Getting out of the car in the Bishop Arts District, I am immediately intrigued by an amazing smell encompassing the air. I look around, trying to identify where this great smell is originating from, but there are too many restaurants to determine the source. I tell Marty that I think I should have worn my stretch pants today, and he gives me that cute boyish grin while shaking his head. I’m sure he thinks I’m crazy about half of the time, but he goes with it anyway.
We pause to take pictures of the buildings, their brick facades decorated with murals. The streets are adorned with fall decorations inviting visitors to take selfies. People are abound in this area, and all seem to be happy that they are out enjoying this great day in Dallas, Texas. While Marty is busy taking pictures, I find myself window shopping.
About to enter this cute little store, he reminds me that we don’t have much time. You see, today we are here for a specific reason, our Bishop Arts Food Tour! Realizing that he’s right, and we don’t want to be late, I bypass the shopping for now, and allow him to take some more pictures in this eclectic neighborhood.
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Not wanting to be late, we wander into Veracruz cafe about 10 minutes early to meet our tour group that will join us on our Bishop Arts Food Tour. We are immediately greeted by a smiling hostess that shows us where our group will be meeting. Veracruz Cafe is a feast for the eyes. Surrounded by vibrant colors, gorgeous abstract artwork, incredible chandeliers, and awesome old doors, I’m instantly intrigued by the atmosphere.
Once seated, we are given some delicious chips and salsa and a glass of water. Do note that the price of your tour includes the food tastings you will participate in and water only. Any alcohol or other food items you are responsible for.
After being greeted by our guide for the afternoon, we were offered the drink menu. Guys, the margaritas at Veracruz were so yummy! Not only did they offer traditional margaritas, but they also had a large selection of super interesting flavors. I’m not talking just strawberry and mango, they had flavors like passion fruit, peach, and tamarind. I could stay all day and just sip margaritas! Well, I thought that until the food came out.
I look down and the server has placed a large platter on our table. I thought he made a mistake since only Marty and I were sitting at this small table, but no! Our guide goes on to tell us that there is a platter for every two people and to dig in. We feasted on jarochitas (Mexican egg rolls), gorditas, and catemaco chicken (chicken in a wine, tomato and mushroom sauce). Everything we ate was amazing. I especially loved the jarochitas. The crispy egg roll like shell had been stuffed with chicken, cheese, and spinach and then deep fried! Give me a margarita and a jarochitas and I’m a happy girl! You can view Veracruz’ menu here.
Side note: The hit show Queen of the South often films in the Bishop Arts District and has filmed in Veracruz Cafe!
Be warned friends-PACE YOURSELF! You are going to receive a lot of amazing food. We are just getting started, so don’t pig out here. I know it’s good, but trust me!
After spending the perfect amount of time at Veracruz to enjoy our food and drinks while hearing the history of the Oak Cliff area, we departed and walked the very short distance to Eno’s Pizza. I loved all the cute fall decorations around the neighborhood, so of course, Marty took some pics for me.
At Eno’s, we were guided upstairs to this awesome little room. I loved the laid-back charm of Eno’s. The old hardwood floors were incredible. I was delighted to see that we could all sit at one large table here as well. Our guide took a minute for us to introduce ourselves to each other and then continued to tell us about the local history.
Everyone was intrigued when she began telling stories of the infamous gangsters who used to frequent this neighborhood, including Bonnie and Clyde. Marty and I are giggling while she is talking because we both know that I am related to Bonnie Parker. I’m sure the other guests thought we were crazy until we let them in on our secret. Unfortunately, I didn’t have any “cool” stories to share with them about Bonnie. LOL!
Eno’s had an interesting drink menu as well. They offered several selections of craft beers, and since it was fall, that included a pumpkin brew. They also had some really interesting mixed cocktails, the old-fashioned caught my eye, but I resisted. Follow this link to find Eno’s menu.
After a few minutes of socializing, we were greeted with three large pizzas. All of the pizzas at Eno’s are thin crust, and looked delicious! For this tour, we had the heirloom spinach pizza which included truffle oil, spinach, red onion and garlic mushrooms. I can’t tell you about this pizza at all since I don’t eat onions or mushrooms. Several of our new friends loved it, so I’ll just take their word for it. Next was Eno’s supreme pizza. The supreme included red onion, black olives, garlic mushrooms, sausage, and bell pepper. Marty really liked this one, he just wished that the crust had been crispier. Our third and final pizza was the Pig Smiley and guys it was awesome! Topped with honey, Benton’s ham, Eno’s sausage and pepperoni, this pizza seemed to melt in your mouth. It felt more like a dessert than a pizza to me. Needless to say, it was a crowd favorite and was devoured instantly.
