Monthly Archives: August 2012

Highly Recommended Restaurants in Dallas

Dallas is a city that boasts of unique gastronomic offerings. It can be easy to turn eating out into an ideal and interesting pastime. When it comes to food, there will be no dull moment in Dallas. Restaurants here and there offer something unique and great in their menus.

Anytime of the day, there are menus that will surely wake your appetite. For starters, checking out the menu of ethnic restaurants will be worthwhile. If you love tacos, go to Fuel City along Industrial Blvd. and Taco Joint at Peak Street. Middle Eastern and Italian cuisines are served at Afrah Restaurant & Pastries (Main Street, Richardson) and Arcodoro & Pomodoro Ristoranti Italiani (Routh Street), respectively.

The best burgers in the city can be enjoyed at Twisted Root Burger Co at 2615 Commerce Street. Aside from buffalo, ostrich, black Angus beef, and turkey burgers, homemade milkshakes, ice cream, and root bear should be tried. Meanwhile, here are some other best and recommended restaurants you should never miss while in Dallas.

The best steaks

Several restaurants are offering the city’s best steaks in their menus. Bob’s Steak and Chop House offers not just exceptional steaks in its menu. The low-lit and wood-paneled restaurant has that distinct clubby atmosphere. It is just logical that boisterous patrons get a little loud at times. Are you longing to see some celebrities? You might get lucky this day to find some in this venue. The location is at 4300 Lemmon Avenue. It also has branches in Grapevine, Plani, and Fort Worth.

Al Biernats have delectable Allen Brothers prime steaks, which can be enjoyed best with Al’s Salad, which combines crisp green beans, prawns, sliced tomatoes, lump, and avocado. The joint is also an ideal venue for spotting local sports icons and celebrities, just like Bob’s Steak and Chop House. You might want to check the place out following Dallas Mavericks and Dallas Stars games. Al Biernat’s is located at 4217 Oaklawn Avenue.

Pappas Bros. Steakhouse is considered one of the best restaurants in the northern portion of downtown. The place may not have the most atmospheric one but the food as well as service is superb. Dropping by will be worth the time and effort. Be impressed by Pappas’ extensive wine selection, aside from the steaks of course. There are up to 2,300 of those wines to choose from. The restaurant is at 10477 Lombardy Lane.

Late-night restaurants

It is never too late to have dinner. When all other restaurants have closed shops, some are just starting to get busy. Check out two joints that are open until the wee hours. Café Brazil serves not just coffee, but also pies and cakes. It is open 24 hours a day. Breakfast meals are among the best. The location is at 6420 N. Central Expressway, near the University Park and Southern Methodist University. There are other Café Brazil branches across the city.

Avanti Ristorante is open from early in the morning until 3 a.m. on weekends. The great upscale restaurant shows off its kitchen to its customers. One of the must-try selections in the menu is the Moonlight Breakfast, which is served from midnight until 3 a.m. on Fridays and Saturdays. The location is at 2720 McKinney Avenue.

Nightlife in Dallas

Many visitors judge a city not just based on the commercial centers and recreational sites. They have to see what the place looks like when darkness falls. The most vibrant and lively cities are those that turn livelier at night. Dallas will never get left behind when it comes to nightlife.

Do you want to meet cowboys? Mesquite Championship Rodeo in Rodeo drive, Mesquite is for you especially on weekend nights from April to September. Professional rodeos are featured as main events. Here are some other highly recommended places where you can enjoy the bustling Dallas nightlife.

Best for drinking beer

Perhaps, nightlife will never be complete without the booze. The Ginger Man in Boll Street is a laid-back pub that offers Dallas’ best beer selection. There are up to 77 types of beer on tap while another 100 are available in bottles. Old Monk in Henderson Avenue is a wrap-around patio and a cozy bar in one. It serves imported beer with extraordinary pub grub.

Flying Saucer in Montfort Drive, Addison is considered a mecca for all beer lovers. It has up to 80 taps coming from all around the globe. About a hundred brews come in bottles. Live music is on every Saturday night. You may attempt to earn a plate to be posted on the wall by joining a UFO club, which will have you try all 200 different types of beer available.

