Editor's Note: In prior stories, CultureMap contributor Lila Levy has sussed out the top bagels in Dallas, and tried pretty much every lavender latte in town. Now she's ready to offer her take on that summertime classic: hot dogs.

Portillo's hot dogs
portillo's hot dogs


Hot dogs are the quintessential summer food and an item that nearly everyone loves. They're simple, flavorful, easy to make at home, and affordable if you dine out.

Some cities like Chicago have a long-standing tradition with hot dogs, and while Dallas is not Windy-City-level quiet yet, we've seen an influx of some exciting new hot dog concepts come to town, joining a few locals who've been dishing out memorable hot dogs all along.

Here's the 7 most interesting hot dogs you can find in Dallas-Fort Worth:

Portillo’s in the Colony, Chicago-style hot dog, $4.50
Chicago-based fast casual brand known for its hot dogs and other favorite Chicago fare, has expanded to Texas, with its first restaurant in The Colony, which opened in January 2023. Chicago-style hot dogs are my favorite kind, and Portillo's does it right. Their basic hot dog comes with "everything": mustard, relish, celery salt, chopped onions, sliced tomato, pickle, and sport peppers on a steamed poppy seed bun. I loved the condiments, especially the peppers and relish. My companion thought the bun was too soft, but it was fine for me. Their hot dogs have a snappy casing with a robust tangy flavor.

Hunky'sHunky Dog, $4.25
Cedar Springs pioneer has been serving hamburgers, fries, and malts, since 1984. They're known for their burgers but they also do a trio of hot dogs including the classic "Hunky Dog," a hefty quarter-pounder with relish, onions, and mustard. I've been here before and know it's best to ask for the hot dog to be grilled extra, to give it that additional "burnt hot dog" cookout flavor. At $4.25, it's a bargain and their presentation is cool: They split the hot dog down the middle and place the onions and relish on top, and they toast the edges of their bun.

Fletcher's Original Corny DogsMake Mine Texan, $10
No story on hot dogs is complete without Fletcher's, famed purveyor of the classic corny dog. You used to have to wait for the State Fair of Texas to get them, but now that they have a food truck, you can find them camped at venues such as the Dallas Arboretum, and they're also at Klyde Warren Park Tuesdays-Sundays. They've expanded their lineup of flavors so I ordered their most recent invention: Called Make Mine Texan, it's a hot dog made of beef and brisket, with smoke seasoning that adds a heartier Texas flavor.

Dog Haus in RichardsonTooo Chi, $8
California hot dog chain takes a gourmet approach with jumbo hot dogs, veggie dogs, vegan sausages, and 40+ toppings including some you might not expect, such as arugula. I ordered the Tooo Chi, their version of the Chicago hot dog, which they brag is a hormone- and antibiotic-free beef hot dog, with tomato, pickle, neon-green pickle relish, mustard, diced onions, sport peppers, and celery salt. Their cooking added a nice char that emphasized the grilled flavor. It made me nostalgic to the days when my parents would grill hot dogs in the summer outside. Their point of distinction is their bread: sweet rich King's Hawaiian rolls, which they butter and grill, for a nice contrast of soft roll and crisp edges.

Angry DogAngry Dog, $8.95
Deep Ellum staple had hot dogs on the menu long before hot dogs became the foodie sensation they are today, and they offer a simple plain hot dog on a bun as a nod to those humble days. But everyone gets the signature Angry Dog: a kosher dog, split in half and grilled, placed on a toasted open-faced bun, then topped with chili, grilled red onions, mustard, and shredded cheddar cheese. It's more of a chili casserole than a hot dog, a knife-and-fork kind of deal where the bun gets soggy underneath the mountain of toppings, and you almost lose track of the hot dog. But unbeatable for a hangover cure or a big cheat meal.

Globe Life Field, Ballpark hot dog, $7
In recent years, the Texas Rangers' food service division has been jazzing up its ballpark menu, introducing new items, some of them crazy like the Boomstick 2-foot-long hot dog. I stick to the basic ballpark hot dog, with the only option being that you can get grilled onions at no additional charge. It's a standard six-inch hot dog, with self-serve mustard, ketchup, and relish, on a soft, nondescript bun, with a nice snap, the prototypical hot dog you eat while cheering on the hometown team.

Frank Seoul, Potato hot dog, $5.49
Korean hot dogs, also known as Korean corn dogs, are a Korean street food that started showing up in Dallas a few years ago, via Korean-born chains such as Two Hands and K-Town. Frank Seoul was one of the first and has locations in Carrollton and Frisco. Their specialty is hot dogs coated in a batter and deep-fried, like a corny dog but with a batter made from flour or rice flour, and additional ingredients such as the coating of diced potatoes in the potato hot dog that I ordered. They have a wild variety like a "cream cheese dog" — literally cream cheese on a stick &mdash and prices are all $6 or less.

This is not the place for a hot dog purist. The hot dog itself was lackluster, but the "shell" of crispy fried potatoes was magnificent, like a wonderful hash brown, and great on its own, didn't need the mustard I added a bit.

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3 buzzy Dallas restaurants and wine shop are relocating to new quarters

Relo News

When restaurants are leaving their locations, it's usually bad news, but this roundup has a more upbeat theme: relocation.

Relocation is suddently a new hot trend in the Dallas food & beverage world, with three epic names all leaving their current quarters for new digs. (It takes three to make a trend, or at least it takes three to make a trend story.)

One is a popular dive bar. One is an iconic longtime date-night restaurant. One is a cool one-of-a-kind wine shop.

Here's who they are and where they're going:

Bar and Garden
After six-plus years at 3314 Ross Ave., this truly unique wine and spirits store is relocating to 1900 N. Haskell Ave., across from Loro and E-Bar, and on the same side of the street as Dolly Python.

Co-owner Julie Buckner Lane says they're going to restore the building to its original glory with retail on the bottom floor and offices on top, with ample parking in back for both. They'll be doing construction this summer and hope to re-open in the next few months.

It's easy to take what they do for granted: specializing in organic and natural wines, featuring winemakers who embrace biodiversity, rely on minimal-intervention winemaking, and showcase the truest expression of the grapes and the land on which they are grown.

