Photo courtesy of Visit Mesquite

Not to be overshadowed by its big sister, Dallas, Mesquite is a vibrant city with its own unique flavor. Within this Lone Star city you’ll find a wide array of hidden culinary gems just waiting to be discovered.

Step off the well-trodden path of chain restaurants to discover Mesquite’s best-kept secret: its mom-and-pop restaurants.These “hole-in-the-wall” establishments are locally owned and deliver in flavor, authenticity, and heart.

Enjoy this sampling of Mesquite’s hidden culinary treasures that are well worth the trip.

Mesquite BBQ
145 E. Davis St.

Mesquite BBQ has been a fixture in downtown Mesquite since 1959. The rich, smoky aroma and friendly customer service keep both locals and visitors coming back for more. Their meats are prepared daily in a unique smoker manufactured only a few blocks away.
Must-try dishes: brisket, meat-stuffed baked potato, Chop Chop sandwich

Yia Yia’s House of Gyros
904 E. Davis St., suite 400

At Yia Yia’s, you’ll experience the true essence of Greek cuisine. This family-owned restaurant takes pride in serving traditional Greek dishes passed down through generations. With each bite, you’ll feel the presence of the chef’s grandmother, whose photo overlooks the preparation of every dish.
Must-try dishes: gyro wrap and traditional Greek salad

Jamaica Cook Shop
2033 Military Pkwy., suite104a

Jamaica Cook Shop is a hidden gem offering fresh, made-to-order, authentic Jamaican food. Vibrantly decorated in the colors of the Jamaican flag and tucked away next to a gas station, this unpretentious kitchen serves up traditional island dishes and imported drinks.
Must-try dishes: jerk chicken, fried plantains, and stew chicken

Tasty Chicken & Wings
302 S. Galloway Ave.
Just as the name suggests, Tasty Chicken & Wings lives up to its reputation. Their birria tacos are hailed by some as the best in DFW, while their perfectly fried chicken wings are generously coated in homemade sauces. Made from scratch with care, every meal at Tasty Chicken & Wings is a flavor explosion.
Must-try dishes: birria tacos, pupusas, fried chicken wings, chicharron y yucca

Dia de Los Tacos
1927 Faithon P. Lucas Sr. Blvd., suite 115

In a city rich with Latino culture, Dia de Los Tacos stands out for its exceptional Mexican cuisine. Combining traditional flavors with innovative twists, this local favorite is known for its unbeatable breakfast tacos.
Must-try dishes: fajita burger, taco pies

Porky’s Burgers & Wings
4612 Gus Thomasson Rd.

Porky’s has become a legend in Mesquite and DFW for its half-pound burgers crafted with fresh, non-traditional ingredients to create unique flavor combinations. From the tantalizing salmon burger to the tropical Hawaiian burger, there’s something to satisfy every craving.
Must-try dishes: Double Porky Burger (a whole pound of beef!), mango-habanero wings

Vamos Pizza
2411 N. Galloway Ave., suite 110

When it comes to pizza, everyone knows that the best slices are local. Vamos Pizza offers authentic New York-style pizza by the slice or whole pies, alongside calzones, salads, and pasta dishes. With generous portion sizes and affordable prices, you’ll leave Vamos fully satisfied.
Must-try dishes: The Works pizza, chicken and shrimp carbonara, Caesar salad

Oh My Curry
909 E. Davis St., suite A

Located just outside of downtown Mesquite, Oh My Curry is about to become your new favorite spot. This cozy restaurant offers flavorful and contemporary Indian dishes at affordable prices. Don’t forget to leave room for dessert and indulge in a refreshing lassi, an Indian yogurt-based beverage with a smoothie-like consistency.
Must-try dishes: chicken tikka masala, mutton biriyani bowl

Taqueria Mi Morelia
1821 Crestridge Dr.

Taqueria Mi Morelia may not catch your eye at first, but you don’t want to miss out on this Mexican culinary gem. Whether you’re craving tacos, tortas, Mexican-style hamburgers, or the famous huarache, there’s something on the menu to satisfy all taste buds.
Must-try dishes: huarrache, camarones a la diabla

Slab's BBQ
4401 N. Galloway Ave.

Tucked off Galloway Avenue, this no-frills barbecue joint serves up classic favorites with a side of Texas hospitality. The meats are cooked fresh daily, ensuring each bite is packed with smoky goodness. Prepare to leave Slab’s with a full belly and a smile.
Must-try dishes: chopped beef sandwich, sliced beef dinner

Mesquite has a flavor all its own. Next time you’re craving a culinary adventure, visit Mesquite and treat yourself to one of these locally owned and loved restaurants.

Yia Yia's House of Gyros

Photo courtesy of Visit Mesquite

Get Greek at Yia Yia's House of Gyros.

Find more to do, see, and eat in Mesquite here.

Photo courtesy of Goldee's BBQ

Where to find the most iconic — and best — meals in all of Texas

Hit the Road

Texans don't need much of a reason to hit the open road. Our state is brimming with natural beauty and charming small towns, but nothing motivates us to fill up the tank like a bonanza of regional foods.

There are renowned Texas flavors to be found throughout the entire state, from small towns like Round Top to the far west end in El Paso. And with meals ranging from Tex-Mex and barbecue to Frito Pie and kolaches, the Lone Star State is known for some of the most iconic foods in America.

