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  • Article

    Near Beer - The fad fades, but brewpubs survive

    Beer occupies a spot of heady importance in our lives. It accounts for 88 percent of all alcohol--by volume--consumed in the United States. We bowl "beer frames," see through "beer goggles," and develop well-rounded "beer bellies." We drink, on a per...

    by Dave Faries on January 25, 2001
  • Article

    Passing the Bar - How do you get a bartenders attention in a crowded bar?

    Deep in the snows of North Korea many years ago, a division of U.S. Marines, vastly outnumbered and almost surrounded, fell back toward safety. When asked about the retreat, a Marine officer reportedly snapped, "We're not retreating. We're advancing ...

    by Dave Faries on January 25, 2001
  • Article

    Speak Up - Soon we'll all be speaking English

    It seems Tom Landis, one of the founders of the Dallas Texadelphia chainlet, reached his student recruitment goal for the food-service English classes he has developed in conjunction with El Centro College and the Greater Dallas Restaurant Associatio...

    by Mark Stuertz on January 25, 2001
  • Article

    French Kiss - Paris in Plano

    Mignon postures as a Yankee's notion of Paris during the '60s: Audrey Hepburn, Catherine Deneuve, hip American jazz, and pill-bug Citrons that would look way cool in 21st-century Plano if they didn't have the reliability and durability of communist-b...

    by Mark Stuertz on January 18, 2001
  • Article

    Goddess Takes a Holiday - Venus fades away

    It might have been a tip-off when general manager Karim Alaoui packed it in for Lombardi Mare in Addison. Then again, maybe not. But just a few weeks after Alaoui skipped the "swank" Venus Steakhouse & Supper Club, a message on the restaurant's phone...

    by Mark Stuertz on January 18, 2001
  • Article

    Missing Manners - What are the rudest things Dallas diners do?

    Decorum. Grace. Poise. Elegance. Manners. You can pick up the basics watching old movies--Henry Fonda in Fort Apache, Paul Henreid in Casablanca, films in which men dressed for dinner, sat upright, ordered precisely, and never belched. But that was ...

    by Dave Faries on January 18, 2001
  • Article

    Head East, er, North - Rasoi Indian Restaurant

    Maybe I'm dim, but I recently found myself doing endless Central Expressway service-road laps--not to outrun the white Ford pickup I cut off exiting onto Campbell, but to find Rasoi, an Indian restaurant hugging Central Expressway. It's not that the ...

    by Mark Stuertz on January 11, 2001
  • Article

    Inquiring Minds - India Palace Restaurant & Bar

    The best thing about India Palace, aside from some of the food, is that the press kit contains a sheet of "frequently asked questions," or FAQs in contemporary parlance. No fooling. There's this question about owner Pardeep Sharma: Q: Is Mr. Sharma f...

    by Mark Stuertz on January 11, 2001
  • Article

    Tongue-tied - Gringo Lingo gripes

    Dallas Texadelphia founder Tom Landis seems a little annoyed with his fellow Dallas restaurateurs these days. The burr? He's underwhelmed by the enthusiasm with which they've embraced his 3-year-old pet project: food-service English-as-a-second-langu...

    by Mark Stuertz on January 11, 2001
  • Article

    Shout Out Loud - Small-time restaurants battle for recognition

    The Varsity in Atlanta serves some of the greasiest fries this side of a school cafeteria. Their burgers taste like several pounds of burnt vegetable oil. The attraction of this landmark restaurant is the contrived rudeness of the restaurant's staff,...

    by Dave Faries on January 11, 2001
  • Article

    Bowling for Calories - What are our favorite football foods?

    Psychologists say football brings out our basest instincts, brutal and animalistic. Historians equate the sport with ancient Rome's gladiatorial contests. Anthropologists find ritualistic behavior. Ah, to hell with them. If you want to discover the...

    by Dave Faries on January 11, 2001
  • Article

    Code Red - Caribbean Red

    If there's one thing Caribbean Red does with exhausting ardor, it's play with its name, at least the latter part of it. Stroll into the place, under the blazing scarlet neon sign, past the little vestibule strewn with litter, and you'll enter an expa...

    by Mark Stuertz on January 4, 2001
  • Article

    Jumping Fish - A new gig for Marc Haines

    Restless chef Marc Haines has a new spatula gig. He has vacated his post as executive chef of Cuba Libre and has assumed the task of giving Fish restaurant a face-hoisting. (The place has been without an executive chef since George Greiser departed f...

    by Mark Stuertz on January 4, 2001
  • Article

    Handmade Booze - Dallas succumbs to the lure of Tito's, Texas' only hand-distilled vodka

    Every couple of weeks or so, Gary Smith dusts off a folding banquet table from the back room at Centennial on Valley View in Addison, covers it with a simple tablecloth, sets out paper cups and cocktail napkins alongside bottles of booze, and offers ...

    by Annabelle Massey Helber on January 4, 2001
  • Article

    All Shaken Up - Do we prefer vodka or gin martinis?

    Shaken, not stirred. The words reverberate through popular culture, requiring no explanation. But what do we like to have shaken, stirred, and ceremoniously sluiced into a martini glass, vodka or gin? "That's an easy one," assures Frank Buchalski,...

    by Dave Faries on January 4, 2001
  • Article

    Playing Chicken - Come boom or bust Dallasites gotta eat--out, that is

    Will it slump or bump? Will we be dining on caviar and burping through silk hankies, or chewing Velveeta sandwiches and picking our incisors with plastic straws? The pessimists are getting delirious. The heralds are all there. Alan Greenspan failed ...

    by Mark Stuertz on December 28, 2000
  • Article

    Fowl Foods - How many things taste like chicken?

    Rudyard Kipling maintained a sense of straightforward, unadorned realism about things. His strongest writings--"east is east and west is west"--eschew ambiguity in favor of a world simplified. Rudyard Kipling never once said that anything tasted lik...

    by Dave Faries on December 28, 2000
  • Article

    Taco Star - Taqueria Caonita

    Taqueria Caonita's publicity propaganda makes a lot of the fact that this superstar taqueria was hatched by Dallas star chef Stephan Pyles and his younger sister Alena. The blurbs tell how the pair developed the restaurant over the course of 10 or s...

    by Mark Stuertz on December 21, 2000
  • Article

    Big Brother's Diner - Online reservation systems are catching on, but at what price to privacy?

    Gilbert Garza starts his day at Suze by clipping a wireless phone to his belt. He then slips on a lightweight headset--the kind that doesn't disturb your hair--complete with mouthpiece. He looks vaguely like Tom Hanks in Apollo 13, if Hanks were a ch...

    by Dave Faries on December 21, 2000
  • Article

    Spreading Herd - Crazy like a steak

    What is it about steak that seems to turn this town into a one-note culinary tuba? It's clich to say that every time you turn around there's another steakhouse. The mystery is where all these steak houses are getting their steaks. Steers are not bun...

    by Mark Stuertz on December 21, 2000
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