THE BEST SPOTS FOR AUTHENTIC TEXAN FOOD IN DALLAS
Photo: Courtesy of Drew Kelly and Brad Torchia
Jason Boso’s love of honky-tonks inspired him to open Truck Yard, a beer garden in Dallas’ Lower Greenville that’s jacked up with junkyard finds like truck beds repurposed as picnic tables. The converted Airstream has six beers on tap, and the treehouse offers original bottled cocktails.
5624 Sears St., Dallas, 469-500-0139, texastruckyard.com
901 Fort Worth Ave., Dallas, 214-393-4141, smokerestaurant.com
Inside his wood-fire kitchen, chef Tim Byres cooks almost everything over a burning flame, including meat, vegetables and – in stockpots – even sauces and soups. On top of a busy restaurant, his unique approach yielded a James Beard Award-winning cookbook. Grab a seat at the bar and order a house craft cocktail like the Woodshed Margarita, made with cedarwood-infused tequila, and dig into the chef’s perfectly grilled Berkshire pork chop with apricot preserve.
331 Singleton Blvd., Dallas, 214-741-2226, oskdallas.com
Off-Site may be relatively new to the game – well-established burger stands already dot the city – but this casual restaurant remains true to form by selling fairly priced burgers. Chef Nick Badovinus smashes the quarter-pound beef patties when they first meet the grill – Shake Shack-style – imbuing them with a rich crust and a juicy interior. Enjoy a beer on the patio after placing your order at the walk-up counter, and keep busy with a game of basketball or bumper pool.
Babe’s Chicken Dinner House
1006 W. Main St., Carrollton, 972-245-7773, babeschicken.com
One glance at Babe’s menu – think chicken-fried steak, fried chicken and massive bowls of gravy for dipping – confirms its status as a deep-frying specialist. Pair your mountainous plate of crispy, golden-brown meat with simple side dishes like salad, green beans and mashed potatoes. Be prepared to wait for a table at this family-owned joint during prime hours, and don’t forget your doggy bag on the way out.
Nick & Sam’s
3008 Maple Ave., Dallas, 214-871-7444, nick-sams.com
With a dimly lit dining room and a popular caviar dish, this steakhouse has cemented its reputation as a see-and-be-seen playground for Dallas’ well-heeled, having welcomed countless celebrities over the years like actor Michael Keaton and rock star Gene Simmons. Book a table and make this a night out with friends. In addition to massive cuts of meat, the menu features a rich collection of sides that demand to be shared, like the Brussels sprouts with apples, Medjool dates and bacon.
Photo: Courtesy of Drew Kelly and Brad Torchia
Sample Texas BBQ at its best at Pecan Lodge in Dallas. Choose from brisket, pork ribs, sausage or pulled pork – or get the Trough sampler of mesquite-pit-smoked meats.
2702 Main St., Dallas, 214-748-8900, pecanlodge.com
Taqueria La Ventana
1611 McKinney Ave., Dallas, 214-484-6803, taquerialaventana.com
At Taqueria La Ventana, set in downtown Dallas behind Mexican restaurant Meso Masa, grilled and roasted meats cradled by delicate hand-pressed tortillas are passed through a tiny takeout window (ventana is Spanish for window). Chef Nico Sanchez prepares his tortilla dough ¬– called masa – daily from freshly ground corn. Enjoy your tacos with a side of elotes, a dish consisting of grilled corn with Mexican crema, lime juice and hot sauce.
THE BEST DANCE HALLS IN DALLAS-FORT WORTH
Sons of Hermann Hall
Photo: Courtesy of Drew Kelly and Brad Torchia
Every Wednesday, crowds stomp the wooden floors of this historic dance hall at the biggest East Coast swing night in the DFW. Keep time with dance instructors Jerry and Kathy Warwick as they lead beginners in the basics at 8 p.m., and then stay for the party at 9 p.m.
3414 Elm St., Dallas, 214-747-4422, sonsofhermann.com
516 E. Belknap St., Fort Worth, 817-831-2261, stagecoachballroom.com
Jean Czajkowski and her husband, Kiran Desai, have owned and operated this historic dance hall for the past 40 years. Lit with the warm glow of vintage neon, the space has a 3,500-square-foot dance floor on which couples (and singles) come to twirl every weekend to country music. Drop in on Sundays at 2:15 p.m. for lessons with Betsy Anderson.
THE BEST SHOP FOR DANCING SHOES
100 E. Exchange Ave., Fort Worth, 817-626-1129, maverickwesternwear.com
Enjoy a cold bottle of beer at Maverick’s in-store bar while shopping for your dancing duds: cowboy hats, jeans and boots. Note: leather soles are essential for spinning out on the dance floor.
