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These kids run the most fun golf tournament in Dallas

KidSwing This Summer

Photo courtesy of Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children

In Texas, we love our golf. Thanks to veteran Lone Star pros like Lee Trevino and newcomer superstar Jordan Spieth, playing and watching golf is practically a statewide requirement.

So it should come as no surprise that the renowned Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children hosts the annual KidSwing Golf Tournament to help raise funds for patient care.

Like everything else at TSRHC, this golf tournament is focused completely on children. As patient Colin Ashlock says, “It’s for kids, run by kids. We just want everyone to come out and have fun.”

And fun it is! Hundreds of children, ages 5 through 15, come together from all over the Dallas-Fort Worth area for golf and games to support the hospital. Patients and non-patients alike play together in a 9-hole, best-ball scramble.

There is no tournament fee, but every player is encouraged to raise at least $100 per tournament for Texas Scottish Rite by asking their friends, family and community members to sponsor them. Some children write letters or visit their favorite local businesses, and many participants far exceed the suggested donation amount.

The KidSwing tournament was founded in 2003 by former patient Ben Sater when he was just 10 years old as a way to give back to the hospital and involve other children in community fundraising. The first KidSwing at Brookhaven Country Club was a tremendous success, raising $20,000.

Now entering its 13th year, KidSwing has grown to include two more tournaments in McKinney and Trophy Club and has raised more than $1.7 million for the hospital.

KidSwing also is adding a new event aimed at teenagers. The Scottish Rite Shootout will be held at TopGolf Dallas on July 21 for young adults ages 16 to 18. Featuring a tournament, prizes, and a dinner and awards program, every foursome is asked to raise a minimum of $300.

This year, the young members of the KidSwing Junior Committee have decided to use the proceeds to donate Bebionic hands. These incredibly advanced and versatile myoelectric prosthetic hands will help transform patients’ lives, and the KidSwing participants are hard at work fundraising in support of this considerable goal.

As much fun as the golf tournaments are, the desire to give back is at the heart of KidSwing. This tournament is about more than just raising money for patient care; it’s about children learning how to help others and giving children back their childhood.

KidSwing Dallas
Monday, June 8
Brookhaven Country Club

KidSwing McKinney
Tuesday, June 16
Stone Ridge Ranch Country Club

KidSwing Trophy Club
Monday, July 13
Trophy Club Country Club

Scottish Rite Shootout
Tuesday, July 21
TopGolf Dallas

To register or learn more, please visit kidswing.org.

Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children has been caring for children since 1921. TSRHC treats children with orthopedic conditions, such as scoliosis, clubfoot, hand disorders, hip disorders and limb length differences, as well as certain related neurological disorders and learning disorders such as dyslexia. Please visit us a scottishritehospital.org, Facebook.org/tsrhc or Twitter.com/tsrhc, or call 214-559-5000 for additional information.

Participants jump for joy at KidSwing Golf Tournament benefiting Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children.

Photo courtesy of Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children
Participants jump for joy at KidSwing Golf Tournament benefiting Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children.
Photo courtesy of Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children

Meet all your favorite characters at the most magical morning in Dallas

Magical Memories

On Saturday, June 27, Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children will bring magic to life at the third annual Character Breakfast.

Kids from all over the community can meet their favorite caped crusaders, storybook princesses and sports mascots during this one-of-a-kind morning. The best part? While you’re watching your kids’ eyes light up, you’ll know that you’re also supporting the young patients at Texas Scottish Rite.

Character Breakfast was started three years ago by Crayon Club members Dorothy McGowan and Natalie Womble as a way for young professionals to raise money for the hospital while having the opportunity to interact with children in the community.

“We wanted a way to separate ourselves from other young professional groups who usually throw a ball or gala to raise funds. Character Breakfast allows club members and other young professionals to not only raise money, but volunteer while doing so.”

The morning begins with a scrumptious breakfast served by Crayon Club volunteers and friends. All attendees are welcomed and encouraged to dress up as a character, and the excitement builds as the kids receive a special autograph book to collect the characters’ signatures. Their jaws will drop when the character parade enters the room with all of their favorite friends, from Elsa and Cinderella to Batman and Spiderman.

