At the Kessler groundbreaking ceremony last weekend, a music critic was overheard calling Oak Cliff "the Brooklyn of Dallas." It's not a new sentiment. According to an 1890 flyer by Dallas Land & Loan Co., "Oak Cliff is to Dallas what Brooklyn is to New York."
Though Eno's beer selection isn't huge, it offers 20-something microbrews, making it something of a destination bar for Oak Cliff beer lovers (sadly, it doesn't have much competition). It was also, you'll recall, the site of a homebrewing competition a couple weekends back.
Before getting to Brooklyn's Local 1, though, the menu's description of Oskar Blues' Gordon's Ale ("Strong ale/Between Imperial Red and Double IPA") proved irresistible.
Love at first sip. Eno's seems to be a fan of the Colorado brewery, as it also carries Dale's Pale Ale and Old Chub, and Gordon's Ale makes it easy to see why. The cloudy amber-red brew had the sweet citrusy, floral hoppiness of a strong or aged IPA, but with some pronounced maltiness too. The sweetness might keep you from killing a sixer in a single night. Which is fine--it's the kind of beer you want to savor. The 8.7 percent ABV is hardly detectable--and brings to mind a gripe about Eno's: the ABVs are not divulged on the beer list.
The Brooklyn Local 1 was a value at $15 for a 750-mL bottle. That's just $4 or $5 more than you'd find it for at a grocery store--not nearly the 200- or 300-percent restaurant mark-up common with wines.
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It poured a hazy golden color with a thick, foamy head. The Belgian-inspired ale started out promising and hoppier, if a bit thinner-tasting, than typical Belgians. But the sticky, yeasty aftertaste wore out its welcome. Still, it was a great value, and definitely worth trying.
All things considered, Eno's is definitely worth the trip. The pasta is nothing special, but the thin-crust pizza makes a decent excuse for a night of beer drinking. The Gordon's and Local 1 were both served in appropriate glassware, if a bit colder than would've been ideal. But you can always warm up the glass with your hands--which also happens to be an easy way to cool off on a hot summer day.
On to a question for readers...
Where do you buy beer, and why? We're curious which stores in the Dallas area offer the best selection, the best prices, or hit that sweet spot with both. You can leave suggestions in the comment section, or send them by e-mail.