Natural wines use only native yeasts, and often avoid filtering, fining, or additives. What this means to the wine drinker: no headaches, no aftermath.

B&G were originally planning to leave their Ross location on June 30, when the lease is up, but Lane decided it made more sense to close down in May and allocate their resources to the new space.

They'll close up shop on Wednesday, May 31, but will be open one last weekend, including on Monday, Memorial Day from 12-6 pm. And definitely stop in on Saturday May 27 as they open a random selection of items left in their inventory.

"Our spirits are moving quickly, though we still have a lot of the basics in stock, and we still have a lot of wine to move through," she says.

St. Martin’s Wine Bistro
Longtime French restaurant at 3020 Greenville Ave., known for signature dishes such as champagne Brie soup and chocolate souffle, closed on May 20, after reaching the end of its current lease.

The restaurant had been in business for 46 years, which seems like a rather peculiar lease. In any case, they served as a gateway for many aging Dallasites who had their first fancy-dining outing and first exposure to French food at St. Martin's.

They've found a new location in Old East Dallas, at 4223 Bryan St. at the intersection of Peak Street. It's an extremely foodie corner, with restaurants on all sides including Bangkok City and Vietnam, plus Ciao! By Civello's pasta, Bryan Street Tavern, Ober Here Filipino Rice Bowls, I mean there is no shortage of eateries in this area.

They're taking over the former L&B Antiques space, which will require extensive renovations to get it restaurant-ready, according to a representative from the landlord, with a projected completion date in September.

The Grapevine Bar
One of Dallas' favorite dive bars which has been serving low-key drinks since 1996 is leaving its current address on 3902 Maple Ave., where the lease is expiring.

Owners Michelle and Ronny Honea have found a new location: The bar is moving to 2213 Butler St., previously home to Redfield's Tavern, which closed in December 2022.

The Grapevine is beloved for its laid-back atmosphere and diverse clientele, "from prom queens to drag queens." Their other trademark is their quirky decor with a motley assortment of vintage light fixtures and other items accumulated over the years, in a layer-by-layer evolution. They also feature a rooftop deck, basketball court, patio, and happy-hour specials on drinks.

The couple vows to recreate that patina and will definitely have a basketball court on site.

The move will take place sometime this summer, exact date still TBA.


Not-so Little Elm was the 5th fastest-growing city in U.S. last year


Six out of the 15 fastest-growing cities in the United States are in Texas, and one Dallas suburb zoomed up to the top five: Little Elm.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau's latest findings, Little Elm was the fifth fastest-growing "large" U.S. city last year - large defined as a population of 50,000 or more. Little Elm had an 8 percent population increase from July 2021 to July 2022, bringing the city's total population to more than 55,300 residents.

Located less than 35 miles north of Dallas, Little Elm - some might say - has stayed under the radar compared to flashier neighbors like Frisco and Plano, which constantly make headlines for growth, activity, and development.

But the Town of Little Elm website details its many charms - namely that it's in a picturesque setting on the shores of Lake Lewisville.

"This scenic setting serves as a beautiful, natural backdrop and is also the basis of our desire to create a community where our residents can not only live but play, too," says the website. "As one of the fastest-growing cities in North Texas, we work to balance our growth with hometown charm to give both residents and visitors alike an exceptional experience."

The north Austin suburb of Georgetown had the highest growth rate in the nation, at 14.4 percent, bringing the city's total population to more than 86,500 residents. Surrounding Austin suburbs Kyle and Leander landed in No. 3 and No. 4 with the same population growth rate of 10.9 percent.

The top 10 fastest-growing large cities in the U.S. are:

  • No. 1 – Georgetown, Texas
  • No. 2 – Santa Cruz, California
  • No. 3 – Kyle, Texas
  • No. 4 – Leander, Texas
  • No. 5 – Little Elm, Texas
  • No. 6 – Westfield, Indiana
  • No. 7 – Queen Creek, Arizona
  • No. 8 – North Port, Florida
  • No. 9 – Cape Coral, Florida
  • No. 10 – Port St. Lucie, Florida
Largest population increases
In a separate U.S. Census report of the 15 U.S. cities with the largest numeric population increases (as opposed to proportional growth), Fort Worth landed on top, adding 19,170 new residents last year and bringing its total to just over 956,700, the bureau says.
Dallas and Frisco ranked No. 13 and No. 15, adding 8,833 and 8,506 new residents, respectively.

Additionally, Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington ranked No. 4 in the list of the 10 most populous U.S. metro areas (as opposed to the cities, themselves). Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land ranked No. 5.

In an overall analysis of the 15 largest American cities in 2022, Dallas ranked No. 9, with a population of just under 1.3 million people. Austin came in just behind at No. 10. Fort Worth ranked No. 13.

Two Texas cities ranked higher than Dallas, with Houston earning No. 4 with its population of over 2.3 million and San Antonio at No. 7 with over 1.47 million residents.

The top 10 most populous American cities are:

  • No. 1 – New York City, New York
  • No. 2 – Los Angeles, California
  • No. 3 – Chicago, Illinois
  • No. 4 – Houston, Texas
  • No. 5 – Phoenix, Arizona
  • No. 6 – Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
  • No. 7 – San Antonio, Texas
  • No. 8 – San Diego, California
  • No. 9 – Dallas, Texas
  • No. 10 – Austin, Texas

The report also discovered that housing inventory skyrocketed by 1.6 million units between 2021 and 2022. Texas had the third fastest housing growth with a rate of 2.3 percent, versus Utah, which had the fastest growth at 3.3 percent. Two Texas counties had the highest numeric gains for housing units in the nation: Harris (No. 1) and Travis (No. 3).

The full report can be found on census.gov.

Photo by Evgeniy Kozlov on Unsplash

Texas unearths new ranking as 2nd best state for urban treasure hunting


The folks behind the big Art Quest summer scavenger hunts around Dallas are on to something: Texans love to treasure hunt.

