Before I visited Dallas in April and May of 2016, I didn’t really understand just how big the city it is. The first thing to understand about visiting Dallas and understanding the magnitude of it is the “Metroplex” which is fancy term to describe the combination of Dallas-Fort Worth area.
During my past two visits, I have spent most of my time in the Uptown area and had a chance to visit Downtown and the Bishops Arts district. If you are interested in learning more about the other neighborhoods of Dallas before I have a chance to visit and report back, visit http://neighborhoods.dmagazine.com/dallas/central-dallas/.
My sister lives in the Uptown area of Dallas which I think is perfect for a 20 something year old. McKinney Avenue is a long road that runs right through the heart of Uptown with bars, restaurants and shopping. We were able to walk down the road every day from our hotel to meet up with my sister. There is even a trolley that runs up and down the street that is free!
The Ritz-Carlton Dallas
One of the perks of traveling with my parents (other than their company) is the fact that they stay at much nicer hotels than I. We stayed at The Ritz-Carlton in Dallas in Uptown. The hotel is incredible.
One of the biggest perks is that if you stay on the Club Level, you have access to a private lounge that serves breakfast, lunch, afternoon tea, happy hour, dinner and dessert. We went here every morning for breakfast and several times throughout the day (and after dinner) for snacks.
The Ritz also has an incredible gym that I visited to be able to make room to enjoy more Lone Stars (local beer) and taste some fine delicacies (Hopdoddy Hamburgers).
One of my favorite parts of McKinney Avenue is the incredible Whole Foods! If you’ve seen one my previous posts about grocery shopping in New York City, you already know how much I enjoy visiting the grocery store. For me, visiting a clean, well-organized grocery story is a cathartic experience. The Whole Foods on McKinney Avenue is no exception.
I guess they probably sell these kinds of cacti all over the country but something felt special about these little cacti in Texas.
For lunch one day, we continued down McKinney Avenue to a burger place, but sister assured us that this wasn’t just any burger place: it was Hopdoddy. Although it is a chain, with locations around Texas, California, Arizona and Colorado, this place was special. Don’t take my word for it, read some of their rave reviews in Food & Wine magazine, Every Day with Rachel Ray and Zagat. https://www.hopdoddy.com/news/
We got a great table outside and watched them make their own buns in the window. I ordered the Continental Club turkey burger that came with pesto (!!) and my sister got the La Bandita, which is a veggie burger. I would definitely recommend this as a great place to take vegetarians even because of all the options they have.
We also got an order of their Kennebec fries and an order Parmesan truffle fries. I am hesitant to recommend both of these fries because they were so incredibly addicting. No, go ahead, life’s short, order the fries.
Sometimes when I leave a burger restaurant, I feel greasy and bloated immediately after. Here, I really felt like all of the ingredients were fresh and I had a great meal, not just a hamburger.
When I was looking up what to do in Dallas before this trip, one place I kept coming across was Trinity Groves. I didn’t make a point of mentioning it to my sister because there were so many other great places we wanted to check out first that I wasn’t sure we’d have time to explore more. On Sunday before my flight back, my family and I wanted to get a bite to eat and my sister suggested Trinity Groves. Isn’t it great when things just work out like that?
Trinity Groves is in West Dallas and according to their website, “a 15-acre restaurant, retail, artist and entertainment destination located at the base of the Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge.” Basically, some developers took some warehouses and put in a whole complex of really great and diverse restaurants. There is a BBQ place (of course), a sushi restaurant, an Italian restaurant, a Chinese restaurant and a Gastropub, which is where we ate.
We ate at Resto which “features Modern American cuisine with global influences. Our renowned menu offers fresh and local ingredients with innovative presentations. Resto’s interior is a combination of industrial and rustic decor, with a large covered patio perfect for outdoor dining. Creative craft cocktails and a diverse wine selection complete the RESTO experience.”
We all loved our meals and if I wasn’t about to get on a 3 hour flight, I would have been all over the Bloody Mary bar!
If you’re looking for a great place to eat, hang out outside and an incredible view of the Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge, stop by Trinity Groves! http://www.trinitygroves.com/
Rocking J Stables
Now for the “real Texas experience”, we left the city of Dallas and headed out to Garland, TX to Rocking J Stables. My sister “adopted” a horse named Dallas (completely a coincidence or perhaps foreshadowing) about 10 years ago when she was living in Buffalo. Dallas (the horse) left snowy, frigid Buffalo in February and arrived in sunny Dallas (the city) two days later.
After shedding his winter coat and getting used to the heat, he adjusted incredibly well! His best friend at the barn is a horse with one eye named Jude, that we affectionately refer to as “One-eyed Jude”.
Dallas spends his days enjoying the wide open pastures and has frequent visits from his human best friend, my sister.
If you’d like to learn more about Rocking J Stables, visit http://www.rockingjstables.com/#welcome