Kitchen LTO is back… and you can be a part of it

Posted on 16 Aug 2016 at 10:14am

CasieCaldwellheadshotIt was just last month that we announced that Kitchen LTO, Casie Caldwell’s permanent pop-up restaurant in Trinity Groves, was closing its doors (as we said) “for now.” Caldwell promised that it would return. And that’s now set to happen.

“Kitchen LTO is ‘popping up’ again!” she told me. “The support I received to keep the restaurant going was overwhelming, and now I have the opportunity to relocate.” Where to?

East Dallas, get ready: Deep Ellum!

The idea is to build the brand via a grassroots campaign, starting with a Kickstarter crowdfunding platform to raise $50,000 — not the cost to pay for the entire restaurant by any stretch, but to begin build-out, equipment, etc., at the space where Twenty Seven Restaurant is (2901 Elm St.).

If you wanna get involved, you have 26 days to contribute to the campaign by going here.

Caldwell continues to operate the popular Pink Magnolia in Oak Cliff with chef Blythe Beck.

And check out Dallas Voice on Friday for more of our food week Food Issue.


If you read Dallas Voice’s food section, you’d have known the best taqueria in town months ago

Posted on 15 Aug 2016 at 7:40am

IMG_1201Friday is Dallas Voice’s annual Food Issue, but to get it started, we’ll be doing some blog posts to, let’s say, whet your appetite.

First up: Here is why you should read our food section regularly. Last March, I stopped by a neighborhood taqueria its first night of operation. I was, in fact, the first official customer for this unsuspecting West Dallas storefront, sandwiched between auto shops on Singleton Boulevard. The decor? None. The waitstaff? No existent. The menu? Really limited — like, six items. Total. Three tacos, three quesadillas. You had to work to break ten bucks.

I ordered two tacos and a quesadillas …. and I was wowed by what I tasted. I stopped by three more times in the next 10 days; within a month, I had published the first-ever review of Trompo. I raved. I Instagrammed and Facebooked and Tweeted its delights. It was never very crowded when I went it, but damn was it great.

IMG_0961If you had paid attention to me then — and some did — you would have been on the ground floor of something that has become something of a phenomenon. Last month, Bon Appetit magazine declared humble little Trompo one of the top 50 new restaurants. In America.

The acclaim has led to huge lines, sellouts, even new hours (from “until 10 p.m.” to “until we run out”). I’m delighted for owner/chef Luis Olvera. He’s hiring more staff. It’s great for Dallas, great for tacos. And you could have been going there for months… without the lines. So listen up! We have more food news ahead…. before Bon Appetit gets it. Pick up the Voice Friday for more … and check back on the website all the time for foodie news.


Cocktail Friday: Happy Rum Month!

Posted on 12 Aug 2016 at 1:37pm

View More: National Rum Month! You say you didn’t know there was a National Rum Month? Hey, there’s a National Everything Month — get with the times.

As part of the celebration, here are a few rum drinks that can sweeten up your August, both made with Flor to Cana (Flower of Sugar Cane) Chilean rum.

Flor de Cana Manhattan

2 oz. Flor de Can 7 rum

1 oz. sweet vermouth

Maraschino liqueur

Orange bitters

Making it: Add rum, vermouth, a splash of the cherry liqueur and 1 dash of bitters into a mixing glass filled with ice. Stir vigorously and strain into a chilled martini glass. Garnish with a cherry.

Flor Rum Sour 1Flor Rum Sour

1 oz. Flor de Cana 7 rum

1 oz. fresh lemon juice

Extra-fine sugar

1/2 egg white

Angostura bitters

Making it: Add the rum, lemon juice, a dash of sugar and egg white into a shaker with ice. Shake vigorously, Strain into an old-fashioned glass and top with a dash of bitters.


Meryl Streep: The gay interview with the icon and star of ‘Florence Foster Jenkins’

Posted on 11 Aug 2016 at 8:31am

Meryl Streep as Florence Foster Jenkins in FLORENCE FOSTER JENKINS by Paramount Pictures, Pathé and BBC FilmsMeryl Streep is laughing her signature laugh. You know it: Sometimes light and airy, sometimes a surge of boisterous euphoria that carries well into the next question — but always unmistakably Meryl.

