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Ask John Neely Bryan: What’s the Right Way to Order an Old-Fashioned?

Firstly, my humblest apologies for leaving you all — devoted readers — in the lurch last week whilst I skedaddled to obtain a measure of recreation and relaxation. One of the prime benefits of noncorporeal existence is that there’s no need to pay those blood-sucking fares that the airlines charge. Believe me, instantaneous quantum transport is the only way to fly!

But I return now to my Sisyphean duty: solving all of the world’s most pressing quandaries.

Question: With so many cocktail variations popping up every day — the rise of the mixologist is upon us! — it’s becoming more and more difficult to order a drink properly, without fumbling around with a barrage of follow-up questions and combinations to consider. Since you’re staggeringly old, can you tell me the proper way to order an Old Fashioned, so as to minimize the drama? — Travis S.

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New Podcast: A Meaty Discussion With Chef Brian Luscher of the Grape and Luscher’s Red Hots

This week’s EarBurner guest is chef Brian Luscher of the Grape and Luscher’s Red Hots. At the Old Monk on Thursday he talked about his Deep Ellum hot dog joint (which also boasts one of the 20 best burgers in Dallas) and why the city’s business-friendliness doesn’t necessarily extend to small-scale operators. There’s also Chicago-accented talk of Joey Gallo’s recent heroics for the Texas Rangers and the end of the 5-cent bag fee.

Now to some corrections and notes to help you better enjoy the listening experience:

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#StayCoolDallas and Win a $200 Gift Card

Today could be the first 90-degree day of 2015 in North Texas, so there may be no better time to prepare yourself for the inevitable onslaught of summer’s heat than by reading the cover story of the June issue of D Magazine. There you’ll find ice cream and snow cones, water parks and “chill” patios.

But we’d also like to see your favorite means of surviving through the high temperatures: frozen cocktails, icy treats, pool pics, or wherever you like to settle down for a nap outdoors in the shade. Just share a photo on Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter using the #staycooldallas through June 30 to enter for a chance to win a $200 gift card to the Grove at Harwood.

And now, because I grew up with a mother for whom every sentence I said to her could become a Broadway song cue, I can’t help but post this in response to the hashtag for this month’s contest:

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D Magazine’s Catherine Downes Judges Cooking Channel’s Big Bad BBQ Battle

Last week the ever-humble Catherine Downes, our online dining editor, didn’t bother mentioning to us that the reality TV competition that she participated in (as a judge) earlier this year was airing on Sunday night. And, busy as many of us were hobnobbing with the media elite this weekend, I didn’t get a chance to see it until today. Though I’m not even sure I receive the Cooking Channel at my home anyway.

Catherine was great deciding whether Cousins Bar-B-Q bested the roving chef from Brooklyn around whom the entire two-episode “series” is contrived. You can see her beginning just after the 18-minute mark. I was surprised to learn that she’s apparently been moonlighting for “Dallas Magazine.”

The show filmed the day of this year’s Snowmaggedon, and it took poor Catherine nearly three hours to drive to the location in Fort Worth and another couple hours to drive back home to Dallas. They didn’t pay her nearly enough for this.

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Leading Off (4/3/15)

Heated Debate Over Irving’s Anti-Islamic Stance. Speakers packed last night’s meeting of the Irving City Council — some decrying and some applauding the recently passed resolution in support of a bill introduced in the state legislature that would forbid judges from using foreign law in the their rulings. State Rep. Jeff Leach, a Plano Republican, has singled out a Muslim mediation panel as a reason the measure is necessary. “Our community has had to endure death threats, ethnic and religious slurs at the hands of your resolution,” said Alia Salem of the North Texas chapter of the Council for American-Islamic Relations. “Islam’s goal is to immigrate, assimilate and annihilate,” responded one woman who’d shown up to support what Irving Mayor Beth Van Duyne terms “sticking up for our Constitution.”

Feds OK Trinity Toll Road. Mayor Mike Rawlings says the Federal Highway Administration has approved the placement of a 9-mile highway between the levees. It’s the first of two clearances by the national government necessary for the $1.5 billion project to move forward. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers also has to sign off. Of course, there’s also the matter of determining funding, plus the chance that the outcome of the upcoming Dallas City Council election could bring these plans to a halt.

Balch Springs Family Tries to Raise the Dead. Police are investigating a tip that a child’s death on March 22 went unreported in a home that hosts the Congregacional Pueblo de Dios. The parents reportedly attempted a “rising ceremony” and then drove the child to Mexico for burial. “That scares me because all this time they’ve been claiming they’re Christians,” said neighbor Edward Guerra. “To find out that they’re doing this – I don’t know. I don’t know what to think about it.” Guess Ed never heard about what Jesus did to that Lazarus fellow.

Irving Gets Three Earthquakes in a Day. The first yesterday was a 2.7-magnitude just after 5:30 a.m., the second a 3.3 at about 5:36 p.m., and the last a 2.6 just after 10 p.m.

Texas Rangers Introduce New Ways to Clog Your Arteries. It’s likely to be a long, sub-.500 season in Arlington, so fans can comfort themselves with the help of chicken-fried bacon on a stick, grilled-cheese burgers, bacon cotton candy, and “Holland Hot Tot’chos.”

It’s Good Friday. And a good day for D Magazine’s offices to be closed. Enjoy the holiday weekend.

