Catherine Downes

  • Blogs

    September 24, 2014

    Dallas' 10 Best Bowls of Ramen

    Thanks to a seemingly-unstoppable food trend, ramen is no longer those disgusting packets you subsisted on in college. Iterations of the Japanese staple dish have been showing up on menus across Dallas for the past few years, especially as chefs like David Chang drove the dish to national prominence ... More >>

  • Blogs

    September 3, 2014

    First Look at Proof Pantry, the New Dallas Restaurant by Cocktail Wiz Michael Martensen

    Photos by Catherine DownesProof Pantry, located in One Arts Plaza, in the space that once housed The Greek and before that The Commissary, is now open. The highly anticipated restaurant is the product of Michael Martensen, the barman previously behind The Cedars Social and Smyth, and his business ... More >>

  • Blogs

    September 1, 2014

    These Fried Foods Won the State Fair of Texas' 2014 Big Tex Choice Awards

    The 10th Big Tex Choice Awards were held inside the Tower Building at the State Fair of Texas this year. Unlike in previous years, there was a huge crowd; usually it's just the finalists, the judges, their families, and media, but the State Fair sold tickets to the public to this year's event. For ... More >>

  • Blogs

    August 29, 2014

    How to Cure a Hangover in Dallas

    This post marks the end of Drinking Week here at City of Ate, where we spent the week drooling over Dallas' best cocktails, learning the secrets of the cocktail-making trade, professing our love for simple, classic drinks and our disdain for the opposite. Now, everything hurts. So we asked some of ... More >>

  • Blogs

    August 18, 2014

    Ten of Dallas' Best French Fries

    French fries can make or break a meal, especially when they're served alongside a burger. Soggy, flavorless industrial fries are an abomination to both potatoes and your palate, so you should seek out a place that pays as much respect to the potato as they do their beef. Whatever your preferences wh ... More >>

  • Blogs

    August 15, 2014

    A Guide to Eating on Lower Greenville

    When I first moved to Dallas a few years back, Lower Greenville Avenue was a mess. The sidewalks and street had been obliterated and you couldn't walk anywhere without circumnavigating a construction barrier. Business cried out with banners hanging from their storefronts. "We're still open," they pl ... More >>

  • Blogs

    July 24, 2014

    Ten Dallas Restaurants You Should Be Eating at Right Now: Summer 2014 Edition

    Summer is traditionally slow for the restaurant industry, but you wouldn't know that if you've been dining in Dallas this year. A number of high profile of restaurants have opened since our last heat check, and since then we've welcomed a new steakhouse, a restaurant devoted to the entirety of Latin ... More >>

  • Blogs

    July 24, 2014

    A Sneak Preview of Scotch & Sausage, Which Opens Today in Oak Lawn (Photos)

    After months of taunting Oak Lawn with its contemporary design and one-two punch of a name, Scotch & Sausage (2208 Oak Lawn Ave.) finally opens its doors today at 11 a.m. The causal restaurant and beer garden offers more than 20 varieties of sausage "sandwiches" (which are basically like giant, more ... More >>

  • Blogs

    July 16, 2014

    The Best Patios in Dallas That Host Live Music

    Prime patio weather might have passed us by in, oh, May, but people in Dallas still love drinking their booze outside. Fortunately for us, the weather gods have seen it fit to bless us with a respite from the heat in the form of a summertime polar vortex. That means that for one brief, shining momen ... More >>

  • Blogs

    July 9, 2014

    Chasing The World: One Man's Crazy World Cup Quest

    The roof of my car has sprung a leak in the middle of a tropical rainstorm, and the backseat is rapidly flooding. I'd pull over, but I've been stuck on an under-construction highway for the last half hour, and time is slipping away. We're two weeks into the World Cup. At the behest of my editor, I ... More >>

  • Blogs

    June 3, 2014

    The Beautiful Egg Dishes of Dallas

    It seems there is a national "holiday" for practically everything these days. According to yesterday was National Rocky Road Day, and tomorrow might be the greatest day of all, Cheese Day. But today is National Egg Day, and so we put together a list of some of our favorite egg dishes/photos ... More >>

  • Blogs

    May 21, 2014

    Only at Mutt's Cantina Can You Eat a Decent Burger While Being Watched by Live Animals

    Mutt's Cantina will make you feel like the very model of a major American eater. I did, anyway, at the newish dogparkstaurant in Uptown, which I visited yesterday. What's more American than eating a bacon cheeseburger while freshly live animals look on? An evening at Mutt's, beginning to end, is s ... More >>

  • Blogs

    May 15, 2014

    Ten Dallas Restaurants You Should Be Eating at Right Now: Late Spring 2014

    The last time we published list, back in February, you could still get a slumpy burger at the Village Kitchen. Turns out you can't do that anymore, which makes it a pretty good time to revisit the 10 Dallas restaurants you should be spending your money in right now. This go around has some new com ... More >>

