Tag Archives: Dallas

the community tree of remembrance

30 Nov


i’m on the board of an organization called Faith & Grief Ministries, Inc.   it’s a ministry of compassion and connection.  it is non-denominational because grief knows no denomination. it just hurts.

during the holidays, it is especially harder than usual to work through the loss of a child, a husband, a wife, a mom, a friend – any loved one.  it’s a season of contradictory sensory feelings.  your eyes see a beautiful lit tree but your heart hurts.  your nose smells cinnamon and sugar breakfast smells and your body feels the welcome chill in the air but your mind remembers being with your loved one during this time.

Faith & Grief Ministries, Inc. was launched in 2008 and it’s near to my heart for two reasons: first, i grieve my dad’s death in 2005 and one of the wonderful women that started the organization married ROF and me: fran shelton.  it started by hosting luncheons for those hurting over the loss of a loved one to share and heal together.  to date, there are more than 700 individuals have benefited from these events.

this year, the organization wanted to help those in dallas that are grieving.  they are placing a tree of remembrance in thanksgiving square in downtown dallas and from december 1st – december 21st you can sign a ribbon with the name of your departed loved one or one in honor of first responders on july 7th and other events close to you.

on december 1st, a multi-faith service of remembrance will be held at thanksgiving square and the Community Tree of Remembrance will be lit.  on december 21st, the longest day of the year, another service will be held at 6pm.  get more information here.

here is a news story that was recently on FOX NEWS:

if you have lost a loved one, you could benefit from this organization.  i spoke at one of their luncheons a long time ago and while it’s a room full of extremely sad and hurting people there was a feeling i couldn’t put my finger on.  i felt shared compassion, hope and relief. for all of us to be strangers but share this common journey that many of our other friends don’t understand is oddly comforting.  i urge you to check out the resources here.

i can speak with certainty that God is working through my dear friend fran as i’ve never met someone with so much passion to help others grieving.  if you’re in dallas, i hope you take advantage of these services and the ribbons honoring your loved one.  if you’re not in dallas, i hope you find some comfort in your community during this holiday season or use this non-profit’s resources.

dallas restaurant review: stock and barrel

23 Aug


you’ve got to check out the bishop arts district of dallas.  i can’t wait to go back and explore more.  there have been so many changes since we moved away and back.

i was there recently and just popped in to stock and barrel to have dinner  with friends last weekend and catch a concert at the historic kessler theatre down the street.


i loved my first impression of stock and barrel.  it was busy but not obnoxiously packed, had a great crisp and nice/casual aesthetic  and it had this delicious and faint smell like barbecue bacon inside.    we were seated right away at the time of our reservation and our waiter was attentive but not too much so and had spot-on recommendations.

as you can probably tell from my instagram posts – we eat out a lot.  i find myself ordering similar items no matter where we go.  i’m pretty predictable.  salmon or scallops and sometimes a steak.  big whip.  but here i tried something new.  the wagyu meatloaf with smoked bacon and melted onion hash.  it was outstanding! wait- rewind – we started with the crushed avocado toasts with spanish chorizo and balsamic gastrique and the goat cheese dumplings….oh my.  i think i could have just had that and been done.  everyone was very happy with their dinner and when we looked at our watches and realized our show was about to start, the waiter was awesome at getting us out quickly.


photo creds: top left and bottom: A. Fulford and top right and bottom: Kye R. Lee, staff photographer at dallas morning news.

i would highly recommend stock and barrel in the fun bishop arts district in dallas.

if you’re not running to a show, stay in the neighborhood and go here for a drink afterwards or here for some specialty chocolate

then we got to see some great live music.  for starters it was matt stansberry & the romance.  i loved this band from OKC!


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the headliner was the relatives of dallas and they were awesome!  we had so much fun.  they had us rolling around on the floor and jumping up and down.  we couldn’t help but laugh.  check them out here:



restaurant review: north dallas: mexican

19 Apr

IMG_6347i’m starting a new series called… ROF’s restaurant reviews.  we’ll explore some places all over the country and give you the scoop.

up first is…. la comida.  

