Perhaps not the most exhaustive list, but a good place to start if you happen to find yourself in this big Texas town.
1. You must find yourself a magnolia tree and then procede to breathe in deeply. It’s the quintessential southern experience. It’s especially magical for those of us who haven’t seen a real tree in months. I’m always amazed by just how big the flowers are! It’s also an especially nice place to find shade on those hot Texas days.
2. One cannot describe how lovely the desserts are at La Duni (4264 Oak Lawn, Highland Park, TX, 75219, 214.520.6888). The drinks are good and the food is also very good, but the desserts are astounding. And I’m not even a sweets person! I had a quatro leches cupcake. I actually wrote down the menu description because it was so delicious: “layered Montrecado vanilla sponge cake, soaked in cuatro leches sauce, topped with caramelized Swiss meringue and dotted with caramel reduction”. Typically I would think that half of that was made up, but I would seriously write poems to this cupcake. They also make beautiful wedding cakes, if you’re in the market for that sort of thing.
3. Haven (3699 McKinney Avenue, Dallas, TX. 214-954-1515) is a very lovely little interior design shop. It’s selection borders on austere, but is definitely unique. The have an ever-rotating stock as most of their items are one of a kind or handmade. It’s a very interesting place to stop by and have a look.
4. If you can handle the inevitable long wait, Bread Winners (3301 McKinney Ave, Dallas, TX, 214-754-4940) is a great place for a Sunday Brunch. They bring out great big plates of fresh baked bread slices, all different flavors. The food is sort of typical brunch fare with a twist, but they do right by the old standards with some fresh additions. I had a delicious chorizo-potato-cheese concoction that should have been split between two people. The atmosphere is really great – the whole inside is an outdoor patio with pretty eclectic furnishings.
5. If I could pack all of my hopes, dreams and asthetic taste into one store, it would be Gardens Dallas (3699 McKinney Ave. at West Village, 214-528-7770). Tiny potted succulents, very modern teak and steel patio furniture and artfully designed little gifts grace the shelves of this little shop. You can tell that a lot of attention has been paid to every. single. detail. If you’re not a gardener, it might inspire you to take up the hobby, but will at least pull you in with its non-planted items. And if you love to garden, well, you might have just found your Valhalla.