If you have it, spend it.

We have been in a recession for a long time, but now the psychology of it all is getting everyone down, and there seems to no longer be a bummer-free zone. There are many people here in Dallas that still have their really great, secure, well paying jobs. I have heard more people with these jobs talk about how concerned they are with the economy, than those on the other side of things. Sure you may have taken a huge hit in the stock market, or other investments, but you still have your job. I am by no means advocating that these people should go out and spend twice as much as they normally would, but not spending at all is not going to turn this around any faster.

A friend of mine told me a story yesterday. His sister teaches art in San Francisco and on the side gives private lessons. Since the recession was made official, the decline in private lessons has been with her most affluent clientele, rather than those most affected by the decline.

NPR’s Ira Glass mentioned something along these lines the other day. He was in a store debating on 2 gifts for a friend, one was more expensive than the other and also happened to be the one that the friend would undoubtedly prefer. However, he initially decided to purchase the less expensive one, because times were tough. The salesperson (who I can’t recall whether or not they knew him personally) suggested that if price was no object, which to Glass it wasn’t, then he should get the one that would be the better gift. He ended up getting the more expensive gift, and in turn will have given a great gift and a small boost to the economy.

If you are fortunate enough to have reached a level of financial independence, then you should enjoy it. Being unaffected, in the grand scheme of things, during times like this is the best part about where you are in your life, so get out there and shake your money maker.

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The Porch…

So I am on the super late train with this one. I went to The Porch last night over off Henderson, and it was amazing. I sampled a few appetizers with my fiancée, and they were slammin’. Mac and cheese ham casserole was the highlight and I am sure you can get it sans pig, for those of the vegetarian persuasion. I also had the chili (which was good but not amazing) and the brisket sliders, which are served on Hawaiian rolls, the right mix of savory and sweet. I washed it all down with a couple of pints of some dark beer microbrewed in Fort Worth.

Highlight of the evening was learning that they do NOT serve white zinfandel in the establishment. So shocking to me the number of really great restaurants that push that nonsense to people, instead of giving their patrons a hand up in the world, by weening them off that garbage. Nothing better than when a blinged out Dallas girl shows her class, orders up some white zin and gets shut down. All in all a good time.

Word to the wise, this place jumps off early, so get there by 6 if you don’t want to wait.

The Porch
2916 N Henderson Ave // Dallas, TX 75206
214.828.2916

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Checkpoint Dreamyourtopia

The first time I was exposed to this was when Centraltrak, the UTD artist residency in Dallas, first opened. At the time it was nothing more than a scale model, some drawings and some really great printed currency. This past year at Burning Man artist Daniel Rozenberg realized his vision, and Checkpoint Dreamyourtopia began processing its first visitors.

As put by Centraltrak, Checkpoint is, “a borderland project based on an ersatz state of collective dreaming.”

Check out this link to a trailer posted on You Tube to get a better feel for the project. There is some great footage of the process in this video.

You can can also visit the site for the project at dadara.nl

More importantly, the artist will be giving a talk at the Dallas Museum of Art Thursday, January 8
at 7:30. You can experience the installation and performance at the museum next Saturday, January 10 from 5-10PM. Don’t forget to download your immigration forms.

The DMA is located at 1717 N. Harwood St. in Dallas. Visit them online dallasmuseumofart.org

While your there be sure to check out the Olafur Eliasson exhibition, it is really amazing.

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All Things Considered…

I recently had a conversation with Sonny, a bartender at The Magnolia Theater in the West Village, about my beloved neighborhood Deep Ellum. It occurred to me that it’s not the perception of the neighborhood that has people down anymore, it is the simple fact that they just don’t really consider it much. So here are some of the draws of Deep Ellum.

Art Galleries
There are 3 major galleries in Deep Ellum and a lot of alternative spaces, here are the 4 standouts in the neighborhood…

Barry Whistler Gallery // 2909-B Canton St. // 214.939.0242
Barry Whistler is the Godfather of Dallas Art Dealers, with 20 years in the game. The gallery represents mostly mid-career and established artists. It is an extremely well rounded program showing a range of media including photography, drawing, painting and sculpture. Some of the best minimalist abstract work in Dallas is shown here with John Pomara and Johnnie Winona Ross leading that charge. Lawrence Lee is also a bright young artist whose works on paper are amazing.

