Did I hear someone say, Bloody Mary?
Yes, why yes I did and I went on a serious mission to locate the BEST we have to offer in the North Texas area.
If you’re one of the 5 million-plus people we reach every month through social media, event happenings, my radio and television podcast show then you’re aware of this fact. BUT I always like to state the obvious.
If you love brunch then chances are you love a great Bloody Mary.
I drank Bloody Mary’s between Texas, Florida, California, Washington, New York, even in Jamaica and Mexico. I drink them quite often and have been asked at least 100 times this year or more, “Trey, who has the best Bloody Mary in North Texas?”
Bloody Mary’s are a staple in the national and the Texas brunch scene. It’s a favorite among the cocktail lovers of all ages the young drinkers and the old.
But first, I want to discuss the history of the Bloody Mary because it still blows my mind how it was conceived and created. Just as simple as someone mixing a drink and giving it a name after one long night of drinking. I still laugh at this because so many awesome deals can transpire over cocktails.
The history of the Bloody Mary is simple. It’s only 100 years old.
In FACT, next year is the 100th anniversary of the creation of the Bloody Mary.
It was back in the 1920s when Fernand Petiot, an American bartender at Harry’s New York Bar in Paris, mixed up equal parts of tomato juice and vodka for a customer who was hungover from a long evening of drinking. He had no idea that his concoction would become world-famous when he agreed with the guy at the bar who suggested he call the drink a Bloody Mary.
Oh yes, the situations that can transpire over a great cocktail. Big business deals, contract negotiations, job interviews, heck even war invasions and planning have all been discussed and decided over cocktails.
We won’t even discuss what happens on the golf course, lol!
So the question is, “What makes a GREAT or a memorable Bloody Mary?”
Everyone might have a different answer to this question. Some will say it’s vodka, bloody mary mix, the spices you choose, or how it’s prepared.
It seems in our current times everyone is trying to create these monster Bloody Mary’s with all kinds of food and fresh ingredients to create a Texas-size Bloody Mary that nobody can forget.
They will infuse different flavors with the vodka. Use various proteins: ham, beef, and chicken. They have vegetables, cheese, and various types of house prepared bacon and we won’t even discuss the various pickles, fresh peppers, hot sauces they’re using.
They even have Bloody Mary bars where you can create your own memorable Bloody Mary. These bars are unbelievably extensive and or loaded with all kinds of mixes, vegetables, proteins, cheeses, and fruits. Some even have infused pickles and other vegetables for you to experiment with creating a NEW creation.
Drink With Trey spent months investigating and trolling the bar and brunch scene.
I interviewed two local Celebrity Mixologists who are professionals at Bloody Mary creations. Mark Irving from Fort Worth, and Aaron Wang from Dallas. I wanted to have more than just my opinion on what constitutes a FANTASTIC bloody.
Professional Mixologist Mark Irving gives his take on fantastic Bloody Marys.
I ask Mark his thoughts on a Bloody Mary:
“Well thank you for asking Trey, this drink never dies, but it does adapt. It comes in National (Bloody Maria), regional (beef bullion cubes) and Clamato juice up in Northeast. Old Bay spice in the mix or on the glass rim in the Mid Atlantic, and even very local versions. In recent years it has literally become an item on the dinner menu, with more than one protein floating or teetering from the edge of its vessel, basically a shaken and chilled meal with booze in it. The Bloody Mary may be taken for granted but I doubt it will ever disappear.”
What Bloody Mary is your favorite?:
“Well, Trey I myself go for a more traditional style. I like V8 (several veggies), or a good canned tomato juice will suffice. I use the whole small can of either and that will make a good batch, that will refill the first glass that was downed quickly because it’s tasty when done right.”
