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, June 30, 2012

Beer Review - Alaskan Summer Ale

Alaskan Brewing Company Summer Ale - 5.3% ABV

The Kolsch style of beer comes to us from the lovely city of Cologne, Germany.  A Kolsch is warm fermented then cold lagered like several other northern European beers and are remiscent of the altbiers; you will probably notice the similarities.  They have a decent amount of hops but not as much as the typical German lager.  Malts are there as well, but not dominating.  I would say that the thing that defines the typical Kolsch in that nothing defines the Kolsch.  By that I mean that they are typically perfectly balanced so that neither the hops or the malts dominate.  It's Yin is balanced with it's Yang. 

The Alaskan Summer Ale is a really good representaion of the style with a fine traditional balance.  The mellow malts and slight sweetness are marvelous with the fresh flavor European and Northwest hops.  They come together to create a wonderfully refreshing beer for you to enjoy a hot summer day.  Low carbonation makes to a really easy drink so be careful to not fall off your boat, or bar stool, or .....

Alaskan Brewing Company5429 Shaune Dr.,
Juneau, Alaska

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Beer Review - Peticolas Royal Scandal

Peticolas Brewing Royal Scandal English Pale Ale - 6.5% ABV

Summer.  It's hot.  I want a nice, cool, crisp beer cool my sweaty brow (I as actually thinking something other than brow but decided to censor myself).  This is the time that I reach for a lager, a pale ale, an IPA ... you know, something refreshing.  Have you ever had an English Pale Ale on a hot day?  Magnificent.  Think Old Specled Hen or Boddingtons.  Lightly carbonated, malty and smooth.  And this Peticolas beer is none of those.  Up to this point I have been a huge fan of the beer styles produced by Peticolas which are typically fine examples of the genre that they are representing. 

Royal Scandal smells of hops, which while not unpleasant, is very non-English Pale Ale-ish, and neither is the significant carbonation.  I was also surprised by how dry the beer was with all of the sugars thoroughly consumed during the brewing process.  Really, the only flavors that came strongly across were the hops.  Very un-English Pale Ale, but a nice IPA, if that is what you are after.

Peticolas Brewing Company
2026 Farrington Street
Dallas, TX 75207

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Restaurant Review - Lockhart Smokehouse

Lockhart Smokehouse, Oak Cliff

Semantics.  Nice word there, isn't it?  No, it has nothing to do with being Jewish, that is semitic.  Semantics is the study of subtle changes in work meanings, like the word 'smokehouse'.  There are those who think that a 'smokehouse' is the same as a BBQ joint, but they would be slightly wrong.  The Lockhart Smokehouse is slightly different than a regular Barbeque restaurant and I am pleased as hell that the owners know and recognized the difference. 

A typical BBQ restaurant serves smoked meat all right, but they probably will also serve roasted meats, or potatos, or a long string of sides and goodies lined up on a bar just past the meat.  It is not done that way at Lockhart, no sir.  At Lockhart you walk up to the counter and order meat.  "What kind of meat do you want"? the guy at the counter will ask, "and how much"?  They then cut the meat as per order, toss it in some butcher paper and you are done.  "Sides?  They are in that cooler over there".  Not 'which sides do you want', no no.  If you feel the need for a side you can buy a tub and take it with you, but not really as part of the meal.  Separate.  Oh, they will throw you on a couple of slices of white bread, but the sides, they are over there. 

While the quality of meat is undeniable, the quality of the smoke was not as apparent.  The Post Oak wood that they use only imparted a small, subtle smoke ring and flavor, kind of like they smoke time was a bit short, but the brisket was delicious nontheless.  I also thought that they used a bit too much sugar in their brisket rub, but the sugar does make a nice, black crust.  "The sausages are buy one get one today".  *Sigh* "I may as well eat those too" I thought .... and did .... and regretted it for hours.  Not because of the qualtiy, but because I was suffed like a 6 pound tamale.  The jalepeno chesse sausage is damn fine, too.  Yeah, I got a side .... the coleslaw with blue cheese was terrific with a bit of jalepeno and mustard hidden in the background.

