Friday, January 31, 2014

Local's Look @ Dallas | Peyton Riley

Today is a good day! Not only is it Friday (TGIF), but we also have Peyton Riley on the mr.&mrs.h guide today! Peyton is a college friend of mine, a Dallas girl through-and-through, and a never ending source of inspiration and creativity. Her blog,, focuses on design. If it's beautiful, Peyton's probably talking about it... from flowers to interior design. And, since travel is what we eat and breathe here at mr.&mrs.h, we are always excited when Peyton talks hotels and restaurants like her posts on The Washington School House and BG Restaurant (Sidenote: Kelly Wearstler's BG Restaurant is my favorite restaurant design of all time. If you've never been here or seen images of this heaven on earth, give yourself a treat and head over to Peyton's blog to see it asap!) 

As they say everything is bigger in Texas. Dallas is a big city with a big personality. There are so many different sides of The Big D that it can be hard to get a true taste of the city in a short trip. After living there for four years, I still didn't get to experience everything that it has to offer. But, thankfully I had people like Peyton to make sure I got to soak up as much of Dallas as I could during my time there. If you're heading to Dallas soon, chances are you'll only have a few days at most. Not to worry, with Peyton's guide you can get a full taste of what this awesome city has to offer! 

MMH: To start, what do you love about Dallas?

PR: It's not because of the beautiful skyline, that includes Reunion Tower. It's not because of the professional sports teams, although they provide great entertainment. It's not because of the restaurants, although there are many outstanding ones and are packed every night. It's not because of the truly authentic Mexican restaurants, which I frequent often. I LOVE Dallas, because of the friendly people and neighborhood charm. More often than not if you live in Dallas, you will hear your fair share of "sirs" and "ma'ams," and in a culture where manners are becoming extinct, this is very refreshing. I love Dallas' Southern hospitality!

MMH: Food+Beverage: Favorite _______?

Bistro 31. Amazing omelets, honey roasted granola, and ham and gruyere galette.  Bistro 31’s breakfast breads are pretty tasty too!

Kozy Kitchen. Meats are grass-fed, seafood is wild, breads are homemade, and many items are gluten-free. My favorite breakfast menu items include the BET Sandwich (Bacon, Egg, Tomato), fluffy omelets, and ginger buttermilk pancakes.

Parigi. Savory baby buttermilk biscuits covered in Italian sausage gravy or a sandwich of bacon, arugula, cherry tomatoes, cheese, and eggs in a flaky, buttery croissant.

{Rise No. 1 // image via}

Rise No 1. Charming soufflé bistro. Must try the Marshmallow Soup and the signature Rise No. 1 salad.

T Room at Forty Five Ten. Adorable restaurant behind a super chic home and fashionista boutique in the Knox-Henderson area. Come dressed and ready to see and be seen, as well as eat light salads and perfectly portioned panini's.

Neighborhood Services. There is a reason why this has been voted #1 in Dallas the past 2 years in D Magazine. The place is always packed. Fortunately they now take reservations.

 Coffee shop
Drip Coffee. The beans are roasted on-site in small batches, which makes for the freshest coffee in the city. Best vanilla latte’s I’ve ever tasted too.

{The GEM // image via}
Juice -The GEM. My favorite flavor GEM juice is Shine and Sparkle made with apple, celery, spinach, parsley, and jalapeno. The jalapeno gives it a Texas-sized kick!

Food – Company Café. Company Cafe has spearheaded Dallas' gluten-free revolution. Their focus emphasizes fresh, locally procured and organically grown ingredients with portion control.

Celebrity Café & Bakery. Has 2 locations in Dallas, one at Highland Park Village and the other at Preston Royal Shopping Center. This is also one of my favorite lunch spots.  Love their sandwich trio, chicken apple walnut panini, soups, and of course their famous iced sugar cookies.

Mercat Bistro. Amazing French pastries. My favorite is the delicious chocolate croissant.

{Empire Baking Co // image via}
Empire Baking Company. Known for their artisan bread and boxed lunches. Everything is very fresh! Love the tuna salad, chicken salad and pimento cheese sandwiches.

 Sweet spot 
I have the biggest sweet tooth ever. You must try JK Gourmet’s microchip chocolate chip cookies. AMAZING!!

JD’s Chippery. Another spot with 5 star cookies. I’m quite a cookie connoisseur and have to say that their semi-sweet chocolate chip cookies and oatmeal raisin cookies are to die for. Be sure to bring cash (no cc’s).

 Neighborhood spot
Rex’s Seafood Market. Offer’s the freshest seafood in Dallas.

Sammy’s Bar-B-Q. By far the best BBQ in Dallas. Only open for lunch.

