wild about harry’s – dallas, tx

wild about harry's.

wild about harry’s.

i find myself on another visit to expansive dallas, tx.  the client beckons me by name!  ah, traveling.  a (mostly) wonderful perk of working in software consulting.  i will admit, i have visited many towns i would not have otherwise seen, so i shall count myself luckier than the average bear!

i am flying solo this week, so all the eating decisions are my own.  how fabulous!  i had heard of this place called wild about harry’s.  supposedly they’re known for their custard…?  i kid!  wild about harry’s is very well-known for their secret custard recipe and hot dogs.  let’s see how this southern lady liked it!

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come fly with me

people on planes.  they’re quite a sight.  it’s almost like we’re a different species when we board an aircraft.  you see people in this raw, emotional state.  some of us feel entitled.  some of us get emotional.  some of us panic.  some of us become annoyed.  but whoever we are, we find ourselves surrounded by strangers with whom we are creating a unique and unrepeatable bond.  there’s this experience that, for however long or short a time, is connecting us all, uniting each of us as we sail through the air to our many futures.  quite a perspective, yes?

i write to you tonight from a b757-200(n) bound for texas.  i’ve got a chatty smoker to my right and a crewcut gentleman to my left.  she, i could do without.  he, he might be fun company for the next hour and 38 minutes.  the lady in front of me has clearly boarded the plane in quite a state.  she’s obviously stressed and out of breath.  i so hope she had to run to catch the plane!  i love watching people who are running for a bus or train or flight.  i have been that person many times, so i will gladly enjoy a smile at their expense.  but only if they make it!  if they miss it, it’s just sad.

we’ve got a 12 year-old boy pouting over his mother, someone’s dog yipping and yapping, and now, oh no.  the guy to my left will not stop fidgeting and whistling.  i wouldn’t normally mind, but i cannot escape it!  there’s nowhere i can go!  perhaps he’ll tire himself out before too long.  yes, yes, keep fidgeting and whistling, sir.  i dare you.

writing and reading and writing some more as i am aboard this flight is almost a form of entertainment in itself.  good thing i think i’m pretty funny!  (no comments, please.)

uh oh.  now the smoker is engaging me in conversation.  please, can you not see me engrossed in my writing?  my imagination is soaring above the skyline as we take off, and i only wish i were destined for some place new and exotic, some place tropical or scenic or foreign…yes, any of those would do just fine.

as we climb to 10,000 feet, i rest my head and at least close my eyes for a few.  i wouldn’t say i’m tired, but i’m fine with the day winding down soon.  the whistler has crept out of this personal space just a tad, and our knees and elbows are resting on one another.  i couldn’t really scoot myself any more to the right, but i find that i don’t really mind.  were i more tired, i might have even snuggled up next to him.  okay, this all sounds odd.  let me clarify:  i do not go around town  looking for strangers who will snuggle with me.  all i’m saying is that this little bit of human touch felt nice.  if you’re judging me, then you’re only denying the fact that you agree.  if you’re laughing at me, please go on.  i find myself to be quite humorous as well.

ah, and now he slumbers so peacefully and quietly.  i knew the fidgeting and whistling would wear him out!  it’s as if i can tell the future.  it’s as though i know what is going to happen.  it’s like i’m making it all up in my head to entertain myself.  yep, definitely the latter of them all.

whenever i travel, i always wonder about the people i see.  where are they going?  where are they from?  what do they do?  what is their story?  i like to paint their pictures myself, because i’m not always in the mood to dive deep with a stranger.  we’ll say the whistler is a military man.  i make this assumption merely on his demeanor and tattoos.  the smoker to my right?  she’s a divorcee, her kids are out of college, and she’s reluctantly traveling this week for work.  see?  wasn’t that fun?  now you try!

we’re cruising along at 38,000 feet, storms to our left but sunshine as far as i can see.  speaking of seeing, i’ve always been curious to know what the sky looks like from the captain’s seat.  just breathtaking horizons that stretch on forever.  i bet it is quite a view.  actually, a view i would love to have, but probably never will, is one from outer space.  wouldn’t it be a magnificent thing, to see the curve of the earth with your own eyes?  our planet in all its majesty?  actually, you want to know the real reason i want to see the earth from space?  because i still think it’s flat.  kidding!  i’m totally joking!  i had you for a moment, though, didn’t i?  you can say yes.  i’ll accept that answer.

i pause here to not apologize but rather thank you for sticking around through this flight with me.  my mind gets off track sometimes, hurtling itself down a new rabbit hole before finding the end of the first one.  can i loosely compare it to stream of consciousness?  why, yes.  yes, i can.

something i despise about planes is the alarmingly distinct scent of the recycled air.  it smells like nothing else and sometimes even gives me a headache.  anyone else out there know what i mean?  and speaking of unpleasant smells, i am convinced someone just cut the cheese.  take that stink to the bathroom, man!  i do not need to know what your personal brand smells like.

ah, just ahead is the drink and snack cart, that 5,000 pound rolling dresser of sustenance.  okay, i know it doesn’t weight 5,000 pounds, but that thing is heavy.  they’ve got some serious brakes to keep it in place.  what should i get tonight?  a glass of champagne?  some chilled pinot grigio?  hardly.  i’ll probably end up with orange juice like always.  yep, orange juice it is.  not too heavy and just enough to hold me over until i land, because you know once i land, grab my luggage, and zoom away in my rental that i’ll be stopping at in-n-out for a milkshake.  it’ll definitely be chocolate, and it’s going to be the perfect treat for the end of the day’s journey.