  • Blogs

    April 11, 2014

    Dallas' 11 Best Patios for Drinking

    I don't want to jinx it, but if this cool spring weather pattern keeps up, we're going to have a lot of time to sip our beverage of choice out on the patio. We're almost halfway through April and it's still hoody weather after the sun goes down. Maybe that means May will bring some warm but not too ... More >>

  • Blogs

    February 14, 2014

    Dallas' Seven Best Restaurant Bars for Eating by Yourself

    Another Valentine's Day is upon us. And if you're one of those people who forgot to book a table for your loved one, I have no sympathy for you. Perhaps you can snag a table at Red Lobster, or pick up one of those heart-shaped steaks at Whole Foods. This post is for the people for whom I do have sy ... More >>

  • Blogs

    February 6, 2014

    Ten Dallas Restaurants You Should Be Eating at Right Now: Winter 2014

    Hungry? You will be eventually. And when those grinding stomach noises rise up from within, you'll have this list printed out at the ready. Here are 10 restaurants that I've dined in, reviewed, or otherwise written about and enjoyed in recent months. Put them in your regular rotation, and never g ... More >>

  • Blogs

    December 11, 2013

    Dallas' 10 Biggest Restaurant Openings of 2013

    The Dallas dining scene famously is chaotic and hydra-like. Every week sees news of restaurants failing, but for every one that closes it seems two more spring up to take its place. In honor of new beginnings, we've put together a list of the ten most noteworthy restaurants that opened in 2013. K ... More >>

  • Blogs

    November 18, 2013

    Meat Fight 2013 Was Dominated by Nick Offerman's 'Stache and So. Much. Meat.

    See our full slideshow from Sunday's Meat Fight right here. Sometime on Saturday I started prepping my wife for her first Meat Fight, the annual barbecue competition organized by our long-time columnist, Alice Laussade, and her husband, Mike. It's more meat than you realize, I cautioned. You don' ... More >>

  • Calendar

    November 7, 2013
  • Blogs

    August 26, 2013

    There Was a Lot of Beer at Dallas Observer Brewfest, and a Lot of Tiny Cups (Photos)

    If you were unlucky enough to step outside this past Saturday, you might have realized it was a bit warm. Despite what seems like the most mild summer in the history of Texas, August has been determined to remind us that this time of year is supposed to suck. See Also: Scenes From BrewFest 2013 ... More >>

  • Blogs

    July 11, 2013

    Taqueria Y Carniceria Guanajuato Is a Mouthful -- of Pig

    When I interviewed Alberto Neri for my review of La Banqueta, I pressed the popular taquero for his meat source, which he eventually divulged. Halfway through my second interview he slipped me a business card. Taqueria Y Carniceria Guanajuato, it said. There was a picture of a cow on the front and b ... More >>

  • Blogs

    June 17, 2013

    Five of the Best Fried Chicken Dishes in Dallas

    When Buddha said life is suffering and suffering was the path to nirvana, I'm pretty sure he was talking about fried chicken. Think about it. Eat your way through this list and you will undoubtedly suffer. But you'll also experience moments of bliss that transcend the discomfort. Enlightenment in ... More >>

  • Blogs

    May 3, 2013

    Pop Diners, Cinco De Mayo and a Slew of Restaurant Openings in This Week's Wrap

    We had a busy week at the CoA. Scott Reitz endured some bad karaoke at Pop Diner at in Uptown. No matter what the T-shirts may say, pulling off good food is sometimes easier said then done. Unless you're drunk, then who cares? Exactly ... We covered some solid Cinco de Mayo festivities and 10 happ ... More >>

  • Blogs

    April 26, 2013

    Poll: Which Dallas Observer Writer is a "Snarky, Superior, Angry Bitch?"

    Hang on to your hats, everybody, because I'm about to give you a super-duper exciting glimpse into the inner workings of the Dallas Observer. We get a lot of email from our readers. Some of it comes directly to our various email addresses, but a lot of it goes to a general account. (I have no idea w ... More >>

  • Blogs

    April 16, 2013

    Here are the Scarborough Reniassance Festival Musicians' Favorite Modern Bands

    30 miles south of town there is a mini fortress wall, and once you buy your ticket and walk through its portcullises, the Scarborough Renaissance Festival awaits. It's a magical land, where the bacchanalia of 1533 (mead poured into horns!) meets the bacchanalia of 2013 (deep fried macaroni and chees ... More >>

