An "Insiders Tour Guide" to the Dallas Metro Area - Day 1

Real Estate Agent with Common name, Uncommon service - Smith & Smith Realty, LLC

American Airline Center -W HotelA few weeks ago Jerold's sister and brother-in-law visited us from Orlando, FL. They are also native Texans, (West Texas that is) and when they come to visit they like to explore the new areas of the metroplex and go to old haunts that bring back fond memories. The single most important mission everyday was to find the best REAL Tex Mex and Bar-B-Q in Dallas and to visit the new and most interesting venues within the past year.  So... of course, being REALTORS, we are always in the know of new and exciting projects in our cities. Needless to say; we ate our way through Dallas.  Here is our 10 cent tour.

Day 1- We started each day with a vary light breakfast, coffee and maybe a muffin, it was actually more important to get on the internet to find new places to eat and directions for the day. We did not get off till noon the first day so our first stop was a small, hole in the wall, that's been there forever, a  BAR-B-Q place called Sammy's. It is located in UPTOWN area of Dallas, right by the Federal Reserve building, it is the most delicious BAR-B-Q you have ever put in your mouth, it is a buffet line and you can order plates (Texas Size) or sandwiches, plenty of killer sides, fried OKRA, fried onion rings, huge iced mugs of big get the picture, you can also sit outside in the back beer garden room if the weather is good and not too HOT! This place is a cash cow, only open for lunch, Texas Flavor at its finest! One of Stanley Marcus's favorite places...W Lobby

One Arts Plaza Hard hat TourNext stop, One Arts Plaza, this is a new commercial-residential building being built by the Billingsley Company, Trammel Crow's daughter Lucy Billingsley, the building is a modern structure that overlooks the entire Arts District of Dallas, it will house office tenants, restaurants and the top 6 floors are all residential, we took a hard hat tour and the views are breath taking, if you have not been to Dallas in a while we are in the process of building a state of the art, ARTS District that will be internationally known, check out  the Dallas Arts project. Completion for this project will be 2009, so everything has started and the process of change is fascinating. Rumor has it that Trammel Crow gave Lucy Billingsley this tract of land for her 18th birthday and she just sat with it until ripe for development, she is following her fathers tradition in Dallas of developing world renowned architecture.

W Pool ViewThen on to the new posh W Hotel, this opened in July and is right across from Mark Cuban's (his blog) - W HotelAmerican Airlines Center, this structure adds to the beautiful Dallas skyline, it is an elliptical building that seems to float from the sky, a modern building with many surprise elements,  a couple of bars, negative edge pool that face west for the stunning sunsets and The Craft restaurant.  The lobby bar has 50 ft ceiling and chandeliers that hang down about 35 feet, they are made up of many prisms and reflect from the wall art that changes color every few minutes, very subtle, you can walk right out the door and across the sidewalk to the AA center and watch your favorite sporting event.  The Ghost bar only opens at five and you must wait in line to attend, the elevator opens right into the ROOFTOP bar and your are transported into another world.
W Entrance 
Next stop...

Nasher Sculpture GardenThe Nasher Sculpture Garden, is a beautiful indoor-outdoor gallery of sculptures collected by Raymond Nasher of Northpark fame (the best shopping in all of Dallas). Very thought provoking works of Art by Giacometti, Renoir, Moore, just to name a few. It is located right next to the Dallas Museum of Art on Flora street. The restaurant is by Wolfgang Puck.  A very peaceful refuge in the heart of downtown Dallas.

After all this exploring it was time to eat again... this time it had to be authentic Tex Mex, as you probably know we have many commercial & gourmet Mexican food restaurants to choose from. RAFA's is a fixture in the Park Cities, located in a strip center west of the Tollway. It is about as real as it gets, pinata's & lights hanging from the ceiling, great service and one of best darn Tex Mex restaurants that is still family owned. You can't miss it, Red, White & Green storefront on the north side of Lover's Lane. (Mr. Marcus loved this place too.)

This was the last photo of the day, an old church in the Arts District of Dallas, The Cathedral is one of the oldest Catholic churches that has just had its steeple & bellsBells Church lovingly restored. The moon was starting to come out and it was time to go home. My brother-in-law is a very talented photographer and he is credited for all the marvelous photos on this page. Please visit Tom's Blog, he just started this and loves- travel, photography & Harley's.  His real job is an architect. Day 2 will be on our Ft. Worth excursion and Day 3 was to the new Gaylord Texan Resort on Lake Grapevine.  More later....   




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Jerold and Terry Smith

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