Why Culinaria is worth the trek to San Antonio

You should know by now that I adore San Antonio a ton: Our neighbor to the south has grown by leaps and bounds in just the two years that I’ve been visiting for cocktail conferences and resort visits.

Previewing Culinaria Festival Week, a food and drinks extravaganza in San Antonio | TheDallasDiva.com

Now I’m about to head back to check out Culinaria Festival Week, a food and drink extravaganza that sounds like an epic Alamo City delight. The nonprofit organization brings together a food truck party, tequila tasting, wine dinners, burger-and-beer fest and more in one four-day weekend of festivity from May 13-17.

While Festival Week isn’t the only foodie event that Culinaria puts on, it’s possibly the most varied and sounds like it’d make a worthy, action-packed weekend trip from Dallas. Read on to learn more!


Vivo 53 modernizes Italian cuisine classics

I finally trekked it out to Fort Worth recently to bite into new Italian eatery Vivo 53. As any good foodie knows, DFW doesn’t really have a ton of quality, classic-Italian eats. It’s a problem! While Vivo 53 isn’t what I call red-checkered-tablecloth, Little Italy food, it does present modern fare from the boot country with pizzazz and delicious tweaks.

A plate of bolognese at Fort Worth's new Vivo 53 | TheDallasDiva.com

From apps and cocktails to dessert, there was a great lot to rave about at Vivo 53, and it’s very much worth the drive west — let’s dig in!


6 Dallas bars to toast your federal tax status

It’s Tax Day in America! If you’re like a ton of folks, you’re polishing off your return today, if not right now, and maybe even sometime tonight. Whenever you get that tax form in the mail, I say it’s time to celebrate with a beer or cocktail … or several of both!

calculator taxes

To that end, I’ve compiled a handy mini-guide for where to raise a glass in Dallas tonight depending on the result of your 1040: three bars for getting spendy with your refund and three bars that make boozing on a budget easy, if you’ve filed an extension. I’ve even got a bonus for those of you who owe Uncle Sam! Onward!


Dallas’ second DISH is as splendid as the first

I finally got the chance to check out my new neighborhood DISH — the Cedar Springs original recently birthed a sibling resto in Preston Hollow. This location, helmed by exec chef Andrew Bell, puts the restaurant much closer to me, which only makes it easier for me to enjoy its gustatory delights on any random day! I’ve never had a bad dish (heh) at the original, and definitely wondered, pre-visit, if the offshoot would live up to the expectations set by its predecessor …

Dallas’ second location of DISH restaurant is every bit as splendid as the first! | TheDallasDiva.com

[Disclosure: My visit to DISH Preston Hollow was comped for this piece. My opinions are my own]

Happily, DISH lives up to its promise and throws in a few surprises and cool touches. The first of these is the gorgeous interior design that’s so elegantly bespoke you’ll feel like you’re in a really fabulous furniture showroom. But, alas — there’s food! Oh so much food. But first, the drinks!


Exhale Spa’s Core Fusion Extreme will kick your butt

Exhale Spa's Core Fusion Extreme will kick your fitness (and your butt) into high gear | TheDallasDiva.com

[Disclosure: I was provided with a free class for this piece.]

So I’m in the midst of a weight-loss regimen. OK — I have been in the midst of one for months now. Along with strict portion control, burning calories with workouts tends to be part of the mix that works for me. While yoga is my preferred mode of physical exertion, sometimes my body craves some serious, heart-pumping cardio, so I was jazzed to be invited to try Exhale Spa’s Core Fusion Extreme class.

The Core Fusion program has been a winner for the national Exhale Spa chain, with specialties ranging from yoga and cycling to ballet barre and boot camps. The Extreme class is the latest in the series and is meant, according to the website, to “abolish fat, rev your metabolism and amplify strength as you move through power stations consisting of high-intensity work followed by brief moments of active recovery.” (And when they say “high-intensity” (and “brief”), they mean it!)


R Bar & Grill serves Arlington some realness

R bar grill ext

Let’s be real: Arlington — the mid-cities haven of amusement parks and sports stadiums — isn’t quite as famed for its food options. When you’re watersliding/roller coastering/baseball or football cheering, and have a multitude of dining options right in your venue, it’s tough to get away. But next time you’re in the area and want some REAL food — something other than a chain restaurant experience or concession eats, head over to Lamar Road to check out R Bar & Grill, tucked into the Hilton Arlington. Under the eye of new executive chef Marcelo Vasquez, the menu reflects care, attention and an international flair bestowed on fresh, locally sourced ingredients. I was invited to sample the menu and found quite a few highlights to cheer.


Addison food festival adds Iron Chef to lineup

Fork & Cork, the epicurean food and drink event, is coming back to Addison in May 2015 | TheDallasDiva.com

Yesterday, Fork & Cork, Addison’s upscaled, revamped version of Taste of Addison, announced that it’s adding Iron Chef veteran Cat Cora to its roster of star chefs appearing at the food and drink festival on May 15-16. You may recall that NYC chef Marcus Samuelsson headlined last year’s Fork & Cork, alongside local restaurant luminaries like Tim Byres (Smoke) and John Tesar (Knife).

Those star chefs won’t be the only things sparkling on stages at F&C: It was also announced that ’90s pop darlings the Gin Blossoms will perform at F&C, too! While these are the few new details we know about next month’s extravaganza, it sounds so far like it’ll be a feast for the senses!

Back in Louisiana — follow me on social media!

sainte terre garden back

I’m back in our next-door state, Louisiana, for a statewide media tour all this week, so I won’t be posting here for a little bit. Buuuut, you can find me chattin’ it up on social media till I’m back in Big D. Follow my adventures throughout the state on Twitter, Instagram and my Diva Facebook page. I’ll be knee-deep in some of the best food, drink and attractions the state has to offer, so stay with me as I eat, drink, visit cool corners and, in general, laissez les bon temps rouler!

Taco ecstasy in Oak Cliff


Friday I feel crown-over-heels in love with tacos de trompo as served up at a pop-up on 7th Street in Oak Cliff. This is a style of taco where a paprika-rubbed tower of meat is marinated and spit-grilled, kind of like a hunk of gyro meat. Slices of the meat are then griddled along with corn tortillas and served with a lime and some onions.


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