Houston resident Justin Cronin is the author of the mega-succesful trilogy The Passage. Stephen King is a fan, and you will be too once you read the story about a post-apocalyptic world where humans are forced to battle other vampire-like superhumans. The final installment, City of Mirrors, came out in May, and Cronin will discuss it at the Dallas Museum of Art's Horchow Auditorium (1717 N. Harwood St.) at 7:30 p.m. Friday. Tickets are $35 for the public and $30 for DMA members.
Dallas' most cherished athlete, Dirk Nowitzki, also has a heart of gold. This weekend is the 15th annual Heroes Celebrity Baseball Game, where players from the Dallas Cowboys, Dallas Mavericks and FC Dallas, plus actors, radio personalities and other celebs will will try their hands at baseball for a change. Two children's charities will benefit, the Heroes Foundation and the Dirk Nowitzki Foundation, so it's a goofy good time for a good cause. The game begins at 7 p.m. Friday at Dr Pepper Ballpark (7300 Roughriders Trail, Frisco). Tickets are $13-$20.
It's officially kite-flying season, so pull yours out of your garage and take it to the Trinity River Wind Festival (146 W. Commerce St. Viaduct) between 11 a.m. and 5 p.m. Saturday. The festival celebrates one of Dallas' best outdoor spaces and will offer free activities including public kite flying, show kites from the Dallas Area Kite Flyers (DAKO), a Japanese kite-making booth and a paper airplane booth. More info at trinityrivercorridor.com.
One of the newest additions to Deep Ellum's dining scene arrives via New York. Big Guys Chicken and Rice (2616 Elm St.) is serving the halal street food — aka orange jasmine rice, salad, hot sauce and pita bread with lamb, chicken and beef, all topped with a mayonnaise-based sauce — that's wildly popular in NYC. You can order your meal as a platter or a wrap, and there are vegetarian options too. But best of all, Big Guys serves till 4 a.m. Thursday-Sunday.
Matchbox is another import, this time bringing pizza and sliders from Washington D.C. to Preston Hollow (7859 Walnut Hill Lane, No. 140). The pizza is a bit pricey, at $13-$15 for a thin-crust pie about a foot in diameter, but it's very good. Go for the smartly balanced prosciutto and fig pie, with honey drizzle and an herb mix sprinkled on the crust edges, or one of their classy interpretations of a meat lover's pie. Charcuterie #1 had peppy fennel salami and speck, a thinly sliced dark red smoked ham, on Brian Reinhart's visit.
Weekend mornings are prime doughnut time and Jarams Doughnuts' creme brûlée doughnut, which "seamlessly translates the crunchy, caramelized sweetness of creme brûlée into a breakfast pastry," makes an excellent choice. Jarams torches a plain glazed doughnut to create that crunchy exterior and then fills it with cream. It's crunchy and creamy; sweet but not too sweet. You can get one any day but they sometimes sell out early, so get to 17459 Preston Road early.
Fatty drinks can be delicious, like say, a rich chocolate milkshake. But when it comes time for a summer cocktail, fattiness is not usually a desirable quality. Area bartenders are out to prove otherwise, however. Boulevardier, The Bird Café, Common Table, Parliament and Lark on the Park are all offering refreshing cocktails for the season that entail liquor that's been washed with butter, pork fat, avocado oil and coconut oil. Start with the Not a Piña Colada at Parliament (2418 Allen St.), made with coconut oil-washed Atlantico Rum, pineapple Demerara syrup and spiced black walnut bitters.
If you're not feeling so adventurous about your liquor-drinking, give a Negroni a shot this weekend in honor of Negroni Week. Through Sunday, more than 70 DFW restaurants are offering classic and modern takes on the cocktail made of gin, vermouth and Campari. We suggest you treat yourself to FT33's $15 cask-aged Agave Negroni. The splurge is justified since a portion of the proceeds from each drink will go to the bar's charity of choice. Visit negroniweek.com for more info.
Lemon-gatorade and a hair of the dog: two time-tested hangover remedies. You can kill two birds with one stone by drinking a Salty Lady from Martin House Brewing Company. It's a gose, which is a 1,000-year-old style from Germany that results in sour and salty beers, but the company insists the closest comparison flavor-wise is to the sports drink, if it "had the depth, complexity, nuance and alcohol.” You can get a can or pint of Salty Lady at over 200 bars in the area or at any Spec’s liquor store (9500 N. Central Expressway; multiple locations).
Blues legend Buddy Guy plays Billy Bob's Texas (2500 Rodeo Plaza, Fort Worth) at 10:30 p.m. Friday. The 78-year-old Rock and Roll Hall of Famer and Grammy winner is known for his unique style that blends Chicago blues, jazz and rock ‘n’ roll. He was a major influence on Eric Clapton and Stevie Ray Vaughan; if he's good enough for them, he's good enough for us. Sure, you'll have to drive a ways, but it's a late show so you've got time, while Buddy Guy's time touring may be limited. Tickets are $16-$45.
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Local punk band Clifffs is headlining a show at Club Dada (2720 Elm St.) to celebrate the release of their EP, Bill,You're Only Human. Completing the lineup are Sealion, Buttercup and Laura Harrell of Party Static, which mean it's a rocking lineup from start to finish and the best place to be Saturday night if you want to bop around. Things get going at 9 p.m. and tickets are $8 at the door or online.
Rapper DMX ruled the party anthem game in the early 2000s; he was tough enough to have street cred but charismatic enough to earn mainstream attention. But lately the tough side has been predominant. His struggles with substance abuse, erratic behavior and growing criminal record have all but removed him from the public consciousness. It's anybody's guess who will arrive for the performance at Gas Monkey Live! at 8 p.m. Saturday, but hopefully it's the polished partier we all remember. Tickets are $50.
Beyhive, activate: The Dallas Theater Center's production of Dreamgirls is opening at the Wyly Theatre this weekend (2400 Flora St.) The Motown musical is a tribute to the girl groups who dominated the pop music charts in the '60s. It's loosely cobbled together from the stories of the Supremes, Aretha Franklin and Etta James, so there will be plenty of drama, hit songs and eye-catching costumes to keep you on the edge of your seat. The Friday show is sold out, but you can still get tickets to the 8 p.m. performance on Saturday or the 2 p.m. show on Sunday. Tickets are $18 to $85.
Painter and Vice Palace founder Art Peña has a new and different artistic endeavor to present this weekend. A musical he wrote in collaboration with the band Poppy Xander, Endless/Nameless, will debut at The Reading Room in Exposition Park (3715 Parry Ave). The musical explores themes of beauty, loss and catharsis and promises to include fog, lights and other stimulating visuals. This weekend he'll also receive help from musicians and artists including Ariel Saldivar, Lord Byron and Michael Morris, and the supporting cast will change for the other two performances in June. No one is allowed in or out once the performance begins, so arrive before it starts at 8 p.m. For more info, visit the event's Facebook page.
In the mood for the visual equivalent of comfort food? Raiders of the Lost Ark is showing at Richardson's Alamo Drafthouse (100 S. Central Expressway) at 3:30 p.m. Sunday. Follow Indiana Jones once more as he searches exotic lands for the ark of the covenant, which holds the key to human existence, and battles Nazis and snakes. Tickets are $7. More info at drafthouse.com.