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Courtesy of Wurstfest

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.
Earth Burger

Dallas' Sinelli Concepts partners with Earth Burger for vegan expansion

Down to Earth

A Dallas restaurant group is stepping in to help a vegan burger chain go big. Earth Burger, the San Antonio-based chain that does a vegan spin on a fast-food joint, has partnered with Sinelli Concepts, owner of concepts such as Which Wich Superior Sandwiches, who will help launch a national expansion.

The new partnership has already resulted in a brand redesign plus updates to the menu that will include the addition of breakfast and a coffee program, coming soon.

Earth Burger was founded in 2014 with the goal to do a healthier plant-based version of drive-thru fast food, after co-founder and chef Mike Behrend switched to a plant-based diet and lost 70-plus pounds. There are currently two locations in San Antonio, one in San Marcos, and one in Nacogdoches.

They're a 100 percent plant-based restaurant famous for their stacked burgers and krinkle-cut fries, plus chick'n and "fishless" sandwiches, wraps, wings, bowls, and corn dogs, as well as healthier items such as kale salad, edamame, and carrots & hummus.

“As a Texan, I can strongly confirm meat is a central part of Texas food culture – but believe me when I tell you these burgers are just as tasty," Behrend says in a statement. "You’re not settling for an average bland fast food meal at Earth Burger. Our completely meatless menu features bold recipes and sauces we create in-house, bringing out the best flavor in our dishes. We want to provide a really delicious meal that just happens to be plant-based."

House-made chef-style sauces include agave mustard, BBQ ranch, poblano ranch, "secret" sauce, spicy mayo, and tartar sauce.

There's a big selection of kids items including a grilled cheese sandwich and chick'n tenders, as well as vegan desserts including coconut-milk soft-serve and milkshakes, often offered in seasonal flavors such as their current pumpkin spice.

Sinelli Concepts founder Jeff Sinelli has been a pioneer in the vegan realm, early to offer vegan items at all of his restaurants, and even dabbling in a vegan diet himself.

Sinelli was heavily involved in the Kickstarter campaign that helped launch the first Earth Burger restaurant in San Antonio’s Park North Shopping Center. He also aided them with concepting and branding.

In a statement, he says that Sinelli Concepts is proud to partner with a Texas-based brand that takes pride in offering customers accessible plant-based options.

"We’ve seen a trajectory of demand for plant-based food and more sustainable options," Sinelli says. "The future of fast food is here, and we know plant-based lovers and novices alike will enjoy Earth Burger’s flavorful offerings."

They're hosting a franchising party in San Antonio in early November, but there's also information online at www.earthburger.com/franchise.

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Brianna Caleri contributed to this story.

Photo courtesy of Discover Temple

Dig into the history and food of Temple, where town meets country

On the Road

Located smack-dab in between Waco and Austin, Temple brings together town and country. It features a historic downtown district with shopping, art, and entertainment, plus easy access to lakes, hiking, and parks.

But the town’s growing scene also boasts an impressive — and eclectic — mix of locally owned and operated dining destinations, where you can just as easily sidle up for some seriously good gourmet pizza with a side of live music as you can for a dressed-up dinner for two, or even a Mexican-Korean mash-up of flavors.

Go for the food and bevvies, stay for the vibe
Treno Pizzeria & Taproom serves up all the artisan, wood-fired pies you could want (try the Lord of the Rings with calamari, or the King Brisket) and the craft beers to go with them. They also have live music on their lawn space outside and a kids’ movie night each week.

Veteran-owned Fire Base Brewing Company offers a large selection of craft beers in a dynamic atmosphere with events and specials throughout the week, including open mic nights, food trucks, and live music.

Casual-cool hangout The Yard – Food Truck Plaza has a rotating list of mobile eateries throughout the year, along with local artists and music.

Find global flavors in the heart of Temple
Drawing inspiration from the owners' cultures and experiences, MexiKo Cafe pairs Mexican and Korean cuisines to create a unique assortment of dishes you didn't know you needed until now.

For authentic, straight-up Mexican cuisine, head to Tres Magueyes for everything from chile rellenos to carne asada, fajitas, enchiladas, and more.

