Dallas: D City

In continuation of my crazy May, last week I went to Dallas for another conference. I first went to Texas back in October and really enjoyed my time there so I was really looking forward to going back.

The primary reason is honestly because of the food.

When I go to places like Seattle or Chicago, I’m typically eating food that I could get back at home, but maybe it tastes better cause it’s more of a specialty there. I guess technically that holds true when I’m going to Texas too, but I really don’t each much Mexican food or barbecue food when I’m in Toronto.

When I’m in Texas though, that’s like literally all I eat since it’s amazingly delicious there.

Don't Mess with Tex-Mex
The city knows what’s up.

And eat I did! Dallas is the hometown of one of my friends so I was armed with a list of recommendations of where to go when I was there.

As planned, I pretty much just had Mexican food for my first couple meals. I was a bit free on the first day and the weather was pretty decent so I walked around the city a bit and went to this traditional Mexican restaurant for dinner, which was nice.

The next day, I went to another Mexican restaurant, but this time a bit more “Tex-Mexy”. I got some enchiladas and they were also pretty good. The restaurant itself also had some pretty good decor so it was an overall pretty solid meal experience.

Chuy's Chicka Chicka Boom Boom Enchiladas
Chuy’s Chicka Chicka Boom Boom Enchiladas, what a name.

The following day was a barbecue day. Another recommendation from my friend was to this restaurant just south of the downtown core in the Bishop Arts District. It just so happened that there was a beer fest going on there so the street was pretty lively.

The street in general was pretty cool since there was a lot of small, quaint shops and restaurants. The place we went to for our barbecue was also pretty awesome. It was pretty standard Texan barbecue in the sense that you just lined up and ordered some meat from a dude with a cleaver who bundles up your food with some sheets of paper.

But man, that was delicious. We ordered one of every type of meat and it was just so good. After the meal we decided to walk back to the hotel to burn off some of the food and so we just walked along the viaduct back into the downtown core, which also gave us some pretty views of the city.

Lockhart Smokehouse Barbecue
Some pretty damn good meat.

My last dinner was a bit more of a splurge dinner since I went up the tower to the revolving restaurant with a coworker. As I keep mentioning, I love checking out the towers in different cities and I’ve just recently realized that one of the best ways to do so is to just grab a meal at the top. Yea, it’s a bit expensive, but you get a good meal with a good view. Totally worth it.

Dallas’ Reunion Tower is an interesting one since it’s not very tall and honestly just a bit odd. Unlike other towers that taper off as it goes up, this one stays at a constant shaft width and is just capped off with a spherical mesh.

It’s definitely an interesting design decision and for the longest time I thought the sphere wasn’t actually centered on the tower’s shaft. But I spent a chunk of my last morning just walking around the tower and realized that it was a bit of an optical illusion.

Reunion Tower
Honestly you can’t tell me that the tower doesn’t look a bit off center.

The view from the top was alright too. It’s situated right by the edge of downtown Dallas and so from one side of the tower you get a pretty awesome view of the city and the other side is the Trinity River so you can see a bit more green and the bridges.

Other than the tower, it didn’t seem like there’s that much to do in Dallas from a sightseeing perspective. The only other interesting thing of note is that JFK was shot and killed in Dealy Plaza, which is in the middle of Dallas.

Today, there’s a few markers on the street where he was killed and they turned the building the shooter was in into a museum where you can learn more about the event. I actually went and checked it out and it wasn’t bad, it’s definitely an interesting place with some history to it.

When I travel, I love going to places that are super unique to that place. I guess being the home of a presidential assassination is quite unique and so that was worth the visit, especially since I have a pretty big interest in the Cold War and this was definitely a key event of the time.

The Grassy Knoll
A president died here.

And that’s pretty much all the sightseeing I did. All my other time was spent just working or wandering around the city. Dallas in general does seem like a pretty good city to hang out in though. I passed by a few cool districts that seem like they would be fun places to grab some food or drinks with some friends.

In that regard, I think Dallas can be compared to Toronto in the sense that it might not be the most exciting city to visit, but it’s a good city to just live and hang out in.

The only exception to this would be the weather.

Mobil Gas Pegasus
A pegasus after the rain.

When I went to San Antonio, the weather was incredibly hot and humid. Coming from a Torontonian fall, it was quite a change. It was no different with Dallas this time around since the moment I walked outside it was hot, humid, and it was a stark reminder that weather does actually get hot.

But that didn’t really hold up at all.

On the second day I was there, I was eating lunch when all of a sudden every phone started going off with a flash flood warning. I looked outside and yea, it was cloudy, but it wasn’t really raining. Then literally like ten seconds later the heavens opened up and it started to rain.

I honestly haven’t seen that much rain in a long, long time. It was a bit ridiculous. As a result it delayed or cancelled a lot of flights. Luckily, my departure flight was only delayed 30 minutes or so so it wasn’t that bad but I heard some pretty nightmare cases from others where their planes were rerouted to other cities.

ATS 2019
American Thoracic Society? More like, “after the storm”.

My friend said that it’s pretty typical for Dallas to experience weather like that, which I guess makes sense considering the geographical location of the city. Now, I enjoy the rain every once and a while, but man, that was a bit much.

Anyways, overall I had a pretty good time in Dallas. My main objective was to just wander around the city and eat some good food and I think I accomplished that. Dallas was also really different from San Antonio and so now I’m interested in checking out the other cities in Texas to see how they compare.