Photo courtesy of Speak As One

Mental health apps are so alluring, but once you’ve recorded your two-week streak and things are feeling a little more organized, it can be hard to keep going. It’s hard enough to keep up with journaling and a great bedtime routine, and many lovely self-help tools also lose their effectiveness when the novelty wears off.

A smart company might harness that novelty as its hook — and an easily distracted self-helper won’t fall off the wagon. Like many other companies in the mental health space, Speak As One will work on a subscription model, but this one won’t languish, unused on a credit card statement. The service, which plans to launch during SXSW 2023, delivers boxes of tangible mental health tools, inspiration, games, and even sensory objects that act as a monthly nudge to try something new, and curiosity takes care of the rest.

A sample box included:

  • Stress balls with short inspirational phrases by MindPanda
  • An Emotional First Aid Kit containing advice for situations as they come up, like sleeplessness and feelings of inadequacy
  • Tiny colorful putties at different resistances by Flint Rehab
  • A notebook, and two books: Athlete Mental Health Playbook and 1000 Unique Questions About Me
  • Other small items

It’s more than packing and shipping out a few toys each month. The boxes are curated with help from a licensed therapist, who leaves a personal note along with tips on how to use the items inside and additional resources. There is one type of box right now that aims to “reduce anxiety, increase mindfulness, and promote peace and balance,” but for further customization (for $10 more), the team is working on boxes tailored to first responders, veterans, athletes, and people in “recovery.”

Speak As One emphasizes community stories in its branding outside the delivery box, and uses inspiration from “influencers” (less content creators and more so people who can embody a relatable story) to build the specialty boxes. The company’s YouTube channel shares dozens of interviews with founder Julie Korioth, a former board member for Austin’s SIMS Foundation, a well-respected mental health resource for members of the local music industry.

“With hundreds of millions of people struggling with mental health, and COVID making the issue much worse, society continues to ostracize those who openly discuss mental health issues,” said Korioth in a release. “I founded this company so we can change the way the world sees, discusses, and supports mental health. Our goal is to promote empathy, connectedness, acceptance, and thoughtfulness with an innovative toolkit that caters to specific needs."

In addition to offering a nudge, these boxes could make great care packages for a loved one who is feeling introspective or going through a significant life event. It is possible to buy gift boxes, if presentation is your thing, but it’d be just as easy to repackage a box that comes before the receiver ready to appreciate the items at home.

The cost of one box is manageable at $49.99 (especially considering the retail value of products included, which the sample box far exceed), but for many subscribers this adds up fast. Luckily, there is no pressure to continue a lengthy commitment — subscriptions last between one and six months, so users have plenty of time to reconsider and sit with the items that have already been delivered.“

The goal is to meet our audience at any phase of their mental health journey,” said Korioth. “We’re creating change and a global life-long support system for children and adults dealing with mental health challenges. We simultaneously highlight businesses, the tech community, athletes, and artists doing wonderful work in this space.”

The company plans to partner with corporations to connect with employees and provide boxes to individuals the company chooses, and will turn some content into session albums with sales proceeds dedicated to mental health research.

More information and links to preorder are available at speakasone.com.

SXSW celebrates 2021 Texas festival with special $149 passes

Texas event news

SXSW was arguably the first Texas company to fall victim to the pandemic. On March 6, just days before the 2020 festival was scheduled to begin, Austin officials issued an emergency order, effectively banning large-scale events as the novel coronavirus began spreading across the U.S. As a result, SXSW canceled its flagship 10-day festival for the first time ever.

In retrospect, the decision likely saved lives and helped curb the spread of COVID-19, but SXSW's corporate fallout was fast and brutal. Within days, SXSW laid off 30 percent of its Austin-based workforce, and many were left wondering if the festival would ever return.

Finally, a bright spot of news in a dark time: SXSW is back. Yes, it will look different than years past, but registration has opened for SXSW Online, taking place March 16-20, 2021.

"This year has been one like none of us have faced. At SXSW, the impact has been profound and has involved substantial changes in how we work, so it means a lot for us to have the chance to plan a 2021 digital event where we can share experiences and exchange ideas at this crucial time," says SXSW cofounder and CEO Roland Swenson in a release.