When you hit the open road to explore (and taste) it all, know that a Hilton Hotel is nearby for a good night's rest. Whether you're traveling with family, friends, or as a couple, the right room is waiting with a warm welcome.

Hope you're hungry, because here is but a small slice of some of the best.

Goldee's BBQ, Fort Worth
Few barbecue joints in Texas can make a name without serving the holy trinity of brisket, sausage, and ribs. Still, the young chefs and pitmasters at this Fort Worth stop one-up the competition with unexpected sides like chicken rice and collard greens and crowd-pleasers like fish and chips.

Chicken Fried Steak
Babe's Chicken Dinner House, Carrollton
All Texans take their chicken fried steak with some degree of seriousness. We dare say this eatery — which originated in Carrollton and has locations all over North Texas — takes it the most seriously of all, with plenty of family-style sides to round out the table.

La Cocina, McAllen
Former oil worker Evin Garcia combines tradition and innovation at this McAllen haunt. Enjoy everything from birria tacos dipped in a luscious consommé to an octopus version served with traditional al pastor fixings like onion, cilantro, and grilled pineapple.

Elotes Fanny, Austin + North Texas
With locations in Austin, Fort Worth, and Garland, this snack shop mini-chain knows everything about corn. Get it by the cob or in a cup, and make sure to douse it in the fiery homemade Atomic Salsa.

Fried Chicken
Dolli's Diner, Nacogdoches
This diner does just about everything right, but the crowning jewel of the menu is undoubtedly the chicken fried chicken. It's served with mashed potatoes, gravy, and fresh veggies for color and is best enjoyed with funnel cake fries for dessert.

Frito Pie
RD's Burger, Cibolo
This casual stop does its namesake dish with aplomb, but found pure magic in its Frito Pie. It's served with no muss or fuss and occasionally on the insanely delicious burger.

Slovacek’s, West
When it comes to kolaches, any bakery in West will serve the real deal. Relative newcomer Slovacek's gets the vote for its dozens of fruit flavors and creative klobasnek (the meaty cousin of kolaches) filled with boudin, pepperoni, or kraut.

Royer's Round Top Cafe, Round Top
No trip to Round Top's famous antique fair is complete without a stop at this darling cafe. "Pie Man" Bud Royer makes every visit sweet with pies like buttermilk, pecan, and the multi-fruit Troy's Junk Berry.

L & J Cafe, El Paso
This El Paso tradition is by a graveyard, sure, but don't let that deter you from enjoying its queso. The miraculous concoction made with roasted green chile, tomatoes, and onions is served with just-fried tostadas.

Leal's Tamale Factory, Lubbock
A Lubbock classic, this mainstay doesn't go for newfangled tamale flavors like sweet potato. Order pork, chicken, or cheese and rediscover the fundamentals.

Viet-Cajun crawfish boils
Crawfish & Noodles, Houston
Who knows what James Beard-nominated chef Trong Nguyen puts in his secret sauce. What we do know is that it's one of the most intensely flavorful experiences in all of Houston.

Texas knows no bounds when it comes to to where you can go (and eat). No matter where your next foodie adventure takes you, a Hilton hotel is waiting for you.

With over 550 Hilton hotels spanning across the state of Texas, the possibilities to earn more while exploring the Lone Star State are endless.

Photo courtesy of Becker Vineyards

Wake up and smell the lavender at this Hill Country vineyard festival

Lavender? I barely know her

There's a lot of talk about flowers springing up with the seasonal blooms around Texas, but visitors are generally discouraged from picking and eating them. Fans of floral flavors can look forward to the annual Lavender Festival at Becker Vineyards in Fredericksburg, which will serve wine pairings with the unmistakeable aroma on April 15 and 16.

This festival is 24 years running, and still hasn't run out of ideas for the timeless flavor. Over two days, visitors can explore the vineyard, shop for goods like soap and lotion from artisan vendors, enjoy live music, and most importantly, taste the lavender. It's more than a shortbread cookie, too.

Becker's executive chef Michael Lockhart and winemaker Jonathan Leahy invite guests to "Lavender Luncheons" ($125) in the Lavender Haus Reception Hall, a "replica of a barn at the Lyndon B. Johnson Settlement." There's no menu so far, but it will be a meal inspired by the 500 lavender plants in the vineyard. There will also be four "wine and lavender bite pairing sessions" ($60) on Saturday. Less formally, or for those who would rather see the lavender than taste it, there will be three local food vendors on both days: Mac’n Wag’n, Conchita’s, and Garbo’s Seafood.

The history of the festival stretches back almost as long as the vineyard has been producing lavender. The first plants were sown in June of 1998 — that's just one year longer. Although the family struggled to find a healthy variety for the area and lost huge swathes of the three-acre crop, they kept pushing on. Eventually, they discovered that the Stoechas (Spanish) varietal does best in the region.

If readers have struggled with lavender (an extremely likely circumstance), they may find that gardening tips at the festival help this year or next year's blooms. Lavender, unlike the many wildflowers that make the Hill Country famous, does not naturally grow in the region, and instead prefers its native conditions in the Mediterranean. It's starting to make sense that in Texas it thrives in the vineyard, no?

