I'm not going to the game, but this review definitely peaked my interest in visiting these areas in the future.
chance of bowl: 13.6%
Ok, first diary here. I planned on making this a post, but it turned out a little long. Anyway, I've lived in the D/FW area for a few years now and can maybe help you guys out with planning your trip.
Most people tend to think of Dallas as having three main areas; the West End, Deep Ellum, and Uptown. Here's my summary/opinion of them
West End : This side of town is a little bit slower but still has some good flavor to it. There is a decent rooftop cajun bar (Gators), Hooters, Dicks Last Resort, TGI Fridays, Spaghetti Warehouse, two good steakhouses, and a Sonny Bryants BBQ (see below). In addition, the West End features an aquarium, the American Airlines Arena, live music just about everywhere, carriage rides, and is home to Delay Plaza and the 6th Floor Musuem. In case you forgot, this is where JFK was killed. I reccomend at least driving through Delay Plaza during your visit.
Deep Ellum : DE at one time was very busy, like Uptown is now (I'll get to that in a minute). In the 90's or so crime in the area increased and people moved out and found other weekend. With that being said, DE is slowly coming back. DE is the "hipster" side of town, so expect tattoos, punk music, and spiked hair. The bars in DE tend to be hole-in-the-wall bars. With that being said, DE is home to some of the best food in Dallas. Twisted Root and Angry Dog both have excellent burgers. It's like a one side or the other debate down here which one you like. There is a good cajun and sushi restraunt. Most importantly, Pepe & Mito's mexican cafe (see below). Also, the Cotton Bowl is about a mile or two from DE.
Uptown: Uptown is hands down the heart of Dallas nightlife. When people refer to "Uptown" what they are actually refering to is McKinney Ave. There is plenty of bars on Mckinney and each bar has a little different flavor. Just about all bars here have rooftops and outside seating. The Den has the best view of the skyline at night but also is the busiest. Anyway, McKinney has plently of bars and you'll be sure to find a good place to hang out and find your favorite beer. Oh, and by the way, the woman in this area will make your head spin. However, McKinney really doesn't feautre and good places to eat that I would take a visitor to. So I'd recommend heading here at night and eating somewhere else.
If I had two meals to eat in Dallas where would I eat at?
Tex-Mex : Pepe & Mitos Mexican Cafe in Deep Ellum. Featured on Diners, Drive-In's, and Dives. From the outside, the restraunt may not look the nicest, but believe me, the inside is updated, clean, serivce is friendly, and food is excellent.
BBQ: Sonny Bryant's BBQ. Sonny's has multiple locations throughout D/FW but the one I suggest is in the West End. I don't really need to lay this one out for you guys, Just good ole' Texas BBQ. Everything from brisket, pork, ribs, turkey, sausage, etc. As seen on Man vs Food.
Fort Worth can best be described as a mini-Dallas. The city is smaller and less busy but still offers plenty to do. I don't know FW as well as Dallas but here's what I do know. I like to think of FW as two areas;
Sundance Sqaure: This is basically the heart of FW nightlife. Lot's of TCU students and good bars to sit and have a drink at. Again, the nightlife is a little slower than Dallas, but still there is plenty. Truthfully I don't spend much time here, but those that do love it, I just prefer to head to the stockyards.
The Stockyards: Now, this is my favorite place in FW. The Stockyards is what you probably picture Texas as. Daily cattle drives, cowboys, rodeos, and Texas two-stepping. I highly reccomend seeing a rodeo at the Stockyards Colosseum. It's $15 for a 2-hr show featuring bull riding, barrel racing, and lassoing contests. Billy Bob's is located in the Stockyards and is one of the biggest bars in the country. BB's has plenty of two-stepping, bull riding ($3 for a 20min show), and also live music. A lot of famous country musicians play at BB's (Willie Nelson was here for the 4th), so don't be surprised if you see a big name performing, but expect to pay about $15 in cover. Also the Stockyards is home to the White Elephant. You may recoginze the White Elephant as CD's Bar from Walker Texas Ranger, as this is where those scenes were shot.
