Dallas Zoo and Yowie Chocolates Team Up – December 1st!

The Dallas Zoo is the place to be tomorrow, Saturday, December 1st!  The Dallas Zoo has teamed up with Yowie Chocolates to provide zoo visitors with free Yowie chocolates that contain figurines of endangered animals!  You heard me – free chocolate!

 

December 4th is National Wildlife Conservation Day and to celebrate this important day the Dallas Zoo along with Yowie Chocolates is treating the zoo’s animals with ‘toys’ also called enrichment items.  They are designed to increase their curiosity and encourage play – how great is that?

 

Guests will also be able to enjoy the Dallas Zoo’s annual Zoo Lights, take photos with Yowie’s very own Rumble mascot, all while enjoying a sweet treat in honor of National Wildlife Conservation Day.

Nights Shine Brighter at the Zoo!

Dallas Zoo Lights are sponsored by Reliant Energy and runs from  November 30th – January 1st from 5:00 pm- 9:00 pm.  After the animals head in for the evening, the zoo transforms into a winter wonderland with over one million twinkling lights illuminating ZooNorth throughout the holiday season.  This year, discover realistic silk-covered lanterns in the shape of your favorite animals,plus even more light displays and festivities for the entire family!

 

For ticket  and more information go to:  www.dallaszoolights

 

 

Yogurtland Celebrates Giving Tuesday and Support Together We Rise

Yogurtland Kicks off the giving season on November 27 at select locations!
 
Don’t forget that tomorrow is “Giving Tuesday”!  Yogurtland is a company that believes “together we can and should do more to help kids”.  In order to do that, Yogurtland is celebrating ‘Giving Tuesday’ with a fundraiser for Together We Rise, a non-profit dedicated to transforming the foster care experience for youth across America. On Tuesday, November 27  select Yogurtland locations will be supporting Together We Rise with an all day fundraiser.
Yogurtland fans are invited to support this effort by showing a social media post, email,  flyer, or mention they are supporting the fundraiser at checkout and 20% of the sales proceeds will be donated to Together We Rise.
Together We Rise is setting out to revolutionize the foster care system and change the stigma. By building awareness and volunteer opportunities, the non-profit is enriching the lives of children in foster care and giving them a sense of normalcy and comfort through an unsettling time in their lives. The organization also provides thousands of foster kids across the country with new bicycles, college supplies and suitcases known as “sweet cases,” so children no longer travel from home to home with their belongings in a trash bag.
“Yogurtland believes in helping the children in need in the communities where we operate. It’s important for children in the foster care system to have a supportive community that wants to see them succeed, and Yogurtland is honored to be a part of that initiative with this fundraiser,” said John Wayne Carlson, Yogurtland’s SVP of Marketing, Development and Operations.
At Yogurtland guests can create their own treat, snack or dessert from a variety of handcrafted frozen yogurt, ice cream, and non-dairy sorbet flavors and an abundant topping bar with fresh fruits, candies, premium sauces, and more to create an experience as unique as they are.
Separating Yogurtland from other brands are the company’s flavorologists who continually create craveable flavors that keep fans loving their taste experience. Yogurtland also owns its own dairy, and by controlling the manufacturing process delivers the highest quality flavors, setting new standards for the industry and delighting guests all year long.
For more information and to find participating locations, please visit https://www.yogurt-land.com/togetherwerise.
 About Yogurtland
Yogurtland’s flavorologists continually create craveable flavors that keep fans loving their frozen dessert experience. Yogurtland owns its own dairy, and by controlling the manufacturing process, the company delivers the highest quality flavors, setting new standards for the industry and delighting guests each day.
Yogurtland features non-fat and low-fat yogurt flavors, ice cream, and non-dairy and no sugar added choices while using milk that contains no antibiotics or added hormones. Fruit flavors are fortified with Vitamin C for an extra boost.
Presently, Yogurtland has more than 320 locations across the U.S., Australia, Dubai, Guam, Myanmar, Oman, Singapore, Thailand, and Venezuela. Flavors are always subject to creative change and popular demand. For more information, visit http://www.yogurt-land.com or http://www.facebook.com/yogurtland.

The State Fair of Texas – Only 10 More Days!

There’s only 10 days left for The State Fair of Texas!  If you haven’t been it’s not too late to go this year, the fair’s last day is October 21, 2018!  If you’ve never been – don’t miss out on one of the country’s best and most highly attended state fairs.  You’ve been before – go make some new memories with your family like my family did every year while my sons were growing up!

 My sons riding one of their favorite rides at the Fair 16 years ago! I think the smiles say it all!

It’s an old and slightly blurry photo but it’s one of my favorite photos of my sons, Jack and Jared.  The fun they were having over a decade ago is timeless and are memories that I treasure.  Going to the State Fair was a family tradition that we did every year with our guys and a day that we all looked forward to.  From the creative and crazy food concoctions that you can only get at the State Fair (like Bacon Brittle) to riding one of the biggest Ferris Wheels in the country or trying your luck on the Midway, there is something for everyone at The State Fair of Texas!

