Best in Dallas

All the things you thought Dallas didn't have

Crooked Tree Coffee House

Another Guest Blog from Bonnie!

This cozy coffeehouse will remind you of your favorite college hangout spot. Great coffee in a cute old house with lots of comfortable seating and little nooks to hide away in to study or work all afternoon. 95% of the clientele may be on laptops, but that means it’s nice and quiet so you can hear the very pleasant, relaxing background music while you hang out. They’ve got all kinds of coffee and tea, and a decent selection of pastries. It’s a little hard to find, because the signage isn’t great, but once you do, plan to stick around for a while. Bring a book (or a MacBook, if you want to fit in) and take some time to unwind. If you buy one of their cute reusable cups, you even get the drink in it for free!

From me: Check out the great old architecture and new colors. Fun place – thanks, Bon!

July 8, 2011 Posted by | Creative, Edible, Uptown | , , | Leave a comment

Jimmy’s Italian Market

Jimmy'sHumbly billed as “Jimmy’s Food Store,” find a little bit of Italy right here in Dallas. As soon as you step in the door, the aromas begin to tell the story. This tiny grocery is dedicated to all things Italian, representing all the regions of the country. Take out sandwiches are served and they have a few tables, but don’t stop there. The shelves are lined with pastas, sauces, dressings, specialty home-style canned goods, and much more. The cheese and meat counters have waiting lines at all times. The freezer case is filled with unusual ice creams and cookie doughs and other items you can’t find anywhere else. Jimmy’s also has an extensive selection of wines, all from Italy, of course. Located right at the corner of Bryan and Fitzhugh in Dallas.

December 10, 2010 Posted by | Downtown, Edible | , , , , , , | 1 Comment

First Baptist Dallas

If they post the special channel 8 broadcast from last Saturday I will put up a link. First Baptist Church imploded 5 buildings yesterday to make way for a new facility that is very impressive in what it brings to downtown Dallas. You can see the implosion here, but the Belief is Building special gave some history and showed all the future plans for the church. With the new arts district additions and other plans for a more pedestrian downtown, downtown Dallas may finally become a quality destination. And this looks like it will be a fitting addition.

The implosion itself was fascinating to watch, but the special broadcast showed the vision for the new facilities due to open Easter Sunday, 2013. Could almost make me want to be a Baptist. Seriously. It’s about accessibility and community and quality and heritage. Their people have really stepped up. And the sunshine on the old original sanctuary and steeple after the dust cleared had to feel like a blessing from above.

Visiting cities like Paris, Vancouver, and Chicago in recent years made me realize that as a city, Dallas is still young. We have a ways to go, but a lot of things are happening in the midst of economic and other uncertainties that I find promising for the future.

October 31, 2010 Posted by | Downtown, Houses of Worship | , , | Leave a comment

Froggy’s and Tadpole’s

Froggy’s 5 & 10 is a wonderful combination of nostalgia, creativity, and fun for young and old. They boast an exceptional assortment of creative toys, costumes, books, and gifts for “kids” of all ages. It looks like the variety stores I grew up with; walls lined with blister packs of toys and games on pegs and every inch of space filled with something colorful. Tadpoles has toys and more for the even younger set, with the best selection I’ve seen of books for kids. A great selection of cards and small gifts for grown-ups is also available; mugs, magnets, and more with nostalgia and humor. Froggy’s 5 & 10 and Tadpole’s are in adjoining spaces on Knox Street between Weir’s and Wild About Harry’s.

October 3, 2010 Posted by | Creative, Knox Henderson, Uptown | , , , , , | 1 Comment

Howdy, Folks!

It’s that time of year again – we’re just days away from opening day of the great State Fair of Texas. You know, I actually know people who have lived here a long time and have NEVER BEEN to the Fair. Something about crowds and a questionable part of town… Well, their loss. The fall has been Fair time in my family for my entire life. As a child, I remember well coming home with an upset tummy because my Dad would let me eat anything – corn dogs, cotton candy, ice cream bars and taffy – we found plenty even before the days of the fried food competition. Add a few “funhouse” type rides and maybe a roller coaster and it was all worth the uncomfortable ride home.

My personal favorite place at the Fair is the Creative Arts building. I won a ribbon there as a teenager for a hooked rug. I love seeing what people can do with a camera or a sewing machine or other sometimes unlikely media. And don’t miss the butter sculpture.

The Fair has really come a long way in the last few years with beautiful landscaping and wonderful displays of gardening. I understand there’s a new greenhouse display this year and I look forward to it.

