Monday, April 30, 2012

Il Cane Rosso is My New Favorite Brunch Spot

I hate it when my favorite restaurants get all crowded. Yes, I love that they are successful and will continue to be around, but the waiting part sucks. Everyone knows about Cane Rosso in Deep Ellum. And for those other people who don't, they will after the Diners, Dive-Ins, and Drives airs this week. We're lucky to have these great places that get their time in the national spotlight, but as a pre-DDD customer, I cringe at the thought of the throngs of people toting their misbehaving children into restaurants I love. But this isn't about how happy I am to be 1/2 of a DINK couple (Dual Income, No Kids), it's about the amazing brunch the Sig-O and I had on Sunday.

Cane Rosso recently decided to change it up and  be open for Sunday brunch, which made me a happy camper. Yes, they had previously done Saturday brunch, but that just wasn't terribly convenient. Yes, I've been known to drink on patios before noon on Saturday, but I don't make it a regular practice because, too often, there's just a bunch of stuff I need to get done on Saturday so we can drink on a patio and become worthless for the rest of the day on Sunday. Fortunately, Cane Rosso is now open on Sunday and has a great patio, which just so happens to be dog-friendly. If the Sig-O would get around to training the demon in fur to stop being such a jacka$$ with other dogs, I'm sure we would have taken him and enjoyed it.

Moving on to brunch. The full menu is available, but the real reason to wake up and head over to Deep Ellum is the brunch menu. I started with a mimosa (duh) and the Sig-O opted for a Michelada, which is basically a bloody mary made with beer instead of vodka. We rationalized that this could actually be a healthier version of a bloody mary when done with light beer. With eight choices on the brunch menu, it's not the number of choices that makes you wonder what to order as much as the number of freaking amazing choices available. Everything sounded good. For real. So we asked our friendly waitress for her thoughts, which turned out to be a great call since she let us know that the hash wasn't going to be with hot sopressata and braised pork, but rather in-house smoked brisket. Sold! 1 million times sold! Seriously, the Sig-O was all over that like white on rice. Me, I was still debating several options, but I'm a believer that a good brunch must have good eggs benedict, so I went with the Cane Rosso Benedict.

After just a few minutes of enjoying the sunshine on the patio with our cocktails, our brunch arrived. The brisket hash was brisket(duh), 2 over easy eggs, fonduta and crostini. The Sig-O went for the first bite and it was like I had been completely replaced. I think I might have even heard proposals of marriage to that brisket hash from that side of the table. I had to try it. Reluctantly, the Sig-O let me take a bite, but only after repeating, "you know the fact that I'm sharing this with you at all means I love you, right?" I was like, "yea, yea, whatever. Less talking, more food sharing." And then I took that bite. OMG! That brisket hash was totally proposal worthy. The flavors came together perfectly. The smokiness of the brisket, the spiciness of the chilies in the gravy, the eggs. Seriously, this is the kind of brunch food that keeps a restaurant at the top of your brunch choices even when the suburbanites and their broods invade your brunch patio.

The Cane Rosso Benedict was not about to play second fiddle to some hash. With the over easy eggs on top of crispy pancetta and fried polenta, topped with Calabrian chile gravy and complemented by delightful oven-roasted breakfast potatoes, this benedict is a force to be reckoned with that most assuredly puts Cane Rosso on my list of best brunches in town. There was even Jimmy's crumbled sausage in that chile gravy. I get pancetta, sausage, eggs, fried polenta, and breakfast potatoes with that amazing gravy all in one dish? This isn't brunch, this is amazing. In case you're not already full from licking your brunch plate clean, they do offer dessert. Sig-O and I just couldn't manage that one for brunch, but I highly recommend the S'mores calzone as I've shared it with coworkers at lunch and we found ourselves fork sparring for the last bits of chocolate and marshmellow goodness.

It's been quite some time since the Sig-O and I found ourselves both saying Wow to a brunch, but Cane Rosso deserves it. And they deserve to be featured on Triple-D. I just hope I can still snag a patio table after it airs.

Go. Preferably tonight.

