Taco Heads, Fort Worth

Flour tortillas. Yes, you read that right, flour tortillas, are by far, one of my favorite components to any “south of the border” style dish. A few years back, I stumbled upon a taco truck that toasted their flour tortillas before filling them with taco-goodness and topping them with spicy sauce. This little truck of Taco Heads, open late across the street from my apartment, stole my taste bud’s heart, lots of my money, and my taco buying business forever (when possible).

Unfortunately, my love story with this taco truck became one of long distance as I uprooted my life to a new city a good 45 minutes away. While away, the Taco Heads truck opened a permanent location in Fort Worth with an expanded menu. Once I head about it, I vowed to visit and enjoy every morsel of what the new menu had to offer!

The new location has an almost beachy, modern feel with a clean lined inside area to eat and a large outdoor picnic area which will be great for patio season.

Taco Heads, Fort Worth, Texas

I absolutely love their breakfast tacos, especially the chorizo Mexicano & egg taco, but those are only served until 11 AM or after hours, so for this visit I was out of luck. Instead, I started my menu journey off with their take on Mexican street corn called Elotes: roasted corn, chile aioli, garlic-butter, cotija.

Elotes at Taco Heads, Fort Worth, Texas

I know, that photo made your mouth water and it was just as delicious! Trying to eat it delicately without making a mess is difficult, but who doesn’t love a bit of a challenge?

Next up: the Nuevo Leon al Pastor taco with grilled pineapple, onion, cilantro, red cabbage, adobo, queso fresco. At first, I thought the chunks of grilled pineapple were the pieces of pork, but boy was I wrong. The pineapple melted in my mouth and was the perfect flavor addition to this toasted taco (featured on the right).

Taco Heads, Fort Worth Texas

Last but not least in the flavor department, the Carnitas (seriously, legit) tacos with green cabbage, onion, cilantro, queso fresco. This taco has a mild flavor but, with the addition of some of the Taco Heads spicy green verde sauce, it stands out.

Overall, if you are looking for a great meal that doesn’t cost an arm and a leg, Taco Heads is your place. Just be aware, it is very addictive.

Advertisements

Pompeii, Italy

Pompeii, Italy

I have always loved Greek and Roman history and mythology. I took multiple classes on the subjects in college, have watched almost every TV show and movie released along those themes, and went to Greece a few years back, so now was my time to visit one of the most well-known areas of Italy to see the ruin that Mount Vesuvius caused in Pompeii!

For those of you who don’t know, the volcano Mount Vesuvius erupted and completely destroyed the city of Pompeii in 79 AD. Under 13 – 20 feet of ash, most of the city was preserved and excavated, and you can see plaster moulds of the Pompeii citizens in the ash.

We woke up at 6 AM to have a carb heavy breakfast and hop on the bus for the 5 hour drive to the ruins. We slept, watched the Davinci Code, and observed the view of castles and farms in Limoncello country –  a delicious lemon liquor famous in the region. The lemons in the area were bigger than grapefruits!

Once we arrived at Pompeii, we grabbed some lunch in the market and shopped around before our tour. We were so relieved to find a place that had salads and fruit instead of bread and pasta to help digest everything. There was tons of volcanic rock to buy for souvenirs and pretty jewelry. One of the old gypsy ladies that was selling jewelry to one of my friends while eating rice and the rice was rocketing out of her mount between her missing teeth and hitting my friend. It was so gross but hilarious and I ended up buying a really pretty stone bracelet from her. Make sure you have a personal zone between you and these sweet old ladies just in case!

When the time came for the tour, we met our guide and walked through the turnstiles to the momentous place. I was in awe to finally be walking through a place I have been wanting to visit since my Latin class in 7th grade. There were tons of other people touring and getting around some of the larger tour groups while walking through the houses and bath houses was a little tough. I definitely recommend getting an early tour before the masses get there.

Dating back well before the destruction in 79 A.D., it was amazing to see that some of the frescos in the homes were still preserved and you could even see colors from the paint! There were pots, tables, and other objects preserved in the ash, but the most interesting were the moulds of people who were made during the excavation, Parents holding children, people crouched down, and even dogs… all having almost no time to react to Mount Vesuvius‘s wrath.

The bathhouse’s were also pretty cool. The engineering that went into making the steam rooms and hot baths vs. the cold pools was visible in the ruins and very interesting to learn about.

Pompeii, Italy

We toured up to Pompeii’s city center which had a fantastic view of the volcano. Note: even though other people might be doing it and there are no signs, do not climb on the ruins or else you will be chased down by angry site workers.

Pompeii Tips:

  • Have salads when you seem them on the menu. With carbs for breakfast, lunch, and dinner for the majority of the trip, salad will really help with digestion and bloating.
  • Get an early tour to avoid the crowds.
  • Bring a hat, sun glasses, sun screen, and water. There is almost no shade while touring and the light color of the ruins reflects the sun, making it very bright.
  • Do not climb on the ruins.

 

Deep Ellum Brewery, Dallas

Deep Ellum Brewery, Dallas

I am not going to lie to you, I am definitely more of a wine girl than beer, however, if you mix some tasty craft beer, nice weather, a patio, live music, board games, and girl scout cookies together, you get an experience you just can’t pass up!

Deep Ellum Brewery is set in – you’ll never guess – the Deep Ellum area of Dallas. Deep Ellum is a cool place to begin with funky speak easy bars, world-famous BBQ, and a plethora of whimsical statues and graffiti art. The Brewery is situated right on the edge of the area and is the perfect end to a nice walk through all of the nearby thrift shops.

