Friday, December 30, 2011

Flying Saucer Draught Emporium, Beer Tavern, Addison-TX


Last visit: May 2013

Rating: Buy

DFW locations: Addison, Ft. Worth (downtown), Garland (Firewheel)

Other locations visited: San Antonio

Other locations in TX, AR, MO, TN, SC, NC

There was a time when the RJG had very little use for beer. Unlike many college students, I pretty much eschewed guzzling cheap beer for a cheap buzz. In the 1980s, the US beer industry was all about price. Pale lagers and light beers was all there was to quaff. And at Texas Tech, Coors was the clear winner followed by Budweiser. I didn't dislike the stuff, but I just didn't understand what the big fuss was. Once I started going to Europe later in the 80s, I began to realize what a good beer can taste like. Then my move to Colorado in 1993 opened my eyes up to the craft beer industry. Unfortunately I didn't take advantage of it as much as I should have back then, with only an occasional foray into a brewpub. And I didn't take notes, and I'm rather certain I tried some beers from breweries that are extinct. I finally got serious about beer about 6 years ago, and I've been making up for lost time (especially while in Colorado during the summers). According to my beer database, I've now tried 770 different beers and rapidly consuming more. And, as it turns out, beer is in my blood. My great grandfather on my Dad's side (Irish) was once an executive at the Hanley Brewing Company of Providence, Rhode Island (this was in the late 1800s!) The brewery remarkably survived Prohibition, only to be gobbled up in the 1950s brewery consolidation years. And on my Mom's side, which is entirely German, my Uncle was a huge beer drinker. I can remember him drinking both Olympia and Rainier on our family trips to Seattle in the early 70s, prior to them cheapening their product.

So with that background out of the way, it should come as no surprise that Flying Saucer is a favorite destination of mine. Flying Saucer specializes in having on tap, or in bottles/cans, numerous beers from around the world. And perhaps more importantly, they carry local microbrews, which can be different depending on what location you go to. I love when a chain localizes their selection and product. It gives each one a uniqueness about them. And Flying Saucer has the added benefit of providing a food menu - similar to a brewpub - and for that we can feature them here on our blog! For this visit, I was joined by my friend who lives in Garland. A perfect meeting place. We were here for 4 hours.

I'll start with the food, because even if you don't care for beer, I think it's worth going at least once for that. Sandwiches, sausages, soups and appetizers are what Flying Saucer's menu is about. We each had our favorite appetizer: The Saucer Bratzel, which is one large soft pretzel with chopped up bratwurst buried in melted swiss cheese and a side of spicy mustard. It's really just too good for words. And we also each tried their beer cheese soup made with a brown ale, and is surprisingly very spicy (seriously!). It's served in a bread bowl in case you didn't get enough of that from the pretzel.

As for the beers, I like to try local beers first and then branch out. And I always want something I haven't had before. For this visit, I started with the Lagunitas Fusion VII, which is a seasonal IPA. Lagunitas is from northern California, and is fast becoming one of my favorite breweries. In fact, I'd place them in the Top 5. Next up was the Franconia Winter Wheat, which is a weizen bock (a strong dark wheat). We've talked about Franconia (McKinney, TX) before, as they are one of only a handful of truly local breweries (though more breweries are coming folks - the beer revolution is finally here in DFW! For more info, check the excellent Texas Beer blog). I've liked all of their beers to date that I've tried (only about 4 though). This was followed by the Live Oak Primus, another weizen bock. Live Oak is from Austin, and I don't think they bottle or can their beer (same with Franconia). So you have to get it on draught from places like this. I'm sure they're more common in central Texas, but it's rarely seen otherwise. And finally I wrapped up with a black IPA from Southern Star called Pro-Am 2011, a seasonal competition beer. Southern Star is based in Conroe, outside of Houston. They're one of the newer microbreweries that can their beer rather than bottle. You can find their product at a good World Market store (some are better than others - the one in Grapevine is excellent). This particular Southern Star is only available via draught. I quite like their brewery as well.

Included with all this good beer and food, you also get a cute waitress (well... usually). The girls dress up in Catholic prep school skirts (though with shorter hems of course). So it can be a bit of a male fantasy overload considering the whole. There's also a Twin Peaks right next door, so definitely a magnet area for traditional males. Mrs. RJG likes these places too, though she was still entertaining one of our official nieces that day. Oh, one other comment on the girls. They go through rigorous training on beer - so they should be able to answer most questions. Our gal had no problems keeping up with my questions.

I really wish we had a Flying Saucer in NE Tarrant (or a similar place).

Website for Addison location

Flying Saucer on Urbanspoon

2 comments:

Francis Shivone said...

RJG -- I am glad to see you back in full swing, I have a lot of catching up to do and will be commenting as I go.

1. My boys and I enjoyed Flying Saucer for years in Fort Worth. I can't drink adult beverages any more but just last night I told my youngest son who was enjoying a Negro Medale while we were eating at La Familia that beer is still an under appreciated beverage in America when it comes to dining. Is there anything more appropriate than a good cold beer with good Mexican food? Wine is over rated in my view and beer under rated. But that's me.
2. I like the background photo. Is that Philly?
3. Can you add the blogger search widget I couldn't find the Cain's review.
4. I saw that they shut down two of the Yucatan's. As you may know I thought their tacos were god-awful. I have been twice to the store on Magnolia. Never again.

Anyway, glad to see so many reviews, I'll be enjoying them and using them for reference. Thanks.

RJG said...

Hi Francis,

Great to hear from you!

1. Agree about beer. And Negro Modelo is very good. Other unsung Mexican beers are Carta Blanca and Bohemia.

2. Close! That's Di Fara in Brooklyn. I have a little comment about it on the right side under "About the Photo"

3. On the upper left side, there's a search box that comes with blogger. I find it actually works better than the Google widget. Give it a shot for Raising Cane's! Failing that - I left the full URL on your blog in the comment box.

4. We had a bit better luck with Yucatan for the tacos themselves, but I'm afraid they priced themselves out of the market.

I look forward to your other comments - and more stuff on your blog too!