Six Weeks in Dallas
January 13, 2005 1:44 PM   Subscribe

Have you ever seen Dallas from a DC 9 at night? Or at any time, really? I'm about to spend six+ weeks there and was hoping my fellow metafites familiar with the area might share their expertise.

Particularly, things to do during the evenings and weekends. Traveling alone (for business) but not averse to going out on my own, as I'd rather not miss out on any local favorite spots. Any recommendations for great Dallas bbq? Cool bars or coffee shops? Comedy clubs or interesting local theatre. Colorful, only-in-Dallas attractions? I mean, how long can I spend visiting the grassy knoll?

Any advice is greatly appreciated! Thanks!
posted by herc to Travel & Transportation around Dallas, TX (19 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Sixth floor museum is cool.

Dinosaur Valley State Park, an hour and a bit away, is very cool. Dino footprints, big as life and right there in front of yer face.

There are good used bookstores. The giant mother-store of Half-Price Books is in Dallas, and Recycled Books in Denton is worth a trip up (~40 minutes if light traffic). If you've got time, Booked Up or whatever the name is is basically the entire "downtown" of Archer City, ~2 hours away.

Ft Worth zoo is good. They have pirarucu.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 2:07 PM on January 13, 2005

Paperbacks Plus (bookstrore) and Scalini's (Italian food) in Lakewood are good. Meridian Room on Exposition is one of my favorite bars. I second the Half-Price reccommendation, but be sure that you go to the one on Northwest Highway.

I just moved from Dallas a month ago, so if you have any questions or want more suggestions, feel free to email or IM.
posted by amandaudoff at 2:25 PM on January 13, 2005

There's the Nasher and the Angelika, two of my favorite places. And, I thirdly recommend the Half-Priced bookstore on Northwest Hwy. There's also the Women's Museum which is wonderful.

The Dallas Opera will be showing Madame Butterfly end of January/early February if you're interested in that.

My favorite place for italian food is Avanti's and if you want the Dallas-only attractions, there's the ever popular Antares restaurant in the big spinny ball that you see in all the postcards (Reunion Tower). Their desserts are good, dinner's overrated, imho.

Also, if you get a chance and if you're not sick of hotels, be sure to visit the Anatole for some great pieces of art (as well as the museum of art). I think they still give tours, but it's too cold right now for the peacocks that they usually keep in the courtyard. At the Anatole, not the museum.

I guess, like most cities and people, it depends on what you like. Either way, sounds like an excuse for martinis to me.
posted by erisfree at 3:01 PM on January 13, 2005

Things in Dallas to check out:

Dallas Museum of Art
Myerson Symphony Hall
The Modern in Fort Worth
The Kimball Museum in Fort Worth
Ratchovsky House by Richard Meier (on Preston and Northwest Highway)
Dallas City Hall
Old Dallas Red Courthouse - Now being rennovated
The Latino Cultural Center

Iron Cactus - Downtown (great views of downtown)
The O Bar
Meridian Room
Double Wide
Cuba Libre
The Grapevine

BBQ - Sonny Bryan's in the West End or Red, Hot and Blue
Sushi - Citizen or Tei Tei
Tex-Mex - Herreras, Matitio's, A.J. Gonzales
Authentic Chinese - Canton in Richardson

Live Music Venues:
The Gypsy Tea Room
The Curtain Club
The Granada Theater

....Oh and stay away from the Sixth floor museum, I pass it everyday from is a huge, huge place for scammers. They are everywhere around Dealy Plaza..
posted by Benway at 3:17 PM on January 13, 2005

BBQ places in Dallas I like:

Peggy Sue's
Sonny Bryan's (free sandwich) for their ribs. They have all you can eat beef ribs at lunch on some days. Great idea.
posted by grouse at 3:20 PM on January 13, 2005

I just moved to Dallas a month ago, but we were entertained by going to the Stockyards Championship Rodeo, although your enjoyment may depend on your feelings towards animals (although the bulls do enjoy some revenge). And then you can wander around Billy Bob's afterwards and be amazed that, yes, people really do wear those huge belt buckles. The Dallas Museum of Art is one of only 2 stops in the US for a collection of items from the Forbidden City in China, which I haven't gotten to see yet.

The barbecue is not spectacular in Dallas, but check this guy's reviews if you want some advice. Really I haven't tried anything too spectacular yet. There seem to be some decent little South Indian places, and if you develop a craving for Japanese food I would recommend Teppo's (watch out for the flash) after a few very disappointing visits elsewhere. There is a block of Chinese restaurants and stores in Richardson, but it has been hit-or-miss so far, although I would recommend Genroku.

If you like to spend time in malls, though, you are all set!

On preview: Lots of places listed for me to check out, too! I wasn't impressed with Sonny Bryan's on Inwood, but I didn't try ribs there. And if you are googling for "o bar", try "obar" instead.
posted by babar at 3:25 PM on January 13, 2005

Also: Guidelive is a hella helpful website when you're looking for places to go. If you like indie-rock, Good Records is a must-see. For movies, the Angelika can't be beat. (But then, I'm biased. I used to work there and I'm friends with the manager.) My favorite concert venue is Trees, so if you want live music, that might be worth a stop.