  • Blogs

    April 11, 2013

    Bowl and Barrel Plates Up Amazing Dogs

    Have you checked out Bowl and Barrel yet? The upscale boutique bowling alley got a lot of attention when it opened late last year. Sharon Hage is responsible for the menu some of the resulting dishes are very good. See also: Watch Your Wallet At Bowl & Barrel Just take a look at this "kraut dog," ... More >>

  • Blogs

    February 25, 2013

    The LOT is Now Open in East Dallas

    The LOT (7530 E. Grand Ave.), located off the Santa Fe Trail in the enormous space that once housed the Backyard Beach Bar, opens its doors to the public today. The East Dallas restaurant and beer garden is the product of some serious teamwork; restauranteur John McBride (El Fenix), food consultan ... More >>

  • Blogs

    February 18, 2013

    Belly & Trumpet is Open on McKinney with Shared Plates and Cocktails (Photos)

    McKinney Avenue, the vein that cuts through Uptown and supplies all connected to it with endless varieties of bars and restaurants, has a new offering for its people: Belly & Trumpet. Miles away from the New York City-modeled, gourmet hot dog purveyor The Bowery that sat in its place mere months ago ... More >>

  • Blogs

    February 14, 2013

    What To Do if You Forgot To Make a Valentine's Day Dinner Reservation

    I know you. You're the guy who's crowding the Target card aisle last minute, sifting through the leftover cards and trying to find something clever that resonates with the way you feel about your one true love. You're going to pick up fresh flowers after, right? Except the florists have all been wor ... More >>

  • Blogs

    December 31, 2012

    10 Reasons You Absolutely Shouldn't Make Losing Weight a New Year's Resolution. For the Sake of Baby Seals, Don't.

    1. Bikini season: The guy in the Southern Comfort commercials, which encourages us to do "Whatever's Comfortable," is making us reconsider "sexy." It's working. Let it happen.

  • Blogs

    December 26, 2012

    I Saw Who Killed Lucky Cat At Royal China On Chrismas Day

    The tradition has nothing to do with my roots but I've made it my own. Every Christmas Day that I find myself alone, I assemble a loosely coupled family of other orphans in need of holiday plans. Some can't work out the logistics required to navigate crowded airports and rental cars, and some just c ... More >>

  • Blogs

    December 10, 2012

    The 10 Most Porny Dallas Food Photos of the Year

    First thing's first: If you're sick of the phrase food porn, or screaming-mad from the plethora of dense, decadent, NSFW photos of burgers with steamy cheese and fluffy doughnuts lightly dusted with cinnamon-sugar, then please for the love of Jesus turn away. This post is not for you. Well, hey, w ... More >>

  • Blogs

    October 19, 2012

    Prevention: Velvet Taco's Ultimate Hangover Remedy

    Everyone has their own hangover cure they love to gush about, but they all suck. Most involve a greasy meal, something hydrating, and if you're lucky, a nap, but while they may temporarily cause the worst symptoms to abate for a short time, inevitably, you're eventually right back where you started: ... More >>

  • Blogs

    July 11, 2012

    City of Ate Dominates Cedar Hill Enchilada-eating Contest

    In every eating contest, there comes a moment when I suddenly realize just what I'm doing. It usually follows a particularly difficult bite, after I try to force down just a bit more than I can swallow and it rests against the back of my throat and I come this close to choking and coughing it across ... More >>

  • Blogs

    June 22, 2012

    The DC9 at Night Crawl in Polaroids (Plus Video)

    Thanks to everyone who came out to any part of last night's DC9 at Night Crawl. We had so much fun, we might just do it again next month. Here are a few shots from the Bermuda Triangle of drunkenness: Single Wide, the Granada and Beauty Bar. Read our review of the killer El-P show here, and check ... More >>

  • Blogs

    March 15, 2012
  • Blogs

    February 6, 2012

    Things Overheard During the Shepard Fairey DJ Set

    Catherine Downes​If you're like me, you wondered what exactly Shepard Fairey would spin at Saturday's Dallas Contemporary Phenomenon event. Sadly, Tuvan throat singing and Icelandic death metal were not in the cards. Instead, it was sort of like being at a really fun wedding reception: House o ... More >>

  • Blogs

    January 19, 2012

    303 Bar and Grill is Open in Oak Cliff, and Its Namesake Special Will Eff You Up (Photos)

    All photos by Catherine Downes.The 303 special.​303 Bar and Grill opened last Friday, and by the following Sunday afternoon people were packed into the Oak Cliff joint, eating, drinking beer and watching football. The restaurant is located in an old, renovated house on West Davis and Madison; ... More >>

  • Blogs

    January 9, 2012

    Over the Weekend: Blackstone Rangers and Kiwi Sisters Blackout 2826 Arnetic

    Blackstone Rangers, Kiwi Sisters, Jakkk-E-Chan 2826 Arnetic Saturday, January 7 Better than: Playing Christian Death albums alone in the dark. Dallas Distortion Music, a fairly new catchall site for DFW's weirder sounds, hosted this triple-header at 2826 Arnetic Saturday night. I'd just missed op ... More >>

