Gavin Cleaver

  • Blogs

    November 25, 2014

    Dallas' Five Best Barbecued Pork Ribs

    For all we go on about brisket, the pork rib has a beauty all its own. Beloved in greater swathes of the country than brisket, it's nevertheless shunned across the Lone Star state as an not so worthy of barbecue. Well, if Kevin Spacey on House of Cards is constantly eating them, they're good enough ... More >>

  • Blogs

    November 25, 2014

    The Five Best DFW Stout Beers to Warm You This Winter

    After Dallas' usual two weeks of beautiful fall weather the cold arrived with a vengeance and we skipped straight to an actual snowfall, in November. This means it's time to do away with those wimpy summer beers you've been slurping on for the six straight months of Texas summer, run past the 14,000 ... More >>

  • Blogs

    November 24, 2014

    Fatman's BBQ Is Great Southern Barbecue, Just Not Texas Barbecue

    Somewhere over on the east side of the airport, on an unassuming street corner, lies the tiniest hole in the wall barbecue restaurant I've ever seen. The front of the house is just a waiting room with two chairs, a window for orders, and for some reason a guitar, fully set up ready to go with an amp ... More >>

  • Blogs

    October 29, 2014

    Le Butcherettes and the Melvins Didn't Fuck Around Last Night at Trees

    The Melvins With Le Butcherettes Trees, Dallas Tuesday, October 28, 2014 Teri Gender Bender, the lead singer, guitarist and keyboard player of Le Butcherettes, is the most punk person I can imagine. Now, I know there's a lot of deeply tedious discussion about what is and what is not punk, and even ... More >>

  • Blogs

    October 6, 2014

    The Double Wide Needs To Book More Outdoor Shows

    Double Wide 11th Anniversary With High on Fire, Roky Erikson, the Derailers and Riverboat Gamblers Double Wide, Dallas Saturday, October 4, 2014 After 11 years of being the Double Wide, it's surely time for the beloved edge-of-Deep Ellum dive to kick back, stretch those weary limbs, and pour out a ... More >>

  • Blogs

    September 9, 2014

    Sammy's Bar-B-Q Has a Great Location, a Great Patio and Great Sides, But ...

    Imagine somewhere in Uptown, right in between Oak Lawn and the Arts District, had a gigantic patio, shaded under greenery, full of tables, chairs, ephemera, and a huge covering. You would imagine that place would be absolutely rammed at lunchtime, that to get a table you'd have to know someone, or p ... More >>

  • Blogs

    August 22, 2014

    Here are the Breweries Coming to Dallas Obsever's BrewFest at the Farmers Market

    You may be more focused on the best ways to injure your insides with fried things at the State Fair of Texas, but we need to talk for a few moments about Dallas Observer Brewfest, our annual ode to beer. The upcoming fest is less than a month away, and the list of participating brewers has come out. ... 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

    May 8, 2014

    At a "Stylish Korean Kitchen" in Carrollton, a Delicious Taco of Questionable Taconess

    All week at City of Ate, we celebrate the magic of the taco. Check back for more interviews, essays and maybe a list or two. Or maybe four? The little slice of Korea up in North Carrollton, where 35 meets PGBT, is pretty sweet. It's got a Super H Mart, where everything inside will baffle and amaze ... More >>

  • Blogs

    April 24, 2014

    The BBQ Ranch in Fort Worth is Texas in Miniature

    Somewhere, in a far-flung part of Fort Worth, there is a corner of land that will remain forever Texas. It's in Texas, obviously, but that's not quite what I'm driving at here. The BBQ Ranch, a recently opened barbecue restaurant in the corner of five acres of ranch, is so very Texan that it's almos ... More >>

  • Blogs

    April 22, 2014

    How to Contribute to the Dallas Observer

    We have a nice little staff here at the Observer, but sometimes we need some side action. Here's how you might be able to help. Writers We accept freelance pitches for stories of all shapes and sizes. Specifically, we're looking for:

  • Blogs

    April 2, 2014

    Dallas County Schools Unveils the "School Bus of the Future," Complete with "Pedophile Finder"

    Dallas County Schools -- the local school district with no schools or students but lots and lots of school buses -- sent word last Friday that it was preparing to unveil the "School Bus of the Future," and that this futuristic vehicle will "will revolutionize school bus transit and exponentially inc ... More >>

  • Blogs

    March 17, 2014

    I Ate the Lamb Brisket at Tim Love's Woodshed Smokehouse and Now Everything's OK

    Woodshed Smokehouse's menu has been teasing me for months. With all those exotic items (smoked mozarella! Bizarre sausage! AN ENTIRE GODDAMN SHIN OF BEEF! Smoked rutabaga, which is called "swede" back home because "rutabaga" is literally impossible to say in a British accent), I had actually spent w ... More >>

