Photo courtesy of Burkman family

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

1. Best Dallas homes and neighborhoods for over-the-top Christmas lights in 2022. Loading the family into the car and driving around, looking at Christmas lights, is a cherished holiday tradition. But, where to go? Here is a list of top local homes and neighborhoods for Christmas lights this season. For a larger list of spectacular Christmas lights around Dallas, including drive-thrus and commercial displays, click here.

2. Dallas gas station famous for tacos opens new location with in-house beer bar. A Dallas gas station famous for its tacos is opening a new location that comes with tacos and a whole lot more: Fuel City, which has earned national attention for being one of the first gas stations to have an in-house taqueria, will open a location in Wylie, at 18800 N. SH-78.

3. Texas legends Willie Nelson and ZZ Top team up for concert at iconic Hill Country venue. Next April, "Shotgun Willie" will be a "Sharp Dressed Man." Taking the iconic stage at Whitewater Amphitheater in New Braunfels, Willie Nelson and ZZ Top will perform together on April 14 and 15, 2023. The shows come before ZZ Top teams up with Lynyrd Skynyrd at Fort Worth's Dickies Arena on July 29, 2023.

4. Texas airport powers up totally cool new gaming lounge for bored and weary travelers. Traveling gamers now have a new option to while away those flight delays and passenger pickup waits at one Texas airport. Houston's William P. Hobby Airport is now one the first airports in the country to offer what's dubbed as the "ultimate gaming experience for travelers." The airport has launched a premium video game lounge inside the international terminal called Gameway.

5. Bar in Dallas' Medical District whose owner died will close before Xmas. What is surely one of the more resilient bars in Dallas has closed: Redfield's Tavern, a bar in the Medical District that endured the pandemic and the death of its co-founder, has closed after three years. According to owner Katy Tillotson, who calls Redfield's "the little bar that could," it closed on December 23.

Dallas Bites & Sights Tours presents Tacos, Margarita and Christmas Lights Tour

Dallas Bites & Sights Tours will present Tacos, Margarita and Christmas Lights Tour, a Christmas party that starts at a taco restaurant for some of the best tacos in town. Guests can enjoy a full order of two tacos (beef, chicken or vegetarian), rice/beans, a terrific top shelf Margarita and queso. Then it's on to the motorcoach for dessert at a sweet spot, then Christmas Lights in The Park Cities and other cool areas of Dallas.

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

This week in gluttony

Glimpses of fall appear on this week’s event list. There’s a “fall tasting series” that launches at a Dallas hotel restaurant, a restaurant special to celebrate National Red Wine Day, and one of the first big food and wine festivals of the season. But it’s still officially summer, which means warm weather flavors continue to dominate. A seafood and wine pairing dinner, taqueria pop-up, and a special on a famous frozen beverage round out the list.

Wednesday, August 24

Dallas Symphony Orchestra Wine and Food Festival
One of the first big foodie festivals of fall is presented at the Meyerson Symphony Center as a fundraiser for the DSO. Festival passes are $250, Weekender passes are $700, and individual tickets vary by event. The events include:

Season’s Peak Wine Dinner at Carraba’s
The Houston-based Italian chain will share summer flavors at their peak during this four-course wine dinner. Menu highlights include fontina and prosciutto-stuffed chicken with basil lemon butter sauce and berries and butter cake with vanilla ice cream. Dinner is $55 per person, plus tax and gratuity, and begins at 6:30 pm, at participating locations. Reservations required.

Thursday, August 25

Fall Tasting Series at Hotel ZaZa
The glitzy Uptown hotel will kick off a monthly wine and spirits tasting series on Thursday at its restaurant Dragonfly, featuring a different theme each month. August’s theme is white wine, and four wines will be paired with accompanying hors d’oeuvres. Tickets are $75 per person, plus tax, and the tasting will run from 6-8 pm.

Trompo Homecoming
A popular Dallas taco shop will host a pop-up ahead of its reopening this fall. Trompo owner Luis Olvera has relocated his taqueria more than once in recent years, and says he feels like his upcoming new Oak Cliff location at 337 W. Jefferson Blvd. will be a great fit. Until then, satisfy your cravings this Thursday starting at 6 pm at 626 W. Davis St., where Olvera will serve tacos al carbon, fajita tacos, aguas frescas, and more.

