Best Of :: Bars & Clubs
We've lauded their fried pickles in the past, and those wild boar quesadillas are a glutton's dream, but Love & War in Texas' best feature is a wealth of Texas music pride to match its epic name. Every weekend, L&W's dance floor is packed with two-steppers hootin' and hollerin' to the best country Texas has to offer. Hayes Carll has dropped in, and Rusty Wier was a venue favorite. It's a true Texas honky-tonk that's managed to keep up with the times while still keeping its dusty charm.
As much as we love Adair's, we actually fit in with the crowd there, and we don't wear Stetsons or shit-kickers. As great as the band schedule at Billy Bob's Texas may be, it's big enough to be host to Willie Nelson and has live rodeo action — more a country-music Six Flags than actual tonk. Post Time feels like the real deal. Its older crowd, line dancing, live country and cheap drinks at happy hour give it an authentic enough feel that we wondered if we'd even pass a dress-code inspection without a trip to Western Warehouse first. But we managed to have a good time nonetheless.
The Lodge is, without qualification, the nicest strip club in Dallas. Hell, maybe even in Texas. For starters the dancers are absolute knockouts who don't just mount the stage and shimmy out of lingerie. They wear ornate, theme-driven costumes. They dress up as pixies. They juggle fire. They emerge from a cave facade, surrounded by vaguely unsettling stuffed animals and lacquered cedar boughs. Their chef, a legit culinarian the club plucked from Terrilli's, roasts a flavorful prime rib. The club is clean, comfortable, even refined, as far as strip joints go. The Lodge isn't really for 18-year-old first-timers to carnal commerce. It's for men and women who want to drink good hooch, dine well and enjoy the gyrations of some of Dallas' most beautiful dancers.
Sons of Hermann Hall is one of those venues that feels untouched by time, and that's a good thing. The rumors that it's possibly haunted only add to the allure, and with more than 100 years of history thumping around in those walls, seeing a show there just gives you that warm fuzzy feeling. (Or is that something ... else?) We love the upstairs room, especially now that Parade of Flesh has started booking shows there, but catching a show in the downstairs bowling alley is an added bonus. More of that, please.
Truluck's on McKinney Avenue (situated between Hotel Zaza, the Crescent Hotel and Hotel St. Germaine) features a daily happy hour during which people frequently wander over from their hotels for some cocktails and crab. During the happy hour, everything at the bar is half off (we recommend the dinner martini, made with Belvedere Intense and blue-cheese stuffed olives). There is also a special happy hour menu that boasts everything from crabcakes and shrimp to Kobe beef sliders and a goat cheese plate. More often than not there's a couple of out-of-town guys dressed to the nines sitting at the bar all by their lonesomes. All you have to do is make some small talk to get them to share a bite of their award-winning chocolate cake and, who knows, maybe if you play your cards right, they'll buy you a half-priced cocktail.
If you like your women scantily clad, covered in tattoos and sporting the trendiest hair styles, you might want to hang out at the Double Wide. The bar, located on the cusp of Expo Park and Deep Ellum, has something going on nearly every night of the week, from live performances and karaoke to cheap drink specials (like Sunday's $3 you-call-its), and is normally packed with whiskey-slinging, tight-pants-wearing hipster types. So how do you knock the socks off your hipster dream lover? Start by offering to buy her a Yoohoo Yeehaw or pickle-back shot (both drinks are popular with the regulars), then let her bum a cigarette (or the entire pack, for that matter) and then, to seal the deal, whisper these magic words into her ear: "Need a ride to the afterparty?"
The historic Oak Cliff theater boasts a roster of some of the hippest events in town. Pair that with a damn good bar that serves everything from canned beer to Prohibition-era cocktails and you have yourself a Dallas hipster den. So, whether stopping by Texas Theatre for a psychedelic DJ set, the Geeks Who Drink trivia night, or to check out your favorite cult classic film on 35mm, chances are you'll bump into a hipster dreamboat before the night's end.