Recently I had the opportunity to visit Plano, Texas! It’s the neighbor city to Dallas and I heard so many great things about the city. As a self-proclaimed foodie, I was excited to eat my way through it! And when I say eat my way through it – I’m not kidding! I had so much amazing food and my stomach is growling just thinking about it! So let’s talk about where to eat in Plano, Texas!
The first thing I loved is all the murals around town! For a selfie hound like me – I had a great time – every mural was another opportunity for a fun pic. The wings are all over the city! Plus I was lucky enough to have a blogging friend in the area (Kitchen Gone Rogue) who spent the weekend exploring the city with me!
My first night in town, Kelly took me to the Turkish Cafe & Lounge. They have a lot of great dishes: hummus, gyros, kebabs, flatbreads, baklava and so much more. It’s also a hookah lounge – which I’ve never done – but I’m just not much for smoke – so I didn’t partake. We tried a few things including falafel and crispy feta rolls.
What Should You Get at Turkish Cafe? The hummus – pureed chickpeas served warm but here’s the kicker – be sure to get it topped with their housemade Turkish sausage! OMG – so much better! I mean – the hummus is great, the pita is soft (where can I find soft pita in Cinci?) – but that sausage on top was heavenly!
The next morning we checked in at the Dallas-Plano Marriott at the Legacy Town Center and it was amazing! We had a two room suite with two balconies and two queen beds. The hotel is right at the Legacy Town Center – which is within walking distance of shops, restaurants and a great community. It’s definitely THE place to stay in Plano! They also have a great restaurant and bar downstairs.
After checking in – we headed to Downtown Plano for lunch at Urban Crust. Downtown Plano is very cute! Plano is very big and has tons of places that are new architecture, etc. But Downtown Plano is historical and has great old buildings that have been taken over and redone and filled with shops, restaurants, coffee houses and more. You can definitely spend a leisurely afternoon (or more) exploring.
Urban Crust is a wood-fire pizza shop with a fantastic rooftop balcony! Once seated they brought out a basket of cut up pizza crust with two dipping options: marinara and olive tapenade. I tried the marinara and LOVED it – but Kelly said she hates olives. So I surrendered the marinara to her and killed the tapenade myself. It was so good! I might have had them bring me another cup. 🙂
We decided to split a pizza and made our own – Kelly is allergic to cow’s milk – so we went with a tomato, mushroom and goat cheese pizza. We asked for light sauce but somehow that got interpreted as no sauce. Fortunately they brought out us a bowl of the marinara pizza sauce on request and we just piled that on as needed. It was so good!
What Should You Get at Urban Crust? The custom pizza was a great option – they have combos but it was nice to have the flexibility of choosing the toppings we wanted and the crust was yummy!
After chowing down on pizza – we went shopping in Downtown Plano. We found so much fun stuff! There’s a big mural next to a Farmers Market, home decor shops, coffee shops, a cake ball store (yum!) and some really cute shops. I might have purchased that flask for a friend! There’s also a cool watch store called Shinola – they make bikes and watches in Detroit and are trying to help with the economic issues in the city. I definitely put a dent in the credit card at these shops!
We might have stopped back at the hotel for a nap – and then to The Keeper. The Keeper is a seafood place – but taken up a notch.
We got a special kitchen tour with Chef Gil. He chatted with us about how they get their seafood in fresh daily (there’s even a map on the site), how the restaurant took shape and more. They wanted it to be a beachy seafood restaurant but without the kitschiness of fish and netting on the walls. We had a blast in the kitchen as well – watching them crack open fresh oysters, bringing food to the pass – it was all very Hells Kitchen minus the screaming.
We started out with popcorn sprinkled in Old Bay Seasoning! Yum – what a fun starter instead of heavy bread and butter – light, salty popcorn got us in the mood for a seafood feast!
What Should You Get at The Keeper? Well this is the shocker – I don’t like oysters. BUT apparently I love fried oysters! Chef Gil talked us into these as neither of us was so excited about this – but thank God he did! These little fried nuggets of gold are amazing! They’re lightly battered and fried with a great remoulade. Oddly enough, this was my favorite item of the night!