How do you prepare it, Mark?:
“Trey, two oz Vodka, since this will make a little more than one drink. I add a few or two good hard shakes of Celery salt, a dash or two of Tabasco, four or five good dashes of Worcestershire sauce. Then I add the juice of a nice fresh lemon wedge which helps the spices expand to open up and blend easier. Two to three bar spoons of Olive jc (brine) is a bit of an excellent catalyst too. I add all these ingredients into a large shaker, pack with ice and shake the hell out of it for 30 seconds. I then pour that mixture into a tall pint glass that is half-rimmed with salt, garnish with olives and citrus. This drink should be hearty and thick, viscous and super chilled.”
Damn Mark I want one now!
Mark laughing with his smile.
What if I would like MORE heat, Mark?:
“If you like additional heat I recommend the new Mexican Habanero Pepper Salts, scorpion salts or ghost pepper salts, just a healthy pinch added to the shaker ingredients gives it a remarkable texture, smoked pepper flavors in the Bloody Mary (I know they are available at Olive Oilery in Sundance Square) and other fine disturbers.”
Professional Mixologist Aaron Wang gives his take on fantastic Bloody Marys.
Aaron, Can you please tell me what makes the perfect bloody Mary?:
“Trey, hands down the mix makes the Bloody Mary. You will never be able to taste the vodka in it so the mix is the most important ingredient in a Bloody.”
Aaron, What do you use or prefer for the BEST mix?
“I make my own Bloody Mary mix. But the best commercial mix I’ve ever had is made by Stirrings. But, nothing beats my homemade mix that we use at the Deep Ellum Distillery.”
Aaron, how do you prepare it?:
“When I drink bloody Mary’s I like mine with some spicy heat! So usually Deep Ellum Vodka, my homemade mix, some horseradish, bacon jerky, blue cheese stuffed olives, and a celery stick.”
Aaron, where do you think the most outrageous Bloody is located in Dallas?:
“Anvil pub has crazy Bloody Mary’s! It’s literally a meal! I recently tried one at Ichigoh Ramen lounge in Deep Ellum and it was incredible! They use their pork belly wash inside the Bloody Mary and it is killer! So most outrageous is definitely Anvil pub and the best tasting is definitely Ichigoh.”
Thanks Aaron, now I want a bloody mary and shot of pickle Deep Ellum vodka. Aaron, you want a shot too? Hell Yea I do!
Well, folks that should answer all your Bloody Mary questions for the perfect bloody Mary. Now it’s time to discuss who has some of the BEST and most unique Bloody Marys in the DFW area.
Chef Keith Button Hicks is slinging deliciousness with his one of a kind chef-driven bloody Mary that is loaded with southern eats. Two chicken wings, two bacon-wrapped shrimp, house prepared stuffed pretzel, Asparagus, Chunk of Andouille Sausage, Various Peppers, vodka, farm-fresh celery, olives, and house-prepared mix. Giddy Up!
A small meal and drink for only $24.00 ( 🎥 Trey’s Chow Down )
Deep Ellum, Dallas, Texas
A 32oz bad boy that is loaded with all kinds of culinary creations. A bacon cheeseburger slider, Onion Ring, fried potato wedges, pickled vegetables, a pickle, and fresh celery with house-made bloody mix. You can add anything to your bloody if you request it. The staff is awesome!
Priced right at only $22.00 ( 🎥 Trey’s Chow Down )
Colleyville & Watauga Texas
It all starts with your choice of a domestic beer or mimosa while you wait for your double size order of their signature Bloody Mary that includes the famous Better Than Sex Fried Chicken, a Nolan Ryan slider, waffle fries, grilled shrimp, jalapeno pepper, pickle spear, and bacon.
A BIG meal for $35.00 ( 🎥 Credit: Chef’s Point Video )
Watch to learn the story of Chef Point and how the Bloody Best came to be!