This here place is a smokehouse, not a BBQ restaurant which may just be semantics.  If you are looking for meat coma, this is the place and enjoy the meat sweats that come with it. 

Oh yes, see if you can pick out the famous ex-pro soccer player who works there.

Lockhart Smokehouse
400 West Davis
Dallas, TX 75208

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Event Review - Savor 2012

Savor Washington D.C., June 8, 2012

There was a time when I dreamed of attending the Great American Beer Festival in Denver.  The problem was that I rarely had available time or available money at the same time to make the pilgrimage.  Then came the glorious day when time and money synched and I was amazed.  Beer.  Beer everywhere.  More beer than a man could drink in a day, with so many choices that I was overcome with emotion.  With racking sobs I vowed to return every year for as long as I lived.  Well ..... I lied.  The GABF was later discovered by those who also witnessed that there were more beers available than a man could drink in a day, but vowed to try to drink them all anyway.  And they brought their friends.  The pigs had conqurered the GABF and the geeks were pushed out to wander the streets, looking for a venue to supply the liquid that they craved.  Then we discovered Savor.

This is our second year at Savor and I must say that we are mightily impressed.  Why is Savor so much more satisfying than GABF?  The number of breweries are limited to 74 rather than infinity and are said to be chosen by lottery (but I am skeptical).  The number of attendees are limited to app. 2,000 per night, giving you plenty of room to wander and time to enjoy.  Lastly, each beer has a food pairing created by a popular or famous chef.  This year's chef was Adam Dulye from the Monk's Kettle and Abbott's Cellar in San Francisco.  I hope and pray that they don't cave in to the pressure and change the format in the future to allow greater numbers of attendees.  As it is, this event is a beer geek's idea of heaven.

If you will allow, I will toss you some impressions of some of the beers that we sampled.  As that we were given only small samples to taste, photos are worthless.
- Coronado Brewing Company from Coronado, California supplied us with a brandy barrel barley wine named .... Barrel Aged Barley Wine.  Their process of doubling the boiling time and adding lots of sugar sources makes for a quick buzz and lots of interest.
- Two Brother Brewing Company from Warrenville, Illinois supplied Domaine DuPage, a terrific farmhouse saison and the chef supplied the amazing lamb meatballs with tomato and ricotta.  Divine.
- The Double Black IPA from the Revival Brewing Company in Providence, Rhode Island was as great as the Belgo American Saison.  I would recommend seeking out the offerings from these guys.
- Did you know that the is a brewery in Little Rock, Arkansas called the Diamond Bear Brewing Company?  You are probably better off not knowing.
- Avery Brewing supplied the best rocket fuel of the evening with a one off called Uncle Jacob's Stout with a whopping 17.42% ABV and so thick that it stained my glass.  If you find this one somewhere, grab one for me, 'cause this is one magnificent brew.
- Natty Greene's Pub and Brewing Company only sells beer in their native North Carolina.  Stop in and have a Muzzleloader Baltic Porter and you may just decide to remain there.  It was paired with Kentucky Hot Brown which was roasted turkey, brioche, bacon and gruyere.  Boinggggg.
- The Denver Brewing Company supplied us with Graham Cracker Porter and Kaffir Lime Wheat beer.  Both were absolute crap.
- Citrus Cured Salmon with grapefruit and and Pistacio Cream Cheese was the pairing for the Breakaway IPA from the American Brewing Company in Edmonds, Washington.  The beer was a typical west coast IPA but the Salmon was terrific.
- Fat Heads Brewery from Cleveland, OH created the belgian style Sorcerer ale but the mole Pork Belly with pumpkin seeds and orange zest was the reason I went back for seconds.
- Mother Earth Brewing Company from San Diego produces a magnificent, fat IPA called Sisters of the Moon.  Many hops and few malts.  Dandy.
- Moon River Brewing Company from Savannah, Georgia brought 2 fine, fine offerings.  Dixie Crystal is a really good Belgian Style triple and the Rosemary Swamp Fox IPA was also quite nice.  I am anxious to try their other offerings.
- You may have seen Cherry Hill, NJ's Flying Fish brews at the new Total Wine on Central.  The Exit 8 Belgian Chestnut Brown ale was excellent as was the Exit 4 American Tripel.  Go get youself some, now.
- Fegly's Brew Works from Allentown, PA produced a couple of mightly fine brews.  Arctic Alchemy is a hybrid cross between a barley wine and an old ale.  "Made from 158 year old recipe. This arctic ale was originally brewed by commission of her majesty queen Victoria. This special beer is mahogany in color, has a caramel and toasty sweet malt flavor and earthy hop tones."  Their Hop'solutely is an American triple IPA with Cascade, CTZ, Summit, Amarillo and Chinook hops. Dry hopped with Chinook and Amarillo.  Intense.  I don't know if their beers are available anywhere close, but I will be looking.
- Upland Brewing Company from Bloomington, Il produces a forgettable stout with the unforgettable name Teddy Bear Kisses.  Don't bother.
- Founders Brewing Company in Grand Rapids, MI produces many, many beers.  Some good, some not so good.  The Old Ale however, is perhaps the perfect example of an old ale.  Brewed with molasses and oak aged it is sweet and somewhat dry.  Nice, easy drink.
- New favorite brewery that I have never visited and probably never will:  Short's Brewing Company from Bellaire, Michigan.

