With the Cookies and Milk from Braindead Brewing, Deep Ellum's Savior Is Complete

Categories: Happy Endings

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Kellie Reynolds
Cookies and stout-spiked milk. Perfect for dunking.
If you know anything about Dallas, you've heard Deep Ellum is coming out of its coma. After its bar and club scene peaked and plummeted, many wondered if and how it could be restored to its glory days of the late '90s. Little by little, things changed; developers bought up chunks of land, the DART rail expanded, Trees was renovated. Who would have thought that the solution would be as simple as cookies and milk?

Fortunately for you, the geniuses behind Braindead Brewing figured this out. After being in-the-works since 2013, the brewpub finally debuted earlier this month. It's so new, in fact, it still smells of fresh-cut wood. And, though you can see the giant tank in their brewing room from a perch at the bar, it'll be a while before they're cranking out their own brew. Until then, they've got 42 taps to keep you busy, plus one of the best desserts ever imagined. Their warm oatmeal chocolate chunk cookies (served with stout chocolate milk) are just the thing to cap off a night in the neighborhood.

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At Annie's Culinary Creations, Late-Night Cupcakes but (Hopefully) Not for the Drunks

Categories: Happy Endings

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Scott Reitz
While everyone else pounds pizza, grab a cup cake, instead.
If this corner on Henderson Avenue is known for anything, it's raucous nightlife. Beauty Bar, Gin Mill, Barcadia and others slather young drinkers with alcohol while playing loud music, night after night. But while the young and drunk bump and grind, and giant Jenga towers tumble under the influence, two ladies just down the strand engage in a more wholesome activity: Baking cupcakes.

Annie's Culinary Creations sits in the same strip as Houndstooth, and while the storefront is quite small, there's a lot going on in the bakery behind the counter. This is where owner Annie Hall assembles her wedding cakes -- an activity that frequently consumes her Friday evenings, long after most other bakers have turned in. The more weddings booked for Saturday, the later she works, which is good for Hall's cash register and great for those who find themselves with a late-night sweet tooth. And whenever Hall is baking, Annie's is open, and her counter is filled with cupcakes.

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The Cherry Chocolate Chip Bread Pudding at Sundown Will Make Your Nightcap

Categories: Happy Endings

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Kellie Reynolds
Cherry Chocolate Chip Bread Pudding. If it were cheesecake, the alliteration would cause spontaneous combustion.

After a show at the Granada on Greenville Avenue, Sundown, its neighboring beer garden, is the obvious choice for a nightcap or dessert or both. They feature farm-to-table food and vegan/vegetarian options, which is admirable, but when it comes to dessert, "gluten-free" isn't much of a turn-on.

Mercifully, the quinoa-crusted chocolate torte has been axed sinced Chef Patrick Stark jumped ship to open his own restaurant in Denton. In its place is the cherry chocolate chip bread pudding. Made with Village Bakery bread, served with a bourbon crème, and topped with house-made cherry ice cream, it really hits the spot. And it has tiny specks of fruit in it, so it's healthy, right?

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Bowl and Barrel's Butterscotch Pie: Worth Wearing Bowling Shoes For

Categories: Happy Endings

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Kellie Reynolds
Bowling optional, butterscotch pie mandatory
Not everyone is into bowling. "Boutique bowling" is for an even more specific demographic. But booze and pie -- now there are two things you can get behind, whether you're "The Dude" or not. The folks at Bowl and Barrel are reading your mind.

It ain't cheap to bowl here. On a Saturday night, you'll throw down $50 to rent a lane for an hour of bowling. This rubs some people the wrong way, considering you can bowl at a place like AMF at the rate of $18.19 per person, for twice the amount of time.
But then, you won't find butterscotch pie on AMF's menu. And, even at five bucks for a slice of silky vanilla cream pie floating in a moat of delicious sea salt caramel sauce, it's a trade-off worth your consideration.


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The Perfect Midnight Snack: Velvet Taco's Red Velvet Cake

Categories: Happy Endings

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Kellie Reynolds
Mo' velvety than an Elvis painting.
It's midnight on Saturday night and you've been out on the town getting likkered up. You're not ready for the night to end, so where do you go? You could swing by the Taco Bell drive-thru, but you'd probably regret that decision in the morning. Plus, they don't have beer. Or cake.

Velvet Taco, my friend, has both.

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Kiss Your New Year's Resolution Goodbye with Remedy's "Felicia" Ice Cream Sundae

Categories: Happy Endings

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Kellie Reynolds
The toasted walnut brittle is killer.
"I assume this is your first time here, since we just opened yesterday," says the bartender as I score the last seat at Remedy's marble-topped bar. Good guess. I tell her I'm in the mood for dessert, and she gives me a quick run-down of the menu. "We make all of our ice cream in-house," she explains, but she can stop now. She had me at "Felicia."

