Guide to Downtown Dallas: Where to Eat

Hands down, one of my favorite things about Dallas is the downtown area. I love that it feels… approachable. Manageable. I’m not sure how to put it into words, but I love that there are big buildings, but they are spread out enough that you don’t feel too boxed in. It gives just the right about of “big city” feel without making you feel grimy. I’m so glad that I get to work there and be a part of it every day!

I’ve be-bopped around downtown enough in the last year to have a few favorite spots, and I wanted to create a little guide to share! Today I’ll be focusing on yummy places to eat, but I’ll also be sharing my favorite things to do and see downtown later.

map- eat

  1. Hoffbrau Steaks – This is a great place for comfort food. They have amazing lunch specials and you get warm bread as soon as you sit down, which is honestly 80% of why I keep going back here. (That and the food is really good!!!) My recommendation: get anything that comes with mashed potatoes and gravy- they are great!
  2. Fluellen Cupcakes – This place has DELICIOUS cupcakes, as I’m sure you guessed from the name. They’re a bit expensive, but perfect to share. My recommendation: the cookies n cream cupcake. (Oreo cookie buttercream frosting? Yes, please!)
  3. Chop House Burger – Best burger downtown. No contest. They have some fun recipes to choose from, and their milkshakes are the bomb. The burgers are pretty big, so I usually try and split one and get my own side of fries. My recommendation: the Wine Country Burger.
  4. Cafe Strada – This is the little stand I go to when I want delicious gelato. They have ice cream cone chairs (!!!!!!!) and you can sit and look at the giant eye ball sculpture on the lawn nextdoor. My recommendation: literally any flavor of gelato. Or all of them. 🙂
  5. Press Box Grill – A good go-to for very casual eating and atmosphere. I came here by default once when the actual restaurant we wanted to go to was busy, and it ended up being pretty good! My recommendation: an order of the southwest egg rolls.
  6. Wild Salsa – This place has good chips and salsa, y’all. The food is pretty decent, too. I got here often with my little lunch group, and I usually get the same thing (and it’s always so good!!) My recommendation: Chicken Tinga quesadilla and a frozen ‘rita de casa.
  7. The Hospitality Sweet – This might actually be my favorite place downtown. It’s just SO ADORABLE! And smells so great (I mean, can you beat that cake smell? Nope!) I’ve had lunch here and I’ve just come to get macarons. Really you can’t go wrong. My recommendation: get the creamy chicken salad sandwich with a Texas scone for dessert (it’s like a churro cheesecake brownie bar and I’m pretty sure it’s the official dessert of Heaven.)
  8. Carmine’s Pizzeria – It might not be the best or the healthiest option, but MAN their pizza is huge and delicious!! It’s New York style, so one slice is more than enough to fill me up! My recommendation: a slice of their spinach alfredo pizza.
  9. Food trucks in Klyde Warren Park – There are usually 7 or 8 food trucks that pull up to the park every day, and there is a wide variety of foods to eat! My recommendation: If Ruthie’s is there, get The Boss (grilled cheese with bbq brisket and sharp cheddar on sourdough. Yum.)

Ok, I am getting SERIOUSLY hungry just thinking about all that delicious food.. Are you drooling, too?!? I’m going to have to go to all these places again soon because I know I’ll be craving them for a while!

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Have you checked out these posts?
A-Z Dallas
June Goals – Creativity
23 Hours with My Mom!

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Five for Friday #19

five for friday

Hello again, friends! We made it through another week! Give yourself a little pat on the back. I’m sure as heck giving myself one right now- this has been a tough week at work and I’m glad to be done with it! Not bad tough at all, just BUSY tough to the point where my brain is so tired and I just want to take a 12 hour nap. And then sleep for another 8 hours. That’s allowed, right?!?

I can’t wait for this weekend- it is going to be so much fun! My sister Sarah, her family, and my mom are coming into town for the weekend! One of Sarah’s best friends from college is coming to Dallas for a wedding this weekend and Sarah is going to be her date! We’re all going to have dinner together and then tomorrow my mom and I will get to hang out with my nephew ALL day while the rest of the bunch is at a football game! I can’t wait!

Here is what’s been on my radar lately!

One: I love this Travel the World desk calendar from Rifle Paper Co. I actually have the full-size version in my apartment this year, but I love the prints so much that I wouldn’t mind seeing them all again in 2016!

Two: I love the idea behind Packed Party! Sending a surprise gift box to your best gal pal for any occasion is a good idea! They have boxes for birthdays, breakups, I miss yous, and more! They’re a bit on the pricey side, but you get some killer stuff in there, so I think it’s worth it.

