Food and Drink

The Best Drag Shows in Dallas

From jaw-dropping brunch performances to late-night lip-sync bashes.

Mr. Misster
Mr. Misster
Mr. Misster

Every single day across Dallas-Fort Worth, talented entertainers put on some makeup, turn on the tape deck, and take their wigs down from the shelf. Sure, we’re referencing one of our favorite songs from Hedwig and the Angry Inch, but it doesn’t lessen the reverence we have for the art of drag-or how lucky we in North Texas are to be surrounded by some of the greatest performers to ever strap on vertigo-inducing high heels and death-drop their way into our hearts.

Even though we have access to countless dozens of television series showcasing drag, nothing can ever rival the energy of an in-person show, not to mention the adrenaline rush that comes from nervous trepidation that a witty diva will somehow incorporate you into the act. And it’s not only the city’s iconic LGBTQ+ bars that give queens and kings a platform to entertain, either. Mimosa-fueled drag brunches can be enjoyed in likely-and unlikely-spots every weekend, while regularly scheduled shows prove that Dallas is home to the drag superstars of tomorrow. So grab a huge stack of dollar bills (fives if you want to see some million-dollar smiles) and grab a seat at one of the very best drag shows around. Here are the best of the best in DFW.

Photo by Tracy Nanthavongsa
Photo by Tracy Nanthavongsa
Photo by Tracy Nanthavongsa

The Rose Room at S4

The Rose Room
Every Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday at 11 pm, the legendary Rose Room stage comes to life with a cast that includes Cassie Nova, Krystal Summers, Kelexis Davenport, Jenna Skyy, Layla Larue, and Sasha Andrews, along with a cavalcade of special guests. As the only dedicated drag showroom in the city, the Rose Room makes every night a high-tech spectacle that rivals any main stage performance on RuPaul’s Drag Race.
Cost: Admission usually included in cover charge; additional prices vary
How to book: Stop by for first come, first served seating.

The Saloon Girls Show at The Round-Up

The Round-Up Saloon and Dance Hall
Every Thursday night at 11 pm, some combination of Pinche Queen, Sasha V. King, Marissa Kage, Sissy Pop 2.0, Macarena D’Lorenzo, Chanel LaMasters, and Mayra D’Lorenzo take over the dance floors at The Round-Up Saloon and Dance Hall in Oak Lawn. Each show culminates with an audience member lip-sync challenge versus the queens for a cash prize. Additional drag shows can also be seen throughout the week, so keep an eye on the bar’s social media for updates.
Cost: Admission usually included in cover charge; additional prices vary
How to book: Stop by for first come, first served bar seating.

Gaybingo Dallas
Gaybingo Dallas
Gaybingo Dallas

Gaybingo

The Rose Room
After a way-too-long COVID hiatus, Gaybingo has officially returned to Oak Lawn every third Saturday at 6 pm, resuming one of the longest-running and most popular fundraisers for Resource Center. Participants have the chance to take home serious cash prizes and often show up in costume to match the night’s theme, which this year includes Pajama Party, Summer Safari, and Disco Divas.
Cost: Tickets start at $35 per person
How to book: Purchase tickets in advance online.

Patrick M. Mikyles
Patrick M. Mikyles
Patrick M. Mikyles

MyOhMy The Show

Panther Bar and Entertainment Venue
After more than six years, the MyOhMy queens have moved to Panther Bar and Entertainment Venue in downtown Fort Worth. There, they produce a variety of entertaining shows, including drag brunch, drag bingo, and several early and late-night drag extravaganzas spanning weekends throughout the year.
Cost: Prices vary based on event
How to book: Purchase tickets in advance online.

Photo by Kathy Tran
Photo by Kathy Tran
Photo by Kathy Tran

Drag Brunch

Multiple locations
The popularity of weekend drag brunch has turned it into a regular occurrence at a variety of venues across North Texas. Bloody Marys, mimosas, eggs, and pancakes make the perfect pairing for midday drag performances at The Commons Club at Virgin Hotels Dallas, On Premise, Cedar Springs Tap House, Mr. Misster, Reservoir at Toyota Music Factory, and The Free Man. Check in with each venue individually for all the details and prepare to be wowed.
Cost: Prices vary based on location
How to book: Reservation policies vary based on location.

Photo by Mark Mayr
Photo by Mark Mayr
Photo by Mark Mayr

Cassie Nova’s Freakshow

JR’s Bar & Grill
Even though she should be worn out from her hosting duties down the street at sister establishment The Rose Room, Cassie Nova can’t stop and won’t stop, folks. Armed with a roster of best friends and frenemies, Cassie Nova’s Freakshow hits the small stage at JR’s Bar & Grill each Monday at 9 pm for your viewing pleasure.
Cost: No cover; additional prices vary
How to book: Stop by for first come, first served seating.

Cher-e-oke

Liquid Zoo Bar & Grill
Wayne Smith embodies Cher like few others on God’s green earth, and has been entertaining the Dallas queer community for decades with flawless impersonations of the timeless diva superstar. And when she hosts Cher-e-oke on Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday evenings at 9:30 pm, it’s a nonstop party where everyone has the chance to bask in the spotlight-and maybe even sing a duet with the legend-portraying-a-legend herself.
Cost: No cover; additional prices vary
How to book: Stop by for first come, first served seating.

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Steven Lindsey is a contributor for Thrillist.

Food and Drink

The Best Ways to Dress Up Your Summer Beers

From micheladas to shandies to fruit infusions, the power is in your hands-and kitchen.

Photo by Cole Saladino for Thrillist
Photo by Cole Saladino for Thrillist
Photo by Cole Saladino for Thrillist

Today, just about any flavored beer a person could dream up already exists in a can, from micheladas to shandies to, yes, pickle beers. But there’s still much to be said for the DIY versions of these dressed-up beers.