La Dalat Vietnamese Cuisine is a traditional Vietnamese restaurant with fresh, authentic dishes such as phở, bánh mì, caramelized clay-pot catfish, and more.

Visit Ireland by way of O'Brien's Irish Pub. Yes, there are cheese curds and bangers and mash on the menu in addition to lots of beers on tap. The pub is housed in a 100-year-old building, which only adds to the charm.

If your tastebuds are primed for spice of another kind, look no further than Thai Cafe with its classic dishes and seafood specialties.

With a claim to fame as one of the only fine-dining Jamaican restaurants in Central Texas, Ras Kitchen takes its Caribbean-style cuisine seriously. From jerk chicken to brown-stew and curry, it’s all on the menu and made to order by Chef Ras.

For a hibachi experience, head to Nami Japanese Steakhouse and Sushi Bar to enjoy authentic cuisine in a fun, unique environment.

Savor elevated fine dining
Cheeves Bros. Steak House is world renowned for its Prime steaks, an award-winning wine cellar, and impeccable service and style. Other menu favorites include truffle mac and cheese, firecracker shrimp, South African lobster tails, and Pontchartrain chicken.

Also bringing a delicious menu and an award-winning wine list to the table, Pignetti’s is in the business of creating an elegant dining scene. They also have special experiences every week, including a social night every Wednesday with wine and apps, and date night on Thursdays with more wine specials. For the foodies, Friday is osso bucco day — only 15 orders available! — and fresh lobster is available every first Friday.

Find a full list of delicious downtown places to savor here, including Bird Creek Burger Co.’s beef, lamb, bison, chicken, and black bean between-the-bun options, and PJ’s Tabletop Southern Cuisine’s comfort staples.

In between meals, find more to love
Only about 500 steps from The Yard - Food Truck Plaza, the Temple Railroad and Heritage Museum is a fascinating place to learn about what it was like to work and travel on the railroad, and it's housed in the historic Santa Fe Depot that dates to 1911.

Right in front of the museum is Santa Fe Plaza, a beautiful and expansive green space with an amphitheater and stage, fountains, and gazebo.

While downtown, you'll want to pop into the Czech Heritage Museum and Genealogy Center. The niche museum is behind a charming, mosaic-tiled 1931 storefront and brings Czech history and culture to life, with a special focus on the story of Czech immigrants in Texas from 1850 to the early 1900s.

For the littles, the Temple Children's Museum is an interactive place for learning and fun, with exhibits designed for children up to 8 years old. Plus, they host periodic summer camps.

For more to do — in downtown and beyond — head over to Discover Temple.

Global flavors can be found at Thai Cafe.

Photo courtesy of Discover Temple
Global flavors can be found at Thai Cafe.
Photo courtesy of Visit Addison

Get your fill in delicious Addison, the restaurant capital of the U.S.

On the Road

Clocking in at only 4.4 square miles, Addison may be small, but it packs a mighty dining scene, serving up more than 200 restaurants to fit literally any craving.

It has more than earned its designation as the restaurant capital of the U.S. — and with this list of new kids coming to the block, plus other delicious destinations and classic favorites, that’s not changing anytime soon.

New and upcoming restaurants
Keep an eye on these eateries that are appearing soon.

  • With a crispy outer shell and chewy center, Cookie Society's cookies are the best of both worlds — and the addictive, homemade-style sweetness is coming soon to Village on the Parkway.
  • James Beard Award winners Tyson Cole of Uchi and Aaron Franklin of Franklin Barbecue have conspired to create Loro, an Asian smokehouse and bar that brings together southeast Asian flavors and Texas barbecue.
  • Speaking of craft barbecue, Oak'd will also have a brewery onsite, because smoked brisket and beer simply belong together.
  • Oregon-based drive-through Dutch Bros. Coffee is on a mission to open more than a dozen coffee shops throughout Texas, and Addison made the list. Get your caffeine fix with specialty coffee along with smoothies, cold brew, teas, and energy drinks.
  • Brentwood's Southwestern vibes and Prime steaks are staking a claim this fall in Addison Town Hall Center.
  • Chic restaurant and wine bar District hails from Northern California but chose Addison for its first Texas location, in Village on the Parkway. Get your tastebuds primed for an eclectic menu of dishes — think zucchini blossom flatbreads and grilled Spanish octopus with “inked” rice and saffron aioli, along with an extensive selection of wines and small-batch whiskeys, plus beers from local breweries.
  • Put Jake’s Burgers and Beer on your list for casual hangs and crazy-good burgers.
  • The iconic destination for Japanese teppanyaki and sushi that is Benihana is headed to Addison Walk.
  • Super-fresh, handcrafted bowls of ahi fish and raw veggies are heading to Addison via Pokeworks.
  • Puttshack, a mini-golf chain from London, is bringing nightclub vibes to the Village on the Parkway in summer 2023.