Texas has ranked No. 2 in LawnStarter's 2023 "Best States for Urban Treasure Hunting" report. The Lone Star State has the most metal detecting sites, pawn shops, flea markets, and geocaching locations (a total of 226!) in the nation, the report says. Additionally, the state has the second-higuhest number of treasure hunting groups and geo-tours, and the third-highest number of storage unit auctions.

Those who are new to the hobby and want to find some new gear, worry not: Texas also has the second-highest number of mining, metal detecting, and hardware supply stores out of all 50 states. (Just be aware that you can't metal detect in state parks without a permit.)

For anyone who thinks metal detectorists find only junk, remember this story from a few months back, when a Dallas resident unearthed a class ring dating back to the early '90s and was able to reunite it with its long-lost owner?

The only state to outrank Texas is California, which the report called "a fitting outcome" for the Golden State, considering its history of gold mining in the mid-19th century and popularity in local communities. Washington, also known as "the birthplace of geocaching," ranked No. 4.

The top 10 states for urban treasure hunting include:

  • No. 1 – California
  • No. 2 – Texas
  • No. 3 – Florida
  • No. 4 – Washington
  • No. 5 – New York
  • No. 6 – Pennsylvania
  • No. 7 – Virginia
  • No. 8 – Ohio
  • No. 9 – Missouri
  • No. 10 – Arizona
At the bottom five of LawnStarter's list are Rhode Island (No. 46), Delaware (No. 47), Montana (No. 48), Wyoming (No. 49), and North Dakota (No. 50).

Where to eat: Best Dallas restaurants for Mother's Day 2023 brunch

Brunch News

Somehow, Mother's Day is already in the wings, arriving in 2023 on May 14. That's barely a month away, and Dallas restaurants are already sharing special menus for their classic Mother's Day brunch and/or dinner.

Here are the Dallas-Fort Worth restaurants serving Mother's Day feasts:

Al Biernat's. Brunch features strawberry pancakes, brioche French toast, crab benedict, lobster scramble, and smoked salmon breakfast nest. 10 am-2 pm. Dinner includes grilled pear salad, sea bass, chicken parmesan, 8-oz filet mignon, grilled portabella enchiladas, coconut cream pie, pecan pie, and tiramisu. 4:30-9 pm. Oak Lawn 214-219-2201, North Dallas 972-239-3400.

Anise. Brunch with a Mediterranean spin includes chocolate babka French toast, harissa cured salmon, and lamb kofta shakshuka, plus mix-and-match mimosas, frozen peach bellini, Frozé, and two special cocktails: Pretty & Pink with raspberry infused vodka, pear Williams, Genepy liqueur, and Rosé Flight of four rosés: Musar Jeune, Rosé Gold, Scarpette Brut Rosé, and Bouvet Brut Rosé. 10 am-3 pm. 469-659-6376.

Asador. Brunch buffet at Renaissance Dallas Hotel restaurant includes charcuterie seafood, salad bar, and stations featuring benedicts, French toast, prime rib, smoked salmon, pasta, dessert including cobbler, coconut cheesecake, flourless chocolate cake, chocolate-dipped marshmallows, petit fours, fruit tarts. $85, or $35 for 12 and under. 10 am-2:45 pm. 214-267-4815.

Blue Mesa Grill. Brunch buffet features carving station with brisket, glazed ham, glazed salmon, and poblano cheese-stuffed chicken breast; plus Belgian waffles, fried chicken, biscuits & gravy, frittatas, omelets, build-your-own street taco station, Adobe Pie, blue corn cheese enchiladas, sweet corn cake, Chimayo corn, salads, coconut lime tres leches cake, churros with chocolate & cajeta sauces, banana pudding, mini flans (honey, cheesecake, and mango), and fudge brownies. $35, or $10 for 11 and under. 8 am-4 pm. Addison 972-934-0165, Fort Worth 817-332-6372, Plano 214-387-4407.

Brass Tap. Brunch features favorites like cinnamon twirl flapjacks, the all-American breakfast, and the hangover burger. Pair them with mimosa flights, lavender lemonade, or a bloody mary. 10 am-3 pm. North Dallas 469-991-5810.

The Capital Grille. Brunch specials include lobster frittata with poached lobster tails, bone-in dry-aged NY strip & eggs, 8-ounce filet mignon with white cheddar hash browns, smoked salmon, and caviar. Mimosas and glasses of Champagne. 10 am-2 pm. A La Carte dinner available all day.

Commons Club. Virgin Dallas hotel restaurant is hosting a festive "Brunch, Bubbles, & Beats" brunch buffet with food stations, live music, photo opp, and specialty beverage menu at additional cost. Two seatings at 10 am and 12 pm. $75, or $50 for 10 and under. 469-436-7150.

Cru. 3-course brunch includes appetizer, entree, and dessert with choices from goat cheese beignets, tenderloin & eggs, crab cake benedict, lobster & saffron risotto with poached egg, chocolate molten cake, and lemon pound cake with blueberry compote and lemon curd. $48. 10 am-3 pm. West Village 214-526-9463, Plano 972-312-9463, Allen 972-908-2532, Fort Worth 817-737-9463.

Dakota's Steakhouse. Special holiday brunch buffet includes breakfast pastries, smoked salmon tarts, caviar deviled eggs, lobster-eggwhite frittata, French toast with cognac maple syrup, crabcake benedict, Nova Scotia halibut, carrot cake cookies, tiramisu cheesecake tarts, chocolate covered strawberries. $68, or $34 for 12 and under. 10 am-2 pm. 972-573-5003.

Darna Mediterranean Market. Open brunch, lunch, and dinner, with a menu that includes banana bread French toast, avocado toast with poached egg on sourdough bread, Greek cheese feta fondue and lamb ragu with sunny side egg, lamb ‘fattoush’ burger with havarti dill and harissa feta spread, and mixed kebab board with beef, harissa chicken, and ground lamb. 469-825-4110.

Dolce Riviera. Special brunch buffet includes omelet station, bruschetta bar, carving station with leg of lamb, mini lemon ricotta pancakes, eggs benedict, avocado & burrata toast, cacio pepe, lasagna, and Mimosa & Rosé specials. 10 am- 4 pm, last reservation at 2:30 pm. $95, or $35 for 12 or under. 469-458-6623.

