We got to Dallas and stopped for lunch at Off-Site Kitchen. It's a small place with counter service and a large patio. The 48-hour smoked brisket was highly recommended, so Andrew got that (it was freaking fantastic) and I got the bacon chile cheeseburger with special sauce. Also good, and great prices. Small place with no frills that I would recommend if you were ever in the area.
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We checked into our hotel then went to the JFK Museum. I went in high school but didn't remember much, and Andrew had never been. He is really into JFK and all of the different theories about the assassination, so I thought he would like it. Tickets are $16 each and everyone gets a headset to go up to the 6th floor of the book depository where Lee Harvey Oswald (allegedly) shot JFK from. There aren't too many artifacts to see at the museum, and you get a lot of information overload between the headset and all of the info presented on the panels. It's an interesting historical account of the facts of the day and looking out the window and seeing the X painted on the road where the fatal shot hit the President is a unique experience. I think it would be better on a weekday, or if you had a lot of time to listen to the headset and read all the panels - a Saturday afternoon was just too crowded. But we got the gist of it, and also walked out to the grassy knoll and saw where Zapruder stood for his famous film.
Next to the grassy knoll. The spot you can see on the road is an X which marks the spot JFK's car was at when the fatal shot hit.
The next stop on our tourist's trip to Dallas was the Dallas Arboretum. I admit that basicness took over and I had to go see its awesome pumpkin village in person. Can you blame me? The pumpkins were the main attraction, but there were lots of paths and flowers and plants. It was a beautiful space.
So so many pretty spots. Photos don't do it justice.
After that, we wanted to check out Half Price Books' flagship store since it was nearby. It was huge and very impressive, but unfortunately, everyone must look there for record bargains because we didn't find anything amazing.
So lately, and I know this is a shock, but I have been food-ed out. I just wasn't in the mood to get dressed up and eat a big meal on this trip. Andrew found a place that had won awards in Dallas magazines for being great for coffee and dessert, so we decided to go there. We followed the GPS and couldn't find it, so I turned to Yelp and realized... it was inside a mall. Now, think about it... how many great restaurants have you dined at inside a mall? But a plan was a plan and I wanted to stick to it, so we went in the mall, found the restaurant, and even though there were several empty tables, we were told we had to wait fifteen minutes. A table still wasn't ready, so we left.
Deep Ellum is an up-and-coming part of Dallas. It had some highly rated casual restaurants so Andrew suggested we go there since I didn't want anything fancy. Sometimes in life, especially when we are together, it seems that the simplest tasks are made exceedingly difficult. Finding parking in Deep Ellum was one of those things. After 20 minutes of driving around, we gave up and headed to another location of the first restaurant we tried.
The restaurant is called La Duni, and to put it simply, it kind of sucked. The service was bad, food was "eh," and the dessert that had been touted as award-winning and the best of Dallas was overpriced and nothing special. At least my mojito was good. We stopped at the hotel bar on our way back to the room and if we're snapchat friends, then you saw that I took a glass of wine to bed with me to watch Jeopardy. Party animals.
The next morning, we went to Ascension for coffee which was good, but again, more expensive than I'm used to (and I spend money on food all the time!). We made our way back to Deep Ellum to get in line for barbecue at Pecan Lodge. When we visited last year, I fell in love with their mac and cheese, so I was pretty excited for a return trip. We got there at 9:30 fully expecting a line (common at top Texas BBQ places) and there was none... the next person didn't arrive until 10:10. We were joined by many more in line by the time the doors opened at 11 (including lots of Giants fans!) and were the first people to order. I wasn't excited about the meat at all and the mac and cheese was better in my memory. I don't know if it was the fact that they changed location or my expectations were too high, but this wasn't my favorite Texas barbecue spot. But, the decor was really cute...
If I ever post a house tour post, you'll see why I loved the decor so much!
After a necessary stop at Eatzi's, a deli-cafe that closed its Houston location years ago, we headed to Cowboys Stadium. Parking vouchers started at $35 online which I thought was insane. I googled a little and came across ParkWhiz. I had never heard of it, but I found parking the same distance as the $35 parking for... $8. I figured it was worth the $8 gamble, so I bought it. You guys, ParkWhiz is legit and it's awesome. Businesses that are close to attractions basically make their parking spaces open to people for a fee. We parked at a law office that was about a mile away. It had an attendant when we arrived (other places had someone the whole time) and we just stuck our pass on the dashboard and that was it. So easy and I love saving money. (Not sponsored, but I needed y'all to know about that site!).
There was a weird reflective thing kind of like the Bean in Chicago... we're somewhere on the left.
Our seats were awesome | the glasses were awesome (and free) but I sent them to Andrew's coworker since they had an awful Cowboys star on the side | Hi, Eli! (#10) | We could see the small screen and it was plenty big. The large screen was unreal.