Really makes me want to live there…
I miss the gritty history of Detroit. It’s not often that 21st and 19th century architecture can be found to co-mingle on the same block, so in some ways it was an adjustment to move to Dallas and be surrounded by little more than 100 years of history. That being said there is something about the energy and momentum of this city; from my desk window I see no less than 4 tower cranes and can hear the noises of construction echoing through the highrise canyons. Things are happening here. There is not talk of building demo for the sake of demo or a new empty lot but real growth and progress, and that to me is exciting.
The Praetorian Building is coming down brick by brick and several more decrepit storefronts on Elm & Commerce are either being razed or rehabbed. I took this picture from Stone Street Alley near Elm St to document the progress so far. *
* Extra credit for anyone that knows what building is in the top left of the frame…
As many of you know most of my blog writing is inspired by shit that pisses me off. Fortunately for Ozona Grill & Bar, the awful meal they tried to pass off in the guise of “food” was overshadowed by enjoying company with friends celebrating a birthday so they get a free pass. Seriously, if you’re thinking about going there, don’t, and they’re damn lucky that is all I’m saying.
Instead I’ve been absolutely obsessed about writing a GOOD foodie review, and our recent trip to Oddfellows in Oak Cliff for Thursday date night (ie. shit! we’re out of food!) provided the perfect impetus to give it a shot. True to Canadian form, C selected the establishment solely on the fact they have something they called Texas Poutine on the menu, but more on that later.
The restaurant itself sits on the corner of the Bishop Arts food and fashion district featuring large open air windows allowing the outdoor bar/patio seating to merge with the simply and tastefully decorated dining room utilizing natural wood to accent the exposed building structure. I had read that they really take their coffee seriously and that’s evident when you walk in, but unfortunately I was immediately sidetracked by their selection of local craft beer – next time coffee, next time. Since we were n00bs we opted to get several small plates to share and give several different dishes a shot.
First up was Mac & Cheese that C promptly declared was even better than Slows’ in Detroit (way to set the bar really high there C) – simply prepared with a nicely balanced taste and texture – followed by fried pickles with ancho sauce that were a perfectly flash fried explosion of dill and breading. Next was the much anticipated Texas Poutine. It was good, but unfortunately for us poutine purists did not live up to our expectations and ultimately was fries with bacon, pickled jalapeños, texas cheddar and homemade gravy. Ok who am I kidding I’d still eat it again, but would probably still grumble about the lack of mystery Québécois brown goodness. Next followed the surprise dish of the night, local duck quesadillas – jalapeño-ponzu marinated duck with cabbage and cilantro, and texas mozzarella served with sour cream and guacamole. Mind = blown, taste buds successfully climaxed. Apparently there was a fresh tomato, mozzarella and basil pesto salad that followed, but I was too busy making googlely-eyes at what remained of the duck quesadillas.
The tag line for Oddfellows is “Food For All”; I’m not entirely sure what that means but I’m going to just say “fucking delicious, eat here”. 4 ½ forks
Thought I’d post up a couple of pictures I took while sitting out on our balcony last week so here they are…
Both shots were taken looking northeast. The building on the left is Elm Place which although currently empty was recently sold and redevelopment is apparently in the works. The shorter green striped building is the Mosaic highrise residential tower, and the angular building behind is the Energy Plaza tower.
If you know me, you know I not only like trains, I have a sick fascination bordering on obsessive behavior when it comes to trains. It would be an understatement to say I was excited moving to Dallas to be in close proximity to a robust and usable mass transit system with multiple light rail lines crisscrossing the metroplex. So when C had a meeting in the far north burbs yesterday that would require her to take the train back, I excitedly offered to ride up to meet her and chauffeur her back downtown. This also provided an opportunity for a break from the Downtown routine, so on the ride back made a stop at Mockingbird Station for dinner and drinks at an Irish pub.