{Highland Park Pharmacy // image via}
Highland Park Pharmacy. Old-time soda fountain shop is the perfect spot to have lunch. If you're craving a grilled pimento cheese sandwich, homemade chicken salad, or a limeade, chocolate milkshake, or root beer float, this is the place. Grab a bar stool!

Louie's Pizza. Known for their pizza, but you end up going back for the entire menu.

Wild About Harry’s. Craving a hot dog, Frito pie, or frozen custard, Wild About Harry’s is your spot!

{Peyton's perfect Saturday... shopping at Highland Park Village}
MMH: Favorite shops? What are their goods? 
PR: Cabana. Merry Vose owns this Bohemian beach bungalow inspired by the Harbor Island cottages she adores. Nearly everything — cocktail dresses, comfy blouses, skinny pants — is irresistible.

Blue Print Store. You will find a wonderful array of antiques, modern light fixtures, art, and accessories.

Forty Five Ten. Offers unique designer fashions, accessories and decorative items for the home. Love their coffee table books and Jan Barboglio pieces made of forged iron, wood or glass and is naturally aged yielding a rustic, yet sophisticated look.

Avant Garden. Floral design shop with elegant florals, gifts, books, jewelry, and art located in Highland Park Village.

{Bishop Arts District}
MMH: Your favorite area in Dallas (neighborhood, part of town, etc) and why? 
PR: Bishop Arts District. It’s a charming neighborhood with adorable one of a kind shops and restaurants. The area has so much character. Be sure to drive up Kessler Park to view the array of historic and modern homes. The street offers larger lot sizes and the neighborhood also has more hills than your typical flat Dallas areas.

MMH: Your "must see or do" while in The Big D...
PR: In the Fall, you must visit the State Fair of Texas, which is held in the same place it has been for more than 100 years, the historic Fair Park. It opens at the end of September and will run til the end of October. The State Fair of Texas is also home to the tallest cowboy in the state, Big Tex. There really is something for everyone at the fair. The fair showcases unique foods (lots of fried treats), exciting carnival rides and games, livestock and car shows, concerts, football games, shopping and so much more.

MMH: Are there any cool markets?
PR: St. Michael’s Farmers Market (opens again in April)

{Peyton enjoying the food trucks at Klyde Warren Park}
MMH: What's your favorite greenspace in your city?
PR: Klyde Warren Park. Dallas’ “Central Park.” It is an urban green space built over the recessed freeway between two major streets in downtown Dallas. Klyde Warren Park is always a highly active space home to Dallas’ premier food trucks. The park mostly hosts outdoor concerts and films, but this winter they constructed an outdoor ice skating rink. Very fun!

Your perfect Saturday in Dallas would look like...
PR: Morning Pilates or Spin Class at Beyond Studios. Upbeat music, encouraging and very knowledgeable instructors, and by far my favorite workout in Dallas.

Golf. Dallas has some amazing courses both public and private. My favorite public courses are The Tribute, Doral Tesora, Bridlewood Golf Club, and Castle Hills.

Top Golf has also become increasingly popular and is very beginner friendly. A great place to come with a big group.

{S&D Oyster Co // image via}
Lunch at S&D Oyster Company. New Orleans themed atmosphere with checkered tablecloths, old wooden chairs and servers wearing barbershop quartet-inspiring garb. They have a new outdoor courtyard.

Shopping in Highland Park Village. Highland Park Village is actually America’s first shopping center. Fabulous collection of premier shops and also restaurants. Great people watching too.

Drinks and listening to live music (Jazz, Soul, R&B) at the Rosewood Mansion on Turtle Creek.

MMH: Is there a touristy spot that's actually worth the visit?
 I love this museum. You can walk around the "Oval Office" and even sit behind the President’s desk and have your picture made. The 9/11 exhibit is especially moving. Loved the video with his daughters... reminded me that he truly was just a regular US citizen!

{Nasher Sculpture Center // image via}
 The museum was a long-held dream of the late Raymond and Patsy Nasher, who together formed a comprehensive collection of masterpieces by Calder, de Kooning, di Suvero, Giacometti, Hepworth, Kelly, Matisse, Miro, Moore, Picasso, Rodin, and Serra, among others, which continues to grow and evolve.
 Must attend ‘til Midnight at the Nasher, which is every third Friday of the month. The Nasher hosts special live outdoor concerts featuring the best in regional music talent and film screenings in the garden.

 You could spend all day in the garden and still not see everything - it is massive! I love the way that each garden has a theme. Great spot for a picnic.

 An architectural gem is one of three Texas landmarks touted among the best architecture in the world. Each year, the Center hosts a variety of Broadway shows, opera, dance and music performances.

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