The Lavender Festival at Becker Vineyards is located at 464 Becker Farms Rd., Fredericksburg, Texas. Tickets ($15 general admission, plus add-ons for tastings) are available at beckervineyards.com. The festival is open on April 15 and 16 from 10 am to 5 pm.

Dried lavender at Becker Vineyards

Photo courtesy of Becker Vineyards

Becker Vineyards invites Texans to see the fields and try lavender foods and wine pairings.

Photo courtesy of Snap Kitchen

Make 2023 the year you start eating healthy with Snap Kitchen

Resolution Revolution

Go into the New Year feeling good about what goes into your body, where it comes from, and how it tastes. Snap Kitchen is bringing the "Resolution Revolution" into 2023, where eating healthy doesn’t have to be tasteless and New Year's resolutions don’t need to be abrupt, restrictive, or short-term.

Snap’s Resolution Revolution gives you the freedom to eat what you crave and still feel amazing. Resolve to indulge with Snap Kitchen’s newest meals, inspired by your favorite homestyle classics.

Snap Kitchen meals

Photo courtesy of Snap Kitchen

Snap Kitchen gives you the freedom to eat what you crave and still feel amazing.

Snap’s January menu is full of comforting dishes, including Southern meatloaf, pot roast chicken, Salisbury steak, Parmesan roasted broccoli, brownie batter chia pudding, and more that you can feel good about eating.

All of Snap Kitchen’s meals are accompanied by a nutrition profile that shows protein, carbs, and fat, so you can easily track your dietary needs. Snap Kitchen also offers fully customizable, dietitian-curated meal plans and meals subscriptions that range from low-carb to high-protein and beyond. Find Snap Kitchen’s full menu and nutritional information here.

Snap Kitchen makes ordering easy with Snap Pass, a membership program that offers customers even more flexibility and convenient ways to enjoy Snap’s delicious chef-prepared meals.

Snap Pass members can set up a flexible weekly recurring order from Snap Kitchen’s broad assortment of ready-to-eat meals, drinks, snacks, and more. They also automatically receive a 5 percent discount on every order, plus other benefits, all with no membership fees. New members can sign up for Snap Pass on their Snap Kitchen mobile app (iOS), online, and in any Snap Kitchen store.

Along with providing nutritious meals, Snap Kitchen also partners with local Texas vendors to ensure it uses sustainably sourced, local ingredients where it can. Local partners include 44 Farms and Pederson’s Farms.

Additionally, Snap Kitchen recently rolled out its Texas Direct Program, which ensures that all Snap delivery orders are hand-delivered fresh to your door in insulated reusable bags. Once delivered, you can either keep the bags and reuse them, or leave the bags in the location where they were delivered to be picked up the following week. The new insulated bags keep your items cold for up to 24 hours with less packaging — no liners, no boxes, and fewer ice packs. Join Snap’s Texas Direct Program and start getting fresh, nutrient-packed meals delivered to your doorstep by signing up here.

Go into 2023 feeling confident about the food you eat and where it comes from. Snap Kitchen is making it easier than ever to switch up your habits in ways that don’t feel dull and short-lived. This is the year to resolve to eat delicious food that nourishes your body and provides you with energy to conquer your goals.

Learn more about Snap Kitchen’s menu and nutritional information, Texas Direct Program, and Snap Pass program at SnapKitchen.com.

Courtesy of Wurstfest

Some meaty tips for the best jaunt through Wurstfest in New Braunfels

Best of the Wurst

New Braunfels is a bit of a drive for Dallasites, but fans of German beer and food have a great incentive to go before the event ends on November 13.

Wurstfest is in full swing again in the popular Hill Country town, coming out of its first weekend of 2022 festivities. Admission is free from Monday to Thursday, then $18 online for the weekend.

Although the German food is at least half the draw, Wurstfest could be called Bierfest with the sheer volume of beers it serves. And they’re not expecting too many visitors drinking before business hours end in the rather quaint New Braunfels. So, Wurstfest starts at 5 pm on weekdays, but the five hours it’s open (ending at 10 pm) offer plenty of ways to pass the time.

All weekdays start with live music at 5:30 pm on all five stages across the old German grounds. (For those who haven’t visited, this is basically a theme park: visitors wander through timber framed beer halls, past many, many concession stands, down the Comal River to a fairground, all without stepping out of Germany, it seems.) From those opening sets, there’s near-constant music on three of the stages.

Most of the entertainment comes from live music and the novelty of wandering around among the lederhosen and dirndls. (Those drinking less than friends should strongly consider bringing a book — this is from experience.) But there is some light programming every day to break up the drinking and dancing, especially for visitors with kids.

Wednesday bring smasskrugstemmen (beer holding) contest and a magic show. On Thursday, kids can hear some storytelling, and Friday, Veteran’s Day, honors veterans with a salute. Following crowds will also bring visitors to shopping, sausage-making demonstrations, and children’s fair rides.

Perhaps needless to say, the food is legitimately excellent; this is, at its heart, a culinary event, and serves more than standard fried fair foods. Obviously, sausage is a great choice, but there are potatoes, gravy, pickles, and sauerkraut to go around.

Returning revelers are thrilled to share their best recommendations for the food and imported beers. Pacing yourself, three to five hours is a very reasonable stretch for trying as much as possible and returning to old favorites.

Wurstfest tickets are available now at wurstfest.com, along with more information and entertainment schedules.

