Courtesy photo

Desserts in jars from a celebrity chef are coming to Fort Worth: Jars by Fabio Viviani, a fast-casual dessert brand serving popular desserts in jars, is opening a location in the Trinity Commons/Tom Thumb center, at 3000 S. Hulen St. #150, taking over a former Wild Bird Center.

This will be the first of a planned 10 franchised stores in the DFW area. According to a representative from the company, it'll open in late 2023.

Longtime fans of Top Chef will recall the charming and dreamy Fabio Viviani, who was a contestant in 2008, voted "fan favorite," and was among the most engaging contestants to ever appear on the series. That is a totally objective statement. To be honest, this story should have featured a photo of Fabio as the lead art, instead of the desserts. To wit:

Top Chef Fabio VivianiWhy yes, chef Fabio Viviani, I will totally buy your desserts in a jar.Courtesy photo

A native of Italy who moved to the U.S. in 2005, he's cultivated a profile as a celebrity chef, hospitality developer, best-selling cookbook author, and TV host, opening dozens of restaurants, bars, and event spaces, and serving as spokesperson for several international brands.

He founded Jars in 2021 as a gourmet quick-serve dessert concept serving an assortment of classic desserts from around the world in a single-serve jar. The first corporate location opened in Chicago's West Loop in February 2023, and there are now many more in development.

The menu rotates through more than 100 recipes, featuring classics such as cherry cheesecake, birthday cake, and even gluten free options.

Selections include:

  • Double Dark Chocolate Cake - Dark Double Chocolate Custard, Chocolate Sponge Cake, Vanilla Frosting, Rainbow Sprinkles
  • French Vanilla cake - French Vanilla Custard, White Sponge Cake, Vanilla Frosting, Rainbow Sprinkles
  • Tiramisu Espresso & Cream Custard, Coffee-Dipped Lady Fingers, Nilla Wafer, Cocoa Powder
  • Tres Leches Cake - Salted Caramel, Tres Leches Sponge Cake, Sweet Strawberries, Crunch Cereal Topping

They also limited-edition seasonal flavors such as Apple Pie with Granola Crumble, Pie Crust, and Pastry Cream; and Freedom Jar with Red, White, & Blue Custards, Sponge Cake, and Blueberries.

Prices range from $7 to $10.

They also do flavored waters such as mango passion fruit and blood orange.

Bringing the Jars concept to Fort Worth are husband-and-wife Tejal and Jason Wible, Fort Worth residents and franchise veterans whose prior businesses include a location of Dogtopia.

They're particularly happy about the location.

“We’re right between I-20 and I-30 and situated near some great schools, including Texas Christian University, and several residential neighborhoods,” the couple says in a statement. “We’re confident we found the perfect spot to bring the good people of Fort Worth the next big thing in desserts.”


Fort Worth's popular patio-centric Press Cafe to open second location

Patio News

A popular chef-driven cafe in Fort Worth is expanding: Press Café, the healthy restaurant at the Trailhead at Clearfork from chef Felipe Armenta, will open a location in Aledo, at 109 S. Front St.

According to a release, it'll open in fall 2023.

"We are excited to bring Press Cafe to the Aledo foodie community and introduce our unique take on contemporary American classics," Armenta says in a statement. "Our team has put in a lot of hard work to ensure that our guests have a memorable dining experience, and we can’t wait to share it with everyone."

Armenta opened the first Press Cafe in 2016 at the Trailhead, where it boasts one of the city's favorite patios; keeps long hours including opening early for breakfast & coffee; features salads and other healthy dishes in addition to burgers; has wine, beer, & cocktails; and is a favorite casual drop-in for bicyclists.

It was nominated for Best New Restaurant in CultureMap's 2016 Tastemaker Awards, and earned a spot on CultureMap's list of best places for ladies who lunch.