Eatzi’s Market & Bakery. Mother’s Day menu features zucchini & goat cheese quiche, challah French toast with mixed berry compote, cheesy potato casserole, pineapple chipotle glazed ham, blueberry & wildflower salad, garlic-parmesan mashed potatoes, lemon-blueberry cake, chocolate tower of power, and chocolate-covered Oreos. Pickup May 12-14. Prices vary, multiple locations. 8 am-9 pm. 214-526-1515.

Eddie V's. Three-course brunch menu includes cinnamon roll, lobster quiche florentine with fuji apple salad, avocado & crab on brioche toast, or steak & eggs with potatoes au gratin and red-eye gravy. Mimosas, bloody marys, bellinis, and brunch cocktails available as enhancements. A la carte dinner options available. 10 am-2 pm.

Ellie’s Restaurant & Lounge. Jazz brunch with lemon ricotta pancakes, croque madame, salmon with miso-yuzu glaze, roasted hen of the woods mushroom, and edamame. Complimentary live illustration by artist Kristyn Potter. 11 am-3 pm. 972-629-0924.

Elm & Good. Self-serve buffet will include charcuterie selection of meats, cheeses, olives, plus deviled eggs, shrimp cocktail, bacon, sausage, oyster bar, fruit, Waldorf, Caprese, benedicts, Wagyu brisket hash, mushroom quiche, avocado toast, blueberry pancakes, stuffed French toast, red velvet cake, carrot cake, chocolate buttercream cake, pecan pie, strawberry cheesecake, and cinnamon apple pie. 11 am-3 pm. $68, or $34 for 12 and under. Jazz music 12:30-2:30 pm. 469-498-2525.

Fearing’s Restaurant. 3-course brunch at the The Ritz-Carlton, Dallas from chef Dean Fearing includes crab cake benedict, chicken fried Lockhart quail on cornbread pudding with maple bacon gravy, pepper glazed filet mignon & lobster omelet, Mississippi-style braised lamb shank on ranch polenta, and a dessert trio featuring green tea opera torte with yuzu mousse and meringue, vanilla almond panna cotta, and dark chocolate cremeux hearts. $145, or $45 for 12 and under. 11 am-3 pm. 214-922-4848.

Fish City Grill. Mother's Day features include halibut with cherry tomato relish and lemon rice for $30; shrimp & chicken penne alfredo for $17; and watermelon margarita, with El Jimador Blanco tequila and fresh watermelon puree for $9. Allen, Dallas, Flower Mound, Richardson, Mansfield, Southlake, plus Half Shells in Dallas and Plano.

Georgie by Curtis Stone. 3-course brunch with appetizer and main course, beginning with family-style pastry board $95. Kids menu for $45. 10:30 am-3 pm. 469-466-8263.

The Henry. Weekend brunch in the dining room from 9 am-4 pm, rooftop bar & lounge 11 am-4 pm. 972-677-9560.

JINYA Ramen Bar. Free ramen for mom, limit to one free ramen per order. 469-248-0150.

Knife Steakhouse Dallas. Brunch at Highland Dallas hotel restaurant features soufflé French toast, biscuits & gravy, and steak frites, with complimentary glass of champagne 11 am-2 pm. 214-443-9339.

Knife Steakhouse Plano. Special features include avocado toast with smoked salmon, eggs Benedict with prosciutto, goat cheese omet with spinach & mushrooms, and French toast with bacon & berries, plus complimentary glass of champagne. 11 am-3 pm. 214-299-5943.

Knox Bistro. 3-course brunch by chef partner Bruno Davaillon & executive chef Michael Ehlert. $85, or $40 for 12 and under. 9:30 am-3 pm. 469-250-4007.

Kona Grill. Mother's Day Brunch on Saturday-Sunday features eggs benedict, steak & eggs, macadamia nut French toast, and mimosas. 10 am-3 pm. Mother's Day Dinner features prime rib surf & turf and craft cocktails. 5-10 pm. Dallas 214-369-7600, Plano 214-945-2500.

La Neta Cocina y Lounge. 3-course brunch includes sweet & savory board, watermelon salad, choice of surf & turf benedict, camarones pastor, or mushroom omelet, and desserts platter with Nutella cheesecake and Abuelos bunuelos. 11 am-4 pm. $45, plus $25 for bottomless mimosas. 469-397-0937.

La Parisienne French Bistro. Special 4-course menu features choices from La Parisienne salad, beet & burrata salad, lobster bisque, crab cake, jambon bruschetta, baked Brie, prime rib with pommes purée & grilled asparagus, coq au vin, Dover sole, and assorted desserts. 9 am-3 pm. $65. 469-200-5411.

Las Colinas Resort. Brunch buffet in the ballroom with Texas redfish, chicken cacciatore, soup, salad, charcuterie, poached prawns, crab claws, crab legs, oysters, smoked salmon and sushi bar, waffles, pancakes, carving and egg stations, pasta bar, and Grand Dessert Hall includes crepes, beignets, opera cake, chocolate praline eclairs, pistachio pear galette, raspberry rose gateaux, and passionfruit pavlova. $150, or $50 12 and under. 11 am-2:30 pm. 972-717-2420.

La Stella Cucina Verace. Brunch with insalata Caprese, spinach lasagna, carving station with prime rib and lamb, dessert station with tiramisu and Tuscan olive oil cake with strawberry sauce. 11 am-4 pm. $125. 469-663-7800.

LAW. Restaurant at Las Colinas Resort has traditional Sunday brunch buffet with kids' menus and vegan options. $62. 11 am-2:30 pm. 972-717-2420.

Le Bilboquet. 2-course brunch with appetizer and entree choices including smoked salmon, endives Roquefort, grilled Romaine, eggs Benedict, eggs Norwegian, rack of lamb, burger et frites, and petit filet. $95. Kids menu for $50. Dinner includes choices from mushroom risotto, Bibb salad, goat cheese salad, beet salad, tuna tartare, peppercorn steak frites, Cajun chicken, salmon with leek potato puree, lobster capellini, halibut with mint pesto. 469-730-2937.

