The Valentine's Day Cocktails of Dallas (Photos)

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Photos by Catherine Downes
Winter is on its way out (fingers crossed), but Dallas is still serving up plenty of delicious seasonal spirits. I spent the past few weeks exploring some of Dallas' winter cocktails (you can view the full slideshow here). And while all the drinks are a foolproof way to escape Dallas' bitter cold front, these five might be most apt for heating things up between you and your babely Valentine.

Pictured above:
Love Potion #6 at Oak: Reyka Vodka, Byrrh Grand Quinquina, Solerno Blood Orange Liqueur, Blood orange puree and strawberries.

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The Six Couples Dallas' Servers Will Hate This Valentine's Day

Categories: Holidays

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Friday night, thousands of couples across the Metroplex will descend on Dallas' finest (and not so fine) restaurants to spend the evening celebrating their love or whatever. They'll enjoy an overpriced prix fixe dinner, drink a mediocre bottle of wine and, perhaps most importantly, annoy the hell out of some poor server.

Valentine's Day is one of those times of the year, like Mother's Day and Thanksgiving, that makes waiting tables the worst. You might be excited about a nice dinner out, but your server is not at all excited about serving you. This holiday presents a specific set of challenges for wait staff, and really makes them pissed off to be at work in the first place.
Whatever you do, don't be one of these six couples when you go out for your V-Day dinner.


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Five Thanksgiving Dishes That Prove We're Insane

Categories: Holidays

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www.annsagonains.com
Of all the seven deadly sins, if you subscribe to that sort of thing, gluttony is probably the most enjoyable. Although, Netflix and slothiness do pair quite well, especially during a holiday. But gluttony, man, that's good times. We've pretty much mastered the craft of shameless gluttony here in the ol' US of A, as evidenced by things like KFC's Double Down and Adam Richman's career. The tail end of November is no exception. Thanksgiving is a time to, you guessed it, give thanks for all which has been bestowed upon a our large faces (and then beat the shit out of each other the next day over a talking Elmo doll).

Part of the foodaissance culture that has swept this country is the insane creations that tend to pop up on the Internet and challenge people to throw caution to the wind and start shoving food inside of other food and shove the entire mess into the oven and then slam your face into it when the timer goes DING! Here are our five favorite ridiculously senseless Thanksgiving Day culinary creations:

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11 Dark Bars to Hide in After You're Stuffed: The 2013 Guide

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Jay Barker
The Windmill Lounge
OK, turkey revelers, it's about time for elastic pants, pie and plates of regret. But, before we get too deep in the holiday mood, let's pull back a little. Don't hit the season too hard. Walk in softly. After hours of being stuffed like a turkey in a small house with your bestest relatives, it's totally natural to feel the need to escape get a little fresh air.

So, we've put together a list of the best dark bars to hide in, which are all Hark-the-Herald-Angels-Sing open on Thanksgiving!

Good news, this list is even better than last year's. Yeah 2013! There are some newbies and a few classics. Bless them.


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How to Dallasize Your Thanksgiving, and We're Not Talking about a Signature Bridge

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Rene S
Papers, please, turkey.
Now that Meat Fight and the recaps of Meat Fight are over, all eyes can turn to the grandest of all food-centered holidays, Thanksgiving. Sure, lots of other holidays involve eating, but Thanksgiving is completely about the food. Supposedly there is a little in there about being thankful and glossing over some awkward history involving European settlers and Native Americans, but let's get real: It's mostly about the food.

Maybe this year you are thinking about spending a little extra money and buying more locally sourced foods. Here are some things to consider:

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The 2013 Dallas Observer Thanksgiving Dinner Fantasy Draft: Whose Menu Is Best?

Categories: Holidays

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With the holidays approaching, the nation is once again sweating with fantasy-football fever, sending the NFL's popularity further into the stratosphere and office productivity further into the tank. But there are more important things in life than football, or at least one more important thing: Food.

Specifically Thanksgiving food, which, like football, brings people together, passes the time and leaves old men wandering around their homes, groaning and confused. It was with this in mind that my fantasy-sports-hating, food-loving wife suggested several years ago that I hold a Thanksgiving Dinner Fantasy Draft. The tradition endured for a couple of years, died and is being revived here. Let's get to it.

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The Five Prettiest Chocolate Dishes in Dallas

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Photos by Catherine Downes
(Pictured above: Gluten and dairy free chocolate molten cake with almond milk ice cream at HG Sply Co.)

Today is International Chocolate Day, and in honor of this tasty "holiday," my camera and I set out in search of some of the most decadent chocolate dishes in Dallas. Here are what I think are the five prettiest dishes I shot; see the rest in this slideshow.

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World Nutella Day Is Dead [Updated]

Categories: Holidays

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We recently spilled several pixels over the glut of food holidays vying for the month of May. You helped us sift through National Asparagus Month, National Gazpacho Month and National Chocolate Custard Month to determine that, from now on and for all time, May is National Barbecue Month.

But the calendar is still full of daily food holidays. Just this week, for example, National Quiche Lorraine Day is Monday, National Strawberries and Cream Day is Tuesday, and National Escargot Day is Friday. We're very excited about National Mint Julep Day on May 30, but still, this is a lot to take in.

Luckily there will be at least one fewer holiday starting in 2014: World Nutella Day, February 5, is dead.

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How to Pull Together a Cheap Last-Minute Easter Basket

Categories: Holidays

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Flickr
Peep-lic Transportation
Last year it wasn't until 10 p.m. the night before Easter Sunday that I remembered it was absolutely definitely time to round up some Peeps and chocolate peanut butter eggs to fill baskets, which is partially on account of me not wanting to spend money on things that will be obliterated within one hour of being received. Procastination with silly expenditures, if you will.

So, at the store, I was carefully taking stock of the Peep selection when a really loud shopper went to check out. She wasn't being mean or anything, just yelling instead of talking.

Meanwhile, another lady at a register about 15 feet away was busy getting her credit card declined or something like that. She was clearly pissed. Funny thing happened then, Credit Card Denied Lady got real irritated with Loud Lady.


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Purim Food: Where to Get Hamantaschen

Categories: Holidays

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Traditional hamantaschen
This Saturday and Sunday is the Jewish holiday of Purim. What's Purim? The short answer, "Jewish Halloween" is also the wrong answer. But there are costumes involved as well as a lot of drinking, so it's easy to see where folks could get confused.

So real quick: Purim is the biblical story of Queen Esther and how she saved all the Jews by being the most beautiful and appealing to her husband the king's sensibilities regarding mass murder. It's a familiar story: Some guy (in this case, Haman) tried to kill all the Jews (a goal that never seems to get old). Some good guys (King Ahasuerus, Queen Esther and her uncle Mordechai) work it out so the bad guy pays in the end. Then we drink, and eat.

Specifically, we drink until we can't tell the difference from the good guy and the bad guy in the story (which is hard to do, considering every time someone says the bad guy's name everybody starts making noise like it's going out of style). And we eat hamantaschen, which are little triangular-shaped shortbread cookies filled with jam, poppy seeds or most anything, really. Just no bacon, OK guys?

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