Tired of the red meat are you? What’s that, you say? You’ve never tried meat? Interesting. Perhaps you, like English crooner Morrissey believe that Meat is Murder (Aside from naming one of his albums from his days with the Smiths Meat is Murder, he has famously stormed off of stages mid-set upon simply smelling some form of meat being grilled in the vicinity of his performance).
Well, if you find yourself looking for food that never had a face, then Texas isn’t really that bad of a spot, even with it’s reputation for all things butchered. So, for all of the vegetarian’s and vegans out there, who might be new to the state, or new to the meatless movement, below are a few highlights from some of our major cities in case you find yourself wondering where you can get a killer stack of vegan flapjacks…
- Spiral Diner & Bakery- Speaking of vegan pancakes. Check out either the Dallas spot or the Ft. Worth location.
- Bliss Raw Cafe and Elixir Bar - Takes the vegan experience to creative, new levels.
- Cosmic Cafe - The grand old dame of the vegetarian dining experience in Dallas.
- Counter Culture - Food trailer with a conscience.
- Veggie Heaven - A plain-jane spot, lacking any pretense near the campus, it’s seemingly been around forever.
- Conscious Cravings - Another trailer that shows how Austin just gets it. you know what I mean. They just do.
SAN ANTONIO –
Obviously, Texas is blesssed with many a worthy destination for a day-trip or weekend excursion. Some of those destinations, however, are locales that seem to be slow on some weekends, and crammed on others. One hot-spot that is always sizzling with activity, almopst regardless of when one chooses to go is Fredericksburg.
The lovely, German, hilly town has more than it’s fair share of calling cards – hello, Beds and Brekafasts – but we’re not here to talk about that. We’re not here to send you there when one of th large wine festivals or city-wide celebrations are taking place. Anyone can do that. We’re just going to look at this coming weekend specifically and point you into the direction of a few understated, but cool, events and a few of the key attractions that makes this place a choice destination almost any weekend on the calendar…
- Friday 6/24: Thomas Michael Riley at Hondo’s on Main ~ The tree-covered, outdoor patio stage and dining area is pretty much the definition of the Hill Country music expecrience. Cold Beer, entrees that involve salty corn chips and chili, and stars lighting the gazebo stage from which the bands play. Shoot, whether it’s before TMR’s set or after, head across the street to The Auslander for some schnitzel and live tunes in a real-deal biergarten.
- Saturday 6/25: Get All you Need or Get Rid of It! ~ On Saturday, at the Holy Ghost Lutheran Fellowship Hall, you can learn more about green living. It’s like a free community garage sale. Whether you’re looking to discard or acquire an item, this is the place to do it! Even if you don’t have something to give, come by and find items you can use.
- Saturday 6/25: Roots Music Night Series - Americana Rock ~ In the evening, pre-order a chicken-fried steak and graba couple of lawn chairs to enjoy this well-produced concert series on the lawn of the Pioneer Museum. Each edition has a theme, ranging from Zydeco to Blues. Celebrating the hard-to-define Americana sound, music fans will be able to enjoy a 7pm performance from buzzed-about girl band, the Trishas.
- Anytime, Any Weekend: Becker Vinyards ~ We typically arent fond of wines that are too sweet, but darn it if the last time we enjoyed a few glasses of vino from the patio of the beautiful, lavender-scented Becker environs wasnt their too-good-to-be-true Reisling. They often have special events, but that’s a bit misleading, really. To paraphrase a line from the Merlot-hating flick, Sideways, every trip to Becker is a special occasion.
- Anytime, Any Weekend: National Museum of the Pacific War ~ Basically attached to the impressive Admiral Nimitz Museum, this relatively new, multi-media gem is a gripping and often-times goosebump-inducing trip through a memory lane filled with incomprehensible pain, agony and triumph. This is still a hidden gem, and is a historical center not to be missed when traveling through the area.
- Anytime, Any Weekend: Lincoln Street ~ We ahd to go back to wine, right? This cozy wine bar is just about the prefect place to sink into a glass of wine, nibble on a cheese plate and maybe even enjoy a cigar. Lincoln Street manages to feel like a neighborhood joint in the middle of a throbbing tourist mecca.
BestBuzz and Taste of Dallas are giving away at least 2 prizes PER DAY!
We’ve got gift cards to your favorite Dallas restaurants, tickets to local attractions, Ultimate Taste of Dallas prize packs worth over $75 dollars, and more!
One entry per day and receive extra entries for sharing with your Facebook friends! Be sure to “Like” BestBuzz and Taste of Dallas on Facebook!
I can only hope that this post doesn’t find you residing in a scenario where you have yet to take part in one of the most holy, quintessentially Texan of all traditions. Tubing the Guadalupe, or Comal for that matter, is an experience that few other states can offer.
