Bar & D

Welcome to Belly-Up! Where the steak is never “fork-tender”, it’s “so tender you can cut it with a fork!” Keep reading my blogs and you’ll see where I’m going with this…

I had a great week. I found myself in Dallas, solo for the evening. So I’m thinking, ok, time to write that second blog entry…you know, like I might actually do this instead of just talking about it. I met a new colleague late in the afternoon and we discovered a mutual love for cupcakes AND the best competition show EVER, “Cupcake Wars”. #guiltypleasure. “You know there’s a Sprinkles right down the street” she said. Damn her to hell I just met her and she is seeing this clearly into my soul? My car drove itself in the direction she pointed…

I arrived at this sort of mini outdoor mall with parking in the middle (Dallas has alot of these) and sure enough there was Sprinkles. But somehow, in a rare moment of will-power, I drove past. It was only 6:30 and I was determined to write my sophomore blog. Fortunately just down the street was a place called R+D Kitchen. After a quick Yelp and some pretty good reviews, I decided to give it a try. “It’s early” I thought, “I’ll get a place at the bar, easy.” Not so much. The bar was the busiest part of the restaurant this time of day. And not just with people drinking…there were plenty of fellow foodies with knives and forks.

The Bar at R+D Kitchen, Dallas

Bar Hopping!

The woman next to me was drinking a margarita. She informed me that it was DE-licious (this is the south y’all) and that “precious” bartender made a great one. She was right on both counts. Fresh squeezed lime juice, cointreau and good tequila are all you need, along with a very perky and I must say, lovely bartender.

Margarita at R+D Kitchen, Dallas

See the Pulp?

Now here’s what I like in a menu. Three starters, three entree salads, seven mains and some sides. Short and sweet. This implies that the menu changes often and that the chef chooses the freshest, best ingredients available. My Adult ADD defused, I ordered the Tuna Mango Roll and the Chinese Chicken Salad. Precious liked my choices stating that both were “fresh and light”. (Could she see right through me? Did she know I had a cupcake, ok, several cupcakes in my future?)

Mango Tuna Roll at R+D Kitchen, Dallas

I love mango in sushi rolls.

The Mango Tuna roll was light and it went well with my margarita. (It didn’t “pair” well, it “went” well. Capiche?) That’s a beautiful piece of tuna and avocado in with the mango. It was served with two tiny dollops of spicy mayo. At first I thought “that is not enough sauce” but you know what? It was.

Chopped Chicken Salad at R+D Kitchen, Dallas

In an iceberg cornucopia!

I gotta tell ya this salad was delicious. Noodles, rotisserie chicken, baby cabbage, roasted almonds, flat leaf parsley, jicama, zucchini, peanuts and sesame seeds all dressed in an asian vinaigrette. What?! A salad without cheese? Yes!

So how does this blog end?

Barback at R+D Kitchen, Dallas

He looks like a chef, he's really a waiter but he was a bar back that evening.

He shall remain nameless but rest assured, his name was something like “Tucker” or “Blaine”. I kept on thinking he was looking at me until I realized there was a football game on the TV directly over my shoulder. (sigh) Sprinkles here I come.

R+D Kitchen
8300 Preston Center Plaza
Dallas, TX

ps three cupcakes equal one piece of cake…

Posted in Texas | 2 Comments

Make it a Virgin

As in…this is my virgin blog post, not the cocktail for God’s sake!¬†Welcome to Belly-up – the blog devoted to dining at the bar. Where else can you eat, drink, schmooze, cruise, talk to strangers and pick up tabs (or pick up strangers and talk to….ok it doesn’t work.)

I travel a lot on the job. There is nothing sadder than walking up to the host of the dining room and saying “It’s just me…” Come on. Blow by that whole thing and belly up to the bar. Order a drink and grab a handful of wasabi peas. The bartender throws down a napkin as your placemat and you own the place. Even when I travel with my boss….when it’s just us…we’re at the bar.

So I’ll be bringing you new places, great drink recipes, interesting bar munchies, awesome food and introducing you to some of the freaks I meet on the road. Hey – that’s not a bad thing. You get normal every day!

Oh I almost forgot: you see that gorgeous close-up of one of my favorite summer drinks, the Vodka Tonic? I give you, gentle reader, the perfect, squeezable lime wedge. The citrus wheel is a MAJOR PET PEEVE of mine. They are impossible to squeeze. This magnificent example of fresh, juicy, squeezable lime wedges is courtesy ofthe Oak Street Cafe in Roswell, Georgia, where they have THE best fries on the planet. Seriously, with their spicy house-made ketchup and some mayo on the side….the perfect crunch. Thanks to my dear friends Marshall and Tom for bringing me to this local favorite. Bravo!

Posted in Georgia | Leave a comment