Dallas' 11 Best Patios for Drinking

Categories: Best Of Dallas

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Catherine Downes
I don't want to jinx it, but if this cool spring weather pattern keeps up, we're going to have a lot of time to sip our beverage of choice out on the patio. We're almost halfway through April and it's still hoody weather after the sun goes down. Maybe that means May will bring some warm but not too hot afternoons, in which case we're sure your boss won't mind if you slip out a little early and indulge a drink or seven.

When you do, the following list will suit you, no matter your drinking mood.


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Five of DFW's Best Dumplings

Categories: Best Of Dallas

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Those Deep Ellum soup dumplings were a life saver through the winter, but don't stop now.
Are dumplings the world's most perfect food? They could be. Dumplings are delicious even in their more mediocre incarnations, and when dumplings are perfect they can border on transcendence. A well made dumpling keeps a secret tucked inside a starchy pocket, and tearing into one is not unlike unwrapping a present, which makes every dumpling you eat a celebration.

Dumplings also come in sufficient variety that the most consumed of dumpling enthusiasts could eat for years and never become bored. And it certainly doesn't hurt that dumplings are usually cheap.

Here are five examples served in and around Dallas that will offer you a small window into the power of the dumpling.

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Five of Dallas' Best Places to Eat Gluten-Free, Because My Doctor Said So

Categories: Best Of Dallas

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Patrick Michels
Not everything's GF at Asian Mint, but they make knowing what is as easy as possible.
Story by Beth Erickson

Do you want to hear a really sad story? It's all about the time when about four days before Christmas I ended up in the hospital and my doctor told me I couldn't have gluten (and a bunch of other really nice things like ice cream and mushrooms) if I wanted to not do something horrific in a stomachly area sort of way to myself anymore.

I've spent the ensuing months learning to eat without gluten, and learning to do it in places my gluten-ous friends and family can eat, too. Here are my five favorites.

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Six of Dallas' Best Bowls of Soup for Shaking Off the Thundersleet

Categories: Best Of Dallas

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Greg Berg
According to my entire Facebook feed and Pete Delkus, it's really effing cold outside in Dallas right now. I cannot confirm this as fact because I am not leaving my house until Mother Nature gets her shit together and returns us to those beautiful 75-degree temperatures she teased us with this weekend.

Practically the only thing for which I could convince myself to leave the warmth of my apartment is a delicious bowl of soup. There are, of course, other comfort foods, but nothing takes away the chill of 20-degree temperatures like soup. If you feel like braving the weather (or you're completely out of groceries), safely navigate the roads for these six steamy bowls.

*****

1. Highland Park Soda Fountain (above)
Highland Park Soda Fountain is like a really tiny time machine, and the tomato basil soup here is ten times better than that Campbell's crap from a can that you'd normally be eating. Get a grilled cheese and an egg cream on the side to round out your warm and toasty dose of nostalgia.


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Five Dallas Dishes to Keep You Warm During This Week's Terrible Cold Snap

Categories: Best Of Dallas

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Catherine Downes
What the? Unless you were sequestered your apartment with blankets over the windows, you had to notice it was 80 degrees at one point this weekend. Birds were singing, tree blossoms exploded, and baby deer were frolicking with rabbits along Turtle Creek, trying to remember where they parked their car the night before.

Yet last night sleet turned Stemmons Freeway into a bobsled track for cars, and now low temperatures are expected to remain close to freezing the rest of the week, squashing your plans to box up your sweaters for the season. But don't be glum: Spring can't be that far off, and when it does come you'll lose your excuse to hunker down with these cold weather faves.

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Five Places to Eat Escargot in Dallas

Categories: Best Of Dallas

Dallas isn't exactly a mecca of French food, but there are a few spots to get your fix of beef bourguignon or a legit soupe a l'oignon. What have noticed, though, is that there is one major dish that is missing from some of the city's best Frenchie-food menus: escargots.

Escargots have been served for thousands of years by a variety of cultures. The Romans considered the tiny snails a delicacy, and they became a large part of the French food scene in the late 1800s. Alexandre Dumas, of The Three Musketeers fame, penned some of the first recipes for escargot in his Le Grand Dictionnaire de Cuisine, published in 1873.

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4 Places To Find Decent Crawfish In Dallas

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Nick Rallo

When I was a kid, the best eating of the year was crawfish season. My people are from Louisiana, so at least once a year, someone was buying several cases of beer and a few hundred pounds of crawfish for a big-ass party. The crawfish of my childhood were cooked in huge boiling of pots of water by my grandfather and most recently my uncle, spiced with so much Louisiana Crab Boil that the steam burned your eyes. And they were the best damn crawfish I've ever had, every single time.

In Dallas, I haven't fared so well. Every seafood restaurant in town posts a big sign in front of their doors announcing "WE HAVE CRAWFISH," but it usually ends up being overpriced and overcooked and bland, just poor imitations of the slap-yo-mama spicy and juicy 'bugs I remember.

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Dallas' 5 Best Coffee Shops

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Catherine Downes

If coffee is important to you in a biological or emotional way, then you probably have an attachment to a coffee shop. If your love/addiction runs deep, you have a go-to place in every neighborhood in town.

But what makes a coffee shop really good? The kind of good that causes you to drive out of your way for it? The kind of good where you don't mind paying $1.50 more than you would at Starbucks? I would like to propose three fundamental factors that make a coffee shop more than a caffeine pit stop.

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Dallas' Six Best Bars for Day Drinking

Categories: Best Of Dallas

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Catherine Downes
These guys were made for day drinking.
The list of excuses is endless: your boss is a jerk and you need some personal space to avoid going all Office Space on him: You've billed too many hours for the quarter and you can't work any more, anyway; it's greater than 72 degrees during a month that normally features ice and snow; your dog died; your ex-boyfriend or girlfriend finally changed the Netflix password and now you've got to pay to stream House of Cards; your hard drive failed and you know for certain you'll never recreate that beautiful paragraph that would have finally gotten you that book deal; you started your taxes and the preliminary results are no good; you got fired; you stubbed your toe; it's your birthday; it's your friend's birthday; oh screw it you just feel like it, OK?

Day drinking is one of those activities that's just as good at dulling the blow of bad news as it is for heightening the celebration of just about anything you want to attach a few beers to. It's also a great way to erase a day, but only if you booze it up at a place that was made for drinking in the afternoon. These bars won't fail you.

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Dallas' Seven Best Restaurant Bars for Eating by Yourself

Categories: Best Of Dallas

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Love is in the air at Joyce and Gigi's. I'm sure of it.
Another Valentine's Day is upon us. And if you're one of those people who forgot to book a table for your loved one, I have no sympathy for you. Perhaps you can snag a table at Red Lobster, or pick up one of those heart-shaped steaks at Whole Foods.

This post is for the people for whom I do have sympathy: the single people who are about to endure what is potentially the most depressing holiday there is. Don't spend a night on the couch with tepid sack of Taco Bell as your only companion. Instead, dust your shoulders off and take yourself out on a date. When you're out without your friends, you're more likely to interact with the new people who surround you. Who knows who you'll meet?

Here are seven of my favorite restaurant bars in Dallas. I've chosen each because I've enjoyed a meal on my own there and never felt alone.

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