Cinema’s grand dame cracks one of her warm, famous chortles during our recent interview, while entertaining the idea that her latest chameleonic role, as real-life opera diva Florence Foster Jenkins in the movie of the same name, could once again spur drag queens to emulate another one of her queer-loved characters. Then she laughs again as she fondly remembers locking lips with Allison Janney in 2002’s The Hours. Meanwhile, the mere mention of 1992’s Death Becomes Her Meryl unleashing a hearty roar. Another laugh, too, when she ponders how sexting and Snapchat are related.

Gay audiences know this laugh because they know Meryl Streep. They also know her compassion for LGBT issues, both as an extension of her queer-inclusive acting repertoire and more explicitly, when, during her Golden Globe acceptance speech in 2004, she slammed then-president George W. Bush by condemning his anti-gay marriage stance. They’ve learned the art of shade from her sharp, searing tongue in The Devil Wears Prada, and they live for all the campy one-liners in Death Becomes Her. And during Angels in America, HBO’s 2003 watershed miniseries about the AIDS crisis, they wept.

Now, Streep, 67, sheds her skin once again to portray Jenkins, one of the worst singers in the world. In the poignant dramedy Florence Foster Jenkins from Stephen Frears, director of The Queen, the esteemed once-in-a-lifetime luminary plays a wannabe opera singer with a voice so hysterically appalling her loyal husband (Hugh Grant) bribes critics into letting her think she can sing.

Here, during this rare and revealing one-on-one conversation with Streep, the three-time Academy Award winner and record holder for most Oscar nominations discusses why she regards Angels in America as one of the most important LGBT-themed films she’s done and how she feels about gay men performing Meryl monologues. And looking ahead, is the biopic queen ready to consider her own story becoming a feature-length film in the future? Streep laughs at the very thought, of course, but she’s not kidding when she says, “I hope I fade into oblivion.”

Dallas Voice: You’ve given the gay community a breadth of greatness over the last four decades. When you look back at your gay roles, which has been the most important to you?  Streep: Oh, gosh. To me, I mean, Angels is such an important piece of history, and I felt really lucky to be part of that because I don’t think there was anything like it before. It really felt like being at the Democratic National Convention in the moment that Hillary shattered the glass ceiling — a big deal. The Hours was important, too. And of course I got to kiss Allison Janney, which was a perk!

Don’t tell Emma Thompson, who famously tongue-kissed you and gave you an orgasm in Angels.  Yeah, right! The Hours was nothing like that!

I remember Emma talking about that kiss in an interview with The Hollywood Reporter. She’s very proud of it. She said she learned that “you have to use tongues even if you’re not a lesbian.”  Oh yeah, you really do. [Laughs]

When you look back at that moment, how does your takeaway from that kissing scene compare to Emma’s?  It’s just, you can’t take the baby from the bathwater. You can’t. It’s just the whole thing of it — that [orgasm scene] was just like the culmination of it. But what [screenwriter Tony Kushner] was doing was for a really mainstream HBO audience at that point — just groundbreaking. That hadn’t been on television. Movies, yes. But not television. So it was very cool.


Last gasp beach reads: A late-summer reading list

Posted on 09 Aug 2016 at 9:31am

ObergThere’s still lots of summer left. Time for one last dip in the lake. A few weekends left for romantic getaways. Time to say goodbye to your new college freshman .. or senior. Time to spend a weekend at the beach. And time left for a good book, so why not try one of these…?


If a wedding was in your summer plans this year, you’ll still want to read Love Wins by Debbie Cenziper and Jim Obergefell. It’s the story of the people – lawyers and otherwise — who fought for marriage equality and won. Pair it up with Then Comes Marriage by Roberta Kaplan with Lisa Dickey, a book about the United States v. Windsor and the end of DOMA.

QVFor the reader who’s spent the summer looking for a spiritual home, Queer Virtue by The Reverend Elizabeth M. Edman could be what you need. This is a book about how the church needs LGBTQ worshippers to strengthen their core and to return the church to a true Christian faith.

Sometimes, all you need for the end of summer is a good romp in the paper, right? So look for Fun with Dick and James by Rich Barnett, and buckle your seatbelt. It’s a story of a rich Delaware man with an ex-wife and other assorted problems, who is plagued by a malicious dentist nemesis. How does he extricate himself from trouble? All it takes is a good boyfriend…

RELATIONSHIPS. How many times have you fallen in love this summer? Maybe more than you think, and you can find out by reading Happily Ever After… and 39 Other Myths about Love by Linea & Charlie Bloom. This book could enhance your relationship. It could make you lucky in love. It could make you fall in love with your spouse a time or two before summer’s over.