On to the next stop!
Leaving Eno’s, we had a small walk to Lockhart Smokehouse (about a block). I loved seeing all of the murals and hearing that one of the corner shops used to be the old malt shop where Bonnie and Clyde would often grab lunch. Marty and I were content snapping pictures and getting to know our group members along the short walk.
We were warned that Lockhart can be super crowded and since they don’t take reservations, we might not be able to find enough seat for all of us, so we were pleasantly surprised to find that was not the case today. We immediately pushed together several tables and waited patiently for our guide to bring on the beef!
Perusing the drink menu, I loved that Lockhart carried lots of Texas liquors. Their wine was from a Texas producer, Times Ten Cellars. They had a rotating selection of Texas draft beers including Revolver and Rarh and Sons. They even featured liquor from Texas distilleries like Titos, Deep Eddy, and Enchanted Rock. Way to support local Lockhart! The drink that took the cake was this crazy thing, The Burnt End Bloody Mary. I wasn’t brave enough to try this concoction, but some of our tour buddies were. I think I saw him break a sweat while drinking this one!
You order in the back, and then bring your paper-wrapped food out to your table. For this stop, we were treated to brisket and macaroni and cheese. The brisket had an amazing smokey flavor and was extremely tender, but the best part was their bar-b-que sauce. I loved the little kick of sweet and spicy from the sauce. While Marty wasn’t a huge fan of the macaroni and cheese, I could have eaten my weight in it. Perfectly creamy and yummy, be sure and order some when you go! Follow this link to view Lockhart’s menu.
After leaving Lockhart’s, we headed toward Tillman’s Roadhouse. Of course, I had to stop and take a picture in front of Parker Barrow’s bar, I mean it is named after family. LOL! A special shout out to our new friends Cheryl and Douglas for taking our picture.
Feeling full and really wishing I had worn my stretchy pants, we are off to another stop. Walking into Tillman’s, you’re greeted by some cool pictures of iconic stars hanging on a cool wall made of wooden circles. The atmosphere is casual and comfortable, with a touch of class. We are seated at a long table and informed that at Tillman’s we will be enjoying tableside s’mores! I’m immediately intrigued. I like a good s’more. So I settle in to examine the drink menu while we await our campsite treat.
Tillman’s has an extensive menu of wine and spirits and some truly unique cocktails. There were several cocktails on the menu that were piquing my interest including the Blackberry Sage Rickey, made with gin, lavender honey, gin, lemon juice and of course blackberries and sage. Having so many choices makes it difficult to make a decision. One of the ladies in our group ordered The Bishop’s Table that included whiskey, bourbon, brandy, cognac, and bitters. I decided to wait and see what she thought of her drink.
We listened to some more history of the area from our guide before being greeted with our s’mores. I have to admit, the presentation was fitting. The tableside s’mores were served on a wooden serving board. Being informed that everything on the board was homemade here in house blew my mind. The chocolate, cinnamon graham crackers, and the marshmallows were all homemade. This was such a fun experience. We were all laughing while roasting our marshmallows and then laughing some more as we bit into them allowing the chocolate and marshmallow to ooze out and cover our face and hands. I think at one point I even had marshmallow in my hair, but who cares! These s’mores were incredible!
Tillman’s has an eclectic and fun menu that includes “The Hangover Platter,” the “B.A.D. Burger,” “Charred Poblano Gravy,” “Four Corners Beer Can Chicken,” and “Key Lime and Cactus Pear Cheesecake.” Tillman’s should totally be on your list of places to visit in Dallas. View their complete menu here.
The final stop on our tour today was Dude, Sweet Chocolate. Although Marty and I were not able to attend this stop with our tour group, we have been to Dude, Sweet Chocolate before. I could see this being the perfect ending to an awesome food tour. Dude, Sweet Chocolate offers some amazingly good chocolates although some of the pairings are a little strange, so you have to keep an open mind.
Check out their unique combinations on their website.
Wrapping Up the Day
We had an awesome day on our Bishop Arts Food Tour. We met some interesting and fun people, learned about the history of this historic neighborhood and ate more food than I usually do in a week. I highly recommend this tour whether you are a local like us, or a visitor to Dallas, go on the Bishop Arts Food Tour! Just be sure to bring your appetite and some stretchy pants.
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What restaurant would you love to visit in the Bishop Arts District? Comment below!
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