Overall – B+



la comida

5100 belt line road

addison, texas (north dallas)

next to kenny’s italian kitchen and neighborhood services

yelp review here


in dallas, mexican food is a dime a dozen.  everyone has their preference of place with the best margaritas, best chips and best food.  there is miasmi cocina and one of our favorites, meso maya.

but for lunch yesterday, we decided to check out a place neither one of us had been to yet.  this isn’t always easy to get ROF to do because he is a creature of habit.  but he was game.  he threw out mexican and i got on yelp and luckily we stumbled on to this place.

whether you live in dallas or are visiting, patio grazing is where it’s at.  it’s just the thing to do on a saturday or sunday afternoon.  hang out with friends or family on a patio, munch on chips and salsa and sip margaritas.  this would be a perfect place to go.


here is our mini review:


  • great vibe inside and out
  • hip music, kinda like mexican resort beat
  • great colors and decorating
  • excellent chips + salsa
  • service was perfect – no complaints


lacomidainsideminor minus’:

  • my black bean soup was tepid. would have been great hot
  • i wasn’t a fan of my “skinny” margarita but robert liked his.  i don’t like little ice cubes in drinks (except at sonic)

all in all – check it out!

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loving dallas + our home!

3 Apr


ROF and i moved back to texas this past september.  you may remember our 1928 craftman-style house we had in texas before we moved to detroit.  now that we’re back, we bought a newer house – 1967, i believe.  it was flipped so completely re-done.  we still have lots and lots to do to it and to decorate but considering it’s about 1000 square feet bigger than our rental in michigan, i’m so happy how well our furniture fits.

so i had fun with my camera yesterday after work.  and relished in the fact that the maids came and our house looked so … clean!

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going home to texas

3 Aug

my whole life, i’ve connected moving from city to city and moving forward in life.  that’s how i was raised.  because we moved around so much, my mom helped us think of it as an adventure.  new house, new friends, new schools – everything new!  moving was never a sad thing.  sure, maybe there were some tears saying goodbye to friends + family but then the open road is ahead of you.


the other thing my parents did growing up, was teach us that our new city became “the city” to be in.  whether it really was (Chicago) or not (Flint), my parents always took pride in where they were.  after all, it’s where we were – so it had to be great, right?  when guests came to visit us, my parents knew the best route to our house (not past any bad areas, just the nice parts), the best restaurants, the neatest shops and we were always happy to be there.  i’m glad that is how i was raised rather than a bah-humbug sort of mover.  and it’s how i looked at where we live now, in Birmingham, michigan.

as much as i’ve “moved forward” from Cincinnati to Dayton to Cleveland to Boston to Grand Blanc to Brookfield to Naperville to Chicago to Dallas then to Birmingham... i’ve never moved back.  i’ve always moved on.

until now.


and it’s such an awesome feeling.

as i grow older, thoughts start to creep in that maybe we weren’t moving forward but just moving around.  nah, i push that thought out of my head.  after all, i wouldn’t have this outgoing personality if i wasn’t forced to put myself out there growing up – going to three high schools in three cities- in the land of judgement (you know, junior high angst and high school peer pressure) and that’s the truth.  but when you’re over that middle age hump (read: 40) you start to think – wait…i want people that know me around me and i want to have a history with them.

so back to texas we go.  obviously for more reasons than these but we’re so thrilled.  we missed you texas, with your crazy storms, wide open spaces, friendly people and most of all we miss all the people that missed us and stayed in such good touch over the past two years. we’re hoping to pick up right where we left off.

oh, and i get to decorate another house.  yay!

until tomorrow…

way to be, louie.