Yes, it's an ice cream sundae with a human's name, which is a bit awkward, so maybe just point when ordering. A few bites in, you'll be okay with it. In a magical world where cake transforms into ice cream, the specialty sundae consists of a giant scoop of carrot cake ice cream topped with a cream cheese ice cream (see what they did there?), drizzled with a lush rum raisin caramel and flecked with generous chunks of toasted walnut brittle. It's worth ordering for the brittle alone.

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LARK on the Park's Green Apple Sorbet: Even in Winter, a Worthy Outing

Categories: Happy Endings

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Green apple sorbet in winter? Yes, it's that good.
I have a proposal for you, and I know it will sound counterintuitive at best. Bear with me. Here's the plan: I want you to go to a park. I want you to go to a restaurant in a park. Time your visit between lunch and dinner services, and indulge in a holiday treat: sorbet.

Okay, it's not the obvious choice when the air's cold enough to double your face-lotion budget, but the green apple coupe at LARK on the Park will make you want to toss tradition to the wayside. Forget gingerbread and peppermint -- the usual festive, seasonal flavors. What you need is a beautiful layering of green apple sorbet and red prickly pear syrup, dotted with vanilla bean ice cream and bitters. You want the satisfying crunch of crisp, fresh apple tidbits and cayenne-candied walnuts. Get together with someone you like enough to share with, and enjoy the view of Klyde Warren Park afforded by LARK's floor-to-ceiling windows.

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BREAKING MEAT NEWS: Zoli's To Sell Meat Wreaths!!!

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Zoli's Facebook + Alice Laussade
It's so important -- especially these days -- that the focus of our thoughts on Meatmas is Meat.

Do you like wreaths? Of course you do. Do you like meats? OF COURSE YOU DO WOULD YOU LIKE A MEAT WREATH OF COURSE YOU WOULD BUY ELEVENTY!!

"What is a meat wreath?" you ask (for what reason, I don't know. I should have had you at "meat wreath"). According to Zoli's Facebook page, it is not what you call five naked men lying down on the grass in an "O" shape, but is, in fact, a "Christmas stromboli wreath, gloriously stuffed with mozzarella cheese, pepperoni, proscuitto cotto, Genoa salami, and Luscher's sausage."

The Meat Wreath will be available to you on December 24 only, just in time for Meatmas. And it's the perfect Meatmas Eve dinner. You must order no later than 12 p.m. on Wednesday, December 24, for pickup at 5 p.m., by calling 214-942-9654.

Would you like to see Lee Hunzinger, Zoli's badass chef dude, stuffing a meat wreath? The thousand views it already has says to me that you'd probably like to view this (I'm betting only half of those were people searching for naked dude stuff). SO VIEW:

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The Bananas Foster at Oak Is an Impostor. A Really, Really Good Impostor.

Categories: Happy Endings

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Scott Reitz
Bananas Foster at Oak
When the bananas Foster I'd ordered at Oak arrived sans pyrotechnics, I had a hard time consoling myself. (The ice cream helped a little.) The whole reason people order bananas Foster -- the whole reason this post-meal sweet is a kids' favorite alongside cherries jubilee -- is the requisite tableside booze flambé. The waiter is supposed to set the bowl down, strike a match (or pull the trigger on one of those unromantic candle lighters) and set the entire restaurant ablaze.

It's not bananas Foster unless cheeks are rosed over. It's not bananas Foster unless someone loses an eyebrow. This was a fancied-up, Smokey the Bear-approved version of Bananas Foster, and I felt I had been duped.

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Bistro 31 Has an Apple Tarte Tatin That Will Make You Rethink Your Suspect Life Choices

Categories: Happy Endings

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Kellie Reynolds
Look out, Highland Park -- there's a new chef in town. After a stint at Bolsa in Oak Cliff, Andrew Bell has officially taken the helm at Highland Park Village's Bistro 31. It may seem like a bit of a gamble, bringing in a chef from a restaurant with a bohemian vibe to meet the expectations of the see-and-be-seen crowd, but nobody get your Hermes sweater in a twist just yet. He doesn't seem to be rocking many boats.

When I stopped by for dessert recently, I wondered if the menu would have any surprises. Bistro 31's website is clearly in need of an update, given that it still features a spring menu and touts Eric Brandt as the chef. It seemed likely that Bell may have tweaked the dessert menu, perhaps adding something truly memorable, in league with Bolsa's legendary white chocolate rum tile. The server explained that the new chef has made "a few item changes," but the dessert menu is not for the adventurous: standards like crème brulee and strawberry shortcake dominate.

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