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BrewFest, Next-Mex, Openings and Benton's Bacon: This Week In Dallas Dining

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Gloomy day in Dallas today, and the weekend promises to deliver more of the same. Perhaps a little liquid sunshine will brighten your weekend? I know I'm excited to try a few hundred beers while strolling around the Arts District. Before we start celebrating beer, though, we have a week to wrap up, and it was a good one.

This week I reviewed Urban Rio, the massive Plano restaurant that bills itself as "Next-Mex." The menu was a little Velveeta heavy, but many of the dishes were good. For the price they were great.

Elsewhere on CoA we offered a boatload of new restaurant news. JoJo, the French spot whose build-out we've been covering continues to chug along, and the owner also leased the old Lemon Bar spot, so the West Village will be at full party capacity again soon.

The Mecca opened this past weekend, as did the Kung Fu Saloon. And The East Hampton Sandwich Shop started serving samiches in Snider Plaza.

Hungry for Frito pie? There's going to be a lot of it at the State Fair of Texas. Maybe In-N-Out Burger will have some vegetarian options to help balance out all that chili soon.

Over on the Eats Blog Leslie Brenner reviewed two restaurants. Wolf Gang Puck's Five Sixty received its second evaluation under Brenner's tenure and again was awarded four stars. Her first review withheld that coveted fifth star because the service was a little shoddy. This time some complaints about appetizers keep the restaurant from perfection. Sushiyama gets two stars, and praise for perfect sushi rice.

On the Escape Hatch, Mike Hiller has a conversation with Allan Benton, the man behind Benton's ultra-smoky bacon and ham. The cool thing about Benton is that you can have a conversation with him too. When you call to place an order with the company, he's often the guy to pick up the phone.

Entree Dallas has an interview with Sam Wynne, the beverage director at The Flying Saucer. The two talk Belgian pale ales in a way that makes me thirsty.

The Taco Trail has a cool taco guide for SMU students. Options that trump the RFOC abound just off campus. It's too bad those kinds are locked into their meal plans.

And finally, over on Side Dish Nancy Nichols reviews the Sundowner and has nice things to say. It's a great place to grab a drink before a show, and when the weather's nice they have an awesome patio and roof deck. Speaking of roof decks, next week we'll have a roundup of our favorite elevated places to imbibe. See you then?

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Join the Observer community and help support independent local journalism in Dallas.