13 Nov

i guess everyone has their idea of someone they’d like to emulate.  maybe a mother or father.  a mentor.  a rich tycoon.  maybe it’s a well-curated mish mosh of personalities.

the past week i haven’t been able to get ROF’s and my friend louie out of our mind.  he passed away this week – way too early.

we met louie through some very close friends of ours.  his restaurant soon became our meeting place.  after long days, before big parties, when wives were traveling or husbands worked late.  the meeting place.  unassuming – in fact almost obscure – louie’s didn’t have any windows but the minute you walked in, you felt at ease.   the best pizza, best salmon and ceasar salad like no other – Louie’s in east dallas was the place to be.  louie,  the co-owner and bartender was always there to greet us, shake our hand and stop and talk to us for a while. he kept the place open late for us and always made us laugh.  his trademark voice was scratchy, multi-toned and riddled with midwestern sarcasm.  he wasn’t the overly friendly, cheesy type that grinned from ear to ear 24/7 kind of person (thank God!)  he worked hard and had hard core conversations with all the folks at the bar that had an opinion.

when i moved to michigan, i came back to dallas and of course, went to louie’s.  louie was asking me about michigan and he left a voice message for ROF who was not there.  so i have the friendly “heyyyy robert…” message in my phone.

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after reading all the wonderful articles on louie, i started to really think about what it was about him i liked.  i realized that those attributes he has are ones i really want.  when i think about my career and where i want to go and do in the future, i think about louie and louie’s, the restaurant.  making people feel welcome and happy, serving good food and good drinks, working with family and making the people you work with family. what more in the world would you want?

my heart and prayers go out to louie’s wife, three kids, mom and brother.  also to our good friends who loved louie so much and to casey, john, beth and all the folks at louie’s who i know are still working but without hearing that trademark scratchy riff of a voice we all came to know and love so much.  the world has become a better place because of you, louie!

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hometown love. edition one.

12 Aug

if you’re ever in the big d, meaning dallas, check out some of our favorite places to eat.  sure, you can peruse yelp.com in search of strangers reviews and taste bud preferences but why do that when you can see what we like.  this by no means is an exhaustive list, just a start.

Get the flounder stuffed with ritz cracker – outstanding! on greenville avenue

start with the ahi tuna tower and then you must have the sundae roll. also on greenville ave.

cane russo. best pizza without a doubt. this is the dessert pizza. go. here. now. hip atmosphere too. if you’re into social media, tweet about @canerusso because the owner jay will retweet you! in deep ellum.

a must visit place with bar in center of restaurant. get anything – it’s all great. on greenville

chef dat underground dinner in dallas

10 Jun

last night we finally did an underground chef dat dinner in deep ellum.

i say finally because i had heard about it from several people including suzanne and some friends of the glasses and always wanted to check it out but didn’t have the chance.

until last night.

what an underground dinner is – at least the chef dat way – is you get on an email list and every week there is a dinner – or a couple of dinners – that you can attend by giving your cc number and reserving your space.  space is extremely limited.  you do this without knowing what is going to be on the menu or knowing the location of the dinner.  you kind of know the area, but not exact location.  so if you’re one of of these types that can’t go with the flow -in terms of being a picky eater-  this is not for you.

chef dat is david anthony temple a 28 year old chef who has been doing this for 3 years and has built quite a following.  he has chef dat dinners now in new orleans (where he’s from), hawaii and ft. worth (new).

we went with the st. peter’s – two of the nicest people we know – and a lot of fun!  they own hypnotic donuts in east dallas (dangerously close to our house!)


will we do it again?  heck yes!  great music, drinks, food and company – we had a blast.  chef dat came out before every course and told us what is in it, how and where he got it and how he created it.  local ingredients, unique and creative ideas and delicious.  what a fun night.

can luxury be accessible?

19 Mar

it sure can!

at least on april 21 from 7pm – 10pm it will be when the dallas event “accessible luxury” takes place at ‘park place premier collection’ benefiting the wonderful scottish rite hospital in dallas. 

do you know what scottish rite hospital does for children all over texas?