Chill out on a patio
On good weather days, have your meal with a side of fresh air and fun vibes. Here’s a short list of patio faves to savor brunch, happy hour, and more.

  • Stay for a live comedy show at TK’s after your patio time.
  • Vidorra is the place for authentic Mexican favorites and modern flavors.
  • Go to Pie Tap for the pizza, and pasta, stay for the shaded patio.
  • Bring your pup to the patio at Pluckers Wing Bar.
  • Make sure you order the rose lemonade at Mendocino Farms to go with the artisan sandwiches and salads.
  • It’s all mojitos, tamales, and sunshine at Gloria’s Latin Cuisine.
  • Be healthy and happy at Flower Child.
  • With more than 100 beers on tap, along with sunset sangrias, salted watermelon margs, and more, Yard House has your drink order covered — to go along with shareable apps and savory mains.

Claims to fame
Did you know that Brazilian steakhouses Fogo de Chão and Texas de Brazil, fast-casual favorite Genghis Grill, and Cantina Laredo’s Mexican goodness all got their start in Addison!? Dine at the O.G. version of these national chains.

More to love
With more than 200 places from which to choose, you can literally eat at a different place in Addison every day for more than half of a year. Here are a few more places to put on your short list:

  • Chef Nick Badovinus’s cool-kid favorite Neighborhood Services is a can’t-miss.
  • Snag a spot at Stirr for its food and Instagram-perfect setting.
  • Sidecar Social is the ultimate 20,000-square-foot social lounge for cocktails and shareable plates, an enormous patio, live music, private karaoke, and classic gaming.
  • Make reservations for an iconic steakhouse experience at Chamberlain’s.
  • Hudson House’s East Coast-inspired “old-school casual” design and menu is everything you want for lunch, dinner, or weekend brunch.
  • Speaking of brunch, Ida Claire serves up an ultimate Southern menu. They also have a Vinyl Hour with classic records and bar bites during the week.

See everything on Addison's menu here.

Photo courtesy of Grandscape

Adventure awaits at shopping and dining mecca Grandscape in The Colony

Find Your Fun

There is nowhere in North Texas that showcases the variety of shopping, dining, and entertainment that Grandscape offers. The 433-acre retail and entertainment development in The Colony features a Nebraska Furniture Mart, 26 restaurants, a brewery, an indoor go-karting venue, movie theater, and even a Ferris wheel, meaning that whatever you are in the mood for, you'll find it here.

Shop to it
Grandscape has two gigantic retail anchors: Nebraska Furniture Mart and Scheels. NFM is the world's largest home furnishings store — 560,000 square feet! — featuring an eye-popping selection of furniture, accessories, appliances, televisions, computers, carpet, area rugs, hard surface flooring, and much more.

Likewise, Scheels is the world's largest all-sports store, offering 85 specialty shops ranging from technical athletic gear to the latest brand-name fashions for women, men, and children. It's also where you'll find family-friendly attractions like the 65-foot, 16-car operating Ferris Wheel; a 16,000-gallon saltwater aquarium with more than 600 fish; a wildlife mountain; and interactive arcade games.

There's also The Homestead, which boasts a lineup of local artisans and family-owned shops offering a wide variety of gifts, food, clothing, jewelry, leather goods, drinks, and more, including Dallas favorites Bullzerk, Odin Leather Goods & Provisions, Landry Kate, and Tyler Kingston Mercantile.

