If you know anything about Dallas, you've heard Deep Ellum is coming out of its coma. After its bar and club scene peaked and plummeted, many wondered if and how it could be restored to its glory days of the late '90s. Little by little, things changed; developers bought up chunks of land, the DART rail expanded, Trees was renovated. Who would have thought that the solution would be as simple as cookies and milk?
Fortunately for you, the geniuses behind Braindead Brewing figured this out. After being in-the-works since 2013, the brewpub finally debuted earlier this month. It's so new, in fact, it still smells of fresh-cut wood. And, though you can see the giant tank in their brewing room from a perch at the bar, it'll be a while before they're cranking out their own brew. Until then, they've got 42 taps to keep you busy, plus one of the best desserts ever imagined. Their warm oatmeal chocolate chunk cookies (served with stout chocolate milk) are just the thing to cap off a night in the neighborhood.
Fair warning: ordering these will get you a lot of attention. They come piping hot from the oven, the aroma luring people from all corners. No sooner had the bartender plunked them down in front of me than a fellow wearing a neon green hat got distracted mid-beer order, pointed to my plate and said "You ARE going to dunk those cookies, right?" I nodded. "Just checking," he said, and got back to the business of ordering his beer.
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Like this dude, just about everybody has an opinion about cookies and milk -- it's a combo that packs powerful nostalgia. A plate of warm cookies makes you feel like a kid again, but Braindead's twist of adding stout to the milk makes you glad you're not. Personally, I was of the opinion that oatmeal does not belong in a chocolate chip cookie, but chef David Pena has proven me wrong. His recipe includes brewers' oats, adding texture that can only be loved.
When I brought the dish out to my seat on the patio, the crowd at the next table gawked so hard, I felt compelled to share. As a reward for my generosity, they offered to buy me a beer. Soon after, I felt a presence near my shoulder. It was a Freddie Mercury look-alike, accusing me of not properly distributing my milk/cookie ratio. Before long, the neon green-hatted guy stopped found me again, squealing, "Hey! You're milk and cookies girl!"
See what I mean about attracting attention? If the energy these cookies brought to my night on Braindead's bustling patio is any indication, Deep Ellum is alive and well.
Braindead Brewing, 2625 Main St., (214) 749-0600, braindeadbrewing.com