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.

Thursday, September 29, 2016

Bowling? Sure, why the hell not?

                Bowl & Barrel Spins Out Vinyl Nights
Half-price beer, upscale bowling and live vinyl DJ featured Sundays beginning Oct. 2

DALLAS (Sept. 29, 2016) – Strike out your Sunday plans because Bowl & Barrel - Dallas is taking “SundayFunday” to a whole new level.

On Oct. 2, Dallas’ premier bowling venue is launching weekly Vinyl Nights. From 8 p.m. to midnight everySunday, guests can enjoy half-price bowling while grooving to the beats of vinyl DJ Wanz Dover.

Of course, drinks must be served for it to count as a true Sunday Funday, which is why Bowl & Barrel is offering half-price beer all night. Partiers may also enjoy one of their popular handcrafted cocktails, including –

·      Velvet Mule – Tito’s Vodka, Velvet Falernum, ginger beer, lime juice
·      French Kiss – Prosecco, St. Germain, lemon juice, house-made grenadine
·      Dr. Funk – Flor de Cana, lemon, absinthe, house-made grenadine
·      Four Thieves – Six-Year Bourbon, blackberry, sage, lemon
·      Astoria – London dry, lime, mint, violette, ginger ale
·      Manhattan – Red River Rye Whiskey, Cocchi di Torino, Temperance Cacao Sagrada bitters

Live vinyl music, boutique bowling, gourmet food, great drinks and beer specials…Bowl and Barrel has it all! So grab the crew and roll on over this Sunday to celebrate the launch of Vinyl Night, and start your newSunday Funday tradition!

            What:  Vinyl Nights
            Where: Bowl & Barrel, 8086 Park Ln, Ste 145, Dallas
            When:  Sunday nights, 8 p.m. - Midnight
            Why:    Half-price beer, half-price bowling and DJ Wanz Dover spinning vinyl tunes

Bowl & Barrel is located in the Shops at Park Lane in the heart of midtown Dallas. For more information, visit

Beer Serving Temperatures

How often have you seen ads from bars bragging that they have "the coldest beer in town"?  And what is your thought when we hear this ad?  Is it "mmmmmmm, cold beer" or is it "dumbasses"?  We suppose that we could tell you that either is correct, and that temperature is a matter of personal preference, right?  Nah, we don't call ourselves beer snobs for nothing.  So rather than simply state that we believe the statement is incorrect, we will give you guidelines set for restauranteurs from - Cheers, Bon

"Most Americans are used to drinking their beer at very cold temperatures, but these icy temperatures harm the enjoyment of craft beer. While lighter-styled craft beers should be served cold, it is not necessary or wise to serve them icy cold. Just as too cold a temperature dulls a fine white wine, it has the same effect on a fine craft beer. This is especially important for beer that is served with a meal.
Some of this beer temperature confusion comes from the popular North American light beers and macro-brewed lagers that are designed to taste best at around 38–39° F. Accordingly, U.S. beer refrigeration equipment and draught dispensing systems are designed to hold beer at 34-38° F.  In contrast, even lighter styles of craft beer taste their best a bit warmer than icy cold and are also more tolerant of warmer serving temperature variations.
Richly-flavored, fuller-bodied craft beer styles prefer to be somewhat warmer still. Like elegant red wines that are best served at cool cellar temperature, full-flavored, higher-alcohol beer styles need a chill but not a cold. At the same time, be careful not to serve full-flavored beers (or red wines for that matter) at room temperature. Typical room temperature (72° F) is much too warm for all but a couple of craft beer styles.
Since all beers will warm up once they are poured into a glass, this factor can also be accounted for in your bottle-service refrigerator temperature settings. A room-temperature, rinsed, thin-shell glass will raise the temperature of beer by about two degrees Fahrenheit. A room-temperature heavy glass chalice or mug increases the beer’s temperature by about 4° to 6° F.
Below is a discussion of handling service temperature for craft beers, first bottled, then draught.