Since its founding in 1987, SXSW has grown from a little Texas music festival to an internationally renowned festival that attracts the brightest minds in technology, film, music, and comedy. The 2021 digital version will capture much of that spirit, with signature keynote addresses, conference sessions, music showcases, comedy sets, film screenings, and other "unexpected discoveries."

Badges went on sale November 10, and are priced at $149 for a limited time. By March 2021, that rate will go up to $399. Student and group discounts are also available. Digital passes grant access to the following:

  • SXSW Keynotes and Featured Speakers
  • Mentor sessions and workshops
  • SXSW Film Festival screenings, events, and exclusive premieres
  • SXSW Music Festival showcases and events
  • SXSW Comedy Festival content
  • Online exhibitions
  • Networking opportunities

A lineup isn't yet available — SXSW usually announces details in the two months leading up to the festival — but community voting on SXSW session proposals is underway through November 20. Peruse the more than 1,500 panels here, and vote for the ones you want to attend next year.

"It’s a new day for America and for the world," Swenson adds. "We have the opportunity to face challenges that affect us all, and we’re honored to bring you the conversations that will renew your hope in tomorrow."

Photo by Charlie L Harper III

Amazon Prime sets premiere date to stream SXSW 2020 films for free

At-home entertainment

Coming soon to your own couch: an entire SXSW film festival. Prime Video presents the SXSW 2020 Film Festival Collection launches on Monday, April 27, through Wednesday, May 6, with 39 films ranging from narrative and documentary features to shorts and episodic shows.

All titles will be available for free for both Prime members and non-members.

Each film would have been screened during SXSW Film, the movie portion of the 10-day mega-festival, which was canceled in March due to COVID-19 concerns.

SXSW is largely a place of discovery, but for technology companies and creatives, it provides a massive platform to get in front of new audiences. In the case of filmmakers, it's an opportunity to debut their work and — fingers crossed — score distribution deals. After the 2020 event was canceled, these creators and creatives were left without an avenue to showcase their work and audiences without the opportunity to see it.

In early April, Amazon Prime provided one of the only pieces of good news in the wake of this year's cancellation: it will screen the festival's films — for free. But it had not yet announced when the titles would drop.

SXSW previously said every filmmaker would be invited to take part in the Prime festival, but it was not required. An earlier release noted that filmmakers would receive an undisclosed screening fee to participate. On April 9, the Hollywood Reporter said it had reviewed the fee documents given to filmmakers, but it was unclear what the compensation would be.

Writes THR, "The compensation would be delivered after the projects complete the 10-day run on the service. But it is was unclear to filmmakers what type of compensation that 'screening fee' would be, which was troubling for filmmakers that were trying to accurately weigh the possible financial risk."

"We understand every film has its own strategy and we know this opportunity may not make sense for every filmmaker. However, for those who want to share their stories right now and with as many people as possible, we’re excited to provide them this platform,” said Jennifer Salke, head of Amazon Studios, in an April 21 release.

Along with the titles, nonprofit Free the Work is curating Q&As and online panels to accompany the collection, bringing a bit of that South By spirit to the online streaming platform.

"Free the Work's mission is to find new pathways to the discovery of underrepresented creators and we're excited to help celebrate, spotlight, and provide a platform for the voices of these talented filmmakers," said founder and filmmaker Alma Har’e of the organization's part in the collection.

To take part, users must create a free Amazon account and can stream the films through a browser or download the Prime app to watch on personal devices and smart TVs. See a full list of participating titles here, and start planning your very own SXSW Film festival.

Amazon Prime to stream SXSW 2020 films for free for first time ever

Flicker of Hope

And now, for some good news. Among the many victims of SXSW's last-minute cancellation in Austin was the loss of its 10-day film festival, a cinema celebration ranging from Hollywood blockbusters to sleeper indies to Academy Award-winning documentaries. (Seriously, if you still haven't seen For Sama, put it on your confinement must-watch list.)

SXSW Film is part of a small but important network of festivals that help artists find distributors and get onto screens. Its loss means the end of a years-long dream for some filmmakers and deprives audiences of their work.

But now, thanks to a new partnership between SXSW and Amazon Prime, these films will be screened for audiences across the country for the first time ever.