Luckys Dallas. Brunch with bird benedict featuring eggs and fried chicken on a corn muffin topped with green onion and served with Tabasco® hollandaise and breakfast potatoes; and Veggie Benny with eggs and spinach on a buttermilk biscuit. Free mimosas for Mom. 9 am-3 pm. 214-522-3500.

Malai Kitchen. Brunch includes banh mi French toast, Thai eggs benedict, fried rice “over easy”, spicy bloody Marys, and mimosas. Price varies. 11 am-3 pm. Dallas Preston Center 972-373-4434, Dallas Uptown 214-599-7857, Southlake 817-251-9141, Fort Worth 682-707-3959.

Mercat Bistro. Brunch all day, plus Champagne & Rosé specials. 214-953- 0917.

The Mexican. Opening early with specialty margaritas such as the Mujeres Divinas, sharable tostaditas, queso fundido, Mexican steaks and sides, filet and bone marrow tacos, and desserts such as the cuatros leches cake. 3 pm-11 pm. 214-210-5700.

Mexican Bar Company. Specials include huarache - chipotle basted shrimp, avocado criollo, slaw, queso cotija, salsa macha, and blue corn masa; Tacos de Birria - slow-cooked goat, slaw, and consomme; Codorniz - grilled quail over Brussels sprouts; Short Ribs with roasted vegetables, celeriac mash’d, & vino mole; and tres eches. 3-9pm. 972-972-4466.

Miriam Cocina Latina. Brunch specials include breakfast brisket enchiladas, Madre’s Omelet with salmon, cream cheese & caper, and crème brûlée French toast. All Moms receive complimentary piece of Chocolate Abuelita Cake with a hint of chipotle pepper and vanilla cream. 11 am-2 pm. 214-855-5275.

Mountain Mike’s Pizza brings back its Heart-Shaped Pizza for the entire Mother's Day weekend from May 11-14. 972-954-2004.

Nick & Sam’s Steakhouse. Brunch buffet features French toast, omelets, sushi, carving stations, hot & cold breakfast options, and desserts. Separate food station for kids. 9:30 am-2 pm. $85, or $30 for 12 and under. 214-871-7444.

Nobu Dallas. Three-course brunch includes choices from salmon teriyaki, eggs benedict, chicken karaage & sweet potato fries, tenderloin with egg, monkfruit cheesecake, and miso cappuccino. $75. Kids Bento is $38. Limited a la carte menu available as well. 11:30 am-2:15 pm. 214-252-7000.

Ocean Prime. Special brunch with lobster avocado toast, crabcake eggs benedict, brioche French toast, and steak & egg. 11 am-3 pm, also open for dinner. 214-965-0440.

Open Palette. Brunch buffet at Sheraton Dallas restaurant includes shrimp cocktail, charcuterie, salad bar, lobster bisque, omelets, lavender citrus chicken, mac & cheese, biscuits & gravy, French toast, pepper-crusted strip loin, dill salmon, desserts. $59, or $25 for 12 and under. 10 am-2 pm. 469-371-1486.

Perry's. Mother’s Day and full menu available all day, featuring Perry's Filet Stuffed Roast: Filet mignon stuffed with spinach, mushrooms, garlic, onion, and cheese for $49, 11 am-9 pm. Three off-the-menu cocktails are available for $12 each, including a Bloody Mary, Rosé Sangria, and Mimosa. 214-855-5151.

The Porch. Mother's Day brunch menu includes special Quiche Florentine with spinach and gruyere for $14. Mother’s Day dinner specials include short rib ravioli with mascarpone and ricotta cheese for $22, and Mom’s Spring Cheesecake with graham cracker crumble and passionfruit glaze for $12. 10:30 am-9 pm. Mama-Ritas, featuring blanco tequila, Cointreau, lime, watermelon, and mint, and Mom-osas featuring frosé with a prosecco floater, will be served May 8-14. 214-828-2916.

Punch Bowl Social Dallas. Mother’s Day special menu items include Crab & Avocado Scramble with goat cheese, and the Dutch Baby Pancake with asparagus, poached eggs, arugula, and tomato jam. Bloody Mary bar, plus arcade games, bowling, darts, cornhole. 12 pm-3 pm. 469-607-6880.

Ramble Room. Special brunch entrees include apple pie French toast on brioche with cinnamon crumble, maple syrup, whipped cream, candied pecans; avocado prosciutto benedict, corned beef hash; NY strip & eggs; and the Plaza Breakfast.214-620-0385.

Saint Ann Restaurant and Bar. Brunch buffet includes French toast, lobster frittatas, short rib hash, chicken & waffles, themed cocktails and specials on Champagne & Rosé. 10 am-4 pm; last reservation at 2:30 pm. $65, or $20 for 12 or under. 214-782-9807.

Saint Rocco's. Brunch at Trinity Groves restaurant features New York Italian food including pasta, flatbreads, and frozen belllinis. 11 am-2 pm. 469-320-9707.

Scout at Statler Dallas. Brunch buffet with breakfast station featuring pastries, fruit, Belgian waffles, scrambled egg bar, salad station, carving station with roast beef au jus and garlic rosemary pork loin, entrees, sides, rolls & butter. $60, or $25 for 12 and under. $5 mimosa and bloody mary bar for 21 and older. Free play on arcade games and bowling. 11 am-4 pm. 866-554-3671.

Sea Breeze Fish Market & Grill. Mother's Day menu features choices from smoked salmon dip, tuna nachos, cocktail shrimp, scallops, blackened grilled snapper with shrimp etouffee, lobster tail, corn husk-wrapped halibut, crabmeat stuffed flounder, orange ginger glazed carrots, Brussels sprouts with maple & pecan, truffle whipped potatoes, Key lime pie, chocolate cappuccino cheesecake, or carrot cake. $80, plus $40 for wine pairings. Lunch and dinner, for dine in or to go. 972-473-2722.