Posted by Chef Point Bar & Restaurant on Thursday, February 8, 2018
Willow Park, Texas
I traveled out to Drakes Yolk to try “The Colonel Bloody Beast” it’s prepared with a mini cheeseburger, deviled egg, cold boiled Shrimp, Smoked Wing, Grilled Bacon, Grilled Jalapeno, Pickled onions, celery, parsley, Olives all on top of a delicious Bloody Mary.
The great thing is it’s only $15 bucks total.
Deep Ellum, Dallas, Texas
D.E.D. prepares their award-winning bloody mary with their own tasty vodka and a house prepared mix created by Mixologists Aaron Wang fresh daily. Bloody Mary recipe. Tomato sauce, Pineapple juice, Orange juice, Black pepper, White pepper, Garlic powder, Worcestershire sauce, Valentina hot sauce, Water And a few more secret ingredients the Aaron WILL NOT tell us because it’s a secret.
Fort Worth, Texas
The Bloody Mary Bar is ridiculously crazy but very awesome. It consists of ten different kinds of Bloody Mary Mixes, they have a wide variety of additional items you can add to your drink. Jumbo Shrimp, Fresh Cooked Bacon Strips, Spicy Garlic Pickles, Pepperoni, Asparagus, Blue Cheese Olives, Jalapeno Olives, Sweet, and Sour Gherkin Pickles, Assorted Olives, Crumbled Blue Cheese, and Pickled Okra. Each Guest Receives a small Bottle of Tito’s Vodka for their Bloody Mary and you can mix & match any of the mixes the way you so desire. Wow!
Chef Mike is slinging deliciousness and great cocktails. Oh do I love Maple Leaf, but I’m in LOVE with the Bloody Mary and the chicken and waffles what a great combo. The bloody mary is prepared with. Clamato juice, Iceberg Canadian Vodka, Worcestershire sauce and Tabasco with celery salt on the rim and a pickle, a slice of bacon, olives, lemon and celery for garnish. Yummy!
Plano, Texas & Las Vegas Nevada
I tried Bloody’s at booth of these joints. Johnny’s Famous Bloody Mary is prepared with house vodka, house bloody mary mix louisiana hot sauce, fresh horseradish, Worcestershire sauce, smoked bacon & salt rim, romaine lettuce rib, red ripe tomato, hardwood smoked bacon slices, ground pepper and served in a custom made house glass. This thing is awesome. I’ve been to it in Las Vegas and now Plano.
Oak Cliff, Dallas, Texas
Chef Jonathon is always creating magic at Jonathon’s. I say order a fantastic fresh Bloody Mary and the Danger Dogs, yummy! They prepare their Bloody Mary mix from scratch. They use Fresh Roma tomatoes and the chef’s seasoning bloody blend. On the weekends, they offer a fresh Bloody Mary bar which lets everyone garnish as you like and spice it up to their own liking.
Southlake & Frisco, Texas
I’ve made three trips to Trufire for brunch and each trip has been a pleasure. Great service, vibrant atmosphere, and wonderful staff. The TRUFIRE has a Bloody Mary bar is prepared with in-house Texas vodka infusions with either lemon peel peppercorn, cilantro garlic basil, or fresh jalapeno. Even better, you can create your own mix!
Well that about sums it up for my drinking buddies.
Please follow us on FACEBOOK at Drink With Trey for more on cocktails, bars, clubs, and lots of laughs!
Please view Trey’s live shows with The Rim Team, The Deep Ellum Team, and Mark Irving below!
Trey’s Chow Down & Drink With Trey LIVE Talk Show With The Rim Team
Trey’s Chow Down and Drink With Trey LIVE Talk Show With Deep Ellum Distillery Team.
Trey’s Chow Down LIVE and Drink With Trey Professional Mixologist Mark Irving
I’m proud to write about the very BEST PLACES and DISHES I’ve eaten in the last twelve months and I’ve enjoyed my research time. I am passionate about what we do at Trey’s Chow Down and bringing the very best to you! The named restaurants and chefs I have listed continually change the culinary landscape in DFW area.
