Cocktail Friday: What a pickle!

Posted on 31 Jul 2015 at 2:11pm

6TickledPickleTickled Pickle

2 oz. VDKA 6100

3/4 oz. lemon juice

3/4 oz. simple syrup

1 oz. sour pickle brine

1 oz. Australian lager.

Making it: Combine all ingredients (except beer) in a shaker with ice. Shake and strain into a tumbler glass. Top with a heavy splash of lager beer. Stir gently, garnish with skewered mini pickles and dust with cayenne pepper.

— Mikey Rox


Dallas Red Foundation sets 7th annual Red Party for Dallas Pride

Posted on 30 Jul 2015 at 2:28pm

DevThe Dallas Red Foundation, which just hosted its third annual runway fashion show last weekend, announced today the lineup for its seventh annual Red Party, which will take place during the Dallas Pride Week in September.

The featured entertainer will be recording artist DEV at the event, which moves back to the gayborhood this year at Sixty-Five Hundred on Cedar Springs Road.  The event will take place from 9 p.m. to midnight on Saturday, Sept. 19. Tickets are $55/each.

The Red Foundation is a fundraising arm for Legacy Counseling and Founders Cottage, which provides support for those with HIV.


Music legend Giorgio Moroder: The gay interview

Posted on 30 Jul 2015 at 12:37pm

Giorgio3At 75, disco pioneer Giorgio Moroder reemerges to once again produce some of the biggest icons of our time

By Chris Azzopardi

It’s been 35 years since Giorgio Moroder and Cher hooked up for a late-night session to produce “Bad Love,” the diva’s disco rave-up from the soundtrack of the 1980 coming-of-age drama, Foxes.

“We were supposed to start at 2 o’clock in the studio, and who comes in at 2 o’clock punctual? Cher,” Moroder recalls, tickled. “I said, ‘Shit, because with an artist like her — the big stars, you think, if it’s 2 o’clock, they come in at 5 o’clock, if you’re lucky. So she was there at 2 o’clock, and I said, ‘Cher, something is wrong — I was told you’re always late.’ And she said, ‘Yes, I’m always late… except the first time.’”

Decades have passed and music has changed and Cher has not. One other thing remains the same: Moroder still lights up at the mere thought of the ageless icon, how “I loved her” and “she was so funny.” Undoubtedly, Cher, to this day, can still smack you with a punchline. A star, an icon, the diva of all divas — her success is abiding.

Now, returning to the scene at age 75 with his first album in 30 years, Moroder can say the same for his own monumental success.

The Italy-born musical mastermind who unwittingly blazed a fruitful trail of radio hits is the father of such celebrated dance-floor relics as Donna Summer’s “Love to Love You Baby” and Blondie’s ubiquitous No. 1 hit “Call Me.” A cavernous catalog of ’70s-era paragons and Moroder’s unprecedented artistic vision became the catalyst for modern-age dance music. Between 1974 and 1984, Moroder’s creative force was a hot commodity, and everyone who was everyone — Barbra Streisand, Elton John, Janet Jackson, Chaka Khan, Freddie Mercury, David Bowie — clamored for his heyday genius.

During Moroder’s most musically prolific era, the producer, composer and DJ could be found endlessly shacked up in a studio. There, he’d mix until the wee hours, never to succumb to his own burgeoning brand of sonic escapism that coaxed just about everyone but himself — the man behind those very beats — to the clubs.

“If I go back, I remember one year, ’85, when I did the [music for the] Top Gun movie,” he says. “The whole year I was doing several projects, of which most didn’t work out, but I think I had one weekend by myself. I would work like crazy.”

And even that’s an understatement. While producing for an army of iconic artists during the first wave of disco-dance, Moroder was also becoming a booming cinema presence.

He won his first Oscar for his music in 1978’s Midnight Express, and then two more for “Flashdance… What a Feeling” and Berlin’s “Take My Breath Away,” from Top Gun. In 1983, he intensified Scarface with his music (he produced the soundtrack), and also contributed to the 1984 children’s fantasy classic The NeverEnding Story, for which he produced the theme song.


6 healthy ways to detox and revive your summer spirit

Posted on 29 Jul 2015 at 8:27am

Relaxing in a hammockWe’re just about halfway through summer, and chances are you’ve worn yourself out – even though you don’t dare show it. Secret’s safe, playboys (and girls). But here are a few healthy ways our Mikey Rox put together to recoup and reenergize just in case.

