My Texan adventure: Dallas

Posted on December 9, 2011

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When I told my friend in Dallas that I was going to come and visit he wondered what a British girl would do in Texas. A few others thought I was mad but I have just had the time of my life with simply amazing new experiences every day.

One thing that I imagine every Brit associates with Texas is riding a mechanical bull. So we sought a bar one that provide this form of entertainment. On a Sunday night at The Trophy Room we pulled up and saw the bull outside an empty bar. After free shots with the barman (the British accent does wonderful things in Texas), a crowd turned up and the bull was active. After a few days of horse riding my thighs didn’t appreciate the extra effort they and to go to but it was hilarious and let’s face it, something that just had to be done in Texas.

After the mechanical bull ride we discussed the ‘must do’ things in Texas and checked off a long list until my friend chimed up: guns, you haven’t fired guns.

They give anyone guns. Really.  Do you want to show her how they work or would you prefer that I do?. We felt it safest that we both had a lesson given that my friend had only once fired a gun even though that didn’t seem to concern the guy.

After a quick but thorough lesson on holding, loading and shooting the gun off we went to the range, me with a 9mm and my friend with .45. I did what I was told. Earphones and goggles on. Target up. Gun loaded. BANG/smoke/case flying: It scared the hell out of me. gun down. Step back. Heart beating. That was enough for me, I was petrified.
Err do you have a smaller gun by chance? Something maybe that has less noise
No ma’am, that’s the smallest gun we’ve got
After a little more coaxing, and some ear plus to complement the earphones I was back in there. The range guy came with me and watched me fire. Both my shots were right on target. What’s the issue? Well, I’m scared of the gun.
Stand sideways and shoot with your right arm. Bang/smoke/case flying. Right on target. Now try with your left. Same thing. See he says, you’re totally fine one handed so do I again with two, it won’t hurt. He was right. Each time I fired the damn thing took a pep talk to myself but I did it and the target took a beating (I bought the target home with me I am that proud of it!)

Before we left the store he took us put to get some photos with big guns. After a few photo opportunities he pulls out an Uzi.

I think you should try shooting this. I thought he was joking.

A few minutes later, Uzi snuggled into my shoulder and audience of 6 – including a 16 year old who was green with envy, and a policeman (whose hand gun shooting may have been quicker but wasn’t nearly as accurate as mine!). They found it so entertaining that they all took videos. Given that I was so scared of the hand gun, I was surprised how much I loved the Uzi. It rocks. I think it took a good 3-4hrs for the adrenalin to stop pumping. I love Texas! Thank you DFW Gun Range.

I flew in and out of Dallas but only spent two nights there, which I felt was enough. Here are my top food tips:

A beer at GingerMan on Bolls Street is a must. There have a vast range of Texan and international beers. I had no idea that beer was brewed here (and wish I still hadn’t after a few too many Shiner Bocks at the cowboy bar). The bartender was super sweet and let us try a few specialties before deciding on the perfect pint.

We went on to eat at Bolsa which has stunning food acclaimed with many local awards and press coverage. The mussels with chorizo and fennel were succulent. Portion sizes are European, which is a bonus and a necessity for Someone like me who is liable to eat too much if food is put in front of me. The food sets Bolsa apart from other Dallas restaurants that I tried but I also appreciated the cocktails: ginger mint gimlets were a little too quaff-able and I could myself spending a good night there with a group of friends.

There seem to be two main areas of Dallas to hang out:
Firstly, Henderson and Knox which has a few places that were pretty good such as the Capitol Pub which had what would be good pub food in England.

And secondly, Uptown, where we ate at Komali after gun shooting. The garamond or habanero (pepper infused) margaritas are some of the nicest margaritas I have ever tasted (although I am really not an expert). We soaked up the alcohol with a lunch of Oaxaca queso fundido con chorizo tortillas (pictured).

One day, after an early morning I needed a caffeine fix so we stopped at Zaguan Bakery & Cafe for what I would call real coffee (espresso rather than the long black weak coffee that I am not  huge fan of),  and ate surprising good cheese and guava empanadas.

Breadwinners was also recommended to me but I didn’t have a chance to go. She said:  The biscuits (aka scones in British) and gravy or eggs benedict are my fave, and the burgers or salads are yummy as well.

She also recommended the following:

Fearing‘s in the Ritz (apparently a southwestern food  Mecca although quite pricey).

Wolfgang Puck’s 360 sushi/Asian in Reunion Tower gives a good 360 revolving view of Dallas at night (also good for drink and appetizers).

Tim Love’s Lonesome Dove Western  Bistro in fort worth will be good intro to game meats and cowboy food.

Glorias or El Fenix are cheap good Tex Mex dotted around Dallas

La Duni for Latin American is the yummiest and not pricey.

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Posted in: Destinations, USA