Three: I legitimately laughed SO HARD for SO LONG at this video. If you’ve been reading my blog recently, you know that I’m currently re-reading the Harry Potter series, so I found this relevant for me right now. And also I love Taylor Swift. And also I needed a good laugh. You’re welcome.

Four: Food puns are amazing. The Foodiggity instagram has been making states out of food and it has been hilarious. I live in Texmexas.

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Texmexas… Part of The Foodnited States of America.

A post shared by Foodiggity (@foodiggity) on

 

Five: There is a website that shows you where to find the clothes that Jess wears on the show New Girl (and in real life). This is why the internet exists, people.

(GUYS!!!!!!!!! This cute sweater/shirt combo above? Well the website that I linked to says that the exact match is $298. Umm……. no thank you. BUT I found (and purchased) an almost exact replica from Walmart (seriously!) and it was only $15! That’s it! They have like 6 other color combinations and they are adorable- go check it out; I bet they’ll sell out fast! Seriously- look at how similar this sweater is and SO much cheaper!)

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101 in 1001 Update (Almost Done!)

Oh. Guys. The struggle is real. Look at all the things I still have to do!!!! I’ve already come to terms with the fact that some of these will just not happen (like the 365 project where you take one picture every day for a year. Uhhhh that time has passed. And let’s be real, running 100 miles in one month is just not going to happen. Nope.) I did knock a few more items off my list, so that’s good, right?

Before the list shows up, did you notice the black bar across the page? Look at it, I added a new page! Now I can update my list in real time! Ok, let’s have a look and what I still need to do in the next few months…

Start Date: June 7, 2013         End Date: March 4, 2016

  1. Get a tattoo
  2. Get a big girl job (started working for SSE 9/2013)
  3. Go to a concert (Relient K 7/2013, Ben Rector 10/2013, The Avett Brothers 2/2014, Nickel Creek 8/2014, Mae 5/2015)
  4. Watch 10 “classic” movies (1. Sunset Boulevard 3/2014, 2. Funny Face 7/2014, 3. Rear Window 5/2014,  4. Annie Hall 11/2014, 5. Breakfast at Tiffany’s 3/2015, 6. An Affair to Remember 5/2015, 7. A Star Is Born (1937) 6/2015, 8. How to Steal a Million 7/2015, 9. Love Story 8/2015, 10. Roman Holiday 9/2015)
  5. Go on a picnic
  6. Read 100 books
  7. Run a half marathon
  8. Dye my hair
  9. See a drive-in move
  10. Go to Las Vegas
  11. Go on vacation to an ocean
  12. Get a massage
  13. Start an Etsy shop
  14. Blog every day for 1 month
  15. Read the entire Bible
  16. Crochet 5 new things (1. Chevron baby blanket for my nephew, 2. baby hats, 3. ear warmers 4. diagonal stripe baby blanket)
  17. Teach myself to sew
  18. Take a ballroom dance class
  19. Go through my closet and get rid of old clothes
  20. Send out Christmas cards 
  21. See a musical (Phantom of the Opera at the Fox Theater, 3/12/15)
  22. Put $10 in savings for every goal accomplished
  23. Write a book
  24. Get a new (bigger) bed
  25. Visit Chicago (October 2014) 
  26. Send 20 “just because” cards
  27. Complete a 365 project (it’s kind of too late for this one at this point… oops…)
  28. Learn to drive a stick shift
  29. Inspire someone to make their own “101 in 1001” list
  30. Try funnel cake
  31. Organize pictures on my computer
  32. Organize my itunes
  33. Reach my goal weight
  34. Bake a pie from scratch
  35. Go 1 week without hitting snooze
  36. Go to the farmer’s market
  37. Invest in 5 coffee table books
  38. Learn to tie a tie
  39. Run 100 miles in 1 month
  40. Find the perfect LBD
  41. Go to a corn maze
  42. Make 30 recipes from cookbooks I already own
  43. Make the perfect work space
  44. Make a new friend
  45. Do 25 random acts of kindness
  46. Make a list of contacts and birthdays
  47. Host a dinner party
  48. Learn how to fold a fitted sheet
  49. Be in bed every night by 10 for a week
  50. Finish re-arranging and decorating my apartment
  51. Make a piece of art for my apartment
  52. Go to a new museum
  53. Make macaroons
  54. Get a Brentwood library card
  55. Get a pet
  56. Donate my hair to Locks of Love again
  57. Try hot yoga
  58. Make a St. Louis bucket list
  59. Complete my St. Louis bucket list
  60. Take a cooking or baking class
  61. Create a gallery wall
  62. Design my own stationary
  63. Be able to do the splits again
  64. Finish Couch t0 5K app again
  65. Run a sub 30:00 5K
  66. Eat clean for 1 month (no cheats!) (Whole 30, May 2015)
  67. Read and get rid of my old magazines
  68. Build a snowman
  69. Make a birthday cake for someone
  70. Take a vacation out of the country
  71. Have dinner by candlelight
  72. Make a book of my favorite family recipes
  73. Make a photo book for 2013
  74. Make a photo book for 2014
  75. Make a photo book for 2015
  76. Watch an awesome fireworks show (Kaboomtown 2015!)
  77. Get a new TV
  78. Memorize 5 new songs on the piano
  79. Volunteer for a charity
  80. Teach something to someone (like crocheting!!)
  81. Visit Sarah and Jared in Houston
  82. Make a baby blanket for baby W 
  83. Listen to every song in my itunes at least once
  84. Try Geocaching
  85. Plant my own peonies
  86. Go to the ballet
  87. Send flowers to someone for no reason
  88. Go boating on the lake
  89. Make a full course dinner for someone
  90. Throw a surprise party for someone
  91. Spend an afternoon reading in the park
  92. Watch the sunrise ans sunset in the same day
  93. Bake a cake from scratch 
  94. Go on a road trip
  95. Go fruit picking
  96. Go shooting
  97. Invest in a good handbag
  98. Complete the 30 day shred
  99. Go to an amusement park
  100. Write a letter to myself to open in 10 years
  101. Go to the top of the St. Louis arch

