I just got back from Dallas, TX a couple days ago and am still on their time zone, which is 2 hours ahead. It was my first time visiting Texas and I was really surprised at how different everything was. I'm so used to everything being compact and close-knit (like DTLA) but all of the buildings were so spacious and large there. We explored Downtown Dallas and the Bishop Arts District, which was a cool little spot to hang out in. As we drove through, I was fascinated by the structural design of the buildings and how many bridges there were! We literarily saw a dozen different ones, with some under construction.
My travel buddy Jess and I discovered some amazing restaurants and we stuffed ourselves full of southern comfort eats. I must say – from the buildings to the food portions, everything is truly bigger in Texas. I tried to document each meal to create this Texas Eats post for you all, in case anyone is visiting over there! Since I was only there for 6 days (and working 10-hour shifts each day), I didn't get to try out too many restaurants but the few that I did were absolutely delicious. Special thanks to my Dallas local friends Kelsey, Esther and Stephanie for the recommendations!
This one's not really a restaurant recommendation but we had the BEST breakfast at The Renaissance! Each morning, they served a wide variety of bomb breakfast foods like veggie scrambled egg whites, breakfast potatoes, hash brown, oatmeal, fruits- THE WHOLE DEAL. If you're planning to stay at this hotel, choose the option with the complimentary meals. They also provide appetizers and desserts in the evening, totally worth it.
This was the first restaurant we hit up on our first full-day in Texas. It's a American gastropub with a large indoor bar and a small outdoor patio. The dishes were served tapas-style so Jess and I ordered 3 dishes to share. For starters, we ordered Sweet Pea Guacamole, which came with a side of tortilla chips. At first bite, I was pleasantly surprised by the spicy kick it had. We later realized that a lot of the food we ordered had a spicier flavor even when it wasn't included in the description. I personally love spicy food, so I loved that extra kick. For our main courses, we ordered Grilled Yellow Tail Collar and Baby Back Ribs to share. Marinated with carolina chile vinegar, the ribs were really saucy and meaty. It was a bit too heavy for me but you're a big rib lover then it would be a perfect dish for you. We each only had 2 and could not finish the rest. I personally enjoyed the yellowtail collar more. I could be biased due to my love for fish but the collar was especially delicious because the meat was super soft and melted in my mouth. My favorite part of the whole meal was the Double Nitro Stout by Southern Tier, NY. The nitro pour made the dark beer extra frothy at top with a creamy texture. I definitely recommend it for stout lovers. The best part is, it's available all year round!
On the second day, a group of us went exploring at Bishop Arts District. After our 10-hour shift, we were starved and decided to get some famous Texan barbecue. Boy, did we go all out. We ordered a pound of beef brisket, shoulder clod, sausage and ribs with a side of mac-n-cheese, BBQ baked beans, Lockhart slaw and potato salad. It was SO MUCH FOOD. My favorite meat was the brisket because it was the softest and for sides, the baked beans and mac-n-cheese were delicious. This is definitely not an everyday-type of meal but a must try when you're in Texas!
After BBQ, we walked around Bishop Arts District and stumbled upon Emporium Pies a few blocks down. My Texan friends recommended this sweet place to me so I had to make a stop. I mean, there's always room for dessert right? ;)
We ordered a slice of Smooth Operator and Ebony & Ivory with a side of vanilla bean ice cream. The Smooth Operator, a french silk chocolate pie with crushed pretzel crust, was chocolate-goodness with a nice balance of the saltier crust. My favorite pie was the Ebony & Ivory, which had the most amazing cookie-like texture. It's a buttermilk chess with hazelnut spread and literarily melts in your mouth. I think it may be one of the best pie I've ever had and I'm actually sad that California doesn't have an Emporium Pie shop. Maybe that's a good thing :P
A hot spot in Deep Ellum, we had to get our pizza on at Cane Russo. We ordered the Cane Russo pizza and Mista salad. The salad was really refreshing since we've been eating such heavy foods. The pizza was nice and light as well with it's Neapolitan-style thin crusts. I think I would prefer thin crusted pizza over Chicago/ deep dish pizza most of the time since the toppings are so much more flavorful. I can't remember the name of the beer I got but it wasn't a very good one. The waitress recommended me a seasonal hefeweizen but it wasn't my favorite.
On my last night in Dallas, my friend Stephanie took me to lower Greenville to experience the "True Texan" nightlife. We stopped by Blind Butcher to grab some food and catch up. By this time, I was so stuffed with all the previous heavy meals so I opted for the Spinach and Duck Confit salad, which was only $10.50! My friend ordered the Pork Belly Poutine, which is pork belly slices on a bed of fries. My duck confit salad was SO good. They used a oil-based dressing, which made the meat extra tender and flavorful. The ambience was hipster, with extra dark lighting and industrial interior. The low light made it impossible for me to take any photos but I would definitely recommend people to go and experience it!
As always, we had to make a dessert stop after our meal. We walked across for the ever so popular Steel City Pops, which was crowded with people. When we got inside, it was just a small space with a row freezers full of pops. They have a selection of creamy and fruity popsicles, including interesting flavors like Avocado, Strawberry Balsamic, Tamarind, and Peanut Butter. I tried the Blood Orange flavor, which was citrusy and refreshing. Stephanie ordered Buttermilk, which literarily tasted like frozen cheesecake!
Overall, I had such a great experience and would love to return to further explore Texas. Next time, I'd love to check out Houston or San Antonio. Please feel free to let me know some good spots or restaurant recommendations in that area :)
Until next time!