Chow down
In addition to the 20-plus dining options that are already open, Grandscape has several upcoming concepts set to open in 2022: Akira Back, Curry Up Now, LSA Burger, Portillo's, Quartino Ristorante, Red Phone Booth, Thirsty Lion Gastropub, Velvet Taco, World of Beer, and more.

Here you'll find several first-to-market restaurant concepts, including Davio's Northern Italian Steakhouse, Lava Cantina, Parry's Pizzeria & Taphouse, and Seven Doors Kitchen & Cocktails, as well as the first-in-country experience Windmills, out of Bangalore, India.

Entertain Me
It's all in the name: Andretti Indoor Karting & Games spans go-karts, duckpin bowling, arcade games, laser tag, an indoor ropes course, and more.

Galaxy Theatres offer the ultimate movie-going experience with luxury stadium seating and full power recliners. The two DFX auditoriums feature immersive audio, breathtaking large-format screens, and the latest state-of-the-art projection technology. Enjoy dinner, drinks, and a movie thanks to a full-service bar and restaurant.

Other popular entertainment-driven experiences at Grandscape include Electric Gamebox, the Grandscape Wheel, and Puttery, plus a full calendar of everyday programming activities and events like fitness classes, watch parties, movie nights, live concerts, and performances located throughout the center, on the outdoor lawn, and on the stage.

See all upcoming events, browse the directory, and stay in the know about Grandscape online.

Whatever you are in the mood for, you'll find it at Grandscape.

Photo courtesy of Grandscape
Whatever you are in the mood for, you'll find it at Grandscape.
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CultureMap Emails are Awesome

Texas hot spot hooks No. 1 ranking as best college city in America

Studies Show, Study Here

It might be a bit reductive to call Austin a college town, but that's what makes it so good. It certainly benefits from the creativity and industry of college living, but there's a lot more to do than go to gentrified lunches and cool, underground shows.

Recognizing this special balance, financial website WalletHub has declared Austin the No. 1 college city in the United States for 2023, beating out some obvious contenders like Pittsburgh and Columbus, Ohio.

In addition to being the best city overall, Austin also tops the large cities list, and is one of only two Texas locales represented in the top 10 of any category; the other is College Station, No. 6 on the small list.

The most represented state, perhaps not surprisingly, is Florida, with four cities in the overall top 10. The top 10 college cities for 2023, according to WalletHub, are:

1. Austin
2. Ann Arbor, Michigan
3. Orlando, Florida
4. Gainesville, Florida
5. Tampa, Florida
6. Rexburg, Idaho
7. Provo, Utah
8. Scottsdale, Arizona
9. Miami
10. Raleigh, North Carolina

And how did Austin make the grade? WalletHub looked at key metrics across three categories to determine the rankings.

Austin scored best, No. 12, in the “social environment” category, determined by metrics like students per capita; breweries, cafés, and food trucks per capita; and safety issues like vaccination and crime statistics.

Its ranking at No. 21 in the “academic & economic opportunities" category puts it in the 95th percentile, even above Boston and Cambridge, Massachusetts, famous for their Ivy League prevalence.

And perhaps unsurprising to those who currently reside in Austin, the Capital City ranked worst in "wallet friendliness,” at No. 204 out of 415.

Elsewhere in Texas, El Paso did well on the overall list at No. 36, followed by Houston (No. 64), Dallas (99), Fort Worth (153), and San Antonio (169).

Dallas landed well down the list in every category: wallet friendliness (226), academic & economic opportunities (168), and social environment (147).

Fort Worth fell even farther down the list in the same categories: wallet friendliness (242), academic & economic opportunities (201), and social environment (149).

Notably, cities that tend to fall lower in similar studies ranked relatively well among college towns.

These are the 9 best food and drink events in Dallas this week

This week in gluttony

Christmas spirit is in full swing, with all but one of this week’s events being holiday-themed. Check off pics with Santa for both the family and fur babies; take a Christmas cocktail-making class; sample holiday spirits from around the world; and stroll acres of candlelit walkways while indulging in holiday hors d’oeuvres and drinks – just to name a few. ‘Tis the season.