Bottled Craft Beer Service Temperature Guidelines
Short-term storage of bottled beer at service temperature will not harm the beer. For proper craft beer service three separate bottle-temperature zones are recommended. Conveniently, these double up nicely with wine categories. The temperature recommendations are designed to assure an optimum serving temperature, accounting for a 2° F glass warming factor. The three categories are:
  1. Cold, no lower than 41° F (5° C) Lighter styles of beer — Sparkling wines/Champagne
  2. Chilled, no lower than 46° F (8° C) Most craft beers — White wines
  3. Cellar, around 53° F (12° C) Higher alcohol, richly flavored beers — Red wines
Cold – This is for your lightest styles of craft beer. These include American Pale Lagers and Pilsners, German-style Helles Lager, lighter American Wheat Beer, lighter summer seasonal beers, sweet fruit-flavored Lambics, Belgian-style Wit (white ale), and Kölsch.
Chilled – This workhorse category works for craft-brewed Pale, Amber, Brown, Blonde, & Golden ales; IPA, Hefeweizen, Stout; Porter; Dunkel, dark Wheat Beer; Tripel; dark sour ales, Gueuze, Amber lagers, and dark lagers. This cooler doubles for your white wines.
Cellar – Cool cellar temperature (like those in a true, unheated in-ground cellar or cave) is where you keep your cask-conditioned English Ales & Bitters, double India Pale Ales, most anything labeled Imperial, dark Abbey beers, Dubbel, Barleywine, Baltic Porter, Bock and Doppelbock. This cellar-temperature cooler doubles for your red wines.
Since the so-called best temperature for drinking a specific beer is also influenced by personal preference, no easy way exists to ensure that everyone will like every beer at the temperatures recommended above. However, these recommended temperature zones are a great place to start, and they are certain to drastically improve beer service versus simply serving all beers at the same cold temperature.
Test your beer service temperatures with customers and see where your customers prefer them to be. With so many styles of craft beer available today, it is difficult to know exactly where each beer will taste its best. It may take a little trial and error to decide which of the three temperature categories is right for a specific beer.
Check the thermometer
Don’t depend solely on the cooler’s thermostat dial markings or digital read out; use an NSF calibrated refrigerator thermometer to monitor the beer cooler temperature. In this energy-waste-conscious environment, keeping your thermostat at optimum temperature, and not a degree colder, is not only good for beer service, it is good for your bank account.

Draught Beer Service Temperature Guidelines
Draught beer is quite a different animal from bottled beer. The American beer industry has standardized draught beer dispensing systems to operate at a constant 38° F for optimum performance. This means that all the beers will dispense at the same very cold temperature, whether they are Bud Light or a big Imperial IPA. This poses a challenge for any restaurant concerned about the proper service temperature requirements of craft beer. Changing the temperature can really mess up draught beer service and is not recommended. Warming draught can cause excessive foaming, waste and loss of product.
One way to deal with this uni-temp reality for your draughts is to emphasize craft beer styles that show better at colder draught system temperatures. You then balance out the draughts with bottled-versions of the more flavorful craft beer styles, which you serve at warmer, more appropriate temperatures.
For draught, emphasizing styles such as craft-made pale lager, Pilsner, (and possibly Dunkel and Schwartz) and lighter ale versions including Wheat, Blonde, Golden, Cream, Kolsch, and Wit will help you maintain some service-temperature integrity. In restaurant use, these lighter tasting styles still provide a good range of food pairing opportunities and situational compatibilities.
Additionally, always be sure to use room-temperature beer glassware for craft draughts. The glassware will warm up the beer by 2 to 6 degrees, depending on whether it is a thin-walled glass or heavy mug.
If you do choose to offer more-fully-flavored craft beers on draught, at least you can rest assured that your competitors are serving them up at the same cold temperatures. American craft beer drinkers have learned to be fairly tolerant of draught beer served a little too cold for the style. 
What about the macro-brews?

North American macro-brewed lagers and lights, such as the familiar Bud-Miller-Coors-Corona contingent, show better at colder serving temperatures than craft beer. Should you decide to continue selling them, both kegs and bottles of these should be kept in icy cold refrigeration set to 35-38° F."

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Fort Worth Flying Saucer BeerFeast 2016

If you have not ever attended a Flying Saucer BeerFeast then you are missing out on a long tradition of fine beer and dining.  This year's event is a bit different for this year's BeerFeast at Flying Saucer in Fort Worth on Oct. 8. The festival will, for the first time, be a VIP-only event

BeerFeast has been a loved event in DFW for more than 10 years. Many people look forward to it every year, and a number of them expressed interest in a VIP festival. This year, BeerFeast will move to Flying Saucer and take place in the bar and on the patio.