As they do at their Fort Worth location, Press Café in Aledo will strive to highlight locally grown and seasonal dishes, as well as daily specials, on a menu by Armenta and partnering chef Graham Elliot, with friendly service in a welcoming, comfortable atmosphere.

It'll be open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner daily, with weekend brunch on Saturday-Sunday.

The restaurant's interior will include a full bar with cocktails, wines by the glass and bottle, and local beers on tap and in bottles.

Press Cafe is part of Far Out Hospitality, whose portfolio includes Tavern, Pacific Table, The Grill, Maria’s Mexican Kitchen, Towne Grill, Cowboy Prime, and the soon-to-open Le Margot and F1 Smokehouse.

For Aledo, the addition of Press Café is another step in the city's ongoing effort to revitalize and redevelop Downtown Aledo.

“Press Café is an exciting and welcomed addition to our community," says Aledo Mayor Nick Stanley. "As one of the most popular restaurants in the metroplex, Press Café’s outstanding reputation and exceptional fare will be an economic driver for Aledo and will serve our residents and visitors well."

Photo courtesy of Jeremiah's

Dessert shop specializing in Italian ice and soft-serve opens in Keller

Dessert News

A frozen dessert shop is opening in Keller and the timing could not be better: Jeremiah's Italian Ice, the Florida-based chain specializing in Italian ice, will open at 2122 Rufe Snow Dr. #102 on May 25.

The location is from local entrepreneur Steven Dubberly, who previously ran a law practice where he worked with small businesses. A release describes how he discovered Jeremiah's: He was introduced by his girlfriend Alicia Mouser, who took him there on one of their first dates. Dreamy!

Founded in 1996, Jeremiah’s Italian Ice has more than 100 locations throughout Florida, Arizona, Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Louisiana, Colorado, Nevada, Alabama, Tennessee, and Texas.

They're known for their high-quality Italian ice, available in more than 40 flavors; and their creamy soft-serve ice cream. Combined together, they result in indulgent treats such as the Jeremiah's Gelati, which features layers of Italian ice and ice cream.

Flavors include watermelon, horchata, passion fruit, mint chocolate chip, mango, cookie butter, sour green apple, black cherry, banana, cake batter, and cotton candy.

The stores also boast an upbeat atmosphere, with vibrant colors.

Dubberly has another location in development in Saginaw, with a plan to open at least five locations across Dallas-Fort Worth.

There are currently five locations in the DFW area including Lewisville, McKinney, Frisco, Burleson, and Melissa, with three others in the works.

Dubberly will be running the Keller location with family and friends, a close-knit group who wanted to become involved in something together. That includes girlfriend Alicia, his parents, and his friend and business partner Aubrey McPherson.

"I want to work in a place that brings a smile to my customers’ faces, and Jeremiah’s is the perfect place to do that," Dubberly says. "Keller doesn’t have anything like Jeremiah’s in the area, and I strongly believe we can become a real staple."


New cafe in North Fort Worth does eggtastic breakfast, brunch, and lunch

Brunch News

There's an exciting new restaurant serving breakfast, lunch, and brunch in Fort Worth's Alliance Town Center: Called Eggtastic Brunch Cafe, it's located at 9160 North Fwy. #452, in the same shopping center as Sam Moon, where it opened in mid-April and is already drawing raves from locals for its hearty and well-made dishes, doting service, and cheerful bright atmosphere.

The menu includes omelets, pancakes in a wide assortment of varieties, benedicts, skillets, crepes, and specials such as steak & eggs featuring a substantial 8-ounce ribeye with a side of golden Waffle-House-style hash browns.

They take basics like French toast and give them a little something extra, via treatments such as banana & Nutella French toast with slices of fresh banana. There's also a cinnamon roll option, dipped in batter and fried, then topped with cream cheese icing.

There's biscuits & gravy, migas, a breakfast sandwich with bacon, egg, & American cheese on choice of bagel or croissant, and a breakfast burrito with scrambled eggs, tomato, onion, jalapeño, Monterey Jack & cheddar, and hash browns in a flour tortilla.