The Fair’s Midway

Guide Live’s Number 1 Pick:  Arroz con leche  What the heck is it? Two sweet fried rice balls dusted with cinnamon and served with vanilla ice cream

 

Time Line and Fun Facts about The State Fair of Texas!

The State Fair of Texas is an annual state fair held in Dallas at historic Fair Park. The fair has taken place every year since 1886 except for varying periods during World War I and World War II.  It usually begins the last Friday in September and ends 24 days later.

  • The State Fair of Texas opened its gates for the first time on October 26, 1886. Approximately 14,000 people attend the opening day.
  • On November 7, 1886, the fair closes and attracted over 100,000 people for the very first year.
  • In 1913, the fair introduces the first Automobile building which was filled with 175 vehicles for fair goers to see.
  • The fair was canceled in 1918 due to the US Army taking control of Fair Park to establish an aviation boot camp known as Camp Dick.
  • In 1921, Boston College beats Baylor at the first game ever played between teams from the southwest and northeast.
  • In 1921, Texas and Vanderbilt start a series which is played here every year from 1921 to 1928 with the exception of 1924.
  • In 1923, the fair hosted Ku Klux Klan day. Thousands of new Klan members were sworn in at the fairgrounds. More than 150,000 people were at the fair that day
  • In 1925, the first State Fair Classics played.
  • In 1929, TX-OU play their Red River Rivalry here for the first time.
  • In 1930, construction of a new Fair Park Stadium (now known as the Cotton Bowl) begins.
  • In 1932, TX-OU play their Red River Rivalry for the first time at the new Fair Park Stadium.
  • In 1937, the first Cotton Bowl Classic is played in Fair Park.
  • Big Tex makes his first appearance in 1952.
  • In 1956 the Trailblazer monorail began operation at Fair Park from 1956 to 1964. It was the first commercially operated monorail system in the United States]
  • Elvis Presley performs in the Cotton Bowl during the fair in 1956.
  • In 1960, the Dallas Texans (AFL) and the Dallas Cowboys (NFL) play their first season in the Cotton Bowl.
  • In 1964 the monorail closed and was replaced by the Swiss Sky Ride, a 64 car aerial ride that traveled over a 3,800 foot path (the longest ever built).
  • In 1985 the Texas Star opens as the largest Ferris Wheel in North America.
  • In 1989, The Comet Roller Coaster, a Fair Park landmark since 1947, is torn down.
  • Following the 2001 September 11 attacksDallas police and State Fair officials announce the implementation of new security measures during the annual event.
  • In 2005, the Fried Peanut Butter, Jelly and Banana Sandwich is introduced to the fair.
  • In 2007 the Texas Skyway aerial ride opens in Fair Park.
  • In 2010, the 8000 ft Greenhouse on the Midway is built to house 1000 hanging baskets, beehives, and Farmer Mike the Pumpkin Carver.
  • Fair goers spent more than $37 million in 2010 which broke the fair’s record.
  • On October 19, 2012, Big Tex caught on fire, burning it down to the skeletal frame, with only the right arm remaining.
  • In 2013, The State Fair opened a brand new attraction – a 500-foot observation tower called “Top o’ Texas Tower” – as part of a renovation of part of the Midway called “Summer Adventures at Fair Park. The “Tower” now operates only 24 days a year, despite a construction cost of over $11,000,000.
  • The State Fair also operated Summer Adventures in Fair Park, a beach-themed amusement park from May to August 2013.
  • Despite a $30,000,000 investment in Summer Adventures, the event was shuttered after just one season.
  • Jim Schutze of the Dallas Observer wrote, “The sudden collapse of a $30 million venture has to be some kind of red flag, some indication that it’s time to re-examine the whole thing.
  • A new Big Tex statue was unveiled the day before the fair opened
  • In May 2015, the Park and Recreation Board voted unanimously to recommend and approve the Mayor’s Task Force Plan and recommended that underground parking structures be built rather than as initially recommended by the Task Force.

Now go and have fun and don’t eat too much!

Source:  Wikipedia

111 Forks – The Crown Jewel of American Dining Celebrates 20 Years!

This renowned restaurant may have just turned 20 years old but they also have at least 20 different worlds with multiple dining rooms available in their 25,000 square feet.   You may already know that 111 Forks serves some of the finest USDA Prime steaks in the country,  the best ocean fresh seafood and has outstanding service.   What I didn’t know was how flexible the restaurant was until we were given a tour of their facility.

Entryway

My husband and I recently attended a wine pairing event at 111 Forks in Dallas to help them celebrate their 20th Anniversary.   The delectable food from Chef Chris Vogeli’s kitchen and wine from Oregon made it a delicious night and an informative one as well!  They have everything from your very own private jazz club with a stage upstairs to a New Orleans style courtyard downstairs.  They actually have over 16 fine dining rooms to choose from!  Large corporate boardroom style dining rooms are available for business meetings and there are smaller rooms for family and intimate social gatherings.   The focus of the restaurant of course is the unforgettable large dining room with an oversize fireplace, huge antler chandeliers and a ceiling mural depicting Dallas’ early history of trading posts and cowboys and Indians.