Things You Should Be Doing: Weeknight 5K's

You always mean to go do a 5K race or fun run, but the problem is that they happen on Saturday mornings. And Saturday mornings are rough because Friday nights are so much fun. The good news is, that worthless excuse of being too tired or needing to sleep in on the weekends is gone with two fabulous weeknight 5K's coming up. So register and mark your calendars for these two great weeknight runs that are right around the corner!

  • The Man Run - Wednesday, May 2 - $20 - 6:30 p.m. at Reverchon Park - Ryan Harms is competing in the One Man Dallas competition and his service project is The Man Run. The Man Run will benefit Back on My Feet, a local nonprofit helping the homeless population of Dallas. Beneficiary: Back on My Feet is committed to creating independence and self-sufficiency within the homeless and other underserved populations by engaging them in running as a means to build confidence, strength and self-esteem. For more information about Back on My Feet, please visit To register for this awesome run, visit
  • The 14th Annual Michelob Ultra Katy 5K - Thursday, May 10 - $40 - 7 p.m. at Reverchon Park - The Katy 5K is a great 5K, but more importantly, it's the best post-race party in town. You and 5,000 of your closest friends will run, drink free beer and enjoy free food from 50 of the best restaurants in town. Oh, and all the money benefits the Friends of the Katy Trail. They're the ones responsible for keeping the Katy Trail clean, safe, beautiful and AWESOME. Register at 

There's no reason for you not to be there. There might be a reason for you to skip work after the Katy 5K.

Friday, April 27, 2012

Brad Paisley and The Band Perry Presale Password

Brad Paisley Tickets
Brad Paisley
with The Band Perry and
Easton Corbin

Saturday, August 18
Gexa Energy Pavilion

Presale starts: Fri, Apr 27 at 10am
Presale ends: Fri, Apr 27 at 10pm
Use Password: melody

Public Onsale: Sat, Apr 28 at 10am
More InfoLive Nation Presale - Brad PaisleyBuy Tickets

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Free Crazy Tacos at Rock & Roll Taco Through May 5

Rabbit, wild hog, shark and "mystery" are among the taco flavors Dos Equis is bringing to Dallas for its Feast of the Brave promotion (the press release hints that the mystery involves iguana). Each taco comes with a "bravery score" and Dallas is facing off against five other cities to see which can get the most points.

James QuiƱonez of Rock and Roll Tacos will be the chef behind the unusual offerings. A truck will be in Dallas today through May 5 at various locations (location info under the Feast of the Brave tab here). One free taco per person while supplies last.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Cirque Du Soleil KOOZA Presale & Discount!

Cirque Du Soleil Kooza Tickets
Cirque Du Soleil KOOZA

September 20 - October 7
The Grand Chapiteau at Lot E
500 Memorial Street, Dallas, TX 75202
Purchase your tickets early and get $10 off per ticket!
Presale starts: Now!
Presale ends: Fri, Apr 27 at 10am 
No Password Needed
Public Onsale: Fri, Apr 27 at 10am
Live Nation Presale - Cirque Du Soleil KoozaBuy Tickets

Monday, April 23, 2012

Thursday Night Brewery Tours at Deep Ellum Brewing Company

Not going to lie. I totally just cut & pasted this from D, but it sounds awesome:

Starting this Thursday, Deep Ellum Brewing Company will host Thursday evening tours of the brewery from 5-7PM. They kick off their new program with live music by Whiskey Folk Ramblers. Food, for purchase, is available from Buzzbrews Deep Ellum. $10 at the gate which includes DEBC souvenir glass and DEBC beer. 972-439-2413.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

$99 Spa Deal at the New Omni Hotel Spa

From the Cut & Paste Via Travelzoo Division:
The luxe Mokara Spa & Salon, inside the recently opened Omni Dallas Hotel, boasts some of the best views of the skyline from its fourth-floor perch. With this exclusive Local Deal for $99, regularly $210, Travelzoo subscribers can get pampered with a three-treatment spa package, including access to the infinity pool boasting views of downtown. 

This package includes: 
• Any 50-minute customized massage, such as Swedish, sports or deep tissue (up to $120) 
• An hourlong Texas Pecan manicure and pedicure, which incorporates crushed pecans mixed with massage oil to exfoliate, along with choice of polish 
• A complimentary glass of sparkling wine 
• Complimentary valet parking 
• Access to the heated infinity pool with views of the Dallas skyline 

Get it here and you better act fast.