As soon as breakfast is finished, it’s time for a photo and autograph extravaganza. The kids enjoy one-on-one meet-and-greets and photos with the characters. Face-painting stations, family photo booths and tons of other activities keep everyone entertained and smiling.

Parents can explore a fun-filled silent auction with a variety of items for kids and adults alike. Past silent auction packages have included tickets to local sports games, week-long sports and summer camps, family photography sessions, and a cake-decorating party. The silent auction is a great way to find a special birthday gift while supporting children’s care.

Tickets sell out quickly for this limited-seating event, so make sure to purchase early. You don’t want to miss out on the fun!

Event Details
Character Breakfast
Saturday, June 27, 9-11 am
Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children

Child ticket: $15
Adult ticket: $25
Table (eight seats): $150
Admission is free for children under 2

To purchase tickets, please visit Community.TSRHC.org/CrayonClubBreakfast, or call 214-559-7656 for questions about the event.

Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children has been caring for children since 1921. TSRHC treats children with orthopedic conditions, such as scoliosis, clubfoot, hand disorders, hip disorders and limb length differences, as well as certain related neurological disorders and learning disorders such as dyslexia. Please visit us online at scottishritehospital.org or Facebook.org/tsrhc, or call us at 214-559-5000 for additional information.

Anna, Elsa and Olaf thaw the ice with warm smiles at Texas Scottish Rite Hospital's Character Breakfast.

Photo courtesy of Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children
Anna, Elsa and Olaf thaw the ice with warm smiles at Texas Scottish Rite Hospital's Character Breakfast.
Photo courtesy of Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children

Top-flight Dallas sports medicine center treats young athletes like pros

Special Care for Young Athletes

In many ways, the Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children Sports Medicine Center looks like a typical sports medicine clinic. With signed athletic jerseys and state-of-the-art physical rehabilitation equipment, you may expect to see Cowboys or Mavericks players working to become game-day ready.

The TSRHC Sports Medicine Center sees its fair share of linebackers and power forwards, but these patients are a little young for the pros. Focused on assessing and treating acute and chronic sports-related injuries in young athletes, these experts understand the importance of athletics to their young patients, both from a physical and emotional perspective.

Diagnosing and treating young athletes takes more than a skilled understanding of pediatric orthopedics; it requires a sensitivity and comprehension of what it means to be a child experiencing an injury that is keeping him or her from doing what he or she loves.

Pediatric sports physician and orthopedic surgeon Dr. Henry Ellis knows the impact an injury can have a young athlete’s body and mind. A graduate of University of Texas Health Science Center San Antonio with a residency at University of Texas Southwestern Orthopedic Residency, Dr. Ellis has diagnosed and treated hundreds of athletes throughout his career. As an athlete himself and former physician for the U.S. women’s ski team, Dr. Ellis understands athletes’ physical and mental drive, determination, and the potential psychological effect of an injury.

It is apparent when observing Dr. Ellis with his patients that taking care of their mental health is as important to him as treating their physical injuries. Eric is a 14-year-old football and baseball player with a serious elbow injury. He is currently in the middle of baseball season in Waxahachie, and his team is likely headed to the Little League World Series in July.

Dr. Ellis knows telling this young man and his mother that he should no longer play baseball will not be easy. After spending some time discussing how current pitching regulations and mechanics may have caused his initial injury, Dr. Ellis shifts the conversation. “I’m not here to lecture you. Let’s talk about goals and how we can address them.”

While talking about the injury and an upcoming surgery with Eric and his mother, Dr. Ellis agilely shifts between addressing technical details and pragmatic concerns, including the emotional impact of Eric’s leaving baseball mid-season. Eric is also a skilled football player, and Dr. Ellis encourages him to shift his athletic focus exclusively to football, which would not have the same damaging effects on his elbow as baseball.

Ultimately, Dr. Ellis leaves the next steps to Eric and his mom. “We have a little bit of soul searching to do right now.”

