Welcome all, to the inaugural edition of Watering Hole Wednesdays! First to introduce myself. My name is Kevin, but my friends call me Barnski – note that the word “bar” is indeed part of my name so that should make me uniquely qualified to author these missives. I am Danielle’s husband, but amongst other things I am an avid fan of reality TV (think: Storage Wars, Real World Road Rules Challenge, and yes, even the Real Housewives franchises), golf, good eats, and of course watering holes. Since Danielle seems to have the food and healthy living aspect of this blog covered, I thought I’d expand this blog to include libations and the establishments that serve them.
So, what can you expect in these updates? Every other Wednesday or so, I will review a new watering hole in the Dallas area. To add a little consistency behind my reviews, I plan to cover the following categories:
– General Vibe
– Beer Selection Depth
– The Signature Drink of the House
– Price Point
– Overall Rating on a Scale of One to Ten
As the old proverb goes, the journey of a thousand miles starts with the first step. With that in mind and with so many drinking establishments in the area, we started our journey at the bar literally across the street from our house called The Nodding Donkey (www.thenoddingdonkey.com). We went on a Saturday night while the bar was in full swing.
- Location: Right next to our townhouse in Uptown Dallas a few blocks off of McKinney Ave (the main nightlife entertainment area in Uptown Dallas).
- General Vibe: In short this place is awesome. While I still have a lot of bars to visit, I am fairly comfortable making the following bold analogy that my UVA friends will understand – in my eyes the Nodding Donkey is the Biltmore of Uptown Dallas. As pictured below, The Nodding Donkey is an indoor/outdoor bar that is very inviting to passersby. The outdoor patio is great and features games such as corn hole and mega-sized Jenga…seriously Jenga played with pieces of 2 x 4 lumber. There are also NFL-style cool zone misters outside that run to keep you cool in the Dallas heat. The inside is open to the outside through multiple giant glass garage doors which seem to stay open at all times. Inside there are multiple flat screen TVs streaming a myriad of sporting events. The Donkey or The Donks, as I like to call it, also features your standard bar games including Photo Hunt (not the erotic version though), Big Buck Hunter, and various other video games.
Typically there seems to be a decent mix of guys and girls at this place, although when we were there it was a little more dude heavy at the time – probably because the Ranger game was on as well as the NHL playoffs, and the Donks is a great place to catch a game. The crowd is a good mix of mid twenties all the way to late thirties. We chatted with a couple of folks at the bar when we where there and most everyone seemed pretty laid back and casual. Overall this is a great casual bar that I know I will frequent.
- Differentiators: As mentioned above, the indoor/outdoor seating is great. The corn hole and Jenga are a definitely plus as well. Also, all of their drinks are served in mason jars, which is pretty cool.
- Beer Selection Depth: I can only give a partial review here since I didn’t see a full beer list, but I did get to see everything on tap. While the tap selection is limited, everything they have is pretty good. Danielle and I drank a St. Arnold’s Lawn Mower, which is a Texas brew. A little light for our taste, but decent nonetheless. The Donks also had Fireman’s No. 4 and the Texas staple of Shiner Bock in cans, which is a rarity, since I had only seen it on tap or in bottles before.
- The Signature Drink of the House: This is where this gets great. The signature drink is the Donkey Punch. It even has its own tagline: “It Only Hurts For a Minute.” No one knows for sure what is included in Donkey Punch, but it tastes like some kind of pineapple juice mixed with rum, Malibu, and greatness. Danielle and I had two since we liked it so much. The dude sitting next to us probably had about seven, and was still surprisingly conversant.
- Price Point: This is another great thing about Donks, it is reasonably priced. You can even buy Donkey Punches for just two bucks during their Monday Funday special.
- Overall Rating: I’m gonna have to come out of the gate strong on this one and give it a 9. I can’t lead with a 10 since there are numerous other places I want to try to get a relative sense for my surroundings. That said, Danielle and I will definitely frequent this place, and it certainly helps that it is literally a stone’s throw away from our townhouse.
There you have it folks. I hope you enjoyed the first installment of Watering Hole Wednesdays. Please comment and let me know if you want to review any other aspects going forward or feel free to recommend a place for me to cover.