Restaurant Reviews DFW

Weekend Happenings 9/28 – 9/30: State Fair, Gelatofest, and more

State Fair of Texas 2018

9/28 – 10/21 (Gates open at 10:00 a.m. every day)

Fair Park 

The 24-day, four-weekend extravaganza that is the State Fair of Texas is back. The great thing about the fair is its predictable greatness, from the butter sculptures to the pig races to the oodles of fried food. You can try all the new concoctions, check out the midway, enjoy free concerts every day, or take a trip to the top of the Top ‘o Texas Tower. The beauty is that there’s never a shortage of things to do, so what are you waiting for? Free weekend concerts will include Morris Day & The Time, Aaron Watson, Ludacris, Casting Crowns, and more. Go here for a full concert schedule.

Photo by Jason Hays

Oktoberfeast Beer and Music Festival

9/28 – 9/30 at 7:00 p.m. each night

Legacy Hall

Legacy Hall will present Oktoberfeast, a signature, four-day beer and music festival. In celebration of all-things beer, brats and bands, all three floors of Legacy Hall and the Lexus Box Garden will be transformed into a biergarten atmosphere complete with yodeling, accordion players, oom-pah music and more. Guests can dine on authentic German-inspired dishes like the new beer brats from Degenhardt’s Brat House or opt for a sampling of other flavors from one of the food hall’s 23 other dining options.

Photo courtesy of Oktoberfeast Beer and Music Festival

Gelato Festival America

9/29 – 9/30 at 12:00 P.M.

Dallas Farmers Market

Gelato Festival America comes to Dallas to spread awareness of real Italian artisanal gelato through a contest in which gelato artisans and chefs will compete with original gelato flavors they have created for the event. Tropical Blast, Spicy Green Paradise, Sicily Orange Sunrise, and Fresh Love were just a few of the flavors invented last year. Tickets can be purchased here.

Photo courtesy of Gelato Experience LLC


Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden presents Autumn at the Arboretum

9/29 – 11/21

Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden

Thousands of pumpkins, gourds and squashes are sprouting in the Texas Panhandle this summer, soon making their way to Dallas for Autumn at the Arboretum, a national fall festival, presented by Rogers-O’Brien Construction. The festival will feature scenes from the beloved book, Peter and Wendy. The event includes the nationally-acclaimed Pumpkin Village featuring pumpkin houses and creative displays incorporating more than 90,000 pumpkins, gourds, squash, cornstalks, and a hay bale maze. Themed “The Adventures in Neverland,” the Pumpkin Village takes guests on a journey through Neverland in the Pecan Grove. The Pumpkin Village begins in London at the house of the Darlings where Wendy and her brothers are dreaming of pirates and fairies. Other major stops include the Lost Boys hideout where Peter, Wendy and the Lost Boys talk about never growing up. A pirate ship sails the seas of gourds and pumpkins in Pecan Grove where Captain Hook keeps his eye to the sky as his never-ending hunt for Peter continues. Tick-Tock, the Crocodile, waits patiently among the pumpkins for another opportunity to attack. A visit to Neverland would not be complete without a stop by Tinker Bell’s home where she does all of her tinkering.

Photo courtesy of Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden

Dinner with Snoop Dogg

9/30 at 8:00 P.M.

Republic Ranch

The Ranch will host a celebrity-centered dinner buffet and night of live music featuring Snoop Dogg. Tickets can be purchased here.

Photo by F. Carter Smith
Restaurant Reviews DFW

Weekend Happenings 9/21 – 9/23: Oktoberfest, Greek Food, and more

InTouch Credit Union Plano Balloon Festival

9/21 – 9/23 at various times

Oak Point Park and Nature Preserve

Market at The Star x Fleastyle is an outdoor market that will feature a curated mix of fashion, jewelry, home décor and other unique lifestyle goods. This new, open-air market will host 30 booths running directly through The Star District. Additional entertainment at the market will include food specials from neighboring restaurants, children’s activities and more. Tickets can be purchased here.

Via Facebook

Addison Oktoberfest

9/21 – 9/23 at various times

Addison Circle Park

Addison Oktoberfest features four days of family-oriented entertainment. German entertainers in authentic costumes perform traditional Bavarian folk dances, schuhplatten, oompah music, sing-a-longs, yodels, the Oktoberfest 5K benefitting Wipe Out Kids Cancer, and more. A special “Oktoberfest” Paulaner Bier is served along with several types of German sausage, sauerkraut, strudel, giant pretzels and more. There are carnival rides, midway games, and children’s entertainment. Guests can register to dine at the Chamberlain’s Brau Haus for a full-service dining experience featuring an exclusive menu. Tickets can be purchased here.

