Hot spots in Texas

Posted on Mar 27, 2013 in News and Sports

Katie Cowan, SMU | www.kualumni.orgIf you’re headed to Arlington this weekend for the South Regional games of the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament, we’ve got a few suggestions for you. Katie Cowan, s’06, shares some recommendations for dining, nightlife and other fun things to do in the metro area when you need a quick break from basketball. Katie is currently an administrative assistant to Coach Larry Brown and Southern Methodist University men’s basketball and previously spent five years working for Kansas Athletics.


If you’re looking for fine steak, seafood and wine, try Nick and Sam’s, one of Coach Brown’s favorite steakhouses. But if pizza’s more your style, don’t miss the amazing pies at Cane Rosso— their website claims they’re on a mission to bring authentic neapolitan pizza to Dallas.

A trip to the Lone Star State isn’t complete without a Tex-Mex meal, and Katie recommends the brisket quesadillas at Manny’s Uptown. Sushi lovers will appreciate the upscale Japanese restaurant Naan Sushi, and EatZi’s Market and Bakery has something for everyone, whether you want made-to-order food prepared in front of you or ready-to-go prepackaged meals, breads and pastries.


Folks who love a good mid-morning meal have a lot of great options. Katie recommends The Grape for its incredible cheeseburger– it may not sound like traditional brunch fare, but it was named Best Cheeseburger in Texas by Texas Monthly and is only served on Sunday and Monday.

Beer connoisseurs will want to check out The Common Table to enjoy a fun beer brunch. Other options include Villa O for Italian-inspired cuisine; Sangria, a Mediterranean-style tapas restaurant for a twist on the classic brunch, Del Frisco’s Grill and Bread Winners.

Dallas, Texas skyline |


The Dallas-Fort Worth area has lots of late-night options. The Ginger Man, a Texas tradition since 1985 that claims over 100 specialty beers on tap and in bottles, has locations in Dallas, Fort Worth and Plano. If you’re a fan of old-school arcade games and skeeball, don’t miss Barcadia Bar & Grill. (They also boast a life-size Jenga game and giant Connect 4!)

Renfield’s Corner is an Irish pub with a rooftop deck and beer garden; the Katy Trail Ice House claims to have the best patio in Dallas and a 50-foot long bar that has 50 beers on tap. Also, be sure to check out the official KU Alumni Association watch party sites: McKinney Avenue Tavern, affectionately referred to as “The Mat” and a well-known KU-friendly bar; Park Tavern, the newest Jayhawk watch site; Buffalo Joe’s, a neighborhood sports bar with huge TV’s; and Humperdink’s in Arlington, which is five minutes away from Cowboys Stadium.


The Sixth Floor Museum at Dealey Plaza is a permanent exhibit that chronicles the life and death of President Kennedy. Current exhibits include John F. Kennedy and the Memory of a Nation on the sixth floor and two large photomosaics of President and Mrs. Kennedy on the seventh floor.

If you’re bringing the kids, or if you just like to play games, check out Top Golf, a golf entertainment complex with golf games, 54 holes of miniature golf and batting cages.

If you haven’t noticed already, beer is a big deal in Texas. Katie recommends brewery tours at Deep Ellum Brewing Company and Peticolas Brewing Company.

This is a short list of places to visit in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. If you have a favorite spot, let us know! Email us at  

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