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.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Heart Attack of the Month - September 2011

Babe's Chicken House - Cedar Hill

So we were sitting around one night having a spirited discussion on who makes the best Chicken Fried Steak in the area and before you ask, yes, we actually fuss about food.... and beer.  The central subjuct came down to not who has the best CFS, but whether or not there is actually a superior CFS in DFW and while a few of us were on the side of there not being a superior offering one Snob was quite adamant that there is indeed a superior offering and it can be found at Babe's.  So, off I went to try it out and what I found was quite a revelation.  Not because I found a great Chicken Fried Steak, but because I stumbled across what may the singularly most unhealthy meal that I have ever had.

First though, let me give a quick synopsis of the Chicken Fried Steak.  The meat was fine quality indeed, tender, with no surpises ... no lumps of fat, gristle or connective tissue to be found.  The breading was crisp and firmly attached, but with the taste of the grease overpowering the unseasoned meat.  Pretty good, but not great.

I was astounded at the quantity of food served ... and this was at lunch.  It must be just this side of heaven for the rotund overeaters who are really only interested in quantity.  The meal starts with the server bringing you some freshly made biscuits and a salad.  The biscuits were strangely 2 dimensional and I know what you are going to point out,  yes, there was a salad and it has the potential to be healthy.  However it was iceberg lettuce (no nutritional value whatsoever) drowned in a super sweet, sugared vinaigrette.  Then comes the parade of vegetables.  "Wait what?  You said vegetables, those are healthy you nob!"  Yes, or rather, no.  Mashed potatoes (not so healthy you must admit), sweet corn (again, no nutritional value at all) sweetened with additional sugar, green beans ("Aha!" you say) that were cooked in bacon fat ("Aha!"  I say back) and all with buckets of gravy and as many free refills as you can stuff in your fat face.

So go ahead and visit Babe's Chicken House and leave pleasantly full, or queasy from the greasy.  I guess it depends on your perspective.

Babe's Chicken House, Cedar Hill
200 South Main St.
Cedar Hill, Texas 75104

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Beer Review - Stone Japanese Green Tea IPA

Baird / Ishii / Stone Japanese Green Tea IPA  - 9.2% ABV

Once again we have stumbled across a beer that is a collaboration beer and is a true gem.  With this one you can try a limited edition beer that is absolutely unique and a joy to drink AND do something that will help people in need, which helps your karma.

Bryan Baird, brewmaster & founder of Numazu, Japan’s Baird Brewing and Toshi Ishii, former Stone brewer & founder of Guam’s Ishii Brewing Co., joined Stone Head Brewer Mitch Steele in producing this truly superb beer with the proceedes going to the Japanese Red Cross relief fund for the Japanese tsunami victims.  Outstanding.

I wish to start by telling you that this is one of the most complex beers that I have ever had, starting at the nose.  At the first sniff, which I took while the beer was still in the bottle, the smell I registered was that of Arizona Green Tea.  You know, that over sweet crappy tea flavored sugar water that is sold at your local quickie mart.  "Oh no"  I though, "This is gonna suck".  So I poured my beer and sat for a moment contemplating whether or not I would even take a drink, and then decided to smell it again.  I was amazed.  It was like I was smelling a completely different beer.  The tea scent was there sure enough, but in the background.  Hops, resin, citrus and herbs made the top of the list.  It has a hazy medium golden amber color with a thick head that persists for quite a while.

As that the Stone Brewery was involved you can bet your bottom dollar that the beer will be hoppy and you would have won your bet.  But oh my goodness the hops that they used ... American Warrior hops (for the bittering), Crystal hops and New Zealand Pacifica hops (for the flavoring).  THEN they dry hopped with "new hop variety from the Alsace region of France called Aramis".  THEN they second dry hopped with the rare Sorachi Ace hop from Japan.  All of these wonderful, flavorful hops and then with the underlying presence of the green tea makes for one uber complex brew.  Mother Goose.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Event - Brew at the Zoo

Brew at the Zoo - September, 2011

It sounded really cool, drinking beers, walking around looking at the animals .... chilling.  That, however, was a misconception, a silly dream.  Instead all of the beer related events where jammed up at the entrance to the zoo with all access inward locked up tight so that the drunken animals didn't disturb the real animals.  Probably a good idea.  However, it made the event so generic that it could have been held in any empty parking lot in Dallas.

