The Hungry Wanderers

Eating and exploring our way through the world

Posts Tagged ‘Dallas’

Love & War in Texas

Posted by Amanda @ The Hungry Wanderers on December 29, 2009

On our way out of Dallas, we had enough time before our flight to try to get in one more Texan meal.  Since the airport was close to the Grapevine Mills shopping center, I searched the mall directory website for websites of their restaurants.  I came across Love & War in Texas and knew we had to go there! (And wished I had found it the night before instead of going to Uncle Buck’s)

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Love and War in Texas is a Texas Heritage restaurant who looks to share their pride in Texas, Texans, and its food and culture.  All vegetables are grown in Texas and the meat and seafood is raised and caught in Texas.  When we arrived, the restaurant had just opened so it was quite empty and quite large!

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Once I saw the stage, I immediately regretted not finding this place the night before.  They have Texas bands play in the evening on the stage and I can only imagine how much fun it is!

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As I said, lots and lots of Texas in this place!

To drink, the Husband saw that they have Original Dr. Pepper! Meaning they use real sugar instead of high fructose corn syrup.  It comes in this cute bottle (which I now have on my shelf at home).  Quite tasty!

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The Husband and I both went with brisket for lunch! I had the brisket sandwich with cole slaw and beans (which I gave to the Husband due to the cilantro).

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And he had the Brisket Tacos.

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Both were as good as we expected 🙂

Our waiter was quite personable and fun and while the place was very empty during our lunch (we didn’t stay long in order to catch our flight back to Charlotte), we enjoyed the overall atmosphere.  If/when we ever find ourselves back in Texas, I think heading back to Love and War in Texas for dinner is definitely up there on our list!

Love & War in Texas on Urbanspoon

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Uncle Buck’s Brewery & Steakhouse

Posted by Amanda @ The Hungry Wanderers on December 28, 2009

Where did December go? And for that matter, where did 2009 go? Now that I’m back to blogging (thank you to the Husband for keeping this going these last few weeks all by himself!) you’ll get all sorts of fun posts – from Dallas, Las Vegas, Orlando/Disney, and even all the way back to finishing my posts about our Christmas vacation to Europe in December 2008!

So back to Dallas, which the Husband briefly covered a few weeks ago with the awesome architecture (which I actually didn’t see in person) and El Chico, the delicious Tex Mex we had the first night we arrived (oh, and our hotel!).

Saturday morning the Husband and I visited with our dear friends we met just a year earlier on our river cruise down the Danube.  We had a wonderful time catching up on the past year and enjoying a delicious home cooked brunch.  The Husband then dropped me off for my meetings while he headed into the city to see what Dallas had to offer.  Once my meetings were done for the day, the Husband, some of my colleagues and I headed over to the Grapevine Mills shopping center, just north of the airport, in search of dinner.  Using my handy iPhone, I came across Uncle Buck’s Brewery & Steakhouse and knew that was the one.

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The restaurant was quite large with incredibly high ceilings (as seen above).  We were seated in a nice large booth for our good size group.  On the way in, we noted the brewery equipment and looked forward to checking out the beer menu.

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The Husband and I both decided to get the samplers!

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That’s a lot of beer! We ended up being there a couple of hours chatting and eating so it worked out well 🙂 If I recall correctly, I really liked both the Brown and Blonde Ales.

While enjoying our beers, the table decided to order calamari to share amongst the group.  It had parmesan on it which was a bit odd, but overall it tasted fresh and there were no fillers.

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Being a brewery and steakhouse, there were a number of steaks to choose from on the menu.

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Most, if not all, of the group decided to go with Buffalo per the menu’s recommendation (in red).  I went with the Buffalo Filet (I love filets – they’re my favorite cut).  It was 8oz of steak with a red wine sauce on the side.  I ordered mushrooms to top it with and a side of asparagus.  The cup of mushrooms was insanely large! This meal was quite enjoyable.

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The Husband went with the Sirloin (I think!).  He added grilled shrimp and had a loaded baked potato on the side.

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One of my colleagues noticed that another table had Dirt Cake/Pie (pudding, crushed oreos, and gummy worms) on their table so he and I were excited to order that for dessert.  Unfortunately, that was not an option for adults 😦 Although dessert was not big on our list, some how there were a handful ordered!  The one that showed up in front of the Husband and me was some sort of oreo cream pie.  It wasn’t particularly good and I wouldn’t order it again.  I wish we could have had the Dirt Pie!

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All in all, the steaks and beers were good and the open air made for a casual experience.  We were looking for a Dallas experience (which the Husband and I experienced more the next day) but the group was happy with the choice for dinner after a number of hours of meetings.