Perry's Friday Porkchop for Less than $1

Sure, sure, you you can get an enormous roast-size pork chop at lunch for low price of $11.95 every Friday, but THIS Friday only, the price drops to 79 cents for the first 100 people in line at the door; the restaurant opens for lunch at 11 a.m.

The special price is in honor of the year Perry's opened as a butcher shop in Houston - 1979 - and is good at Perry's locations across the state.

The Dallas location is at 2000 McKinney, at Olive, downtown.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Free Shredding Day on Saturday April 14

Saturday, April 14, 2012, 8am – 5pm

Join us for the 2nd annual Shred Day DFW, a free community document shredding event brought to you by Comerica Bank and Iron Mountain. This one-day, DFW-wide event allows consumers or businesses to shred sensitive paper documents securely (four-box limit per vehicle) and free of charge.
Shred Day DFW will be held on Saturday, April 14 at Comerica’s Mockingbird Service Center (1508 West Mockingbird). Help protect yourself from identity theft and fraud by securely shredding personal or business documents you no longer need, and you’ll also be doing your part to help the environment, since all paper collected at Shred Day DFW will be recycled.
New to 2012:
  • One big drop-off location: Comerica's Mockingbird Service Center (1508 West Mockingbird, Dallas)
  • Help support the North Texas Food Bank with a suggested donation of two non-perishable food items
  • Help us shred a world record!
To learn more about Comerica Bank, click here. To learn more about Iron Mountain, click here. To learn more about the North Texas Food Bank, click here.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Jason Mraz Presale Password

Jason Mraz Tickets
Jason Mraz
with Christina Perri

Saturday, August 11
Gexa Energy Pavilion

Presale starts: Thu, Apr 12 at 10am 
Presale ends: Fri, Apr 13 at 10pm 
Use Password: melodyPublic Onsale: Sat, Apr 14 at 10am
More InfoLive Nation Presale - Jason MrazBuy Tickets

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Why The Grape is Still One of My Fave Restaurants in Dallas

The Grape. We all know it. We've all been there. And we all like it. I was reminded on Saturday night just how much I love this restaurant. Often given the label of being a "neighborhood gem," I think this is inaccurate. It's really more of a Dallas institution. Even if it's not on someone's regular restaurant rotation, simply suggesting going to The Grape immediately results in a, "Oh yes, I love that place. Let's go there." That was pretty much what happened this last weekend when the parental units were in town.

Let me start out by saying that the fabulous customer service from The Grape stars before you even show up. Courtney gave me a call to confirm our reservation on Saturday afternoon, which isn't terribly uncommon. But when I asked if it was possible for our party of six to be seated on the patio that evening, she happily told me she had already made sure of it. Yes, it's likely that I've made reservations before and requested to be on the patio, so it's in my profile on their computer, but this attention to detail is really where The Grape excels.

So the six of us show up on Saturday night and are seated at a very nice table on the patio. (Note: having six people show up on time is a little bit like herding cats.) Our server was friendly, starting us off with cocktails and giving us plenty of time to review the menu. The Sig-O opted for am East Side Sour, which was pretty darn good if you're looking for a good whiskey cocktail. Sig-O seems to be gravitating toward those old fashioned cocktails that fancy mixologists all over town are making. Me, I'm still a solid wine and vodka kind of girl. Not together, that would be gross. My younger sibling opted for the Grape's Boursin Martini, which isn't much more exciting than a martini, except that it included house-made boursin stuffed olives. It's a shame there were only two olives, because I think the rest of us would have enjoyed them, but she wasn't feeling like sharing. But she did report they were very, very good. And really, boursin stuffed olives? I'm not sure how that could ever not be good. The parental units and I stuck to wine that evening. The Grape always has an interesting wine list. Courtney has done her homework to put together an approachable list with interesting options that will have you stepping out of your typical comfort zone, yet still leave you enjoying each glass.