It is this care and attention to the whole child that makes Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children Sports Medicine Center such a special place. With a team of surgeons, physicians, nurse practitioners and physical therapists, every detail of this practice is focused on treating children. Sports-related concussions, sports-related injuries, growth-plate injuries and stress fractures are all treated with careful attention to the unique physiology of a child.

Dr. Ellis sums up the center perfectly when talking to a nervous 11-year-old boy about a procedure Dr. Ellis will perform on his knee.

“We’re talking a lot of adult talk, but we’re talking about you — your knee. We work in a place where everyone takes care of kids. So we’re all going to take really good care of you. Does that sound okay?”

The little boy nods, and with a high-five from Dr. Ellis, he says, “It’s okay.”

For more information on the TSRHC Sports Medicine clinic, please visit www.tsrhc.org/sports-medicine or call 469-303-5000.

Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children has been caring for children since 1921. TSRHC treats children with orthopedic conditions, such as scoliosis, clubfoot, hand disorders, hip disorders and limb length differences, as well as certain related neurological disorders and learning disorders such as dyslexia. For more information or to get involved, visit scottishritehospital.org or Facebook.com/tsrhc, or call 214-559-5000.

Dr. Ellis (second from right) is one of the medical staff who join Texas Scottish Rite Hospital patients on the its annual amputee ski trip in Winter Park.

Photo courtesy of Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children
Dr. Ellis (second from right) is one of the medical staff who join Texas Scottish Rite Hospital patients on the its annual amputee ski trip in Winter Park.
Photo courtesy of Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children

Cherished art auction connects Dallasites with creative up-and-comers

Summer Colors

Desmond Blair is an artist and a problem solver. Being born without hands has not stopped this talented young man from pursuing his painting with passion and ferocity.

As a child learning how to write, Desmond would practice in coloring books with his grandmother. That early exposure to color and graphics instilled in him a love of art that has become a driving force in his life. With a background in 3D and digital art, Desmond now works primarily in oils on canvas, with a focus on portraiture.

“Part of the reason I paint, and will continue to paint, and will continue to get better at painting, is to prove that just because somebody has a disability or is born different doesn’t mean they are limited in what they do,” he says.

“I know there will be somebody coming along behind me and will have to deal with the same things, and if the pathway is already kind of cleared. ... I think I can rest easier knowing I made somebody else’s life a little easier.”

Currently working as a project manager in the IT department of Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children, Desmond credits a hospital fundraising event, Summer Colors Art Show, as one of the main reasons he has gotten serious about his painting in the past few years. In 2011 he was asked to donate a piece to the silent auction, and Desmond says it has become one of his favorite shows and a benchmark for his work.

Desmond is just one of the local artists being showcased this year at Summer Colors Art Show on July 30. Founded in 2009 by Jenny and Loren Koziol and Dupree and Jill Scovell, Summer Colors has grown from a small two-person show to an exciting silent auction featuring upward of 25 artists from around Dallas-Fort Worth, and it has raised nearly $50,000 for the hospital.

Entering its seventh year, Summer Colors offers the Dallas community a chance to support Texas Scottish Rite while being exposed to some of Dallas’ most exciting up-and-coming artists.

Co-founder and artist Jenny Grumbles Koziol says the main goals of Summer Colors are to introduce new friends to the hospital, raise funds and to give emerging artists a platform to share their work. “Plus it’s a good deal,” she adds. “Because it’s an auction, you can leave with some beautiful art at a great price!”

Event details:

Summer Colors Art Show
Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children
Thursday, July 30, 6:30-8:30 pm
Tickets are $25 in advance or $30 at the door
To purchase tickets: https://community.tsrhc.org/SummerColors

Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children has been caring for children since 1921. TSRHC treats children with orthopedic conditions, such as scoliosis, clubfoot, hand disorders, hip disorders and limb length differences, as well as certain related neurological disorders and learning disorders such as dyslexia. Please visit us online at TSRHC.org or Facebook.org/tsrhc, or call us at 214-559-5000 for additional information.

Desmond Blair works in IT at Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children, but he's also a talented artist who contributes works to the Summer Colors fundraiser.

