Dallas has few diversions other than eating, drinking and shopping.....and shopping does not interest us.
So we spend our time hopping from restaurant to restaurant and to every pub that we can find in search of the perfect meal and the perfect beer.

We randomly review restaurants and bars, dishes and beers at whim and give our brutally honest opinions of our findings. And while we concentrate on Dallas, we travel far and wide to sample cuisine from all regions of the country and beyond.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Beer Review - Highway 78 Scotch Ale

Stone Brewing Company Highway 78 Scotch Ale - 8.8% ABV

Stop.  Stop reading.  Stop whatever you are doing and get on the phone.  Call every liquor store in the book and ask for this ale.  Go and buy it.  Now.  Finsh reading this after you have returned. 

You're back?  Did you find any?  Damn, me neither, but I am going to keep looking.  Let me describe for you what you have missed.

Stone Brewing Company brews some potent beers that are so in your face that they are mostly undrinkable for 95% of us beer a.... sorry, I mean snobs.  I went to a beer and food pairing recently at the Moth that featured Stone brews paired with food selections prepared by the chef, Chad Kelly.  Poor guy, he never stood a chance because every beer that Stone produces is a palate killer.  However, the first beer offered was quite a surprise because it was very unstonelike  (new word, go with it) simply because it is not totally a Stone brew.  This one time only collaboration with Green Flash Brewing Company and the Pizza Port Brewery is a truly magnificent offering to the patron saint of beer, St. Arnold (now you know where the St. Arnold Brewery got it's name, consider yourself enlightened). 

Don't get me wrong, the beer is still very 'in your face', but much more balanced than any other Stone beer that I have tasted.  The beer pours a lovely mahogany red that reminds you a bit of wine in color and texture.  The creamy head is modest but persists and leaves delicate lacing and has a strong nose with malts, dark fruits and molasses coming through.  The flavor is tremendously complex, brown sugar, plum and perhaps a touch of smoke along with the alcohol burn gives your taste buds quite a workout.  Damned.  Fine.  Ale.

Stone Brewing Company
1999 Citracado Parkway
Escondido, CA 92029

Beer Review - Wasatch White Label

Wasatch Brewing Company White Label - 6% ABV

I am crushed, destroyed, despondent ..... one of my favorite breweries is pulling out of Texas (because of our double damned stupid beer laws).  Allagash Brewing from Portland, Maine is leaving us.  Goodby Curieux ... goodby 4 ... and fond farewells to my long time spring favorite Allegash White.  Now I have to go and find a substitute to fill the void .... damned Texas beer laws.  There are a few that are close in style and taste like Blanche de Bruxelles or the Avery White Rascal that I enjoy now and again.  God forbid that I have to choke down a Bluemoon. 

The Wasatch Brew Pub and Brewing Company from Park City, Utah may have produced my Allegash White substitute.  This new release by Wasatch is a light, bright and happy beer, much like the denizens of Utah themselves (that is if you want to believe the press).  The brewery was the first brewery in Utah and produces several low gravity, average beers with reduced alcohol (and flavor) but also brews a few decent higher gravity beers that are quite pleasant.  White Label is one of these offerings.  The beer is a fine example of a Begian Wit beer with a golden, hazy pour with not much head to speak of.  The smell is of coriander, banana, citrus and malts and the flavors follow along that same line.  You will find the texture to be quite thin, but not watery, and low carbonation.  This beer will do nicely as a spring substitute while we search for the replacement and we recommend that you give this one a try as well.  And while you are relaxing and enjoying this beer, please feel free to email Allegash and beg them to stay in Texas ... I already have.

Wasatch Brew Pub
250 Main Street
Park City, UT 84060

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Beer Review - Chocolate Indulgence

Brewery Ommegang Chocolate Indulgence Stout - 7% ABV

Another of the seasonal beers that sing of spring are the chocolate ales and stouts.  Think of sitting next to an emptied Easter basket with candy wrappers everywhere and chocolate smeared all over your face and hands.  Even if you don't do the Easter thing that kind of chocolate binging is not an uncommon occurance.  There was at time in my life where I was that kid, stuffing mass quantities of chocolate in my face like that.  Dark chocolate, milk chocolate, white chocolate (I know it is not really chocolate, leave me to my delusions) it didn't matter, just give me some, give me a lot.  Now I must be a bit more selective and sneak in chocolate where I can, and I can find it in some beers. 