  • Blogs

    December 5, 2011

    Thai-Rrific is Open on Cedar Springs (Photos)

    "Rainbow cake" ​Thai-Rrific closed its longstanding North Dallas location and opened its doors on Cedar Springs last month, where Hung Dinger used to live. The first thing I noticed walking into the restaurant was a refrigerated case full of multicolored cakes. The green tea and "rainbow" ca ... More >>

  • Blogs

    October 27, 2011

    Here Are Some Photos of the V Spot

    All Photos by Catherine DownesHouse-made arugula fettuccini with basil, cherry tomatoes and pistachio pesto​Dallas welcomed yet another sexual double-entendre named eatery to the scene on Wednesday: the V Spot Vegan Café. I paid a visit to the tiny space, wedged between the Pearl Cup and We ... More >>

  • Blogs

    September 26, 2011

    The Food of the Greek Festival (Photos)

    ​Greek Fest was a plate-smashing success this weekend. Saturday around noon there was a sizable but fast moving line that ushered people into a courtyard that reeked of savory, delicious lamb. The weather was warm, but there was a stiff breeze and a tent provided some shade for those who wante ... More >>

  • Blogs

    August 10, 2011

    The "Meat and Potatoes" at Macho Nacho Left Us Too Soon

    Catherine Downes​Macho Nacho, located at Cedar Springs and Throckmorton, opened its doors in April, and has since been through some big changes. The menu has been altered several times, and items are constantly being added and taken away as the restaurant gauges which things work and which on ... More >>

  • Blogs

    July 14, 2011

    Herrera's Mexican Café Opens New Location on Fitzhugh

    Catherine Downes​The original Herrera's Mexican Café was located on Maple Avenue, right across the street from Observer HQ, where the lovable Grapevine Bar now resides. Amelie Herrera opened the restaurant in 1971, and it's been a popular spot for Tex-Mex in Dallas ever since, featured in a 1 ... More >>

  • Blogs

    July 1, 2011

    Central 214's VIP (Very Important Pet) Party. Quite Possibly the Cutest Dinner-Party, Ever.

    Catherine Downes​Last night, Central 214 hosted their VIP (Very Important Pet) Pooch Patio dinner-party with proceeds benefiting Operation Kindness. Naughty Chef Blythe Beck made the rounds with her rescue pup, Sheriff Brown, in tow. "This is a great turn out, I feel so blessed," Beck said, as s ... More >>

  • Blogs

    June 23, 2011

    Coal Vines Off-Menu Pizza Strikes a Vein

    Catherine Downes​Sure, any pizzeria somebody walks into technically offers off-the-menu items; the chefs will sprinkle some cheese and random toppings on a pie and voila! This being said, we weren't on the hunt for elusive eats when we met some friends for pizza at Coal Vines in Uptown last week, ... More >>

  • Blogs

    December 23, 2010

    Our Critics' Year-End Top Tens: Catherine Downes Hails Nine Inch Nails' Pretty Hate Machine Re-Release

    In this week's paper, you may notice a piece including some of our DC9 writers' choices for best albums of the year. But, space being limited, we couldn't run all of our writers' lists. So, thanks to the power of the Internet, we're doing just that, right here.​The mind behind our DC9er mixtape ... More >>

  • Blogs

    July 6, 2010

    Giveaway: Three Pairs of Tickets to Tomorrow Night's Islands Show at The Loft

    Last time Islands came through the region--way back in October, for a gig at Rubber Gloves in Denton--our very own Catherine Downes chatted up frontman Nick Thorburn/Nick T./Nick Diamonds about the band's group dynamic with the return of his old Unicorns bandmate Jamie Thompson into the writing fold ... More >>

  • Blogs

    April 9, 2010

    Giveaway: A Pair of Tickets to Tomorrow Night's Camera Obscura Show at Hailey's

    In this week's Observer, Catherine Downes talks Camera Obscura shop in advance of the band's Denton stop on Saturday night at Hailey's. Should be a good one, Downes writes, explaining that the band "was set for nothing less than indie splendor from the beginning." She gets into specifics, too:Camera ... More >>

  • Blogs

    April 13, 2009

    Giveaway: Three Pairs of Tickets To Tomorrow Night's Crystal Castles Show At The Granada

    In this past week's print edition, Observer dance music junkie Catherine Downes checked in to say this about Crystal Castles:A mishmash of borrowed and new, topped off with a trendy garnish, Crystal Castles' synth-thrash is unpredictable and, at times, sporadic--but most definitely worth checking o ... More >>

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