Posts Tagged ‘Texas’

Dallas, TX & Fort Worth, TX

July 10, 2010

I am so heartbroken! I just completed an entry about the great time I had in the DFW area, and my iPad zapped it to the place where all the left socks go! I’ll try my best to recap it again:

Dallas (& Fort Worth) have almost all the requirements of a world city: great people, great food, and a sense of pride in community that is apparent from the moment you step off the plane.

The pride that shines from the sides of the buildings downtown is crazy! The city has some great architecture, and the city is peppered with fountains and parks to enjoy while in the heart of this bustling city. This is amplified by the bright faces of the proud citizens you meet. When discussing what entertainment options that exist, you can see the sense of community that is present with the population. People don’t just live here, they make it a home!

A foodie culture is everywhere in DFW. You will eat some great food. Portions are perfect, people are pleasant, and palettes are pleased. The servers I spoke with were very savvy and more than happy (and more importantly, able) to provide me with some dish recommendations without gluten. Some recommendations were the Swiss cheese Kobe beef burger (sans bun of course), and the spicy barbecue lamb with asparagus. Prices are reasonable, but what you get at most restaurants is easily worth double. You will find fine dining, without gluten, with ease and without breaking the bank.

The weather is not bad in Dallas. The perception everyone has, is that it is miserably hot in the summer. Relax, it isn’t Houston (please don’t send me any more hate mail Houston, I got enough after my Houston posting a few weeks ago)! The nice thing about a dry climate is that 95 degrees feels pretty pleasant. Put on a t-shirt and a smile and make Dallas a summer destination as well.

Houston, TX

June 3, 2010

My first impression of Houston was that the city was pretty boring. When the international airport is named after former president Bush, you begin to question the wisdom of the locals. The weather is very similar to Ho Chi Minh City, and biggest change in elevation in the city has to be the railroad crossings. This isn’t the biggest tourist hang out by any stretch of the imagination, but I ended up being surprised.

Houston is one of the fattest cities in the US. I was reminded of this fact whenever I talked to anyone. Whenever you ask someone the “what is there to do in Houston?” question, the first thing out of there mouth is that Houston is one of the fattest cities. I had a woman follow that comment with a very strong recommendation that I try the deep fried butter. I have to say that I was pretty curious. Not for myself, but just to witness someone eating deep fried butter sounded interesting.

The less heart attack inducing variety of cuisines in Houston were hit or miss. Tex-Mex was the idea I was shooting for. I love tacos. I really love tacos. I must have eaten 10 meals of tacos here in Texas. Nothing here is mediocre. The food was either terrible, or fantastic.

Just like most places, the more effort put into getting you in the door (i.e. Signage, decor, theme, etc) the less effort they put into the food. The best tacos I had this trip were from the worst looking taqueria in front of a strip mall (an actual strip mall, like stripped -empty!). There were two pawn shops across the street, and a check cashing business. The tacos were amazing. Corn tortillas, juicy pork, and cilantro. Happy me.

The biggest surprise: the Galleria Mall. It is an impressive sized mall if you are into that sort of thing. The strange thing was the diversity. It reminded me of the the Mall of the Emirates in Dubai. There is even an ice skating rink by the food court. I actually saw a woman in a Burqa. If women can go to the mall in George W.’s home state wearing burqas, that speaks volumes to the tolerance of America. I love it.

I am constantly surprised by the US. Anywhere you go, your stereotypes will most likely be proved wrong. If people traveled more, we would probably have a much smaller ideological divide between the extremes in this nation.

Lesson learned: People in Houston and People in San Francisco are not all that different.