99 More Things About North Texas (The 'We Live Here Now' Edition)

Some North Texas Lessons We've Learned After Living Here for Nearly Two Years

March 15, 2017
That Big City Life -- That's Reunion Tower in the middle, which happens to house Five Sixty by Wolfgang Puck (No. 14) and offer spectacular views of Dallas, as you can see by our feature photo.

Back before 1,700 of us moved to North Texas, we gave you something of a tourist's view of the area with our 99 Things About North Texas story.

Well, that list came out a full two-and-a-half years ago, which is absolutely mind-boggling. Since then, a lot has changed. First, North Texas is now engrained in Toyota’s culture. Second, our new North American headquarters is scheduled to open in just a few short months. Third, we’ve been living here for a while. So here are 99 more things about North Texas’ culture, community and food (there’s a lot of food) compiled by the Corporate Communications staff.
This list is heavy on links, so it could take a long time to finish. That’s why we’re splitting it up into three parts that will run in the next three weeks. So below, you’ll find the first 28 Things About North Texas, and they all happen to feature food.

Seriously, though. The Food is Excellent.
1. The Central Business District features the Joule Hotel, which, in turn, features, CBD Provisions and  Italian eatery Americano, which has pretty great sausage-stuffed fried olives.


2. Speaking of CBD Provisions, we have to mention that it features one of Dallas’ most unique dishes. Its Pig’s Head Carnitas is half a pig's head – skin, snout and tongue included – served with flour tortillas and an assortment of salsas. While it may be a vegetarian’s nightmare, it’s a dream dish for carnivores. 


3. If you’re downtown and in need of some good coffee or a breakfast taco, head over to Flying Horse Café in the Magnolia Hotel on the corner of Commerce and Akard. They’re nice there, and $2 gets you a 20-ounce large. 


4. Good pizza has been a bit difficult to find so far, but there are a few solid spots. Serious Pizza in Deep Ellum makes giant and delicious pies. Jet’s Pizza (Frisco, Plano and Flower Mound) is a chain that specializes in Detroit-style pizza, Taverna Rossa in Plano has a $10 lunch special with specialty pizzas.


5. Sushi here is hit and miss, BBQ here is good. The best we’ve found so far is Uchi in Uptown. A little more price-sensible is Deep Sushi in Deep Ellum.


6. A staff favorite spot for lunch in Plano is Rusty Taco. Try the Tex-Mex taco and the fried chicken taco.


7. We know you’ve had queso before. But once you move to Texas, you’re gonna have a lot more of it. 


8. Meso Maya downtown might be the best brunch place in town. It definitely has authentic Mexican food at all hours.


9. Fast for three days, then head to the original Smoke BBQ in Oak Cliff for brunch. Yes, brunch. The brisket hash is life changing. And if you can’t make it down to Oak Cliff, there’s a Smoke in Plano, too.
Give Me All The Meats -- Hutchins is pretty great. Get the brisket.

10. And for dinner meats, you’ll need to make the rounds at Lockhart Smoke House (Plano and Bishop Arts), Pecan Lodge (Deep Ellum) or Hutchins (McKinney, Frisco). If you want a hole-in-the-wall with the best ribs you’ve ever had, head to Smokey Johns BBQ on Mockingbird Lane.
Pound of Smoke -- Smokey John's offers a plate with five meats. Just be sure to double up on the ribs. That's why they're right on top. 

11. Cheese head? Scardello Cheese shop on Oak Lawn in Dallas will be your new favorite place.


12. If you need chicken and waffles (and who doesn’t), head to Jonathons in Oak Cliff.


13. Babe’s Chicken in Frisco tastes just like Grandma’s cooking. Actually, it’s probably better. But don’t tell your grandma we said that. 

14. While you’re high above Dallas at the top of Reunion Tower downtown, dine with a 360-degree view of the Dallas skyline at Five Sixty by Wolfgang Puck. The restaurant serves savory Asian-style dishes, including sushi, quail, calamari and ribs, just to name a few. 


15. Velvet Taco has the best street tacos in Dallas.
Great Scenery -- Brunch at the Rustic is a must. 

16. The Rustic is known for its fantastic family-style brunch. Some of the items include avocado toast, mini doughnuts, fried chicken, quiche and French toast. But they're open all day with a great outdoor area, and they have live music at night. Truly a staple of the Dallas social scene. 

17. Cooling off from the summer heat at the Snow Cone Lady is a Frisco staple. From Pina Colada and Dreamsicle to White Hawaiian and Cotton Candy, there isn’t a snow cone flavor you can’t find here.


18. Experience Turkey in North Plano at Turkish Café and Lounge. With authentic Turkish stained glass lanterns and furniture with a view of a pond, this restaurant serves traditional Turkish dishes and drinks. On Saturday nights, belly dancers often perform.


19. Poor Richard’s Café in Plano is a family-styled restaurant that’s only open until 2 p.m. and serves traditional Texas classics such as chicken fried steak, chicken and waffles and Texas-sized burgers. The owners of the café are also involved in giving back to the community by supporting various groups such as the Plano Sunrise Rotary, DFW Blue Star Mother and Plano Christmas Cops.
So. Freaking. Precious. -- Meet the Nutinis! Lauren is the My Toolbox Editor. That's her husband Brandon.
They're having some ice cream at Truck Yard. The couple moved to North Texas after Lauren began her career in Erlanger. 

20. The Truck Yard is one of Dallas’ best daytime establishments. Tucked away on a Greenville Avenue street corner in Lower Greenville, it may look like a pile of trash, but it’s a great way to spend an afternoon or evening. 


21. Thirsty for a draft Guinness? Try The Celt Irish Pub in McKinney's historic square.


22. Another reason to frequent that very welcoming pub: The talented Innisfail youth folk band that plays there every Sunday.


23. The best view of downtown Dallas might be at The Soda Bar at the Nylo Hotel just south of downtown.
Smart Choice -- Though the robot-zombie may be brain dead, the beer inside is fantastic at Brain Dead Brewing.

24. A robot-zombie can be found outside of Brain Dead Brewing in Deep Ellum. Good beer can be found inside. 


25. Go to the Meddlesome Moth in Uptown and check out the cool stained glass windows from the old Dallas Hard Rock Café. Order the Mothinator sandwich.


26. Texas wine production is picking up steam. One recommendation: Try the tempranillo wine in McKinney at the Lone Star Wine Cellars. Here’s one more suggestion and a little more wine info. 27. Want some out-of-this-world vegan grub? Go to Cosmic Café on Oak Lawn and Lemmon.

28. Katy Trail Ice House – along with the afformentioned Truck Yard and Rustic – have amazing outdoor patios. The original Ice House is in Uptown, but there's one in Plano, too. 

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