Ha Nam Ninh is best known for its “#25 Dry”—also known as the hu tieu nam vang. It's a bowl of shrimp, calamari, fish balls, ground pork, shredded chicken, and noodles accompanied by separate bowls of broth and sauce and a plate of bean sprouts.
Though the admission process is decidedly less complicated than during its Prohibition-era days as a “cigar shop”, Bourbon & Branch still operates under a set of house rules designed to maintain its subdued atmosphere. Named after the old-fashioned term for bourbon and water, this modern-day speakeasy serves up small-batch liquors poured from hand-numbered bottles of Noah’s Mill and a handful of the only 1,200 bottles of Glenmorangie Margaux Finish in the country. The speakeasy's ability to conjure evasive spirits surely helped land them on Esquire’s list of Best Bars in America; the magazine said their cocktails “would have made a pre-Prohibition Broadway dandy nod in approval.” Despite the bar’s clandestine setup, the staff is far from secretive about their approach to mixing cocktails. The on-site Beverage Academy hosts an all-encompassing Cocktails 101 course, as well as sessions devoted to single liquors. In these classes, students can study gin’s escalation up the social ladder or examine how rum helped the cocktail become what it is today.
The Vibe: The restaurant has a no-frills atmosphere. But people don’t come here for the decor, they come here for the food.
Inside Tip: There’s a particular order to ordering at Shalimar. Take a menu, claim a table, and only then proceed to the counter—your food will appear either there or at your table. While you’re at the counter grab some hot chai from the dispenser. Pay afterward.
Awards and Accolades
Named Best Honey in 2008 by the Dallas Observer, Round Rock Honey's 100% natural local wildflower honey is harvested from more than 90 sites by owners Konrad and Elizabeth Bouffard and their crews of trained beekeepers. With precision, they remove the liquid gold from hives by centrifuge, ensuring that pollen, trace minerals, and complex sugars are never compromised during the honey harvest. They then pour the honey through a stainless-steel sieve to remove potential bee legs and wings, wax caps, and miniature tiaras before bottling it and selling it to specialty stores, farmer's market visitors, and online customers.
A similar procedure happens in other parts of the country at Round Rock's beekeeping schools. During classes, Konrad Bouffard and Beekeeping Academy teachers impart their beekeeping knowledge upon suited-up students while they extract honey from a live beehive. Along the way, novices learn about the finer points of raising bees and keeping them healthy, as well as bee handling and lullaby-buzzing.
Peter Morrison is the consummate performer. He's charismatic and charming, and his witty, but clean comedy makes his magic show something the whole family can enjoy. Peter's passion for magic shines through during his 75-minute shows, where, donned in a tuxedo, he performs everything from sleight-of-hand card tricks to cutting-edge illusions that leave viewers scratching their heads.
The doors to Marrakech Magic Theater open one hour prior to every show. During this time, guests are invited to gather for cocktails and appetizers inside the Moroccan-style Sultan's Oasis lounge. But this isn't just any pre-show gathering—Peter visits with every group, getting to know his guests by name and performing magic tricks up-close-and-personal. It's a rare case of a performer doubling as his opening act, and it starts the evening on a friendly note.
The theater’s intimate 45-person setup means there's not a bad seat in the house, placing all attendees mere feet from the stage. Subtle touches throughout make visits all the more enjoyable, starting with a candlelit entryway and continuing into the ornate, red-colored lounge. The elegant design might have you assuming the theater has been that way for decades, but think again: Peter did it all himself, right down to the chandeliers.