Simply put: If you haven’t yet. It’s about time to get to it. Below are some resources available to help you in your quest for the spirit of Texas summers…
Gruene Texas - It’s kind of crazy how one small town can have just about everything you need for a fun day of tubing. River outfitters, great restaurants and, in case you haven’t made the connection yet: The legendary Gruene Hall. Texas’ grandest and oldest dance hall. If tunes are blaring from the open widows that line the walls of this hollowed palace, than it’s time to get on in and grab a cold one.
- For Tubing: Rockin’ R River Rides
- For Shopping: Lone Star Music
- For Dining: The Grist Mill
- For Live Music: Gruene Hall
- For More Drinks and Live Music: Tavern in the Gruene
Also, check out the Comal River for tubing good-times…
- For Tubing: Comal River Tubing
- For Good Times, Brew and Tunes: River Road Ice House
- For Cabin Rentals: River City Resorts
OK, that’s enough to at least get you started. Believe us, it’s almost a deal where you will have a hard time convincing other Texan’s that you’re a real Texan if you can’t say you’ve tubed the river. It’s kind of like saying you haven’t seen Willie Nelson live in-concert, or paid your respects at the Alamo…wait, you have done those things, right??
Obviously, when talking about Memorial Day, we want to remember the real reason for it (check back here on Monday for more of that), but it’s also fair to talk about the fun that can be had, as we all enjoy the freedom that so many brave men and women have sacrficed for over the decades and even centuries our country has been in existence. If you’re looking for something to do this weekend, give the below options a look and hit one up…
Lone Star Park in Grand Prairie: On Monday, the beautiful racing park will be turned into an all-purpose fun-time center. Not only will the horses be running, but Harleys will be given away, a chili cook-off will take place and the stakes will be as high as they will be all year for those who are lucky enough.
Fiesta Texas – San Antonio: All kinds of new shows are getting started, including a laser light show. Not to mention the usual family-fun and thrill seeking that’s typically available.
The National Polka Festival – Ennis, TX: For 45 years, this has been the preemminent Polka festival in Texas, if not the entire US. There isnt any way a family could make their way to this party and not find something for everyone.
99.5′s Wolfdance 2011 – Ft. Worth Stockyards: Each year, this Sunday-before Memorial Day party is one of the better showcases for Texas Country music. While we’re scratching our heads on how acts like Casey Donahew and Josh Abbott have somehow earned top-billing over the likes of Wade Bowen, it’s still an all-day affair that gives many of the up-and-coming names (that deserve such a title) a fantastic showcase. In fact, take our advice and get there around 1pm for John David Kent and then catch Rob Baird, John D Hale and Brison Bursey, the leave before you have to hear Johnny Cooper make another lame attempt at working his lame beat-boxing into his set.
OK, this may be a month or so away, but as you’ll see, it’s worth planning ahead for and making advanced arrangements. A while back, we alerted you to an event where fine chefs prepared inventive takes on cafeteria food, and here we have an0ther seemingly casual affair where some of the areas finest chefs let their hair down for a bit (but not without a hair net, of course!)
Chef’s Picnic at the Lake in Dallas on June 26th from 12pm – 3pm is going to be quite the celebration, indeed. There are other notable causes that tie-in to this event, above and beyond the food, of course. Two Dallas-area institutions are celebrating 100 year Anniversary: White Rock Lake and The Dallas Chapter of the Red Cross.
Check out the Press release for the full information:
Featuring a picnic lunch prepared by Dallas’ top chefs, served from the original Bath House concession stand, along with beer, wine and refreshments from Ben E. Keith, music, and exhibition of old-school photographs and memorabilia from White Rock Lake and the American Red Cross – Dallas Area Chapter and more, Chefs’ Picnic at the Lake will transport guests to a time when White Rock Lake was the staple of summertime in Dallas.
Deep Eddy Sweet Tea vodka will be serving up signature cocktails including the Minty Deep Daily, The Skinny Dip and The Deep Eddy Splash.
Leading a team of DFW’s finest Chefs, The Grape’s Brian C. Luscher along with Janice Provost, Parigi; Marc Cassel, Peavy Road (coming soon); Graham Dodds, Bolsa; Jeff Harris, RedFork; Nathan Tate and Randall Copeland, Restaurant Ava; Diane and Justin Fourton, Pecan Lodge; and Hollie Dorethy, Personal Chef, prepare an extraordinary seated picnic luncheon with their unique spin on the traditional al fresco-fare.
Proceeds from Chefs’ Picnic at the Lakebenefit the American Red Cross – Dallas Area Chapter and the Comerica White Rock Lake Centennial Celebration which will help fund ten capital projects to include enhancing hike and bike trails, improving parking lots, renovating White Rock Dog Park, restoring the park forests and more.