The thing is though – with The Keeper – they get their seafood in fresh every day – so the menu changes all the time! So much so that the menus are on tablets that they bring you so they can change them daily! We were there during lobster season and Kelly had this amazing Lobster Bake that had a stuffed lobster with a side of broccolini.
I went for the lobster linguini – there was more to it than that but the menu has changed so I can’t recount it all. I think there was even kale in this – but it was delicious! The buttery lobster was a delicious addition. The thing is too – when it’s something more seasonal – they run out some nights – so go early or be flexible!
After all that activity – we went to the hotel and crashed! After sleeping in a bit (woohoo) – we headed downstairs for breakfast. The Dallas-Plano Marriott has a kick-butt breakfast buffet! There were eggs, biscuits and gravy, chorizo, an omelet station, pastries, mounds of bacon, pancakes and more. It was sooo delicious! We were happy to put a dent in this buffet a couple mornings!
After a few hours at the Crayola Experience, we were starving! So we headed to what – hands down – turned out to be the most fun dining experience I’ve had in years if not EVER! This is a MUST SEE in Plano – hell anywhere they have one – Kura Revolving Sushi.
There is a track that winds its way through the restaurant – always moving – always bringing new sushi delights to your table. It’s so fun! Each dish that comes by has 2-3 small plates and if you see something you want to try – you grab a plate! They only cost $2.25 a plate – so if you don’t like it – you’re not out much!
Next up was something I was REALLY excited for – Legacy Food Hall. It’s this new concept and is basically a kick-ass gourmet food court. Amazing chefs that want to try out new ideas, food trucks that want a permanent location, up and comers giving it a whirl – all these people come together in this great space and make kickass food.
There’s a huge bar in the middle – it’s three floors – of amazing food. I liked too that a lot of the places had some small options we could try for $4-6 because when I’m in place like this – I want to try a million things – and I was able to do that. I can tell you – if I lived in Plano – I would be at the Legacy Hall EVERY WEEKEND. They also have a big stage outside with free concerts!
What should you get at Legacy Food Hall? Tiffany from Top Chef has a chicken place, there’s a bao steamed bun place with a pork belly steamed bun, a chicken on a stick place and so much more. I can’t even narrow it down. Just go and pick something and kill it – then pick something else and something else and something else!
On my final night in Plano, we headed to Whiskey Cake! Whiskey Cake is owned by the same folks that own The Keeper. They have a live-wood grill and a farm to kitchen menu. It’s very rustic inside and comfortable. We ate a LOT of food there – our server was fantastic and so helpful.
We had a really hard time deciding but Kelly went for the Rotisserie Farm Bird of a spit-roasted half-chicken on top of Brussels sprouts, mustard vinaigrette and gremolata.
I went for the Black Angus Ribeye because our server was bragging up the ribeye and that is my absolute favorite cut of steak. It was served with char-grilled caulini (combo of broccolini & cauliflower) and topped with roasted garlic butter. The steak and butter was amazing!
But there were two amazing stand-out items from our dinner that are MUST-HAVES! So much so I literally told a woman at the next table to get them!
What Should You Get At Whiskey Cake? First up – Goat Cheese Fondue – good olive oil, Greek olives, roasted tomatoes and grilled sourdough. Kelly isn’t a huge fan of olives but even she loved this. This goat cheese though was ridiculous! It was warm and melty – it was HEAVEN! Then of course – the other MUST HAVE is the actual Whiskey Cake! This is a toffee torte topped with a bourbon anglaise, spiced pecans and whipped cream. We had the whipped cream on the side because of Kelly’s allergy. This cake…it’s similar to a spice cake – it’s dense but not super heavy and the toppings are just perfection. This was a perfect dessert to share and I had just enough room in my dessert pocket to tuck this one in.
Enjoy the rest of Heather’s Foodie Adventure on thefoodhussy.com.
Photo credit: Heather Johnson @thefoodhussy