Seasons 52. Open for brunch with crab quiche, French toast, shrimp & grits, mimosas, sangrias, bloody Marys, and rosé lemonade. Dinner features apricot-glazed spiral ham with sweet potato mash and maple-pecan streusel, available for dine-in or to go. To-go boxes for 4-6 feature choice of spiral ham, cedar plank-roasted salmon, or beef tenderloin, plus salad, sides, and six Mini Indulgence desserts. Individual ham dinners are available for pickup on Sunday, May 14.

SER Steak + Spirits. Brunch buffet includes, brunch cocktails, omelet station, waffles, benedicts, smoked salmon bagels, beet & citrus salad, carving stations, chocolate fountain, and specialty dessert display. $55, or $25 for 12 and under. Moms will be greeted with a glass of champagne and will leave with a sweet from the pastry team. 10 am-3 pm. 214-761-7479.

Shell Shack. Two special dinner boils accompanied by a glass of champagne include lobster tail and snow crab cluster with corn and potatoes for $35, or two snow crab clusters with corn and potatoes for $24.

Silver Fox. Full menu plus Mother's Day special: beef tenderloin benedict, with poached egg, hollandaise, asparagus, and fingerling potatoes, for $60. Drink specials include a Bloody Mary with Tito’s Handmade Vodka for $18, and a Mimosa for $12. 11 am-4 pm. Richardson 972-423-8121, Fort Worth 817-332-9060.

Sky Blu Rooftop Bar. Boite at Hilton Dallas Market Center has drink specials all Mother’s Day weekend: Peachy Dreams with peach Malibu and Rum Chatta, and the Just Peachy Old Fashioned with peach Malibu and Woodford Reserve. May 12-14. 214-741-3000.

Sloane's Corner. Special hours for 3-course brunch featuring croissants, pimento cheese tea sandwiches, chilled melon soup with dill, smoked salmon tartlets, vegetable frittata, lobster Louie salad, blueberry pancakes, steak & eggs, strawberry shortcake, and coconut tres leches cake with brown butter rum ice cream. $42, or $21 for 12 and under. 10 am-2 pm. 972-736-9572.

Stirr. Brunch buffet includes chopped Caesar salad, beef tenderloin, omelet station, Thai-glazed salmon, pies, and cakes. 10 am- 3pm. Dallas 214-983-1222, Addison 214-903-0543.

STK Steakhouse. Brunch includes salmon eggs Benedict, buttermilk blueberry or chocolate pancakes, and eggs any style with choice of bacon, sausage, fingerling potatoes, toast. Afternoon tea features hot tea, sandwiches, scones, desserts, and choice of prosecco, Moet Brut, or Veuve Clicquot Rose, plus craft cocktails. 972-842-9450.

Terra. Brunch at Eataly Dallas restaurant has an Italian twist including salsiccia house-made sausage, smoked salmon on focaccia with cream cheese, uove fritte, strapazzate scrambled eggs with choice of toppings such as avocado, guanciale, mushrooms, onions, bell peppers, or spinach. $59, or $25 for 12 & under. 9:30 am-3 pm. 469-759-2800.

Terra Mediterranean. Buffet at Plano restaurant has soups & salads, gyro, chicken kabob, kafta, vegetable moussaka, beef moussaka, falafel, vegetarian grape leaves, and more. $25, ot $12 for 10 and under. 11am-3pm. 469-277-2775.

III Forks. Full menu plus Easter special: Roasted Beef Tenderloin Benedict, with poached egg, hollandaise, asparagus, and fingerling potatoes, for $60. Drink specials include a Bloody Mary with Tito’s Handmade Vodka for $18, and a Mimosa for $12. 11 am-3 pm. 972-267-1776.

Tommy Bahama Restaurant & Bar. Specials for Mother's Day include Burrata & Artichoke appetizer and lobster frittata with poached lobster, tomato, spinach, and artichokes, both served with grilled sourdough. 11 am-9 pm. 214-501-3600.

Truluck's. Specials include a Summer Romance cocktail with vodka, Ramazotti Rosato, cava, and raspberries, plus a Young Adults menu of familiar favorites with a Truluck’s twist.11 am-8 pm. Uptown 214-220-2401, Southlake, 817-912-0500.

Urban Crust. Italian brunch at downtown Plano restaurant includes Italian French toast, Nutella calzone, and a specialty brunch pizza. 11 am-3 pm. 972-509-1400.

Urban Rio. Brunch specials include breakfast tacos, burritos, and the specialty Pedros Breakfast featuring eggs, pico de gallo, and Urban Rio’s signature queso fresco. 10 am-3 pm. 972-422-4466.

Urban Seafood. Coastal-inspired twist on brunch includes as fried lobster & waffles and crab eggs benedict. 11:30 am-3 pm. 214-251-8771.

Villa Azur Dallas. Mother’s Day specials include pan-seared halibut cheeks ($45), petite strawberry shortcake ($18), and a Villa Rose cocktail ($24). 11:30 am-4 pm. Live music from 12-3 pm. 214-389-2602.

Westin Dallas Stonebriar Golf Resort and Spa. Mother's Day brunch buffet with a high-tea theme includes miniature tea sandwiches, tomato basil salad, breakfast bar with omelets, shrimp cocktail, oysters, smoked salmon, carving station with rib eye, baby back ribs, pretzel rolls, mahi mahi, crab chicken roulade, steak Diane, mac & cheese, bread pudding, cakes, cheesecake, and petit four. 10:30 am-2 pm. $102, or $41 for 12 and under. 972-668-8000.

Whistle Britches. Brunch features chef Omar Flores' fried chicken and biscuits, chicken & waffles, tenders, challah French toast, and chicken benny. 972-590-8991, Plano 214-299-5971, Southlake 817-912-1096.

Yardbird. Brunch features two specials: smoked salmon benedict on a housemade English muffin, with garlic-wilted spinach, dill caper Hollandaise, and arugula salad for $32; and a blueberry upside-down cake with lemon cornmeal pound cake and blueberries for $18. 10 am-4 pm. 469-208-2441.