I am afraid of what several misguided brewers are doing to create beers that John Q. Public will buy.  Instead of creating beers that are reminiscent of a flavor they are increasingly using additives to achieve a flavor intensity that should not be in beer.  For example fruit concentrates added to give the beer a sickening sweet flavor that tastes like a sugared kids drink.  Or liquid smoke added to a porter to create a disgusting over done smoked beer that tastes like your house has burned down.  Chocolate and candy sugar added to stouts instead of allowing the roasted malts carry the flavor as they should.  These greedy sales mongers will destroy the craft brew market much as the wine market was destroyed by uninspired, souless corporations producing cheap, flavorless wines just to make a quick buck.

But this flavored beer is not one of those.  Ommegang Chocolate Indulgence was created as a chocolate stout should be produced.  It is a delicious stout with hints of chocolate rather than a chocolate bar stuffed into a bottle.  The stout pours dark with little or no light passing through and there is not much of a head, and what head does appear sticks nicely to the sides of the glass leaving pleasant lacing.  The smell of chocolate comes through along with the roasted malts, dark fruits and a bit of coffee and the flavors follow along that same path.  The wonderful part ot this stout is that the chocolate enhances the stout characteristics rather than overpowering them.  The cocoa marries with the roasted malts and coffee flavors, making a brew where no one flavor overrides the others.  This offering would be the perfect dessert accompanyment.  Stick to the beers produced by those that honor the beer making traditions, like Brewery Ommegang and we may all get through this.

Brewery Ommegang
656 County Highway 33
Cooperstown NY 13326-9248

Friday, April 15, 2011

Beer Review - Farmer Brown's Ale

St. Arnold Brewing Company Farmer Brown's Ale - ??% ABV

Ahhh, spring is in the air and time for all of the activities that comes with spring.  Flowers are blooming, birds are chirping, bees are buzzing and tornadoes are wiping out trailer parks somewhere in Oklahoma.  For the first time in many months we are able to go enjoy outdoor activites and we do so with gusto.  Running, jumping, playing and humping every leg we see, and we don't want a heavy beer to weigh us down.  So spring beers are typified by their lighter character and hints of all of the rampant floral activity everywhere we look.  It is time for the maibocks, the saisons, and the sweeter stouts and porters (think chocolate, like the basket full that the Easter Bunny brings you and make it a liquid).

Our first selection of the season comes to us from the St. Arnold Brewing Company located in Houston.  Farmer Brown's Ale is a ..... well, it's a ..... it's kind of like a .... oh hell, it is a bastard ale.  First you take their normal brown ale (which is not bad ... not great, but not bad) with it's caramel malt flavors, but instead of the normal yeast you use a saison yeast with it's earthy, fruity, spicy characteristics.  Farmer Brown's Ale is part of what St. Arnold calls it's 'movable yeast' series where they experiment with mixing yeasts normally found in a particular style of beer, with an all together different style.  I have tried this on occasion with brews by others brewers and have observed mixed results.  Sometimes they shine and sometimes they suck.  This one definitely does not suck.  The ale has a very light, malty nose and very little head.  The texture is very smooth with light carbonation and a beautiful golden - brown color.  The flavor is the very flavor of spring and growing things ... malty, sweetish, fruity, floral, earthy and wonderful.  Though they have not published the ABV I would surmise that it is somewhere around the 5.5% - 6%. 

Go to your favorite patio or park or your back porch, sit, relax and soak in sume sun and pollen and enjoy this fine brew before it goes away for good.

Saint Arnold Brewing Company
2000 Lyons Ave.
Houston, TX 77020

Thursday, April 14, 2011


We are happy to be able to offer you a special beer and food pairing. 

The fine folks at Il Cane Rosso in Deep Ellum have graciously agreed to co-sponsor a special event for our beer loving fans.  On Thursday, April 28th at 7:00 pm chef Matt Reddick will be serving unique dishes prepared specially to be served with a selection of beers chosen by the snobs. 

There will be 4 food courses and 5 beer selections for you to enjoy.  The cost will be $45/ person and you must leave your credit card number to reserve your space.  We are limited to a maximun of 30 people so please make sure that you reserve early. 

The theme will be spring/seasonal beers and we would like the Beer Snobs family to help make the selection.  Heck, if you are going to drink it you may as well choose your poison.  Please email us at and tell us what you would like to be served, local if possible, but definitely seasonal and we ask that you send your choices to us by Sunday evening the 17th of April.