Photo courtesy of Tarrant Co. Veterans Council

All the Veterans Day 2022 deals in Dallas-Fort Worth that honor military service members

Military Salute

With Veterans Day coming up Friday, November 11, we've unearthed some of the best deals around Dallas-Fort Worth to ease the strain on the bank accounts of all military veterans and current service members.

Below are the top Veterans Day deals to check out for 2022:

  • 7-Eleven: The convenience store chain, which is everywhere throughout Dallas-Fort Worth, is offering a free Quarter-Pound Big Bite 100% all-beef hot dog on November 11. The deal, which is available in-store and via delivery through the 7NOW app, is available to all, not just veterans.
  • Bar Louie: The gastrobar chain, which has four area non-airport locations, is offering veterans and active-duty military a complimentary craft burger, including That’s My Jam Burger, Bourbon BBQ Burger, GastroBurger, and more. The deal is good for dine-in only.
  • B&B Butchers & Restaurant: The Fort Worth restaurant offers a complimentary three-course lunch to all active military and veterans November 11. The special menu includes appetizer, entrée, side, and dessert. Guests of veterans and military can partake in the menu for $25. Reservations are encouraged and the special will run from 11 am-3 pm.
  • Beck's Prime: The steakhouse chain, which has one location in Dallas, is offering all veterans and active duty military a free burger on November 11. The deal is good for dine-in and in-store to-go orders only.
  • Bedford Ice House: The bar/restaurant in Bedford is offering all active and retired military members a free meal up to $14 on November 11. This offer is available for dine-in only.
  • Black Rock Coffee Bar: The coffee house chain, which has four locations in Dallas-Fort Worth, is offering one free medium drink for veterans, active-duty military, and members of their immediate family on November 11 with proof of ID. Both the veteran and immediate family member must be present.
  • Bombshells Restaurant & Bar: The Texas-based military-themed casual dining chain, which has two locations in Dallas-Fort Worth, is offering free entrees for veterans on November 11; other items will be discounted 20 percent. In addition, families accompanying veterans as well as active service members and accompanying families will receive a 20 percent discount on entrees and other items. Alcoholic beverages are not included.
  • Bonefish Grill: The seafood restaurant chain, which has two locations in Dallas-Fort Worth, is offering a free order of their Bang Bang Shrimp to all veterans and active duty military on November 11. They also offer a Heroes Discount that gives 10 percent off for all service members, veterans, and first responders' checks all day, every day with show of valid ID.
  • BoomerJack's: The sports bar chain, which has 18 locations throughout Dallas-Fort Worth, is offering all active and retired military members a free meal up to $14 on November 11. This offer is available for dine-in only.
  • Bourbon & Banter: The underground speakeasy inside The Statler will offer veterans one drink (including draft or bottled beer, house wine or Champagne, and well cocktails and shots) on the house tab on November 11.
  • Bowl & Barrel: The bowling alley/restaurant in Dallas is offering a free Burgers in a Bag for all veterans with a valid ID on November 11.
  • Buffalo Wild Wings: The chicken wing chain, which has 18 locations throughout Dallas-Fort Worth, is offering 10 free Boneless wings and fries for all veterans and active-duty service members with valid ID on November 11. The deal is good for dine-in only.
  • Cantina Laredo: The Mexican restaurant chain, which has two area non-airport locations, is offering veterans and military members a free entrée on November 11, up to a $20 value.
  • Carrabba's Italian Grill: The Italian restaurant chain, which has three locations throughout Dallas-Fort Worth, is offering a complimentary dine-in appetizer or dessert paired with a soft beverage for veterans and active-duty military with show of ID. They also offer a Heroes Discount year-round, providing 10 percent off to all service members, veterans, and first responders.
  • Charleys Philly Steaks: The fast-casual cheesesteak chain, which has 16 locations throughout Dallas-Fort Worth, is offering free Gourmet Fries in-store with no purchase necessary to all veterans and active duty military on November 11.
  • Coolgreens: The healthy food chain, which has three locations in Dallas-Fort Worth, is offering a free meal to all current and retired military personnel on November 11. They can choose from sandwiches, wraps, salads, or bowls valued up to $15.
  • Corner Bakery: The fast casual chain, which has 17 locations throughout Dallas-Fort Worth, is offering 20 percent orders for active and former military members on November 11.
  • Cotton Patch Cafe: The casual dining restaurant, which has 22 locations in the greater Dallas-Fort Worth area, is offering a free Chicken Fried Steak or Chicken Fried Chicken for all veterans or active military on November 11 with proof of military service. The deal is good for dine-in only.
  • Denny's: The family dining chain, which has 40 locations throughout Dallas-Fort Worth, is offering a free Grand Slam breakfast to all active, non-active and retired military personnel on November 11. The offer is valid for dine-in only at participating locations from 5 am to noon.
  • Dickey's BBQ: The barbecue chain, which has over 60 locations throughout Dallas-Fort Worth, is offering a free Pulled Pork Sandwich to veterans who use the code VETFREE on November 11. Veterans can redeem the offer in-store for carryout and online for pickup all day at their nearest Dickey’s.
  • Dunkin': The doughnut chain, which has over 30 locations throughout Dallas-Fort Worth, is offering veterans and active duty military one free doughnut of their choice at participating locations. Check with your local shop before heading out. Deal is good for in-store orders only.
  • Einstein Bros. Bagels: The breakfast/coffee chain, which has over 40 locations throughout Dallas-Fort Worth, is offering a free hot or iced coffee of any size with purchase when veterans show their ID. The deal is good at all locations except license stores inside colleges, hospitals, airports, and hotels.
  • El Chico: The Mexican restaurant chain, which has four area locations, is offering veterans and military members a free entrée on November 11, up to $20 in value.
  • El Chingon: The Mexican restaurant in Fort Worth is offering veterans and active military duty 50 percent off their meal on November 10 and 11. They also offer an ongoing 10 percent discount for military members all year long.
  • Fish City Grill / Half Shells: The sister restaurants, which have 10 locations throughout Dallas-Fort Worth, are offering veterans and active-duty military personnel a free entrée (up to $25.99) with valid ID. This special offer is available with dine-in and to-go orders.
  • Ford's Garage: The burger and beer chain, which has one location in Plano, is offering a 25 percent discount with up to three guests per table (alcohol excluded) on November 11 for veterans and active duty military. The deal is good for dine-in only.
