Yesterday and today were great days. Our trip took us back to Dallas, with a requisite stop for a "Steak Finger Basket" at Dairy Queen. In Texas, Dairy Queen's aren't just ice cream places, they are equally popular for their food, and in most small towns, the Dairy Queen is the life center and unofficial town hall. The Steak Finger basket is a few pieces of fried ground beef (essentially, chicken fried steak) served with white gravy. Nothing redeeming about it healthwise, but man is it good. I became addicted to the steak finger basket as a stop in Mexia, Texas (pronounced Muh-hey-ah) on my trips to College Station when I lived in Dallas. Although they don't share it, my friends are always good in indulging my addiction when I come back to visit.
We stopped to see another friend who was visiting and about to fly back to Denver, and later that night we met our friend Tres for tapas at a neighborhood restaurant called cafe Madrid. Tapas is far and away my favorite cuisine (believe it or not, since most of it isn't fried!), but with a sampling of many tastes and unusual dishes and combinations in one sitting, what's not to love? It was a perfect Texas night with that warm wind blowing as we ate at a sidewalk table, comfortable in shorts and a t-shirt - something you rarely get in California that late at night.
Today, we trekked to Allen, a frightening suburb in North Dallas - north of Plano, the third saddest place on earth, (topped only by Vietnam Memorial and the AIDS Quilt.) Despite the surroundings, we knew that Del Rancho, one of our favorite stops in OKC had opened a location here. There was more fried food to be had, and since Tres hadn't been able to join us for the OKC trip this year, we decided to make it an adventure before taking me to the airport. (More on Del Rancho in another post later.) It was a perfect last stop for this years OKC/TX trek.