Best places for dancing (clubbing)

Are you into Latin music? Monica’s Aca Y Alla in Main Street is a highly recommended place for you. It is a Deep Ellum restaurant with great food. Live Latin music is an attraction on weekends. Entrée purchases will get you enjoy 75% Margaritas on Wednesdays.

Try some salsa dancing at Gloria’s, located along Belt Line Road, Addison. It is a Mexican and El Salvadorian food joint. It comes with fabulous Tex-Mex fare along with quick service. On weekends, live music turns up the dance floor. During those days, you are advised to come before 9 p.m. if you dislike long queues.

Cowboys Red River is known for facilitating live dance. It is located along W. Technology Blvd. The place brings about live music from Wednesday to Saturday. Free dance lessons are offered on Wednesdays and Fridays.

Mechanical bull

Mechanical bulls somehow provide a unique nightlife experience. There are several of those across Dallas. Cowboys Red River is a good start to find one. This club has its own mechanical bull, which invites all brave souls out there.

Gilley’s Dallas in S. Lamar specializes in the mechanical bull or El Toro. This is the Dallas outpost of the 1971 Texas honky-tonk. It was well celebrated in the past decades especially after the release of the film ‘Urban Cowboy.’ The place hosts lively country music on weekends. Have a unique night by trying to ride one of those aggressive mechanical bulls. You might try to zip some alcohol before riding to make sure you will gather enough courage and guts to enjoy it.

Best Ways to Enjoy Dallas More

There are many ways to enjoy Dallas. Whatever you like, you can be sure you are covered in the city. There is diversity in everything in the area. Dallas obviously tries to please everyone. There are different places and businesses that cater to different types of people.

How can you enjoy Dallas more? Aside from the food and the sights, there are many other activities facilitated in the city. Here are some of the highly recommended establishments and places where you can more enjoy and appreciate the city.

If you are into shopping, Dallas can be your shopping mecca. Visiting Ahab Bower in Boll Street should be part of your itinerary. For three decades now, the quirky boutique has been offering vintage clothing for men and women. Do not miss checking out retro objects like funky purses and cigarette-case-designed ID cases.

Best funky businesses

Check out Green Living in Abrams Parkway. It has stocks of earth-friendly items. There are even environmentally friendly paints and gardening supplies sold. It is an ideal haven for finding and buying recycled objects including Mad Mats, which actually comprise of recycled polypropylene. You will re-discover or re-learn how it is to lower your carbon footfprint in the area.

Want a unique gastronomic experience? Try Flavors From Afar at Snider Plaza. The restaurant includes the best gourmet menus from no less than the Mediterranean. Only here can you find special sauces, pretty ceramic dishes, gourmet olive oils, and creative kitchen gadgets. This can be an inspiration to entrepreneurs who intend to open their own unique restaurants in the future.

Froggie’s 5 & 10 along Knox Street is a gift and retro toy shop. Find out why it is often described as the toy store for all ages. You may find great and rare finds in the area like wind-up toys, novelty items, and Abba-Zaba candy. You should be alert to find Fric and Frac, the store’s unique and loveable cats.

Best city views

Want to get the best views of Dallas? There are places you should go to. Reunion Tower/Five Sixty by Wolfgang Puck is a new 200-seat rotating restaurant. It is located at the top of the iconic 560-foot tower along the downtown. The place facilitates the most splendid view not just of the downtown but also of the surrounding areas. The restaurant was actually recently renovated as a component of a development project worth $46 million.

Ghostbar in Victory Park Lane facilitates thrilling views especially when there is glitterati. The terrace has a glass floor and is jutting out of the building to offer ideal views. The place is not just for celebrity sightings. It is also for people who want to admire women, especially those in short skirts and high heels.

Belmont Hotel in Fort Worth Avenue perfectly positions customers so they can catch the magnificent view of the sunset, which is reflecting on the fabulous Dallas skyline. The venue is characterized more for its laid-back vibe and cool features. It is nestled within the hillside in southwest of downtown (Oak Cliff neighborhood).

Luxury Mansion Home of Phil Romano Hits Dallas Real Estate Market

The creator of Romano’s macaroni Grill and Fuddrucker’s Phil Romano isn’t exactly a name you would associate with real estate, but that is all set to change now that the Dallas celebrity has just listed his mansion the sale on the Dallas real estate market.