Jeremiah's Italian Ice/Facebook

These are the 8 best food and drink events in Dallas this week

This Week in Gluttony

Pairing events get creative this week; there’s watercolor and wine, Girl Scout cookie cupcakes and cider, and bourbon cocktails with comfort food. Save room for Italian ice in a new venue celebrating its grand opening this weekend.

Tuesday, April 11

Ciao! From Italy Wine Dinner at Carraba’s Italian Grill
Casual Italian chain will host a communal four-course wine dinner featuring comfort favorites like lasagna Bolognese, bruschetta chicken, and shrimp & scallop alla vodka. End with olive oil cake with lemon curd, blackberries, and mint chiffonade. Courses will be paired with wine and a cocktail to start. Dinner is $55 per person, plus tax and gratuity, and begins at 6:30 pm. Carraba’s has locations in Dallas, Plano, and Hurst.

Wednesday, April 12

Watercolor & Wine at Ellie’s
Local artist Brie Milam will teach watercolor techniques for guests to create their own masterpieces while sipping wine. The best thing about this class is the location: It will take place on Ellie’s Terrace at Hall Arts Hotel. Tickets are $75 and include a glass of wine, light bites, all supplies, and valet parking. Class will run from 6:30-8:30 pm.

Bourbon Dinner Series at Yardbird Table & Bar
Miami-based, James Beard-nominated restaurant will host a series of bourbon pairing dinners at Yardbird locations from Vegas to D.C. with a stop in Dallas in between. The four-course dinner will include lobster mac & cheese with black truffles, chicken piccata, Wagyu with gouda grits, and a chocolate tart with caramel coffee sauce. All courses will be paired with Knob Creek bourbon cocktails. The dinner is $140 per person, plus tax and gratuity, and begins at 7 pm.

Thursday, April 13

Sip & Stroll at The Shops at Highland Village
Grab a glass and enjoy wine and food pairings around the Shops at Highland Village during this evening sip and stroll that will benefit Communities in Schools North Texas. A $12 donation gets you a goody bag and wine glass, and there’ll be photo ops, a caricature artist, fortune teller, and DJ music along the way. Food and wine pairings will be provided by Whole Foods Market. The event will run from 6:30-9 pm. Check in outside Barnes & Noble.

Rodney Strong Wine Dinner at Knife Steakhouse Plano
Here’s a fresh seasonal pairing of wine and food at chef John Tesar’s Plano steakhouse. Courses feature Hamachi ceviche, seared branzino, duck confit, and New York strip. All courses will be paired with different wines, including Alexander Valley cabernet. Dinner is $150 per person, plus tax and gratuity, and begins at 6:30 pm.

Saturday, April 15

Jeremiah’s Italian Ice Grand Opening in Addison
Founded in Florida in 1996, Jeremiah’s Italian Ice will celebrate the grand opening of its Addison location with free samples, music, face painting, and the Mr. Gelati mascot. They'll be featuring a special dessert layering Italian ice with soft serve ice cream in flavors like coconut lime, cookies and cream, and mint chocolate chip. The two-day event will run through Sunday showcasing the new 1,785 square-foot location at 14389 Marsh Ln.

Sunday, April 16

Girl Scout Cupcakes & Cider at Trinity Cider
Taste Girl Scout cookies in cupcake form during this sweet pairing event at Trinity Cider. Guests will get four different cupcakes, including Samoa, Thin Mint, Lemon-Ups, and Do-Si-Dos, paired with four ciders. Tickets are $28 per person and the pairings will be available from 12-5 pm.

Dallas College Bits & Bites
Culinary students will partner with some of Dallas’ best chefs for this tasting event that benefits the culinary program at Dallas College. Set to take place at the Dallas Arboretum, the event will feature beverages and bites from 30 chefs, including John Tesar (Knife Dallas), Jimmy Contreras (Taco y Vino), and Nikky Phinyawatana (Asian Mint). Tickets start at $85 per person and the event will run from 6-8 pm.

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Battle is on with the brown marmorated stink bug invading my Dallas home

Insect News

It's been a buggy year in Dallas, from the invasion of the inchworm to the Crane Fly outbreak in March.

But those pale compared to the current insect scourge infesting my house: the brown marmorated stink bug.

These little creeps started showing up in late April, and at first, it didn't seem like cause for alarm. I'd seen them in prior spring seasons, along with another larger stink bug I thought I hated more called a leaf-footed bug.

If you try to kill or move a stink bug, they emit a noxious odor in defense, like the skunk of the insect world. I once watched my unwitting cat sniff one, then run in circles in agony for a few minutes after having set off the odor, which is musky and lingers in the air for quite a few minutes.

But otherwise, they don't bite and are viewed as harmless, although brown stink bugs are starting to have an impact on crops.

Brown marmolated stink bugs are an invasive species from Asia first spotted in the U.S. in the late '90s in Pennsylvania. They're shaped like a shield, about as big as a fingernail, are paper thin, and can fly. They're currently in nearly all 50 states.

In a 2012 Dallas Morning Newsstory warning of their arrival, they weren't here yet, so it's only been in the last decade, and just in Collin and Dallas counties.

I feel certain after this spring that they were all at my house. Inside my house. Somehow these things got inside my house, and it has been, how do you say, a journey.

brown marmorated stink bugTwo brown marmorated stink bugs.gdb.voanews.com

No kill
Sources say that the brown stink bug can be found in leaf litter and vegetation outdoors, and can enter structures by the hundreds or thousands. And that they congregate almost anywhere: bookcases, under sofas, in cracks under or behind baseboards, window and door trim, and in attics.

I try to do no harm, I won't use Raid, it's cruel, even to bugs I don't like, which is most bugs, I usually put bugs I find outside. But these were in my living room, dining room, kitchen, crawling along the edge of my TV, climbing the front doorway, sitting on the coffee table, poised on the side of the refrigerator. One even had the nerve to crawl on my kitchen countertop, which my cats know is a big NO.

At first, my routine was to put a plastic container — a former Trader Joe's hummus container, which I went through a kick on last fall — over the bug, scooch a cardboard on top, hurriedly toss both out the door, run back in the house, then retrieve the container and cardboard once it was safe.

