), 4.6 (if you’re on the patio on a nice night)

Last word of advice: they have movie nights and, if you go, make sure they don’t have the two loudmouths doing their commentary because there aren’t strong enough drinks in this world to make that bearable.

La Grange
www.lagrangedallas.com | Facebook
2704 Elm Street | (214) 741-2008

Happy Hour | Monday-Friday, 5-7 p.m. | $3 wells and domestics
Brunch | Sunday, ‘til 3 p.m. | happy hour prices and a brunch buffet

Occasionally they want to spoil their patrons and will do 1/2 price food and all-night happy hour on a Wednesday!

Angry Dog

All the way down in Deep Ellum, beside St. Pete’s, a quiet evening amongst friends began with cheap wells and drafts and a plate of chicken wings. As we recapped our days, our blast-of-a-waiter, Vincent, entertained us with his attempt at a German accent.

The night was filled with Angry Dogs (the namesake of the chow joint, a fully loaded hot dog complete with a side of beans! Not the angry, biting dog that might send you on a trip to Stewart Law Offices) and drinks. Not Their alcohol spread is impressive but know that they don’t consider Franconia domestic – even though it’s made in McKinney!

The crowd wasn’t what one would expect from Deep Ellum because Angry Dog is loved by all and it’s reputation reaches quite far. Give it a chance and definitely make sure you put plenty of nickels in the meters, though … the meter maids in that neck of the woods are vicious (two of our four cars got $35 parking tickets for expired meters – one only by 8 minutes!).

Drink strength: 3
Overall: 4

Angry Dog
2726 Commerce Street | (214) 741-4406

Monday – Friday | 4-7 p.m. | $2.50 domestic drafts, $3.50 premium drafts, $3 house wine, $2.50 house cocktails

monica’s aca y alla

We’re in a recession, right?  Well, whether your wallet is hurting or you just like to get a lot of bang for your buck, you need to head over to Monica’s.  We brunched on Sunday and for the three of us to share queso and each have three drinks and an entree, we only spent $11 each!

The prices aren’t the only appealing thing … the food was to DIE for.  They had white queso that’s the best queso I’ve had in Dallas – hands down.  We all loved our meals and our waiter, Pedro, was very friendly and hooked us up with an “extended” happy hour.

The clientele was INCREDIBLY varied.  There were Nebraska fans watching the football game (there are 2 TVs), a couple tables of Deep Ellum residents, and an older couple.  At the end of our meal, we were the only people in the restaurant which was nice because we had full run of the TV!

Definitely try this place!  Good food, amazing drink specials, free valet on the weekends, and dancing after dinner on Saturday.  What more could you want?

Drink strength: 3
Overall: 4

Monica’s Aca Y Alla Restaurant
2914 Main St | Dallas, TX 75226 
(214) 748-7140‎

Tuesday | all night | 1/2 price food (selected items only)
Wednesday | $0.75 margaritas (with purchase of entree – limit 3)
Thursday | all night | $4.50  Tex-Mex, $3.50  happy hour
Friday | all night | $3.00 happy hour
Saturday | Live Music and dancing
Sunday | (til 3 p.m.) $1.00 Mimosas & Margaritas, $2.50 Bloody Mary & Screwdriver (night) $4.50 Top shelf Margaritas, Flavored Margaritas and well drinks