The Public Trust // 2919-C Commerce St. // 214.760.7170
This is the space that I am the owner and director of. Since I am biased, I will not run on about how great the work is etc. What you can expect is a lot of drawing and painting and form and content going hand in hand. I am a huge advocate of outstanding craft, and the gallery’s program reflects that. We focus on emerging and mid-career artists, with an emphasis on two-dimensional work. There is a boutique in the front of the space that offers prints, t-shirts, books and other limited edition artist products. The purpose of this is simply because paintings are not for everyone but artist products are.

Road Agent // 2909-A Canton St. // 214.749.4049
Approaching its 3 year mark in Deep Ellum, this space shows really progressive work with content being critical to the work on the walls. They recently mounted a solo exhibition of paintings and drawings by acclaimed British artist Dan Perfect. In addition to showing work by artists as established as Perfect, they also boast a stable of younger artists whose work is extremely exciting. Margaret Meehan’s exhibition which will be up through January 17, 2009, is an excellent example and should not be missed.

Deep Ellum’s Alternative Space…

Kettle Art // 2714 Elm St. // 214.573.7622
Kettle Art, “The little Deep Ellum gallery that could” is the leader in the alternative spaces category. Unlike most galleries, Kettle is keeps limited hours and is only open at night (7-10 PM Thursday-Saturday) so keep that in mind before you head over. This is an artist run space, so it’s vibe is a lot different than most commercial galleries, mainly it’s a lot less formal. The work is almost always within everyone’s price range, which is what makes going there so worthwhile. This is a great place for young artists to get their start, as their submission process is not as stringent as most other galleries. That being said some of the art can be a little green, but I have seen some incredible work in this space.

Food & Beverage
This is and will always be one of the neighborhood’s best attributes.

Local // 2936 Elm St. // 214.752.7500
I love fine dining, don’t do it nearly as often as I would like, but I have eaten at most of the finest restaurants in Dallas and Local is in the top 5. The thing about a lot of fine dining establishments is after a point they are trading on their name. I remember the first time I ate at Stephen Pyles, it was right when they opened. The food was pretty spectacular, but there has been a drop off since. Stephen Pyles can afford to do that, his reputation allows him the luxury. He’s famous, all of your friends have told you how amazing it is, therefore you will most likely think it is indeed amazing. Local doesn’t have that. “It’s in Deep Ellum, how good can it be?,” will be the attitude of most people. They will almost not want to like it, but once they take their first bite, they start to break down and it’s game over, best dinner ever.

Murray St. Coffee Shop // 103 Murray St. (on the corner of main & murray) // 214.655.2808
Everything about this place is good. The owners, Liz and Doug Davis, have a good thing going. The baristas are great, they serve Illy coffee, good food, beer and wine selection, everyone has good taste in music, the regulars are cool, the artwork is amazing, basically all of the trappings of your average coffee shop are non-existent here. It’s worth going out of your way to make this a part of your daily coffee fix.

All Good Cafe // 2934 Main St. // 214.742.5362
Give me All Good over Cafe Brazil any day of the year, breakfast, lunch or dinner. Everything is fresh and from local vendors. The chicken fried chicken with mashed potatoes and green beans is as good as it gets. Weekend breakfast and lunch daily is usually the most crowded times, unless of course you’re there in the evening when there are live music performances. Usually cafes and coffee shops are upstart music venues, but All Good has brought some serious bands in to play a set, so the music is usually on point. One of my favorite overall spots in the hood for sure. Tuesdays from 6-9 is also by one get the less expensive entrée free night.

Twisted Root // 2615 Commerce St. // 214.741.7668
Best burger in Dallas. The only downside to this spot is that it is pricey for a burger place and at lunch it is hella busy, line out the door busy. Everything is fresh and made daily. They offer all beef, buffalo, ostrich, venison, turkey and veggie burgers all of which can be prepared as one of their many signature burgers, but that will cost you an extra 2-3 bucks. If you haven’t hit this spot up, join the crowd, I’d recommend a late lunch, between 1:45-2:00 if you are going on a weekday.