There was indeed a huge selection of beer to be tasted ... 3 oz. at a time.  Several of my very favorite breweries, Ommegang, Duvel, Stone, Breckenridge, Unibrou were represented and I will admit to imbibing a bit more than I should.  There were those who imbibed quite a bit more than they should but for the most part they were a jovial bunch.  Still, with all of those dandy beers to sample, I was stunned to observe that the lines to taste Budweiser, Stella Artois and Dos Equis were the longest at the event.  Why would you pay $30 to drink that swill?  I am at a loss to understand, but oh well.

I will also have to say the I really enjoyed the Rebirth Jazz Band from New Orleans, but after the 5th or 6th song the songs all began to sound the same.  The Spazmatics?  No comment.

If there is Brew at the Zoo 2 will you see me there?  Probably not.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Beer Review - Guinness Black Lager

Guinness Black Lager - 4.5% ABV

I do like Guinness Stout.  Regardless of what the uneducated masses think, it is not "thick" and will not "fill you up".  In other words, it is not overpowering in any way.  So I thought that the new Black Lager may be something interesting and exciting.  So here is my review:


Overcarbonated, underflavored swill.  No better than the Budweiser it is sitting next to at your local grocery, just blacker.

Guinness Brewing Company
St James's Gate
Dublin 8, Ireland

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Beer Review - Schneider Aventinus Eisbock

Schneider Aventinus Eisbock - 12% ABV

So the story is that in the 1940's a load of Schneider Aventinus (which in my opinion is the finest wheat beer in the world) was being shipped in a container with no temperature controls during winter.  The beer partially froze which caused a separation between the elements of the beer and the water, concentrating the beer flavors from the water which remained frozen in the bottle.  60 years later Hans Peter Drexler, the head brewer from Schneider, decided to replicate the sensational brew from history.

Typically the Aventinus in recommended as an Autumn brew but this fatty may be more suited for wintertime imbibing.  The smell is of dark fruits, cloves and bananas from the yeasts, sugar and the ethers of the considerable alcolhol content.  Not much in the way of carbonation and the color is a dark brown.  You will taste lots of malts and I was pleasantly surprised to get some hop dryness as well.  Cloves, bananas, fig, caramel and the alcohol burn make for quite a complex flavor.  Dandy brew indeed.

 If you are visiting the Munich area try one of their brauhauses.

The "Weisses Bräuhaus" in Munich, Tal:
The "Weisses Bräuhaus" in Munich, Tal is the founding place of our brewery. It is the place where the founder of the company, Georg Schneider I., brewed his first Schneider Weisse Original in 1872. Now as before, it is regarded as one of the most beautiful and traditional beerhaus in this region.

Weisses Bräuhaus in Munich, Laim:
You are looking for a romantic beer garden in Munich? Then you should drop in at the Weisses Bräuhaus in ‚Berg am Laim'. The refreshing beer specialities and the Bavarian traditional dishes have been the reasons for many a visitor to become a regular guest.

Weisses Bräuhaus Kelheim:
Here you are very close to the "source of Schneider Weisse": The Weisses Bräuhaus Kelheim is located on the premises of our brewery. Many bicycle tourists and lots of locals come to its cosy rooms and the romantic beer garden to relax and enjoy life.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Beer Review - Woodchuck Pumpkin Hard Cider

Woodchuck Pumpkin Hard Cider - 6.9% ABV

I guess the first question would be "is cider a beer"?  I don't kn ..... well ...... maybe ...... why are you even asking me that?  It is served from a tap and that is good enough for me.  But is it really good enough for me? 

Mrs. Snob is a big fan of ciders, but I have to admit to not being so much of a fan.  Why would I think that I would like this when I don't care for any of the others?  Beats the hell out of me.

The color is a pleasant golden-red and like most ciders it has almost no carbonation.  Pumpkin?  I don't taste no stinking pumpkin!  It tastes like a spiced apple cider...  a sweet, very sweet, cider.  It is not really my cup of tea but if you are out with a wine drinking, beer hater this one may be a good choice for them.

The Woodchuck Cidery
153 Pond Lane
Middlebury, VT 05753