Tuesday, December 6

Caymus Wine Dinner at Carrabba’s Italian Grill
Decadent four-course meal features pairings with wines from award-winning Caymus. Courses include Stuffed Mushrooms with Shrimp, Rigatoni Al Forno with Chicken, Filet & Scallop Spiedino with Mashed Potatoes, and Crème Brulée, paired with Caymus wines including Cabernet Sauvignon and Conundrum Red Blend. The dinner is $75 starts at 6:30 pm. For the Dallas location, reserve here, and for Plano, reserve here.

Fontodi Wine Dinner at La Stella Cucina Verace
The Dallas Arts District Italian restaurant will host a five-course dinner paired with wines from Fontodi, a producer located in the Chianti Classico region of Tuscany. Courses will include beef carpaccio, butternut squash cappellacci with brown butter and sage, porchetta di Pienza with marble potatoes, Wagyu New York strip tagliata with porcini mushroom and butternut squash, and apple crostata. Dinner begins at 7 pm and is $175 plus tax and gratuity.

Thursday, December 8

Santa Paws at Texican Court Hotel
The Irving hotel invites furry friends and their humans to pop by for photos with Santa and complimentary hot apple cider and s’mores by the fire. Santa will be available for pet photos from 5-7 pm. Also enter to win a “Pups Night Away” overnight stay. Don’t miss the hotel’s pocket tequila bar, Salt, for new holiday cocktails in jolly keepsake glassware.

Reindeer Games Bar Crawl
Here’s a holiday bar crawl that spans beyond just drink specials. Participants get their money’s worth with a night of mini golf, axe throwing, unlimited video games, a chartered “sleigh bus,” and a pizza buffet. Start at Another Round and make stops at Flashback Retro Pub, LoneStar Axe Dallas, and Sylvan Avenue Tavern. Participants will also get a beer or seltzer at each stop. Tickets are $150 per duo, and the crawl will run from 6:15-10:30 pm.

Holiday Spirits Around the World at Hotel Vin
Sample an array of global spirits during this tasting experience at Grapevine’s Hotel Vin. Spirits to be served include Montenegro Italian liqueur, The Dalmore Scottish whiskey, Komo tequila, and Horse Soldier bourbon. Each spirit will be paired with globally-inspired bites. The tasting is $50 and will begin at 7 pm.

Friday, December 9

Cocktails by Candlelight at Old City Park
Candlelight will feature more than 13 acres of holiday cheer with decorated buildings, carolers, craft vendors, and candlelit walkways in Old City Park. Its 50th edition is set to begin on December 10, but adults only can get a sneak peek the night before during Cocktails by Candlelight, which comes with heavy hors d’oeuvres and drinks. Tickets are $100 per person or $175 per couple, and the event begins at 6 pm.

Saturday, December 10

Shaken, Not Stirred, Holiday Cocktail Class at Elm & Good
The modern American restaurant inside the Kimpton Pittman Hotel will host a holiday cocktail class great for groups looking to make spirits bright. Elm & Good’s lead mixologist Indy Acevedo-Fowler will guide guests through creating three cocktails: a cranberry margarita, peppermint espresso martini, and sangria rosa. Guests will also receive a branded take-away gift. The class is $35 and will begin at 2 pm.

Sunday, December 11

Brunch with Santa at the AC Hotel Dallas by the Galleria
Meet the big guy himself while indulging in brunch dishes during this family-friendly Sunday Funday. Tickets are $25 for adults (includes one mimosa) and $15 for kids 3-12. Children will get to meet Santa and take family photos. Brunch will run from 11:30 am-1:30 pm.

Monday, December 12

12 Days of Thompson
The Thompson Hotel Dallas will spread Christmas cheer with 12 days of daily holiday activations. The festivities start Monday with Home Alone, S’mores & Sips, a movie night with cocktails themed after the Christmas classic, a s’mores bar, and movie screening amid downtown views. The price is a $15 charitable donation. Doors opens at 5 pm with the movie to start at 6 pm. Other 12 Days of Thompson events range from a pie-baking class and cookie decorating to brunch with Santa and Holiday High Tea. See the complete calendar of events here.