FOOD. No doubt, you’ve enjoyed a lot of good things to eat this summer. BBQs and cookouts re too irresistible, but did you ever wonder what your ancestors might have enjoyed under the stars? If you ever considered it, then read 100 Million Years of Food by Stephen Le and see how food has evolved, how palates have changed, and why we should care.

stuntwomen_coverHISTORY. Did you have your dose of adventure yet this summer? If not, then grab Stuntwomen: The Untold Hollywood Story by Mollie Gregory and hang on to your seat. It’s the story of Hollywood stunt doubles, the dangers they undertake, and their fight for recognition.

POLITICS. With politics on everyone’s mind (including yours!), you owe it to yourself this summer to read something that will make you think before you vote. In Are We Better Off? Race, Obama and Public Policy by Dr. Julianne Malveaux, you’ll be asked a lot of questions that will require you to think deeply.

ANIMALS. Here’s something for animal lovers to take to the beach: Smoke the Donkey by Cate Folsom, the story of a small stray donkey found by soldiers in Fallujah. Who could resist a friendly animal like that? No soldier could, which is why Smoke became mascot, pet, friend, and ultimately, a new American resident. You can’t resist, either.

Filled with quirk, Goat Man by Thomas Thwaites is the story of a man who decides that it would be fun to be an animal for awhile. Seriously, so he “becomes” a goat and, in the meantime, learns a little about animals and himself. Pair it up with Pound for Pound by Shannon Kopp, you’ll read how one woman found several BFFs in an animal shelter in California. But who saved whom here?

HEALTH. If summertime’s got you down, then you might feel a little better with Ordinarily Well: The Case for Antidepressants by Peter D. Kramer. It’s a look at depression, the pills prescribed to fix it, and whether they’re a good idea or not.

And there you go — a lot of suggestions for a lot of summer left. Pick a book, because there’s time.

— Terri Schlichenmeyer




5 pieces of financial advice for living with a roommate

Posted on 08 Aug 2016 at 10:22am

Splitting rent with a roommate saves money — and it can be the ticket out of your parents’ house (which means no more sneaking those Grindr tricks in through the basement window). But while living with a gay brother from another mother can be rewarding, it’s important to protect yourself and make decisions that don’t hurt your finances. To make this living sitch work with few financial disagreements, here are five money tips for bunking with your bestie.

Have a separate roommate agreement. If you’re renting an apartment, you and your roommate will have a lease agreement with the landlord. But in addition to this agreement, you should also establish a roommate agreement between the two of you. Before moving into the apartment, you obviously sat down (or should have) to discuss how to handle expenses. Since money can be a touchy topic, the agreement you come up with shouldn’t be a verbal one. Even if you walked away from the discussion on the same page, you need to get everything in writing so there are no misunderstandings down the road. Some roommates choose to split all expenses evenly down the middle, but you and your roommate may come up with a different agreement — perhaps a 70–30 split, for instance. If you don’t get anything in writing, the person paying more may later claim that he’s being taken advantage of. Creating a separate roommate agreement may seem like an unnecessary step, but it can save you from a lot of heartache and stress.

Buy your furniture separately. When furnishing the new place, some roommates decide to purchase furniture together so it’s not a burden on one person. But in all likelihood the two of you will not live together forever … and even if you don’t realize it today, buying furniture together can create problems once you make the decision to part ways. This can start disagreements about who gets what items, and if you and your roommate part on bad terms, these disagreements do nothing but add fuel to the fire. To make it easy on yourself, agree that everyone buys their own furniture pieces. Once you’re ready to move out of a shared apartment or house, each person leaves with what they brought into the living arrangement.

Dont be afraid to be a landlord. When you and your roommate apply for an apartment together, it’s the landlord’s responsibility to confirm your employment and income. But if it’s your home and you bring in a roommate, it’s your job to take over those responsibilities. This can be awkward and uncomfortable, especially if you don’t have landlord experience. You may not feel comfortable asking a stranger or a friend for their financial information. But if you want to avoid potential problems, never choose a roommate based solely on what they say they earn. If you don’t confirm this information, you could end up with a roommate who’s not capable of covering their expenses. You don’t have to get too personal, but you should at least call your roommate’s employer to confirm they work for the company, and get a copy of their most recent paycheck stub. Don’t feel bad; you’re doing what any landlord would do, which is ultimately protecting yourself.

