Planning the latest Dallas Bus Tour was a blast. Previous editions included tours that explored Tacos, Pizza, Burgers, and even vegan food in Dallas. The trick behind a successful tour I am finding is not to over think the process. Load up 25 adults onto a bus full of beer, wine and cocktails and point them in any direction and they will have fun.
Such is the case for the latest tour which explored dive bars of Dallas. Now here might be the rub for some, what exactly is a dive bar? I have my definition, you have yours. However, for the first tour exploring almost only alcohol I wanted to play it safe. No stabbings, no arrests, no crying.
As I list out the locations you might scream, “That’s not a dive bar!” OK, so we played it real safe. Perhaps we should have just called this the Interesting Bar Tour 2012. Regardless, those that obtained a Golden Ticket had an incredible evening.
As the group assembled at a location on Henderson Avenue we were met by one of the top bartenders in Dallas, Brian McCullough. You might remember Brian from Smoke, or more recently at the boozy charity pop-up bar 828. Brian was tending bar at 828 pretty much every night during its short tenure. He is now in the process of opening Standard Pour on McKinney which we will hear more about in the coming weeks.
Good news for tour patrons: Brian brought cocktails, and plenty of them. First he concocted an Orange Manhattan using premium Maker’s Mark. Sublime. He also whipped up a batch of Absinthe Punch. This got the crew howling at the moon.
The bus departed and aimed towards La Grange. There we all enjoyed Lonestar on tap and a few choice tacos. The crab taco is no longer being offered and is seasonal. In its place some tried the squid taco, and it was spot on.
Then we hoofed it over to Anvil Pub where some sipped Dogfish Head 90 Minute, and others enjoyted even more Maker’s on the rocks. We were told that the Dogfish 120 was on its way soon. Fantastic news.
Next stop, the historic Texas Theater. And why not? When planning the event one of the owners asked that we stop by for a visit. Since we were going to Lee Harvey’s next I saw the coolness of the irony bubble up and said yes. If you haven’t been to Texas Theater it is a must see in Oak Cliff. This is, of course, where Oswald was apprehended after shooting Kennedy and DPD officer Tippit. The fully renovated theater now offers incredible films and hosts other events.
Next we hit Lee Harvey’s where some fueled up on burgers and beer. Pretty sure we saw a few shots of Jameson being tossed back. Lee Harvey’s is a personal favorite as it is unpretentious and casual. We had hoped for some dancing, but the band that night wasn’t condusive as we had hoped. But this is not normally the case.
From Lee Harvey’s we jetted out to Lakewood Landing to play pool, have yet another beer and enjoy the fabled midnight corny dog. The dog is only sold at midnight. We showed up at 11:30 and they refused to bend the rules. Twenty-five times they refused. We all asked. But the wait was worthy and we all scarfed our corny dog. We ran into chef DAT who is days away from opening Mason Bar.
It was about this time a few cabs showed up to scamper some of the guests off for a safe travel home, the rest had designated drivers. Thus completed yet another successful tour de force.