The initial idea for With the Locals was inspired by Instagrammers like Karen Lao @karen.lao, interesting creatives with warm personalities. Who also maybe describe themselves as "a coffee addict with a love for food, travel, and aesthetics." Her own feed is filled with many many many wonderful coffee shops, buildings, brunches, sweets, and views- all beautifully captured. And as one of many many many who admire her work, I think we're very lucky to have Karen show us around her hometown of #Dallas Texas this week.
Welcome to Round 2,
Hi, everyone! This is @karen.lao, and I'm so excited to be showing you guys around Dallas, TX! But first, coffee. I just love these cups at @houndstoothcoffee. I really respect this coffee shop because they put a lot of thought into their products and customers. From the flow of the staff line to the layout of their shop, they constantly encourage employee and customer engagement. Go, community!
(at Houndstooth Coffee)
If you're looking for some northern Chinese street food, go to Monkey King Noodle Co. in Deep Ellum. Their noodles really hit the spot! You can even watch someone hand pull the noodles through their front window. The spicy beef noodle soup (top right) and soup dumplings (bottom) are pretty popular, but my favorite is the dandan noodles (top left). It's a small shop with sidewalk seating, so eating here is a fun experience! PS - the Monkey King is one of my favorite characters in Chinese literature.
It's TRIVIA NIGHT! Question: Who was the first president to smile with teeth for his official presidential portrait? Trivia has been a Monday night tradition at Alamo @Drafthouse for my friends and me for the past few months. Great drinks, food, and fun. Sometimes we place in the top 2, sometimes we place second to last... hey, as long as we're not last, right? :P
Good morning! These are delicious specialty donuts from @jaramsdonuts up in north Dallas. I love the maple glazed bacon one the best! I first found them on July 4th of last year when they were selling Independence Day themed donuts. They're so talented! - @karen.lao
(at Jarams Donuts)
If you're ever in Dallas, you've got to check out the Perot Museum. Besides having a really cool exterior, there's so much to do and see inside. My favorite interactive activities are racing a Tyrannosaurus rex/cheetah/athlete, musical stairs, playing with robots, and a moving wall of wooden blocks that mirrors your movements in pixels. There's so much more... you could spend hours on their 5 floors. It's super kid friendly, but I feel like the kid when I'm here! - @karen.lao
(at Perot Museum)
Fried chicken & waffles for breakfast, anyone? Jonathon's Oak Cliff has the best chicken & waffles I've tried in Texas. Their savory peppered gravy really gives it that extra oomph that I've found lacking at other chicken & waffle joints. And their chicken is fried to perfection. Get here early because the restaurant is small, and the line can wrap around the building! You can see my boyfriend's defeated hand as I said, "Wait, let me take a picture." Story of our lives.
(at Jonathon’s Oak Cliff)
I think @thewilddetectives was actually posted in round 1 of With the Locals: Dallas, but I wanted to add my thoughts on it since it's one of my favorite places to work or read a book. They're a bookstore, coffee shop, and bar, with a small selection of vinyl records as well. They also have a nice patio for warmer days/evenings, and they host events such as book readings & signings, live music, and wine & cheese tasting. I love this cozy place! - @karen.lao
(at The Wild Detectives)
If you visit Texas, you've gotta have BBQ, right? Slow Bone is only open 4 hours a day, but they're a great spot for lunch. I know Texans can get pretty opinionated about their BBQ, so I'm not saying this is the best place in the world, but it's one of my favorites! Brisket & ribs are 👌👌👌And their Brussels sprouts & cauliflower gratin is a great side.
(at The Slow Bone)
This seemingly strange structure in the middle of nowhere is the Trinity River Audubon Center. It's a nature center with 5 miles of trails through the Great Trinity Forest: the largest urban hardwood forest in the U.S. There's also an indoor exhibit hall with native animal displays. Plus, the architecture of the building itself is reason enough to visit... it's a great venue for weddings and other events.
If you're looking for some authentic sushi, head to Sushi Sake. This place is actually a bit north of Dallas, but it's well worth a visit. Their seafood is super fresh! If you're ever wanting to try raw fish for the first time... this is the place to do it! If not, then try the grilled yellowtail collar and grilled salmon -- some of my favorite dishes.
(at Sushi Sake)
Yesterday, Rodeo Goat @rodeogoatdallas opened up in the Dallas Design District. I'm so glad it did because I was always too lazy to venture to the Ft. Worth location. Their burgers are fantastic! There are 23 craft beers on tap and a patio with an outdoor fireplace. This is a photo of their Steaming Pile: jalapeño-cheddar tater tots with goat cheese, bacon, and a fried egg all drizzled in truffle oil. Yes, I shamelessly Snapchatted breaking the yolk open.
(at Rodeo Goat Dallas)
I wouldn't normally post about a store at the mall, but Pirch @thepirch at Northpark is so wonderful. It's a sleek showroom for high-end appliances, but the best part is the complimentary espresso drinks! I always stop by here for a cappuccino while shopping.
(at Pirch Dallas)
My favorite cafe recently closed down, but some of their items moved to the T Room. I'm trying it out today, and I love it! This is the curry chicken salad and tomato basil soup. Delicious! 👌
(at The T Room)
@joymacarons opened up in November. I'm so glad I finally got to try it! The almond one is so good... I might have to come back tomorrow for more.
(at Joy Macarons)
This monstrous thing is Maple & Motor's flat-top brisket sandwich. Add grilled jalapeños/onions and an egg over easy. The brisket and bun just melt in your mouth!
(at Maple and Motor)
This will be my last photo for Dallas. I took this photo on a dinner + private plane ride at Delta Charlie's Bar & Grill (get the Groupon!). Going right before sunset or at night is amazing, and it's a really interesting/romantic way to see Dallas :) I hope you guys enjoyed my photos! Thanks so much for the opportunity! Follow me at @karen.lao for more Dallas/travel/food photos -- I'm always exploring, and I love sharing my finds with everyone!