The 12 things you absolutely must do in Dallas this Spring

Published On 02/05/2014 Published On 02/05/2014

Spring is so close you can smell it. At least, that's probably Spring. Did you bathe with Irish Spring this morning? That could be confusing things. Regardless, the season of promise, rebirth, and busted brackets will soon be upon you. To make sure you make the most of your Dallas Springtime, here are 12 things you must do, from saying goodbye to a beloved bar to saying hello to 90-day-aged steaks...

Untapped Festival

What: Untapped Festival
When: March 8th
Where: Panther Island Pavilion
Untapped Festival's gonna be in FW with a bunch of excellent indie bands, and probably some less excellent indie bands, but you won't care on account of all the excellent beer (Rahr, Oskar Blues, Real Ale…).

What: Luna's Tortillas Reopening
When: March
Where: Luna's Tortillas
Remember when fire wiped out the most prestigious tortilleria on the planet last summer? Luna's is bouncing back in a big way with new digs for the first time in a few decades, which means it's definitely time to load up on tamales. 


What: PDQ Opening
When: Mid-March
Where: Frisco
PDQ (that's People Dedicated to Quality, acronym fans!) is arriving in the Metroplex, bringing nothing but gloriously hand-tossed chicken tenders and sandwiches. Well, also fresh-cut fries and hand-spun malts, obviously.

What: Savor Dallas
When: March 20th-22nd
Where: The Arboretum, other locations on the 21st and 22nd
Savor Dallas is back, and this time it's showcasing 60 chefs and more than 400 different wines for you to try, which definitely won't affect your taste buds by the time you get to Sunday's Chllin 'N Grillin session in Main Street Garden.

What: The Loon Closing
When: Before March 31st
Where: The Loon
Go to the Loon one last time before it shuts down at the end of March. Seriously. That The Loon is going to be a CVS sucks about as much as whatever ailment might cause you to seek out a CVS, and it's little comfort knowing that the owner's opening up a new bar, because it won't be The Loon.

What: Texas Rangers Opening Day
When: March 31st
Where: Katy Trail Icehouse
You may not have noticed in the midst of the Cowboys' annual late season implosion, but the Rangers just paid $130 mil for Shin-Soo Choo. Hit up the patio at Katy Trail Icehouse post-game to either celebrate or soothe the agony of defeat. Again...

Big Texas Beer Festival

What: Big Texas Beer Fest
When: April 5th
Where: Fair Park Automobile Building
Last year's celebration of fine brews both Texan and not-Texan (nobody's perfect) drew 90 breweries and more than 400 beers. This being Texas, expect them to go bigger this year.

What: The Final Four
When: April 5th-7th
Where: Christie's Sports Bar
Just because your bracket's busted doesn't mean you can't enjoy the Final Four at Jerry World, unless of course you couldn't land tickets. Either way, get close to the action (or enjoy a few beverages pre-game) with some burgers and beers at Christie's. 

North Texas Taco Festival

What: North Texas Taco Festival
When: April 26th
Where: To be revealed!
The second-ever North Texas Taco Festival is going on, and there's another Taco Throwdown, which means you're going to throw down a bunch of tacos. Like, into your mouth. Throwing them on the ground would be both stupid and tragic. 

What: Knife Modern Steak Opening
When: Mid-April
Where: Hotel Palomar
Whenever John Tesar announces he's gonna open a new place, it's newsworthy, and doubly so if he's naming it after an eating utensil. With 90-day-aged steaks, Knife Modern Steak should be the best resto in Tesar's arsenal until he opens Spork sometime in 2015.

Mariano's Hacienda

What: Cinco de Mayo at Mariano's
When: May 5th
Where: Mariano's Hacienda
You could celebrate Cinco de Mayo anywhere, but you have a deep and abiding appreciation for history and slushies, so you're paying homage at the home of the original frozen margarita.

What: Potato Flats Opening
When: Mid-May
Where: Trinity Groves
Phil Romano's assault on Trinity Groves is continuing, and the trend is definitely getting starchy, thanks to Potato Flats. Picture the best part about Souper!Salad! (the potato bar), then press the potatoes into a 1.5in-thick steak shape, and open up the toppings bar. Think Chipotle, but potato-ier.

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1. The Untapped Festival 395 Purcey Street, Fort Worth, TX 76102 (Fort Worth)

Pairing national touring acts, local color, and indies with 200 different beers, the Untapped Festival is roaring up to Panther Island Pavillion on March 8th. It's going to be the pav-illest.