  • Golden Corral: The casual restaurant chain which has seven locations throughout Dallas Fort Worth that are currently open, has put on a Military Appreciation Night for over 20 years. They offer a free meal to any person who has served in the U.S. military on November 14 from 5 pm-close. The deal is only good for the military member, not guests.
  • Grimaldi's: The pizza chain, which has seven locations in Dallas-Fort Worth, is offering veterans and active duty military 25 percent off their bill on November 11. If you can't make it that day, they also offer 15 percent military discount all year long.
  • Hawaiian Bros.: The fast casual Hawaiian food chain, which has 11 locations in Dallas-Fort Worth, is offering a free plate lunch from 11 am-11 pm on November 11 for veterans and active military, as well as their friends and family.
  • John Wayne: An American Experience: Veterans and active-duty military with ID get free walk-in admission to the museum dedicated to the Duke in Fort Worth on November 11.
  • Kolache Factory: The pastry chain, which has four locations in Collin County, is offering free breakfast to all veterans and active duty military on November 11. Those with valid ID will receive a free kolache and a cup of coffee.
  • La Madeleine: The fast-casual French restaurant chain, which has 20 locations throughout Dallas-Fort Worth, is offering active-duty service members and military veterans 30 percent off any purchase all day on November 11 with military ID.
  • Logan's Roadhouse: The casual restaurant chain, which has four locations throughout Dallas-Fort Worth, is offering a free Vets Meal on November 11 from 3-6 pm. Vets Meal options include Steak Tips, Bayou Shrimp, Chopped Steak, Pork Chop, Tenders, and Pulled Pork Plate, as well as side options.
  • Lucky's: The home-cooking diner on Oak Lawn Avenue is offering veterans and military members a free entrée on November 11, up to $20 in value.
  • Overeasy: The diner inside The Statler will offer veterans one drink on the house tab on November 11. Options include draft or bottled beer, house wine or Champagne, and well cocktails and shots.
  • Perry's Steakhouse & Grille: The steakhouse chain, which has three locations in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, is offering one complimentary dinner pork chop on November 10 (4-10 pm) or pork chop lunch on November 11 (10:30 am-5 pm) to active or former military members when they’re accompanied by a guest that purchases a dinner entrée while dining in. Reservations and proof of valid ID are required.
  • Pie Five Pizza: The pizza chain, which has 11 locations through the Dallas-Fort Worth area, is offering area personal pizza for active and retired military veterans, in-store only, on November 11.
  • PJ's Coffee: The coffee chain, which currently has six locations in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, is offering a free 12-ounce hot coffee or cold brew iced coffee for veterans and active-duty military on November 11.
  • Pluckers: The chicken wing chain, which has 8 locations in Dallas-Fort Worth, is offering a free meal (entree, side and non-alcoholic beverage) for veterans and active military on November 11 with valid ID.
  • Primo’s MX Kitchen & Lounge: The Tex-Mex favorite with locations in Uptown and Downtown Dallas will offer veterans one drink (including draft or bottled beer, house wine or Champagne, and well cocktails and shots) on the house tab on November 11.
  • Red Lobster: The seafood restaurant chain, which has 12 locations throughout Dallas-Fort Worth, is offering a free Walt’s Favorite Shrimp, Fries, and Coleslaw for veterans and active duty military on November 11. The offer is available for dine-in and to-go orders placed in-restaurant between 11 am and 4 pm.
  • Sfereco: The Spaghetti Western-themed Italian-American restaurant with locations in Downtown Dallas and Lewisville will offer veterans one drink on the house tab on November 11. Options include draft or bottled beer, house wine or Champagne, and well cocktails and shots.
  • Shell Shack: The growing seafood restaurant chain, which has five locations around Dallas-Fort Worth, is offering active or retired military a free shrimp basket from 11 am to 4 pm on November 11. The deal is good for dine-in only.
  • Sidecar Social: The social lounge in Addison is offering all active and retired military members a free meal up to $14 on November 11. This offer is available for dine-in only.
  • Silver Fox: The steakhouse chain with two area locations is offering veterans and military members $30 off their entire check on November 11.
  • Six Flags Over Texas: The amusement park in Arlington is offering veterans, active duty, and retired military personnel free park admission, meal, drinks, and more when they present a valid military ID on November 12 and 13.
  • Snuffer's: The burger restaurant, which has eight locations throughout Dallas-Fort Worth, is offering veterans and military members with valid ID a free Snuffer’s burger or sandwich on November 11. The deal is good for dine-in only.
  • Thirsty Lion Gastropub: The gastropub chain, which has four locations throughout Dallas-Fort Worth, is offering all active and retired military members with a valid ID a free entrée and a nonalcoholic beverage on November 11. The offer is good for dine-in only.
  • III Forks: The Frisco steakhouse is offering veterans and military members a free entrée on November 11, up to $60 in value.
  • Trinity Metro: All of Trinity Metro’s local services – including buses, TEXRail, ZIPZONE and ACCESS – will be available on at no cost to veterans on November 11. To receive a free ride, riders must show proof of service to the driver or train conductor.
  • Twin Peaks: The breasteraunt chain, which has nine locations throughout Dallas-Fort Worth, is offering a free lunch on November 11 from 11 am-3 pm. Veterans and active military personnel can choose from a menu that includes Cheeseburger and Fries, Chicken Tenders and Fries, Pulled Pork Sandwich and Fries, Soup and Salad Lunch Combo, and Chicken Caesar Salad. The deal is good for dine-in only.
  • Walk-On’s: The sports-themed restaurant chain, which has two locations in Dallas-Fort Worth, is offering all active and retired service members a complimentary Scholarship Burger & side of fries on November 11. The deal is good for dine-in only.
  • Waterproof: The rooftop poolside lounge at The Statler will offer veterans one drink (including draft or bottled beer, house wine or Champagne, and well cocktails and shots) on the house tab on November 11.
  • WOB Bar & Kitchen: The beer-focused restaurant chain, which has one location in Fort Worth, is offering an order of their famous, traditional, bone-in chicken wings for free to all veterans and active military personnel, November 7-11. Additionally, on November 11, veterans and service persons will receive an exclusive WOB Bar & Kitchen-branded t-shirt, while supplies last. These offers can be redeemed by presenting a military ID, VA card, or proof of service.
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CultureMap Emails are Awesome