Changes include:

  • A limit of 600 VIP-only tickets
  • More than 120 beers, including an 80-tap takeover inside Flying Saucer and a variety of bottles and cans on the patio
  • A new partnership with Bird Café – Chef Scott Curtis will cater in addition to the traditional BeerFeast fare of bratwurst and pretzels
  • Live music throughout the festival
  • An expanded timeframe (now noon to 6 p.m.)

Friday, September 23, 2016

Del Frisco's Grille and Firestone Walker Dinner

Though the beer dinner thing has gotten kind of stale, this one is well worth considering.  Firestone Walker makes excellent beers, amongst the best in the country.  Del Frisco's Grille, well, you know, it's frigging Del Frisco's and only $49.00?  Yes, count us in.
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Del Frisco’s Grille Dallas Announces Firestone Walker Beer Dinner
WHO: Del Frisco’s Grille has partnering with Firestone Walker Brewing Company to present an evening of decadent foods and brews on September 29 at 7 PM.  The special evening will come with a three course menu plus passed appetizers. Each course will feature a beer perfectly paired for each flavor palette. Tickets are $49 per person plus tax and gratuity.
Firestone Walker was founded in 1996 by David Walker and his brother-in-law Adam Firestone in Paso Robles, California. The once small Brewing Company now makes more than two dozen types of beers and is known for staying committed to the quality and innovation of their product.
WHAT: Firestone Walker Beer Dinner at Del Frisco’s Grille in Dallas

WHERE: Del Frisco’s Grille Dallas, 3232 McKinney Ave, Dallas, TX 75204

WHEN: Thursday, September 29, 2016, 6:30 PM Reception, 7 PM Dinner
RESERVATIONS: Please call 972-807-6152

Passed Apps
Scallop Crudo | Watermelon Radish, Fresno Chili
Seared Beef Tenderloin |Tomato Leek Ragout, Ricotta Salada,
Luponic Distortion # 3
Pivo Pils

John Dory “Hot Pot” | Lemongrass, Kaffir Lime
Parabola / Russian Imperial Stout Aged in Bourbon Barrels

DBA Braised Lamb Shank | Stickee Monkee Demi-Glace, Barley Risotto
Stickee Monkee / Central Coast Quad Aged in Spirit Barrels

Olive Oil Cake | Bourbon Caramel Ice Cream
Helldorado / Barrel Aged Blonde Wine Ale

Monday, September 12, 2016

Oktoberfest at the Biergarten on Lamar, September 15

Biergarten on Lamar Brings Germany to
Dallas for Oktoberfest Celebration
Live German music, food specials and more on tap for Sept. 15
DALLAS (Aug. 23, 2016) – It’s time to put on your Lederhosen, don your Alpine hat and head to Biergarten on Lamar to celebrate the world’s greatest beer festival.
The German-themed restaurant and bar will satisfy your cravings for an authentic Oktoberfest experience with live German music and food specials that you’ll want to raise a stein to.
Don’t have a beer stein? No problem.
The first 150 dine-in guests will receive a free Paulaner BeerStein!
“There’s no better place this side of the Rhine to enjoy authentic German beer than Biergarten,” said Executive Chef Angelo Landi of Biergarten, located just outside the entrance to the Omni Dallas Hotel. “We serve up great German food with a twist in a warm and festive and atmosphere that makes Biergarten the perfect place to celebrate Oktoberfest in Dallas.”
To add to the festivities, 105.3 The Fan will be broadcasting live from Biergarten beginning at 10 a.m.
Biergarten on Lamar is a modern take on the classic German-style beer garden, complete with an outdoor patio. The perfect place for conventioneers to relax, roll up their sleeves and do business, Biergarten is also a great destination for downtown Dallas residents and professionals. It features an ivy-covered outside patio and a timeless interior design with white brick, light woods and a warm, casual setting.
Biergarten is a new concept by Joseph Palladino, a former New York City police officer who has become one of Dallas’ most respected and successful restaurateurs. Palladino also owns the iconic Nick & Sam’s Steakhouse in Uptown, Nick & Sam’s Grill in the Park Cities, Coal Vines, Dos Jefes in Uptown and Quill in the Dallas Design District.