Upstairs/Promenade

Courtyard

I love that the dining rooms are named after notable Texas heroes who fought for Texas Independence.  It reinforces that eating at 111 Forks is more than just a dining experience it’s a true Texas  experience as will.   Add the live piano music, and their incredible wine selection and you have a dining experience that you will want to return to time and time again.

 Lafayette Room

Captain’s Room

Bonham and Lamar Room

 

111 Forks – Dallas is located at:

17776 Dallas Parkway

Dallas, TX 75287

Phone (972) 267-1776

www.3forks.com

 

 

The Lion King – The World’s #1 Musical Returns to Dallas

June 13, 2018 through July 7, 2018 at the Music Hall at Fair Park

 

This Classic Broadway adaptation of Disney’s animated movie has returned to Dallas!  After 20 years of performances it’s still one of the most creative productions ever made and remains one of the theatrical marvels of all time.  If you haven’t seen it before you must make the trek to Music Hall. If you’ve seen it before you must make the trek to Music Hall to see it again.

 

Tony Award Winner, The Lion King is one of the most popular productions of all time and has been seen by more than 95 million people around the world.  There’s a reason for that.  This is a musical that appeals to both kids and adults.  The Lion King has a universal theme that we can all relate to and yes, a lot of it is geared to the younger generation (this is Disney after all) but adults love it as well.  My 20 year son was in town from college and he surprised me when he agreed to go with me to see it.  He remembered that The Lion King was the first musical I took him too as a child and he was actually excited about seeing it again.  Not only can my son Jack quote every line from the movie because he saw it a million times as a child but he remembered the musical as being pretty great too.  This time though, he saw it through eyes of an adult and still enjoyed it as much as I did.  We marveled at the creative visual imagery, loved the familiar and catchy music (Grammy award winning actually), and appreciated the African culture depicted in the musical much more than we did before.  The message of the circle of life and the love of family still rang through for us as much as it did 20 years ago.

The performances are wonderful, the costumes are incredible, and the animals are delightful (except for the crazy hyenas – I never liked them and still don’t ha ha).   Take a date, a friend, or a child but go see The Lion King, have fun, and no worries for one magical night!

 

Disney’s The Lion King tickets are available at DallasSummerMusicals.org or by calling Ticketmaster at (866) 870-2717.    They can also be purchased in person at the Music Hall at Fair Park Box Office Monday through Friday from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. and Saturday from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Orders for groups of ten (10) or more may be placed by calling (214) 426-4768 or emailing Groups@DallasSummerMusicals.org. VIP Ticket Packages, which include a prime seat location, a commemorative souvenir program and an exclusive merchandise item, are also available.

 

 

 

TAKE YOUR KIDS ON SAFARI AT THE MUSIC HALL! 

Elevate your family experience during Disney’s The Lion King with a passport to the DSM Savanna presented by Frost Bank.  Get a DSM Savanna Passport for $15 per person. That’s $60 for a family of four.

Open two hours before each performance*, the DSM Savanna is located on the West Lawn of the historic Music Hall at Fair Park and includes:

  • Pre-show access to a shaded outdoor family-friendly experience
  • Coupon for one (1) snow cone per DSM Savanna Passport  
  • Face-painting and craft activities
  • Access to dedicated bars to purchase beer, wine and non-alcoholic drinks
  • Access to food trucks to purchase pre-show snacks
  • Dedicated restroom facilities

**BONUS:  Get a Food Truck Voucher for a complimentary item with every 4 DSM Savanna Passports.

You can pick up your Savanna Passports online, or on-site at the Box Office or at the DSM Savanna check in, located at the doors to the West Lawn of the Music Hall.

*The DSM Savanna will open two hours prior to the show and close 15 minutes before curtain so be sure to arrive early to allow time to enjoy all of the activities.

Be sure to dress comfortably and prepare yourself for a wild adventure!

 

Following The Lion King, DSM‘s 2017-18 season will continue with the spellbinding sequel to The Phantom of the OperaLove Never Dies: The Phantom Returns, July 24-August 5, 2018; and closing the season will be the hilarious new musical School of Rock, based on the hit film, August 15-26, 2018.

DSM will continue to bring the best of Broadway to North Texas in the 2018-19 season with shows like  Hamilton, Disney’s Aladdin, Hello, Dolly!, Cameron Mackintosh’s new production of The Phantom of the OperaAnastasiaMiss Saigon, Fiddler on the Roof and season add-ons Elf and The Book of Mormon.

 

Taste Addison – This Weekend May 18th – 20th!

