The Happy Hour at Joyce and Gigi's Is Killer, and So is Dessert

Categories: Happy Endings

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Chocolate cheesecake with a cayenne kick. Pow! Right in the kisser!
It's 9 on Wednesday night when I drag my friend out to Joyce and Gigi's in East Dallas. She's in nursing school and should be writing a paper that's due the next day, but fortunately one of us has her priorities straight: half-priced drinks and dessert to share. The restaurant's two-year anniversary is coming up in December, but this will be our first visit. The South American bistro has garnered high praise for its desserts, so I'm eager to give it a go.

Like a beacon on the otherwise dark and deserted-looking Hall Street, the glow from their windows invites us in. We're greeted warmly and take our places at the bar, resting on two bright-red tractor seat stools. As we peruse the drink menu, the sultry voice of Astrud Gilberto sets the tone for a relaxed night out that feels like a world away from Dallas. I land on the Sour Joyce, a foamy pisco sour laced with papaya juice, and it's everything I want it to be -- bright, tangy, citrus flavors with the added theatrics of the cocktail shaker.

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How Trinity Groves' Kate Weiser Turns Chocolate into Art (Video)

See also:
- Kate Weiser Is Making Chocolate into Art in Trinity Groves, and It's Delicious
- An Interview with Kate Weiser, Dallas' Next Top Chocolatier

Blythe Beck's Kitchen LTO Is Serving a Pumpkin "Latte" That's Better Than Your Pumpkin Latte

Categories: Happy Endings

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Kellie Reynolds
Chef Blythe Beck's spin on the pumpkin "latte" and the Tom--ahem--Fallins cocktail
In Happy Endings, we travel the part of the globe that says "Dallas" in search of great desserts and great places to eat them.

It's opening weekend for Chef Beck Blythe at the "permanent pop-up" restaurant Kitchen LTO, which is reincarnated every four months with a new chef. Upon learning this, I'm instantly curious. I never had a chance to dine at Central 214 when she was running the show there, but I remember Beck for her pink chef's coat and outspoken personality from the series The Naughty Kitchen. With all the buzz surrounding the chef and the restaurant's turnover, I figured the place would be packed, even on a Sunday night, when I ventured out to Trinity Groves to get my next sugar rush.

Crickets. Tumbleweeds. No-man's land.

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The Beignets at Toulouse Belong in Your Face

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Kellie Reynolds
Worth the calories, but easy to burn off, too.
In Happy Endings, we travel the part of the globe that says "Dallas" in search of great desserts and great places to eat them.

When I invited my runner friend out for dessert at Toulouse, I never should have mentioned that the cafe is a frites-length away from the Katy Trail. Once he caught wind of this, our date became contingent on a pre-dessert jog. Obviously I tried to cancel. I was suddenly very "busy." I feigned sniffles.

He wasn't having it.

See also: Searching for a Happy Ending with the Whiskey Cake at Plano's Whiskey Cake

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Searching for a Happy Ending with the Whiskey Cake at Plano's Whiskey Cake

Categories: Happy Endings

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Kellie Reynolds
If the question is "Whipped cream?" the answer is "Yes."
In Happy Endings, we travel the part of the globe that says "Dallas" in search of great desserts and great places to eat them.

When a restaurant names itself after one of its desserts, you don't ask questions -- you just order it. Especially when it involves the words "whiskey" and "cake."

So it was on a recent Friday night, when a friend and I walked from the strip mall that hosts Kroger and Academy through a wormhole that seems to lead from Plano directly to the Bishop Arts District but actually leads to one of the northern suburbs' favorite restaurants: Whiskey Cake. We grabbed a couple of seats at the long, high bar, and, as we do in Happy Endings, skipped straight to drinks and dessert.

See also: This Is What Flan Should Taste Like

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This Is What Flan Should Taste Like

Categories: Happy Endings

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foodbitch
Looks can be deceiving...
In Happy Endings, we travel the part of the globe that says "Dallas" in search of great desserts and great places to eat them.

