Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Strong Drinks in Dallas!

Well, since I've been remiss in my postings, they've piled up on me and I have another article from the new Lit Monthly issue. I've taken on "Strong Drinks in Dallas!" Drinks and drinkeries to get your drunk on. Here goes...

I Don’t Have a Drinking Problem; I Drink, I Get Drunk, I Fall Down, No Problem! Strong Drinks in Dallas

By Greg Holman

Man has been consuming alcoholic beverages since before the Neolithic period (around 10,000 B.C.) and beer and wine have been a part of religious ceremonies since at least 4,000 B.C. As the bible says, “…eat thy bread with joy, and drink thy wine with a merry heart…” Alcoholic beverages have been a culinary staple, replacing tainted water, they have been a source of nutrition, and have been in continuous use since the beginning of recorded history. We drink for medicinal purposes, to celebrate pivotal events in our lives, to welcome the new born, to mark the passing of loved ones, and ease our sorrows. Benjamin Franklin said, “Beer is living proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy.”

I cautiously extol the virtues of strong drink, due to its physical effects, and its contribution to drunk driving, but as long as you have a sober ride, I am then reminded of Cliff Clavin’s analogy of alcohol’s effect on brain function. "A herd of buffalo can only move as fast as the slowest buffalo. When the herd is hunted, the slow and weak at the back are killed first. The speed and health of the herd keeps improving by the regular killing of the weakest members. In the same way, the human brain can only operate as fast as its slowest brain cells. Excessive intake of alcohol, as we know, kills brain cells. Naturally, it attacks the slowest and weakest brain cells first. In this way, regular consumption of beer eliminates the weaker brain cells, making the brain a faster and more efficient machine. That's why you always feel smarter after a few beers." Now that we understand the effects of booze, Normie, back to drinking.

Let me ask you a couple of questions. Did you just get fired? Has your girlfriend recently left your sorry ass? (You were too good for her anyway… Yeah, keep thinking that). Or did you just win the lottery? These are times when a glass of wine or a beer simply won’t suffice. You need a good, strong drink; one that throws your head back, numbs the senses, and knocks you on your butt! When these occasions arise, there are several beverages I embrace, and a number of imbiberies I frequent, to “ease my troubled mind,” or erase it, as the case may be.

If you’re in an unfamiliar bar and want to get blasted, the drink itself is all-important. You want bang-for-the-buck, you want to be amicably incandescent, laughing at the carpet, cork high and bottle deep. You want to be put to bed with a shovel! Then try one of these collegiate faves; Long Island Iced Tea -vodka, tequila, rum, gin, triple sec, sweet and sour, and a splash of Coke (A Texas Tea doubles the liquor and adds bourbon); Irish Car Bomb - one pint of Guinness, one shot of Irish whiskey, and one shot of Bailey’s; a Prairie Fire - Jose Cuervo, Wild Turkey, and a dash of Tabasco Sauce; Zombie - white rum, gold rum, dark rum, Bacardi 151, and apricot brandy, with some fruit juices; Four Horsemen - any four liquors named after a guy, e.g. Jack Daniels, Johnny Walker, Jose Cuervo, Jim Beam, etc., mixed, or as I prefer it, Bacardi 151, Jagermeister, Rumplemintz, and Goldschlager. Ouch!

If you’ve befriended a bartender, then he or she may be your best bet for a good stiff one (in more ways than one!), but if you are relying on an establishment’s reputation for pouring a doozy of a dram, these Dallas destinations offer a dynamic dose of drunkenness for denizens of the drink.

The Loon – 3531 McKinney (@ Lemmon), Dallas

Back in the 60s and 70s this club was called Joe Miller’s, a hangout and pick-up spot for flyboys and girls from Love Field. Presidents, movie stars, and sports legends have all gotten drunk here. They pour one helluva drink here and have some of the best pizza and burgers around.

Grapevine – 3902 Maple, Dallas

A cool place for liberal-minded people. A very diverse crowd frequents this Maple Ave. hotspot. The venue is famous for having been the original location of the first Hererra’s restaurant, being featured in an issue of National Geographic. They serve a strong drink at great prices, especially during happy hour.

Vernon’s – 5290 Belt Line, Addison

This Addison staple has been serving up great home-cooking and strong drinks, at the South East corner of Belt Line and Montfort, for as long as I can remember. An old school bar trimmed in dark wood and brass, you can still smoke, they have NTN trivia, the crowd is typically a bit older, and the staff is over the top friendly and efficient. I’m usually here at least once a week. Tell them Greg sent you.

Windmill Lounge – 5320 Maple, Dallas

An “industry bar, this is another of my favorite haunts. A phenomenal juke box sits in a corner of what used to be the Old Dutch Kitchen Diner. They have conversation pits, a pinball machine, and serve a mean drink. They even have Triscuits with cream cheese and either jalapeno jelly or Pickapeppa sauce on the menu! What more could you want?

While the abuse of alcohol is an issue with a minority of drinkers, alcohol has clearly been proven to be beneficial to many. As Morris Chafetz, the founding Director of the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, noted "... alcohol has existed longer than all human memory. It has outlived generations, nations, epochs and ages. It is a part of us, and that is fortunate indeed. For although alcohol will always be the master of some, for most of us it will continue to be the servant of man." I’ll drink to that. Now get in mah belly, alcohol. Cheers!

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