After walking through a tree branch arch, you enter the Tap Room of the Brewery and your eyes dart all around. Not only does the decor match the area to a T, but there are plenty of beers to choose from, live music to be heard, games to be played, and people to watch. People watching is one of my favorite past times and the Deep Ellum Brewery a prime spot to do so.

On Saturdays, the Brewery does tours so you can learn how they make all of their craft brews, and, for only $15, you get a signature glass and three 12 oz. beers of your choice! If you get peckish, there are trusty food trucks to soak up all of the hops. In addition, kiddos are welcome so getting any group of friends and family together is not a problem.

Deep Ellum Brewery

In summary, if you are looking to spend sometime outside on a beautiful day and not spend too much money, checking out Deep Ellum Brewery is a great choice!

Seina, Italy

Seina, Italy

I don’t know what is worse news; waking up to heard that your travel guide is MIA, or waking up to hear that your guide is missing who has the breakfast vouchers! Apparently, our guide was out and about with some of the group until 5 AM and slept through endless knocking and texts until we broke into his room to rouse him! With Dario in tow, we scarfed down some nibbles and took off our Siena.

Siena is just beautiful. Rolling hills, gorgeous old buildings…  stereotypical Italy that any painter would want as their subject. In trend with all of Italy’s other cities, it also has a massive basilica dedicated to St. Catherine, however, it actually had St. Catherine’s remains on display inside which was a little different. The streets in Siena are very hilly and lined with various flowers and flags from all of the different districts that make up the city. Every year, these districts participate in two-horse races in the track in the middle of Siena, called the Palio di Siena, which people from all over the world come to see! Unfortunately, we were not there at the right time of year to watch, but if you visiting Italy between July and August, you should definitely check it out!

We stopped for lunch and sat outside of a little restaurant on random street we wandered down during our free time. As we progressed through our meal, dull thuds reverberating through the streets started getting louder and clearer to hear, and it turned out that the district we were having lunch in was having a parade! There were about 50 people dressed up in their traditional garb with their district flags flying high! It was so neat to see the locals traditions in-person like that.

Eventually, we made our way back to the main square where the horse races take place, the Piazza del Campo, and hopped on the bus for Assisi. About 20 minutes into the bus ride, we realized we were missing to of the more wondering-off types in our tour, and we had to go back to Siena to pick them up. Major bummer from a timing perspective, but at least they were OK.

I took a nap on the bus to Assisi. We arrived and took an escalator up to the top of the steep hill on which Assisi stands, and walked to the Basilica of Saint Francis of Assisi; yet another astonishing catholic building filled with incredible art and sculptures. We quickly toured the church as a darkening sky and the rumbling of distant thunder warned of the impending downpour. All of a sudden, we were in a race against the rain and huge gusts of wind to get to our hotel and unload our bags from the bus before getting soaked! Thankfully, my bag was one of the first to get unloaded, so I was able to remain somewhat dry during the luggage battle up to our room on the 4th floor. What a sight it was watching the rain run over the beautiful view we had from our hotel window!

Once the storm dissipated to an acceptable umbrella level, a few of us ventured off into the streets of Assisi to find a spot for dinner. We ended up finding this French-ish Italian restaurant that was decorated like the inside of a doll house… That should have been our first warning. I got sat in front of some really creepy dolls that wouldn’t stop watching us and a TV near by was playing a very dramatic, old Italian soap opera show. Not only was there a creepy factor, but we could see the waiters SMOKING in the kitchen! Unfortunately, we had already ordered at that point and my scrumptious sounding meal came out as a soggy, truffle, mushroom, and bacon mess. How do you screw those ingredients up so badly?! We paid way to much for our meals, I guess entertainment was included, and left to find a market to buy Pringle’s to fill us up and wine to finish off the night.

Creepy dolls in the French / Italian restaurant in Assisi, Italy

Siena Tips:

  • Watch the Palio di Siena horse races in July & August.
  • Explore the different districts to encounter surprise parades, see the differences in the decorations and flags, eat at hole-in-the-wall restaurants, and stop into enchanting little shops.
  • Take silly pictures with scenic views!

Emporium Pies, Dallas

Emporium Pies, Dallas

Bishop Arts District is one of my favorite spots in town because of the sheer number of things to do there. Why spend all of your time at one restaurant when you can do a progressive dinner, ending in short walk-off-your-delicious-dinner stroll to Emporium Pies for dessert!?

Emporium Pies is run out of an enchanting tiny old house at the outskirts of Bishop Street. Typically, there is a line of people waiting to order their delicious piece of the pie at almost all times and there is even live music outside while you wait. With that said, I definitely recommend arriving earlier in the evening rather than later as their best flavors run out quickly. I have still not been able to enjoy their version of apple pie!

Anyway, the sweet smell wafting through the doorway immediately grasps you and pulls you and your taste buds into the small dining room. The menu on the wall makes your mouth start to water, especially upon reading that you can add a scoop of ice cream, with a side of coffee or tea, to your order. My pie-taster-extraordinaire boyfriend had the Father Christmas, a peppermint pie with chocolate cookie crust – umm, yumm! – and I opted for the Merry Berry pie, a mixed berry pie with walnuts and the most melt-in-your-mouth crust I have ever had. I asked them to warm my pie up too before enjoying which made it that much better!

Merry Berry Pie at Emporium Pies, Dallas

Needless to say, that pie didn’t last long after that picture was taken!

(Feature photo credit to Emporium Pies. Those pies featured are out of the oven and ready to go now if your hungry!)