Saturday, August 27

Bring Your Own Cup Day at 7-Eleven
If it fits in a cup, fill ‘er up. The convenience store chain is reprising Bring Your Own Cup Day by encouraging its rewards members to bring in any vessel to fill with their favorite Slurpee flavor for $1.99. From fishbowls to cookie jars, all creative containers are welcome. "We want customers to build the Slurpee drink of their dreams while having fun with their vessel of choice — and we can't wait to see some of the creative cups they come up with,” Dennis Phelps, 7-Eleven proprietary beverages senior product director, said in a statement. The special is valid at participating locations.

Fat Straws 20th Anniversary
The Dallas-based boba tea and mochi doughnut shop will celebrate 20 years in business with an all-day special at all five area locations. Visit any Fat Straws outlet for 20 percent off all doughnuts and drinks from 11 am-9 pm and enter for a chance to win a $200 gift card. Menu offerings include milk teas, smoothies, milkshakes, coffee, and Fat Straws’ signature mochi doughnuts — chewy pastries fried with mochi powder. Fat Straws has locations in Dallas, Plano, Richardson, and Arlington.

Sunday, August 28

National Red Wine Day at Cantina Laredo
Visit the Frisco or Addison locations of the Tex-Mex chain for half-price bottles of red wine all day to celebrate National Red Wine Day. But don’t forget that all glasses and bottles are always half-price every Wednesday from 4-7 pm in the bar.

Sunday, August 28

California Dreamin’ Wine Tasting at Zin Zen Wine Bistro
The McKinney wine bar and bistro invites guests to explore the different wine regions of California during this afternoon tasting. Guests will get to sample five wines paired with charcuterie. Tickets are $45 and the tasting begins at 3 pm.

Monday, August 29

Foley Wine Dinner at Sea Breeze Fish Market & Grill
The Plano seafood destination will partner with the popular Santa Rosa, California wine brand for a five-course wine pairing dinner. Wines to be featured will come from the labels Banshee, Chalone, High Haven, and Chalk Hill. Menu highlights include seared tuna au poivre with Banshee “Ten of Cups” brut, sous vide crispy skin duck breast with Chalk Hill Estate red, and pinot noir-poached king salmon paired with High Haven pinot noir. Dinner is $125 per person, plus tax and gratuity. Arrive by 6 pm for cocktail hour before a 7 pm dinnertime start.


Acclaimed Dallas taqueria Trompo finds perfect new home in Oak Cliff

Taco News

A beloved Dallas taco shop has found (another) new home: Trompo, the taqueria from owner Luis Olvera which has earned national acclaim, will open in Oak Cliff at 337 W. Jefferson Blvd.

This is the former home of Kookie Haven, which closed in early July.

Trompo has relocated a few times in the past few years, including stints in Oak Cliff and in East Dallas. Will this finally be the one?

"I'm grateful to have found this spot, and I feel like it's going to be a great fit," Olvera says.

Trompo is famous for its tacos, quesadillas, and corn tortillas made in-house — sufficiently famous that it earned a spot on a list of the 50 best new restaurants in America in 2016 by Bon Appetit magazine, the only Dallas restaurant that year to make the list, which they described thusly:

"Owner Luis Olvera oversees the creation of some of the best tacos we've had all year. There are three simple but surreal tacos: deep-pink al pastor, which reaches its crispy-juicy peak thanks to the trompo (the rotating vertical spit); bistek (beef); and surprisingly good vegetarian paneer-poblano, all set on house-made corn tortillas and sprinkled with onions and cilantro."

Olvera and his taqueria have been media darlings over the years: In 2017, Trompo was named one of the 10 Best Restaurants in Dallas in CultureMap's annual Tastemaker Awards, and then again in 2018. Olvera also received a Tastemaker Awards nomination in 2018 for Best Chef.

That same year, Trompo was one of three taquerias featured in a documentary series produced by PBS Digital called Tacos of Texas, based on a book with the same name.

At one point, Olvera had two locations, one in Bishop Arts and the other on Gaston Avenue. But due to the pandemic and other life challenges, he closed both and reverted to operating out of a ghost kitchen.

He'd actually begun to consider moving to Mexico where he still has family. His tales about Dallas landlords are frustrating, such as false promises of "turnkey" status when the spaces were nowhere near that. Or the slumlord who'd threaten eviction unless Olvera made payments for things like water bills that weren't his responsibility.

When he showed up at his first location on Singleton Boulevard in 2016, he was joined by sheriffs and previous tenants whose property had been seized by the landlord and promised to an unwitting Olvera.