Romano’s 14,748 ft.² home is quite literally, well, massive. Not only that, but it also sits on a massive piece of land – no less than 4.7 acres of real estate just off of Strait Lane. Obviously, this property isn’t cheap; the home has been listed for called 10 million-dollar asking price, yet even this is a significant price drop from its valuation just one year ago. Even so, Romano believes that money is there to be made and it is expected that buyers will be falling over each other to get a look at what is currently one of the most impressive homes on the Dallas market.

With a private lake and waterfalls, a beautiful Creek, jogging trails, a tennis court and a resort like pool and spa , all included in this marvelous property, prospective homeowners will be enticed by the chance to make their dreams of living in the lap of luxury a reality.

But the home isn’t all about luxury, as it also boasts some of the most impressive facilities, including a professional cooking area within its gourmet kitchen.

Clearly this is no ordinary home, and whoever purchases it will be no ordinary buyer. The property enjoys a gorgeous setting, and now that its price has been reduced by $7.5 million (it was first listed for $17.5 million in 2007), it is looking likely that the right buyer will walk through the door soon. Dallas is real estate market is slowly picking up, yet its high-end market remains something of an enigma. With very few estates listed at over $10 million, buyers looking at high-end properties cannot afford to be too selective.

Dallas, Texas: Letting Go of the Old Dallas Image

The name J.R. Ewing will almost certainly crop up when you mention to someone that you’re from Dallas.

Mention J.R Ewing, and you’ll notice that people begin to react differently. The chief executive and president of Downtown Dallas, John Crawford denies that Ewing is a resident of the place. The chief executive also shared his encounters with people who still believe that Dallas is place where people ride horses to get to work.

Former councilwoman and present executive director of the Dallas Arts District, Veletta Lill says that the popular show from a few years back didn’t really come close to what the real Dallas is:

“That Stetson cowboy hat isn’t reality; it’s more of a stereotype. If you really want to see someone actually wearing that kind of hat, try to check out Fort Worth”, the lady councilor added.

Dallas at its Best

The show “Dallas” has indeed been a mixed blessing for the city. Since it was screened all over the world, the image of Dallas as per J.R’s version has remained in the minds of many people. However, the truth is far different from what the show has instilled into us, as the Dallas of today, as well as the future, isn’t all about ranches and cowboys or Stetson hats and horses.

“We have a very modern city now – a city that not far behind the biggest and finest tourist destinations in the world”, says the chief executive of the Dallas Convention and Visitors Bureau, Phillip Jones.

Since that banking crisis way back in the 80’s took a toll on the city’s economy, the city has worked really hard to recover from that situation. And currently, all their efforts have paid off as North Texas is now among the strongest in the country when it comes to economic growth and development.

This economic boost is down to a number of retail, financial, energy, aerospace and technology firms that invested in the place. Dallas boasts affordable housing options and well-versed manpower, which is why a lot of investors like Texas Instruments Inc., American Airlines, Southwest Airlines Co., J.C. Penney Corp. and Exxon Mobil Corporation were attracted and convinced that Dallas is the most feasible place for their business ventures. However, businessmen Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban and Southwest Airlines co-founder Herb Kelleher still seem to reflect the shows independent business attitude.

As of today, the heart of the city of Dallas has more than $13 billion in development projects, which includes the revival of brownfield site into Victory Park, the completion of Dallas Arts District and the development of Trinity River Corridor. Moreover, economic incentives have inspired developers to build an adjacent to downtown, which will showcase some of the best shopping centers, restaurants and other commercial establishments in the place.

Jason Kidd’s Dallas Condo Sold for $1.387 Million

Despite winning his first ever NBA championship ring last year with the Dallas Mavericks, it seems as if Jason Kidd no longer wishes to have anything to do with the city. Following his recent trade to the New York Knicks, it’s been announced that he’s just sold his luxury Dallas condo.

Kidd’s 2607 ft.² Dallas condo was first listed back in October 2011 with an asking price of $1.595 million; however, it has finally been sold for just $1.387 million. The lucky buyer is getting his hands on a prime piece of real estate – the luxury home features a rooftop swimming pool, two fireplaces, four-car garage and guarded entrance. The home was originally purchased by Kidd for $1.42 million back in 2009, and so he did make a slight loss on the property. However, Kidd won’t be short of cash at the moment, as it was also reported that he recently sold his Arizona mansion for $5.95 million. Looks like he has his heart set on one hell of a home in the Big Apple!