They do a "sweet combo" option with eggs, choice of bacon, ham, or sausage, and choice of two pancakes, French toast, crepes, or waffles. They also cover the "healthy" category with avocado toast, and a granola bowl with berries and yogurt.

Lunch options include salads such as Cobb and chicken Caesar, chicken-fried chicken and chicken-fried steak, burgers - including one topped with fried egg & American cheese, as well as a Beyond burger option - sandwiches, and wraps.

On trend with breakfast and brunch restaurants, they also offer cocktails ranging from mimosas and bloody Marys to an avocado margarita with pineapple & spicy tajin; an Irish coffee with Bailey's and Jameson; and the luscious-sounding Abuletias Con Cafe, with Don Julio Blanco, Abuelita chocolate, coffee, and whipped cream, a bargain at $9.

The restaurant is the newest venture from the Kim family, who own a number of restaurants in the area including Hanabi Hibachi and Sushi, right across from Eggtastic.

Co-owner Ted Kim says they love doing breakfast and brunch, but that they've expanded into a new arena at Eggtastic.

"This is our first restaurant that incorporates a commercial coffee roaster outlet," Kim says.

They're using the beans for their in-house coffee program, which runs the gamut from espresso drinks to straight brewed coffee, and they're also selling roasted beans, roasted from light to medium to dark.

"We're sourcing green beans from coffee growers around the world - that's been a highlight for us," Kim says.


Shocking sudden closure leads this round of Fort Worth restaurant news

News You Can Eat

This roundup of restaurant news around Fort Worth has much good news: ice cream in Southlake, ramen in Keller, salads in Denton, and pizza in the Near Southside.

Sadly, there's a big closure and the clock is ticking.

Here's what's happening in Fort Worth restaurant news:

Boozie's Brewery & Gourmet Sandwiches, the full-service brewpub featuring bountiful sandwiches, is closing. The concept — from a team that included Bruce Conti, who is also the landlord, plus chef David Hollister and brewer Bobby Mullins — opened two locations mere months ago: one in Fort Worth in the former Wild Acre brewpub space at 6479 Camp Bowie Blvd. and a second location in Fairview.

Hollister, an acclaimed chef who made the list of Top 10 Chefs in CultureMap's 2023 Tastemaker Awards, confirms that the restaurants are closing, saying he only just learned of the closures himself.

"It was definitely fast and unexpected, and after only four months," he says, more graciously than surely any person on the planet would be under the circumstances.

Hollister was previously at Wild Acre, but Fort Worth diners remember him best for his Dagwood’s sandwich shops – one on Foch Street and the other by Ridgmar Mall. Wherever he goes, sandwich fans follow for favorites like the Reuben with house-brined Akaushi Wagyu pastrami, and the Cuban Press with braised Duroc pork shoulder.

The Fort Worth Boozie's also earned a spot on CultureMap's monthly Where to Drink column in March, where it was lauded for its craft cocktails and multiple beers on tap.

The restaurants will remain open for the rest of the week with generous discounts, including $7 for all sandwiches and $5 for drinks.

"We’ll be here until Sunday for the staff we do have left to make some money while they're looking for another job," Hollister says. "Some of these guys I was able to place at other restaurants but, if anyone knows of any leads of places looking for help, I’d love to pass the information along."

Boozie's is not the only sudden shutter with which Conti has been involved: 38 & Vine, an innovative wine bar in Fort Worth that notably allowed customers to pour self-serve sips, was forced to close abruptly in April; Conti was a partner in the business.