Sponsors to date include Comerica White Rock Lake Centennial Celebration, Ben E. Keith, The Grape, Highland Park Cafeteria and the American Red Cross – Dallas Chapter.
Tickets are $55 per person in advance and include complimentary valet parking at The Bath House Cultural Center, located at 521 East Lawther Drive in Dallas. For more information and to purchase tickets go to www.highlandparkcafeteria.com or call 214-632-0784.
Chefs’ Picnic at the Lake is held in conjunction with The Beach Party of the Century hosted by For the Love of the Lake with support from White Rock Lake Foundation and the Friends of the Bath House. For a full list of events June 25-26 and to purchase tickets go to www.whiterocklake.org or call 214-660-1100.
On Saturday, the 14th, the city of Plano got straight-up sudsy, thanks to the North Texas Beer Festival, hosted at the Plano Centre. Tons of beer vendors from all over the country sharing samples of their latest and greatest brews.
There were some nagging issues through the course of the afternoon, however. Long lines that ran up and and down the trade-show style rows of beer booths made it impossible to simply grab a cup from a specific brewer that might be in the middle of the aisle. So, rather than being able to easily sample something from Mendocino Brewing, one had to head to the back of a long line that forced you to spend time in-front of vendors and brewers that you may or may not want to get to know better. Also, while there were great craft-brew stars – both regionally and nationally - represented, there weren’t many lesser known breweries there, ready to surprise the throngs that arrived looking for a buzz. Maybe that wasn’t the goal, and perhaps that’s all relative – who knows. Southern Star Brewery, out of Conroe, TX isn’t exactly a household name, but thanks to their stellar Buried Hatchet Stout and Bombshell Blonde, the brewery that makes the finest canned Texas beer is well-known to us around here. In fact, Southern Star’s ProAm Smoked Porter was my favorite brew of the afternoon, with Austin’s Jester King Black Metal Stout ranking a close second.
So, there were a couple of issues, but overall, this was a very cool event and I can only imagine that it went about as well as anyone could expect from a first year’s offering.
As I’ve hinted already, Texas beer lovers were in heaven. St. Arnold had their excellent beers on hand, and Franconia, out of McKinney, wowed with their authentic, German-style lagers. Even Shiner Bock managed to bring something that was surely a surprise to most. Their new Shiner Ruby Redbird blended the classic bock taste with bright hints of ginger and grapefruit to make a refreshing and surprisingly even drink. It was easy to expect something that came off as way too fruity and sweet, but the ginger evened things out pretty well.
For the drinkers looking for out-of-state goodness, there were several options, perhaps most notably was New Belgium Brewery. Offering their brand-new Somersault seasonal (in stores very soon, we were told), Colorado’s hippest brewery is clearly continuing their streak of offering perhaps the country’s best beers for the sunny seasons.
Hey, what else is there to say, but that we’re already looking forward to next year’s fest!
On May 20th, Trees in Dallas’ Deep Ellum district will be simply raging! Six of the nation’s top DJs will be facing off in a unique DJ competition that aims to put their skills in arranging diverse beats to the test. The DJs featured include: Competing DJ’s include: DJ Fishr Pryce (Dallas), DJ Diverse (Oklahoma City), DJ Vajra (Boulder), DJM (San Antonio), DJ Rockwell (Houston), and DJ Spin (New Orleans). You might remember we told you about an earlier round of this sweet competition a few months back. It’s back, and we’ve got some tickets for you (maybe)?
Here’s more from the press release:
The stage has been set, now it’s time to lay it all on the line. They’ve powered past the competition in local battles and now the six best party-rock DJs from across three states will meet in Dallas for a regional throwdown to earn a coveted spot in the National Red Bull Thre3Style Finals.
Not quite your standard DJ battle—far from it actually—Red Bull Thre3Style is a creative and innovative format where the true art of party rockin’ is put to the test. Red Bull Thre3Style is a DJ contest that promises to be a night of dance-floor mayhem. Each DJ is challenged to play a selection of at least three genres of music in a 15 minute set. Genres don’t matter, all that matters is the DJ’s ability to mix them and make them work together. Competing DJs are judged on their track-selection, technical skills, creativity and most importantly, their ability to bring the house down.
The top two winners from the Regional Final will fly to Vegas in November to compete in the US Finals for the national Red Bull Thre3Style Championship. The national champ then travels to Vancouver, Canada to compete in the global finals against the world’s best party-rock DJs in hopes of being crowned the International Red Bull Thre3Style champion.
Want free passes to this very cool event?? BestBuzz is giving away 10 pairs of tickets to the National Red Bull Thre3Style Finals at Trees. Deadline to enter is May 18th. The lucky recipients will be notified on Thursday the 19th. Sharing with your friends on Facebook gets you extra entries, so invite your music-loving friends!