Maintain a financial cushion. Although getting a roommate can improve your finances and help you save money, you shouldn’t blow all your extra cash. It’s important to maintain a financial cushion, just in case your roommate bounces. If your roommate moves out before the end of the lease, and you move out because you can’t afford the rent by yourself, you’re also in breach of contract. This can trigger litigation and credit damage. But if you prepare for the worst-case scenario and build a “just in case” fund, you can possibly save enough to cover the rent until the end of your lease.

Keep your finances separate. Regardless of whether your roommate is a best friend, never combine finances. This person is not your spouse, so there’s no need to combine your bank accounts. Some roommates have one joint bank account exclusively for household bills, and each person deposits their share into this account. To each his own. Just know that this approach can lead to problems, especially if one person isn’t as responsible with money. This person may dip into the account to cover personal expenses or fail to deposit his share, which forces the other roommate to pick up the slack. A better, safer approach is each person writing a separate check from their own checking accounts, and then including both checks in an envelope to the landlord or a utility company. Or if you’re paying bills online, one person can give the other cash to cover his share. Your landlord and utility companies don’t care how you pay a bill, as long as you pay it.

— Mikey Rox


Cocktail Friday: The Caipirita

Posted on 05 Aug 2016 at 1:34pm

CaipiritaThe Rio Summer Olympic Games officially kick off tonight, so here’s a Texas twist on a Brazilian classic: Not a margarita, not a caipirinha, but a Paipirita.

1.5 oz. Roca Patron Silver

3/4 oz. simple syrup

3 lime wedges

1 Demerara sugar cube.

Making it: In the bottom of a double old fashioned glass, muddle the lime wedges with the syrup and the cube. Add ice and tequila, then roll drink back and forth between the glass and a tin. Pour back into glass, adding more ice if needed.


Lily Tomlin to receive Screen Actors Guild Life Achievement Award

Posted on 04 Aug 2016 at 2:19pm

Tomlin-BPatterson03The Screen Actors Guild has been around for decades, and has presented its annual awards for film and television, called The Actor, since 1995. But SAG’s Life Achievement Award has been bestowed every year since 1963, recognizing not just movie stars, or TV stars, but people who has made a real impact on our cultural heritage — people like Bob Hope, James Earl Jones, Betty White and Carol Burnett. Well, add to that list the great Lily Tomlin.

The Oscar nominee, and multiple Grammy, Tony, Golden Globe and Emmy winner, will receive the guild’s 53rd annual Life Achievement Award at a ceremony next January, airing on TNT. It’s like the out actress and comedian, now 76, could also be a competitive nominee for her role in Netflix’s Grace and Frankie.


Voice of Pride finalists ready for the final competition

Posted on 04 Aug 2016 at 8:46am

Top-10-VOP-2016BIt takes weeks of preliminaries and months of preparation to whittle down dozens of contestants to a top 10, but that’s exactly what the Voice of Pride does every year. The finals competition isn’t until Aug. 21 in the Rose Room, which gives these folks — including a number of new faces — about two weeks to perfect their looks, their vocals and their techniques. The winner gets a cash prize plus gets to ride in the Alan Ross Texas Freedom Parade and perform at the festival in Reverchon Park. Wish your favorites best of luck!

The contestants are, front row: Michael Duane, Imani Handy, Colby Geyer, Steve Patterson; Alvaro Ramalho; and back row: Maurice Doniphan, Eric Way, John Gilstrap, Gloria Devine, Nikolas Dombkowski.


Dolly Parton coming to Verizon; tickets on sale Friday

Posted on 03 Aug 2016 at 8:16am

DOLLYEarlier this year, we announced that Dolly Parton was starting a national tour to promote her new double-D (that’s disc, guys!), but at the time, we didn’t know if she would make it to North Texas. And on the first leg, she wasn’t. Well, AEG Live has announced more dates for the Pure and Simple Tour, including at the Verizon Theatre in Grand Prairie on Dec. 3.

Tickets to see the queen of country — and a great gay icon —go on sale Friday morning (10 sharp!). Use this link to get in line first thing!