we eventually begin our descent into dallas, and the captain has so kindly informed us that it’s a toasty 92 degrees outside.  oh, yeah, i’m definitely going to be wanting that milkshake when i arrive…

true food kitchen

True Food_4C

okay, folks, don’t move from those seats because i am about to tell you all about the phenomenon that is true food kitchen.  my coworkers marty and batkinson had discovered true food on one of their many trips to dallas.  they finally took me with them when i joined the party, and this place is close to life-changing.  the atmosphere is clean, fresh, and crisp.  the staff is relaxed and honest.  the food and drinks are new and exciting and delicious.

one week in dallas, we went to true food three nights in a row.  that’s three nights of the four nights we were there that week.  whoopsies!

how does it feel when you walk into true food kitchen?  it feels like a cross between anthropologie and urban outfitters.  it’s a modern farmhouse.  it might remind you of a coffee shop in seattle because it’s so “green.”  i almost wished the tv wasn’t at the end of the bar.  it kind of spoiled the ambience!

having eaten at true foods so many times, i’ll break our adventures down by course.

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a feeding frenzy – dallas, tx

i’ve recently spent time in dallas, texas for work, and although we have been keeping quite busy, we always find time for a good meal.  cranky consultants are not happy consultants.

dallas is quite the foodie town, and i feel like we’ve done a decent job of exploring it.  of course, i wouldn’t be opposed to a return trip to find and try even more local spots.

these restaurants are presented in no particular order.  and i am warning you now, we did a lot of eating.

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dallas – day 2

our orders were to sleep in on sunday, as we had nowhere to be and really not a thing to do.  i stirred this morning around nine thirty to wafts of freshly cooked bacon that had wound up the stairs and into my room.  i freshened up and bounced downstairs to greet mark and kathleen good morning.  the day wasn’t too hot yet, so we munched on our breakfasts on the patio.  the breeze gladly met us out there, providing for a very pleasant meal.

soon enough mark was up and at ’em, getting his weekend chores knocked out left and right.  kathleen and i proceeded to stay put in our porch recliners for the next couple of hours, talking about everything under the sun.  we needed refills on coffee and tea, so we simply moved our conversation to the comfy leather sofas in the family room.  if you ever need company on a lazy sunday afternoon, you now know two well-suited ladies.

i got my things repacked for the upcoming week, and we then hopped in the highlander to make one last stop together for dinner.  kathleen’s eye had been caught by mattito’s near the mall a couple times, so tex-mex it was!  there are several mattito’s locations around the frisco and dallas areas, so you’ll be sure to find one near you.

mattito’s is bright and energetic, and i was glad to be having dinner in a relaxed atmosphere.  the wait staff was quite friendly and attentive throughout our meal, quickly taking our drink orders and dropping off chips and salsa at the table.

mark took a swift look over the menu, deciding very soon what he wanted:  the chicken fried steak.  yes, you heard me correctly.  chicken fried steak at a tex-mex spot.  it even says on the menu that it sounds crazy!  the dish arrived, and i was curious to see if he even liked it.  not too many minutes later the plate was nearly clean, not a morsel of chicken fried steak to be seen.  to the surprise of us all, he said it was quite delicious and that he would order it again.

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unfortunately, though, kathleen did not enjoy her dinner nearly as much as mark.  nothing on the menu was really catching her eye, so she ordered a couple of beef enchiladas a la carte with rice.  i don’t know if the waiter misheard her, but the enchiladas were smothered in tomatillo sauce when she had wanted them topped with a traditional red.  bummer, right?  she picked about halfway through the first enchilada and realized she just didn’t have an appetite for tex-mex that night.  since the chips and salsa had filled her pretty well, she wasn’t too distraught about not wanting to finish her meal.  i guess that just happens sometimes.

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i, like mark, really did care for my dinner.  i was craving tamales, and they just so happened to have them on the menu.  yay!  i ordered the two chicken and two beef tamales, and it was the perfect amount of food.  i didn’t get to finish all the rice, but that’s only because i didn’t want the good stuff to go to waste.  the tamales were served with tortilla shells full of tomatillo sauce and chili con carne sauce.  both were tasty complements to the tamales, which had the most wonderful masa surrounding the fillings.  i’m not sure if mark and kathleen will find themselves back here again, but i would certainly say it is worth a try.

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after dinner we made the short drive to downtown to get me checked in and settled for the coming week.  good weekends sometimes seem to go by too quickly, and this one was no exception.  it was just so wonderful to explore and spend time with mark and kathleen, and my fingers are crossed that it won’t be too long before i’m back out here for another adventure.

after hugs and kisses goodbye, i kindly checked in with hope at the receptionist desk, took the elevator to the seventh floor, and promptly unpacked my bag, which contained ten pairs of shoes for the week…

shoes

dallas – day 1

this coming week holds for me some work in the big d (dallas, texas!)  the original plan was to fly out sunday night, but i am lucky enough to know folks around here to come out early for a little vacation.  mark and kathleen are like a second set of parents to me, and the minute i told them i’d be in their neck of the woods, they gladly accepted me as a houseguest for the weekend.  how fabulous!

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