Taste Addison is a three day festival of fun for the whole family and features some of the best food and music around!  If you’ve never gone before make this year the year!  Taste Addison delivers many of Addison’s favorite restaurants with great music at Addison Circle Park. Known for 180+ restaurants in less than 4.4 miles and its nationally recognized special events, Addison serves up a good time no matter the craving. Headlining the festival on Saturday night, May 19, is the Academy of Country Music award-winning group, Eli Young Band with opening act Cory Morrow. On Sunday, May 20, take your family on a trip down memory lane with classic hits from great tribute bands. Get ready to taste the food, taste the ambiance, taste the destination…Taste Addison! Here’s everything you need to know before you go:

Music Entertainment

Friday:

Whiskey Myers 7:30 – 9 p.m.

Casey Donahew 9:30 – 11 p.m.

Saturday:

Rachel Stacy 12:30 – 1:30 p.m.

Shotgun Rider 2 – 3 p.m.

Breaking Southwest 3:30 – 5 p.m.

Jonathan Tyler and 5:30 – 7 p.m.

The Northern Lights

Cory Morrow 7:30 – 9 p.m.

Eli Young Band 9:30 – 11 p.m.

Sunday:

Fin City 12:30 – 2 p.m.

Escape 2:30 – 4 p.m.

La Freak 4:30 – 6 p.m.

 

 

 

Wine Garden

In our exclusive wine garden, you will get a chance to experience fantastic wines from varied and vast appellations! If you have an affinity for bubbly Prosecco from Italy or a zeal for the zing of Sauvignon Blanc from Sonoma, your taste buds will dance with delight as you tour the garden. Whether it’s a refreshing rinse of Rosé or a mouthful of California Chardonnay, enjoy your relaxing weekend with a glass of one of our exceptional wines! Available for sampling: Sauvignon Blanc & Merlot (Ava Grace Vineyards), Chardonnay & Rose (Chloe Wine Collection), Moscato D’Asti & Prosecco (Cupcake Vineyards). 21 & UP ONLY.

5/18, Friday: 7pm-10pm

5/19, Saturday: 2pm-7pm

5/20, Sunday: 1pm-5pm

**VIP tickets have 30 minutes early access for all 3 days.  Must be 21.

Craft Beer Hall

Presented by Anheuser-Busch

From Chicago’s award-winning Goose Island IPA to Seattle’s Space Dust IPA from Elysian Brewing Co., experience a wide array of craft beers from across the country. Enjoy Colorado’s refreshingly crisp Mango Mosaic American Pale Ale from Breckenridge Brewery and Houston’s Karbach Love Street kolsch-style blond to the seasonal Karbach’s Tasty Waves Summer Ale. Finish it off with a gluten-free Spiked Seltzer – perfectly refreshing natural fruit flavors. There’s a taste for every beer lover. 21 & UP ONLY.

5/18, Friday: 7pm-10pm

5/19, Saturday: 2pm-7pm

5/20, Sunday: 1pm-5pm

**VIP tickets have 30 minutes early access for all 3 days.  Must be 21.

Albertsons Tom Thumb Cooking Stage

Several of Addison’s most popular chefs will show you how to recreate your Taste Addison experience at home. See the shows and stay for the samples! All cooking demos take place on the Albertsons Tom Thumb Cooking Stage located inside the Addison Conference Centre. The demos are included with a Taste Addison admission ticket.

Cooking Demo Schedule:

Saturday, 5/19:

2:30 p.m.: Francesco Secchi – Ferrari’s Italian Villa & Chop House

4 p.m.: Jake Magruder – On the Border

5:30 p.m.: Joe Chow – May Dragon

7 p.m.: Mike McRae – Table 13

Sunday, 5/20:

1:30 p.m.: Rambo Saucedo – Cantina Laredo

3 p.m.: Lee Hunzinger – Zoli’s NY Pizza

Entertainment for the whole family

Enjoy free face painting, activities and games for the whole family on the Family Fun Lawn located near the Addison Conference Centre and the Stone Cottage, or visit the Talley Carnival for rides and midways games. Kids 11 and younger get in FREE all weekend.

Face Painting Hours:

Saturday: 2 p.m. to 7 p.m.

Sunday: Noon to 6 p.m.

Enjoy a step-by-step painting session with experienced and professional local artists. You’ll leave with a one-of-a-kind creation and a newfound talent you’ll want to explore. Located in the Addison Conference Centre. Suitable for ages 12 & up and accompanied by an adult.

*Every Hour on the Hour*

Saturday, May 19, 2pm – 6pm

Sunday, May 20, Noon – 5pm

On Sunday, join the Japan-American Society for Origami, the art of folding paper and Kirigami, the art of folding and cutting paper on the Conference Centre patio from Noon – 4pm.

Taste Addison Carnival

Whether you enjoy zero gravity or if the monkey maze is more your pace, the Taste Addison carnival has a ride that’s just your speed. Ride prices start at $3 and go up. All rides have minimum height requirements, so make sure to check out the posted signs. The Carnival will accept Tasty Bucks only. One ticket equals $1.