Photo courtesy of Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children
Desmond Blair works in IT at Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children, but he's also a talented artist who contributes works to the Summer Colors fundraiser.
Photo courtesy of Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children

Texas Scottish Rite has gone to the dogs! But pet therapy makes young patients smile

Doggone Fun Therapy

You wouldn’t expect to hear “doggie, doggie, doggie!” at a children’s hospital, but Tristan, age 2, can’t contain his excitement when he looks down from his wheelchair and sees Buddy, a gray Miniature Schnauzer.

Buddy’s owner, Marilyn Nelson, lifts Buddy into a chair so Tristan can have a closer look. The young boy and the bearded dog stare at each other in silence. Buddy has been visiting with children for five years, and he knows that sometimes even the bravest child may need a moment to adjust to a new visitor, especially one with four paws.

As Tristan’s small face melts into a smile, Buddy scoots closer to the boy, ready with a gentle nudge and a soft lick. Tristan erupts into giggles as his mother looks on. Some of the tension in her shoulders seems to release, and she shares a laugh with her son.

It’s Wednesday morning, and that means the dogs are on duty at Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children. Once a week, volunteers from Paws Across Texas and Pet Partners bring their canine companions to TSRHC to spend time with the young patients. These therapy assistance dogs and their owners bring smiles, laughter and, for many patients, a reminder of their furry friends waiting at home.

The path to becoming a therapy animal is no walk in the park — for the dogs or the owners. Every animal that enters the hospital has gone through a rigorous certification process. Before receiving their therapy assistance status, the dogs receive expert training and are put through a series of drills to test their patience and demeanor. Regular evaluations, veterinary checkups and special baths are just part of a therapy dog’s routine.

Charissa Kumar and her Standard Poodle, Izzy, have been volunteering for the past year. As a former X-ray technician in a cardiology center, Charissa is accustomed to helping patients.

“There are so many ways to help people that are not just technical — and this is one of them,” she says. Izzy takes her work just as seriously. “When her yellow therapy leash comes out, she knows! Her tail starts wagging, and she is ready to get in the car.”

As seriously as these dogs take their jobs, there is also plenty of room for fun. Micki Jenkins makes sure her Maltese, Kristal, is wearing the latest canine couture for her hospital visits. Micki jokes, “Kristal is always ready for her close-up.”

Kristal’s partner that day is an equally fashionable Tibetan Spaniel named Elvis. He trots down the hall, smiling at everyone and everything he sees. As Elvis wraps up a visit, his owner, Linda Herrrscher, tells him to “throw kisses,” and with a gesture worthy of the King himself, Elvis puts his paw to his mouth and blows a kiss to his new friends.

Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children has been caring for children since 1921. TSRHC treats children with orthopedic conditions, such as scoliosis, clubfoot, hand disorders, hip disorders and limb length differences, as well as certain related neurological disorders and learning disorders such as dyslexia. For more information or to get involved, visit scottishritehospital.org or Facebook.com/tsrhc, or call 214-559-5000.

Volunteer Linda Herrscher holds Elvis, a Tibetan Spaniel, while he visits with 5-year-old Texas Scottish Rite patient Mary, sister Jurnee and mom Janae of Houston.

Photo courtesy of Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children
Volunteer Linda Herrscher holds Elvis, a Tibetan Spaniel, while he visits with 5-year-old Texas Scottish Rite patient Mary, sister Jurnee and mom Janae of Houston.
Photo courtesy of Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children

Young equestrian gets more than quality care at this top Dallas hospital

Back on the Horse

From the moment you meet Eliana Gill, you notice her warm eyes and welcoming smile. Wearing her red uniform jacket and name badge, this is a young woman who clearly has a passion for volunteering at Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children.

Eliana was introduced to TSRHC three years ago when she was a senior at St. Andrew’s Episcopal School in Austin. She had been experiencing pain and stiffness in her hips and legs, and she was unconvinced by her pediatrician’s opinion that it was growing pains. Without a proper diagnosis, Eliana felt frustrated and alone in her pain.