Cowboy Chow // 2801 Commerce St. // 214.742.2469
Cowboy Chow is the other dining option offered by the Twisted Root people. It has now eclipsed TR as my favorite place to grab lunch. The M.O. is the same, all fresh ingredients, however the menu isn’t very big but it is good. I recommend the brisket sliders with cowboy nachos to start.

The Angry Dog // 2726 Commerce St. // 214.741.4406
Used to be the best burger in Deep Ellum, but if you aren’t down with the gourmet prices that Twisted Root charges, then the Angry Dog is a close second. I personally am a fan of their chicken spiedez (pronounced speed-ease). I am not sure how they make chunks of seasoned grilled chicken, cheddar cheese, grilled onions on a white roll something I can’t duplicate at home, but I am glad that they do.

Baker’s Ribs // 2724 Commerce St // 214.748.5433
4 sloppy joes for $5, the best potato salad ever and a damn fine bbq chicken sandwich, are what makes Baker’s ribs a solid spot to grab a bite. Their giant barrel of salty peanuts, whose shells you can discard on the floor adds that extra layer of awesome. Oddly enough I have never had the ribs, but I can bet they are pretty good, since they didn’t call it Baker’s Chicken Sandwiches.

Rush Patisserie // 2901 Elm St. // 214.749.4040
You may remember Sweet Endings, you may not, but that doesn’t matter because Rush is now there and is way better than Sweet Endings and its Greenville rival Society Bakery. I don’t have a super sweet tooth, but Samantha Rush makes some excellent sweets. So next time you are down for the sugar coma she will gladly abide.

Taco Loco // 3014 Main St. // 214.748.8226
Handmade tortillas and gigantic breakfast tacos are the signature moves for Taco Loco. Their chorizo, egg and cheese taco is insanely good. Taco Loco and Fuel City are deadlock for the number 1 spot for best taco stand tacos in Dallas. If you don’t know about Fuel City, you better ask somebody.

Deep Sushi // 2624 Elm St. // 214.651.1177
How do you stay open in Deep Ellum for 12 years? Consistency. Deep Sushi is always consistently good, that stands for everything from the food to the service and atmosphere. The selection is big and the sushi is always really fresh tasting for a landlocked sushi spot. Your dollar will go a lot further here than in other parts of Dallas and the food will most likely be on the level or better. Great spot for happy hour or lunch specials with 2 for 1 action on both occasions.

Retail, Music Venues & Bars
Where once there were a lot of the above, sadly there is very little. The biggest hole in the neighborhood for sure. Here are some spots that are still holding it down.

Club Dada // 2720 Elm St. // 214.742.3400
The last man standing. When Deep Ellum was THE spot for live music, Club Dada was there. Despite the desolate live music scene here, Dada is still cranking out the jams. New management and better booking is rebuilding their audience, and their back patio is still one of the best in Dallas.

Century Modern // 2928 Main St. // 214.651.9200
On any given day you can find something amazing here. Vintage everything, from a 1940’s neon wall clock to a red leather Barcelona chair. This is one of those, “those who know…know,” kind of spots and you will most likely leave with something on your first visit. I heard that Issac Brock (the Modest Mouse lead singer) was spotted there buying vintage microphones, a specialty of this unique retail store.

Orange Salon // 2932 Main St. #104 // 214.698.2006
I have never had my wig chopped here, but it seems like everyone else has or does, and if the doubling of their salon and the owners orange Land Rover are any indication of a healthy clientele then it’s probably a place to consider if you are in need of a stylist.

Leather Masters // 3000 Main St. // 214.528.3865
I am not a leather man, nor am I into bondage or dog masks, but I have to hand it to these guys for cornering a market in Dallas. If you are into having your fantasies fulfilled or picking up some strange, I would suggest high tailing it to Leather Masters and they’ll bring out the gimp for you.

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Off to Miami!

In just a few short hours I leave for The Public Trust’s first major art fair, Aqua Art Miami, which occurs during Art Basel. According to my count there will be 8 Dallas based galleries participating at various fairs this week in Miami. This is really a great thing for Dallas galleries to be so well represented during Basel.