The Saturday session sold out in 4 minutes and you must be a member of AHA to even try to get a ticket, but if you can, make the time and spend the money.  You can thank me later.  GABF?  Sigh, yeah, we'll probably go, but only because I made a promise.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Beer Review - Snack Attack

Cigar City, Bluejacket and Funky Buddha Breweries collaboration - Snack Attach Imperial Porter, 10% ABV

Cigar City Brewery in Tampa, start-up Blue Jacket Brewery in Washington DC and the Funky Buddha Brewery in Boca Raton, FL came up with this monster collaboration beer apparently while binging on loot from the local 7-11 after smoking a whole lot of weed.  Have you heard of Reinheitsgebot?  The German beer purity law that states that you should only use water, barley and hops to produce beer?  Yeah, well this one is not one of those. 

Here is a list of the ingredients in the beer that they admit to:  sea salt, lactose, cacao nibs, roasted peanuts and vanilla.  Here's what I think is also included:  everything on the candy isle at that aforementioned 7-11 including the licorice.  An Imperial Porter is itself a face full of potency, intense and full flavored and when you add all of those ingredients you get what is basically Snickers beer. 

The color is dark ... black even with more smells than you can process.  The texture is creamy with medium carbonation and a head that does not persist.  The blast of flavor is stunning, complex, over-powering.  I was almost unable to finish my 8 oz. glass due to the intensity, but I'll be damned if I don't already want another.

I rather doubt if this one time special will ever be brewed again and would be really, really surprised if there is any to be found in Texas, but if I were you, I would go ahead and look.

Cigar City Brewing Company
3924 West Spruce Street, Ste. A
Tampa, FL 33607

Bluejacket Brewing Company
200 Tingey St SE
Washington DC 20003-4600

The Funky Buddha Lounge and Brewery
2621 N Federal Hwy
Boca Raton,FL US

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Weekend Sin

Here is something for you for next weekend that covers at least 2 of the 7 deadly sins.  Enjoy.