Her parents took her to a sports medicine doctor who determined that she might have hip dysplasia and referred her to Texas Scottish Rite’s Center for Excellence in Hip Disorders for an MRI, official diagnosis and treatment.

An equestrian and competitive show jumper, Eliana underwent hip surgery and spent six days as an in-patient at TSRHC. Afterward, she spent three months in a wheelchair relearning how to walk, but it wasn’t long before she was back on her horse and riding in the Texas Hill Country.

She credits the supportive care of TSRHC’s volunteers and staff, especially the nurses, on her excellent progress. Her experience at the hospital influenced her to volunteer one night a week and visit with patients.

Every Wednesday, Eliana spends time with children in the in-patient ward of the hospital. From delivering snacks and bed linens to playing games and making crafts, Eliana knows firsthand what an impact these volunteer visits can have on a patient.

She remembers her first hospital visit with a laugh. “I was your typical teenager — cocky, not scared — and I thought it was no big deal. At first.”

That’s when Eliana laid eyes on the giant needles that were going to inject dye into her body for the MRI, and her stomach dropped. Arwen, Eliana’s first nurse at TSRHC, helped comfort her and alleviate her fears.

“I remember Arwen standing by me, and she grabbed both of my hands, and I felt so much less scared and so safe,” Eliana says.

That moment changed the course of Eliana’s life and inspired her to become a nurse herself. Finishing her junior year at Baylor University’s Louise Herrington School of Nursing, Eliana is on track to become a pediatric nurse and offer her patients the same care and support that she received as a patient at TSRHC.

“I want to make people feel secure and well cared for — that’s my goal.”

She is certainly well on her way.

To learn more about volunteer opportunities at Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children, visit http://www.tsrhc.org/volunteer.

Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children has been caring for children since 1921. TSRHC treats children with orthopedic conditions, such as scoliosis, clubfoot, hand disorders, hip disorders and limb length differences, as well as certain related neurological disorders and learning disorders such as dyslexia. Please visit us online at TSRHC.org or Facebook.org/tsrhc, or call us at 214-559-5000 for additional information.

Eliana Gill was an equestrian and competitive show jumper.

Photo courtesy of Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children
Eliana Gill was an equestrian and competitive show jumper.
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CultureMap Emails are Awesome

This Dallas restaurant news has tons of tempting dishes to check out

News You Can Eat

January can be a sleepy time in the Dallas restaurant scene but 2023 has been an exception, and this roundup of restaurant news is proof. Most of what's here is about new dishes and new seasonal menus, but there's also news about chef appointments and celebrity chefs on TV.

Here's what's happening in Dallas dining news, collated from press releases, emails, and online sites:

Loro Asian Smokehouse & Bar has launched two ramen specials for February, served Tuesdays-Wednesdays after 4 pm: Smoked Brisket Ramen or Grilled Prawn Ramen, both featuring Balinese curry, sun noodles, ajitama egg, green onion, and sesame, both $18.

Bulla Gastrobar, the Spanish-style restaurant located in Legacy West, has launched a new Winter menu featuring clams with pork belly, Galician soup, braised short ribs with house-made potato chips, braised lamb with patatas panaderas, pear fiocchi pear-filled pasta, with honey blue cheese sauce, cauliflower with bechamel sauce, and Basque-style creamy cheesecake with blueberry compote.

Ford’s Garage, the restaurant inspired by the heritage of the Ford Motor Company, has a new limited-edition comfort-food menu featuring seasonal dishes with a twist including Philly Cheeseburger, a half-pound black Angus patty with caramelized onions, red bell pepper, Pepperjack cheese, beer cheese, and apple-bacon jam; 10-oz bone-in pork chop with apple slices, bacon jam, and rum glaze, with two sides; and Belgian waffle bites with caramel sauce.

