At restaurants all over town, elusive eats await under the radar. Menus are updated, new items are added, and sometimes the best things are not on the menu at all. Let Off the Menu guide you to some of Dallas' lesser-known culinary creations.
"Is Chris Young working? We hear he makes pretty good cocktails!" a middle aged man bellowed, while he and his buddy barged through Blind Butcher's large, black double doors last Thursday. They took a seat at the end of the bar. I didn't hear what they ordered; I was too entranced by my pork belly poutine.
"I don't suppose you guys serve any off the menu items?" I asked Young -- the only man behind the bar at the time -- with my mouth full of gravy fries. He explained that the kitchen runs on a pretty tight schedule, so no. He has, however, been "working on something." Before I could ask more questions his fingers were grabbing bottles, and mixing things into a cocktail shaker.
Before taking a job as a bartender at Blind Butcher, Yong worked at The Quarter Bar and as a GM at Vickery Park. "I left Vickery in April of last year. I took some time off," he told me, carefully pouring the cocktail into a glass. "Then Tony [Bricker] asked me if I wanted to work here."
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The coral-pink drink, made up of Hendrick's Gin, St. Germain and homemade grapefruit cordial (Ruby Red grapefruit juice, star of anise, whole cloves and pink peppercorns), had the perfect balance between bitter, sweet and spicy. "I'm just trying to come up with something light and refreshing."
While the summery cocktail doesn't officially have a name (yet), Young said people can just ask for the "grapefruit gin drink" when he's working, which is often. "I'm here six days a week."