Photo courtesy of Addison Oktoberfest

Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church presents Greek Food Festival of Dallas

9/21 – 9/23 beginning at 11:00 a.m.

Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church

Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church’s tradition of celebrating the magic of Greece features delicious cuisine, pastries made with love, spirited live music and dance, fun attractions for kids, and a marketplace brimming with imports and activity transform the corner of Hillcrest and Alpha into Dallas’ own Greek island. New this year is karpouzaki, a wedge of watermelon that gets its Greek accent from crumbled feta, fresh mint and a balsamic glaze. There are lamb chops seasoned and grilled to perfection and many other meat and veggie options. The festival presents an opportunity to view recently completed iconography covering the church’s walls, ceiling and dome. Church tours and a visit to the Greek Cultural Center and bookstore add elements of enrichment to the three-day celebration. Tickets can be purchased here. 

Photo courtesy of Greek Festival of Dallas

Dallas Heritage Village presents History with a Twist: Sock Hop

9/21 at 6:30 p.m.

South Side on Lamar

Dallas Heritage Village will present its 6th Annual History with a Twist. The evening will include food stations and generational cocktails of the ‘50s with a twist, served by some of the city’s brightest mixologists and bartenders. Guests are invited to dress ‘50s chic, sip classic cocktails from Mint Juleps to Singapore Slings, and dance the night way to popular ‘50s tunes by DJ Jennifer Miller. The event will also feature dance lessons, and live and silent auctions. Tickets can be purchased here. 

Photo courtesy of Dallas Heritage Village

Dallas Cowboys presents Market at The Star x Fleastyle

9/22 at 9:00 a.m.

Ford Center at The Star

Market at The Star x Fleastyle is an outdoor market that will feature a curated mix of fashion, jewelry, home décor and other unique lifestyle goods. This new, open-air market will host 30 booths running directly through The Star District. Additional entertainment at the market will include food specials from neighboring restaurants, children’s activities and more.

Photo courtesy of The Star



Restaurant Reviews DFW

Weekend Happenings 9/14 – 9/16: Pride, Chefs for Farmers, and more

Fashion Industry Gallery presents FIG Finale

9/14 and 9/15 at 11:00 a.m.

Fashion Industry Gallery

FIG Finale is a spectacular sale open to the public where shoppers can find designer deals up to 75 percent off retail from top stores and brands. FIG Finale features women’s, men’s and children’s clothing, shoes, and accessories. Tickets for FIG Finale can be purchased here.

Via Fashion Industry Gallery on Facebook

Downtown Arlington Brewing Arts Festival

9/14 and 9/15 at 12:00 p.m.

Urban Union

The inaugural Downtown Arlington Brewing Arts Festival will be a collision of art, music, food trucks, and craft beer that will light up the city’s bustling Urban Union entertainment district. The event will bring together art collectives from across Dallas-Fort Worth including Elevate Dallas, Ash Studios, ArtLandish, Art Luck, Art Tooth, Black Sheep Art Culture, and Color Me Empowered.

Photo courtesy of Downtown Arlington Management Corporation

He Said Magazine presents Pride Brunch

9/15 at 10:00 a.m.

Perle on Maple

He Said Magazine’s Editor-in-Chief/Publisher Cooper Koch and Editor Steven Lindsey will host a brunch and bubbles to kick-off Dallas pride activities and festivals. The Stoneleigh’s new French-inspired restaurant, Perle on Maple, will feature a French-inspired a la carte brunch created by Perle on Maple’s Executive Chef Wade Burch of Food Network’s Chopped and Chopped Champions and a “Bubbles from Around the World” Champagne Bar. Tickets can be purchased here.

Photo courtesy of Perle on Maple

Dirk Nowitzki Pro Celebrity Tennis Classic

9/15 at 11:00 a.m.