Pinot’s Palette

Enjoy a step-by-step painting session with experienced and professional local artists. You’ll leave with a one-of-a-kind creation and a newfound talent you’ll want to explore. Located in the Addison Conference Centre. Suitable for ages 12 & up and accompanied by an adult.

Saturday, 5/19: 2 p.m. – 6 p.m., every hour on the hour

Sunday, 5/20: Noon – 5 p.m., every hour on the hour

Hours: Friday: 6 p.m. – Midnight

Saturday: Noon – Midnight

Sunday: Noon – 6 p.m.

Location: Addison Circle Park, 4970 Addison Circle Drive, Addison, Texas 75001

Tickets:

 Early Saver Tickets (Now – May 13): $15/person, ages 12 and up – online only

 General Admission (May 14 – May 19): $20/person, ages 12 and up – online and at the gate

 General Admission (May 20): $10/person, ages 12 and up – online and at the gate

 NEW VIP WEEKEND PACKAGE (online only/limited quantities/ages 21 and up only):

o Three-day adult general admission

o Three VIP beverage coupons and VIP bar access

o Three Taste Bite coupons

o Premium concert viewing area

o Private restrooms

o Early access to the Craft Beer Hall and Wine Garden

 Children 11 and under are FREE every day

Sponsors: Budweiser, Albertsons Tom Thumb, 107.5 Fierro-HD2, Ava Grace Vineyards, 99.5 The Wolf,

New Country 96.3 KSCS, Coca-Cola, Dallas Morning News and Guide Live

Visit www.TasteAddisonTexas.com or connect on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram at @VisitAddison and #TasteAddison.

 

 

 

 

Dallas Summer Musicals Presents Les Miserables

LES MISÉRABLES THE MUSICAL PHENOMENON

 DALLAS ENGAGEMENT AT MUSIC HALL AT FAIR PARK

APRIL 24 – MAY 6

Yes, the much loved LES MIZ has been around (32 years to be exact) but if you think it’s tired, think again. It’s musical theater at its best and has the most powerful music and performances that have ever been seen at the stage.  LES MISÉRABLES is still the world’s most popular musical, breaking box office records everywhere.  It’s also the 5th longest running Broadway of all time.  There’s a reason for that! If you’ve never seen it you need to go to experience it. If you have seen it before you need to go again because  this new production has been revamped with imaginative new staging and stunning scenery inspired by the paintings of Victor Hugo.  It’s really spectacular!

Here’s the plot:    LES MISÉRABLES takes place in 19th century Frances and is the epic tale of broken dreams, love, passion, sacrifice and redemption. The story follows the fugitive Jean Valjean and his journey from a 19 year imprisonment for stealing a loaf of bread and the prison officer, Javert who makes it his life’s goal to hunt him down.  Jean reinvents himself as a mayor and factory worker and meets the tragic Fantine and becomes the guardian of her beloved young daughter Cosette.  The musical will thrill you and delight you at the same time.    The musical features one of the greatest scores of all time, with the much loved songs such as “I Dreamed A Dream,” “On My Own,” “Stars,” “Bring Him Home,” “One Day More,” “Do You Hear the People Sing”.

This production is filled with first rate talent and  incredibly powerful voices.  Nick Cartell portrays the fugitive ‘Jean Valjean.’ Josh Davis performs as ‘Javert,’ J Anthony Crane as ‘Thénardier,’ Allison Guinn as ‘Madame Thénardier,’ Mary Kate Moore as ‘Fantine,’ Matt Shingledecker as ‘Enjolras,’ Emily Bautista as ‘Éponine,’ Robert Ariza as ‘Marius’ and Jillian Butler as ‘Cosette.’  Elsa Avery Dees and Sophie Knapp alternate in the role of ‘Little Cosette/Young Éponine.’  Julian Emile Lerner, Sammy Middleton and Jonah Mussolino alternate in the role of ‘Gavroche.’   All of their performances are energetic, strong and heartbreaking.

And yes, I cried throughout because the music is truly wonderful and full of raw emotion, realism, and love.   One of my favorite lines from the finale of LES MIZ is “And remember The truth that once was spoken, To love another person is to see the face of God!” This is one of my all time favorite musicals.   Go..See..LES MIZ! 

Looking for a a great spring date night or a girl’s night out idea?  I have the perfect chose for you!   I took my son, Jared to see it and he loved it!  Tickets start at just $35 and can be purchased online or at the Music Hall at Fair Park Box Office.   To purchase tickets, visit dallassummermusicals.org/shows/les-miserables, call 214-691-7200 or visit the Music Hall at Fair Park Box Office at 909 1st Avenue. Ticket prices start at $35. For a sneak peek, please visitwww.LesMiz.com.