For one, they’re fresher (you could squeeze your own lemonade for a shandy right this instant). For another, they’re customizable: spiciness, fruit choice, how strong you’d like the final drink to be-all those are in your hands. And perhaps more importantly, they’re fun. Whether you want to spend two minutes constructing a beer-lemonade shandy or spend an hour infusing your IPA with real chunks of pineapple, there are plenty of ways to get creative in gussying up your beer this summer.

Embrace red beer

A brunch staple across the western half of the U.S., “red beer” is essentially a stripped-down michelada: just your preferred light lager of choice, plus tomato juice. But the devil’s in the details-folks can get mighty particular about their red beer specifications.

My preference is Coors Light with just a splash of Campbell’s tomato juice. It’s a pet peeve of mine when bartenders go too heavy on the tomato juice; it’s called red beer after all, not tomato juice. To make this yourself, start with your light lager of choice, then add just a splash of tomato juice so that the beer has a strong orange hue. Sip, taste, and add more if necessary.

Upgrade your salt rim

Another component of some micheladas, salt rims are more versatile than they might seem-and they complement several styles of beer. Just coat the rim of a beer glass with lime juice or water, then dunk the glass in a shallow dish of salt. Try the following combos:

• Mexican lager with a Tajin rim: Try substituting Tajin seasoning for straight salt for a bit of a chilli-lime kick. Pair this with a red beer for a michelada-like vibe.
• Gose with a herbal-salt rim: Goses are a beer style with a light salinity already, so pouring them in a glass rimmed with a rosemary salt or basil salt can add an additional flavour that doesn’t clash. Try mixing and matching fruited goses with herbal salts-how about a watermelon gose with a basil-salt rim?
• Dark lager with a smoked salt rim: Smoked salt is a surprisingly versatile ingredient because it’s way less powerful than liquid smoke. Try a dark lager (like Modelo Negro or a bock) in a glass rimmed with smoked salt for a subtle campfire vibe.

Marcos Elihu Castillo Ramirez/iStock/Getty Images
Marcos Elihu Castillo Ramirez/iStock/Getty Images
Marcos Elihu Castillo Ramirez/iStock/Getty Images

No shame in a shandy

Radlers and shandies are often used interchangeably to refer to a light-coloured beer blended with fruit juice (typically lemonade or grapefruit). Packaged versions exist, but with so many fruit-flavoured non-alcoholic beverages on the market, it’s worth playing around with some creative combos in your own kitchen. A good rule of thumb is to start light with the base beer, either a pale lager, cream ale, blonde ale, or (if you’re really a hop head) a pale ale. From there, most people blend in a splash of their favourite juice.

But here’s my preference: Use a fruit-flavoured soda. I find that adding straight fruit juice to beer often makes it too sweet and a bit flat. A high-quality fruit-flavoured soda, like the ones from Sanpellegrino, adds carbonation and fruit flavour with too much sweetness. Also, go easy on the ratio of soda to beer to start, because you can always add more soda. I find a ratio of about one part soda to three parts beer is ideal.

Infuse your beer with fruit

Your French press isn’t only for coffee-it can also act as a device for infusing fruit or other flavours into beer. If you end up with a bumper crop of strawberries or melons from the farmer’s market, this is a great way to use them.

1. Start with a new or perfectly clean French press to avoid coffee flavour leaching into your beer (unless that’s what you’re after).
2. Pour in your beer of choice. Almost any style could work here: light lagers, blonde ales, saisons, IPAs, even porters and stouts. Pour the beer into the French press, leaving a couple inches empty at the top.
3. Add some cut-up fruit. The possibilities are limitless: porter and raspberry, IPA and pineapple, blonde ale and mango, wheat beer and oranges, saison and cherries…
4. Allow the fruit to infuse. How long to leave the beer in contact with the fruit is up to you, knowing that the longer the mixture sits, the more pronounced the flavours will be. Start with 10 minutes, push the plunger down slightly, pour and taste some of the beer, and wait longer for a more intense flavour.
5. Push the plunger down all the way. Pour your infused beer into a glass and enjoy!

Make a mighty michelada shrub

Micheladas are typically a mixture of Mexican lager, lime juice, tomato juice, and salt. But recently, premixed michelada shrubs (like those from Pacific Pickle Works and Real de Oaxaca) have popped up, adding some vinegar tartness and other ingredients like Worcestershire sauce and spices to the mix.

A shrub combines vinegar with fruit or, sometimes, vegetables, and they’re easy to experiment with at home. Michael Dietsch, author of Shrubs: An Old Fashioned Drink for Modern Times, suggests that if you’re creating a shrub to mix with beer and tomatoes, beginning with a base of apple cider vinegar or malt vinegar (to match the malt in beer) plus lime is a smart start. From there, savoury additions like soy sauce will lend a Bloody Mary feel-just be sure to use a light hand with those umami-packed additions. Because vinegar and soy or Worcestershire sauce are tangy and savoury, Dietsch notes that you may want to add just a pinch of sugar to your shrub for balance.

From there, the sky’s the limit. Swap apple cider for white balsamic if you’re feeling bold, or add orange juice as well as lime. But regardless of what ingredients you use, Dietsch says it’s important to let a shrub sit and mellow for a couple days before using it. That time will let the intensity of the vinegar mellow and will ensure all the flavours meld together in perfect harmony. Once the shrub has sat a few days, give it a taste, then add a few splashes of it to your favourite Mexican lager.

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Kate Bernot is a certified BJCP judge and freelance reporter whose work regularly appears in Craft Beer & Brewing, Thrillist, and Good Beer Hunting. Follow her at @kbernot.

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