  • Blogs

    March 10, 2014

    I Tried Smoking My First Brisket and It Was Terrible

    Looking back, I think I had been scared to try smoking a brisket. Having never seen chunks of meat that size back home, it's a scary commitment for two reasons. One, you can't eat a brisket by yourself. That means you have to invite people round for brisket. This has to be done in advance, and that ... More >>

  • Blogs

    February 19, 2014

    Your First Look at Lockhart Smokehouse Plano, the Suburbs' Newest Barbecue Mecca

    The new Lockhart Smokehouse, right on Plano's main square, is up and running, and the crowds are already forming. Tuesday afternoon, your peak-time lunch wait would have been a good 40 minutes or so, which is cruel given that you can smell Plano's barbecue mecca from more than a block away. After i ... More >>

  • Blogs

    February 14, 2014

    Lionel Richie's "Hello" is the Most Confusing Music Video of All Time

    Lionel Richie and CeeLo Green are touring together. At first glance it seems odd, a Dungeon Family affiliate splitting time with someone I always picture wearing a turtleneck. But here we are -- the tour is real and we must confront the idea enough to decide whether or not to buy a ticket. And act ... More >>

  • Music

    December 12, 2013
  • Blogs

    December 12, 2013

    The Best North Texas Venues that Opened in 2013

    North Texas already had more than its share of places to see live music. But it got a few notable additions in 2013, especially in Deep Ellum, where Three Links has wasted no time becoming a fixture and Twilite Lounge started to feel like it had been there for 50 years about three weeks after openin ... More >>

  • Blogs

    November 15, 2013

    The Original Sonny Bryan's versus Mike Anderson's in a Brisket Showdown

    In honor of Sunday's sold-out Meat Fight, we're celebrating smoked animal flesh all week long in our inaugural Meat Week, in which we celebrate the procuring, cooking and face-stuffing of dead-animal flesh. An oft-overlooked brisket is the lunchtime variety, guaranteed to make your afternoon at wor ... More >>

  • Blogs

    November 14, 2013

    DFW's Five Weirdest Barbecue Joints

    In honor of Sunday's sold-out Meat Fight, we're celebrating smoked animal flesh all week long in our inaugural Meat Week, in which we celebrate the procuring, cooking and face-stuffing of dead-animal flesh. One of the things that makes barbecue places great is that some of them are just so strange. ... More >>

  • Calendar

    October 24, 2013
  • Blogs

    October 11, 2013

    A Short Guide to Self-Awareness in Gig Photography

    Kid Congo Powers was fantastic last night. He truly was. A full-blooded romp through a set that drew from his past as an '80s pioneer of post-punk, as well as just some straight up punk, his was a stage presence far from the snarling beast you might have expected. Instead, it was like your lovely, f ... More >>

  • Blogs

    September 26, 2013

    Dallas-Fort Worth's 10 Best Barbecue Joints

    Texas barbecue: You and I know it's the best. More importantly, it's a food where, if you leave the state, you'll notice other states do barbecue in strange and terrifying ways that make you feel wrong. Once I went to Oklahoma (this is how all great stories start, I know), ordered brisket and was se ... More >>

  • Blogs

    September 6, 2013

    Try Saying "I Don't Know That Band" Now And Again

    Hey, guys. Can I talk to you about something? Every year when this time rolls around we try to send you into your fall festing season with some proper tips. Usually, this is our not-so-subtle way to share with you the ways to make new friends or sneak, um, stuff (alcohol) (contraband) in. The ans ... More >>

  • Blogs

    September 6, 2013

    Football, Barbecue and TacoCon: This Week In Dallas Dining

    There is an undeniable energy that props of the spirits of humans across the country as the first week of September comes to pass. Last night, the NFL kicked off the months-long saga that is beer, chicken wing and nachos season and it's time to rejoice. If you're not a fan, there's always salads. Ha ... More >>

  • Blogs

    June 6, 2013

    Bartley's BBQ in Grapevine Made the Top 50 in TxMo -- A Lone Brit Investigates

    Here's a fact that drives pageviews and purchases -- everyone loves a list. They do. It's easily digestible, it's automatically controversial by dint of ordering and omitting things that people concerned enough by the subject to click on the list care deeply about, and it's endlessly repostable. It' ... More >>

  • Blogs

    May 24, 2013

    Here's What Not to Pack for Rocklahoma 2013, Which Features Korn and Guns N' Roses

