Category Archives: Uncategorized

Cinco de Mayo

The Quinn

The Cinco de Mayo parade and festival in Oak Cliff was scheduled for this past Saturday, May 2. There were worries that it was going to be canceled because of the swine flu scare, but it went on as scheduled. I don’t think the weather cooperated though.

Well, today is Cinco de Mayo. For those of you like me who missed the festival for whatever reason, you can come celebrate with me at The Quinn. The sign out front says they are going to have live music, which is always a plus. I think Senudos Suaves is the name of the band, but I’m not sure. I tried to check their website, but apparently they haven’t updated their events page in a while. Honestly, it doesn’t matter who is playing, as long as I get a couple of tequila shots in me. This place also has an awesome jukebox selection, so I’m not too worried.

The QuinnThe Quinn has $2 well and domestics from 3 PM to 7 PM everyday. You can get nice and responsibly hammered, and still have plenty of time to recover before you go into work tomorrow.

The Quinn (click here for directions)

202 W. Davis St.

Dallas, Tx 75208

Fast Food Mexican Style

Cesar's Tacos

Cesar’s Tacos is, by far, the best fast food mexican restaurant you are going to find, anywhere! I know this is a bold statement, but if you can think of a place that is better, please let me know. Where else can you get delicious, cheap tacos at 3 am? (If you say Taco Bell, then you deserved to be punched in the face).

torta

More Cesar’s Tacos have opened in Oak Cliff as well as other parts of Dallas and surrounding suburbs. Their bold yellow and red stores help them stand out, for better or worse. I frequent the one by my house at least once a week. With school during the day and work at night, I sometime don’t find the time to cook a nice Mexican meal, and have found Cesar’s to be pretty damn good substitute. 

Whether you want tacos, tamales, burritos, tortas, or full on platters, they have it all and at a reasonable price. Most of these places might not have a drive-thru, which is pretty essential for fast food restaurants, but the few extra minutes you spend going into the place is worth it. I mean, do you really want to pay to eat something that someone just microwaved? 

location: pretty much everywhere

The Belmont Hotel

The Belmont Hotel    

 

 

The Belmont Hotel

Recently, I had the pleasure of playing tour guide to friends that were in town for a wedding (which was canceled at the last minute). Part one of our tour involved getting alcohol to take away from the stress of a cancelled wedding. The weather was beautiful, so I decided to take them to The Belmont Hotel to enjoy some drinks on the patio. This place has one of the most amazing views of the downtown Dallas skyline. We made it time for happy-hour and caught the last set of some local musician, which they have on occasion. 

Downtown DallasMy friends enjoyed the atmosphere as much as I did. They said it had a very Austin-like feel to it. This might be attributed to the fact that the Austin-based Bunkhouse Management team has been with the hotel since 2008. Thankfully, the restoration the hotel received in 2005 kept a lot of the original architecture that gives this place its uniqueness and charm.

If you are thinking of checking this place out, Tuesday night is a good time to start. Tuesday night is game night! People can come in and play their favorite board games and enjoy happy-hour all night. More event information can be found at their website, belmontdallas.com.

The Belmont Hotel (click here for map)

901 Fort Worth Ave.

Dallas, Tx 75208

Super Mercado Mexico vs Economy

 

Super Mercado Mexico

In a previous post, I talked about my favorite neighborhood grocery store, the Super Mercado Mexico. I contacted the Martinez family that owns the store, and they were kind enough to answer some questions for me. Here is the interview with Fernando Martinez Jr.

How long have you been in business?

My family started the business in Oak Cliff in 1977.  From there they were able to expand the business to the three current stores in Oak Cliff, East Dallas, and Pleasant Grove.

Has your business been affected by the current economic crisis? 
Like everyone else, we’ve felt the effects of the crisis.  Customers have become more concerned with buying only the essentials that they need, and they often forego certain supplemental goods that they used to buy regularly.  We see that they may opt to buy unmarinated meat to save the money that they can, buy ingredients for salsa instead of buying premade, stuff like that.
 
What changes have you had to make?
We’ve had to be more scrutinizing in the products we recieve from larger companies.  We have to make sure that the products we sell are affordable, but still mainain the quality that the customer expects and needs.  We cater to the current spending ability of the consumer, but we keep the same service and quality that keeps people coming back smiling. 
 
When Fiesta opened,  many thought that would be the end of your neighborhood supermarket. Is there any benefit to being a smaller neighborhood store than a larger chain? 
Fiesta affected us when it first opened, we knew it would.  At first, we did see a loss of business.  Whenever a large store like that opens, it’s natural that the excitement and appeal of such a large establishment will take away some of your clientele.  Ultimately though, they found that at our store, they could find something that Fiesta couldn’t offer.  They came back to us because they know that we provide authentic foods, the flavor that people of our culture know and want.  They know we provide the best customer service, preparing cuts of meat made to order, and always with more care to the quality of the meats that a large chain cannot provide.

What have you done to set yourself apart from the larger chains? 
Again, we can only give what we can, and we do the best we can at it.  The reason our stores exist and are still visited by customers is because we are very concerned with keeping the customer happy.  The quality of the cuts and the attention given to the customers are our highest priorities. 
 
What have you done to keep your current customers coming back? For me it is the fact that you make some of the best tortillas. 
Yeah, the tortillas are a crowd pleaser.  Actually, weekends usually bring people from the suburbs who come to the city to visit family, and they stop by just to buy tortillas and marinated meat.  They tell us “we came all the way from…just to get these, they’re amazing.”  But as for the people from the neighborhood, the stores provide them that “mom and pop” feel and give them exactly what they’re looking for when it comes to preparation and quality.

How do you see the future for your business?
Despite the current crisis, we’re pretty optimistic.  The stores will always remain a family run establishment meant to cater to the neighborhood.  Our reason for being there is to provide a service to the community, and if we can do that, then we’re happy.

The Paleta Man

 

The Paleta Man     

 Coconut PaletaPaleta is the spanish word for popsicle. The Paleta Man is like your neighborhood ice cream man, but instead of having a truck he has a kinda bicycle. You might see him at parks or outside of schools when the kids are getting out. I found the Paleta Man in the picture above on the busy streets of Jefferson. The guy didn’t want his picture taken for some reason.

     I remember when I was a little kid hearing the ringing of the bells and  running with dollars out and ready. Now if you haven’t tried mexican paletas, then you are missing out. They come in all kinds of flavors, like strawberry, coconut, and mango just to name a few. And in case you are in the mood for something else, they carry bags of chips with salsa ready to go too.

Oak Cliff Mardi Gras Parade

I missed it! The first Mardi Gras parade in Oak Cliff and I missed it. I was so busy studying for midterms that I just forgot about it. I did try to catch the end of the parade, but I was too late. Here is a link to a slideshow of the parade from Advocate Magazines. It looked like a lot of fun. 

OC Mardi Gras Parade slideshow

Is It Time for Snow Cones?

Aunt Stelle's Snow Cone

Saturday, April 25, mark this day on your calendar. This is when Aunt Stelle’s Sno Cone opens for the season. I know its only February and still a bit chilly outside, but the little chubby kid in me was in the mood for a cherry snow cone. Aunt Stelle’s is seriously the one of the best. I knew they weren’t open, but I decided to swing by to know how long I would need to wait.

 

Aunt Stelle's Sign

 Aunt Stelle's Snow Cone