Cut back on the booze. If you have even a smidge of a social life, you can find a shindig just about every weekend during the summer — whether it be at your BFF’s barbecue, hanging by the pool at a friend of a friend’s, or dancing the night away at your favorite club. And what’s a party without a few cocktails, right? The problem is that too much of a good thing will start to take its toll on your body, and fast. Not only will the alcohol and resulting hangover make you sluggish, but you’ll interrupt your normal sleep cycle, make poorer food choices, and likely skip the gym. If this scenario sounds familiar, it’s time to cut back on the booze — or go cold turkey for a week (I did it for four months; it’s not that hard!) — and find more productive activities in which to engage that don’t involve inebriation.

Replace “go, go, go” with “no, no, no.” Along with all those parties, there’s a million other things you probably enjoy during the summer — like exercising outside, taking the dog on adventures, hitting the beach and shopping summer sales — but every now and then you need to slow down. Life doesn’t have to move a mile a minute from May to September just because it’s warm out. Believe it or not, it’s perfectly acceptable to tell your friends that you won’t be going out for the fourth night in a row. They’ll survive your absence — trust me — and you can enjoy time to yourself catching up on your DVR, reading your magazines, or whatever it is you like to do to unwind when you’re alone. Perv.

Stick to clean eating as best you can. Personally I find it much harder to eat clean in the summertime than I do the winter because I’m out and about more often. During the winter months, I’m generally nesting at home, and since I cook for myself, I’m able to make healthy choices on a regular basis. Fast-forward to summer and my eating habits get a bit iffy with more junk food thrown in the mix.

Some of that junk is a result of those poor food choices I mentioned as a result of being hungover, but I also find it hard to resist the burgers, hot dogs and other cookout goodies that are readily available most weekends. Because who wants to eat a boring salad when there’s a bacon cheeseburger calling your name? At some point, however – like when your abs start to fade into one summer gut — you’ve got to put down that bag of potato chips and remind yourself that it’s easier (just not tastier) to get laid on a diet of lean protein and produce. What more motivation do you need?

Turn off the electronics and catch more Zs. Studies show that our addiction to technology and electronic devices are negatively affecting our sleep patterns — when we let it. If you’re feeling run down, overwhelmed or like you’re about to implode from social-media overload, turn off your devices for a while. One night won’t kill you, and you can use the disconnect to catch up on some much-needed rest without any pings, whistles or chirps interrupting your nappy time.

Sit back, relax and listen to soothing music. This summer has produced a few hot bangers — tracks from The Weeknd, Demi Lovato, Fetty Wap and Silento are among my faves — but one can take only so much bass pounding their face. When the volume turn up too much, flip the switch and find a new, more demure Spotify station. Create a low-key playlist of smooth jazz; classical summer (look it up!); boutique hotel lounge; or the “Most Chilled Songs Ever,” which, based on the title, should mellow you right out.

Schedule a massage or a yoga class. Now that you’ve successfully reduced your alcohol intake, cut the crap food and had a good night’s sleep, it’s time to purge your body of all those toxins you’ve been filling it with over the past several weeks. One perfect feel-good way to do that is with a massage or a yoga class that’ll help the mind and body come together as one. If you go to a halfway decent gym, yoga classes are likely offered, so check the schedule for a session. As for the massage, well, you can go about that however you’d like, though I’ll always recommend a happy ending.

Smiles for everybody — that’s my motto.

— Mikey Rox


PHOTOS: Red on the Runway fashion show and fundraiser

Posted on 28 Jul 2015 at 8:15am

The Red Party Foundation — the charitable fundraising wing of Legacy Counseling and Founders Cottage — held its third annual runway fashion show at Sisu Uptown on Saturday night, and the stars were out … as were a few moons if you stood in the right spot. The show, which included designers like ES Collection, Aussie Bum, Edo Popken and more, was a dazzling parade of sexy looks, lubricated by Equality Vodka.


My offer to Aaron Franklin: Move your barbecue joint to my backyard

Posted on 27 Jul 2015 at 2:07pm

Aaron Franklin cooking last month in Dallas. Austin may force him to shutter his exquisite BBQ joint.

A number of years ago, “neighbors” along 75 and Mockingbird Lane complained about the “odor pollution” caused by a local business. The business? The Mrs. Baird’s bakery, which has been there more than 50 years. I called “bullshit” at the time — the bakery had been an institution, and who in their motherfrickin’ minds would ever consider the aroma of fresh bread wafting by as “pollution”? People pay to have that smell put in their cars. I suspected the “neighbors” was SMU, trying to get the land for developm… oh, look! The Mrs. Baird’s factory closed and SMU bought up the land! What are the chances?

Anyhoo, that’s Dallas for ya. Dumb regulations. Forget tradition. But that’s not Austin.

Only now it is Austin.

The website I Am A Texan has a post about how Austin’s city council has effectively launched a plan to ban from Austin City Limits (hey, that could be the name of a TV show!) smokehouses. Expensive diffusers. Shorter smoking hours. New equipment. It would all but ruin the distinctive cuisine of the city; they might as well outlaw live music and cycling. Dumbasses.

