How much can three girls possibly pack into two short days in Dallas, Texas? Apparently, A LOT! :D

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After our Mexican lunch/shopping/sight seeing extravaganza on Friday afternoon, we got gussied up and headed to Sambuca Restaurant for some appetizers, drinks and live music!

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Sambuca is in the Uptown area of Dallas, and features an eclectic menu with goodies like savory beignets, funky drinks like lavender martinis, and live music 7 days a week!

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We nestled into a booth in the bar area to listen to the band, nosh on some appetizers, and cheers to friends and our first evening in Dallas with some cocktails.

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We stayed at Sambuca for awhile, then hit the town to explore my friend’s new neighborhood, and show Dallas how Iowa girls like to vacation! ;)

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The next morning we headed straight to Bread Winners Bakery & Bistro for a nice, Saturday brunch!

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My friends had received several positive recommendations about the restaurant, and it did not disappoint.

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The inside looked like a charming old home, but we learned from our waiter that the building had actually started as a Chinese pharmacy in the 50s.

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Since then, it had been everything from a Neiman Marcus factory, to a laundromat, before becoming the present day bakery & bistro. It was so charming, unique and absolutely gorgeous on the inside!

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The bakery up front provided drool-worthy eye candy at every turn. Tray after tray of freshly baked cakes,

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pastries,

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(omg!)

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and racks of freshly baked specialty breads tempted us at every turn. There was no need to panic, though, because they bring samples of pretty much everything to your table for FREE to nibble on as you ponder what to order!

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Their signature banana bread, cranberry sour cream loaf and whole wheat bread was promptly DEVOURED as it was set down at our table. Sweet and moist – the banana bread even had the sugary, crunchy strudel topping that all banana breads require. Simply spectacular.

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Everything on the menu looked insanely fresh,

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but I settled on some of their homemade granola. Because, hello! Homemade granola?! Yes please!

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My homemade, still warm granola came topped with fresh, ripe strawberries and a sliced banana. Plus a cup of cold skim milk.

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So. Amazing. Crunchy, sweet, filling, light – I was so impressed!

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I also slammed this fresh orange juice. Perhaps the tastiest, most refreshing OJ I’ve ever had?!

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So content in this unique little eatery!

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The day was HOT but gorgeous, so we headed outdoors to walk off our breakfast on a fabulous trail running right through the middle of the city.

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Katy Trail!

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One thing that impressed me so much about Dallas is how GREEN it is. I’m not quite sure what I was expecting, but I was so pleasantly surprised to see such lush trees everywhere we went!

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The trail was bumpin’, despite the choking heat and humidity. We were seriously dying, but a nice long stretch of our legs felt amazing.

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Besides, we knew what we’d be cooling off with AFTER finishing our walk… PINKBERRY!

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Pinkberry is a frozen yogurt shop that’s uber trendy on the West Coast.

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All three of us girls have been dying to try it for years, so we semi freaked when we spied it while out shopping on Friday!

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I chose a swirl of coconut and pomegranate yogurt, plus fresh mango, raspberries, mochi and fruity pebbles for toppings – oh yeah!

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Oh, plus a little side of strawberries that the girl working gave me for free, because it wouldn’t fit in my cup and she could tell I desperately wanted it. ;)

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It was everything I could have hoped for, and more! Fruity Pebbles = key. LOVE Pinkberry!

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One shower, makeup application and dress later, we were off to the 24th annual Taste of Dallas for dinner!

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The Taste of Dallas brings small plates of food from the area’s top chefs and restaurants to one place, so everyone can get a taste for a tiny little price. Think a small plate of ribs from one of Dallas’ best BBQ joints for $3.

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Most major cities have events like this, and we couldn’t pass up on opportunity to go and taste Dallas’ finest!

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I was on the hunt for some ‘Q.

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I found it at Dick’s BBQ where I got a pulled pork slider for just $2!

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MMMMM – tangy, tender and juicy. It was incredible!

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The event also had a ton of free nibbles that we enjoyed as we strolled – people watching and seeing what the culinary community in North Texas had to offer. Yum!

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Afterwards we headed back to my friend’s place to kick back on some super comf couches in her complex’s community area.

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What a nice area to come and relax to!

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There were even outdoor fireplaces for those cool, Texas evenings in the Fall. SO cute.

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We brought out some tunes and kicked back with some Corona’s and convo ’til the sun went down.

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Then rounded out our final night in Dallas with a couple sips at the oh-so-English, UK themed bar – the Londoner,

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and rockin’ tacos from Rock ‘n’ Taco!

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This is a new taco joint in my friend’s neighborhood, and we just thought it was too funky to not check out!

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Cool huh?

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I am SO GLAD we did, because I had the best carne asada tacos I have ever had in my life. Hands down. Dallas folks – you’ve got to try them!!!

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The following morning, we may or may not have not gone back to Bread Winners for a quick brunch of banana bread, MORE granola,

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and THIS gigantic, warm cinnamon roll before heading out of town…

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Ok, we did!!! That place called to us!

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Two short flights later, I was home and climbing into the waiting car of IBE! :D It never ceases to amaze me how you can be in one part of the country in the morning, then be in a completely different part in the afternoon.  Love it.

Overall, I am so impressed with Dallas. Like I said, I wasn’t quite sure what to expect as I haven’t spent much time in the South besides vacationing in New Orleans, Florida and quick pit stops in hot airports. The dusty, desolate land that I’ve seen in parts of Mexico and south Texas couldn’t be farther from what I experienced in the city.

It was clean, walkable, very new feeling and packed with fun shopping, nightlife and restaurants. One would certainly never go bored living here!

Plus, how can you not love those sweet Southern accents? Gets me every time. ;)

Dallas gets 2 very enthusiastic thumbs up from me. I can’t wait to go back and am so happy that my friend can now call it home! :)

Be back tonight with your regularly scheduled programming! Have a wonderful day and start to your week!!

~~~~~

What part of the country do you live in? What are some of your favorite parts around the country?

International friends – where do you live?

I, obviously, hail from the Midwest but have a special place in my heart for all parts of the country. The South for its uniqueness, the West Coast for being the West Coast, the East Coast for its history, and the north for its beautiful land. Maybe I should become a nomad?!