If I had two meals to eat in FW where would I eat at?
BBQ - North Main BBQ. Ok, North Main isn't in FW it's in Euless (about 20mins away). But this IMO is better than any BBQ FW offers. Only open on weekends, all you can eat. Stays open until they run out of food.
For those who don't already know, Arlington is between Dallas and Fort Worth. Truthfully, there is no significant travel time advantage of staying in Dallas Vs. Fort Worth. I'm not going to spend much time here as most of you seem to be staying in D/FW. But attractions in Arlington include; Six Flags and the Six Flags water park, Rangers Ballpark, and of course, Jerryworld.
In closing, D/FW is a great area and truthfully, there is just too much to do. Plenty of attractions, and PLENTY of good food. The places to eat I picked are all based on my opinion and I'm sure some people would disagree. I'm just looking to point you in the right direction, do some research yourself and see what places look good to you, you really can't go wrong.
Let me know if you have any questions, I'd be happy to help out. Look forward to seeing some maize and blue down here in September.
I'm not going to the game, but this review definitely peaked my interest in visiting these areas in the future.
Appreciate the info. Staying at the renaissance in dallas. We have a couple vans thankfully as i see driving around on Friday a must. Also i said this in another post but an MGo meetup friday or centralized tailgate spot is a great idea. Im willing to buy extra stuff for a tailgate. No idea where we are parking or what would be the best area... If any interest let me know
Definitely interested in a tailgate. I have a crew of 5 flying in from all over the country for my bachelor party. None of them are michigan fans (or bama fans either) so their only concern will be drinking heavily.
A good non chain BBQ spot was on our list of things to do while in town and it looks like we can cross that off the list, thanks for the tip!
Likely an autocorrect error, but at any rate... Daley Plaza, not Delay. And definitely worth checking out, both for the history and for the weird scene it continues to engender, with conspiracy theorists handing out their newsletters all over the grassy knoll and the continuing battle between the people who paint X's on the street in the locations the shots hit Kennedy and the City of Dallas, which continually attempts to erase them.
For those of you who might be planning to check out the 6th Floor Museum (which is worth it), Robert Caro had a fabulous essay in a recent New Yorker recreating JFK's assassination from the perspective of LBJ, who was several cars back.
I'd second the recommendation of the rodeo in Ft. Worth, which is well worth it and something that feels very Texas (my rec for a big group on Friday would be Joe T. Garcia's, followed by the rodeo, followed by Billy Bobs, very different than anything you can find in Ann Arbor or most major metro areas).
Also, there's great food in Bishop Arts District in Dallas, particularly Hattie's, which is upscale soul food, Gloria's for a Salvadoran take on Tex-Mex, and Veracruz for Mexican.
Crap. You're right.
So what you are telling me is if I'm staying in Arlington I will be driving a ways to find fun? I'm staying at the Homestead Dallas-Arlington. The only thing I know is that it's by a cracker barrel so they better get their biscuits and gravey ready because I'm gonna attack those.
you could always just go to Six Flags... but yeah the bar scene is bigger in either Ft Worth or Uptown Dallas
Lincoln Square in Arlington. There's Boomerjack's and Sherlocks for bar atmosphere and there's also a dueling Piano Bar (Louie Louie's) in that area. I'd say if you don't want to venture too far but want to hit up a bar and like the idea of the dueling Piano thing you'll be just fine in Arlington. Otherwise - yeah, you'll need to head to FW or Dallas. Personally I always prefer FW and I'm actually opposite to OP - I prefer Sundance Square to the Stockyards and I really don't care for Joe T's. If I had to pick a Mexican place to eat I'd say Uncle Julios or Pappasito's (unless you want to head north in which case I'd say Rio Mambo or La Hacienda Ranch).
to find a nearby Huddle House and Krystal Burger. Any help here?
Primos and Taco Diner in uptown are also great texmex places to eat/drink
Jake's-in Uptown-has the best burgers ever.