Mendocino Farms has rolled out a new limited-time menu featuring a Countryside Cobb with Romaine, spinach, red onion, bacon, asparagus,, green onion, pickled peppadew peppers, Gruyere cheese, and boiled egg ($8 through February 10 if ordered online or via the Mendocino Farms App); Chicken Parm Dip sandwich with chicken, Mendo’s krispies, mozzarella, Grana Padano cheese, pomodoro sauce, basil, and Calabrian chili aioli on a sesame roll; plus new sides including Beets & Farro, Spicy Dijon Potato Salad, Creamy Potato Leek Soup, and Vegan Chili. At all five area locations: Preston Hollow, Addison, Plano, West Village, and Downtown Dallas.

Mod Pizza has added oven-baked wings, available in six- or 12-piece portions in five recipes: Original, BBQ Hot Honey, Buffalo, Sri-Rancha, and Parmesan Garlic Rosemary. The wings join other recent menu innovations that include a plant-based Italian Sausage, a new salad menu, and a series of seasonal, limited-edition No Name Cakes. A spokesperson says that wings have been in their culinary pipeline for a while, and they'll have more new items throughout 2023.

Dickey’s Barbecue Pit has a spicy new limited-edition Atomic Barbecue Chicken Sandwich, a collaboration with its virtual Wing Boss concept, featuring smoked chicken breast, pickles, onions, and a fusion of Wing Boss’ Atomic sauce and Dickey’s Sweet Barbecue sauce. It'll be available February 6-April 30.

Fuzzy's Taco Shop has brought back two favorite tacos: The Spicy Chimi Fajita Taco features a flour tortilla with garlic sauce, cheese, fajita beef or chicken, pico de gallo, and spicy chimichurri sauce made with parsley, cilantro, jalapeños, olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, and salt. The Saucy Brisket Poblano Taco has shredded brisket, Butt Burnin’ sauce blended with Dr. Pepper and topped with poblano peppers, red onion, avocado, garlic sauce, feta, and cilantro on a warm flour tortilla.

Dunkin' has a new winter lineup featuring the Brownie Batter Dougnut, Brown Butter Toffee Latte, Stuffed Biscuit Bites, and Bacon Avocado Tomato Sandwich.

DQ restaurants in Texas are offering a deal on their Texas T-Brand Tacos, consisting of crunchy corn shells filled with beef, shredded cheese, lettuce, tomato, and taco sauce, three for $5 through the end of February.

Grimaldi's, the pizza chain, has launched a new Garden Ranch Salad with Romaine lettuce topped with red pepper, red onion, cucumber, cherry tomatoes, croutons, and ranch dressing.

Razzoo's Cajun Cafe has added new $9.99 lunch entrees all day Monday–Friday. featuring Cajun Fried Steak and Cajun Fried Chicken, both served with mashed potatoes and andouille cream gravy, and Andouille Sausage with Red Beans & Rice.

Freebirds World Burrito has added Hero tortillas, which contain 2g of carbs, designed for people who like burritos but are trying to lower their calories and carbs. It'll be a third tortilla option at Freebirds, the other two being flour and cayenne tortillas.

The State Fair of Texas is seeking applicants who'd like to become one of the nearly 90 concessionaires at the 2023 event. There's an application online or go to BigTex.com.

Hawthorn, the restaurant in the lobby floor of the AT&T building in downtown Dallas, now has executive chef Eric Spigner in the kitchen. Spigner has worked at Greenbrier Country Club, Pizzaiolo, and Nova in Dallas. Spigner was nominated for Rising Star Chef in CultureMap's 2019 Tastemaker Awards and also won on the Food Network Show Chopped.

Dallas celebrity chef Tiffany Derry will be a contestant in the fourth season of Guy Fieri's iconic culinary competition, Tournament of Champions, which returns on Sunday, February 19 at 7 pm on Food Network, where chefs from the East and West coast will face off in a bracket-style culinary competition.

Greenville Avenue Pizza Company owner Sammy Mandell helped set a Guinness Book of World Record. Mandell traveled to Tulsa to join World Pizza Champions in partnership with The University of Tulsa and set a new world record for World’s Largest Pizza Party to benefit Make-A-Wish Oklahoma at an event on January 21 that had a total of 3357 participants. The attempt is a charitable initiative of World Pizza Champions, as many members from around the country and world were in Tulsa to together author a cookbook.