Please contact Stepanie Meyer at (214) 741-1188 to make your reservation.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Heart Attack of the Month - April 2011

Hypnotic Donuts - Plano, Texas

Donuts are bad for you mmmmmkay?  So don't eat donuts.

What?  You know the they are bad for you?  You want me to come up with something better than that?  Jeez, pushy today, aren't we? 

Let's examine the plain old glazed donut, shall we?  Unhealthy white, bleached flour, fried in unhealthy grease and then dipped in unhealthy sugar.  What can be worse than that?  Well the mad scientists at Hypnotic donuts have found the way, several ways in fact, on how to make one of the most unhealthy food items in existence even more so. 
Canadian Healthcare
Smore, Hypnotic, LOTRS, LMLT,

 Let's examine, for an example, the Canadian Healthcare donut.   Take the aformentioned glazed donut, top it with maple frosting and cap it with bacon.  Oh my.  How about the Kara's Me Love You Long Time donut which is a glazed donut topped with whipped cream cheese, hoisin sauce, and crushed fortune cookie and a intact fortune cookie in the middle ... fortune and all.  You may wish to try the Land of the Rising Sun donut.  Glazed donut with white frosting, wasabi sunflower seed and crystallized ginger.  But I guess if I really wanted to max out my daily death wish I would order the signature Hypnotic donut.  This beast is a chocolate cake donut with their butter cream frosting, crushed peanut butter Captain Crunch, pretzels and chocolate AND caramel drizzel.  Guaranteed to gum up the works.  Too much sugar for you?  Don't worry, they have biscuits too, but don't make the mistake of thinking that they are any healthier.  Let me recommend the Kaye's Killer Queso biscuit.  Fried chicken, whipped cream cheese, fresh jalepenos and queso.  Artery clogging goodness.

Kaye's Killer Queso

Hypnotic Donuts is a bitch to find. You drive up Preston, just south of Frankford, looking for the sign and you don't see it anywhere. Do you know why? No sign. That's because they are located inside a tiny, take-out only pizza joint called The Pizza Guy. The Pizza Guy is barely seen in a very nondescript, mostly empty shoppng center located right behind the La Hacienda Ranch restaurant. So you decide that you want to stop in before work to try to be hypnotized into believing that these treats are good for you. You pull up and find that .... it is not open. Crap. Why not? Because they are only open on Saturday and Sunday. So then you decide to try it again and drive up for a late morning snack at say ... 11:00 on Saturday, and you see that it is closed.  Double crap, what now? Sorry dude, it is only open until 10:00 on Saturday, and 10:30 on Sunday OR until they run out of fixins. It is kind of like they are trying to fail.  No sign, very limited times and days, no place to eat the donuts (you have to get them to go) and on top of all of that, cash only.  But look at that frigging line snaking out the door, patiently awaiting their turn.  I kind of wonder if the pizza is any good but find myself not caring...give me another damned donut, please.

Hypnotic Donuts
17390 Preston Rd (Between Frankford and Campbell in the La Hacienda strip center)
Dallas, TX 75252 #263

Monday, April 4, 2011

Restaurant Review - Finally, pizza comes to Dallas.

Il Cane Rosso - Dallas

A pizza is a pizza is a pizza, right?  WRONG YOU TOAD!  Even the most unsophisticated palate can tell the difference between a New York style pizza, a Chicago style pizza and a Pizza Hut (whatever frigging style that is supposed to be I can't say) pizza.  BUT, can you tell the difference between an American pizza and an Italian pizza?  What?  You didn't know there was a difference?  Why wouldn't there be? 

There are two things that distinguish an American pizza from one from Italy:
- First are the profit generating, mass marketing pressures that have pushed our pizza makers to use more pre-manufactured, mass produced ingredients.  The reason that there is so little difference between Domino's, Papa Johns or Mr. Jim's is that they all get their ingredients from the same source.  And since these ingredients as sent to us from afar they are filled with preservatives and chemicals to keep them 'fresh'.
- The second reason is that we are a bunch of fat bastards.  Yes, I said it.  We demand more and more 'stuff' to stuff in our faces,  Have you seen the latest Pizza Hut commercials?  Cheese (that is what they call call that part-skim, low moisture crap) stuffed inside the crust.  Disgusting.  They do this to cover the fact that their pizza is revolting.  If you need ranch dressing on the side to dip your pizza in for flavor then you shouldn't be eating it.

