The Kentucky Derby is a Southern ritual, especially if you're rich. In Kentucky proper, thousands of people will put on their Sunday finest and excessive headware to watch horses run around the track for exactly one and a quarter mile. Seems boring, but I'm pretty much down for any occasion to drink and put on fancy hats.
But you can't do that at home. Whether you're a degenerate gambler or just a fan of horse racing, head out to one of these five Dallas spots to take in "the most exciting two minutes in sports." Maybe you'll hit the jackpot, or maybe you'll watch the pony that you bet your rent money on fall to the ground before they even get out of the gate.
1. Lone Star Park Lone Star Park is the obvious choice for true gamblers on Derby day. On Saturday, May 3, you can watch actual horses race at 3:33 pm, then enjoy a simulcast of the Derby while you chow down on "bold flavors in signature dishes" at the Park's Bar & Book restaurant. There are just twelve beers on tap, but plenty of whiskey to make the race interesting or drown your sorrows.
2. Sissy's Southern Kitchen If you're feeling fancy on Saturday, go to Sissy's Southern Kitchen for their annual Jockeys & Juleps party dressed in your finest bow ties and fancy Derby hats. The person with the best derby attire will win $200, and the restaurant will be serving up brunch alongside Derby-themed cocktails, including the traditional mint julep and a lethal-sounding Kentucky Punch.
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3. Henderson Tap House Despite its unfortunate name, the "Talk Derby To Me" party at Henderson Tap House doesn't sound bad. Before the race, you can make your own Bloody Marys and mimosas. From 4 to 6 p.m., order a slew of $6 calls or $4 domestic beers. Don't miss out on the truffle-parmesan tater tots, either -- they're pretty decent for bar food, and they'll soak up all that delicious booze.
4. Trinity Hall Pub Taking a break from their usual schedule of soccer and other obscure European sports, Trinity Hall is hosting Derby Day 2014 all day long on Saturday. They'll of course have mint juleps, and they encourage you to brush up on your knowledge of this year's contestants and their riders, just so you don't look like a jackass when someone tries to ask you a question about what's going on.
5. Sharky's In order to keep Derby day from being a complete sausage fest, Sharky's Bar and Grill in North Dallas is offering ladies who show in Derby hats on Saturday a free cocktail. That, of course, is reason to go just about anywhere, but Sharky's will also be offering $1 off premium bourbons. So splurge on that Woodford Reserve, bro. There could be a $40 Sharky's gift card in it for you.
Be advised, though, that the Kentucky Derby falls the day before most bars and restaurants will be throwing their Cinco de Mayo parties. Don't get too drunk on those mint juleps when there are delicious, delicious margaritas to be consumed the very next day.