Food is an event itself and the chefs who prepare it are now celebrities themselves. It doesn’t matter what kind of food you’re talking about, whether it be a $1 dollar taco or a $250 steak dinner, it’s all taken the center stage in the last decade.
Any and all food can be prepared with a creative and colorful flair that’s packed with delicious flavors. Chefs have no boundaries in what they can create and deliver to anyone’s table. It can be at a food festival, a food truck, a taco shack, standing by a smoker in the middle of now where, in a restaurant with a white table cloth, or a food hall, it just doesn’t matter!
Great food creates bonds from friendships to business partnerships. We are being brought together over great meals more than ever. It is true, nothing brings us closer than a good meal. We have more fun, relax, and socialize when you have some food and drinks. It’s just a proven fact!
If you look back over the course of history, there are many photos of folks enjoying meals with big parties. Have you heard of the little thing called the Last Supper? I’m sure you’ve seen that photo. Also, kings and queens had big tables with extravagant parties for dinners. In the late 1800s to the early 1970s families would all sit down and eat dinner, breakfast and sometimes lunch.
Why would they do this? It was a way to form a place for communication. An event where you could discuss your day, work, family, and any issues one might have. Somehow for three or four decades we lost that. Food became a necessity. We just ate in most cases to stay alive and keep moving so we could make more of the oh mighty dollar. I guess one might say for a lack of a better term it was GREED that halted the family and friendly food gatherings. We just didn’t have time.
Not any more! It’s back in our life’s and society has said, “Bring it on, let’s eat! We LOVE a great dining experience with family and friends it’s all about the food and drink NOW!”
There’s been a progression in competition in the food and chef wars, and I’m in happy about it. I’m in love with food and always have been. I love all that food offers us from and friendships and bonds it creates. I’m passionate about the chefs that create it and the restaurants that house it. This is why I wanted to give my fellow foodies my award-winning restaurant picks for 2019.
I spent all of 2018 chowing down, visiting with chefs, and locating some of the best food creations you will ever eat. I’ve eaten at some amazing places and I’ve listed them all.
These are my top places to CHOW DOWN for great experiences with some incredibly creative and delicious foods. From trailers to restaurants, nothing is off limits when it comes to eating deliciousness. Let’s sit back, relax, and enjoy some incredible eats and eateries.
Dallas / Plano, Texas
Knife is much more than a steakhouse because John Tesar is incredibly passionate about his customer’s experiences. It’s a place where you can dine, drink, and socialize. Its a guarantee you’ll be having a fantastic time with friends and family here. It’s not stuffy but it is a classy place with a wonderfully comfortable atmosphere. Knife has some of the best flavor profiles in Texas. The steaks are award winning 44 Farms cuts of beef. You can get amazing dry aged beef from Chef John’s cooler. The choices are endless! John desserts, simply put, are just ridiculously delicious. I’m also in love with his Blue Cheese Wedge salad. The lettuce was chilled to the perfect temperature and the dressing was so good I wanted to drink it. Knife is an all-time favorite for me and I’ve chowed down all over the world. They offer brunch at the new Plano location too. #FlavorRodeo
Fort Worth, Texas
Clay Pigeon could possibly be one of those places where you could eat and drink every night. Chef Marcus is passionate about his restaurants and everything that is created in his kitchens. They change the menu four to six times a year and they only use farm fresh vegetables and ingredients sourced locally where available. I’ve loved everything at Clay Pigeon. At most occasions, I have even licked my plate clean. They change the menu so much I’m not going to list any particular dish. I’ll just let you know, everything I’ve had has been riddled with flavor and is so delicious you can’t stop eating until it’s gone. #FlavorCentral
Sundance Square in Fort Worth, Texas
Grace has been on my radar and in my food directory since the first time I dined there. Chef Blaine changes his menu seasonally and always has some of the most creative dishes in Texas. His creativity has no bounds and his flavor profiles are always on point. Since the menu changes regularly I’m not going to give you any one dish, I just want you to dine at Grace and try anything. I do love Blaine’s Steaks and unique creations like his one-of-kind escargot dish. The snails for this dish are only fed fresh basil. They also have a seven-course tasting dinner option that is truly amazing! If you’re looking for an incredible dining experience prepared by one of the most creative chefs in Texas then head over to Grace and try the Seven Course Tasting Dinner. #WorthIt
Chef Misti Norris
I’ve eaten Chef Misiti’s dishes and they’re incredibly colorful, creative, and just beautiful to the eyes. Misiti is so passionate about her cooking, being a chef and most of all taking her creativity to the next level. She’s always trying to stay one step ahead of everyone in the culinary world by consistently creating new flavorful creations that amaze food lovers and chefs. Petra and The Beast is a must visit for any food lover in Texas. I can promise you, it’s worth the drive and trip from anywhere in Texas to dine with Chef Misiti and enjoy her culinary delights. Check her website for hours of operations and menu details.
