Night and Day in Dallas

If you’re going deep into the heart of steamy sunshiny Dallas in August, you should get your exercise out of the way at the crack of dawn. Where better place than Crossfit Heat? It’s the only box in walking distance of downtown Dallas.

Crossfit Heat

They aren’t kidding about the Heat, but at least there’s no sun during your 6am WOD.  Drop in classes are $20, their outside gym was rated one of the best in the country by The Box Magazine and Garry, Mel and all the rest of the coaches will make sure you’re sore and sweaty by the end of the hour. If you can squeeze in a weight lifting session with Jose, do it. He’ll make sure your squats and cleans are perfect.

Take a shower, drink lots of water and then head over to Deep Ellum for breakfast at the All Good Cafe.

All Good Cafe

The All Good’s got a Mexican truck stop thing going on with migas, tacos and chicken fried steak all on the menu. There’s a stage inside and local bands play on weekends but the best time to visit the All Good is on a mid-week morning when there’s no line and no wait. Order the breakfast tacos #1 – scrambled eggs, pepperjack cheese and avocado – and then take a glance at the pastry case just in case you need breakfast dessert.

Deep Ellum

Since you’re in Deep Ellum, do yourself a favor and check out the neighborhood. It’s one of the few neighborhoods where graffiti is encouraged so there’s a lot to look at; and there was an arts festival with live music in April, so, look for it to show up again in 2015 around the same time. This neighborhood really comes alive at night with jazz and blues clubs on every corner and there are a number of tattoo parlors if you want a permanent reminder of your Dallas stay. I’d recommend Taboo or Elm Street.

Lunch time? How about a giant chicken sandwich?

Chicken Scratch

Looks amazing, doesn’t it? That’s the garden original from Chicken Scratch where they’re serious about chicken. Tim Byres, Chris Jeffers and Chris Zielke are the three Dallas chefs who collaborated on this restaurant and beer garden. They created an easy chalkboard menu of rotisserie chicken, chicken and biscuit sandwiches and a couple salads for the health conscious. The beer selection leans heavily towards local Texas brews and the green chili and hominy mac-n-cheese is pretty bad ass. Be aware that the side of fries is enough for an entire table

Bishop Arts

Since you’re in the Bishop Arts district, take a look around this neighborhood too. Lots of vintage stores, specialty shops, wine bars, art galleries and coffee places. Enough to spend a leisurely afternoon ducking from one air conditioned space to another with a couple of stops for iced coffee and possibly a truffle at Dude, Sweet Chocolate.

No visit to Dallas would be complete without a trip to the 6th Floor Museum at Dealey Plaza and the grassy knoll.

Grassy knoll 2

Far from being simply a monument to JFK’s assassination, the 6th floor museum provides a fascinating context for the time period by way of a year by year accounting of JFK’s presidency, the Cuban Missile Crisis and all of the chaos surrounding 1960’s America. Take the audio tour so you know what you’re looking at and then walk out to the grassy knoll and get some handouts from the conspiracy theorists who hang out there so you can hear their side of the story.

I’d recommend at nap at this point in your day because that Dallas heat is a lot. Maybe a dip in your hotel pool? That sounds good too.

When you’re ready for dinner, head to San Salvaje, the newest restaurant by chef Stephan Pyles.

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When last I was in Dallas, I ate at Chef Stephan Pyle’s restaurant Samar and wrote a long breathless post about that amazing experience here. Since then, Chef Pyles decided to close Samar and open San Salvaje in the same location.

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San Salvaje means Wild Saint and Chef Pyles pays tribute to all of Latin America by merging traditional dishes with contemporary treatments and decorating his space with a corresponding blend of indigenous, Catholic and modern art. Above from the left going clockwise is the yellow fin tuna ceviche served in a young coconut, foie gras tacu tacu with banana chutney, lucuma suspiro with maracuya meringue and three cheese arepas in a salsa verde. Chef Pyles cares so deeply about food that his meals are love on a plate. I adore this place and cannot recommend it highly enough. If you’re watching your pennies, go right now during restaurant month and get a prix fixe meal for a pittance of the normal cost.

Now, you’ve survived all that and you still want to get out and see some of Dallas? First off, I salute your stamina. Secondly, Dallas Observer saw you coming and they compiled this list of the 7 best rooftops in Dallas for a drink and a view.

Pick one, order something chilly and toast to the Big D!

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