Famous doner kebab restaurant tops this week's 5 hottest Dallas 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 listhere. Heading to the State Fair? Find a full list of discounts here.

1. Famous doner kebab restaurant makes Dallas debut with location in Frisco. A big name in doner kebabs has come to Dallas-Fort Worth: German Doner Kebab, famous for pioneering gourmet doner kebabs in the UK and worldwide, opened its first location in Frisco, at 12025 E. University Dr. #100, on September 25.

2. Where to drink in Dallas right now: 5 best new happy hours. Maybe because it's fall or maybe because we're just lucky, but it's an especially rich time right now for happy hour offerings, with five spots that have either just debuted new happy hours (or are about to debut).

3. Art Institutes college chain shuts down all campuses, including Dallas. In tragic news for higher education, the Art Institutes, a network of colleges in eight cities around the U.S. including Dallas, is shutting down all campuses as of September 30.

4. A Bennigan's-inspired list of all the Monte Cristo sandwiches in Dallas. In the world of sandwiches, the name Bennigan's brings to mind one thing: their world-famous Monte Cristo. Here’s a comprehensive list of other places to get a Monte Cristo in DFW.

5. American doll store relocates flagship from one Dallas mall to another. The American Girl store is departing its current location at Galleria Dallas and relocating to The Shops at Park Lane where it will establish a new flagship in a two-story space between Nordstrom Rack and opposite HomeGoods. It will open in early 2024.

New brunches and fall dishes put some yum in this Dallas restaurant news

News You Can Eat

Fall weather may not be here yet but Dallas restaurants are happily paying no mind, gifting us with ramen, pumpkin pancakes and pumpkin souffles, and beer cheese fondues. It'll be cold soon enough. There are also some restaurant openings here, some new brunches, and a meal deal for seniors.

Here's what's happening in Dallas restaurant news.

Fish City Grill has opened a location in Prosper at 1150 S. Preston Rd., just north of U.S. Highway 380 in The Gates of Prosper. It features seafood and cocktails, with specials on the restaurant’s trademark Chalkboard which are unique to each location and change twice each day. (Visit fishcitygrill.com/locations to view the Chalkboard cameras.) This is the chain's 23rd location.

White Rhino Coffee has opened a location in Frisco at 8075 FM 423 #100. This is the 10th location for the chain first founded in 2007 by Chris Parvin in Cedar Hill.

Captain D’s has opened a new location at 522 E. Belt Line Rd. in Cedar Hill, owned and operated by Golden Chick franchisee Joseph Omobogie. It's the 21st Captain D’s in Texas and a momentous step for Omobogie, who has 14 Golden Chick locations, as he ventures into new culinary territory. Captain D's serves fried catfish, fried shrimp, and chicken tenders.

True Food Kitchen has unveiled what a release calls "its biggest menu innovation of 15 years" with a reimagined brunch and cocktail program in addition to new seasonal dishes. Brunch highlights include Cinnamon Toastini, Berry Cerealtini, huevos rancheros, Hawaiian Fried Rice, and a tasting tower. New cocktails include Dazzling Eyes with Don Q rum, coconut, carrot juice, and Thai basil; and True Story with gin, chareau aloe, cucumber, snap pea, pineapple, and lemon.