Although I am exhibiting this year, which basically means I won’t get out much to the other fairs, I am going to try and capture the Art Basel experience and post everything right here. This is going to be a good time.

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Art Openings of note this Saturday, Nov. 22

It’s that time again, time for another round of art openings. For more info about the galleries and the exhibitions visit their respective websites.

sunday afternoon
PDNB: Bill Owens: New Suburbia
Artist Reception and Book Signing (5-8PM)
1202 Dragon Street, Suite 103, Dallas, TX 75207
214.969.1852 // pdnbgallery.com
image: Sunday afternoon we get it together. I cook the steaks and my wife makes the salad. 1971
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Kenneth Holder
Conduit Gallery: Kenneth Holder, Mary Emma Hawthorne and Small Works Group Show
Opening Reception (5-8PM)
1626-C Hi Line Dr, Dallas, TX
214.939.0064 // conduitgallery.com
image: Kenneth Holder
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David Alysworth
Holly Johnson Gallery: David Aylsworth: Is It the Real Turtle Soup?
Opening Reception (5-8PM)
1411 Dragon Street, Dallas, Texas 75207
214.369.0169 // hollyjohnsongallery.com
image: David Aylsworth, See the Sail as it Swiftly Swells, 2008
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Elisa D'Arrigo
PanAmerican ArtProjects: Elisa D’Arrigo and McKay Otto
Opening Reception (5-8PM)
1615 Dragon St, Dallas, TX 75207
214.522.3303 // panamericanart.com
image: Elisa D’Arrigo, Blue Glimpse, 2007
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Pard Morrison
Marty Walker Gallery: Pard Morrison and Douglas Leon Cartmel
Opening Reception (5-8PM)
2135 Farrington St, Dallas, TX 75207
214.749.0066 // martywalkergallery.com
image: Pard Morrison, The Center of My Heart, 2008
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Susan Sales
Craighead-Green Gallery: Susan Sales and Raymond Saa
Opening Reception (5-8PM)
1011 Dragon St, Dallas, Texas 75207
214.855.0779 // craigheadgreen.com
image: Susan Sales, Lipstick and High Heels, 2008
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Brent Ozaeta Artist Talk at The Public Trust

Brent Ozaeta will give an artist talk this Saturday at The Public Trust at 4PM.

Brent Ozaeta is a Dallas-based artist who is currently featured in New American Paintings no. 78. He is a very promising young artist, so don’t miss the opportunity to meet him and hear him talk about his first major solo exhibition.

The Public Trust is located at 2919-C Commerce St in Dallas, TX.

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James Cope of The Goss-Michael Foundation at The MAC Wed. Nov. 19

My good friend James Cope of The Goss-Michael Foundation will be giving a talk about at The MAC about the YBA (Young British Artist) movement of the late 80’s and early 90’s, and the impact those artists have had on the up and coming artists of today, as well as the art world at large.

The MAC // Wed. Nov. 19th at 6:30
The MAC is located at 3120 McKinney Ave. Dallas, TX 75204 // 214.953.1212

Image: Damien Hirst with his sculpture “For the Love of God.” For more on this artist and the making of this piece visit Supertouch.

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Etsy Dallas Jingle Bash Nov. 22

RheaCycled
Infant Sleepers by RheaCycled

Ok, for those of you who are not familiar with ETSY, it is a massive online community where you can buy handmade goods directly from artists, designers and crafty people all over the world. There are far too many things that are sold on that site for me to list, so you’ll just have to check it.

As for this event, ETSY Dallas crew is posting up for one day at The Sons of Hermann Hall for their Jingle Bash. As the name indicates this will be a fantastic place for you to do some serious holiday shopping. The best part of hitting this up is that you are assured that 5,000 other people won’t be giving that same gift to their BFF as well.

But wait there’s more…
In addition to shopping for handmade goodness, there will also be live music, a full bar (which is well priced, thus leaving you more room for spending) and everyone’s favorite…KARAOKE!