Music, new cars, arts, working animals and clever animals and birds, daily parades – we can spend a day and honestly never even make it to the Midway rides. One ride that shouldn’t be missed, however, is the Texas Star. The largest Ferris Wheel in the Americas marks the skyline of the Fair. The lines are long and it’s a bit pricey, but worth the wait.

So take an evening or a weekend day and visit Big Tex. They’re putting him up tomorrow. He’s always reminded me of my late Uncle Norton, who was the real deal.

The Fair opens Friday and runs for 24 days. Tickets are $15 at the gate but look for discount tickets (at Kroger & McDonalds) and special discount days. Every school student in the state receives a free ticket – don’t let it get lost in a locker or backpack!

September 19, 2010 Posted by | Edible, Fair Park, Historic | , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Aunt Stelle’s

One more weekend and summer is officially over! Aunt Stelle’s Sno Cones will be open Labor Day weekend including Monday and then no more sno cones until until Summer ’11! I’ve meant to get there all summer and finally checked out this highly recommended spot today. It lived up to my expectations. It’s the ultimate sno cone stand. Located right in a residential neighborhood of Oak Cliff and shaded by a huge pecan tree, this decades-old institution had a steady stream of driving and pedestrian customers. Truly snowy ice and 29 flavors that they’ll mix as you like – great refreshment on a hot day. Open last Sunday in April through Labor Day, 2pm until exactly 9:00 Mondays through Thursdays. Located at 2002 W. Clarendon in Oak Cliff.

August 28, 2010 Posted by | Edible, Oak Cliff | , , | Leave a comment

The Long Summer

I’ve been a slacker this summer. I must admit that when the extreme heat hits, it’s a little less tempting to get out and maybe even a little harder to brag on Dallas. But when the “cold front” arrived yesterday and I realized that the State Fair is right around the corner, I started thinking of what to feature next. We also have a new house guest, an exchange student from Korea. Suddenly I’m seeing things through the eyes of a teenager who is new not just to Dallas, but to the country. Should give me some new perspectives!

Here’s where I need the help of my readers. Suggestions? Recommendations? I would love to check out the places that you find to be unique to this area, and to hear why. And I’d love to know what you think are the best places to show off to someone entirely new to the country and the area!

(P.S. Can’t they just call them “less-hot fronts”?)

August 25, 2010 Posted by | Bishop Arts District, Creative, Dallas Suburbs, Downtown, Edible, Fair Park, Historic, Houses of Worship, Knox Henderson, Lovers Lane, Outdoors | , , | 1 Comment

Knox Street Market Update

It’s summertime at Knox Street Market! Here are some updated pictures.

June 16, 2010 Posted by | Creative, Knox Henderson | , , , , | Leave a comment

Late Nights at the DMA

Friday is the night for Late Night at the Dallas Museum of Art, featured on third Fridays of each month. There’s a whole schedule of events around the theme Coastlines: Images of Land and Sea. In addition to the DMA, the Nasher Sculpture Center and Crow Collection of Asian Art will be open. Music is featured throughout the evening in multiple locations and they always add intriguing special features for these nights. I’m curious about the “Sound Installation” that is featured as part of the Coastlines exhibit (“Experience a unique multilayer sound installation designed by graduate students and faculty in the Arts and Technology program at UT Dallas, in collaboration with students from the Université du Sud Toulon-Var in Toulon, France.”) Lots of participative exhibits and you can close out your evening with a Frankie and Annette movie or open mic – poets and reading only. Happening this Friday, June 18 from 6pm until midnight. Tickets are $10 for adults, free admission for museum members and kids under 12. (The Crow Collection is free and the Nasher charges admission.)

June 16, 2010 Posted by | Creative, Downtown | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Record Grill

I’ve had a lot of suggestions of fine restaurants to write up lately. I hope to get to them soon. Not much time nor cash for scoping them out at the moment. SO today I shall feature Record Grill downtown. We’ll get to the fine dining another day… Record Grill is located right across from the little old cabin downtown. It’s the funny bright blue building sort of stuck on the side of another building. If you’re visiting the 6th Floor Museum area or the Old Red Museum or serving jury duty in the neighborhood, stop in for a good, inexpensive hamburger, plate special of the day, or quick breakfast. It’s just plain good food for not much money in this tiny, slightly out-of-place location on Elm at Record Street.

June 8, 2010 Posted by | Downtown, Edible | , , , | Leave a comment