Ever onward we went into the meal, starting out with the frittered baby artichokes. Not to be missed, and surrounded by baby arugala and prosciutto, we needed two orders of them to make sure everyone got to enjoy. And of course no trip to The Grape would be complete without a fantastic cheese and charcuterie plate. We asked the waiter to let the chef decide what to put on the plate and we weren't disappointed when we received the creamy housemade boursin, marinate chevre, 4-year cheddar, rabbit mortadella, and spicy sopressata, complete with olives, grapes, crackers and the usual accouterments you'd expect for a well done cheese plate. The house boursin is always good at The Grape. The Sig-O was a fan of the sopressata and I was a fan of the rabbit mortadella. Seriously, how often do you find rabbit on a cheese plate? Dad, you missed out on that one.

After working our way through the appetizers and our first of several bottles of wine, our entrees arrived. Wanting to make sure we saved enough room for dessert, there were a few "share-sies" around the table. The parentals split the Texas Shrimp and Lemon Chili Sausage on polenta, and when I reached across the table to steal a bite, I found quite the version of shrimp and grits. Call it what you may, but when you put shrimp on top of polenta, it still becomes shrimp and grits. Not that I'm complaining, since it's certainly a favorite dish and this one was prepared quite well, even with the surprise of the sausage. The Bro-In-Law, BIL, had the Bistro Steak Frites and was not into sharing. I managed to snag a couple frites and he told me the steak was really good, but still didn't want to share. Note to Fam: we should consider reevaluating BIL status. The Sig-O chose what I originally thought would be a rather uninspired choice with the Coal Miner's Pasta. I was wrong, really wrong. Complete with cream, spinach, bacon and an egg on top, this spaghetti might have been the winning entree for the night. I kept reaching over for "just one more bite" of the creamy, cheesy, bacony goodness. If you know a coal miner, and this is how they cook, you should go to dinner there. And invite me. The sister, belonging to the BIL with now questionable status, and I split the Prime Pork Chop. Billed as the Grilled & Mopped Prime Pork Chop, it came with hominy gratin, slaw and green beans. The chop was tender and juicy. The kitchen was even kind enough to split it in the kitchen and still bring it out with a lovely presentation. Was it a good pork chop? Yes. Did I still end up fork sparring with the Sig-O for more coal miner's pasta. Yes.

But wait, dinner with the Fam isn't over until we've had dessert, so Mom and I perused the list and ordered the Valrhona Chocolate Terrine, Bananas Foster Bread Pudding and the Caramel Popcorn Sundae. Oh, and I think the table may have sampled all the post-dinner drinks The Grape offers. We were already down two bottles of wine by that time, so just take my word for it that the dessert cocktails were also very good. The terrine was a dense dark chocolate mousse with french brandied cherries. Smooth and rich, it was as expected and a definite must for any chocolate lover. The bread pudding was the perfect density and texture, with no need to be drowned in a superfluous sauce. It was popular, but let's be honest, everything played second fiddle to the Caramel Popcorn Sundae. I know, you don't know if that actually sounds good, trust me, it is better than good. It's fan-freaking-tastic. Think buttered popcorn ice cream, sea salt caramel and caramel popcorn tuille. There wasn't a single bite left of that one. People who classify themselves with the "I'm not a dessert person" label even loved this dessert. The flavors and textures married so well, I'd recommend ordering this and taking notes from it rather than some expensive blah, blah, blah pre-marriage counseling.

 If you're looking to make dinner plans, I'd certainly recommend visiting The Grape. With Courtney running the front of the house and Brian crafting amazing food in the back, you really can't go wrong. I know I'll be back soon, I've already told the Sig-O we're going back for a charcuterie plate and the caramel popcorn sundae.

Celebrate Uptown on April 12

Dallas Stars Playoff Tickets Presale Password

Dallas Stars Stanley Cup Playoffs are coming. Want your tickets early? Here you go:
Click Here to Get Your Seats Now!

Monday, April 2, 2012

Things That Sound Like a Disaster: Dallas Casting for MTV Real World 28

I didn't even know this show was still on. Seriously, nothing sounds like a worse idea than a 28th season of a show that should have gone off the air at least 10 years ago. Wait, when was the Vegas one? That one was kind of fun to watch, but it should have been the last one. But, just in case you like the show and, even worse, want to try to be on the show. Here's where they'll be casting in Dallas.

Saturday, April 7, 2012
Red Rock Bar and Grill
18110 Midway Rd. #208
Dallas TX, 75287

Free Cone Day from Ben & Jerry's Tomorrow!

Ben & Jerry's Free Cone Day is April 3rd, 2012!