The Tasty Travels of the Swanky Budgeteer.

Saturday, September 24, 2016

FashionCrazedFoodie Does Dallas

Each year, our family in Dallas hosts a huge, joint birthday party celebrating our relatives born in the month of September-Go Virgos! My son is one of the lucky Virgos, along with our beloved, grandmother, "Big Mama", and my two brothers-in-law, Alex and Ken. We visit Dallas quite often (on average, about once a month), but we decided to make this trip extra special, because, why not? As a blogger and a foodie, I naturally seek out restaurants to try when we visit different cities, so I spent the duration of our four hour drive from Houston to Dallas excitedly perusing Instagram for potential fun spots. 


We rolled into town around 9 p.m.-basically, just in time to hit the scene. We rushed into my mother-in-law's house, put the kids to bed, freshened up, and made a mad dash into the city. Our first stop: Pappas Steak House.  We opted for seats at the bar since they were about an hour away from closing time. We were more interested in eating than drinking, so we ordered a few appetizers and a couple of drinks. I had a the best-ever bowl of lobster bisque, along with an order of the most delectable crab cakes, while Calvin scarfed down gargantuan onion rings. In my world, there's no dining out without a cocktail (or two) so, I sipped Moet Rose as I noshed, while Calvin elected to try the DC 12 Manhattan; a Pappas Bros. Steakhouse original cocktail.

Pappas Bros. Steakhouse fare l to r: Onion Rings, Crab Cakes, Lobster Bisque

*Insert heart-eye emojis here*

After a brief photo session outside of the Pappas Bros. Steakhouse, we hopped in the car, and deemed the night young enough for us to do some bar-hopping. Sidenote: Barhopping is a #FashionCrazedFoodie datenight fave. I grabbed my phone and frantically scanned Dallas-based hashtags for the next stop on our Dallas bar-hopping excursion. My search led us to Quill, a swanky lounge located in Dallas' lush Design District. I nearly fainted as we walked into the lavish, mid-century mod space, lined with elegant, deep green seating and abounding brass accents throughout, and there were antique bar carts in front of every section. Despite it being a Friday night, the place wasn't pack, which meant we actually had space to dance and enjoy ourselves. To top it all off, the DJ was great, too.

Photo: Coveal Studio

Drinks at Quill

Quill's grand entryway is reminiscent of a vintage runway
 The bartender was hospitable and very heavy on the pour. I had a Margarita and Calvin sipped on a glass of Bourbon. I admit, I was initially displeased with my margarita because it tasted like orange juice-to the point that it was actually orange. Thankfully, the bartender was kind enough to make another for me. Calvin and I both agreed that we would add Quill to our rotation of places to visit while in Dallas. Can't wait to go back!


The next day, we decided we were all in need of major retail therapy. My absolute favorite mall in Dallas is NorthPark Center, and I NEVER visit Dallas without stopping by to grab a few items. This time, however, we switched things up and went to Galleria Dallas. We shopped for 4 hours, as there was plenty to see and a few good sales.  As we all know, I could have stayed longer, but we had other things to do. I shopped at Zara, Nordstrom, Abercrombie & Fitch, (Galleria Dallas doesn't have an abercrombie kids-BUMMER), Gap, American Eagle, Old Navy and Macy's. I purchased an outfit for the night, as I didn't want the hassle of thumbing through my luggage to find anything once we made it back to my mother-in-law's house.

Post-shopping madness with Mommy's shopping buddy, Noa.

Once my husband whisked me away from Galleria Dallas, we hurried across town to Cow Tipping Creamery; another delicious destination I found on Instagram. After seeing the pictures of their heavily-decorated soft serve ice cream, I became slightly obsessed with the notion of indulging. Cow Tipping Creamery's tantalizing selection of fresh, house-made ice cream made it very difficult to choose just one! Fortunately, the creamery offers the option to "build your own". In the end, I decided to go with the "Southern Charm" stacker. I was content with my selection knowing full well that I would steal a few licks of  my children's. Don't judge me! The ice cream was divine, and frankly, more scrumptious than words could ever describe! I highly recommend you visit Dallas and try it out for yourselves. If you've tried it, leave a comment telling me your thoughts on it.