Genghis Grill has a new restaurant prototype set to debut in spring 2023 that will be half the size of today's locations, with a goal to get customers in and out in under 15 minutes of placing an order, as well as a separate pick-up area for to-go and curbside parking spots.

Dallas-based Avocados From Mexico is making its "AvocadoGlow" brand color official through a partnership with PANTONE. The new color emulates the tones you see when you cut into a ripe avocado. They've launched a limited-edition Avocado Glow Collection that includes throw pillow, wallpaper, apron, oven mitts, coasters, a serving tray and a guacamole bowl.

Texas Food & Wine Alliance revealed its 2022 grant winners, giving away more than $107K in grants to 19 winners and one honorable mention statewide. Dallas-Fort Worth recipients included Cafe Momentum, Wicked Bold Chocolate, and Funkytown Food Project.

The FDA Modernization Act 2.0 was signed into law. This ends an 80-year-old requirement for animal testing in the development of new drugs and allows manufacturers and sponsors of a drug to use alternative testing methods to animal testing. Huge!

Dallas reels in impressive ranking among 25 best big cities to be a filmmaker

That's showbiz

Good news for cinephiles and aspiring directors: Dallas has landed a top-25 spot among the best big cities to live and work as a moviemaker in 2023. Coming in at No. 20 (down from No. 15 in 2022 and No. 12 in 2021) on MovieMaker Magazine's annual list, Dallas joins four other Texas cities in the top 25: Austin (No. 12), Houston (No. 21), San Antonio (No. 22), and Fort Worth (No. 25).

MovieMaker compiles its annual list based on surveys, production spending, tax incentives, additional research, and personal visits whenever possible — with the notable exclusions of Los Angeles and New York:

"We don’t believe people should have to be rich or well-connected to make movies," writes MovieMaker editor Tim Molloy. "And we know plenty of people who moved to L.A. or New York with filmmaking dreams and ended up working industry-barely-adjacent jobs just to pay the bills. We think the best place to live is one you can afford — a place where you can be happy, inspired, and financially free to pursue your art."

These criteria are themes throughout the ranking: Atlanta, Georgia, took the top spot overall, followed by Vancouver, British Columbia (No. 2), and New Orleans, Louisiana (No. 3). The five Texas cities on the list all boast more affordability than Los Angeles or New York, and each one features a deeply supportive film community and various local incentives.

Dallas came in second among Texas cities at No. 20, selected for its location and architecture, among other factors.

"Why choose Dallas? The city offers an online document that addresses just that question, and points to factors including its equal access to both coasts, great weather (except for some cold nights) and striking visuals, including modern and futuristic buildings that form a strikingly camera-worthy nighttime skyline," Molloy writes.

Dallas' diversity, plethora of permitting options, and cost of living also bolster its ranking.

"It’s one of the most diverse cities in the country, with a deep, experienced crew base, easily obtainable permits, and hotel deals to be had — if you’re shooting in Dallas and staying in the city’s hotels for at least 15 nights, you could qualify for up to 10 percent back on rooms," Molloy writes. "It’s a great city to work on other people’s projects so you can save enough money to create your own, and is almost exactly in line with the U.S. average cost of living. Just drive or walk its streets and it’s impossible not to notice the new construction and businesses popping up all over town, and it’s full of rising filmmakers who pitch in to do each other favors and bring one another’s projects to life."

He adds that the Dallas International Film Festival does an admirable job of showcasing must-see films, such as last year’s documentary Juneteenth: Faith and Freedom.

Neighboring Fort Worth made the list for the second year in a row. (It was No. 25 in its debut last year also.)

"Fort Worth is the proud home of Taylor Sheridan’s upcoming Paramount+ limited series about Bass Reeves, the once-enslaved man who became a famed federal marshal," Molloy writes. "Sheridan’s Yellowstone prequel 1883 also shoots in Fort Worth, and is based in nearby Weatherford, where Sheridan owns a ranch. Fort Worth offers clear skies, easy permitting, and a vibrant film culture that includes the Lone Star Film Festival.

