Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Favorite things in East Dallas

We moved to East Dallas about a year ago and I am really in love with our neighborhood. When I first moved to this city I lived between uptown and the hospital. There are some nice restaurants and plenty of nice people there, but there was also a LOT of what I hated about Dallas. Which can really be summed up by the phrase "30,000 dollar millionaire". It took me four years to turn from HATING Dallas, to saying "eh, it's okay" to actually really loving where I live. I think a lot of it has to do with our move to East Dallas. I love seeing white rock lake every day. I love that my neighborhood is full of small houses with big yards (rather than 5000 sq foot houses on 5500 sq foot lots), and tons of people doing DIY renovations. So in celebration, here are my favorite places to go in East Dallas.

1. White Rock Lake We live less than a mile from this, which means that we can walk or bike to the trail. There aren't large motorized boats, but plenty of rowing and sail boats and canoes. In the morning, if it's calm when I drive to work before sunrise I can see the reflection of the skyline in the water. In the afternoon I pass it again on my way home. It is my marker of "NOW I can relax".
2. Dallas Arboretum We just got a membership after living here for a year and we should absolutely not have waited so long! This is a very pretty garden which is also within walking distance. yesterday we went for a concert in the garden and saw a super fun 80's cover band. When it gets cooler in the fall I'm planning on taking picnics to the garden, or just sitting under a tree with a book.
3. Cock and Bull This is a dark, cool pub-style bar with a good beer selection and AWESOME Food. I have never had a bad dish. The best things they have are the mussels, the Red Bull Burger, the Italian Sausage, and the Reuben. on Mondays any Burger plus any beer can be had for $9. It's especially nice in the summer to slip into a dark cave-like space when it's so ridiculously hot outside.
4. White Rock Coffee I think that light coffees often taste a bit like soy sauce to me, and Starbucks-Dark tend to taste like burnt toast. White Rock Coffee is always smooth, never too bitter or too acid. plus they have free wi-fi and free refills if you get a ceramic cup rather than a paper one.
5. The Balcony Club this place has live music most nights. We especially like Thursday Jazz. The bartender can make a mean gin martini. We came here for the evening after party after our wedding.
6. Angelo's our FAVORITE Italian restaurant. The seafood Fra Diavolo is amazing. We held our wedding brunch here. They have bottomless mimosas at Sunday brunch. and they give you yummy garlic knots with marinara before your meal.
7. Henk's Okay so this one is pushing it as far as being "in the neighborhood", but it still takes us less than 10 mins to get there and it's east of I-75, so I'll count it. This is an authentic German restaurant with a deli, bakery, and imported-foods grocery store. Friday and Saturday nights are the times to go for cheap beer, live accordion, and great food. Any choice of brats is delicious, as is the schnitzle. The cheese soup is also great. For dessert, the chocolate turtles are yummy and the mousse ball (a hard chocolate bowl filled with chocolate mousse and topped with a dollop of whipped cream) is so yummy. It is big enough to share between four people. I guess unless you really like chocolate.

The best thing is, I feel like every day I find a new place that I want to try or explore. And we have great and friendly neighbors- on one side a WW2 vet who gave us lawn furniture when we first moved in and didn't have any, and on the other side a couple who grow more than half of their food in their organic back yard garden. They recently told us about a pool not too far down the road that belongs to a mason's club of some sort, that you can pay a reasonable amount and use during the summer. I think we're going to try it out in the next couple of weekends.

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