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I'm so excited to introduce you all to Kourtney. She's been working behind the scenes here with me on MarocMama and also managing Marrakech Food Tours. I've asked her to write a post from time to time about her travels and life. Kourtney lives in Minneapolis, MN and has an adorable 1 year old. Along with her husband the two of them have a similar philosophy on life and raising global children as we do – not to mention they love great food. I hope you'll enjoy getting to know her as well!
Balancing my time between working from home and taking care of an energetic toddler is fulfilling, yet exhausting! Late this summer, I realized a “mommy” break was desperately needed. After convincing both my wonderful husband and mother to take some time off from work to watch the little guy, my girlfriends and I started to eagerly plan a long weekend getaway! It didn't matter where we went, as long as the plane tickets were cheap, a comfy bed (with no wake-up call) was available and, most importantly, good food was on the menu. Dallas, Texas, might not be the first destination you think of for a girl's weekend, but it was a city that met our criteria, not to mention a good friend of ours lives there – it's always good to visit a city where you know a local!
My girlfriend's and I will all attest that a perfect girl's night is conversation at a restaurant over some seriously good eats or a night in with dessert and wine (or the occasional plate of taco dip and margaritas!). It wasn't difficult to convince my food loving besties to spend an afternoon with Food Tours of America (Dallas). After joining the team at Marrakech Food Tours, I've come to learn that food tours are an excellent way to experience local dishes! We opted for the Uptown Foodie Walk which took place in Uptown Dallas – home to the trendy West Village boutique shops, pedestrian friendly streets, the McKinney Avenue Trolleys and Katy Trail, a local recreational favorite. The meeting location (the first restaurant on the tour) was easy to find with the help of our trusty Uber driver!
Greeted with a BIG Texan “Welcome, Y'all” from our tour guide Vanessa, and surrounded by a healthy dose of country music, we dug into our first dish -jalapeno grit cake with sausage gravy, crispy baguette with avocado, and goat cheese with honey. With a farm to fork approach, all ingredients were local, and oh so delicious!
I was surprised (and excited) that our next stop was a Moroccan and Lebanese fusion restaurant. I love restaurants that highlight the unique mix of cultures, traditions and cuisine that exist in America. By far, it was one of my favorite places of the day. Here we were served three courses – 1) homemade pita with hummus, babaganoush (an eggplant dip) and Moroccan sweet tomato dip 2) chicken shawerma with pickled cucumber and 3) mini Moroccan kofta bites (boy did those have a spicy kick!). Honestly, there wasn't a thing I didn't like, and my friends and I ate way too much at this stop…
Quintessentially French, a lovely patisserie was next on our tour. We nibbled on macarons, and of course, ordered ourselves some much needed iced lattes. This little shop took me back to my days living in Paris, and with a name that translates to “Kiss, Kiss”, I could imagine it would be the perfect date spot if living in the area!
Our already full tummies were granted a small break as we detoured from the restaurants to learn about the history of McKinney Avenue's trolley cars. The historic trolley tracks were reopened in 1989, and passengers can ride the cars between Uptown and Downtown Dallas for free. Our ride to the next restaurant was cute little “Petunia” who started her trolley car service in Dallas in 1920.
Known for stiff drinks and prices that won't break the bank, our next stop was a bar and grill that survived a relocation after a community drug store took its original place. We were served muffuletta sandwiches, with ingredients (including an olive relish) coming from the local Jimmy's Meat Market, along with incredibly spicy stuffed jalapenos. To be honest, I keep trying olives in the hopes they will grow on me, but they still haven't, so the muffuletta sandwich wasn't my favorite. Many others on the tour devoured it though! Despite the idea that Midwesterners can't handle the heat, I truly enjoyed my spicy jalapeno!
Our final stop was unlike anything I had seen before – a dog park/restaurant/bar in one! Not only did this restaurant serve us delicious “Mutts” burgers with a special “bow-wow sauce” and homemade ice cream, but the menu also included nibbles for canines. Food was served in a “no dog” zone, but in the dog play zones, owners could lounge on chairs, enjoy a cold beverage, and watch Fido play with Sparky. It was crowded with locals! Now, just to figure out how to open one of these in my hometown…
Overall, we had a wonderful afternoon with Vanessa, and left completely stuffed! If you are heading to Dallas, be sure to check out the Food Tours of America Dallas website. There are multiple tours you can choose from and the price is completely worth it for the amount and variety of foods you will try.
Disclaimer: Food Tours of America Dallas provided Kourtney with a complimentary ticket to attend this food tour, as with always all opinions are her own!
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