"The 13th-biggest city in the country also has experienced crews and a cost of living almost exactly in line with the U.S. average. While there’s no official local incentive program, the city’s very accommodating film officials work hard to offer soft incentives like deals on hotels."

Elsewhere in Texas

"Texas is booming, as you’re about to see from the five Lone Star State cities on this list — all of which would be higher in our rankings if Texas offered more generous tax incentives," Molloy writes. "Still, the state is working hard to attract film and TV projects, and the signs of growth are obvious all over the state."

Austin unsurprisingly took the highest Texas spot at No. 12, scoring points beyond the obvious benefits of SXSW. MovieMaker praised smaller fests like the Austin Film Festival, as well as the Texas Moving Image Industry Incentive Program, and Austin's impressive list of filmmaker residents (Richard Linklater, Robert Rodriguez, and Terrence Malick — to name a few).

Houston placed right behind Dallas at No. 21, with MovieMaker touting its diversity and low cost of living.

San Antonio came in fourth among Texas cities at No. 22, selected for its plethora of permitting options, reinstatement of local film incentives, and growing educational opportunities such as the University of Texas at San Antonio’s new Bachelor of Fine Arts Film & Media Studies program.

These are the 6 best food and drink events in Dallas this week

This week in gluttony

Warm up this week with a whiskey dinner, rib-smoking class, and hot cinnamon rolls. Or hop aboard a motorcoach bus for a Valentine’s-themed vegan tour of Dallas. Follow that with a meetup at one of Dallas' newest vegan restaurants. This week also brings the first Galentine’s event of 2023 – a brunch just for gal-pals with lots of pink drinks. (Note: Due to winter weather, be sure to check the event links for possible cancellations.)

Tuesday, January 31

Lockwood Pairing Dinner at Whiskey Cake Plano
The Southern-inspired dining destination will partner with Lockwood Distilling to host a five-course cocktail and spirits pairing dinner. Menu highlights include shrimp and grit cakes, lamb meatloaf, and banana and spiced pecan eggrolls. Cocktails will be themed to match the courses. Reservations are $85 plus tax and gratuity, and dinner begins at 7 pm.

Saturday, February 4

House of Bread One-Year Anniversary
Line up early for 25-cent cinnamon rolls at this McKinney bread bakery, which is celebrating its first birthday. There’ll be raffle prizes, giveaways, and even a 25-pound cinnamon roll to share. Proceeds will benefit the Community Food Pantry of McKinney. House of Bread opens at 8 am.

RibsU at Manhattan Project Beer Co.
The folks from Backyard Pitmasters will host a class all about ribs during this Saturday morning cooking class. Learn about short ribs, chuck ribs, beef back ribs, St. Louis-style pork ribs, pork baby back ribs, and lamb ribs. Butcher a rack of spareribs and learn how to use a dry rub, how to slice, and how to serve. The class is $119 and will run from 10 am-1 pm.

The Vegan Valentine Tour
Hop aboard the motorcoach bus for a tour of Valentine’s specials at vegan eateries around Dallas. The tour will be led by Courtney Garza McCullagh of VegWorld Magazine. Tickets are $64, and the tour will run from 12:30-4:30 pm. The bus is BYOB.

Veggie Outers Meetup at Green Papaya Plant Based
Join the Veggie Outers, a foodie group that meets once a month at area vegetarian restaurants, on a visit to Green Papaya Plant Based, the new vegan restaurant at 3211 Oak Lawn Ave. The event is free. You can order a la carte from their menu which includes dishes such as avocado truffle burger, tofu pho, white truffle pizza, and green papaya salad. 6:30-9 pm. RSVP on their website or on EventBrite.

Sunday, February 5

Galentine’s Brunch at El Patio Mex-Tex
Bring your gal-pals for an all-pink Galentine’s brunch-time affair at this Lewisville hot spot. There’ll be lipstick readings, DJ music, pink drink specials, and an all-you-can-eat Tex-Mex brunch buffet for $28. Brunch will be served from 11 am-2 pm.