Sunday, August 12, 2012

The Big D

For those of you lucky enough to have never been to Dallas / Fort Worth, let me enlighten you on what you would see should you ever unwisely choose to visit.  The entire metropolitan area is just one giant maze of churches and Mexican restaurants.  So, it’s a great place to be if you love Jesus freaks and/or fat people.  And let me tell you I saw lots of both.

One of my best mates from Seattle, Anthony, recently moved to Dallas for work, so he picked me up and took me out for dinner.

He suggested Chuy’s – which is right near his house – and even though I had just been the previous evening in Houston,  I couldn’t help but check out what a Dallas Chuy’s looks like.  I had the enchiladas this time – as did Anthony – and they were delicious!

Anthony also turned me on to Chuy’s desserts.  I had never had dessert at Chuy’s before – mainly because I’ve always finished my main meal completely stuffed and unable to squeeze in any additional food.  But he insisted this time, and really, who am I to say no?  We ordered the tres leches and sopapillas.

And all I can say is:  HOLY SHITBALLS MOUTH ORGASM.  Amazing.  Some of the most delicious desserts I’ve ever had.  I’ve been dining at Chuy’s for over a decade now and never experienced this.  I can’t believe I’ve been missing this all these years!

The main reason I stopped in Dallas was to visit my grandmother in Fort Worth.  I had two days with my grandma and our time was mostly spent avoiding the oppressive heat…

108 degrees Fahrenheit.  The maximum temperature  I saw on our car thermometer was 111 degrees Fahrenheit.  Holy moly.

So, where to go when the heat is too much?  Air conditioned restaurants!  Starting with Luby’s – a cafeteria style restaurant frequented by a more experienced crowd (geriatrics).  But it’s delicious so I always go with grandma.  It’s a bit southern style.  I had a nice blackened grilled chicken breast with mac n cheese, mashed potatoes with gravy, a soft and delicious bread roll, and a sweet tea!  I missed sweet tea, and seeing as I can no longer get it at Chick-fil-a (hateful bastards!), I was super stoked that Luby’s had some.

Now, in a 100+ degree heat, we also needed to get some ice cream.  My favourite ice cream in the Fort Worth area is Braum’s – a dairy from Oklahoma which has a chain of ice cream restaurants across a few states.  The ice cream is not too sweet and very creamy – perfect!  I had butter pecan and birthday cake.

But, the majority of our food was Mexican.  It’s not hard to find Mexican food in the Dallas / Fort Worth area.  Mexican restaurants are to Dallas what Starbucks is to Seattle:  usually two or three per corner.  “Hey Grandma – what happened to the Braum’s on Denton Highway?”  “It’s a Mexican restaurant now.”  “Oh.  How about that steakhouse with the big cow on top?” “It’s a taqueria.”  “Ok.  And that big ole Baptist church down the road?  Why did that close?” “Someone bought it and turned into into a tortilla factory.”

Ok, that last one was exaggerated, but you get the point.  The number of Mexican restaurants was insane.  And the number of fat people was even more insane, though I have to admit that the food is delicious and I can totally see that it is hard to resist.  And I didn’t resist at all, which is why I’m going to be on a hunger strike for a few weeks when I return to Oz.

We hit up Chili’s one night – it’s not completely Mexican but definitely Southwestern and one of my all-time favourite chain restaurants.  We started off with Southwestern Egg Rolls followed by my usual Quesadilla Explosion Salad:

I told my Aunt Nancy that I wanted to go to Taco Cabana – a big cheap chain across Texas that I used to frequent at university in Houston. Their specialty is tortillas and queso.  Simple and delicious.  But Nancy was like “No! No! Don’t do it!  Go to Rosa’s  instead!  Do it for the tortillas!” And so I did.  And Rosa’s was better and less sketchy than TC.

For my last night in town, Grandma, Nancy, my cousin Michael, and I went to Abuelo’s – the “Mexican Food Embassy”.  I had never been before, but I like the sound of “Mexican Food Embassy”.  We started with a bowl (ok, fine, two bowls) of queso.

And then I had tacos with “papas” (their mexi-version of mashed potatoes) and black beans.

I ate well in Dallas, but I’ve very happy to leave as I fear I’d be as big as the Goodyear Blimp in a matter of weeks at the rate I was going.

Onward to my favourite place in the United States:  Seattle!


  1. Fitting that you went to Chili's - it started in Dallas (but I'm sure you knew that).