Category Archives: Mary Szefcyk

Monkeying Around With Monkey Shoulder

monkey5by Steven Doyle     photos by Mary Szefcyk

One of the more entertaining parts of my work is that I am graciously asked to judge cocktail competitions. Sometimes these are hardcore Bartending Guild contests pitting area bartenders for glorious prizes including trips and cash, other times it can be a specific brand that looking to entertain the public and industry folks who actually sell the spirits. In this time I have witnessed quite a few gimmicks that prove entertaining that had the competitors doing such antics as performing stand up and heaving push ups on the bar in order to curry favorable points. It almost seems the smaller the budget the more outrageous the event becomes, as we witnessed last evening with a particular contest held at Lark on the Park by Monkey Shoulder.

Monkey Shoulder is very new to Texas and has made a huge impact with many of the bartenders in North Texas. The spirit is spectacular, affordable and extremely mixable. Monkey shoulder is a triple vatted blended whiskey brought to you by the same makers of such whiskeys as Balvenie and Glenfiddich, both used in the blend, and aged in bourbon casks for up to 12 years.       Continue reading

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Food for the Whole Family: Taste of Dallas Recap

lockhart todby Melissa Robert    photos by Mary Szefcyk

No matter what type of foods tickle your taste bud fancy, if you stopped by Fair Park this weekend you didn’t walk away disappointed. Friday through Sunday DFW residents filled their bellies with culinary delights from over 60 local restaurants. 150,000 square feet of indoor, air-conditioned space hosted cooking demonstrations, Taste of the Town, Taste Tavern, kids areas and even a petting zoo. Outside the Fair Park exhibit halls were a plethora of tasting tents, food trucks and an impressive live music stage. With general admission at only $10 and children 5 and under getting in free, the event was bustling with folks enjoying local food and vendor booths. Continue reading

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There Was No Forking Around In Trinity Groves Last Night

fork5by Mary Szefcyk

Editor’s note: If you do not wish to read about the delicious goings on, please skip down to the last paragraph where you not only find out who wins this food battle, but you also will hear a tale of tattoos and Mexican wrestlers riding dragons. 

Trinity Grove’s  round one Fork Fight competition was a tremendous success last night.  Omar Flores of Casa Rubia and Yaser Khalaf of Souk battled against each other creating four delightful innovative dishes for you to be the judge.  Guests gathered eagerly anticipating a relaxing evening of food and wine while taking in the sounds of “DJ STRADIVARI The Violin Guy”.  For one fixed price of $75 you enjoy an open bar, mingling with fellow foodies, bubblies, cocktails, and doing what you love most.  Ticket holders luxuriate in a four course meal times two and that simply equals happiness.  How many chances do you get to devour two of everything by two different talented chefs?  I wish every meal on Earth could be served this way.           Continue reading

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Chicago Margarita Pub Crawl

IMG_2816by Mary Szefcyk

I stepped out of DFW for a roundabout to Chicago this past weekend. Bummed I was missing the  Cinco De Mayo early action in my hometown but I got the urge to partake in a CitySwarm Margarita Crawl pre-fix margaritas and dinner (Good time for a Texan). I am learning how much the South West is sure to impress. The evening kicked off at a cozy, trendy spot “D’Noche” serving up some Latin cuisine and damn good margaritas. Viewing a live demonstration from freshly made margarita, I felt home away from home.

The Trolley filled up with plenty of locals stocked with BYOB cases of beer. On board we had an interesting quiz (yes our team won) Come on I live minutes from Esparza’s “The Margarita Capital of Texas”, us Texans bleed Margaritas. The questions that was simplistic for me but stooped others, “when was the frozen margarita machine invented”?  Dallas restaurateur Mariano Martinez put Dallas on the map when he invented the World’s first frozen margarita machine on May 11th 1971.    Continue reading

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Sandaga 813 Blows Its Horn

IMG_9957by Mary Szefcyk

Tuesday nights are reserved for taking in live Jam sessions at Sandaga 813 which is located on Exposition near Fair Park.  Nothing more; nothing less.   Do not come expecting dinner or hand-crafted cocktails (note that the pours are strong), but do partake in some of the most remarkable Jazz creative improvisation.  A $5 cover not only gets your soul cranked with unforgettable exquisite duets and solos performed by innovators of immense music powers.  In jazz creative input is egalitarian. Let’s face it, jazz invented cool and why not take in some of this entertainment that this stage has to offer.   Continue reading


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Smashburger Now Pairing With Deep Ellum Brews

DSC06595by Mary Szefcyk

Smashburger, the Denver CO based fast causal concept, opens its eighth  DFW location in Coppell, Texas today. To launch this opening Tait Lifto of Deep Ellum Brewery Co. and Tom Ryan, founder of Smashburger, recently sat down together (and even cooked together) collaborating their Burger Beer Pairing. As Lifto stated last night, “this isn’t just a beer with your burger, it’s a carefully researched paring list that will enhance the dining experience.”  Continue reading

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