It is all going down Saturday, November 22 from 3-10PM at The Sons of Hermann Hall
3414 Elm St.
Dallas, TX 75226
214.747.4422

So let’s boycott the mall that day and hit switches on the indie tip.

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Hatch! Thursday Nov. 13 (7-10PM)

I will be exhibiting new prints at this event, so please come out and support Dallas talent, its a good chance to get some holiday shopping done early.

TEXAS’ NEXT TOP DESIGNER AND LA REUNION TX COLLABORATE TO PRESENT “HATCH”
Hatch is a pop-up retail experience featuring approximately 20 Texas designers and artists who for one night will present and sell their work at the new La Reunion gallery located in Dallas’ Design District. There will be music, drinks and a silent auction as well.

Thursday, November 13, 2008 (7-10PM) :: $10 in advance or $15 at the door.
2129 Farrington St. :: Dallas, TX

About the Organizers
Texas’ Next Top Designer, Inc, a non-profit organization committed to nurturing diverse entrepreneurs by supporting business development for the fashion and aligned industries. La Reunion TX, is a non-profit established to create an artist residency program in Dallas.

For more information visit…
texasnexttopdesigner.org
lareuniontx.org

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Cowboy Chow

Cowboy Chow opened up during my metblogs hiatus, and since I have recommended it to so many people that haven’t heard of it, it’s time to give it a proper review

First thing to mention is the restaurant’s pedigree. Cowboy Chow is the kid brother of the much lauded Twisted Root, which has the best burgers in Dallas, bar none. However, you won’t find any burgers at Cowboy Chow. What you will find is a really diverse menu for your open range dining experience.

The first thing that I tried was the Dr. Pepper braised short ribs. They were completely amazing, but are no longer on the menu; I only mention them to give you a feel for the creativity of the menu. The focus of their menu is the tacos. They have 4 different types of brisket tacos, my favorite being their standard brisket taco with sharp cheddar, pico and an avocado-lime cream, all of which is served over a bed of rice. The rest of the taco menu is given over to several chicken tacos and their veggie “cowgirl” taco.

The rest of the menu is filled out with brisket sloppy joes, a cast iron chicken pot pie and other range inspired eats. The appetizers are limited to 3 items. I recommend the Cowboy Nachos, homemade potato chips with queso fresco, pico and a southwestern ranch drizzle over the top. The fried green tomato lollipops are fun and the sloppy joe sliders can be a meal in themselves.

For as rich as the food sounds, you don’t leave the place feeling overstuffed or light in the wallet. The portions are perfect and the price is right, with the entrées priced between 7-9 bucks. The service is ridiculously fast, I have never waited more than 5 minutes for anything there, so you can really get in and out if you have to do a short lunch. The staff is really friendly and attentive, keeping your carafes of sweet watermelon tea filled to the brim or the pure cane sugar mexican cokes comin’.

So next time your out in Deep Ellum saddle up at Cowboy Chow.

Cowboy Chow
2801 Commerce St
Dallas, TX 7522
214.742.2469
Hours Mon-Sat 11-2:30 PM

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Dallas Metblogs is Back!

So I have been off the blogging wagon for awhile, but I am back on with a mission to keep this blog updated and to add a consistent group of diverse bloggers to finally represent Dallas properly here at Metblogs.

First Things First…
Obama by Shepard Fairey
Hell Yes!
Image by: Shepard Fairey

On the art front..
Take Your Time: Olafur Eliasson opens this Sunday at 3PM at the Dallas Museum of Art. I cannot express how amazing this man’s work is. If you can’t make the opening, there will be a talk with the artist on November 12 at 7PM in the Horchow Auditorium. If you can’t make either of these, just don’t miss this exhibition.

CADD Art Lab Opens
The Contemporary Art Dealers of Dallas also known as CADD, have opened an amazing exhibition space in Downtown Dallas, called Art Lab. Anne Lawrence, former associate director of Road Agent (gallery), is now the director of CADD and curator of Art Lab.

Their inaugural exhibition Indexing the Moment, is a group exhibition featuring 11 of the 14 CADD galleries, as the organization has added 3 new members since its inception, which include: Dunn and Brown Contemporary, Mighty Fine Arts and Light and Sie. The next exhibition will open next week on Thursday, November 13, from 5-8 PM.