"I deserve some credit for my own ignorance and bliss," he says. "I came into this thinking it was all rainbows and butterflies, I think I lasted only by sheer will. But eventually I decided to do a re-set and try to make decisions in a different way."

He's now working on the new location which he calls "probably the most ideal place." One addition is that he'll be able to serve alcohol as well as food. Over the next few months, he'll transition out of the ghost kitchen and into the new space, with a hoped-for opening in October.

To celebrate, he's hosting a pop-up on August 25 at 626. W. Davis St. that he's calling "Trompo Homecoming," as in, back to Oak Cliff.

"I've been on a journey, I hope it ends here," he says.

Courtesy of Favor

Texas taco aficionado wins dream job as first 'chief taco officer'

Taco News

One taco fan has scored the total dream job: Called "chief taco officer," it's a temporary position from Favor, the Austin-based delivery service owned by grocery chain H-E-B — a gig for which hundreds of people applied.

And the winner is: Chris Flores, San Antonio resident and self-styled "taco king."

Flores gained recognition when he set out four years ago to devour tacos from more than 900 Alamo City eateries. He runs the Eatmigos social media brand and enjoys a following of nearly 37,000 users on Instagram, where he bills himself as the "taco king."

He'll be paid $10,000 to taste-test tacos for two months and document his search for the best in Texas. He'll also receive food, transportation, accommodations, and Favor swag, as well as free Favor delivery for a year.

"Our goal was first and foremost to find someone who has a genuine passion for tacos, storytelling, and the history and culture of tacos in Texas, and Chris is exactly that," says Favor CEO Jag Bath in a news release.

Flores' first stop on his two-month taco tour will be Dallas-Fort Worth. Other places he’ll visit include San Antonio, Austin, Houston, Corpus Christi, El Paso, Lubbock, Waco, and the Rio Grande Valley.

"I love Texas because of the melting pot of different cultures that have migrated here and adopted the taco into their cuisine," says Flores, a San Antonio native. "I'm so excited for this opportunity to travel Texas while seeing and tasting the different impact the taco has had on each region."

Flores will post his taco travels and recommendations on Favor's website, as well as on social media.


Rockwall won't have to drive to Dallas anymore for Torchy's green chile queso

Taco News

Green chile queso is headed for Rockwall with the arrival of Torchy's Tacos, the Austin-based taco chain, which is opening a location at 2235 S. Goliad St. #120, in a space previously occupied by Luby's, which sadly closed in 2021.

According to a release, the restaurant will open on July 13.

With six locations around Dallas-Fort Worth and 72 locations in Texas, there is no shortage of Torchy's Tacos. However, this will be the first location in Rockwall, and that's surely a benchmark worthy of celebration.

And celebrate they shall: Torchy's is hosting a grand opening event that will include free limited-edition Torchy's Restaurant Opening T-shirts to the first 100 people in line at 10 am on opening day.

It's about more than the shirt: Those who score a T-shirt get a year of free Green Chile Queso every time they wear it to the Rockwall location. (That free queso can only be redeemed once per day on dine-in or takeout orders. Cannot be redeemed on online or delivery orders.)

Torchy's founder and CEO Mike Rypka says in a statement that opening more locations in Texas has been a priority, and Rockwall will help them achieve that mission.

Menu highlights include:

Tacos: Served on house-made corn or flour tortillas, with options such as Green Chile Pork featuring pork carnitas, green chiles, and cotija cheese; MoFaux with plant-based, cowboy-style Beyond Beef; Trailer Park with fried chicken, green chiles, lettuce, pico de gallo, and cheddar jack cheese.

Breakfast Tacos: Served all day, with options like The Wrangler with eggs, brisket, potato, cheese, and tomatillo sauce. Also, migas with eggs, corn tortilla strips, green chiles, avocado, pico de gallo, and cheese.

Taco of the Month: Torchy's introduces a new taco flavor every month, and a portion of the proceeds benefits charitable partners such as the Make-a-Wish Foundation, MD Anderson, and Phoenix House.

Sides: Green Chile Queso and Chips is the most famous, but they also have refried beans, street corn, guacamole, and salsa.

Drinks: That includes margaritas and craft beer, with a Happy Hour Monday-Friday from 3-6 pm offering $1.50 off draft and bottled beer, and $2 off drinks. They also do $3.50 sangria and mimosas Saturday-Sunday all day.

The location is a 4,000-square-foot space with an outdoor patio. There's a space right next door that used to be a Fuddruckers, but that closed in spring 2022.

Ad Placement 300x100
Ad Placement 300x600

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.