Ten of Dallas' Best Places to BYOB

Categories: Best Of Dallas

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The beverage side of your dinner bill is sometimes just as costly as the food that you're eating. The rising costs of food, everything from limes to bacon, have restaurants looking for creative ways to make extra cash. The wine list is a prime spot for boosting profits, and that $15 bottle of wine you've been eyeing at Spec's will likely cost you as much or more than a prime rib-eye if you buy it at your favorite restaurant. A 2010 Grgich Hills Chardonnay, available at Total Wine for $32, will cost more than $100 after taxes and tip at Bistro 31 in Highland Park.

But thanks to exorbitant licensing fees and a complicated labyrinth of laws that govern how establishments in Texas can serve and sell alcohol, there are dozens of restaurants in the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex that allow you to bring your own. These 10 restaurants and venues are among the best.

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Where to Find Poutine in Dallas

Categories: Best Of Dallas

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Catherine Downes
The duck poutine at Blind Butcher.
Food trends come and go, but for the last few years poutine has been cropping up on menus across the country. Poutine originated as a lowly diner food for drunk Canadians in the 1950s, but chefs are adding their own upscale twists to the dish as it becomes one of the hottest food trends on American menus since truffle oil.

Even if Dallas is a little bit behind on the poutine trend, it's now in full swing. We're not entirely sure who started the poutine craze in Dallas, but you can get your fix at any of these five fine establishments. You should probably get a little (or a lot) drunk before trying them, just to make sure that your experience is fully authentic.

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Dallas' Five Best Places to Buy Food to Eat Outside, Which Is a Thing People Do

Categories: Best Of Dallas

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On second thought, just give me the whole wedge.
Usually summer in Dallas is ushered in with 100-degree-days, slicks of perspiration and a general sense of suffering experienced whenever you walk outdoors. As this Memorial Day weekend approaches, though, it is surprisingly gorgeous out. Who knew such things were possible?

Maybe summer in Dallas doesn't have to suck -- at least for now. So, before those temperatures climb into the stratosphere, grab a blanket and pack yourself a picnic. Here are a few great places to fill your basket.

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The Five Best Breakfast Tacos in Dallas

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Good Morning, tacos.






All week at City of Ate, we celebrate the magic of the taco. Check back for more interviews, essays and maybe a list or two. Or maybe four?

Ah, breakfast tacos. They look so easy, right? Scrambled eggs are one of the first foods every kid learns to cook, just after he's mastered the ability to toast his own Pop Tarts. Add in tortillas, chopped cilantro and onions, an extra protein or potatoes just for grins -- what could possibly go wrong?

Well, not much. In Dallas, we're blessed with a plethora of decent-to-pretty-good breakfast taco options. But, we at City of Ate believe that life is too short to merely avoid a rumbling stomach during a 10 a.m. meeting. Let's consider that our breakfast foods can rise above an a la carte existence. Let's believe that eggs and meat and cheese and salsa have the power to merge into a delicious symphony and then get wrapped up in a tortilla. Let's cram all of life's goodness into our bleary-eyed, kinda-hungover-and-kinda-just-don't-feel-like-working faces at once. 

Let's truly live, dammit.

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Five Cures for Dallas' Cinco de Hangover

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Openviolin on Flickr
"We're, like, totally Cinco de Mayans!"
Happy Cinco de Mayo! Despite the commonly held belief that the fifth of May is Mexican Independence Day, Cinco De Mayo is a day to commemorate and celebrate The Battle of Puebla, where an over-matched Mexican army kicked the shit out of their French occupiers. In Mexico, the holiday is celebrated with street parades, dancing, and plenty of food.

In the United States, though, the holiday has become an excuse for white people to get wasted on margaritas and consume piles of chips and queso. A lot of us have been celebrating Cinco de Mayo since Saturday, but will still end up drunkenly hollering "VIVA MEXICO!" in a sombrero while standing outside of some random bar in Uptown. Who could pass up an opportunity to drink margaritas and tequila with impunity?

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Ten of the Best Taquerias in Dallas-Fort Worth

Categories: Best Of Dallas

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Fish tacos from El Comé Taco
All week at City of Ate, we celebrate the magic of the taco. Check back for more interviews, essays and maybe a list or two. Or maybe four?

There aren't too many places you can drop buck and change these days, and end up with something as satisfying as a well-made taco. The best ones come on handcrafted tortillas and are stuffed with carefully cooked fillings that are fatty, warm, savory and soothing. Freshly blended salsas are available for squirting, to excess if you like, and the only thing that never seems to be sufficiently plentiful is the napkins, even though you're surrounded by crumpled pile of them.

You've got no excuse. There is enough money for a stellar taco or two tucked into the folds of every couch in America. Flip those cushions if you must, and get ready to enjoy the best tacos Dallas has to offer.

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Where to Drink in Dallas for the Kentucky Derby, Which Is Some Sort of Hat Contest

Categories: Best Of Dallas

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Sara Kerens
Sissy's was built for this.
The Kentucky Derby is a Southern ritual, especially if you're rich. In Kentucky proper, thousands of people will put on their Sunday finest and excessive headware to watch horses run around the track for exactly one and a quarter mile. Seems boring, but I'm pretty much down for any occasion to drink and put on fancy hats.

But you can't do that at home. Whether you're a degenerate gambler or just a fan of horse racing, head out to one of these five Dallas spots to take in "the most exciting two minutes in sports." Maybe you'll hit the jackpot, or maybe you'll watch the pony that you bet your rent money on fall to the ground before they even get out of the gate.

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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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The Five Best Dumplings in Dallas and Fort Worth

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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