 

Following the thrilling run of LES MISÉRABLES, DSM‘s 2017-18 season will continue with Disney’s The Lion King, winner of six Tony Awards®, including Best Musical, June 13-July 7, 2018; the spellbinding sequel to The Phantom of the Opera, Love Never Dies: The Phantom Returns, July 24-August 5, 2018; and closing the season will be the hilarious new musical School of Rock, based on the hit film, August 15-26, 2018.

 

New Spring Menu at Lazy Dog Restaurant!

Spring is here and so is Lazy Dog Restaurant’s new Spring menu!  The laid back lodge inspired restaurant has introduced a new, seasonally inspired and handcrafted menu that is infused with a variety of fresh and inspired ingredients.   Lazy Dog’s co-founder Gabe Caliendo, has created a new menu that offers something for everyone and will satisfy foodies everywhere.  He has hand crafted several very unique and flavorful dishes that will delight you with its freshness and authenticity. The menu includes 11 new menu items and five new beverages including some meatless, vegan, or gluten free options. 

The new Lazy Dog spring Menu includes:

 

Street Corn Wheels – A twist on street corn which includes fresh corn, char grilled with lime, garlic, queso blanco, cilantro and Tajin. These are very tasty and invoke summer memories of corn on the backyard gill.

 

Burrata + Roasted Beet Salad – Bright field greens, creamy burrata cheese, candied walnuts, heirloom tomatoes, crushed sweet peaches, and sea salt.  The freshness and sweetness that fills this salad will be calling me back to Lazy Dog. 

 

Burrata + Heirloom Tomato Crisp – Pomodoro sauce, pesto, creamy burrata cheese, parmesan, romano, balsamic reduction, chili oil, fresh basil.  Loved the combination of the pesto and Pomodoro sauce and the crust was crispy and flavorful.  

 

Housemade Veggie Burger Bowl – Tasty grilled salmon, served with housemade aioli, fresh tomato, a peanut sesame slaw, red onions, on  a brioche-style bun.  I’d never heard of a veggie burger bowl before but this is good stuff people!! 

 

Housemade BBQ Veggie Burger – A mouth-watering meatless option – made from scratch patty with black beans, ancient grains, beets and vegetables, topped with roasted garlic, housemade BBQ sauce, jack cheese, fried onions, pickle, and tomato.  I thought it was delicious and my meat loving husband said he would never have guessed it wasn’t meat – high praise! 

Grilled Lemon Chicken – Marinated and grilled chicken breast, cauliflower mash, sautéed green beans, and heirloom tomatoes with almond walnut crumble, and tahini.  I love everything included in this dish so this is a perfect choice for me.  The chicken was tasty and the cauliflower mash tasted just like mashed potatoes.  Mix in all the other fresh ingredients and this is a healthy food option.   

 Here come the new desserts:

 

Peach Raspberry Hand Pie –Made from scratch raspberry puree, sweet peaches, cinnamon and sugar, salted caramel sauce, served warm with a scoop of vanilla bean ice cream.  There’s nothing here not to like. 

 

Triple Layer Lemon Cake – For those who are gluten sensitive – lemon buttercream, almond flour vanilla cake, huckleberry sauce, lemon curd, and housemade whipped cream.  Light and delicious!

New Libations from the Bar Menu:  They’re all unique, fresh AND delicious!

 

Watermelon Margarita – Made with lunazul resposado tequila, watermelon, salted rim.  A perfect summer drink!

Honey Thyme Old Fashioned – Made with Buffalo Trace bourbon, Cointreau, Amaro Montenegro, honey, fresh thyme, garnished with an orange peel.

 Tincup Whiskey Sour – Made with Tincup Mountain whiskey, housemade sweet and sour, yuzu bitters, fresh rosemary, and meyer lemon foam.

 Huckberry Mule – made with born and bred American craft vodka, Acacia rose, grapefruit juice, cranberry juice, sugar cane, St. Germaine, and elderflower foam. 

 Non-alcoholic, lower calorie options are also available such as Ginger-Lime Sparkling Soda and Tropical-Orange Sparkling Soda.

Here’s the Lazy Dog Story:

While Lazy Dog’s founder Chris Simms was growing up, he and his family would vacation in the breathtaking Rocky Mountains of Jackson Hole, Wyoming. Whether it was skiing in the winter or fishing in the summer, Chris will tell you that even today it is the place he goes when he wants to get away and relax. When you are in any one of the Lazy Dog restaurants, you will see how Chris has tried to capture and recreate the feeling he gets when in Jackson Hole. He wants you to feel like you are walking into a place that is the perfect balance of warm and comfortable, yet full of excitement and positive energy. For Chris, the lodge represents vacations with family and friends.

Where did the Lazy Dog get its unique name? One snowy afternoon, walking back into the lodge after a long morning on the slopes, Chris noticed a dog lying by the toasty fireplace. Commenting to his buddies on how much he loved his time hanging out there, he told them he wished everyone could enjoy life as much as that “lazy dog’ by the fire and a concept was born!

