Mike’s Travelogue: W-Heels up to Dallas
May 29, 2023, 4:13 PM | Updated: Aug 29, 2023, 2:48 pm
SPONSORED – It’s rare to get back-to-back seasons with road trips to the same non-division rival city, but that is the case this season. You get to go back to Dallas!
Wait, you didn’t go see Seattle in Dallas last year? What??? Why not?? Maybe you were waiting for a regular season matchup. Fortunately, you have a second chance. Or if you did, you might be ready to head back so that you can get to any of the barbecue joints you missed the last time around.
It couldn’t be easier to get there. With plenty of flights to one of the biggest airports in the country, Alaska gives you plenty of options. And the airport isn’t the only thing that’s big. They say everything is bigger in Texas, and Dallas has taken that maxim to heart. The hats, the ribs, the ranches. And, of course, the football stadium.
There are trips you take to see a football game because of the city and trips you take to see a specific team. But in this case, the stadium is a central attraction. AT&T Stadium (or Jerry’s World, as it’s affectionately known) is the largest capacity stadium in the NFL. It can seat between 80,000 and 100,000 people, depending on configuration. An amazing combination of steel, glass, water and technology, it is considered to be among the best places to see a game. It even has some amazing art, thanks to the commissioning of 18 artists when it was being built. Each created their own unique installation. When it opened, it instantly became known for the largest video board ever created. It made even more headlines when a punter (AJ Trepasso) hit it in a game. He was the first of three to accomplish that, with each resulting in a redo of the down. So, you might even get to see an extra play since Michael Dickson is perfectly capable of such a feat.
Obviously, the game itself will be a highlight of this trip, plus it’s a good excuse to make fun of some fans of “America’s Team” and ask them when they plan to live up to that moniker again!
But if you are going to Dallas, you have to find some barbeque. Which place to choose depends on which meat you prefer. Personally, I’m a brisket and pork ribs guy, but Dallas is big enough to have something for every carnivore.
For really huge beef ribs, the Pecan Lodge is your spot. It is one of the oldest and most traditional spots in town and while you can certainly try everything they have (the chicken is delicious), the ribs are standout. Brisket fans will have plenty of great options, but Loro is descended from Aaron Franklin (of Austin’s famous Franklin BBQ) and will satisfy anyone. Smokey John’s is another fantastic spot where everything is great and the sides can even take center stage. And for baby-back ribs (my favorite!), try Off the Bone. Zavala’s is a bit of a drive, but they have massive pork ribs and sausages that make it worth every minute. And for burnt ends, think about Panther City, which has more of a Mexican influence. That’s six options, but you could probably find 60 or 600 more!
There are also other great things to eat in Dallas. Like most border states, there is delicious and creative Mexican food. Resident Taqueria is worth your time, and so is José (which even does breakfast). A good friend of mine recommends Carte Blanche which has a full tasting menu and asks you put your trust in the chef. I also love real southern food, especially chicken fried steak, and you can find that AllGood Café (among other places). You might need to bring your “extra stomach” on this trip. Or at least start practicing ahead of time to handle the meat sweats.
But if you are like me and have seen Oliver Stone’s JFJ about a million times, you simply have to go to Dealey Plaza, where President John F. Kennedy was shot in 1963. The Sixth Floor Museum is in the former Book Depository where Lee Harvey Oswald shot from. You can explore the building, see the view from the corner window where shots were fired, learn more about the investigation and everything else a JFK buff would want. But I recommend watching the movie before you go – it’ll provide all the context and curiosity you need, plus it’s just an awesome film!
If you missed the preseason game last year, this is the opportunity you needed to go to Dallas. The stadium is amazing. The food is special. And you can’t count a price on laughing at their fans when Seattle beats up on America’s Team!
Stadium: AT&T Stadium (Jerry’s World)
Stadium Food: Heaven and Hell Burger (with Fritos on top)
Seattle haunt: Unfortunately no