One Year at Blank Canvas and FAQs

As I was brainstorming the other day, I realized Blank Canvas Society is now a year old! I started reflecting on the things I’ve done over the year, and I was considering what I should write to celebrate this milestone. I realized that this is the perfect time to answer some Dallas FAQs.

While I write about many things in Dallas, I don’t consider myself an expert. Instead, I am hungry to explore and have a passion for food, fitness, travel and entertainment, and of course, my city. The beauty is that there is always something new to discover, along with those great staples and go-to spots. Don’t think of these answers as a limited list, but rather as a starting spot for your own exploration – the list could go on and I would love to hear your favorites in the comments section.

Gooey Butter Cake from the Porch
What’s your favorite restaurant?

This is my number one most frequently asked question. My answers vary by what the person is looking for in a restaurant, but the simplest answer is The Porch. Fresh cocktails and a sleek wooden bar meet an inviting atmosphere where jeans are just as appropriate as a dress. Everything on the menu is fantastic, from the Salmon (one of my favorites) or the Stodg Burger (with an egg!), to the salads. My must-have items are the Burrata & Toast and the Gooey Butter Cake (one of the best desserts in Dallas). As if I don’t struggle enough with what to order when I visit The Porch, the Big Board daily specials are always amazing and fresh. Simple, delicious, consistent, great service and well-priced are perfect adjectives for this Dallas staple.

Meatballs from Neighborhood Services Bar and Grill
What are other favorites?

Some of these may be repeated below and the list is always changing and expanding, but here is a relatively quick list (I’ve been to all of these more than once):
Neighborhood Services (both the original and the Bar and Grill) | Hibiscus | Stampede 66 | Bolsa | Fireside Pies | Smoke | Mia’s | Meddlesome Moth | Tillman’s | Cane Rosso | Abacus | State and Allen | Mi Cocina

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Favorite new spots?

My absolute favorite right now is FT33. Chef Matt McCallister is doing something different from everyone else in Dallas, and he’s executing flawlessly. He prints his dinner menu each day, once he has determined what ingredients are freshest. Expect to pay for what you get and I certainly can’t eat there every day. Other new favorites include Chino Chinatown, HG Supply Company, Oak, True Food Kitchen and CBD Provisions.

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I’ve got out of town guests, where should I take them?

The good news is Dallas has TONS of great restaurants, so you don’t have to look very far. My number one recommendation is Stampede 66 and you can read about why in a recent post. I also love Tillman’s or Smoke, including a stop for a cocktail at sunset at The Belmont Hotel (next to and the same owners as Smoke).

Omelette at Dream Cafe
Where’s your favorite brunch?

Everywhere in Dallas serves brunch and it’s a big deal around here on both Saturday and Sunday. I used to get asked this question all the time and I couldn’t land on an answer, but recently realized Dream Café is my favorite spot. It’s got options for those who want mimosas and a hangover cure, as well as healthy options like juices, smoothies or granola. Plus everything is delicious, made with simple ingredients. Both parties – the hangover crew or the post-workout crew can sit at the same table and enjoy the food and atmosphere. Other favorite brunch spots include Nick and Sam’s Grill for the “Dallas scene,” pitchers of mimosas, pumped up music, and bagels and lox; Smoke for a different take on BBQ and one of the best eggs benedict; and Max’s Wine Dive for a hangover cure or hearty craving buster – think chicken and waffles.

The Standard Pour (from their FB page)
Best place for cocktails?
Again, this list is endless. The Porch and Hibiscus do a fantastic job for your pre-dinner cocktail, and Abacus recently introduced its list of elixirs that are equally unique and delicious. On the bar scene, I recommend The Standard Pour for a place that everyone will feel comfortable and the bartenders know what’s up. The Belmont Hotel has great cocktails and view to match, and Bolsa is up on fresh food and drink trends without feeling tired.

Saint Ann Patio
How about patios?

Plenty of patios will do the trick for those brief months when it’s not freezing or sweltering (“freezing” is below 60 in my book), but I particularly like Saint Ann for sipping wine, or Katy Trail Ice House for hanging out with friends and a beer or vodka water. Locally, you’ll often find me at State and Allen or Boxwood.

Again, this is certainly not a complete list and many of these overlap, but these are some places I frequent and think you should too! I’m always trying new things and have a list of places to visit next.

Thanks for coming along with me this past year and I’ve got more in store!

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