Geez, now I miss the city.
posted by amandaudoff at 3:54 PM on January 13, 2005


Where will you be staying? Will you have a car? The D/FW metroplex is a big, big area. My wife and I have lived in Dallas for quite some time - I can give you some advice on this which would be too lengthy for this forum.

email b at teambilly dot com.
posted by TeamBilly at 3:56 PM on January 13, 2005

I have to second the Peggy Sue's recomendation, their ribs are heavenly....

Also, the restaurants around Deep Ellum are a local treat....

Angry Dog
St. Pete's Dancing Marlin
City Cafe
Monica's Aca Y Alla

The Metropolitan

For lighter fare around the Quadrangle:

Dream Cafe
Tin Star
Truluck's (Seafood)

You can pretty much wander around downtown in the evenings and find great little hole in the wall diners and family restaurants...and clubs as well.

There are some nice local art galleries as well:

The Barry Whistler Gallery
Bishop Arts District in Oak Cliff (outside of Downtown on the South side of the Trinity River)
posted by Benway at 4:07 PM on January 13, 2005

The folks here have rep'd pretty well, so I'll just toss out a couple of 'Only in Dallas/Texas" ideas for you.

In the Deep Ellum district, there's a place called The AllGood Cafe that is great for lunch (they use a lot of local producers and whatnot) and a great place to catch some old-style country acts at night.

Muddy Waters, over on Lowest Greenville, is a cool little bar with a ton of local blues, rock, and country acts (just depending on who's playing on whatever night you go). And they always have $5 pitchers of beer.

If you want to see some good local bands, I can make some recommendations for names to keep an eye out for if you'll give me a genre. There are a tone of psychobilly bands around that always ensure a good time.

Also, if you're looking for more genre-speceific restaurant recommendations, hit me up. Dallas has a shit-ton of restaurants, which means there's half a shit-ton of really bad places. It's probably best to avoid 'em.

If you run and/or bike, White Rock Lake is going to be your new best friend. Definitely go during the daytime, though ;).

E-mail's in the profile. Oh, and if you want to have a meetup at some point in time, let me know that too and we can see what we'll pull together.
posted by Ufez Jones at 4:24 PM on January 13, 2005

Oops, forgot about this:

Oh and stay away from the Sixth floor museum, I pass it everyday from is a huge, huge place for scammers. They are everywhere around Dealy Plaza..

Yes and no. The museum itself is really worth checking out. There are quite a few guys that hang around Dealy trying to hawk souvenier newspapers, and they can be a little overzealous, but if you just ignore them/politely decline, most of them will leave you be.

(Up until recently, I worked in that building, albeit, not for the museum).
posted by Ufez Jones at 4:28 PM on January 13, 2005

Assuming you'll be here soon, check out The Fort Worth Stock Show and Rodeo. If you make it out to Fort Worth, Check out Railhead Smokehouse & BBQ, or Cousin's BBQ. Another good Fort Worth BBQ is Angelo's. Spend some time in Fort Worth, because (as Railhead staff t-shirts proclaim): "Life's too short to live in Dallas"!
posted by Doohickie at 7:50 PM on January 13, 2005

Mentioned already, but I'll provide general links:
The West End is kind of touristy but you can easily spend an afternoon wandering around there checking out shops and restaurants.
Deep Ellum is edgier and eclectic. I'm sure things have changed but I recall art galleries, pubs, antique stores, dance clubs, tatoo shops, bookstores, coffee shops, biker bars, all within a few blocks. (Is that great old-fashioned diner with the famous burgers and flavored sodas still there?) And great people-watching.

Aw, man, I wanna go back now. Did someone say something about a meetup...?
posted by Tubes at 8:23 PM on January 13, 2005

Say, after seeing Dallas from a DC 9 at night, maybe you'd like to see some farmland from a DeHavilland Twin Otter during the day? It's up in cattle country a ways, but Skydive Dallas in Whitewright (about an hour north) would be happy to keep you occupied for a few hours -- or for entire weekends. Always a fun gang there, and most of 'em will be from the city and full of nightlife suggestions.
posted by Tubes at 8:39 PM on January 13, 2005

I've only just moved to the D/FW area, and I'm actually on the FW side...still, I can say that Simply Fondue (Flash link) has excellent food and is a lot of fun. A wee on the pricey side, but then again it is dinner and entertainment all in one (well...if you define anything involving hot oil and pointy things entertainment, as I do). There are two branches, one in Dallas proper and one in Arlington. It's really terrific.
posted by angeline at 9:19 PM on January 13, 2005

Response by poster: Wow. So many terrific ideas. Glad I'll have a rental car! Thanks for all the great suggestions. Six weeks, seven bars to visit. If any DFWers are out there looking for a martini or a beer, lemme know.

The fondue I gotta do on my own. Come on, I hardly know ya'll. It'd be kinda creepy.

Thanks again.
posted by herc at 1:03 AM on January 14, 2005

I'm a huge fan of Taco Cabana. The best greasy TexMex food you'll ever have. I promise.
posted by Clay201 at 6:16 AM on January 14, 2005

The DFWbloggers meet up every month if you want to meet some Dallas folk. Our next one is Wednesday (the 19th). We'll be at the Uptown Bar & Grill at 7:30.

I also second Ufez's let me know if you want to have a meet-up.
posted by LeiaS at 9:31 AM on January 14, 2005

Best beer in town: The Gingerman.

Best place for music junkies to part with their paychecks: Bill's Records and Tapes (this guy can get you anything!).
posted by mds35 at 11:06 AM on January 14, 2005

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