    This weekend the erstwhile comedy team of Cleaver and Falcon will travel north on 35 till they arrive outside of Tulsa for the three-day festival that is Rocklahoma. While preparing for their time spent in a tent and seeing Guns N' Roses, KoRn, Bush, Alice in Chains and Cheap Trick, the two had a di ... More >>

  • Blogs

    May 21, 2013

    The British Guy Samples the Tea at the Renaissance Faire

    Regular readers may remember that I found it amusing to review cream teas and high teas around Dallas, comparing them to their British counterparts. While many of you didn't agree that this was in fact amusing, that's never stopped me before. For the third in a highly infrequent series, I am for som ... More >>

  • Blogs

    May 16, 2013

    Whiskey Folk Ramblers' Long Road to a New Album: Listen

    In this week's music feature, Gavin Cleaver gets up to speed with Whiskey Folk Ramblers. They just released an excellent sophomore album, The Lonesome Underground, which you can buy on their website. It's been a long time coming for the band, which has lost members and engineers and still, as Gavin ... More >>

  • Blogs

    May 13, 2013

    Pecan Lodge: The Best Thing in the History of Time Brings Harmony Back to a Marriage

    Long-time readers of this blog will remember the irrepressible mischief of my wife, Richard (not her real name). Well, one of the greatest regrets of our marriage is that I took her to Pecan Lodge one time on an off-day. It was good, but not great. She was unimpressed. I had been one time before tha ... More >>

  • Blogs

    May 3, 2013

    Take Me Out to the Brisket: An Englishman on BBQ Sandwiches at Rangers Ballpark

    Here's something -- I am a very big fan of baseball. I can't explain why. I guess it's like really fast cricket. Anyway, I used to watch it late at night on TV back in the U.K. quite obsessively. It's the only American sport I've ever managed to get on board with, American football being poorly name ... More >>

  • Blogs

    March 29, 2013

    UNT's Edible Book Festival to Be Destroyed by City of Ate

    On Monday, The University of North Texas will host its 10th annual Edible Books Festival, a local celebration of the international festival of the same name held. This mass gathering of nerds my fellow academics is perhaps the best excuse in existence to celebrate puns and shove cake down your throa ... More >>

  • Music

    March 21, 2013

    The 11 Busiest (and Buzziest) Days in Texas Music

    From 35 Denton to SXSW, Snoop to Spillover, traversing Texas in search sonic bliss.

  • Blogs

    March 21, 2013

    When Texas Was the Center of the Music Universe

    This week's cover story chronicles the 11 day stretch in early March when Texas becomes the center of the music universe. There were festivals in Denton and Austin and Dallas and Grand Prairie and on and on. We were at a lot of them, and in case you find tons of blog posts presented in backward chro ... More >>

  • Blogs

    March 13, 2013

    Smokey Jack's Free Beer-B-Q

    Beer is a lovely word. We can all agree on that. Beer. There it is. If you had to add an adjective in front of such a glorious noun with the aim of improving it further, what would it be? Delicious? Cheap? Gold-plated? What about free?! FREE BEER. That is the maximum possible improvement of the word ... More >>

  • Blogs

    March 1, 2013

    Bar Food, Bar Food and More Bar Food: This Week in Dallas Dining

    Another weekend is here. If you need plans be sure to check out Lauren's picks for food inspired weekend activities. And don't forget to support your local farmers. White Rock Local Market kicks of the season this Saturday as well. This week I reviewed Outpost American Tavern. The recent spin on t ... More >>

  • Blogs

    February 28, 2013

    Eden's Shameful Pass at "High Tea" Tempts an Englishman to Sin

    Sometimes a brisket-loving expatriate Brit just needs a taste of home, so we've sent our Englishman in BBQ Sauce on a trek to sample Dallas' version of cream tea. We hope Anglo-American relations will withstand the stress. Deep down, I knew that Maudee's, with its understanding of appropriate tea a ... More >>

  • Blogs

    February 21, 2013

    Six Best Spots for Your Lenten Fish and Chips

    As we're well into the Lenten season, I'm sure many of you are looking for a Friday fish hook up. I'm not positive why Catholics adhere to a pescatarian diet on Fridays, and after a quick search, there's certainly a lot of bickering about it. But, it really doesn't matter anyway because eating seafo ... More >>

  • Blogs

    February 20, 2013

    Dallas Does Cream Tea? Bad Mistake, Dallas.