For Bars-McKinney Ave Tavern, Renfields, Trophy Room, The Den.
False J.G.s in Richardson
I'm going to have to check it out within the next couple weeks. Lots of good burger places down here.
I put together a travel guide for the Dallas/Fort Worth area prior to Super Bowl XLV at Cowboys Stadium. The points of interest and restaurant info may be helpful:
I was a huge fan of Nick and Sam's Grill and just might end up there on the Saturday morning before the Alabama game.
Just a word of caution if you plan to go to Joe T Garcia's it is a cash ONLY restraunt. I is also very good Mexican food. For some good BBQ the Smoke Pit in Ft Worth is really good as well, Pork Chop Friday is awsome! Get there early cause when there gone there gone. They only make about 200 of them but it will be the biggest and best you ever had.
Don't forget about Railhead - it's right off of I-30 right after the exit for TCU (University drive - imagine that...) - they've got probably the best BBQ in DFW but the sides aren't really that good but the meat, it's delicious!
Twisted root burger in Deep Ellum and SMU campus is also a delicious burger spot
There's a few restaurants and bars in the Knox/Henderson area as well. The Porch is a little more upscale then a random burger joint, has standard american fare was always a fave of mine down there. There's another Jake's burger as well as a stretch of bars (J Blacks, Capitol Pub) in that area as well.
Good stuff Stuck
Jblacks and Capitol Pub are great spots. I was just there last night.
BBQ: BBQ is the metroplex is not very good, at least compared to the rest of Texas.
Mexican (Addison, FW): HIGHLY recommend going to Blue Mesa.
Deli (Dallas): Gio's Cafe is quite good. It's no Zingermann's, but it's better than 95% of the delis out there.
Thai (Arlington): Thai House is very good.
Burgers (Dallas): Jake's is good.
There's a Blue Mesa in Dallas too near Northpark Mall on 75 and Northwest Highway (Loop 12). They have a free quesadilla bar during happy hour.
Hibiscus and victor tangos in Knox Henderson, great food great crowd.
Patrizios in highland park village. Some of the best people watching in the city in the toniest neighborhood.
I'll have a house full of M fans here in Dallas - see you at Jerryworld.
I have lived in Dallas for 6 years now. Here are my suggestions.
If you have the time I would suggest going to Perrys Steakhouse and Grille on Mckinney Ave for Lunch on Friday. 1 lb Pork Chop for lunch $11.95 (Smoked for 36 hours)...Best lunch in the city!
Angry Dog or Jakes for Burgers. Prefer Jakes just becuase the scenery and patio make for a more enjoyable dinning experience.
BBQ-Angelos in Ft. Worth is by far the best I have had in the DFW metroplex. I am not a fan of Sonny Bryans.
Tex-Mex-I never go wrong with Papacitos, El Fenix, and Joe T Garcias.
I work at the Arena in Downtown. Some of my favorite nightlife places are Shooters, Havanas, Neos, Kenichi, West End Pub, and the palm. All within 1.5 miles of the arena.
Housing 4 visitors myself....looking forward to a great weekend! GO BLUE!!
There's a good and growing craft beer scene in DFW. Local breweries to look out for are Deep Ellum, Peticolas and Rahr. Other worthy Texas breweries that distribute up there include Jester King, Ranger Creek, Live Oak, Karbach, Southern Star, & Austin Beerworks.
Good craft beer bars include a couple of Flying Saucer locations, as well a Gingerman. There are others, of course, but those would be standouts.
Also, 2 great beer-friendly restaurants are Meddlesome Moth and Common Table. Both are worthy for the food alone, but they are both great beer joints as well.
For more details, the Beer Advocate travel guide is a great resource. If anyone has any further questions about beery stuff, I'm happy to help. I live in Houston but will be driving up for the weekend.
Didn't you hear? Fitz had a DUI.
Does anyone know if there is any sort of shuttle that we can pay for to get to the game Saturday?? Flying in and staying at a hotel, don't have a way to Arlington besides cab.