SMU Tennis Center

The 3rd annual Dirk Nowitzki Pro Celebrity Tennis Classic will once again feature 2003 US Open champion and International Tennis Hall of Fame inductee Andy Roddick, considered one of the most influential, successful and quotable tennis players of all time. Other players will include Grand Slam doubles champ and five-time Olympian Mark Knowles; and Boris Kodjoe, German actor best known for his roles as Dr. Will Campbell in the CBS drama, Code Black, and the sports-courier agent Damon Carter on the Showtime drama series, Soul Food. Proceeds benefit the Dirk Nowitzki Foundation, which awards grants annually to organizations focusing on children’s wellbeing, health and education. Tickets can be purchased here.

Photo courtesy of the Dirk Nowitzki Foundation

The Mix Off 

9/16 at 5:00 P.M.

DEC on Dragon

Enjoy some of the best cocktails in town! You’re the judge as the hottest bartenders in Dallas shake and pour their liquor-loving hearts out for the chance to be named the signature drinks of Chefs For Farmers 2018. Since you can’t drink on an empty stomach, chow down on upscale food from the best up-and-coming chefs in town. Your votes determine the winners, but when the rising stars of the Dallas restaurant scene compete alongside the best bartenders in Texas, the real winner is you! To buy tickets and to see a full list of sous chefs and mixologists, click here.

Photo courtesy of Chefs for Farmers



Restaurant Reviews DFW

Why Timothy Talbott Wants to Grow Dallas’s Film Industry

Those in pursuit of success in entertainment will often give up their last coin to move to a larger metropolis like Los Angeles or New York City. While this route is common, film director and Double T Productions founder Timothy Talbott believes that this is not the only way to go. A native Texan, born and raised, Talbott is determined to bring light to the landscapes and scenery that are often passed up or overlooked. Talbott also wants to put undiscovered talent under the spotlight.

I join Talbott at Ascension Coffee, located in the Design District, which is also home to fellow film director Johnathan Brownlee. We discuss a variety of topics, including how he came to develop an affinity for the film and entertainment industry.

“I don’t know if there was a moment where the inspiration just hit,” Talbott says. “It was really just a matter of things I enjoyed as a kid.”

Talbott then recalls how he was able to give his undivided attention to a television screen at any given moment during his youth.

“I’m an adventurer,” Talbott says. “My mom used to tell people that if you put me in a room, you better keep an eye on me, unless you turn on the TV, then I’d just sit down and start watching.”

As a child, Talbott’s love for the arts was unmatched, compared to that of his friends.

“Even though I love sports, watching TV and film was way more fun to me,” Talbott says. “Movies and television programs are like puzzles; you put this big thing together and it’s different every time. A football game is a football game. You get four quarters, things happen, but rarely is it that exciting. Take the Super Bowl for instance. If your team isn’t in it, how involved are you?”

Although Talbott tends to favor art and entertainment over sports, he is fond of professional wrestling and even had a stint as a wrestler in National Wrestling Alliance’s Southwest Division in the late 90s.

“I wanted to get into wrestling because it’s live-action storytelling,” Talbott said. “I knew that if I could get into wrestling I could get into acting.”

Talbott later moved to Los Angeles, where he would live for ten years before eventually deciding to return home to Texas, where he would produce his first feature film.

“That was really a defining moment,” Talbott says. “After ten years in L.A. just grunting it out and trying to get by, I move back to Texas, and within a year to the day, I’m beginning principal photography on The Demon Inside. We filmed that movie in Denton over the course of two weeks.”

Talbott produced and acted his first feature film, The Demon Inside, in Denton. Filming took place over the course of two weeks (Photo courtesy of Double T Productions)

After his work on The Demon Inside, Talbott believes that talent in Dallas’ film scene is just as remarkable of larger art-centered cities.

“When my L.A. friends want to shoot a movie, I tell them, ‘we’re going to shoot the movie in Texas, and we’re gonna use Texas crew and Texas actors,’” Talbott says. “The problem is, I’m a small brand and I definitely want to grow. I question why we don’t have a film industry equal to or better than that of anywhere else.”

Talbott strives to bring Texas filmmakers together (Photo courtesy of Double T Productions)

Talbott also expresses frustration with filmmakers setting their works in Dallas, yet filming them in other locations.

“You’ve got a movie like Dallas Buyers Club,” Talbott says. “You’ve got Matt McConaughey sitting on his car, and the Dallas skyline is in the background. Filmed in Louisiana. Part of that takes away from Dallas. “As far as Dallas goes, there’s more to it than just Dallas. It’s Texas as a whole. L.A. is L.A. They have six major studios there. They have acres and acres of studio lots. Here in Dallas, you can drive an hour in any direction and you have different landscapes. You have space. We have weather. ”

Having worked on multiple projects in Dallas, including hit Hulu series “11.23.63” and his upcoming thriller film, Trunkfish, Talbott can attest to the fact that Dallas’s art scene is on the rise.