Handel's Ice Cream, the acclaimed ice cream shop concept from the Northeast, is about to open a location in Southlake at 2645 E. Southlake Blvd.; a spokesperson confirms that they'll be opening "soon." Headquartered in Ohio, Handel's made their debut in Texas in 2019, where they currently have 10 locations either open or about to be, including Flower Mound, Grapevine, Plano, and McKinney, along with locations in the Northeast, Arizona, Alabama, California, Oregon, and Nevada. Founder Alice Handel first began serving ice cream out of her husband's gas station in Youngstown, made with fruit picked from her own backyard. The menu now includes more than 150 flavors of ice cream and yogurt, although shops don't have that many at one time. They're known for good-quality ingredients and for making their ice cream daily, starting with a base made by Handel's corporate that's shipped to the store. They also offer unique Northeast-style flavors such as peppermint stick, black raspberry truffle, and orange pineapple, and eight vanilla options including vanilla, vanilla raspberry chip, and vanilla with lemon Oreos.

Hoshi Ramen has opened in Keller at 1301 Keller Pwky. #200 with ramen, soba and udon noodles, rice bowls, and salads. They have six varieties of ramen including the classic Hoshi ramen, Texas ramen with brisket and chicken karaage, kimchi ramen, veggie ramen, and bulgogi ramen with Korean BBQ beef. Other dishes include korokke (Japanese potato croquettes), steamed BBQ pork buns, bulgogi salad, tonkatsu, and fried shrimp curry rice. Hoshi is from Fort Worth resident Injun Shim, who also owns Taki Ramen Japanese Noodle and Pub in Wichita Falls. They'll serve sake, soju, wine, and beer, once they acquire a liquor license.

Pie Tap Pizza Workshop + Bar, the upscale pizzeria from Rich Hicks (Tin Star, Mooyah, Taco Lingo) has opened its long-awaited location in Fort Worth, at 1301 W. Magnolia St., which they announced on Facebook. The pizza is among the best in Dallas, featuring fermented dough with an emphasis on the thin crust rather than an avalanche of toppings, designed by Giovanni Mauro, a veteran chef and pizzaiolo who has owned restaurants such as Old School Pizzeria and Nora's Wine Bar in Las Vegas; he and Hicks worked together back in the early days of Romano's Macaroni Grill. The first location debuted in mid-2016 in Dallas' Design District, where it pioneered the concept's menu of pizzas, pastas, beer, and wine. Hopefully not too sophisticated for Fort Worth, although one comment posted on the page is not reassuring: "The pizza really needs more cheese," the comment says. "I just tried it and Domino's is better. What's missing is the cheese."

Salata has opened a location in South Denton at 1931 S. Loop 288 with built-to-order salads & wraps, soups, tea, and lemonade. The chain has five salad bases, 50+ toppings, and 11 dressings. This is the 92nd location nationwide, and is from franchisees Todd & Joanna Jones, who plan to open more locations in Denton.

Razzoo's Cajun Cafe has launched a new menu which includes the return of customer favorite Firemouth Wings. Other new items include bacon-wrapped shrimp with jalapeño, crab cakes, peel & eat shrimp, Creole pork chop with jalapeño cheese sauce, mashed potatoes & green beans, blackened redfish over dirty rice, shrimp Carnivale with bell pepper & onions, and chicken stuffed with boudin.

Melting Pot has a new Best Fondue Friends Forever (BFFF) menu, with a 3- or 4-course meal featuring Melting Pot’s enhanced BFFF cheese and chocolate fondue plus new offerings like Bacon Mac & Cheese Fondue topped with crispy bacon, and Lavender & Blueberry Chocolate Fondue, with white chocolate and blueberries topped with decadent blackberry "caviar."

Fuzzy's Taco Shop has three new limited-edition menu items featuring elote: an Elote side, a 6-ounce portion made with corn, queso, jalapenos, feta, and Fuzzy Dust; Chicken Elote Double Stack Taco with elote, fajita chicken, and rice; Chicken Elote Bowl with the same ingredients in a bowl. Available through Sunday June 18.

