100 Favorite Dishes, No. 30: The Charcuterie Plate at FT33

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Catherine Downes
The charcuterie plate at FT33
To prepare for this fall's Best of DallasĀ® 2014 issue, we're counting down (in no particular order) our 100 Favorite Dishes. If there's a dish you think we need to try, leave it in the comments, or email me.

Plenty of restaurants offer a collection of seasoned, cured and preserved meats, known collectively as charcuterie. Some of them even make it themselves -- but not too many, because the process is complicated, intricate and takes a lot of time, equipment and space. The art of charcuterie requires meat grinders, casings and obscure ingredients like pink salt.

You also need special refrigerator space held at a constant temperature and humidity or hundreds if not thousands of dollars of meat could end up a rancid moldy mess. In short: charcuterie is a pain in the ass, which is why most restaurants that want to serve the stuff opt to buy their selection from someone else.

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The Female Bartenders Who Rule Dallas' Cocktail Scene

Categories: Drinking

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Kathy Tran
Ivory Pope and Haydee Hernandez at CBD Provisions
It's Drinking Week at City of Ate, which means even more stories than usual about our favorite pastime. Check back for more stories about craft beer, killer bartenders and more.

Mustachioed, bowtie-and-fedora-wearing Newsies extras shaking out cocktails is so last year: This is the year of the "ladytender."

Much more than just a pretty face, these badass chicks who don't need to wear a costume to craft a cocktail you'll come back for. They know their shit, they're good at what they do, and, bonus: They do it all with a smile. We scouted out some of the city's best and asked them a few questions.

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The Cheap Bastard's Guide to Drinking Four Loko and Bud Light Lime-a-Rita

Categories: Drinking

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Alice Laussade
All the best worst malt beverages one could ever wish for.
It's Drinking Week at City of Ate, which means even more stories than usual about our favorite pastime. Check back for more stories about craft beer, killer bartenders and more.

Sometimes you're at a tailgate and they've run out of Dallas Blonde, Local Buzz and Lakewood Lager, and you're faced with the choice between a Bud Light Lime-A-Rita and a Peach Four Loko. WHAT IS THE RIGHT ANSWER QUESTION MARK QUESTION MARK. I had to know.

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The Best Frozen Cocktails in Dallas

Categories: Drinking

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foodbitch
The rita with a Thai accent
It's Drinking Week at City of Ate, which means even more stories than usual about our favorite pastime. Check back for more stories about craft beer, killer bartenders and more.

It may be less than a month until the official start of fall, but this is Texas, so it's best to accept that it may be sweltering well into October. What do we do when we're slick with sweat and panting like old dogs? We drink frozen cocktails. And we've scouted out the most interesting, fun and tasty frozen 'tails in town so you don't have to.

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In Dallas and Beyond, Custom Cocktails Are Overrated

Categories: Complaint Desk

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Catherine Downes
The stage at Smyth is set for the cocktail of your dreams, or a complete disaster.
It's Drinking Week at City of Ate, which means even more stories than usual about our favorite pastime. Check back for more stories about craft beer, killer bartenders and more.

I had my first "custom cocktail" about four years ago. I was at new bar in D.C. called The Passenger, where, along with doing untold things to hot dogs, they served drinks few others in the city were making at the time. A man named Tom Brown was behind the bar, and a friend beside me mentioned I could order a customized cocktail -- something whipped up just for me, based on my tastes.

I remember Brown's hulking figure turning toward a wall of spirits, one hand wrapped around a stainless steel shaker and the other near his face, finger tapping his lip in deep introspection. He'd just asked what kind of base spirit I liked and a few other questions about sweetness and flavor preferences, and was presumably was using the information to create something that had never been created before.

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A Woman's View of Redneck Heaven

Categories: Food News

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George Morris on Flickr
Redneck Heaven: It's ... something.
In this occasional series, Teresa Lensch provides a woman's view of area "breastaurants." She previously filed dispatches from Twin Peaks, Tilted Kilt, Bikini's and Wild Pitch.

Redneck Heaven was solely responsible, in July of 2013, for changing the nudity laws in Lewisville, when it decided to have its waitresses prance around the parking lot in just pasties and body paint.

Flash forward: I round up some brave girlfriends to come along with me to see what's going on inside "the place that changed Lewisville naked stuff when it comes to food ... forever."

Friend 1: "Oh God, there's a bikini car wash out front."

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The Best Smoked Cocktails in Dallas

Categories: Drinking

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foodbitch
Fire. And ice.
It's Drinking Week at City of Ate, which means even more stories than usual about our favorite pastime. Check back for more stories about craft beer, killer bartenders and more.

"Mixology" has officially gotten a little out of hand. Who hasn't witnessed a mustachioed barman pour 37 different ingredients into one coupe glass divinely sprinkled with unicorn tears, rimmed in saffron dust with a sprig of hibiscus plucked by trained monkeys in Pakistan?

The point is this: Remove all the pomp and circumstance, all the flair and drama, all the smoke and mirrors -- well maybe not all the smoke, actually -- and you might just discover a new favorite cocktail with a unique flavor all its own.

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A Graphic Designer Reviews Dallas Beer Labels

Categories: Beer, Drinking

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via Barfoot Industries
Graphic designer Jeff Barfoot
It's Drinking Week at City of Ate, which means even more stories than usual about our favorite pastime. Check back for more stories about craft beer, killer bartenders and more.

Maybe you don't care about graphic design. Maybe the only reason you look at a beer bottle label is to see how much you'll have to drink before saying weird things to your brother's wife isn't so weird anymore. But as consumers, we should recognize that product packaging plays an important role in our buying decisions.

The New York Times recently asked Milton Glaser, the design God behind I <3 NY, to lay down the law on craft brew beer labels. His assessment of Shiner Bock's label, saying "even though it's conventional, it's memorable," got us thinking about DFW's breweries and their labels. To help us think -- because we couldn't differentiate kerning from tracking to save our glyphs -- we got Dallas' own design expert, Jeff Barfoot, to weigh in on the letted and layered competition.

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The Line at Steel City Pops Makes No Sense

Categories: Complaint Desk

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Looks good, but be ready for a wait
Dear Steel City Pops,

First, I want you to know I love you. On a hot day, one of your fruity pops is the pinnacle of refreshment; I can't eat it fast enough. An avocado pop, with its creamy tang, would be a treat no matter the weather, and I'm convinced that delicious coffee pop provides a significant boost. I love you so much I favorably reviewed you in a column that's normally reserved for restaurants. You: a little popsicle stand, with only one product.

But there's a problem and it is keeping me from eating all the delicious pops I would otherwise. It's the line. It's INSANE. I absolutely can't understand it. It starts at the counter, stretches out the door before it turns, and at times runs all the way to Prospect Avenue. There might be a hundred people in that line, which you think would not be a problem, but it's enough to keep my inconsolable popsicle paws at bay.

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How Stanley's Famous Pit Barbecue Smokes its Brisket

Categories: Barbecue

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Stanley's Famous Pit Barbecue
Yums.
In "Shigging," we ask pitmasters to give us some specifics about how they smoke their meats. In the spirit of barbecue secretiveness and competitiveness, they're allowed to lie once.

This week, we're asking Nick Pencis of Stanley's Famous Pit Barbecue (525 S Beckham Ave in Tyler, and a joint that's on Texas Monthly's list of the 50 Best BBQ Joints In the World) how he smokes his brisket.

Here are his answers to our shigging:

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