Bob's On Lemmon is Dallas' Epicenter for the Dirty Martini

Categories: Drink This

Bob's Steakhouse Martini.jpg
If you look closely you can see them: the telltale shards of ice floating on the surface of your martini at Bob's Steak and Chop House on Lemmon Avenue. The bar is dim and dark, and martinis are the precursor of choice to meals that often feature massive cuts of beef plus carrots fit for horses.

Before James Bond, this cocktail was always stirred not shaken, as agitation has a tendency to cloud a drink. But back then vermouth was used in equal proportion to gin, and had a lot more character than the sweet and dry versions lurking behind most bars these days.

Now vermouth is uncouth. The fortified wine has been reduced decade-by-decade until the suggested method of adding the aperitif is by way of atomizer, if it's used at all. What's stranger is olive brine has replaced vermouth as a savory means of dilution, sometimes in puckering quantities, while vodka has replaced gin as the innocuous spirit of choice.

At Bob's the drinks are neither shaken nor stirred. Instead the bow-tied bartenders pump long bar spoons up and down in stainless steel shakers like maids churning butter. The results are a boozy liquid with tiny shards of ice like glitter suspended throughout the drink.

Say what you want about dirty martinis, there is none colder than the one served at Bob's.

Location Info

Bob's Steak and Chop House

4300 Lemmon Ave., Dallas, TX

Category: Restaurant

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I remember the folks drinking "martinis" when I was a kid. They didn't use the fancy glass as above but rather just a plain old fashioned glass. No shaking, stirring or other stuff just ice cubes and gin and a few drops of Martini and Rossi Vermouth. The gin of choice early on was Fleschmans. Then the old man got a promotion and they upgraded to Gordons. Another promotion later and it was Beefeaters. One time he came home with a airplane bottle of vermouth and somewhere they found a spray bottle pump that fit the bottle (or atomizer as Scott called it). Just a spritz of vermouth.....until that broke and then they joked that they just kind of waved the bottle over the glass. Ah the life of alcoholics.


Ice shards and olive juice are for pussies that don't want to taste any alcohol.  Why not just go for a cosmo?

primi_timpano topcommenter

The ice shards, not to mention too much shaking, introduces too much water, a dilution that dims the drink's qualities.  For the first time in my life I agree with Phelps, select gin and use a few drops of vermouth, or enough to coat the glass.

everlastingphelps topcommenter

Or, if you aren't a man-child and want to order a REAL martini, with vermouth and gin, they will gladly make one. 


I don't think there are enough shards to affect the taste. Not in 3-4 oz pour. The olive juice on the other hand......

I agree with you though. Beefeater all the way.

scott.reitz moderator

@primi_timpano I'm on the lookout for vermouth that's good enough to stand equally next to a high-quality gin. I had a 50/50 martini once that was sublime.


@scott.reitz @MikeD Excellent article, thanks.  I think the operative word is tiny slivers of ice.   I like his recommendation of Beefeater, Gin doesn't have to come in fancy bottles to be good.  Also it's worth noting that the martinis of yesteryear came in much smaller glasses than we see today.

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