Stirr recently launched a new autumn menu, with brunch, lunch, main and cocktail offerings including Pumpkin Spice pancakes, Chicken & Waffles, Wagyu Italian Beef Sandwich, Fried Chicken Cobb, Baby Back Ribs, Chicken Parm, Cajun Chicken Frites, Steakhouse Salad, Blackened Redfish, Lobster Ravioli, Beer Cheese Fondue, and a Count of Monte Cristo sandwich, which is so trendy right now.

McRae’s American Bistro is introducing a new weekend brunch on Sunday October 1, with deviled eggs, jalapeno pimento cheese, frittata muffaletta, chicken & waffles, chipotle eggs benedict, Lakewood latke, croque madame, corned beef hash & eggs, and more. More being cocktails, including a bloody Mary bar, espresso martini, sangria, wines, and beer. It'll run Saturday-Sunday from 11 am-3 pm.

BarNone has launched a new Whiskey Club. Members get a monthly e-newsletter, access to distillery and brewery tours, access to BarNone's master distiller meet & greets, entry into year-end Pappy Van Winkle 10 year and BTAC (George Stagg, William Larue Weller, Sazerac 18, Thomas Handy and Eagle Rare 17 year) giveaway, free whiskey rating forms, access to allocated whiskeys, ryes, scotches, and world whiskeys, and BarNone Whiskey Club private barrels. BarNone has also expanded its whiskey offerings to 173 varieties with selections from Kentucky, Tennessee, Indiana, Texas, UK, Japan, and Ireland. Entry is free, sign up online.

Loro Asian Smokehouse & Bar has a new Miso-Chili Tonkotsu Ramen with charred bok choy, scallions, sun noodle, sesame, ajitama egg, and choice of brisket or prawns, for $18, served Tuesday-Wednesday starting at 4 pm.

Monarch has a new dessert for the fall: Pumpkin Spice Latte Souffle featuring pumpkin spice, coffee crème anglaise, and sweet cream ice cream, available through the end of October.

Tiff’s Treats has new filled cookies including PB&J (peanut butter cookie with raspberry jam) and decadent Double Chocolate Salted Caramel (Double Chocolate cookie filled with dulce de leche and sprinkled with sea salt). They're available in a combo package where you get a dozen filled and a dozen classic for $43.

Melting Pot, the fondue restaurant, has launched an Oktober FondueFest limited-time 3-course menu with Bavarian Beer Cheese Fondue paired with dippers like bratwurst, braised short rib, and pretzels, with choice of salad and decadent Black Forest Chocolate Fondue. German-inspired sips include the new Black Forest Fashioned and St-Germain Spritz cocktail along with seasonal Sam Adams Octoberfest. Served Monday-Thursday through October 26.

Perry’s Steakhouse & Grille has a 3-course senior menu for 65+ before 6 pm, available daily for $39. First course offers choices from wedge, Caesar, field green, pear & candied pecan salad, French onion soup, or lobster bisque. Second course offers choices from pork chop, filet mignon, salmon, chicken oscar, vegan skillet chopped steak, or fried shrimp. Third course is side dish or dessert from a choice of cheesecake, chocolate crunch tower, crème brûlée, whipped potatoes, creamed spinach, or chargrilled vegetables.

Pappasito's celebrates its 40th anniversary through October at all four DFW locations including two at DFW Airport, plus locations in Arlington and Fort Worth with a $40 special on beef fajitas or beef & chicken fajita platters, with guacamole, rice, frijoles a la charra, and tortillas serving 2-3 people, available on Wednesdays starting at 4 pm.

Taco Bell has brought back its cult-favorite Nacho Fries, but with a new twist: a Vegan Nacho Sauce. Nacho Fries - fries with a spicy seasoning, which are "accidentally" vegan - were first introduced in January 2018, and have been retired and brought back several times. They ordinarily come with queso. The Vegan Nacho Sauce previously appeared in a Vegan Crunchwrap the chain tested in June 2023. The sauce got high marks, so Taco Bell decided to offer it on a national scale with their beloved Nacho Fries. The Nacho Fries on their. own are available now in two sizes: regular for $2.19 and a new large size for $2.99; Vegan Nacho Sauce will be available starting October 12.

McDonald’s of North Texas is adding two new limited-edition sauces to the menu starting October 9: McDonald’s Sweet & Spicy Jam, a jammy red pepper dipping sauce with apple cider vinegar, Szechuan peppercorn, and cayenne pepper; Mambo Sauce, a tomato-based sweet, spicy, and vinegary sauce inspired by the regional Washington, D.C. area sauce staple.

Luckys the Oak Lawn diner is celebrating the State Fair of Texas with two limited-edition menu items: two corn dogs with fries, for $11, and Cotton Candy Pilsner from Texas Ale Project for $5.50, served through October 22.

Target has a new free Drive Up service for Starbucks menu items where customers can place an order and have it delivered straight to their car. The service has been popular in other markets and now it's in Dallas. The three top-selling items for Drive Up with Starbucks are Iced Brown Sugar Oatmilk Shaken Espresso, Birthday Cake Pop, and Iced Caramel Macchiato. You place your order, park in the Drive Up area, and tap “I’m here” in the Target app. A Target staffer delivers the Starbucks order, along with whatever else in your Drive Up purchase. By October, all 1,700-plus Target stores that have a Starbucks Café and offer Drive Up will have the Drive Up with Starbucks service.

