Now, you can read me at: Alexal Guide to… shopping, food, traveling and all the superficial things of life.
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I love the little restaurant T Room behind the boutique Forty Five Ten. It’s fresh, hidden and the menu is just what we women love: little salads with quiche, little sandwiches with salad. Since I can’t afford anything at the fancy store, having lunch brings me a little bit of that luxury without crashing my credit card. Today, after shopping with a friend, it was just the perfect place for a quick lunch. We parked our cars in front of the store, entered the place which had 2 to 3 tables available only to hear from the waiter: ah, we are really busy today. It will be a long wait till you get your food.
Well, I didn’t feel particularly welcomed and decided to try Kozy, just across the street. I’ve been here before for a brunch and loved their white eggs omelette. We ordered fresh lemonade with agave (a little too much agave) but still very refreshing. Grilled chicken with vegetables were my choice for a healthy monday lunch. It arrived fast enough and at my first bite… oh! Burned. Just like my chicken when I forget them on the grill and go for a shower. The vegetables looked sloppy and the broccoli was certainly NOT fresh, with all those yellow spots when it starts to age. I could put up with the veggie, but not the meat. I called the waitress and we had an interesting dialogue I will try to reproduce as literal as possible:
– Hey, do you mind changing the chicken? the taste is not good, it’s burned.
_ Well, it looks good to me.
_ The problem is not how it looks, but the taste.
_ This is how our chicken tastes. Don’t you wanna change for something else?
_ No, I’m fine with the dish. I just want a chicken that isn’t burned, if you can change it.
_ Let me speak to the chef.
She takes my plate and comes back without my plate and a menu on her hands.
_ Choose something else because according to the chef you must not like the flavoring of our chicken.
_I’m sorry. I don’t have more time to order a new dish and wait for it, just bring me the check.
She nicely offered us NOT to pay for our lemonades, which I didn’t mind paying at all. But, at the same time, she didn’t allow me to eat the chicken and vegetables I’ve chosen from the menu. The waiter and chef decided NOT to let me eat chicken since I had a problem with the chicken. Not for one single moment they thought the chicken had any problem. What’s wrong with you, people? Btw, the blackout on the windows on Kozy isn’t working. Gives the place a very somber ambience instead of just keeping the heat away, making it an unpleasant place to dine. Unfortunately, when they make such nice white eggs omelette.
See it for yourself:
I thought I would never write a post complimenting Chipotle – just across from Kozy- for existing but here we go: Thanks Chipotle, for actually having the food and the service in the consistent conditions you always do. Maybe something Kozy and T Room can learn from you.
It all started with an email to a couple of friends. I wanted to visit Dallas best wine bars in just one weekend. I could rely on Yelp’s top 8 or my friend’s top 8. Guess what? They’re were almost the same. I tried to reproduce the same experience in all of them: sit, read (I was normally by myself), order “your best white by the glass, please” but I have to confess that in two of them I didn’t even order. Why, if I hated already everything? It’s the only advantage of having a blog instead of a serious career in food critique. Did I learn something? Here we go to my pleasurable weekend:
THE WINER: Cork
My favorite before and after this expedition. I love the fact that it’s always almost empty and people rarely go there just to hang out. More of a store than a wine bar. You can order by the glass (opening a tab) or buy a pre-paid card and sip 10 to 15 wines. Had a fantastic chenin blanc from South Africa the other day and I would only wish they had better cheese.
The best: to read and buy bottles.
The crowd: couples buying last minute bottles, middle age reading by themselves, couples and their Ipads.
Address: 3636 McKinney Ave, Dallas
- Cork on a saturday afternoon.
Bodega Bar – (by James, the owner of the only dog I like in the world)
When you enter their ‘classic’ ambience, you forget that you were steps away of a very urban area of the city. I kind of like that. I felt like the type of place a guy takes a girl on a date: low light, red sofas, romantic. Nice, but not my thing.
The best: to have an intimate conversation with someone
The crowd: middle-age couples; it was kind of empty on a friday early evening
Address: 4514 Travis St, Dallas
Times 10 Cellars – (by Delphine, the sophisticated french among us all)
Very beautiful house close to the lake. On the day t I visited it was very empty but it didn’t bother me. Except me and my friend, there was just a group of noisy women -almost a pleonasm- on a night out. I liked the fact that you can order food from nearby restaurants. Their wines were really weak (which Delphine had already adviced) but we had a great time before heading for a dinner at Victor Tango’s.
The best: to go by yourself or with a close group of friends
The crowd: groups of women and couples
Address: 6324 Prospect Ave, Dallas
Veritas – (by Kristin, a crazy hippie who does bikram yoga during 60 days nonstop)
I didn’t expect to like it because it’s in such an ugly strip mall on the Knox-Henderson avenue. But, it was bombing on a saturday afternoon. Mostly because a designer was selling beautiful handmade jewelry; which I tried -and bought- before even looking at the wines. I have my priorities right. I sat, had my usual white (a good one in a big glass) and people watched. I would say -from them all- it was the best spot to be with a group of friends immersed in their big leather sofas. A keeper.
The best: people watching
The crowd: all types of couples
Address: 2323 N Henderson Ave
Mercy Wine Bar – (by Luci, the italian hottie that likes to fight with me. Normally, with a reason)
Maybe it was me. Maybe it was my moody friend. We arrived here on a saturday night to meet dozens of couple having a candle light meal with red wine and a live singer while outside was 99F! I felt everything was so fakish european tavern that I left to the nearest Paciugo where I had a decent coconut with dark chocolate. Maybe it was me. Maybe it was my moody friend. I have to go back with the hottie from above.
The best: to listen to live music while you drink. I guess people like that.
Address: 5100 Belt Line Rd, Dallas
Came in. Came out. I don’t know how it was in the past but I felt it was as tacky as Taco Diner and Mi Cocina just around the corner. Convenient location post movies, but definitely not for that special night.
The best: close to everything
Address: 3699 McKinney Ave
Other places visited: Jimmy’s Food Store is really great to buy italian wines, cheese and prosciutto. Looking for a wine bar, I pass it; Coal Vines: use it to have pizza with the Uptown crowd.
Traveling around the world, when you tell people you are planning on moving to Dallas, their first reaction is to say: “are you crazy?”. They believe Dallas is still the far cowboy place in the middle of US that has nothing but trucks, white man and chunks of barbecue eaters. Ok, they’re all here! But Dallas is changing. Not Austin yet, but here we go on the right path. As little girl who loves shopping, fine organic dining and art, I could not not tell the world what Dallas has to offer! So here we are, celebrating the nicest things in town. I eat, I shop, I live. This is my guide to the cowboy city!
Things you should know upfront and maybe abandon this blog immediately:
1. I’m brazilian and my English sucks! I do appreciate if you send me English tips, though. That’s my first blog in English ever!
2. I hate strip malls and try to avoid restaurants in strips malls. Unless they’re the best chinese on earth.
3. I love restaurants and bars and coffee shops. Can’t wait to go to the new one, can’t wait to go back to the ones I love.
4. You can find me shopping at Nordstrom, Whole Foods, Central Market, Farmers Market or anywhere tagged with the big words: OUTLET, RACK, SALES, OFF!
5. This is MY opinion! Agree? I love you. Disagree? I will get excited.
6. Above I said: I love art. Actually, this is not true. I love shoes.