Talbott’s film Trunkfish is set for release later this year (Photo courtesy of Double T productions)

“Texas is growing and there are a lot of areas that are getting rejuvenated,” Talbott says. “Things are changing, and hopefully, part of that is keeping productions here. I’ve seen the old, and maybe it’s time to come into the new. Nobody is going to take down Hollywood. Hollywood is Hollywood. But I don’t see why Texas can’t have its own film industry on par with everyone else.”



Restaurant Reviews DFW

Weekend Happenings 9/7 – 9/9: Chocolate Fest, BBQ Bus, and more

AT&T Performing Arts Center and Interabang Books present An Evening with Sonia Sotomayor

9/7 at 6:30 P.M.

Dee and Charles Wyly Theatre

AT&T Performing Arts Center and Interabang Books will present an evening with U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor to celebrate the release of her two new children’s books, Turning Pages: My Life Story (available in English and Spanish) and The Beloved World of Sonia Sotomayor. Sotomayor will discuss her life story, from her birthplace in the South Bronx through her journey to become the first Hispanic and third woman appointed to the Supreme Court. Her picture book Turning Pages, vibrantly illustrated by Lulu Delacre, shares how Sotomayor’s life was shaped and propelled forward by her family, her own determination, and the books she read. The Beloved World of Sonia Sotomayor is the middle grade adaptation of My Beloved World, her No. 1 New York Times-bestselling memoir. In sharing her own story, Sotomayor encourages children to read widely and dream big. Tickets can be purchased here.

Photo by Steve Petteway/Collection of the Supreme Court of the United States

Dallas Chocolate Festival

9/7 – 9/9 at various times

Whole Foods Market (Preston Forest)/Fashion Institute Gallery

The Dallas Chocolate Festival, presented by, is celebrating the “Future of Chocolate,” educating Dallas about chocolate, one bar at a time. The three-day festival brings in over 70 chocolate makers and chocolatiers from around the world and locally. Over 2,400 attendees will learn, taste, and experience the artistry and craftsmanship of quality chocolate. Festival highlights include a Friday night VIP Party and Saturday’s family-friendly expo offering samples, shopping opportunities, demonstrations, and classes at Fashion Industry Gallery. Sunday’s hands-on workshops, including a Chocolate Tasting class and a Chocolate Making workshop, will be at held at Whole Foods Market on Preston Forest Shopping Center. Schedule of events and tickets can be found here.

Photo by Kathy Tran


BBQ Bus – Denton 

9/8 beginning at 1:00 P.M.

Picks up at Armadillo Ale Works at 1:00 P.M.

What to do on a rainy Saturday? How about jumping on a luxury bus at Armadillo Ale Works at 1pm then visiting 3 great BBQ joints and enjoying a plate of brisket, ribs, and sausage at each stop? Plus the PitMaster at each stop will answer questions and take you to check out his pit! The bus returns you safely to Armadillo Ale Works at 5pm! Tickets can be purchased here.

Image courtesy of RVC Promotions

Operation Kindness presents Dog Day Afternoon

9/8 at 10:00 A.M.

Operation Kindness (Carrollton) 

For 25 years, Dog Day Afternoon has been the most highly anticipated festival of the summer season. Event highlights include Best K9 Costume, Stupid Pet Tricks and Best Pooch Smooch Contests with prizes; The Mutt Midway with dozens of vendors; free microchipping for the first 100 dogs; low cost vaccinations by Texas Coalition for Animal Protection; Pet Psychic and Communicator, Sandra Larson; prize wheel and puppy kissing booth; and pet CPR and first aid demonstrations. Dog Day Afternoon has been presented by Operation Kindness for 25 years. As an organization that prides itself in working towards finding forever homes for homeless animals, this event celebrates those pets who have found happy endings. In addition, it allows the Dallas-Fort Worth community to come and learn more about the shelter and how to get involved.