TSRHC treats texas children with orthopedic conditions, such as scoliosis, clubfoot, hand disorders, hip disorders and limb length differences, as well as certain related neurological disorders and learning disorders, such as dyslexia.  scottish rite has treated more than 200,000 children since it opened its doors in 1921 (!)

so come to the event on april 21st with me! 

click here for more info.

i can tell you what i’m excited about the most:


helloooo….Oscar de la Renta fashions will be taking the runway at 8 p.m. featuring Model Citizens and Campbell-Wagner models.


sip champagne and check out the gems from eiseman jewels. browse the collection of texas native and jewelry designer katie decker.

ROF is going to dig this!

MASERATI MAN CAVE: cavern showcasing Beretta’s polished apparel and gear awaits you for an evening of luxury cars, specialty drinks and hand-rolled cigars.

all for a fantastic cause!

love my home but… love new york

7 Nov

not a big post today/tonight.  but so glad to be in the big nyc.  nothing beats this city – nothing.  the energy, the diversity – something i miss while in dallas.  i loved sitting at dinner tonight and listening to the folks next to us speaking some language i don’t think was spanish, french or german but definitely wasn’t english.  then going to the corner shop to the korean guy selling me my orange juice.  sounds real stupid to some people but feeling a bit land-locked in the ole big D.  so good to be here!

this is way out of my comfort zone to speak on but i think about how hard the kids work to get good grades and finish half of college before they even become a senior in high school.  that is very good and admirable (don’t get me wrong!) but think that also the lesson of life and travel is good too.  you see, you can stay in a place and do really well at school and see the same people and then leave and go away to college – anywhere – or say, NYC and find you’ve run a good race  but because your eyes are now open to different things, it was maybe, well… maybe the wrong race you ran! 

just sayin…

best of dallas

26 Aug

by ROF

how old were you when you came to the big d?

first time was the summer of 1992, i was 22 years old.

why did you come here? 

i was a summer intern with fults companies – a bad ass commercial real estate firm. we were on the 14th floor in the crescent tower #300 in uptown, i thought i was jr ewing, it was a cool place to be.

what do you like most about dallas?

hands down – the entrepreneurial spirit that this city has is like no other in my book.

where is the best place to go for pre-cowboy game imbibing?

at the old stadium i have great memories of the blue lot. for years i tailgated with the same crew. my good friend todd jones a.k.a. the tailgate king was the best host for all home games. each week he would go out and set up as soon as the lot opened, sometimes before day break in the early morning. great memories!  at the new stadium the lots are so scattered and traffic is so bad, usually go inside the stadium and have a few drinks at the hall of fame bar. jerry’s “death star” is cool and big and has great seats and amenities, but I loved and miss the old times in the blue lot.

three best places to have a power lunch with a potential client?

in this order:

1, the mercury

2, sevy’s grill

3. kampai sushi & grill

if this one current deal closes that i am working on, kampai will move to the top of the list. all parties involved have meet there a few times for lunch meetings.

two really fun happy hour places?

st. pete’s dancing marlin, great vibe and atmosphere and primo’s, fyi – started going here in 1992 way before it was such a hot spot

best waiter in dallas?

very hard to say, this city is fun of great restaurant staff. if i had to pick one – my dear friend emma, the fun & sassy girl with the new jersey accent behind the bar at the original bob’s chop house on lemmon ave.

best mexican restaurant?

i would have to say ojetas, the original one on maple ave. great food and great staff.

if you could hold a happy hour with 5 people who would they be – living or dead – and where would you hold it?

a.j. foyt – hall of fame racecar driver
jim krause – amy’s father
amy fulford – the wife
bono – u2 front man and humanitarian
john wooden – former ucla basketball coach

at bob’s in dallas on lemmon.  both jim krause and i knew bob very well.

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