 

Something that’s not changed is the warm, cozy, and rustic setting and the friendly service that we’ve always gotten at Lazy Dog.  And don’t forget about the awesome dog friendly patio (they have a dog menu too) and the best fire pit in town. Even if the weather hasn’t quite settled into spring (in Texas at least) Lazy Dog’s new spring menu will put you in the mood for longer and lazier warm summer days filled with fresh and homemade food just like your mother made but much much better!

 

I visited the Addison Lazy Dog which is located in Village at the Parkway, 5100 Belt Line Rd. but there are 25 locations throughout Texas, California, Colorado, Nevada.  For other locations and for more information go to:  www.lazydogrestaurants.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

Waitress – Dallas Music Hall at Fair Park

MARCH 28 – APRIL 8, 2018

 It’s an “easy as pie” decision to grab some girlfriends and go see the cooking themed musicial Waitress!   The musical is all about friendships, relationships, motherhood, loyalty, love, and pies! I mean who doesn’t like a good musical and pie, right? The production is uplifting and full of laughs, and tears.  Warning tip:  Don’t go hungry or you will die of starvation because of all the pie talk!

The musical is based on the beloved 2007 movie Waitress.  It is all about women and their struggles and it was created by a team of women that features the original music and lyrics by 6-time Grammy® nominee Sara Bareilles (“Brave,” “Love Song”), a book by acclaimed screenwriter Jessie Nelson (I Am Sam), choreography by Lorin Latarro (Les Dangereuse Liasons, Waiting For Godot) and direction by Tony Award® winner Diane Paulus (Hair, Pippin, Finding Neverland).  .

Here’s the plot: It’s the story of Jenna who is a downtrodden waitress who works in Joe’s Pie Diner making amazing homemade pies.  Her beloved mother passed on the talent to her in the hopes that it could help her be successful but she’s trapped in a small town in the south in a dead-end job and in a loveless marriage.  She dreams of escaping both but now finds herself in a real predicament – she’s pregnant.   If that’s not enough to deal with, she pays a visit to her long time doctor only to find that she’s retired and there’s a handsome new doctor in town who’s more interested in her than her baby OR her amazing pies.  There’s only one big problem with the new man in her life – he’s married.  Oh, what’s a girl to do?  Well, if you’re Jenna you bake more pies and give them hilarious personal, life names such as  “Betrayed by My Eggs Pie”, “My Husband’s A Jerk Chicken Pot Pie”, “Marshmallow Mermaid Pie” and “I Don’t Want Earl’s Baby Pie”.

Jenna  loves to create new pies with lots of sugar of course but also some very creative ingredients.  She demonstrates through song “What’s Inside” how she makes her pies and with the song “What Baking Can Do” how it helps her deal with her depressing  life.    But there is some hope on the horizon for Jenna.  There’s a baking contest in a nearby county that may be the way out of her dead-end existence.  And just maybe the new doctor in her life might actually be the answer to her love life.  Meanwhile Jenna’s best friends and fellow waitresses, the frisky and feisty Becky and the dorky but adorable Dawn are by her side to lift her up with advice, laughter, and support as she deals with this new wrinkle in her already beat down life.  Becky (Charity Angel Dawson) delivers the “been around the block” strong and sassy role with a big and soulful voice that will leave you wanting more.

Jenna not only makes magical pies but she’s also loved by everyone who knows her including the grumpy and grouchy diner owner Joe.   Their banter in the diner is endearing and sweet and it’s a real showstopper when Larry Marshall who plays Joe belts out “Take it From an Old Man”.   Another standout performance that will have you seriously laughing out loud is Jeremy Morse as the hysterically manic character Ogie.  He’s Dawn’s new (and first) love interest that she’s met on a dating site  and goes by the online name “OKC with a Bullet” (that should give you a hint to his level of coolness).   His song “Never Ever Getting Rid of Me” is brilliantly funny and when you put Ogie and Dawn together they will become your new favorite couple.

Desi Oakley delivers a solid and believable performance as Jenna.  She’s sweet as southern pecan pie and balances that with a sorrowful sadness that feels genuine.  She can also belt out the songs in a big voice which reminded me a little of Reba McIntire.  When she sang “She Used to be Mine” in the second act she had me and most of the audience in tears.   Her interaction with her jerky husband Earl (played almost too well by Nick Bailey) will break your heart and will make you want to break Earl’s head.

All the performances are strong and contribute to the fun that Waitress brings to life.  The young actress Eliza Chabot who plays LuLu is pure delight when she makes her appearance at the end of the performance the audience cheers! I love it when that happens!   The sets are creative with the diner interchanging easily with Jenna’s tired and sad home.  I also really liked the ingenius way the band slides on and off the stage and becomes part of the diners set.   This musical is not heavy on dancing but I found myself not really caring because it is heavy on the  music.  I don’t always have a desire for the sound track but I do for this one.