Photo courtesy of Operation Kindness

Travis Manion Foundation presents 9/11 Heroes Run

The 9/11 Heroes Run unites communities internationally with the goal to never forget the sacrifices of the heroes of September 11 and the wars since: veteran, first responder, civilian and military. The event will feature a 5k and 1 mile fun run to raise awareness and honor the fallen. To register, click here.

Photo courtesy of Travis Manion Foundation


Restaurant Reviews DFW

Jack Mason Celebrates Five Years in Business

As the age-old saying holds, time is money, and the men behind Jack Mason are on a mission to make their customers look like a million bucks. Since best friends Craig Carter and Michael Reese launched Jack Mason, the pair have become a strong force in the accessories game. They have partnered with a variety of high-end retailers, including Dillard’s, Jared, Saks Fifth Avenue,  Bloomingdales, and Nordstrom.

“Nordstrom was our first customer,” Carter says. “That was the biggest goal we had set out; having a brand, saving it, and taking it to Nordstrom. Having been in the watch industry for so many years, we just knew there was a need for a new type of watch among all of the brands available.”

By the time Carter and Reese had presented their designs and inventions to Nordstrom, the pair had a combined 25 years of retail and wholesale experience, having developed an affinity and knowledge of timepieces throughout the years.

“Mike and I first met here in Dallas,” Carter says. “We were working for the same company when we first moved here. He actually stayed at that same company for a few years and I went off to work for other companies in retail/sales environments.”

Craig Carter (left) and Michael Reese (right) launched Jack Mason in 2013. (Photo courtesy of Jack Mason)

Carter and Reese were later reunited at a different watch company, where they eventually came to the conclusion that they wanted to create products of their own.

“We wanted to be a true lifestyle brand,” Carter says. “We wanted to create something that we saw a need for in the market.”

The pair launched Jack Mason in 2013 and their products were immediately well-received.

“When we went to do a presentation for Nordstrom in Seattle, that was kind of the defining moment for us,” Carter says. “We made it into the jewelry section of Nordstrom, as well as the men’s’ section, so we were double exposed. Not a lot of brands have this to their credit.”

When choosing where to set up their headquarters, Carter and Reese wanted to be in an area that had a familial, community-oriented feel.

“We had originally set up shop in the West End, which is a great area, but we couldn’t really do everything we wanted to do,” Carter says. “When we got our first office where we could ship and receive product, we were actually in the Design District. But the Design District is just so big and Deep Ellum just has more of a community type feel to it.”

The pair finally decided to set up shop in Deep Ellum, among various local brands.

“It’s cool because a lot of companies are moving down to Deep Ellum and Deep Ellum has such a rich history to it,” Carter says. “You’ve got a lot of cool local barbers, tattoo artists, and restaurants opening up. We really just love that sense of community.”

Apart from crafting innovative, technologically advanced wrist pieces, Carter is also passionate about maintaining his individuality within his personal aesthetic.

“My style is different from Michael’s,” Carter says.  “Michael’s going wear his Stetson hat every day, because that’s just his style. For me, I follow a lot of influencers on social media, so if I see something I like, I try to emulate it as best as I can. But I don’t really go for one certain brand, I take multiple brands, throw them together, and create a look I want. If you ask Michael, he’ll tell you that he’s always going to shop at J. Crew. Me, I may go to J. Crew, but I’ll also go to other stores to put an outfit together.”

While Carter’s looks are inspired by a multitude of brands, he certainly never leaves home without his Jack Mason Diver watch.

“The Diver Watch is a very versatile watch,” Carter says. “You can wear it out to dinner, or you can put a rubber strap on it and go diving. It’s 30 ATM, so you can go about 1000 feet underwater while wearing it.”

The Diver Watch is one of the most versatile timepieces in the Jack Mason collection. (Photo courtesy of Jack Mason)

Jack Mason’s Diver Watch is just one of many designs crafted by the hands of Carter and Reese.

This December, Jack Mason will be launching their Regatta Timer watch.

“We did a Kickstarter for our Regatta Timer,” Carter says, “This is our first Swiss movement watch and it’s creation was completely backed by those who donated to our Kickstarter.”

Jack Mason’s Regatta Timer watch is set to launch this coming December (Via Kickstarter).

The men of Jack Mason are truly innovators in the accessories game. They have created products to fit everyone’s lifestyle, aesthetic, and price point.

“All of our watches are very approachable, given the quality of them,” Carter says. “They’re priced in a way that everyone can afford them, so that’s what sets us apart from everyone else.”