Big Buck Brewery & Steakhouse on Urbanspoon

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Comfort Suites Las Colinas – Dallas, TX

Posted by gingerbreadpirate on December 16, 2009

During our recent trip to Dallas, we were looking for an inexpensive hotel with nice amenities, near the airport where the Wife would be having her meetings for work.  As I have said before, I am a big ChoiceHotels fan, but this trip took on a special meaning, as I was only 2 nights away from Diamond status, with the year quickly coming to a close.  I looked on Choice’s online search page, and came up with the Comfort Suites Las Colinas.  The price and location were right.  It turns out the staff was remarkably friendly and accommodating, too.

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The room did not have an HDTV, which was fine, but it did have a coffee-maker, refrigerator, and microwave.

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The bathroom was well-appointed, and included a nice-Jacuzzi tub.  The faucet, however, was all messed up.  Clearly, a piece had been missing from it that allowed it to function completely correctly, but as it was, getting the water to turn on was a complete feat of puzzle-mastery; getting the water to an appropriate temperature was an act of sheer willpower.  Our first morning in the hotel, it took us almost 10 minutes to find an acceptable temperature.

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The amenity below was a nice touch.  It allowed us to use our laptop in bed, without having the heat from the laptop become a chore.  Certainly, I had seen a lap-desk before, but never one offered at a hotel.  IMG_1208

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El Chico – Real Tex Mex

Posted by gingerbreadpirate on December 14, 2009

While we were in Dallas, our friends recommend we try a “real” tex-mex experience.  As you know, we are always interested in local cuisine, so we absolutely were interested in whatever recommendation we could get for “real” tex-mex.  They recommended El Chico and El Fenix.  We made our way to the local El Chico restaurant on Friday.  We can easily say that it was incredible.  There was nothing about the meal or service that was anything less than top-notch, and we were so impressed that we raved about our experience all weekend.


Our meal started with the expected complementary chips and salsa, but we were pleasantly surprised that we received queso, too.  The addition of the queso, actually caused us to forgo any kind of appetizer.

Our fabulous server, Christina, sold us immediately on a fresh margarita with a “shot of cheer” (Tuaca).  We were expecting a 12 oz. margarita, but was faced with this monstrous margarita.  It was one of the best margaritas I’ve ever had, and I think it was not only the margarita, but I really think the shot of Tuaca gave it something special.

After looking over the menu, we really couldn’t decide on what to order.  Seriously, what do we know about authentic tex-mex?

So we asked for some recommendations from Christina, after telling her we were from out of town.  She gladly provided some thoughts for us, and commented that pretty much everything on the menu was really good.  I know, I know, she’s got a bit of a conflict of interest with telling us how good the food is, because she works there.  She did confide in us that things were generally good, because all the ingredients were so fresh.  “We don’t even have a microwave, here.”

After taking our order, she asked us some more questions about ourselves, and we told her that we write a travel and food blog.  At that point she offered us some corn and flour tortillas to snack on.  I don’t know if the tortillas are always complementary, but I’m guessing they are always excellent.

Then our food came. The Wife had El Caballero; a spicy beef burrito with chili con queso, a chicken enchilada with sour cream, and a cheese and onion enchilada with chili con carne, along with a hard beef taco.  Oh, and don’t forget the refried beans.

The hard taco came separately.

I had Ruben’s combo; a beef burrito with queso, a chicken burrito with sour cream, and a bean burrito topped with chili, along with a puffy taco.  The puffy taco was basically just a ground beef hard taco, with the shell being in the shape of a bowl, vice a “taco.”   If I had to put a low point on the meal, it would be trying to eat the puffy taco.  Its shape and texture made it difficult to get into, so I basically just broke into it, and then went to town on the taco insides.

Honestly, the food was remarkably fresh.  I couldn’t believe how fresh it tasted, actually.  Everything was exceptional, which was inline with the salsa, queso, margaritas, and tortillas.

After we were done with dinner, our server told us that since it was our first time, we each could have a sopapilla.  It came with butter and honey, and was lightly covered in cinnamon and sugar, and all together it was awesome.  It was still warm, and basically had the taste of a lightly fried pancake.  Was it healthy?  I don’t think so.   It was, however, an excellent top-off to an otherwise exceptional meal.

On our way out, we saw a small but prominent display supporting our troops, and those fallen in battle.  We thought it was so quintessentially Texas, that we had to take a picture.  To all those in the American military, or otherwise in harm’s way for American policy; Thank you and God Bless You.

We don’t know if El Fenix was any good.  It might be, but we didn’t try it.  We DID try El Chico, and between the food and the service, we were so impressed with our dining experience, that we’ll be headed back to El Chico before we give El Fenix a try.

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