CADD Art Lab is located at 1608-C Main St in Downtown Dallas, in between Neiman Marcus and The Joule Hotel. For more information visit caddallas.net

Dallas Represents in the latest edition of New American Paintings no. 78
The latest edition of New American Paintings is out, and DFW is solidly represented by Steven Hopwood-Lewis, Brent Ozaeta, Margaret Meehan, Elliot Johnson, Vincent Falsetta and Paul Booker, just to name a few. You can pick up a copy at your local Barnes and Noble and other major bookstores, or you can order a copy at newamericanpaintings.com

The Public Trust and Barry Whistler given the nod in the Observer’s Best of Dallas 2008
This is an older news item, but worth mentioning. The Observer’s Best of Dallas recently came out and awarded The Public Trust with Best Reason to Visit Deep EllumM, and Barry Whistler Gallery was awarded Best Art Gallery. On another awards note, The Public Trust was also awarded Best Place to Meet an Artist in D Magazine’s, Best of Big D

THE Magazine launches in Dallas
I personally have been waiting a long time for this, a free distribution publication focused solely on the arts, and now it is here. THE has been holding it down in Santa Fe for a minute and then expanded to cover Los Angeles and now it is here in DFW, covering all aspects of the arts. It is a quality publication, with reviews, interviews and editorials on everything art in DFW. So if you are out and about pick up a copy, they can be found throughout the city in stands as well as galleries, museums and other cultural spots. For more info visit themagdfw.com

Dallas Represents in Miami during Art Basel
Art Basel is an international art fair that takes place twice a year, once in Switzerland and once in Miami Beach. Basically it is an event that draws the world superpower galleries and top tier collectors, for a 4 day art buying/viewing frenzy. You can read more about it here.

As the notoriety of this fair grew, so did the need to represent the other 99% of art galleries in the world, thus came the “satellite” fair. These were fairs that took place concurrently with Basel, and now play just as important a role as Basel in the art fair world. Three Dallas galleries (that I know of) are going to be exhibiting at Aqua Art Miami. The Public Trust will be at The Aqua Hotel, while Light and Sie and Conduit Gallery will both be at Aqua Wynwood. So if my post has got you amped on a trip to Miami, don’t be a stranger while you’re there.

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Summer = Baseball

As summer is winding down, I thought I would take the opportunity to make a suggestion.  There is less than a month left in the Ranger’s season, and I think everyone should try and make it to one of the last home games.

 

I’ve been going to Rangers games since I was a little kid.  I remember the days of Nolan Ryan and Pudge Rodriguez.  This summer has really taken me back- watching players like Josh Hamilton and Michael Young who obviously love this game.

 

No, the Rangers are certainly not the best team in the league… they’re not even above 500 right now.  But this team is more fun to watch than it has been in a long time.

 

Now that the heat is starting to go down just a little bit, it’s a great time to go and relax at Rangers Ballpark.  And one benefit this has over Cowboys or Mavericks games?  You can get tickets CHEAP- as low as $10 (though those may not be the best ones to choose).  Sure, the beer costs $7, but they taste so good when you’re sitting at the ballpark.

 

So, everyone should try and head out to Arlington sometime in September.  The Rangers may win, they may lose, but it will definitely be fun.

 

www.texasrangers.com

 

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Good Food in Deep Ellum

I’m new to this site, so I thought I would make my first post about something pretty simple – food.

If you’re looking for a hole-in-the-wall type of place with pretty fantastic food, you should head down to Main Street to the AllGood Cafe.  I imagine that anyone who lives in the area already knows all about it.  If you don’t though, it’s worth a little bit of a drive to have brunch on the weekends.

The place is unbelievably laid-back and has a serious Austin vibe.  I recommend trying the mimosa.

One tip – if you go on Saturday or Sunday, early is always better.  They get pretty crowded later in the morning.

Enjoy!

http://www.allgoodcafe.com/

2934 Main Street

Deep Ellum

(214) 742-5362

Hours:

9am – 2pm Sun – Mon

9am – 9pm Tues – Sat


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