Tiff's Treats is bringing back their signature Chip's Mix, a special two-dozen package with chocolate, double chocolate, oatmeal, and peanut butter chocolate chip varieties, available through May 21, for $42. Tiff's Treats uses a one-of-a-kind variety of custom-made chocolate chips, a little-known secret that, thanks to CultureMap, is a secret no longer.

Starbucks has introduced its summer 2023 beverages: Chocolate Java Mint Frappuccino features blended Frappuccino roast coffee, chocolate, mint, and Frappuccino chips, finished with a layer of mocha sauce, whipped cream, and a chocolate cookie mint sprinkle topping; and White Chocolate Macadamia Cream Cold Brew, featuring Starbucks Cold Brew sweetened with macadamia syrup, topped with white chocolate macadamia cream cold foam, and finished with toasted cookie crumbles.

Chris Plavidal

Fort Worth's first fine-dining vegan restaurant makes maiden voyage in June

Vegan News

There's an opening date for Fort Worth's first fine-dining vegan restaurant. Called Maiden: Fine Plants & Spirits, the eatery is from the founders of the acclaimed vegan restaurant Spiral Diner & Bakery, and will open on June 1 at 1216 6th Ave., in the PS1200 complex.

Maiden will reside near its two siblings: in the same block as Spiral Diner, and a few doors down from Dreamboat Vegan Donuts & Scoops, which opened in mid-May at 1204 6th Ave. — creating a voodoo vegan triangle within Fort Worth's Near Southside District.

Maiden will offer a $150 seasonal tasting menu consisting entirely of plant-based food, with eight courses designed to be consumed over a two- to three-hour timespan. The restaurant will host two seatings per night, with room for 50 diners per seating.

Opening dishes include:

  • Lemongrass Grapefruit Consommé
  • Roasted Parsnip filled with confit zucchini and walnut, served with sourdough bread and shallot jam
  • a play on potato-leek soup that will have surprises

Patrons can add wine or mixed-drink pairings from choices that include sake, cocktails, beer, zero-proof cocktails, teas, and a zero-proof drink pairing. A-la-carte drink options will be available as well.

Prepaid reservations will be required and can be made via Tock starting in mid May.

For those who don't want to do the tasting, the restaurant will also offer first-come, first-serve seating at the bar, plus an outdoor lounge with limited service and dishes such as a vegan cheese board.

Maiden is from husband-and-wife James Johnston and Amy McNutt who, according to a release, will present emotive courses that evoke a cinematic experience. Johnston is a filmmaker ( The Green Knight, Ghost Story, Ain't Them Body Saints); as the release notes, the couple's passion for film and food are interwoven.

From the release:

"Every menu change will seek to tell a new story, full of twists and turns, asking: what does winter feel like; what surprises does spring bring; what stories does summer tell; what emotions does fall induce?"

In a statement, McNutt says that "Maiden is all about time," stating "The time devoted to forging our beautiful space. The time to thoughtfully compose each course. The time you grant yourself as a guest to relax and relish the experience. And now, finally, it is time to present Maiden to the great state of Texas."

Time is on your side. Time waits for no one. Does anybody really know what time it is? It's time to end this story. Time out.

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'Yellowstone' stars to greet fans at Fort Worth Stock Show & Rodeo

Yellowstone news

Yellowstone fans, get your comfy shoes ready - there'll be a long line for this one. Cole Hauser a.k.a. "Rip Wheeler" on Yellowstone, and Taylor Sheridan, the show's co-creator, executive producer, and director of the series, will meet fans and sign autographs at the Fort Worth Stock Show & Rodeo.

The event will take place from 4:30-6:30 pm only on Friday, February 3. Location is the 6666 Ranch booth near the south end of Aisle 700 in the Amon G. Carter, Jr. Exhibits Hall.

According to a February 2 announcement from FWSSR, "fans will have the opportunity to snag an autograph as well as purchase some distinctive Yellowstone and 6666 Ranch merchandise while also enjoying all the features the Stock Show offers."

The event is free to attend (with paid Stock Show admission) and open to the public.