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Ask John Neely Bryan: How Much to Tip For a Growler of Beer

Question: No doubt you are enjoying the beer renaissance in Dallas. In your day, did they have growlers? That’s what confuses me a bit. How should one tip when one gets a growler filled? The bar wench does the same thing she’d do if you’d ordered a pint. The effort, for her, doesn’t increase much. So do you tip her a buck, same as you would if you’d ordered a glass? Or do you tip her based on the value of your purchase, which, depending on your druthers, could mean upwards of $20 (meaning a $4 tip)?  — Thirsty in East Dallas

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Keep Showing Us How You #EatWellDallas

There’s less than a fortnight left in March, which means there’s a little more than a week left for you to enter our #EatWellDallas contest via social media. All you’ve got to do is share a pic (hashtagged appropriately) displaying how you enjoy healthy, delicious food in this city. We’ll pick our favorite to receive a $100 gift card to the Fresh Market.

To inspire you, here are some of the best we’ve seen so far:

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Leading Off (3/10/2015)

Dallas Has a Major Pothole Problem. It’s no shocker that all the rain did not help matters, either. Crews were out on Monday temporarily repairing damaged streets, but some drivers are saying their commutes have as much as doubled from the hazardous roads. Drier weather will allow road repair workers to more permanently fix the gaping issue.

Dallas’ FBI Office Has A New Boss. And he has a pretty serious résumé. Before being named special agent in charge of the FBI’s Dallas Division, Thomas Class Sr. was section chief of the High Value Detainee Interrogation Group with the Bureau’s National Security Branch in Washington, D.C. He was a police officer and detective in St. Petersburg, Florida prior to joining the FBI.

New Alehouse To Open In Exposition Park. Taking the place of the recently-closed Amsterdam Bar, Eight Bells Alehouse is prepping to open by the end of May. The owners of Brit-inspired pub Ten Bells Tavern in Bishop Arts are behind the project, noting they’ve wanted to open a second location for a while. Noble Coyote Coffee Roasters and Expo Bar and Grill will also set up shop in Exposition Park in the coming months.

Texas Foster Care System May Double Training Requirements. The new stipulation might be 35 hours of training, a number more than two times what many foster families go through now. Republican Rep. Cindy Burkett proposed the bill at a hearing in Austin Monday afternoon to tighten up the system’s screening process, but critics are concerned it will make recruiting foster homes an even tougher job. Recommended companion reading: this MotherJones story about a child who died in privatized foster care in Rockdale, Texas in 2013.

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Enter Our #EatWellDallas Contest, Win a Great Prize

We had such a great response to last month’s #HiddenDallas contest, that we’ve decided to try another one this month, inspired by the cover story of the March issue of D Magazine.

This time we’re looking for you to share pictures of your favorite healthy meals, or any other image that you believe encapsulates what it means to enjoy healthy and delicious food in Dallas. Remember to tell us what restaurant you’re dining at or where you bought the ingredients for this dish. Most importantly, you must tag your picture with the hashtag #EatWellDallas by March 31.

We’ll select the best to receive a $100 gift card to The Fresh Market.

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Tony Romo’s Wife Candice Is a Mermaid

A Destin, Fla.-dwelling FrontBurnervian passed along the photo you see at right, which is the logo of Uncle Buck’s Fishbowl and Grill a chain of restaurants/bowling alleys attached to Bass Pro Shops stores in seven different cities (though not in Dallas-Fort Worth).

This image is of interest because the mermaid featured appears to have the head of Candice Crawford Romo, wife of Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo, former WB 33 TV reporter, and one of our own 10 Most Beautiful Women in Dallas honorees.

After an intensive Google Images search, I couldn’t find the exact picture that appears to have been used, but this one is pretty darn similar:

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Readers Share Their #HiddenDallas Secrets

The February cover story of D Magazine features “89 secret things to eat, drink, see, and explore in your city.” The package is called “Hidden Dallas,” and I hope by now you’ve had a chance to peruse our staff’s findings.

On Monday we also told you about a little contest we’re holding in conjunction with the issue. We want to hear about the hidden corners of the city that you treasure most. Share them on social media with the hashtag #HiddenDallas before February 28. We’ll pick our favorite, most insightful tip and give a $200 gift card to Marie Gabrielle Restaurant & Gardens in return.

Meanwhile, here’s a sampling of what we’ve received so far:

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Best of the Best Lists: 2014 Year in Review

It’s the time of year again when we take a look back at what most tickled the fancies of our readers, and in the case of our content the answer is “best” lists. Magazines are often criticized for being list-centric, but you know why so many magazines lean that way? Because people like to look at lists. Even if it’s just because they want to view our selections and tell us we don’t know what the hell we’re talking about, readers continue to come back for more.

These were the most popular listicles on our website in 2014:

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The Most Popular D Magazine Blog Posts of 2014

If you’re reading this, you’re no doubt already aware that D Magazine Partners does far more than publish a group of glossy monthly magazines. Each day our editors are involved, primarily through our family of blogs, in an ongoing, lively conversation about what’s happening in Dallas.

These were the most popular blog posts of the year on our site:

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Ask John Neely Bryan: Issuing a Challenge to the Dallas City Council

Friends, I must report that my editor and I nearly came to blows this week over the contents of today’s column, which I am officially filing under protest. I badly wished to give his proboscis a good wringing after he required that I supplant the golden prose I had spun for both your entertainment and edification with a tepid pool of my second-best work.

Granted, my second-best work is more satisfying to the mind and the soul than 99.9 percent of the pabulum churned out by other so-called “professional” scribes. That does not change the fact that I must live with the knowledge I have done you a disservice, dear readers. You’ll learn nothing of my extensive knowledge of weaponry or hand-to-hand combat, and all because some yellow-bellied stuffed-shirt down at the D Magazine offices is afraid the company might be charged with inciting a riot or threatening the lives of public officials if we’d run my original, superior text.

Oh, hang it all. Let’s get this nonsense disposed with.

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