foodRestaurant News

LISTEN: What makes a dive bar? Start with low lighting, sticky tables and yucky carpet

Our weekly ‘Eat Drink D-FW’ podcast dishes on North Texas restaurant news, food and drink trends.

Editor’s Note: Eat Drink D-FW is hosted by Dallas Morning News Food Editor Erin Booke with food reporters Sarah Blaskovich and Claire Ballor. Each week, our food journalists dish, debate and analyze local restaurant news, food and drink trends, tips for cooking and shopping, and other obsessions. You’ll also hear from chefs, farmers and foodies like yourself as we explore the people who make D-FW one of the most vibrant, diverse and ambitious food scenes in the country.

Eat Drink D-FW from The Dallas Morning News is made possible by Central Market. All editorial decisions are made by The News.

What are the musts of a good dive bar?

In this week’s episode, food reporters Sarah Blaskovich and Claire Ballor determined that the ingredients of a dive are low lighting, sticky tables and questionable carpet.

Sarah recently took a deep literary dive on dives. She talked with writer Anthony Head about his new book, Texas Dives: Enduring Neighborhood Bars of the Lone Star State. In the book, Head included 12 dive bars but just one each in Dallas and Fort Worth. Head also didn’t list Sarah’s favorite dive bar, but it didn’t stop the conversation.

Sarah and Claire talked about what makes for a good dive bar experience.

Claire: “It should be the kind of place where you would be terrified if you saw it with all the lights on.”

Sarah: “My dive-bar must is carpet. Carpets in a bar, to me, says: ‘We could’ve made this easier on ourselves and the smell of this place long term. But we’ve chosen that if you spill your Miller Lite or throw up, that we’ll just do our best to clean the carpet, and it’s going to smell like that forever.”

Home sweet home

Sarah recently said goodbye to the first house she bought and has producer Nataly Keomoungkhoun and Claire tearing up over memories in their own home kitchens.

In a verklempt moment, Sarah recalls how she and her husband celebrated their first house with champagne.

To welcome the new homeowners, she left a similar bottle of champagne in the fridge with a note that read: “This is a place where we had created serious memories. And we were happy for the family [who] were going to build [their memories] in a place where we built our family.”

Also in this episode

Did you know that there are more than 500 wineries in Texas? Food editor Erin Booke talks with Shelly Wilfong, wine educator and host of the podcast This is Texas Wine, about Texas’s burgeoning wine industry.

Erin also talks with Mei and Kyong of the blog Two Plaid Aprons about their Instagram cooking videos and their most popular recipes like Korean cream cheese garlic bread and bibimbap.

Tell us!

Sarah Blaskovich dishes on NBC5

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