Deal is yet another sign of the strengthening being seen in Dallas real estate markets. Obviously, the city’s high end real estate market can fluctuate a lot more than low-end real estate in the city, but the current sparse inventory reflects the state of all of the city’s markets at present as home sales continue to pick up pace.

It remains to be seen where Kidd will decide to live in New York, but one thing is for sure – the NBA star certainly won’t need to be frugal when it comes to hunting for a spacious penthouse or some other luxury home.

Kidd’s departure for the Mavericks was somewhat unexpected, as he had recently signed a three-year contract with the team worth some $9 million. Recently however, 39-year old Kidd announced that he wanted to finish his NBA career in New York.

North Dallas Home Sales Rise by 27% in July

Homeowners in Arlington are among a number of Texas residents who saw sales of existing homes climbed by a stunning 27% over the last month. The figures, for the month of July, are the strongest indication yet of Dallas is improving real estate market. Sales figures for July 2000, 12 show an impressive double-digit improvement over sales in July 2011, with a total of 7,487 homes sold in 29 counties across North Texas.

So far this year, the a total of 43,420 homes have been sold in North Texas, which is 16% more than that was sold by the same time in 2011. In addition, Realtors said that there were 6,634 pending home sales in July, which is a 20% increase on the same period last year. Median home prices have also seen a big rise, increasing by 10% over the last year to $166,700. Naturally, this is great news for homeowners in Dallas, who had previously seen property prices collapse the in the wake of the recession. Finally, it looks as if the Dallas housing market is well on the way towards correcting itself.

One problem remains foreclosures, and it remains to be seen how this will impact Dallas real estate markets. Up until now, banks have held a large number of foreclosures in reserve, primarily as a result of the robo-signing scandal which bought bank owned sales screeching to a halt around 12 months ago. Many foreclosed properties and now sitting in limbo, and it remains to be seen when these will be put up for sale and what impact they will have on the Dallas real estate markets recovery.

One noticeable trend is that with interest rates being so low, we’re starting to see more buyers enter the market now that it seems prices have bottomed out. As a result, home sales are up all across North Dallas, and so long as the foreclosures don’t all come onto the market and once it’s likely that this improvement will continue for the foreseeable future.

Healthy Living in Northern Texas

One of the best things that residents of Northern Texas can benefit from are the excellent hospitals and medical facilities conveniently based on Dallas and Fort Worth, equipped with the latest medical technologies readily used by their competent professionals.

Sustaining a lifestyle that is good for health is easy to achieve for residents of Dallas and Fort Worth, thanks to top-quality medical care in the region. Doctors of medicine with a worldwide reputation are employed in the DFW Metroplex, devoted to supplying the finest care through the hospitals’ latest equipment. Hardly any other health care in the country rivals the quality of care found here. Illnesses ranging from minor bruises to complicated heart conditions are eagerly addressed by medical specialists. Furthermore, residents of the region enjoy an abundance of over 15,000 hospital beds situated in 90 facilities.

Medical Organizations

Among other entities in Dallas, the healthcare industry is one of the most with remarkable development. What this means is that the area is blessed with top-notch equipment, ready availability of jobs, and ample opportunities for learning. Managing all these are groups and societies of volunteers that concentrate on guaranteeing quality health care for the inhabitants of the area. The Health Industry Council of the DFW Region, for instance, is a pioneer in promoting the area as a leading healthcare provider throughout the country. Over 500 individuals coming from 160 companies and institutions in the DFW area comprise the voluntary members of the council. These people, who specialize in various fields such as law, finance, manufacturing, distribution, research, healthcare, and others, oversee the activities.

Transportation Assistance

In Dallas, Fort Worth and nearby suburbs, citizens with physical conditions are supported with transportation and mobility needs. Establishments employ ramps, parking for the disabled, and elevators to provide convenient access for their valued customers to their premises.

For instance, the Dallas Area Rapid Transit (DART) is an exemplary transit service that provides transportation assistance. Paratransit Services extend its help via vans and vehicles with specially equipped wheelchair lifts and boarding chairs, along with a door to door pickup. DART also offers the disabled with travel training in order to access their bus and rail system.