On April 2, the Austin-based festival and the tech giant announced the creation of a one-time online film festival where filmmakers slated to debut their work at SXSW 2020 can do so on Amazon's streaming platform. Running the length of SXSW itself, the fest will stream for 10 days in the U.S. and is available for free, with or without an Amazon Prime membership.

“We’re honored to be able to provide a space for the SXSW filmmakers to share their hard work and passion with audiences for the first time," said Jennifer Salke, head of Amazon Studios, in a release.

Though the dates are to be determined, the release says it could begin by late April. The exact lineup is also still unknown, but filmmakers slated to appear at SXSW have been given details on how to take part, and they will receive a screening fee for the 10 days of the festival.

“I’m thrilled that these two great champions of indie film ... are teaming up to resurrect this year’s canceled film festival,” said Jay Duplass, independent filmmaker and SXSW alum, in a release. “These are unprecedented times, and it’s going to take unprecedented solutions to carry on and celebrate these great films and the people who worked so hard to make them.”

On March 24, SXSW Film announced the 2020 Jury and Special Award winners of what would have been the 27th festival.

Photo by Joe Daniel Price/Getty Images

Fort Worth edges out Dallas in new ranking of best cities for startups

DFW rivalry

Often, Fort Worth folks feel like they're living in the shadow of Dallas. But a new ranking of the best U.S. cities for startups flips the script by putting Dallas in Fort Worth’s shadow.

In the ranking, produced by commercial real estate platform CommercialCafé, Fort Worth appears at No. 12 among the country’s 20 best cities for startups. The city is three notches above Dallas (No. 15) and seven notches above closer neighbor Arlington (No. 19).

“Fort Worth is coming into its own and embracing the startup scene,” CommercialCafé declares.

CommercialCafé’s analysis looked at the 50 most populous cities in the U.S. For each city, CommercialCafé examined these data points: growth rate for solo businesses, startup survival rate, startup density, startup growth rate, success of Kickstarter fundraising campaigns, education levels, growth in tech employment, wage growth, rent-to-income ratio, coworking costs, and presence of millennials.

Among the factors in Fort Worth’s favor were a low rent-to-income ratio of 15 percent (versus 16 percent in Dallas), tech employment growth of 25 percent (versus 20 percent in Dallas), and millennial population growth of 11 percent (versus 10 percent in Dallas).

Still, Dallas held its own at No. 15. “Ranking third for [coworking] cost affordability and fifth for rent-to-income ratio, Dallas is a place where a tech salary can stretch a long way,” CommercialCafé notes.

As part of an economic development blueprint released in 2017, the City of Fort Worth strives to ensure “that expanding startups see the city as hospitable to their continuing growth.” That includes expanding networking opportunities for entrepreneurs in Fort Worth.

“Communities with a highly engaged, connected, and collaborative startup scene have a built-in advantage in the global competition for high-growth business development,” the city’s economic development plan says.

To help burnish its startup-welcoming attitude and promote tourism, Fort Worth — now the 13th largest city in the U.S., climbing ahead of Columbus, Ohio, and San Francisco in population last year — sent a contingent to this year’s South by Southwest confab in Austin. By contrast, Dallas had no official presence at SXSW.

“Fort Worth is a bit of a blank slate for folks,” said Robert Jameson, president and CEO of Visit Fort Worth, told Texas Monthly of Cowtown’s SXSW blitz this year. “This is an opportunity with people from all around the world, all across the country, to be able to give them a sense of what opportunities exist, what the spirit and energy is for the city of Fort Worth.”

Jameson added that Fort Worth boosters at SXSW were spreading “a message of innovation and inclusion and creativity and technology and inspiration … .”

At No. 1 in the CommercialCafé ranking was Austin. Among the standout statistics for Austin were success of Kickstarter fundraising campaigns (26 percent), tech employment growth (37 percent), millennials’ share of the population (31 percent), startup density (17.9 percent), and growth of solo businesses (3.9 percent).

One way Fort Worth hopes to emulate Austin’s startup success is by mirroring the popularity of SXSW’s interactive conference, a premier tech event that has helped forge Austin’s status as a global tech hub.

“Elevating the Main Street Fort Worth Arts Festival to incorporate tech-related elements that draw an international audience can serve as a vehicle for the attraction of artists, graphic designers, and related creative individuals to Fort Worth,” the city’s economic development plan says.

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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.