Go to our Facebook Page and see how to take advantage of the very cool offer!
Look, on certain occasions, we all adopt the heritage of certain, specific groups of people in order to join in on some fun. St. Patrick’s Day, and even Fat Tuesday are key examples. One occasion that has really gained steam in the past few years, forcing us all to celebrate an occasion many hold dear with a great deal of partying is Cinco de Mayo.
Interestingly enough, the fifth of May isn’t Mexico’s official Independence holiday, that would be September 16. Cinco de Mayo officially marks a significant victory for the Mexican army in the Battle of Puebla, over French forces. So, for those Dallasites looking to celebrate Mexico’s independent spirit, they need not go any further than Henderson Ave in Uptown for some drinks and good times.
Check out these Cinco De Mayo Events in Uptown:
Hacienda on Henderson *BEST BUZZ SPECIAL*
If there’s anywhere to attend a block party, Henderson Avenue is the place to do it. Pubs on every corner, people strolling between said pubs – it’s quite the prime nightlife spot. Luckily, Hacienda on Henderson hosts their Cinco de Mayo Block Party, which includes live music, outdoor festivities, and drink specials until 10 pm. If the location sell didn’t reel you in, then surely the $3 and $5 drinks will.
ALSO, CHECK THESE GREAT SPOTS OUT!
Mattito’s Tex-Mex Cocina is transforming the corner of Routh and Cedar Springs into a “Grande” outdoor fiesta with tequila tastings, mariachis and a bull ride that will have you feeling like you’ve gone south of the border starting at 5pm.
Urban Taco is turning McKinney Ave. into the festive streets of Mexico City for two separate nights of partying. On Thursday, May 5th enjoy free mojito tastings and $5 drink specials starting at 2pm. Come back on Saturday, May 7th for an all-day Texas sized celebration featuring mariachis, $2 tacos, drinks specials and Lucha Libre (Mexican wrestling) displays.
Primo’s Tex-Mex Grille will have you saying Ole! As you walk into their Cinco do Mayo party tent on Thursday, May 5th from 4-10pm. Look for party-popping music from DJ Joe Ramirez and $3 margaritas and specialty drinks throughout the event.
While Dallas get its share of love as a place of top notch dining establishments, both of quality and quantity, people tend to forget that there are foodie havens in the area that aren’t guarded by stuffy maitre-d’s, or regularly hosting adventurous, chef’s table experiences.
One of those havens is easily Scardello Artisan Cheese. The Oak Lawn shop has garnered a reputation not only for fine cheeses, but for teaching its patrons about them and the many ways in which cheese can liven up any meal or party.
Here are some of the classes that are offered soon:
Beer vs. Wine Smackdown!
Thursday, May 5, 7:00pm
Which is truly the better pair with cheese? Will wine lovers shake their stems in the agony of defeat? Will beer lovers mourn by crying into their…well…beer? Even if you know the answers to these vexing questions, who wouldn’t love the experience of putting these two elixirs to the test? Each of the five rounds consists of one cheese, one wine and one beer. You will talk about pairing in general and specific impressions of each pair. There will be a vote and a winner. What truly is cheese’s best partner? You will decide!
Cheese 101 – WINNER OF D MAGAZINE’S BEST OF BIG D!
Thursday, May 19, 7:00pm
Join them as they nibble their way through the different cheese types. Experience comparative tastings of cheese and out-of-the-ordinary items that will help you focus on the distinct flavors of each cheese type. They will cover the basics on how cheese is made and answer questions about cheese pairing fundamentals. Of course, there will be soothing libations provided to be enjoyed in the relaxing atmosphere of the shop!
Thursday, May 26, 7:00pm
Blue, green and in-between! Those lovely veins running through blue cheese make the mouth tingle in anticipation. Learn about these wonders of the cheese world. Taste examples from mild to strong, creamy to crumbly and one or two that feel like a good old fashioned kick in the teeth! Of course, they’ll pair these delights with near-perfect libations.
So, not in the mood to take a class? How about a lazy, cheese-filled Sunday? To help you on your quest they will have a Sunday Only Menu. In addition to their cheese plates and regular sandwiches, start with Coffee brewed fresh from Cafe Ibis in Utah. They will offer $6 Mimosas and a new Sunday-exclusive sandwich. The Opened-Faced for Suggestionsis served sans salad on two open faces of Farmhouse bread with Wisconsin cured Pancetta and brûléed Gruyere. The name of the sandwich is up in the air. You have a chance to name it. Stop by Sunday, give it a try and give them your suggested name. They’ll award the winner with a delicious surprise!
Hours: Monday -Thursday 11am-7pm
Friday -Saturday 11am-8pm