As funny as it is, Waitress deals with a lot of real issues and sometimes uncomfortable subjects but it does so with heart and some adult humor (leave the kids at home for this one).   There are moments where most of us can relate.  Bad relationships, career disappointments,  unrealized dreams,  and yes, the one that got away.  But through it all we have our friends and family who love us anyway, the knowledge that there’s always tomorrow, and oh yes, there’s always pie.

Waitress is a perfect girls night out!  Single tickets for the Dallas engagement of Waitress, starting at $20 (pricing subject to change), are now on sale atDallasSummerMusicals.org or by phone at 1 (800) 745-3000. They can also be purchased in person at the Music Hall at Fair Park Box Office Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Dallas Summer Musicals 2017-18 season continues with the thrilling, spectacular and unforgettable Les Misérables, April 24-May 6, 2018; Disney’s The Lion King, winner of six Tony Awards®, including Best Musical, June 13-July 7, 2018; the spellbinding sequel to The Phantom of the Opera, Love Never Dies: The Phantom Returns, July 24-August 5, 2018; and closing the season will be the hilarious new musical School of Rock, based on the hit film, August 15-26, 2018.

 

 

 

 

 

3 Stacks Smoke and Tap House Brings Full Service to BBQ

My husband and I recently visited 3 Stacks Smoke & Tap House to experience their new menu and walked away extremely impressed and extremely full.  If you’ve haven’t visited the restaurant before , 3 Stacks Smoke & Tap House, is a great BBQ restaurant located in Frisco, Texas.    3 stacks has now taken it to another level by becoming a full service restaurant (they’ve gotten rid of the buffet line) and has combined their already terrific BBQ with a full menu that includes several new and creative selections of meats, appetizers, sides, and desserts.

Let’s start with the BBQ.  Even though 3 Stacks is stepping up their game with their new and creative menu their Pit Master Bryan Shanahan combines old school BBQ skills but leverages high quality smoking equipment to produce consistent and delicious  BBQ.   He oversees the three large smokers  himself and produces a competition level BBQ  that is as tasty as you can get. The USDA prime hickory smoked beef brisket is very moist and tender and has a great cap and smoke ring.

The St. Louis ribs were succulent and tender with a sweet finish.  They are some of the best I’ve had.  3 Stacks also prepares their sausage in house in their new sausage production viewing room.  That’s a unique approach,  restaurants usually don’t do that.

Most BBQ joints build their reputation based on their meats but they don’t try too hard on their sides or alternative BBQ choices.  For the most part they all have the same old tired and boring potato salad and beans but 3 Stacks has added some creative sides, appetizers, and desserts.  Chef Pete Rukes has taken southern staples and has infused them with a modern twist and added several new items to the menu.  I highly recommend the White Cheddar Mac and Cheese, and the “to die for” roasted garlic mashed potatoes.  We started the meal with fried green tomatoes with charred corn salsa and chipotle dressing (bet you never had them served this way) and buttermilk and bacon hushpuppies (yes I said bacon – yum).  The smokehouse flatbread is very unique and delicious.  It has a great combination of smoked meat flavors that you wouldn’t expect in a pizza.    Other new items to the menu include jalapeno-cheddar sausage corn dogs, Texas poutine with brisket chili, and a BLT with house cured pork belly (I will go back just to have this again).

Now let’s talk desserts.    Who doesn’t love the banana pudding that most BBQ places have?  Well Chef Rukes has gone one step further and has combined the banana flavor with my favorite dessert ever – Crème Brulee and has produced a new favorite, “Caramelized Banana Crème Brulee”.  He’s also taken another old dessert staple, bread pudding and has created a new decadent dessert called “Warm Doughnut and Maple Bread Pudding”.  Everything is made in house and it’s obvious in the quality and taste.

3 Stacks offers a wide array of craft beers if that’s your thing.  My vote for best cocktail goes to “Smoke Show”.  This is their version of a margarita and it is amazing!  It includes tequila, Cointreau, lime, agave and smoke (of course) sea salt!  Also of note is “The Ol’Barrel” which is a Manhattan style cocktail.  Not only is the whisky barrel-aged but the drink itself is aged in a barrel on site for an extra smooth cocktail.

3 Stacks gets it’s name from the three smoke stacks that greet you at the door to the restaurant and introduces you to what this restaurant is really all about – smoking BBQ.   Inside, the restaurant  has a large open floor plan with exposed brick walls which gives it a modern rustic ambiance.  This puts the restaurant a step above most other BBQ restaurants.  It also has several TV’s throughout the restaurant which makes it a great gathering place for game watching and family events.

My BBQ loving husband gave it two thumbs up and so did I!  I love BBQ but I also love that there are delicious non BBQ items to choose from too.  That alone makes this restaurant something special.  Anyone who loves BBQ and is ready for something different needs to put this restaurant at the top of their list!!

3 Stacks Smoke & Tap House is located at 4226 Preston Road in Frisco, Texas .  It’s open Sunday through Thursday from 11 am to 9 pm and Friday and Saturday from 11 am to 10 pm.

For more information, please visit:  www.3stacksbbq.com.