In my constant search for the perfect dive bar, I (drunkenly) stumble into some pretty strange and maybe dangerous places. I recently ran across a little hole-in-the-wall place in East Dallas that is a dive bar lover’s dream. Strangeways looks like a dark, seedy cave where you may possibly get shanked – but it is completely worth the risk. With tons of rare craft brews on tap and bottled, along with a huge assortment of interesting liquors, Strangeways is an awesome place to kick back and try some great new beers.
The little bar on Fitzhugh is owned by two siblings, Eric and Erica Sanchez, and is pretty small and low-key with an awesomely casual atmosphere and laid-back vibe. This is the dive bar you’ve been searching for – where you can try all kinds of new beers and cocktails and chow down on some delicious food without a bunch of douche cakes spilling beer down your back and body slamming you into the bar. Go to Strangeways, sit on the patio and order a beer you’ve ever heard of – no Smirnoff Ice for you here. It will be interesting and tasty and you’ll be hooked.
At first glance, The Cedars Social doesn’t look like much. There’s no sign out front, the building is a little sketch and it looks pretty small and uninviting. Then, as you walk into the possibly dangerous, unmarked south Dallas building against your better judgment, your mind is blown. This place is swank at its finest, and has a really cool retro vibe.
The Cedars Social is a cocktail den and restaurant with modern-day comfort food prepared by well-known NYC chef Kyle McClelland, as well as delicious old-school cocktails mixed by renowned mixologist Michael Martensen. Continue reading
I am not a hipster. I’m quite the opposite, in fact. I toe the line somewhere between prep and douche bag, and I’m comfortable there. Sure, it’s off-putting to those eyes behind dark-framed glasses, but I rarely let it stop me from walking into those places where they serve PBR and cheap gin.
Tonight, I am so glad, because I gave up my North Dallas parking spot to head down to Oak Cliff for the grand opening of Bar 828, Dallas’ first pop-up guerrilla bar. Basically, some local bigwigs at the bigwig restaurants gathered the best bartenders in the area, and opened a temporary bar in an old garage.
Sounds urban, no? You’re probably right.
Regardless, I don’t think I’ve ever tasted drinks so delicious in my life. These mixologists know exactly what’s up. They’re the kind who smell a drink before they give it to you. They sometimes measure and sometimes use splashes, sometimes shake and sometimes stir, but always use huge-ass ice cubes to keep things from getting watered down. The two mixologists I encountered pretty much looked at me and knew exactly what I wanted. They are my new idols. Seriously. This is man-crush status. Continue reading