Dallas' Ten Best Rooftops for Drinking

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Let the sun shine on your face while you pound six beers. It's rooftop season, y'all!
There is nothing better than consuming copious amounts of alcohol while being really, really high. And no, that doesn't mean on drugs, you deviants, that means sitting on a roof with a beautiful view of the Dallas skyline. Now that the weather will be beautiful for at least the next few months, it's time to plop your ass down in a chair and drink with a view.

Put on your best floppy hat, and soak up this year's first weekend of great weather on one of these ten awesome rooftops in Dallas.

HG Sply Co (above)
The food here is mostly healthy, but that shouldn't discourage you from checking out the rooftop patio at HG Sply Co. It has a stunning view of Lower Greenville and Downtown and plenty of great cocktails. The patio table seating is great for groups, and covered(ish) areas will help protect you from the blinding sun.

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The Crushed Velvet Cocktail at Public School 214 Isn't Innovative, but Is Awesome

Categories: Drinking

Amy McCarthy
Crushed Velvet is a little boring, a lot delicious.
For the past several months, I have been deliberately avoiding vodka-based cocktails. I've had a few great ones, like the Why The Long Face at Henderson Avenue Country Club, but for the most part, good bartenders seem to be ignoring vodka in favor of other, more interesting spirits. And who could blame them -- vodka is boring, but it certainly gets the job done.

Still, it can be done well, and vodka will never entirely go away. It's too low calorie, too easy to drink in excessive quantities -- making it perfect for any well-qualified lush. Vodka drinks rely on the cocktail's other components to drive the flavor, which is extremely pronounced in Public School 214's refreshing Crushed Velvet cocktail. Of course, starting with a great vodka doesn't hurt.

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Neighborhood Services' Right Hook Cocktail Packs a Sweet, Delicious Punch

Categories: Drinking

Amy McCarthy
A humble but delicious drink that could use a little sprucing up.
My very first introduction to pisco, the traditional Peruvian spirit, was at a New York ceviche bar. Our Peruvian server had conned my entire table of already-buzzed idiots into taking a shot of pisco, straight up. If you've ever tried pisco, you know that taking shots of this spirit, which has a strangely diesel-like boozy punch, is generally a bad idea. Mixed into a cocktail, though, pisco has the potential to create an incredible drink.

For whatever reason, pisco hasn't really taken off in the cocktail world. It can be found on most high-end cocktail menus, but if you survey 10 of your friends, eight of them have probably never heard of it. In Chile and Peru, close to a hundred million gallons of the stuff are consumed every year, which is probably why brands like Pisco Porton have been furiously trying to introduce it to the American market.

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New Dallas Nightclub Gatsby Is Planning Parlor, a Basement Lounge with a Full Kitchen

press still
"Everyone! Your attention please! We will serve chicken feet soon downstairs!"
When I first saw the billboard for Gatsby downtown, I thought it was an advertisement for a new show on the CW. I was wrong: It's actually a new downtown Dallas nightclub opening in the space that was formerly occupied by Plush. As eyeroll-inducing as the idea of a Gatsby-themed nightclub may be, it looks as if this new joint is going to be a significant improvement on its predecessor.

As CultureMap reported last week, Gatsby is a project from Ross Edinboro of The Standard Pour. Edinboro is joined by a silent partner, named only as "Jay Gatsby." High-end libations of all kinds, with a particular emphasis on scotch, bourbon and tequila, will be available by the bottle, but no word yet on whether or not craft cocktails will be part of the offerings.

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Sunrise Asian Cuisine: Dallas' Best Discount Sushi House for Poor, Sleepless Drunks

Categories: Drinking, Eat This

Amy Silverstein
Sunrise Asian Cuisine is a great restaurant to eat cheap sushi, but it's even better as a restaurant to test your dining companion's character. An uptight, square person will be alarmed by things they may have heard while dining at Sunrise Asian Cuisine, such as "We've lost our liquor license" or "We ran out of salmon." They will be suspicious of the restaurant's food "happy hour" deal, which actually lasts for 16 hours, and the quality of the raw fish they're getting at a price so cheap. They will be annoyed that it takes the waiters forever to bring out the food, even when the restaurant is empty. And if you're friends with one of those super-squares who insists on vetting Sunrise through Yelp, there's a chance they may ignore the restaurant's many positive reviews and fret on the one review that says a whole table got food poisoning, or the one that says they found a bug in the water, or the one that says the women's restrooms were out of toilet paper for two hours and nobody cared.

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Topo Chico, I Love You the Very Most

Categories: Drinking

Flickr/Gina Pina
Topo Chico, #GOAT.

Sometimes, I drink things that contain no alcohol at all. These occurrences are relatively rare, but it is important that I not be entirely tanked for my regular 10 a.m. conference call. One cannot survive on gin alone, which means that zero-proof libations are an absolutely essential part of our lives.

Doctors suggest that we replace all of that sugar and chemicals from our old soda habits with water, but water is boring. There are only so many glasses of plain-ass water that you can chug before you're ready to strangle Gwyneth Paltrow and everyone else who ever told you that healthy living was worth it. You've tried the stupid fruit infusions and the weird flavoring additives that are mostly propylene glycol, but hopefully you've just grown up and moved on to fizzy water.