It's the second year in a row for Hauser to appear at FWSSR; in 2022, he and fellow cast mates drew huge crowds.

Sheridan, a Paschal High School graduate, is no stranger to Fort Worth; he lives in a ranch near Weatherford and filmed 1883, the prequel to Yellowstone, in and around Fort Worth. Currently, another spinoff, 1883: The Bass Reeves Story, is filming in North Texas.

The Fort Worth Stock Show & Rodeo is winding up its 2023 run on Saturday, February 4.

Launch your next Texas trip with this essential guide to its biggest cities

Hit the Road

Everything is bigger in Texas, and that includes the state itself. At 268,597 square miles, it's a lot to traverse — but luckily there's plenty to see, do, eat, and drink along the way.

No matter what kind of trip you're planning around Texas, Marriott Bonvoy Hotels can be the launchpad for your next travel or culinary adventure. Its hotels and resorts are as diverse as the Lone Star State and offer amazing culinary, spa, and destination experiences in each city.

Plan your next trip from this guide below:

People stand-up paddleboarding in AustinSee Austin from the water.Photo courtesy of Marriott International

At a glance: Known as the Live Music Capital of the World, Austin is also home to the State Capitol. University of Texas at Austin helps "Keep Austin Weird," but it's also a growing tech hot spot with a vibrant, culinary-focused atmosphere.

Must-see spots: Ladybird Lake, Texas Capitol, Barton Springs Pool, Zilker Botanical Garden, Ann and Roy Butler Hike-and-Bike Trail, Pennybacker Bridge, Blanton Museum, ACL Live at Moody Theater, Rainey Street, UT Austin.

Must-try eats & sips: Head to the new Dean’s Steakhouse Austin at JW Marriott Austin for a special occasion or business dinner, and try the Wagyu beef cuts in addition to an acclaimed raw bar and generous happy hour.

Travel north to Renaissance Austin’s restaurant, Knotty Deck & Bar, for an urban retreat with patio views of the Texas Hill Country. It serves elevated Austin cuisine with a spacious backyard for bean bags and other outdoor games to enjoy with family and friends.

Austin easily features the highest density of rooftop bars in the state, including the popular Zanzibar, a tropical oasis serving up inventive Tiki cocktails. Toast to “golden hour” nightly at Otopia Rooftop Lounge with craft cocktails high above the nearby university.

Must-attend events: SXSW Conference & Festivals (March), Blues on the Green (all summer long), Pride in Local Music Festival (June), Austin City Limits (October), Austin Film Festival (October).

Must-experience vibes: Get your retro music fix with unique vinyl record programs at the Otis Hotel Austin and the W Hotel Austin.

Family at Las Colinas ResortTake the whole fam to Las Colinas Resort.Photo courtesy of Marriott International

Dallas-Fort Worth
At a glance: A pair of cities that have undergone true transformation, beginning as cattle hubs and railroad centers and blossoming into Texas' current window to the world with incredible art museums and performing arts centers (the largest arts district in the nation, in fact).

Must-see spots: Dallas Museum of Art, Katy Trail, Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth, Dallas Arboretum & Botanical Gardens, Reunion Tower, Fair Park, Meyerson Symphony Center, Kimbell Art Museum, the Deep Ellum and Bishop Arts neighborhoods, Mesquite Rodeo Arena, Fort Worth Stockyards, NorthPark Center.

Must-try eats & sips: Dallas’ dining scene is highlighted by Margaret’s, the restaurant at the JW Marriott Dallas Arts District that's opening in June. It offers farm-to-fork ingredients in a dramatic setting with sweeping views of the city and a lively bar with handcrafted cocktails from seasoned mixologists.

Head to Uptown Dallas for its sophisticated restaurant, shopping, and boutique fitness scene highlighted by Good Graces in Marriott Uptown Dallas, a bright and airy brasserie where you can indulge in fresh oysters, charcuterie boards, crisp salads, and a variety of steak and seafood dishes.