Our selections from Cow Tipping Creamery Clockwise: Southern Charm, It's Your Birthday, Fruity Pebbles, At the Ritz
Our  next destination was Big Mama's house for the September Birthday Bash. I won't post pictures from the party because I do not have everyone's permission.

My little birthday boy collected $100 in the first 5 mins of the party. 


Saturday night was CRAZY in the best possible way! We decided our first stop of the night would be another one of our Uptown Dallas faves-Parliament. Parliament is a cozy, cocktail den with a baroque feel. The dark, velvety, wall-paper lined walls, seductive lighting, and the expansive drink menu (there's even a drink that includes deer antler extract *wink wink*) combined makes for an ideal date night. I can't say enough about this place! The bar staff are extremely knowledgeable, and are always willing to answer questions about their exotic cocktail offerings. Believe it or not, Parliament is yet, another place that I visit each time I make a trip to Dallas. 

First round at Parliament!

My first-ever visit to Parliament, February 2016

After wrapping up at Parliament Dallas, we decided to head towards Downtown Dallas. We agreed to visit The Joule Dallas Hotel. We had initially planned to stay at this hotel for this particular mini-vacay, but the children were opposed to the idea, as they wanted us all to stay at Nana's house. They won, but it didn't stop Calvin and I from venturing into the hotel for a quick tour, and a whirl at The Joule Dallas' craft cocktail bar, Midnight Rambler. Where do I begin with this place? I was enchanted  as soon as I walked through the doors. I was immediately hypnotized by Midnight Rambler's Mid-Century Modern vibes. The colors, the sounds, the artwork-all perfect! We danced over to the bar, where I ordered champs, and Calvin must've ordered a beer. At that point, the night pretty much becomes singing, dancing and loud laughing. The Joule Dallas and Midnight Rambler are now at the very top of my list of places to be each time I'm in Dallas. I pretty much stumbled out of Midnight Rambler and into a 30 foot tall "Eye". Don't believe me? Picture below.

Eye was here! "Eye" by contemporary artist, Tony Tasset

Sipping champs in the thick of the seductive artwork lining the walls of  Midnight Rambler.


Enjoying the weather on the patio at Pints & Quarts Dallas

As soon as I opened my eyes on Sunday morning, the thought of food, particularly, burgers crossed my mind. I rolled over to tell Calvin, and thankfully, he agreed. The Dallas Cowboys were playing the first game of the season that day, and he felt like juicy burgers, crisp fries, and cold beer would be the best way to celebrate. You all know me by now, so you know  what happened next: We showered,  got the children together, and we went straight to Instagram for a quick hashtag search. After an intense search, and approximately 20 minutes, we were all finally able to agree on Pints and Quarts.
The staff was welcoming, and they were gracious enough to give our children stickers. They didn't hesitate to explain the different burgers to us, and they were happy to recommend items based on our tastes. Calvin and I both ordered "The Burger", the Pints and Quarts standard burger, and 2 orders of fries. Noa ordered their Kiddo Dog, which is by NO means your average hot dog! I took one bite of Noa's hot dog and from there, almost finished the entire thing. I did not expect it to be as flavorful as it was. I'm definitely going to order a hot dog on our next visit. Cullen ordered the Magic Man, which is a fried chicken sandwich with swiss cheese and buffalo sauce. The food was well-seasoned and flavorful; the fries were great, and most improtantlym burgers were juicy, and the buns were fresh.

"The Burger" Pints and Quarts' standard burger.


 Free People Sensual Wrapped One-Piece 

Saturday Night:

Cute & Casual in Zara + American Eagle Outfitters

Top: Zara
Jeans: AEO Denim X Hi-Rise Jegging  

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