I had the pleasure of spending an evening with Aaron Franklin recently here in Dallas. The founder of Franklin Barbecue, winner of the most recent James Beard Award for outstanding chef in the Southwest, and author of a best-selling cookbook is the best ambassador for Texas BBQ the state has ever had, and every city in Texas would kill to claim him. And Austin basically wants him to move.

So here’s my proposal: Move Franklin Barbecue to Dallas. You can set up in my backyard. My only rent will be an end cut twice a day. Maybe a rib if ya got ‘em.


PHOTOS: DFW Sisters 5th Annual Pool Party

Posted on 27 Jul 2015 at 11:14am

“What happens in the pool stays in the pool!” one attendee at the 5th Annual DFW Sisters Pool Party warned me when I walked in. Well, sort of. There are always photos when fundraising is involved, and the well-attended even in North Oak Cliff was raising money for LifeWalk. We kept the photos to a minimum, but let it be known, it was a fun afternoon and staying out of the sun as much as possible.



Audition tonight for a drag show … or just watch for free

Posted on 27 Jul 2015 at 11:00am

ThinkstockPhotos-493250861In August, a new drag show — called My Oh My — will launch, and every Monday night, you can jaunt on down the House of Blues for a live performance. But before that happens, there’s casting to be done! Local drag performers (and hopefuls) are invited to audition tonight starting at 7:30. But these are open auditions, which means you don’t have to have an act get get into the act. Members of the public are free to attend and watch the talent. And it’s free.


Bang cook: Malai Kitchen reinvents its summer menu with chef’s tastings

Posted on 24 Jul 2015 at 6:00am
Thai Me Up_Scallops_July


When you own a pan Asian restaurant, certainly one of the great perks is getting to do research. You can’t help but be envious of Braden and Yasmin Wages, who take vacations from Dallas to fly to Vietnam and Thailand in order to conjure up new recipes for their Uptown eatery, Malai Thai-Vietnamese Kitchen. The research includes tailoring monthly special menus — so-called chef’s tasting menus ($58) — to highlight what trends in Asian flavors capture them at the moment. The current menu, which remains up throughout July, is worth a taste investigation.

Some dishes on the five-course tasting are stronger than others, but certainly the strongest includes the scallops, served on the half-shell and dusted in crumbled peanuts and scallions. A delightful execution on its own, but on the side, the finish that elevates the dish is a Red Boat nuoc mam, a fermented anchovy sauce that warms on the palate slowly but inevitably. It raises the bar on the meal, presenting the flavor of anchovy in a way that will win over skeptics. Sticky rice crostini

That’s true of the next dish as well. I’ve never been a huge sardine lover, but having tasted the sour sardine salad roll here, I’m beginning to regret that judgment. Wrapped a la Vietnamese spring rolls in a translucent, spongy rice paper, the lime-cured sardine filets poke through muscularly, but once more, the details complete it. Spicy Red Boat sauce and peanuts and both impart savory and soothing, earthy components without overwhelming shock of fishiness you often get sardines.

One of my favorite Asian flavors is tamarind, which is put to excellent but subtle use in the sticky rice crostini. A melange of duck and shrimp, the carrot-Thai basil-cilantro-mint salad is a pop of freshness, deriving heat from house-made sriracha and the faint tamarind drizzle.

Unfortunately, tamarind works against what should be the centerpiece dish — wok-cooked blue crab in a tamarind glaze. Texans are used to getting their fingers sticky from barbecue, but this is on the messy side even for a smoke house, and not wholly worth the effort: The whole crab is light on discoverable meat and it’s more frustrating that satisfying to struggle with it. Luckily, that disappointment is overcome with a platter of interesting tropical fruits — lychee, dragonfruit and countless more with astonishing textures, plys a palm caramel. The platter makes for a spectacular and refreshing dessert.

Wine pairs surprisingly well with Southeast Asian cuisine, and all the tastings come with optional wine pairing; take advantage of it, as the ones are well curated to accompany the dishes. Even on their own, though, the meal transports you.

For reservations, visit here.


Road trip! Gay bear rapper Big Dipper to perform in Austin

Posted on 22 Jul 2015 at 8:03am

Vibin_Still_003Sometimes, you just wanna escape the North Texas heat and take a road trip to green, hilly Austin (it’s still hot, but it’s somewhere else’s version of hot). If that’s you, this weekend might be the ideal time. Big Dipper — a gay bear rapper, whom we’ve profiled here — will be performing off his new EP Extra Good, at Highland Nightclub on July 24. The first single off the EP (available now) is Vibin’, which puts the hirsute hip-hopper in a mermaid costume … though, I guess he’s technically a merman, without the Ethel.

You can check out the video here.