    Cream Tea. It's very important to British people. That's why I capitalized each of the two delightful words that make it up. It's also extremely straightforward. Upon possession of English Breakfast Tea (which we just call "tea") and acquisition of a scone (I'm not sure what level I need to be descr ... More >>

  • Blogs

    February 14, 2013

    The Fifteen Worst Make Out Records Ever

    It's a classic Valentine's Day dilema -- you've planned ahead, made the sweeping gestures, made eyes across a white tablecloth and now you're ready to express yourself with some good old fashioned parts-rubbing. Whatever you do, don't play any of these records.

  • Blogs

    January 11, 2013

    There Was a Massive Gas Explosion on Main Street in Lewisville

    Update at 2:12 p.m.: The owner of the leveled house, Christian Community Actions, told NBC 5 that at least one man is in the hospital with injuries Fire and police officials have not confirmed the number of injuries. Original post: Police are so far releasing few details, but there was a massive ex ... More >>

  • Blogs

    December 28, 2012

    An Englishman Visits Fat Cow and Writes About Sex. Someone's Sleeping on the Couch Tonight.

    This week, out resident smoke-addicted Englishman Gavin visits Fat Cow BBQ and ends up writing about sex, which we notice is cropping up more and more in his posts. Frankly, we're getting a little concerned about what all this barbecue-love is doing to him psychologically. Luckily, if he ever return ... More >>

  • Blogs

    December 19, 2012

    An Englishman Reviews the Whole Christmas Tamale Thing

    Apparently you guys celebrate Christmas by eating tamales. No, me neither. I've no idea what you're doing. What screams Christmas about a tamale? I suppose you could take this reductionist argument to any Christmas food (what's Christmassy about slaughtering a turkey and then roasting it, or, as s ... More >>

  • Blogs

    November 30, 2012

    The Week In Dallas Dining: Hefty Holiday Edition

    With Thanksgiving behind us and the Christmas countdown ticking away, the next few weeks promise to be extremely caloric ones. Time to break out the hats, scarves, heavy coats and elastic pants. If you're looking for food stuff to do this weekend, Lauren's got you covered, but don't start your plann ... More >>

  • Blogs

    November 6, 2012

    Our BBQ-loving Englishman Is Actually an Educated Student of Politics. Who Knew?

    Turns out or resident English guy, Gavin Cleaver, who drenches himself in barbecue sauce and smoke for us over on City of Ate, is actually like a doctor. In politics. University trained and the author of a forthcoming book on political ethics. We did not know that ... both that he was a Ph.D. or tha ... More >>

  • Blogs

    October 26, 2012

    Happy Texas Chicken Fried Steak Day: City of Ate (and Friends) Pick the Best Spots

    Ladies and Gentlemen, Texas Chicken Fried Steak Day is upon us. Today is the one day you can indulge without guilt, as it is clearly a national holiday that should be celebrated. Because America. See also: - 100 Favorite Dishes, No. 54: CFS At All Good Cafe - Peace, Love and Chicken-Fried Steak D ... More >>

  • Blogs

    August 7, 2012

    An Englishman Reviews the Lunchtime BBQ of Sonny Bryan's, Pecan Lodge and Soulman's

    Barbecue isn't just a dinner food. Oh no. It's a round the clock affair (although my mooted chain of restaurants Brisket for Breakfast is yet to take off). Many lunch-only barbecue venues exist around Dallas, and what nicer midpoint to the working day is there than an injection of hot meat and sau ... More >>

  • Blogs

    July 27, 2012

    Olympics in England, SNACK on Henderson and A Hot Mess: This Week in Dallas Eats

    The opening ceremonies have just kicked off, and the Olympics are under way. Seems like a good time to check in with our resident Brit for his primer on food from the other side of the pond. While most of the dishes Gavin Cleaver listed are impossible to find here in Dallas, you can find some decent ... More >>

  • Blogs

    July 6, 2012

    Markets, Pho, Limey's and BBQ: This Week In Dallas Food Blogging

    This week I reviewed Dalat, a new Pho place on Fitzhugh Avenue that stays open late and takes a whimsical approach to Vietnamese cooking. I also took a closer look at Gandolfo's, the deli truck that hails from NYC. Elsewhere on CoA we noted the opening of Ten Bells Tavern, a new bar in Oak Cliff, a ... More >>

  • Blogs

    July 2, 2012

    An Englishman Reviews the BBQ of Hard Eight for The English

    This is a blog written by a complete barbecue amateur. You see, the thing is, in the UK a barbecue is something you cook a burger on and is largely a celebration of the few and far between days when it's not raining. There's no sauce except tomato, and any beef will be cooked to a crisp. It's a cele ... More >>

  • More >>