Today, we take a closer look at a classic: Abuelo's.

There are seven locations in Texas, but for our purposes here, let's talk about the one on 75 and Parker Road in Plano. The scene inside Abuelo's is a little odd. There's a courtyard-like cobblestoned indoor dining room surrounded by, well, more dining room. There's a slick digital ordering system at every table. But there's also a large stone fountain. It feels like Italy, or rather, an Italian restaurant at a Mexican resort. But for some reason it all kinda works.


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Submit to the Siren Call of Fearing's Double Chocolate Popsicles

Categories: Happy Endings

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Kelly Reynolds
Maybe I'm the only person in Dallas who cringes at the thought of mandatory valet. Why? For starters, no one needs to witness the level of abuse and neglect my car has suffered. If it were a child, it would be in CPS custody. Not only that, but asking someone else to perform a task that is usually my job makes a do-it-yourselfer like me a little uncomfortable. I guess I'm being ridiculous--most people never give this a second thought. At any rate, the valet issue has been a wedge between Fearing's and me, which could only be dislodged by the promise of dessert at one of the top restaurants in the country. I took a deep breath, put on a Ritz-Carlton-worthy dress, and hoped that it would draw attention away from the clunker I rolled up in.

The Ritz. The name immediately draws associations with refinement and class. Its swanky reputation inspired its own slang and Irving Berlin's tune "Puttin' on the Ritz." (Let's just forget the 80's version of the song by Taco ever happened.) Hell, just to take the association one step further--even a simple cracker can't bear the name without becoming pretty much the most supreme of all Nabisco creations. Being more the Ritz cracker sort than the Ritz-Carlton crowd, I had to wonder if I would feel a little awkward strolling into their fine establishment. Fortunately, the siren song of Pastry Chef Jill Bates' dessert menu was too powerful to resist.

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Dessert at Teppo Is a Show All its Own, and the Black Sesame Ice Cream is the Star

Categories: Happy Endings

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Kellie Reynolds
Teppo's black sesame ice cream.
In Happy Endings, we travel the part of the globe that says "Dallas" in search of great desserts and great places to eat them.

Friday is my splurge day. At my house, we call it "party night," but contrary to the images of free-flowing booze and throbbing lights and music those words may conjure up, what that really means is eating whatever we want. Being the sugar fiend that I am, dessert is always top priority.

Last week I was beginning to think Friday would never arrive, but like a child's Christmas or an adult's second season of Orange is the New Black, it finally arrived, and I could let the binging begin. All that was left was to narrow down my options. The days of summer have made that process simpler, basically boiling the decision down to two words: ice cream.

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Stock & Barrel's Toffee Croissant Bread Pudding: A Dessert You Won't Want to Share

Categories: Happy Endings

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foodbitch
Heaven is: toffee croissant bread pudding at Stock & Barrel
In Happy Endings, we travel the part of the globe that says "Dallas" in search of great desserts and great places to eat them.

Lately, so many new restaurants and bars have popped up around town that it's hard to keep up. Many of these places seem to have similar, generic, forgettable, industrial-sounding names like Barter, Bowen House, Craft & Growler, CBD Provisions, AF+B and, in the Bishop Arts District, Stock & Barrel. I can't keep 'em straight for the life of me.

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Dive's Key Lime Pie: An Essential Part of Your Summer Staycation

Categories: Happy Endings

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Kellie Reynolds
Some Dallasites are lucky enough to escape the blistering heat of the city by fleeing to the emerald green beaches of Destin, Florida, or at least the less glamorous oil-kissed shores of Padre Island. Then there are the rest of us. Some of us must begrudgingly embrace the word "staycation" and make our own fun within the confines of the concrete.

If you're one of the latter, consider Dive Coastal Cuisine in University Park for a quick, fantasy getaway. Enter, and you're instantly transported. In this upscale-casual setting, capiz shells dangle in the window, beachy d├ęcor surrounds you, and an icy air-conditioned breeze blows your hair back -- you could almost believe you're on an exotic vacation.

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