Downtown McKinney, Texas
Located in an old historic building in downtown McKinney, Texas, Sugarbacon has some amazing and creative items that are worth the drive from anywhere in the DFW area. I’ve tried five different items in 2018 and this place has never let me down. I love the pork belly dish. The desserts are stupid delicious too! After research and discussions, we discovered everything is farm fresh and sourced locally when possible from the McKinney-Dallas area. They offer “Tender Belly Farms ” Pork, “ Morgan Ranch” Beef, and “ Lewellen Farms” greens. Seriously, it is local and farms fresh vegetables and ingredients ONLY. What more do you need? #Worthit
Chef Nikki Phinyawatana
The flavor profiles and creativeness that chef Nikki is slinging from her kitchens is just ridiculous! It’s billed as Asian Fushion but all I can say is it’s like you own little “Flavor Land” with every single bite you take. Everything I eat is just riddled with goodness that will make your head snap back in disbelief. It will leave you saying, “I just can’t get enough”. Just last week I tried something as simplistic as “bacon fried rice” and I went back three more times. I couldn’t stop eating it! If you haven’t tried the MINT then I would suggest you do, and soon! #Delish
Chef/Pit Master John Sanford
This place is a cozy little Texas hang out. The menu is loaded with items that will send your taste buds to the flavor rodeo. I don’t care what you eat, whether it be the brisket with thick delicious bark, chili, the gobble gobble sandwich, it’s all just packed with deliciousness. Everything is cooked, smoked, or prepared by the creative BBQ team at BBQ on the Brazos. No wonder they made the Texas Monthly Top 50 BBQ joints on Texas! #SmokyGoodnessAlways
Fort Worth, Texas
My man and soul food legend Chef Keith Button Hicks… When I think about soul food of any type, Chef Hicks is always the first to pop in my head. I’ve known him for over a decade now and everything his kitchen is slinging is purely delicious. I will tell you, Chef Hicks has a “Chicken and Waffle” dish that is truly amazing. Anyone who eats this dish will fall victim to Chef Keith’s cooking spell. There are rumors that folks start babbling all kinds of soul food phrases after they eat his chicken and waffles like, “That was the best I’ve ever had”, “Man, that cat can really cook”, “That food was groovy baby”, “I found my soul food happy place with Chef Hicks”! Buttons’ Famous Chicken & Waffles is prepared with special seasoned fried chicken and a homemade Belgium waffle with blueberry infused butter. Served with sweet potato pommel frites and their signature collard greens. Oh man, you need this in your life (and it’s only 15 bucks). Get to Buttons and enjoy the comfort soul food. Life is groovy, baby.