 

Things to do by Yourself (When You’re Scared to do Things by Yourself)

Let me tell you about one of my friends in St. Louis. He does so many fun things and goes lots of fun places all by himself and he always has a blast. I told him last summer that I was envious of him because I’m too scared to go do things in public by myself and do you know what he said? “Kelly, YOLO!” He became my YOLO guide and taught me that it can be a lot of fun to do things by yourself and nobody else actually cares. In fact, most people won’t even pay attention to you. I think his exact words were “Nobody will notice you, nobody cares about you!” He meant that nobody will care that I’m alone, but I still like to make fun of him for telling me that nobody cares (jokes!)

While I’m still not absolutely wild about doing lots of things by myself, I am a lot more comfortable doing so now than I ever have been. This might be because I moved to a new place and still don’t have a lot of solid friends to hang out with all the time, but either way, I’ve really come to enjoy ‘me time’ out in the world. I’ve even made a list of things that would be easy (and fun!) to do by yourself!

self

 

  1. Go to a coffee shop (this is the ultimate baby step. You can bring a book! You can listen to music! You can work on your laptop!)
  2. Go shopping (another good way to ease yourself into enjoying time alone. And chances are that you already go shopping by yourself a lot anyway, so look at you! You’re on your way!)
  3. Go see a movie (go during the day on a Saturday if you don’t want to hang out with the evening date crowd. Also feel free to get as much butter on your popcorn as you’d like. Then add a little bit more.)
  4. Go out for lunch (a more casual meal. Bring a book or crossword puzzle if you’d like. You don’t have to go anywhere fancy, start small with someplace like Panera!)
  5. Go to a museum (with so many people focusing on other things, nobody will notice that you are there enjoying an afternoon by yourself.)
  6. Go to the park (enjoy the fresh air and get some good people watching in while you’re there!)
  7. Enjoy some pampering (schedule a massage or go get a pedicure. You’ll feel great after!)
  8. Explore a new hiking or walking trail (you’ll get some exercise and maybe find a new favorite spot!)
  9. Go to a farmer’s market (and buy yourself some fresh flowers while you’re there. You deserve it.)
  10. Visit a local monument (and take as many pictures as you want- there’s nobody with you to roll their eyes!)
  11. Get an ice cream cone (sit outside and enjoy a sweet treat- sprinkles will probably be required.)
  12. Go to a flea market (similar to going shopping, but you won’t have to fight with a friend over who gets to take home that great vintage find!)
  13. Try a new fitness class (get some great exercise while trying something new and different. Also, realizing that you’re not coordinated enough for Zumba might be easier when you know you will never see the people around you ever again.)
  14. See a musical production or play (there’s a better chance that you’ll find an awesome seat when you only need one ticket!)
  15. Go to a concert/festival (this is a BIGGIE! Definitely one to work your way up to. It’s less awkward when it’s an upbeat concert, a.k.a. super loud and energetic, where you wouldn’t be able to hear a friend talk, anyway.)

There you go, a little list to get you started on enjoying time by yourself. What are some other fun things that I left off the list? I’m always looking for more fun things to try and different ways to have some quality ‘me time!’