Dallas Bites! Announces Beer & Burger Tour for June 16.Dallas Bites! presents its summer Beer & Burger tour on Saturday, June 16 from 1-4:15 p.m.…just in time for Father’s Day and graduation gifts.  In addition to touring Deep Ellum Brewery, the tour will visit some of the city’s top burger picks including legends like Adair’s, Wingfields and Boots Burgers…plus a special stop at a surprise venue that makes quite possibly the finest burger in the Dallas area.  Along the way, beer will be offered on the private bus that will whisk guests to each destination.  Plus there will be beer with burgers.  Simply put, if you love beer and burgers, you will love this tour!  Price is $40 for the tour, which lasts about 3¼ hours.  To reserve your seat, go to and book under the “Dallas Bites!” tours on the right.  Call 972-442-6963 or email for more information.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Tasting = free booze, right?

Total Wine & More Grand Opening Celebration

Public invited to participate in celebratory events at Total Wine’s new Dallas store location

Total Wine & More will celebrate the addition of its new store in the Dallas market with an evening of festive events, music, food, tastings and prizes.  The event will begin with an official ribbon cutting ceremony and the presentation of charitable donations to the store’s non-profit partners, the Dallas Symphony Orchestra and the Make-A-Wish Foundation of North Texas. 

The public is invited to attend all of the evening’s free activities, including:

Appearances by Kathy Jones and Rebekah Black from Jody Dean & the Morning Team at K-LUV 98.7 FM Radio
Official ribbon cutting ceremony with State Senator John Carona
Barbeque dinner catered by Sonny Bryan’s Smokehouse
Wine, beer and spirits tastings
Giveaways including a free corkscrew and reusable wine tote to every guest (while supplies last)
Eligibility for additional prizes and gift cards

Events will be hosted by David Trone, Co-Owner and President of Total Wine & More.

Thursday, June 7th, 6 – 9 p.m.

Total Wine & More
9350 N. Central Expressway (Best Buy Plaza)
Between Park Lane and Walnut Hill Lane
Dallas, Texas 75231

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Restaurant Review - Dough

Dough Pizzeria

Perhaps you saw the episode of DDD where that bleached blonde, spikey haired twit visited Dough Pizzeria in San Antonio.  Of course, he raves about every dish at every restaurant he visits is 'money' so it is hard to take him seriously, but this restaurant really is special.  The original San Antonio branch also has obtained the rare approval of  L'Associazione Vera Pizza Napoletana for serving authentic Pizza Napoletana.  At his juncture the Dallas branch has not attained the storied heights of the original, but having spoken to people who have eaten at both I must assume that they are, as I am told, identical. 

The space is open and light with busy staff bustling about with speed and purpose.  Our server, Danny, was enthusiatic, pleasant, energetic and attentive.  We were seated immediatly and though the staff was flying about we were not rushed or pressed in an attempt to 'turn the table'. The manager even stopped by to say hello and carry on a short, but pleasant conversation.  They also know their menu.  The well trained staff was very professional which is much appreciated.

The pizza was fantastic with ingredients and flavors much like I remember from an Italian vacation years ago.  The Puttanesca Pizza has tomato sauce, house-made Fior di Latte (mozzarella), rapini (broccoli rab), garlic, olives, hot pepper flakes, anchovy, extra virgin olive oil.  I quite like anchovies, but the anchovy in this one was put on a bit too thick and almost overpowered the mix.  However, the ingrediants were of a correct quantity so that the crust did not get soggy. 

The other pie was the daily special and was a white pizza with fontina and goat cheeses along with fingerling potatoes, Bresaola (a dried Italian beef) and sea salt.  Dandy.

Really good pizza and great service = return business.  The only down side of the evening for me is that the beer selection is rather poor.

Dough Pizzeria - Dallas
11909 Preston Road
Dallas, TX 75230

Friday, June 1, 2012

Special Offer from the Flying Saucer

So you know about the BeerFeast at the Lake Flying Saucer.  They have asked me to pass this offer on to the Snobs. 

They are giving away a $5 gift card to the Saucer for everyone that makes a ticket purchase to the festival today (Friday) and Saturday.  There is also a promotion for a group discount (minimum purchase of 10 tickets) at $25 each (plus the $5 gift card, if purchased today or tomorrow).

Tickets are $30 in advance and $40 at the door. See you there.