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2. Luna's Tortilla Factory 2225 Connector Drive, Dallas, TX 75235

Luna's has got over 90 years of cred behind their tortillas, enough masa mastery to earn recognition as a Dallas Landmark. Now, set up in brand new digs (their first move in decades), it's the perfect time to pay them a visit this Spring. Like you needed a reason to buy all of the tamales.

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3. PDQ Frisco 4585 Preston Rd, Frisco, TX 75034 (Frisco)

PDQ stands for People Dedicated to Quality, which translates to simple sandwiches and banging comfort foods -- hand-breaded chicken tenders, shakes, fresh cut fries, and more. And guess what? This franchise is finally coming to the Metroplex this Spring.

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4. The Loon 3531 McKinney Ave, Dallas, TX 75204 (Oak Lawn)

With a menu full of classics and cheap drink specials, The Loon is the kinda of dive only a crazy person wouldn't love. Something actually loony? This Dallas institution is closing down March 31st, so prepare to get a pint in and get misty-eyed this Spring.

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5. Katy Trail Ice House 3127 Routh St, Dallas, TX 75201 (Uptown)

This beer garden/restaurant hybrid has one of the largest patios in Dallas and boasts 50 brews on tap, ranging from simple domestics to international imports, all poured behind a 50ft bar that features a number of flatscreens, making it a perfect game-day spot. Make sure to stop by for brunch for $6 mimosas from 11am to 3pm.

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6. Big Texas Beer Fest 1300 Robert B. Cullum Blvd, Dallas, TX 75210

The Automobile Building is just your average 84,500 sq. ft. exhibition hall disguised as an automotive building. Besides a classic car-lover's mecca during the annual Texas State Fair, this place hosts parties, sporting events, and antique/collectible shows. Head there April 5th for the Big Texas Beer Fest. That it's got an absolutely massive list of breweries bringing beers made just for this event is nothing but awesome. Also awesome: the on-site “food truck alley”.

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7. Christies Sports Bar 2811 McKinney Ave, Dallas, TX 75204 (Uptown)

This family-owned, family-run space has been an Uptown Arts District staple since opening its doors in 1991. They aren't light on entertainment, with a Big Buck Hunter arcade, tournament-sized pool tables, and oh just 43 televisions -- 39 flat screens, and four 10ft screens. Head there for March Madness April 5th-7th. Just because your bracket's busted doesn't mean you can't enjoy watching (remotely) the first Final Four at Jerry World.

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8. Knife Modern Steak 5300 E Mockingbird Ln, Dallas, TX 75206

From James Beard-nominated Chef John Tesar, Knife Modern Steakhouse is a sleek, elegant update on the classic steakhouse. Dedicated to using only the highest-quality ingredients with local Texas roots, Knife sources its meat from the nearby 44 Farms in Carmen, Texas. Classic cuts like a bone-in rib eye or filet mignon are what you can expect to see on the restaurant's "Old School" menu, and more adventurous selections, like Waygu, Akaushi and Tri-Tip steaks, wood-fired over an open flame, are decidedly "New School."

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9. Mariano's Hacienda 6300 Skillman St, Dallas, TX 75231 (Lake Highlands)

When we say "American history," what's the first thing that comes to mind? That's right, George Washington the frozen margarita machine! Mariano Martinez, the owner of of Mariano's Hacienda, invented the machine in 1971 and now the original is in the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History. But since you can't drink booze and annihilate humongous fajitas in a museum, we suggest you stick to Mariano's. And what better way to celebrate Cinco de Mayo this year than at the Hacienda that birthed a legend?

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10. Potato Flats 425 Bedford St, Dallas, TX 75212

Phil Romano's assault on restaurant incubator Trinity Groves continues thanks to his starch palace Potato Flats, opening this Spring. Picture the best part about Souper!Salad! (the potato bar), then press those spuds into a 1.5in-thick steak shape and open up the toppings bar. Think Chipotle, but potato-ier. So head there soon and be one of the first to binge carbo-load on baked potato perfection.

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11. Savor Dallas 8525 Garland Rd, Dallas, TX 75218 (White Rock)

The Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden is 66 acres of flowers and other plants from all over the world, right next to White Rock Lake... and it's hosting Savor Dallas. Head there this March 20th-23rd for food from 60 chefs and over 400 different wines for you to try. Be sure to check out Sunday's all new event, Chillin' N' Grillin' in Main Street Garden, celebrating the 10th anniversary of Savor Dallas.



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