If you know me, you will know that I LOVE to go out to dinner!! And, Dallas is just the right city to be able to do so on a regular basis, and always try something new. There is nothing better than being able to sit down at a restaurant, order a glass of wine, and have your meal served warm to your table. I think the major reason for my love of restaurants, is that I am not the best cook! I find it very difficult to cook for one person, sometimes two (I have no kids, but often times a hungry boyfriend), without cooking my typical pasta or crackers with cheese dinners when I work full-time and have a small dog that always wants my attention.
I have recently realized another major reason why I enjoy eating meals at restaurants… the ambience. I enjoy surrounding myself in places that set the tone for the quality and type of food I will eat, and the overall experience that I will have with different groups of people I am with. Often times, the ambience (which, to me, includes the service provided) will also affect the mood I am in!
As you all know, there are some restaurants that can go over the top with a theme or the décor. This can make or break a meal. One that automatically comes to mind when I think of a theme is Magic Time Machine located on Belt Line Road. Now, while I don’t have any kids, I can remember going as a young girl myself because of the experience that I had years ago.
The décor is a hodge podge of furniture, lighting, flooring, wall applications, and accessories that is whimsical and fun to witness as child and even as an adult! It truly sparks your imagination!!
Of course, it never hurts to have Cinderella or Snow White be your server!! The Salad Bar Car is also a fun touch for those that want to have some healthy greenery with their meal.
Another “themed” restaurant that creates a “magical” setting is Medieval Times.
This is one that I have yet to experience, but from the looks of it, I can only imagine the feeling you get when eating with your hands and watching men on horses fight.
Although many people love Magic Time Machine and Medieval Times due to the experience they provide (and I’m sure additional entertainment to their children), I enjoy different types of ambience when I dine.
One of my favorite restaurants to go to is Al Biernat’s located on Oak Lawn. This is a preferred dining spot for my boyfriend and me since there is such a wide variety on the menu (that is always delicious) and the atmosphere is elegant, yet inviting. Plus, the service is always on point!
This is the bar when you first walk in. I always have to look up and check out the painted dome ceiling and spot the hidden angel figures in the painted artwork.
Here is the newly renovated dining space. The major design elements are the pendant light fixtures (you can find some very similar at Restoration Hardware), since the rest is pretty simplistic with the white walls, white tablecloths accented by the dark ceiling, floor, and booths. Just the right setting for a fun night out, yet not too stuffy!!
The patio is also always a good idea when the weather is nice outside. There is still a candlelit meal waiting, surrounded by flowers, and a perfect location for people watching… You never know who will walk into Al Biernat’s!!
A great restaurant to visit on a weeknight or casual weekend night out is Neighborhood Services on Lovers Lane. The name of this restaurant speaks volumes for the décor and vibe of this restaurant. The eclectic mix of art hung in a collage style on the walls along with the wood top tables add to the “neighborhood” feeling of the restaurant.
You can just tell from these images that this restaurant is a good place to bring friends or family to enjoy the welcoming environment. You can kick back, relax and laugh with those around you. Plus, the food is wonderful!!
I don’t have my last name, Garcia, for no reason!! I love me some Mexican food!! Whether it be the classy Javier's off McKinney where they serve some of best authentic meals and have ornate wood carved bars, anter chandeliers, gothic style chairs, and of course the infamous bear welcoming the guests, this is the place to enjoy fine dining, Continental Mexican Food Style.
Some Of My Favorite People :)
In opposition, I still love my Fuzzy’s Tacos!! My love started for Fuzzy’s back when I attended TCU in Fort Worth, where the original Fuzzy’s is located. Here the setting just calls for an ice cold beer, queso, and a good football game. The bright colors, aluminum walls, TVs, and humorous signs are screaming for a good ‘ol time.
Whether I am looking for fine dining, a place to laugh with girlfriends, or a quick taco, there is always a place to go!! It is just always necessary to be aware of the location and what it can offer to provide the best environment for your desired experience. As an Interior Designer, I often spot restaurants that hit or miss the mark, but these definitely have it right. The décor, ambience, and service (and of course prices) set the right mood for the type of experience you will have. Now, after all this food talk… it's time to eat!!