THE BEST CATTLE DRIVE IN DALLAS
111 W. 4th Street, Suite 200, Fort Worth, 800-433-5747, fortworth.com/the-herd
Catch the Daily Longhorn Cattle Drive, where kitted-out drovers parade Fort Worth’s herd down Exchange Avenue. Best spot: in front of the Visitor Center. Every day at 11:30 a.m. and 4 p.m.
THE BEST CULTURAL ATTRACTIONS IN DALLAS
Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth
Photo: Courtesy of Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth
With 5,000 square metres of gallery space and a collection comprising nearly 3,000 objects, the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth focuses on artworks created after World War II. The streamlined architecture by Tadao Ando serves as a clean slate for the art, like Roxy Paine’s intertwining metal trees.
3200 Darnell St., Fort Worth, themodern.org
Nasher Sculpture Center
2001 Flora St., Dallas, 214-242-5100, nashersculpturecenter.org
Nestled in the Dallas Arts District near the AT&T Performing Arts Center, this exquisite museum houses the collection of the late Raymond Nasher, featuring masterpieces by de Kooning, Matisse and Picasso, plus rotating exhibits.
Sixth Floor Museum at Dealy Plaza
Photo: Courtesy of Sixth Floor Museum at Dealy Plaza
This museum – located inside the building from which Lee Harvey Oswald pulled the trigger – explores the life, death and legacy of John F. Kennedy. The exhibit showcases images, news footage and artifacts related to the 1963 tragedy.
411 Elm St., Dallas, 214-747-6660, jfk.org
Dee and Charles Wyly Theatre
2400 Flora St., Dallas, 214-880-0202, attpac.org
Built in 2009, the Wyly Theatre takes the idea of flexible space and understated materials from its predecessor, a metal shed with bleacher seating. One push of a button allows the sets and three seating towers to move, instantly transforming the venue for an augmented experience. The theatre presents plays and musicals like the amusing Hood, a take on the Robin Hood tale, created by five-time Tony-nominated playwright Douglas Carter Beane.
THE BEST OUTDOOR CULTURAL HOT SPOTS
Photo: Courtesy of Fort Worth Water Gardens
Fort Worth Water Gardens
1502 Commerce St., Fort Worth, 817-392-7111, fortworth.com/listings/fort-worth-water-gardens/2989
Philip Johnson’s Fort Worth Water Gardens make a splash in the city’s downtown. The area has three distinct spaces: the quiet pool, the aerating pool and the active pool.
1121 First Ave., Dallas, 214-426-3400, fairpark.org
Think of Fair Park, five kilometres east of Dallas, as an open-air museum – home to such historic art deco structures as the Cotton Bowl stadium and the monumental Hall of State. The park offers 60 informative walking-tour stops, with a map downloadable from their website.
THE BEST HOTELS IN DALLAS AND FORT WORTH
Rosewood Mansion on Turtle Creek
Photo: Courtesy of Rosewood Mansion on Turtle Creek
With lobby and suite redos and a two-to-one staff-to-guest ratio, the Mansion is the way to stay. Other perks include the stunning step-out patio and exclusive bath products by Natura Bissé. The five-star restaurant also earns a standing O.
2821 Turtle Creek Blvd., Dallas, 214-559-2100, mansiononturtlecreek.com
In Forth Worth, hole up at the Stockyards Hotel, just like Bonnie and Clyde did in the 1930s when they were casing out a bank across the street. Awash in dark wood and burgundy hues, the 52 rooms recall the Wild West, with everything from tall wooden shutters to mounted animal heads.
Dallas’ Hotel ZaZa boasts 31 fun concept suites. Music fans will want to book the Rock Star, an elegant 2,010-square-foot tribute to modern music that harbours a monstrous organ in its walk-in closet and a signed portrait of Ozzy Osbourne.
1530 Main St., Dallas, 214-748-1300, thejouledallas.com
Perched at the forefront of the design scene in Dallas – look no further than its cantilevered glass swimming pool peeking out over the street – the Joule Hotel is a landmark in its own right. With interiors designed by Adam D. Tihany, the 1920s neo-Gothic building now includes a Taschen library and spa.
Omni Fort Worth Hotel
Photo: Courtesy of Omni Fort Worth Hotel
With handsome, contemporary decor, the rooms at the Omni belong on the cover of a glossy magazine. Located in downtown Fort Worth, the hotel boasts summer kids’ activities, a classy spa and easy access to all downtown attractions, including the nearby Water Gardens.
1300 Houston St., Fort Worth, 817-535-6664, omnihotels.com/hotels/fort-worth
200 Main St., Fort Worth, 817-870-1000, marriott.com/hotels/travel/dfwdt-the-worthington-renaissance-fort-worth-hotel
The Worthington is still the It place for the affluent in Fort Worth. Handsome Western-chic rooms (think rustic wood and dark brown leather touches with a contemporary vibe) overlook Sundance Square. Don’t forget the upscale Southwestern cuisine at Vidalias.