Dedicated volunteers extract Spaghetti Warehouse trolley from Dallas' West End

Trolley News

Thanks to a dedicated team of conservation-minded folks, the vintage trolley from the Spaghetti Warehouse in Dallas' West End has been moved to a temporary new home: in a warehouse at Orr-Reed Architectural Co., the salvage store just south of downtown Dallas, which will provide a safe space for the vehicle while it undergoes a restoration.

A permanent home is still TBD, but Orr-Reed will be housing the trolley for at least the next 12 months.

The trolley was one of the original streetcars that ran through East Dallas nearly a century ago. It surged to fame in 2019 when Spaghetti Warehouse closed after 47 years, and the company held a giant auction of its extensive collection of memorabilia.

The streetcar got a bid from an anonymous buyer, but that buyer bailed once they encountered the difficulties of removing the trolley from the location.

The trolley was donated to the Junius Heights Historic District, a neighborhood association in Old East Dallas who wanted to save the trolley because of its role in the original streetcar program that was key to the establishment of Junius Heights.

Orr-Reed is providing the space and backup manpower for free.

"The first time it went on the auction block, I wanted to buy it because I'm obsessed with keeping the city’s history," says Orr-Reed owner Hannah Hargrove. "Dallas is known for tearing things down and replacing it with bigger and better things, but 'bigger and better' only lasts 50 years. Since we have the space, we wanted to be helpful in providing the trolley's next chapter of life."


spaghetti warehouse trolley A team unloads the Spaghetti Warehouse trolley into a warehouse at Orr-Reed.Johann Huebschmann

The move
JD Middleton, who builds out restaurants and bars for his "day job," oversaw a team of volunteers who broke the trolley down into pieces and transported it to the new location.

"My buddy JJ Velez and I saw it in the news, we both had a personal connection," Middleton says. "My grandfather drove the trolley, it's possible he drove that one, while JJ had seen it when he was a little kid, after the Christmas parade in downtown Dallas."

With another friend, Randy Lasiter, assisting, they volunteered to do it on a 100 percent volunteer basis. For the past six months, they've been going there in the early morning, before heading to their regular job sites.

"We do a lot of crazy things for customer requests, and this was right up our alley," Middleton says.

This entailed cutting the exterior into parts: removing the front and back "nose pieces," breaking down the body of the trolley into panels, then splitting up the chassis foundation — like a vertebrae that they cut up, to be reassembled by a welder.

Middleton says that Uncle Dan’s Pawn Shop donated saw blades and trailers and other equipment, as did Frida's Social Club on McKinney Avenue, who provided a big trailer and truck to haul it over to Orr-Reed.

Middleton assembled a group of friends who spent four hours on December 3, loading the trolley piece-by-piece onto trailers, then unloading it at Orr-Reed. He's also volunteered to help restore it.

"There's some rusting on the inside, it's like an old Ford Model-T that's been sitting in a garage," he says. "We'll get it sand-blasted and primed and painted, then put it back together again."

Their work is saving the Junius Heights Historic District hundreds of thousands of dollars.

"It's like an art project for us, and we're getting the opportunity to help take care of history," Middleton says. "JJ ate there when he was a little kid, and he'd like to take his kid to see it when it's finished. That’s why we're doing it."


Spaghetti Warehouse trolley Spaghetti Warehouse trolley, in pieces.Johann Huebschmann

The new home
The Junius Heights group does not yet have a permanent home for the trolley, nor a plan for how it will be managed or maintained. Details details.

For now, it resides in Orr-Reed's "dry house" — a warehouse they've used for overflow and for items that need to be kept out of the elements such as big furniture items, casement windows, and things that cannot get wet.

Hargrove and her staff built shelving and redesigned the warehouse to make it work.

"It'll definitely affect our day-to-day routine — there's a giant cumbersome trolley that's taking up space — but it’s worth it," Hargrove says. "If we hadn't done it, they would have had to spend a lot of money on storing it rather than restoring it. I'm a keeper of history, it’s my duty, although I've never done anything on this scale."

"We're not doing it for the money, we're doing it because someone has to," she says. "I feel like I'm doing the right thing."