The Definitive Ranking of Cokes

Categories: Lists

Vivian Chen/Flickr
Your vessel of choice.
Not all Coca-Colas ("Cokes") are created equal. On one end of the spectrum is an especially frothy Coke that comes fizzing from a fountain into a much-too-big red plastic cup loaded to the brim with ice, in a dark pizza parlor in the sweaty aftermath of an especially tense slow-pitch softball game that you pretended not to care about but really, man, what a big win. On the other, or near it anyway, is a Caffeine-Free Coke, so pointless that its presence in the fridge has been known to cause unsuspecting soda-seekers to briefly consider drinking La Croix before slamming the fridge shut, huffing loudly and driving to 7-11 for a Big Gulp.

Here, the definitive ranking of Cokes. When bottles and cans are involved, they are presumed to be acceptably cold.

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The Don't-Over-Think-It Guide to Dallas Sports Bars

Categories: Lists

This is exactly how you want Sunday to end.

It's all very well and good being Scott the Food Critic and having a fancy list of hip and happening Dallas restaurants to go and watch football games. We don't all get paid to sit in bars and drink craft beers. The rest of us everyday working stiffs have things like taxes and utilities to think about.

Thus we arrive at the very nub of the question -- where can I watch sports that makes sense to do so, and how good will my experience be when I watch the aforementioned sports? That title was too unwieldy, though, so we went with something else. Here's a list of places it makes sense to watch the new football season, and where they are.

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A Guide to Eating Out in Denton

Categories: Lists

James Rambin
La Estrella does it right.

Though the revolving door of Denton restaurants is vicious and rapid, the staples that stand the test of time are more than worth yours.

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Dallas' 10 Best Cocktail Bars

Categories: Lists

Catherine Downes
The Lavender Hill at Bolsa
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.

We're square in the middle of a major shift in the way we think about booze. Syrupy appletinis and cosmopolitans have been replaced with intricate craft cocktails, and they certainly aren't poured by any old "bartender." You must mean mixologist. You pretty much look like a loser ordering a vodka cranberry at this point in the cocktail's renaissance, so it's essential that you get out to one of these ten excellent cocktail spots to broaden your horizons. Listed, as always, in no particular order.

Bolsa (above)
If you find yourself in need of an after-dinner cocktail or a place to do some serious day-drinking, there's something for everyone on this menu. Keep it simple with a swirl of the restaurant's weekly housemade jam and good gin, or get really complicated with the Clean Slate. If you're a drinker of simple tastes, you may not recognize the Dom Benedictine or Pierre Ferrand, but you're probably going to enjoy it just the same.

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Passport Not Required: Sampling Three Asian and Mediterranean Markets' In-Store Dining

Categories: Lists

Photos by Kathryn DeBruler

Yea, though I walk through the aisle of the cooking fats of Indo-Pak, I will fear no hydrogenation: for ghee art with me; thy full pockets and thy full belly they comfort me.

A few years ago I watched a documentary on African immigrants. One man, recalling his first experience in an American grocery store, remarked on how shocking it was to discover that there was an entire aisle dedicated to pet food. Truly, the sheer number of choices housed behind the sliding glass doors of American grocery stores is a thing to behold. But for all the dog kibble and Kombucha and paper plates, there are many gaps left by the Tom Thumbs and Albertsons of this world. To fill these culinary cavities, one must venture to the outlier markets -- those geared toward ethnic cuisine, where pet food gives way to 50-pound sacks of rice and spices are bestowed the pedestal of shelf spacedom normally reserved for frozen pizza.

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The Summer Drinks of Dallas

Soon enough the Polar Vortex will be rightfully consumed by summer and the sweat will start pooling again. When it does, douse it with one of these summer cocktails, either using the recipes below or just showing up at the bar.

Violet Beauregarde, above (Bolsa):
1 1/2 oz Tito's vodka
1/2 oz St. Germain
1/2 oz simple syrup
1/2 oz lemon juice
6 to 7 blueberries
2 to 3 basil laves
1 lemon wheel (muddled)
Topped with red wine

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Dallas Restaurants Where You Can Eat Like a Francophile on Bastille Day

Categories: Holidays, Lists

File photo
Rise No 1: Come for the wine, stay for the wine.
As Americans, we generally don't give a shit about the historical observances of other countries. There is one major exception, though - any holiday or festival that allows us to get really drunk or eat a lot of food. See St. Patrick's Day, Carnivale, and Cinco de Mayo.

Today is Bastille Day, the day French people commemorate the day that kicked off the French Revolution. In France, there are parades and traditional hours-long feasts to celebrate Bastille Day. In Dallas, you can celebrate in a decidedly American way: by eating as much French food as you possibly can. Here are seven places you can do so.

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Dallas Chefs on Twitter: the Good, the Bad and the Exceptionally Weird

Categories: Lists

John Tesar.jpg
Allison V. Perkins
Follow John Tesar for all the latest news on where the hell his glasses are.
Social media is a beautiful thing. Sites like Twitter and Facebook allow us to read all about our high school classmates' stupid kids, yell at politicians about gun control and tweet creepy, 140-character love notes at celebrities we like. Thanks to cooking shows like Top Chef and Chopped, chefs are rapidly becoming part of the social media glitterati.

Dallas certainly has its share of nationally and locally famous chefs. Many of them eschew social media, probably because they're too busy foraging for weird ingredients or learning chemistry so that they can spherify foods. There are a few that really love their social media, and they're actually pretty good at it.

I'm not saying that you should actually follow all of these chefs on Twitter for a wealth of good food content. But you shouldn't miss out on the unintentional (and intentional) hilarity, quality food information, and other goodness on these nine timelines.

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Dallas' 5 Best Coffee Shops

Catherine Downes

If coffee is important to you in a biological or emotional way, then you probably have an attachment to a coffee shop. If your love/addiction runs deep, you have a go-to place in every neighborhood in town.

But what makes a coffee shop really good? The kind of good that causes you to drive out of your way for it? The kind of good where you don't mind paying $1.50 more than you would at Starbucks? I would like to propose three fundamental factors that make a coffee shop more than a caffeine pit stop.

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The Nine Best BLTs in Dallas

Nick Rallo
The BLT at Keller's Drive-In makes hearts, wax paper transluscent with grease joy
To me, this will always be the sandwich mom made. After those days of itchy grass-legs and punching mosquitoes in the face, this was the sandwich that hit the plate: thick sourdough slices, bacon crisp as a bay leaf, tomatoes, the mayo knife sweep, and cup-slice of iceberg. For its simplicity, it's a sandwich that remains untouched by the foodie deconstruction era and Dallas' best are all mightily bucking overcooked trends. You'll find no truffle oil here.

Finding Dallas' best BLTS requires some binoculars: You have to try to look past some of the sparkling gems on these local spots (in other words, MAN it was tough not to order the burger at half of these spots). A couple of years ago, Food Critic Guy said the best BLTs are made during the summer and at home. Here are the BLTs of Dallas that'll make you think twice about staying in. Also included: a bacon meter that measures bacon crispness on a 1-10 scale (1 being floppy; 10 being Frosted Flakes crispy). So, bacon:

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