Friday, November 14, 2014

10 Cozy Fireplace Restaurants and Bars in Dallas

Since our weather suddenly got cold, I've been thinking about where I can eat or drink next to a warm fireplace— not a fire pit, fire feature, or heat lamp, but a bonafide fireplace. Nothing beats the warmth and light of a real flame while dining or sipping a beverage. Many of these are even real wood-burning fireplaces, so you get that great crackling sound. Roaring fireplaces also create the perfect ambiance for a romantic winter date night idea.

I went around town in the 30ยบ weather last night taking photos of a few of my favorite fireplaces. I was surprised by how few people were enjoying them, and that one was not even lit! The unlit fireplace still had a crowd of people around it, showing that a stone fireplace is a nice feature to gather around, even without a fire.

This is not a comprehensive list of every fireplace in Dallas; these are the restaurants and bars where I have enjoyed their fireplace atmosphere. I have grouped them by neighborhood. If you have a favorite fireplace restaurant in Dallas that isn't included here, please let me know in the comments, below. Now go get cozy!

On Henderson Ave:


Hibiscus' Fireplace. Photo Credit: EventUp.

A fireplace sits in the front bar/waiting room with a few dimly-lit, intimate tables situated around the stone hearth. This room has the feel of an old mansion's drawing room, where men in suits are drinking Scotch and the only thing missing is cigars.

Friday, October 3, 2014

The Best Comments on DSideDish's Article About a Competitor Food Critic Being Refused

I rarely read the comment section on food news websites because they are normally full of Internet trolls, but there is a wide variety of comment gems in the D SideDish article about their competitor, Dallas Morning News' (DMN), Food Critic, Leslie Brenner, having her money refused by restaurant owners who do not want her to write a review about them. The public news of their refusal puts Leslie in a quandary whereby she can no longer write an "anonymous" review of their restaurant, which is what her position requires, according to the news story/commenters.

The article comments have all the elements of a mini-drama, ranging from LOL-humor, to poetry, to real insight and food for thought (pardon the pun). I cut out the trolls for you…

Someone should frame this last phrase and sell it: 

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

What Qualifies a Person to Critique Food?

In my five years of writing about food online, I have occasionally been asked some variation of the question below, usually in an accusatory tone when someone doesn't like what I wrote, but also by inquisitive people who want to become a food blogger/critic:

Have you ever worked in a restaurant or attended culinary school, so that you are qualified to write about food?

Social media comment boxes are not large enough for me to really answer this question, so I have never fully explained my background or the heart of what I believe qualifies a person to critique food. Here is my answer:

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Pocket Guide to the Best Tasting 2014 State Fair of Texas Fried Foods

If you're going to take the calorie hit to try several fried foods at the State Fair of Texas, you don't want to waste those calories on something that tastes just okay. You want to be wowed! You also don't want to spend a whole fair coupon sheet on food that tastes too funky to finish (anyone remember Fried Beer?)

Lucky for you (and me), I tasted all eight fried food finalists at the Big Tex Choice Awards official judging event. I photographed, reviewed, and ranked them all into this handy, single-image pocket guide, the "2014 Best Tasting Fried Foods at the 2014 State Fair of Texas":

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Vote for the Best Looking Dallas Foodie Photos of All Time

Thanks to all the fans who made suggestions and inspired me to dig up some of my best food photography of all time. Be sure to scroll through all 20 photos before clicking LIKE on Facebook to vote for the BEST LOOKING photos (not your favorite tasting food). The most Liked photos will end up printed on the back of my new square business cards!

If you're wondering how I get square business cards with different photos on the back of each card, it's an awesome feature of Moo cards! I’ve been using Moo business cards for 4 years and always get compliments on the smooth feel, thickness, and unique shapes (large, skinny half-size, and now square to fit Instagram photos). Their color matching and cuts always come out perfect to the pixel, which is so hard to find in a printer. They also allow order quantities as small as 50, so you can test your designs before ordering hundreds or thousands. If you'd like to get 10% off your first Moo order, use my referral link at