And the Winners of Meat Fight 2014 Are ...

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Robert Strickland
The Meat Fight judges included Aaron Franklin, Jack Perkins, Daniel Vaughn and Jusitn Fourton.
Imagine this: Saturday night, while you and your fuzzy-ass slippers shiffled to the thermostat to crank your heater to 11, four teams of fancy chefs were huddled around smokers in a muddy West Dallas parking lot, drinking beer and cooking meat overnight in freezing temperatures, all in the name of charity. All in the name of Meat Fight.

This was the fifth year of the Fight, a charity barbecue competition founded by our longtime and award-hoarding Cheap Bastard columnist, Alice Laussade, and her husband, Mike. (The Observer is a sponsor.) It was the largest yet, held in a drafty warehouse across the street from Trinity Groves.

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Dinnertime at El Fenix Is Tex-Mex Heaven

Categories: Cheap Bastard

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Alice Laussade
Follow the Cheap Bastard as she scours the city, looking for a good -- or at least non-lethal -- lunch for less than 10 bucks.

Grandpa and grandma double-date count: 4
Praline count: 7

One could go to El Fenix at lunch. But it's much more fun to go for Old Lady Dinnertime (OLD). It's in the 4:50-5:15 p.m. range and is the sweet spot of the El Fenix scene.


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You, Too, Can Eat Like a Cheap Bastard at Stephen Pyles' Fancy-Ass San Salvaje

Categories: Cheap Bastard

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Catherine Downes
It's "sal-VAH-hay"? Really?
Follow the Cheap Bastard as she scours the city, looking for a good -- or at least non-lethal -- lunch for less than 10 bucks.

People saying "Ooooooh" at their food: 14
Times I wondered why there was a full-length mirror next to the shitter in the ladies' restroom, angled so that one could watch oneself depant and repant: 457

I have loved every Stephan Pyles thing I have ever eaten. Even though his restaurants are usually a little fancy for my monetary goals, there's always an offering or two within my cheap range at lunch. So I walked into San Salvaje (emphasis on the "vag") with high hopes. When I sat down at my table, the menu was already mad at me.


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The Meat Fight Meat Scavenger Hunt Starts ... Now

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Catherine Downes for Meat Fight
Go do something meaty and photograph it. It'll be fun.
Last year, tickets to Meat Fight (my barbecue competition that benefits the National MS Society) sold out in a flash.

So, this year, we decided to have a meat scavenger hunt so that one lucky bastard could have easy access to our meat tickets before any other bastard. This is good for us for two reasons: 1) If anyone participates, it means that an actual meat fight occurred in the streets of Dallas because we demanded it, and 2) (see 1).

It's good for you because the winner receives the opportunity to purchase Meat Fight tickets without having to endure the possible scramble that could happen on October 1 when tickets go on sale to the general public. Also, you now have an excuse to fight a pig or cow in public. You're welcome.

Behold: the rules of the 2014 Meat Scramble.

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The Cheap Bastard's Guide to the 2014 State Fair of Texas

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We sent Alice, our resident State Fair of Texas expert, to sample the eight finalists at this year's Big Tex Choice Awards. Well, actually, that's a lie. We didn't send her. She was going no matter what. In fact, God help the poor soul who stands between Alice and a pile of battered, fried, greasy weirdness, particularly if it's ball-shaped. Not that we're making any judgments. She did, though, and here they are:

Before we begin, let's sum up the basic rules of eating things at the State Fair for those of you too damn lazy to read all these words. They are:

• If it's a ball, eat it.
• If it's on a stick, eat it.
• If it's fried, eat it.
• If it's all of the above, praise the Fried Lord, you've found a fried heaven three-fer, SHUT UP AND EAT IT.
• Anyone who says the following words at any time during the fairgoing gets punched in the tit: calories, Paleo, CrossFit, expensive, cardiologist.

Want more details? Keep reading ...

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Cedars Mediterranean Mezza & Grill Really, Really, Really Wants to Top Off That Water

Categories: Cheap Bastard

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Sara Kerens
The baklava at Cedars.
Follow the Cheap Bastard as she scours the city, looking for a good -- or at least non-lethal -- lunch for less than 10 bucks.

Eight old dudes, sitting at a table near the back, had buckets of empty wine and were clearly mid-serious-slurred-conversation when I walked in. Cedars Mediterranean Mezza & Grill (8141 Walnut Hill Lane) is BYOB. I had not seen anyone take advantage of BYOB at lunch on a Tuesday before this day. It was a wonderful sight. I couldn't tell if they were arguing about President Obama or pants with zippers. I don't think they were sure, either. "The zipper broke when I sat down, and these pants are only 20 years old! Thanks, Obama."

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Haystack Burgers: Good Enough to Make You Forget How Far You Went to Eat Them

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Alice Laussade
Follow the Cheap Bastard as she scours the city, looking for a good -- or at least non-lethal -- lunch for less than 10 bucks.

Milkmaid HJ count: 0
Beer "fuck yeah" count: 3

Should you find your cheap self traveling to The Great North, aka The Nearly Oklahoma, aka Richardson, stop at Haystack Burgers & Barley (100 S. Central Expressway). They opened recently, and they're located in the same shopping center as Alamo Drafthouse.


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In Praise of Tanoshii Ramen, Because Ramen

Categories: Cheap Bastard

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Alice Laussade
Follow the Cheap Bastard as she scours the city, looking for a good -- or at least non-lethal -- lunch for less than 10 bucks.

Fork count: 0
Deep Ellum Hipster count: 8

Everything about ramen is good. From the broth to the noodles to the whatever-the-fuck-else-you-throw-in-there. When it's at its best, it's the most soothing, tasty-ass comfort food you've ever eaten. When it's at its worst, it reminds me of that time I used a block of Shrimp Top Ramen to level out my twin bed at college. All good times.


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Roll N Go on Greenville: Great, Cheap Rolls and a Casher Who Gives Things Away

Categories: Cheap Bastard

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Alice Laussade
Follow the Cheap Bastard as she scours the city, looking for a good -- or at least non-lethal -- lunch for less than 10 bucks.

Open seats at 3:45 p.m. on a Sunday: 0
Menu items: 143

Roll N Go (6110 Greenville Ave.) is not a sushi roll restaurant. It is not a rent-by-the-hour hotel. It is a spring roll and egg roll and Vietnamese fast foodstaurant. Created by the same people who brought you Bistro B, the crazy amazing (and by that, I mean Britney-headphones-on-the-servers-and-rolling-dirty-dish-carts-in-the-dining-room crazy and delicious amazing) Vietnamese restaurant near Garland, Roll N Go has promise as a cheap lunch spot.

Last Week's Cheap Bastard: I Love Everything About You, Keller's


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I Love Everything About You, Keller's

Categories: Cheap Bastard

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Alice Laussade
Don't ask for IPA, alright?
Follow the Cheap Bastard as she scours the city, looking for a good -- or at least non-lethal -- lunch for less than 10 bucks.

State of the drive-in at noon: packed
Camo hat count: 4


Keller's on Northwest Highway has my favorite dirty burger to eat in the summer. I love the car hops, with their cig-breath and "Darlin"s and their fists full of cash. I love the way the place lights up like Christmas at night. I love the dirty couches right outside the restaurant, presumably for walk-uppers and ne'er-do-well-hanger-arounders. I love the faded menu that reads, "We have plenty of fixin's" and "Every order made to order-- never pre-cooked, frozen or microwaved." I love the truckbeds full of people gleefully stuffing their faces with fried. And most of all, I love the fact that they will walk a beer out to your car for you.


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