Dallas Installs New Smart Water Meters to Help Residents Cut Costs

Some good news for a change for Dallas residents - officials in the city are looking to change the way in which they record and bill water usage, and as a result have decided to step up the installation of electronic water meters in homes throughout the city.

One of the biggest advantages of having electronic water meters is that they do not require human meter readers to visit resident’s homes and take a reading. Instead, they are capable of automatically reporting water usage and billing residents accordingly. Information regarding water usage is transmitted from the meter to what’s known as a collection hub, eliminating the need for water meter readers to go from door to door. This information is then transmitted to water companies, who can automatically send out water bills.

Officials say that the new smart meters (as they’re being called) are far more accurate than human readings, and will allow residents to save water and cut down on costs through better monitoring of their water usage.

The smart water meters should ensure that many residents can enjoy reduced water bills. For homeowners in Lake Highlands, which is one of the first areas to get the new meters, the change has been warmly welcomed, with many residents saying that they have been able to cut down their water bills as a result. In total, 5.5 million smart water meters have been installed across Texas so far, following a change in the law back in 2007, which urged the readers to be installed as fast as possible so that homeowners could better understand their energy usage and control expenditure.

The project, which aims to create a smart grid in Texas, has been partially funded by federal grant money, with the rest of the money being stumped up by the state itself.

Pronunciation and Local Quirks in Dallas

If you’ve just moved Dallas, you’ll realize by now that it’s going to take some time to adapt. And no, we’re not just talking about learning to find your way around and make new friends – one of the strangest quirks about Dallas is the local lingo. Here’s a quick guide to help you out:

San Jacinto Street

This is one of Dallas is most important thoroughfares, so make sure you can say right. Instead of the typical “Ja-SIN-tow,” it is actually pronounced “Hah-SIN-tow.”

Texas-OU

The University of Texas Longhorns and the University of Oklahoma Sooners has a longstanding football rivalry held annually. Now officially called the AT&T Red River Rivalry, the series occurs during the State Fair of Texas every autumn. Hordes of fans adorned in either burnt orange or crimson walk down the parade through downtown Dallas.

D/FW or DFW

Stands for Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport. It is the largest central airport for American Airlines and the third busiest in the world, with regards to the number of landings and takeoffs each year.

Love Field

Dallas Love Field, the headquarters of Southwest Airlines, primarily serves private jet owners and the air force. Commercial aircraft is subject to government control until 2014, under the Wright amendment.

Wright Amendment

Named in honor of Fort Worth’s Jim Wright, a former Speaker of the House. The amendment describes the government restraints on commercial flights operating in Dallas Love Field. 56-seater (and over) commercial aircrafts on regular schedules must make a stop in Texas or nearby states before proceeding somewhere else in the US. The limitation lasts until 2014, thereafter letting flights travel anywhere in the US.

Airport Freeway

Describes the section of State Highway 183 located in the middle of State Highway 114 and D/FW Airport’s south entrance.

John Carpenter Freeway

Describes the State Highways 183 and 114 from I-35E and runs to D/FW Airport’s North entrance.

Lyndon B. Johnson Freeway or I-635

Better known in its shorter name as LBJ, this freeway runs to Dallas’ northern, eastern and southern sides. LBJ begins at the northern entrance of D/FW Airport and covers I-20 on the south.

Loop 12

With some sections that have stoplights seemingly more like thoroughfares than a highway, Loop 12 is the innermost highway ring around Dallas. Northwest Highway marks the northern section, the eastern arc is Buckner Boulevard, and Ledbetter Drive makes up the southern part, while Walker Boulevard is to the west.

North Central Expressway

Describes the U.S. Highway 75 in the middle of I-35E and I-635 situated north of downtown. It is better known by locals as “75.”

Stemmons Freeway

Describes I-35E directly north of downtown Dallas.

Woodall Rogers Freeway

Conjoins I-35E to North Central Expressway and I-45 beside the north border of downtown Dallas. It is also known as Spur 366. Part of the freeway is planned by city officials to be converted into a park and to link the Dallas Arts District to uptown Dallas.

To learn more about the local Dallas “lingo” contact Rebecca Armstrong - she would be happy to teach you to speak the language of Dallas!