But I kept getting more stinkbugs. Part of this was moderately empowering. I used to be deathly afraid of insects — in high school, I once stayed up all night because there was a spider on the ceiling and I couldn't sleep knowing it was there. Being chill about any kind of bug seemed like personal growth, and supposedly every species has its role or purpose.

But brown marmorated stink bugs haven't been here long enough to serve a purpose, besides grossing people out.

I also like to allow nature to prosper. For example, they say it's better not to rake leaves but to leave them to replenish the soil. And I mow only intermittently, unlike the neatnik neighbors on either side of me. (I wonder if they mow more often to compensate for my lack of mowing?)

But then I read that, when stink bugs find a good place to stay, they release a pheromone that attracts more stink bugs. This needed to be disrupted immediately. The pheromone going out needed to say, "This is no place for stink bugs, stay away."

So instead of ferrying the stink bugs out to my yard, I started putting the container over two stink bugs and just leaving them on my floor. At least they could die together. Soon I had a dozen upside-down TJ's hummus cups strewn around the floor, and every single time I passed one, I felt so much guilt.

I started throwing them in the toilet; I read somewhere that the final stage of drowning is euphoria. But I couldn't bring myself to pee on one while it was in there floating, so I was flushing two and three times.

Things started to take a darker turn. Maybe pesticides aren't that bad? Luckily, I was saved from that descent by the National Pesticide Information Center Oregon who said that "using pesticides inside the home to control stink bugs is often ineffective."

Remembering the part about how "stink bugs can be found in leaf litter and vegetation outdoors," it seemed like time to call Ernesto, the competent landscaping guy who does half the houses in my neighborhood. He and his crew came and efficiently macheted my fantasy Topanga Canyon to the ground.

After they left, I surveyed the flattened terrain and for a minute, it did feel pretty good to have a tidy yard. But then I saw a rustle in the grass — a shell-shocked brown wolf spider running for cover — and felt terrible about destroying her home.

The clear-cutting did not stop brown stink bugs from showing up inside my house — probably too late in the game — although the population did seem to decline. I'm down to just one or two a day now. Probably would have happened regardless.

Really, they were innocuous. They're not creepy crawly, they just sit there, dim and innocent, letting you put your cup over them, farting out their fear. If only there hadn't been so damn many. Meanwhile, I was thrilled to spot the brown wolf spider a few days later — she stuck around.

DFW's dismal ranking among best places to live leads this week's 5 most-read headlines

This week's hot headlines

Editor's note: A lot happened this week, so here's your chance to get caught up. Read on for the week's most popular headlines. Looking for the best things to do this weekend? Find that list here.

1. Dallas-Fort Worth no longer a top 100 place to live, declares U.S. News & World Report. Dallas-Fort Worth has fallen from grace in a closely watched annual report of the best places to live in the U.S. The Metroplex appears at a dismal No. 113 (out of 150) in U.S. News & World Report's Best Places to Live ranking for 2023-2024. Last year, DFW landed at No. 32; it was No. 37 in 2021. Here's (sort of) why it plummeted in the rankings.

2. Sliders restaurant from Detroit shimmies onto Dallas' Greenville Ave. A slider concept from the Great Lakes State is expanding to Texas, and that includes a high-profile location in Dallas: Called Savvy Sliders, it's a young fast-casual concept founded in Flint, Michigan, and it will open its first Dallas restaurant at 4818 Greenville Ave., in the space recently vacated by vegan chicken restaurant Project Pollo.

3. New lagoon-waterpark with lazy river dives into Dallas-Fort Worth. A long-awaited waterpark in Cedar Hill is debuting Memorial Day weekend with two of Texas' favorite splashy attractions: a lagoon and lazy river. The Lagoon at Virginia Weaver Park will open Saturday, May 27 after more than a year in development.

4. Happy Hippie Brewing to bring peace, love, and beer to new HQ in Richardson. A craft beer brewery is opening a splendid new facility in Richardson: Happy Hippie Brewing Company, a small brewery specializing in Belgian-style beers, is opening an an 11,000-square-foot brewery and taproom at 500 Lockwood Dr., in the Lockwood area within the city's evolving CORE District.

5. Asian restaurant Howard Wang's shutters location in Uptown Dallas. A Chinese restaurant in Uptown Dallas closed: Howard Wang's Uptown Grill, one in a family-owned chain, closed its location at 3223 Lemmon Ave. #103, with the final day of service on May 21. The restaurant had been at that location for 12 years.

21 North Texas museums offer free admission to military families this summer

Giving Back

Nearly two dozen Dallas-Fort Worth museums are honoring active duty military personnel and their families with free admission through the Blue Star Museums initiative, May 20-September 4, 2023.

Established by the National Endowment for the Arts, Blue Star Families, and the U.S. Department of Defense, the Blue Star Museums program annually provides military families free access to 2,000 museums nationwide throughout the summer. The program begins yearly on Armed Forces Day in May and ends on Labor Day.

Free admission is extended to personnel currently serving in the U.S Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, Coast Guard (including those in the Reserve), and all National Guardsman. Members of the U.S. Public Health Commissioned Corps and NOAA Commissioned Corps are also included in the program.

Those who qualify can use their military ID to bring up to five family members - including relatives of those currently deployed. More information about qualifications can be found here.

There is no limit on the number of participating museums that qualifying families may visit. Admission for non-active military veterans, however, is not included.

According to the National Endowment for the Arts website, the initiative was created to help "improve the quality of life for active duty military families" with a specific focus on children. The site states 2 million have had a parent deployed since 2001.

"Blue Star Museums was created to show support for military families who have faced multiple deployments and the challenges of reintegration," the organizers say. "This program offers these families a chance to visit museums this summer when many will have limited resources and limited time to be together."

In Dallas-Fort Worth, participating institutions include well-known art, science, and history museums, as well as smaller museums outside the city limits. Here's a look at all the museums in North Texas that are participating in the Blue Star Museums initiative this year.

In Dallas:

In Fort Worth:

In Garland:

In Irving:

In Mesquite:

In Cleburne:

In Krum:

In Sanger:

More information about Blue Star Museums and a full list of participants can be found on arts.gov.