Fizzy water is for fancy ass bitches. It is what you order at the bar when you're feeling the need to sober up, but still want to look cool holding a wine glass. Most of the time, if you're in a quality establishment, they'll offer you San Pellegrino, or maybe they're busted and only have Perrier. But if you're truly lucky, they'll have Topo Chico, the indisputable world champion of fizzy waters. And that's a title that I'm willing to fight nine rounds over.

If you don't drink Topo Chico on a regular basis, you are missing out on one of the food world's simplest and most delicious pleasures. When it's 100 degrees outside and your face is melting off, a cold Topo Chico will actually make you want to live again. Way back in Tenochtitlan times, the fizzy waters from the source spring in Northern Mexico were believed to have healing powers, a fact that you can confirm yourself by pounding a frosty bottle when suffering from a raging hangover.

Topo Chico is also great in that it is the best sparkling water in the world without being fancy or pretentious. You can cart home an entire case of Topo Chico for less than a buck each, and laugh at all those idiots who are still spending more on Pellegrino. And yet, you can still pour it into one of those wine glasses that you stole from a restaurant and pretend, if only for a second, that you are a person with actual class.

Should you choose to mix it with booze, and you absolutely should, Topo Chico will seriously elevate your cocktail game. That bullshit Schweppes club soda that you've been passing off as "sparkling water" at your home cocktail parties will be completely unpalatable once you've swapped Topo Chico into your favorite drink recipes. Mixed with gin or vodka, lime juice, mint and a shitload of Sonic Ice, Topo Chico rounds out the simplest, most perfect cocktail for just about any occasion.

As Champagne is to "sparkling wine," Topo Chico is to "sparkling water." Stop being so pretentious with your San Pellegrino and drink an actually delicious, actually healthy mineral water. We're looking at you too, Dallas restaurants -- Topo Chico belongs on every single menu in this city.

The Paloma Cocktail at Dunston's Steakhouse Is Not Fancy, But You're Going To Love It

Categories: Drinking

Amy McCarthy
Terrible photo, terrific cocktail.
As someone who grew up going to steakhouses with floors littered with peanut shells and decorated with old license plates, I appreciate the simplicity and straightforwardness of a place like Dunston's Steakhouse. The steaks are prime, the walls are unfinished, and the atmosphere is like a fancier Golden Corral, complete with a watery-looking yet entirely tempting salad bar.

The drinks, though, are much more refined than you might think. There are old school entries, like a classic Mai Tai made with orgeat syrup, pineapple juice and fresh rum. Orgeat syrup! Even the cheesier cocktails, like the coconut rum-and-moscato based Oceanside Coconut, are straightforward without a bunch of sweet syrups or other bartender's shortcuts. From my first glance at the menu, though, I knew I was going to be having a Paloma.

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Nine Band Brewery's Taproom Is Open in Allen, Its Beer Destined for a Tap Near You

Categories: Beer, Drinking

Brent Nuss
So ... close ... to ... beer.
Nine Band Brewery in Allen opened its taproom doors for the first time over the weekend, because people in Allen deserve to slug high-ABV beers under the auspices of locavorism, too, OK?

Large, handmade wooden tables and stools fill the room, and a number of TVs line each wall. Open seating made finding a spot difficult on opening night. Happy-houring office workers and a few UT Dallas students packed the room.

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In the Quiet Hours at Proof + Pantry, Exploring the Magical World of Gimlets

Categories: Drinking

Amy McCarthy
This is the best drink you're gonna have all week. YOU'RE WELCOME.
Even though I can't generally afford to drop 30 bucks on a bowl of pasta at Proof + Pantry, I do find myself occasionally wandering into the restaurant in the late afternoon hours. Between lunch and dinner service, Proof + Pantry closes the kitchen but keeps the bar open for a few quiet hours until the dinner rush.

The bar is small and often unoccupied in the afternoon, they play MSNBC instead of Fox News, and the cocktails are on point. It's the perfect place to have an early afternoon drink before braving the traffic up the Dallas North Tollway to my cocktail-deprived neighborhood on the outskirts of Addison. It is also where I discovered exactly how delicious a gin gimlet could really be.

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Remedy's Better Lemon Proves That Great Cocktails Don't Have to Be Complicated

Categories: Drinking

courtesy Remedy
The Better Lemon, a better cocktail.
I have a long and sordid history with lemonade and vodka as a drinker. This classic combination has gotten me through countless college parties, New Year's Eves and other festive occasions. But I've been trying to drink better. I've stopped ordering vodka-cranberries at the bar, and I haven't had any kind of flavored martini in at least a year. Call it a crappy cocktail time-out, but drinking better cocktails isn't exactly much of a punishment.

I saw The Better Lemon on Mate Hartai's menu at Lower Greenville's Remedy on the first warm day after that last cold snap. My past drinking-proclivities made it absolutely impossible to pass up.

Recent cocktail reviews:
Henderson Avenue Country Club's Why The Long Face Cocktail Is Sweet, Happy Drinking
Midnight Rambler's Hell Hound Cocktail Will Help You Grow Up as a Drinker

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