Beer, Snow Cones and Many Other (Random) Things to Toast From 2012

In addition to our aforementioned love affair with bacon, many other great things befell our city this year. In an attempt to be a spot-on "reporter" for all culinary things that fall under the subheadings of lowbrow, redonkulous or strange, I find myself on the cutting edge of nothing really. But, it's often funny, fattening or makes for some good dinner-time convo. The palpitating pulse of stupidity is just below my greasy fingertips. With that, here are 14 culinary things we should toast from 2012.

See also: - Scott Reitz on the Most Notable Restaurant Openings of 2012 - Biggest Restaurant Closings of 2012

1. Craft beer. Someone took a big growler full of Golden Opportunity (that's a tip o' the hat to Peticolas), shook it until their arms hurt and doused the city in it malty hoppiness.

2. Fried brisket pie. Need I say more? No? OK. Then, Cheap Bastard will and so will a Sauced Englishman.

3. The Rangers new fascination for crazy food, which happens to coincide with their ability to make the post season (almost). Funny how that works out.

4. Packing a lunch and taking it toKlyde Warren Park. "Hey KW, how abouts I bring a picnic and we make out?"

5. A 10-keg capacity fire truck, which you can rent for your next birthday party. Yes, I'm serious. But, only if you invite me.

6. Old school snow cones at Aunt Stelle's in Oak Cliff because it reminds me of childhood. Not mine necessarily because I didn't grow up near there, but in the general sense of things.

7. New school snow cones at the La Grange trailer in Oak Cliff because they make parenthood more funner. Yes, more funner.

8. Old man wisdom on how to pick a watermelon because old man swagger is simple and convincing.

9. Phone stacking because even my 68-year-old uncle couldn't put his dang phone down at Christmas dinner. Really? Stack your phone.

10. Breaking bread with some of Dallas' finest at fire station 50 in west Dallas.

11. The bathrooms at Buc-Ee's. Yes, they're worth the wait. Just hold it!

12. Craft and Growler because it's the only way to get most local craft beer to the house.

13. El Pollo Regio because it's simple, cheap and bold. And so hot your lips will burn. And you'll need 100 napkins. And a to-go box. Or two.

14. Rediscovering Blue Bell ice cream and just "discovering" Ben Affleck's abs.

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Lauren Drewes Daniels is the Dallas Observer's food editor. She started writing about local restaurants, chefs, beer and kouign-amanns in 2011. She's driven through two dirt devils and is certain they were both some type of cosmic force.