Now if you have visited Italy and have enjoyed their regional cuisines (this sounds like an odd statement but I have know Americans to visit Europe and only eat McDonalds) you know how fanatical they are about fresh ingredients and preparing food correctly.  European and Italian food purilty laws are very strict concerning how your ingredients are raised, stored and shipped.  Naples, if you did not know, is where pizza was created at around 900 AD.  The current style was first seen in the 1700's (it could not have been earlier because tomatoes are from the Americas) and is made in virtually the identical way in Naples today.  Associazone Verace Pizza Napoletana.  "Heh?"  This is the governing body that trains and inspects restaurants on how to make a correct Neopolitan pizza and was created to protect them from having Domino's make one of their typically awful pizzas and calling it a Naples style pizza. 

"Get to the point Bon, you're boring me".  Right.

There is exactly 1 (one) pizza restaurant in DFW that is a member of Associazone Verace Pizza Napoletana.  And Il Cane Rosso is ....... not ...... it.  HOWEVER,  the only reason Il Cane Rosso was not allowed to join the party is that their oven is a mobile oven which is used by Jay Jerrier, the owner when he takes his mobile pizza truck to ply his wares.  Don't let the mobile oven tag scare you, this brute is a wood fired oven that burns at a toasty 900 degrees F and that, my impatient friends, is hot enough to cook a pizza in 90 seconds.  They still do the mobile pizza thing so be on the lookout for it.  Their website will tell you where it is going to be.

Why is a Neapolitan pizza better than Fireside Pies or even Coal Vines?  It's the small things, like, well, let them tell you "the dough which is made in-house, never frozen, from imported, all natural “Double Zero” Italian flour. The flour is not enriched, bleached or bromated – simply wheat berries ground by stone. The recipe is centuries old and is made only with flour, water, sea salt, and natural yeast. We ferment the dough at low temperatures for 24-48 hours to give it a yeasty flavor, crunchy exterior and delicate, chewy interior.

Our tomato sauce is made daily from hand-crushed San Marzano tomatoes – crushing them by hand ensures we don’t break any of the seeds and make the sauce bitter. San Marzano is not a label or a brand, but a specific type of tomato grown in limited quantities and harvested by hand in San Marzano, Italy – a small town near Mt. Vesuvius and just south of Naples. They have a naturally sweet, tangy, perfectly balanced flavor because the rich volcanic soil acts as a filter for impurities.

Our mozzarella, or fior di latte, is hand-pulled in house daily from fresh mozzarella curd. This mildly flavored cheese is able to withstand the 900 degree temperatures in our wood-fired oven without drying out. You will not find part-skim, low moisture mozzarella on any of our pizzas.

Our cured meats are imported from Salumeria Biellese in New York. Making sausages and salamis since 1925 with only certified Berkshire pork and without artificial colors or flavors, Salumeria Biellese has a simple philosophy – artisinal salumi takes time. All of our sausage comes from Jimmy’s in East Dallas – we pick it up several times a week to ensure it is fresh ground."

For our starter we had the Risotto balls.  What?  You didn't see them on the menu?  That is because they aren't ..... yet.  Creamy risotto that was cooked in chicken stock and good enough to eat just like that.  But, they took the risotto and created lovely balls (about 1 1/2 ") and inserted a piece of their mozzarella cheese and coated in with bread crumbs.  Then the dirty bastards FRIED it.  Mother Goose is that ever an incredible creation.  One the side was a very complex tomato conserva, meant to be stored but amazing fresh.  Tomatoes with garlic, onions, caraway seeds, and who knows what else makes a very sophisticated accompaniment.  Next time I will just ask for a glass of the conserva and a straw.  I tip my very large hat to the chef, Matt Reddick.  Well done, sir.

Our pizza choice was Emma.  Lovely, lovely Emma.  She had our complete attention for a while.  San Marzano tomatoes, mozzarella cheese, Jimmy's hot sausage and basil.  Simple, delicious, magnificent.

Don't ask to create your own pizza.  Don't ask for changes to near perfection.  And whatever you do don't ask for ranch dressing to dip your crust in, you don't need it and they don't have it.  Oh yeah, they are beer snobs, too and while their selection is small, it is not bad.  Stay tuned for upcoming events.

Il Cane Rosso
2612 Commerce Street (Deep Ellum across from the Twisted Root)
Dallas, Texas