Fort Worth, Texas
The Wasp, as locals call it, has something for everyone. It’s the brainchild of Celebrity Chef Blaine Saniford of GRACE who has created a little world full of magic bites for everyone. The service is incredible, the staff is friendly, and the drinks are strong. I love so many items from this place I’m just going to list a few. The Rebun and Chicken sandwiches, the amazing fresh Chili Dog, the Cheddar Cheese Fried Chicken Biscuit, and of course the pot stickers. Jet head over to Wasp and enjoy some delicious creations from Chef Blaines culinary team! #TasteLikeMore
Chef Jonathan Pauley
J2 Steakhouse has one of the most amazing atmospheres to me. It was built and created in an 1880 grist mill. They used the old equipment, furnishings, and antique items found in the construction and restoration project inside and outside the restaurant. I can’t begin to explain the creativeness and atmosphere J2 has except to say it’s wonderful. Chef Pauley has done an amazing job with his menu items. They have dry age cooler, a pasta room, dessert room, and a cold preparation room. It doesn’t matter if you’re eating one of his delicious pattie melts, a dry aged steak, or house prepared Mac-N-Cheese because everything is stupid delicious, period! Make the drive to J2 in Lewisville. #WorthTheDrive
Victory Park Lane in Dallas, Texas
Billed as a vibrant saloon extraordinaire! Billy’s Tale as stated by the restaurant: “Being that he was confident and enigmatic, Billy Can Can is an artful sensationalist a brooding bon vivant. Host, master of ceremonies, guru and social conductor, he keeps his distance from the action, while slyly orchestrating every happening”. The place simply put is freaking awesome! it’s everything they claim it to be and more. The staff is lively and the atmosphere is upbeat and wide open. It’s a saloon, it’s a restaurant, it’s a bar with creative cocktails, and a fun palace with creative delicious chow and creative drinks. I’ve tried several dishes but the best ones “SMOKED FISH DIP” and the “HOT FRIED QUAIL” both are packed with flavor and the presentation is awesome. If you want to have a great time at fun place head over to Billy Can Can because you CAN CAN! #SensationallyDeliciouness
3 locations in Fort Worth, Texas
Chef Terry Chandler
Fred’s and Chef Terry Chandler a.k.a. the Original Outlaw Chef has been slinging deliciousness for THREE decades now and is still going strong. Terry’s menu items keep things fresh and new. He has some of the best comfort food you will ever eat. If you love live music, Fred’s has that covered too. They have a “Chicken Fried Steak – Queso” that is amazing. They have so many dishes I love at Fred’s, but the chili, hamburgers, and fried pickles are superb. If you’re looking for some comfort food, great music, and cold ass beer then head to Fred’s.
Upper West 7th in Fort Worth, Texas
Michael’s Cuisine has been around for so long that I consider it to be a Fort Worth staple. Chef M.T. aka Michael Thomson works hard to keep his menu offering different dishes depending on the season, and he gives back to the community in so many ways. This cozy restaurant is located on upper West 7th. It has fireplaces, Texas décor, and an old-school Fort Worth feel. I truly love everything Chef M.T. creates and slings out the kitchen. I especially adore his appetizer “Texas Quail Pops”, and for my favorite cut of meat… It would have to be the “Cowboy rib eye” because it is so delicious, tender and juicy. I always want to order an extra to take home with me! When you have time to check out Michael’s, tell’em Trey sent you! See video here: Chef M.T. Quail Pops
The Granite Boardwalk
Hwy 121 Plano, Texas
Yep, you read that correctly. A Biscuit Bar! I waited six months for this place to open last year and it was worth the wait. Nestled right off Hwy 121 in Plano, on a little man-made lake and a Board Walk, complete with water fountains and birds chirping. Boy, the atmosphere is perfect. Everything is prepared in-house from fresh ingredients to create big bold flavors of deliciousness. The El Jefe, The Fancy Chicken, and The Monte Cristo, all taste amazing. I’m in love with the fresh “Fully Loaded Tator Tots”. Just DAMN Delicious! They say everything tastes better on a biscuit and I completely agree. Check out The Biscuit Bar! #Yummy