Dunkin’ has launched the Texas Dunkin’ Community Cruiser, a mobile coffee truck that delivers free samples of hot and iced coffee directly to local community events. The Texas Dunkin’ Community Cruiser follows in the footsteps of several successful Cruiser programs built throughout the country over the last 10 years.

Norma's Cafe will provide six meals to the North Texas Food Bank for every holiday dinner purchased from now until November 18. The original Oak Cliff location at 1123 W. Davis St. will be open on Thanksgiving Day, November 23 from 11 am-1 pm to feed the homeless.

Salata, the salad chain, has launched of bottled salad dressings in its five most popular flavors: Buttermilk Ranch, Chipotle Ranch, Herb Vinaigrette, Balsamic Vinaigrette, and Ginger Lime Vinaigrette. They come in 12.5-oz bottles and are available at select H-E-B locations for $6.48.

The ADD SOY Act has been introduced in the U.S. Senate by Sens. John Fetterman (D-Pa.), John Kennedy (R-La.), Cory Booker, (D-N.J.), and Roger Wicker (R-Miss.), to give kids a plant-based milk option to cow’s milk in the National School Lunch Program (NSLP), and allows for the USDA to reimburse schools for those purchases, just as it does for cow’s milk. The new Senate bill number is S. 2943, and is a companion to the U.S. House of Representatives bill H.R. 1619, introduced by Reps. Troy Carter (D-LA) and Nancy Mace (R-SC).

Farrah Fawcett Foundation honors cancer-crusading 'angel' Katie Couric at 2023 Dallas benefit

Starry night

Hollywood icons and angels descended on Dallas for the second year, for the 2023 Farrah Fawcett Foundation Tex-Mex Fiesta.

Held at The Rustic on September 28, the star-studded benefit included a red carpet, Tex-Mex buffet dinner, award presentations, live auction, and margaritas that flowed all night long - all to raise money for the fight against cancer. Proceeds went to The American Cancer Society/Cattle Baron's Ball and Stand Up To Cancer.

Co-chairs Alana Stewart, Jaclyn Smith, and Linda Gray - the late Farrah Fawcett's bestie, Charlie's Angels co-star, and last year's Angel Award winner, respectively - welcomed guests. Then actor and famously tanned man George Hamilton took over to emcee the presentations with his signature charm, wit, and sweet banter with ex-wife Stewart.

Dr. Lawrence Piro, Fawcett’s former oncologist and Chief Medical Advisor for the Farrah Fawcett Foundation, underscored the importance of the evening’s fundraising efforts. Fawcett passed away from rectal cancer in 2009, at the age of 62. The foundation that bears her name and raises money for cancer-related causes is her greatest legacy, her friends agreed on stage.

A live auction led by Samantha Robinson of Heritage Auctions raised thousands of dollars with one-of-a-kind items like lunch with George Hamilton the following day at the Rosewood Mansion on Turtle Creek (sold for $10,000) and a "Hollywood Experience" including lunch with "The Fonz" Henry Winkler (sold for $14,000).

Country music star Brett Eldredge got the crowd on its feet with a quick set of his hits, and DJ 13lackbeard kept the party beats lively. Actress Dyan Cannon gave a heartfelt tribute, and Patrick Foley - Fawcett’s long time friend, make-up artist, and Neiman Marcus’ resident make-up artist - was recognized for his support of the Foundation.

But the emotional highlight of the evening was the presentation of the foundation's 2023 Angel Award to Katie Couric. The trailblazing journalist famously underwent a colonoscopy on air after her husband, Jay Monahan, died of colon cancer at age 42 in 1998. In September 2022, Couric revealed her own breast cancer diagnosis.

In her acceptance speech, Couric spoke poignantly about all the things the cancer took away from her two daughters, who were just 2 and 6 years old when their dad passed.

"I know what it's like to lose someone you love way before their time," she said. "In two words: It sucks ... devastating, life-shattering, horrific. No adjective sufficiently describes what that period of my life was like."

She encouraged people not to "get squeamish" about "cancers that occur below the belt" (referring specifically to rectal and colon cancers).

"I've always said, 'Don't die of embarrassment,'" she said. "You know, if we're lucky, we all have colons, we all have anuses, it's just part of our biology, so let's get real about that, people."

After Couric's colonoscopy on The Today Show, the number of people who got screened increased 20 percent, she said.

"But that statistic means so much more," she said. "It means that so many people got to watch their child score a goal at a soccer game, so many people got to watch their child graduate with honors, so many people got to watch their child walk down the aisle."

She said she often wonders what Farrah and Jay would be doing today.

"Honestly, I get so sad and so mad when I think about everything [her daughters] have missed," she said. "We couldn't save them, but we can use every ounce of our energy to spare others from a similar fate."

Among the patrons there to support the event were actress Donna Mills, designer Cynthia Rowley, John Tatum, Jim Foley, Christine Romeo, Jeffrey Lane, and hundreds of generous Dallasites.

Farrah Fawcett Foundation Tex-Mex Fiesta 2023

Photo courtesy of Farrah Fawcett Foundation

Jaclyn Smith, Alana Stewart, Katie Couric, Linda Gray