In the northwest suburb of Irving, visit LAW at Las Colinas Resort to experience the very best of land, air, and water elements, alongside locally sourced ingredients. Mesa Mezcal at the Westin Irving is the spot for modern Mexican fare, curated mezcal cocktails, and YogaRitas on the patio, a partnership series with YogaSix Studio.

Head west to Fort Worth to dine al fresco at 97 West, where a Southwestern ambiance beckons adventurous spirits and serves up classic Texas heritage dishes.

In the heart of Cowtown, experience the convivial dining culture of Central and South America at Toro Toro in the Worthington Renaissance Fort Worth. Slip outside afterward to take in a movie on its rooftop deck via a partnership with Rooftop Cinemas, complete with a food truck for snacks and drinks.

Marriott Bonvoy’s restaurants aim to incorporate local and regional breweries in their beverage menus whenever possible, so ask your bartender for his or her favorite brew. Explore DFW's robust brewery scene, from Martin House Brewing Company to Deep Ellum Brewing Co., Celestial Beer Works to Manhattan Project Beer Co., and Peticolas Brewing to Texas Ale Project.

Must-attend events: Dallas Pride Parade (June), Homegrown Music & Arts Festival (June), Riverfront Jazz Fest (September), State Fair of Texas (September-October), Fort Worth Stock Show & Rodeo (January-February).

People on rooftop in HoustonThe best way to see Houston? From a rooftop.Photo courtesy of Marriott International

At a glance: Founded as a bustling commercial center and shipping port in the mid-1800s, with major influence from Charlotte Baldwin, known as the "Mother of Houston," today H-Town is statistically the most diverse major city in Texas with a thriving gastronomic scene, world-class museums, and the Houston Space Center.

Must-see spots: The Museum District (18 institutions within walking distance; includes the Houston Museum of Natural Science and the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston), The Galleria, Houston Aquarium, Buffalo Bayou Park, POST Houston entertainment district, Chinatown, Houston Graffiti Park, Discovery Green, Houston Zoo.

Must-try eats & sips: Located inside the Magnolia Houston, a Tribute Portfolio Hotel, is The Dispatch, which pays homage to its building’s rich history as the home of the Houston Post-Dispatch paper. The Art Deco vibes complement the eatery’s contemporary American cuisine and enticing cocktails.

After a day of shopping at The Galleria mall, stop by White Oak Kitchen + Drinks for a collection of fresh ingredients, a curated wine and cocktail menu, and weekend brunch.

Explore Houston’s culinary melting pot with an experience at Xin Chao, a modern Vietnamese restaurant owned by MasterChef winner Christina Ha. Locals also hail Killen’s BBQ as some of the best in the state.

Houston visitors will also find food trucks dotted around the city, offering inventive cuisine with global fusion showcasing Houston’s diversity.

Must-attend events: Freedom Over Texas Festival (July), Houston Restaurant Week (August), Fiestas Patrias (September 2023), Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo (February-March).

Must-experience vibes: Stay cool in the Houston heat this summer by diving into the city's best urban party playground: the iconic, Texas-shaped lazy river at the Altitude Rooftop & Pool at Marriott Marquis Houston.

San Antonio River WalkIt's always a party on the San Antonio River Walk.Photo courtesy of Marriott International

San Antonio
At a glance: Remember the Alamo! Explore San Antonio’s famed River Walk or journey further south to the San Antonio Missions National Park, where some of the Lone Star State's most pivotal moments occurred. Northwest of the city, treat your family to a thrill at world-class amusement parks.

Discover the emerging arts and culinary scene while touring historic, trendy neighborhoods like the impressive King William District, dotted with colonial mansions, and Dignowity Hill, sporting the Hays Street Bridge and a deep-rooted sense of community.

Must-see spots: The Alamo, the San Antonio Missions, River Walk, San Antonio Botanical Gardens, San Antonio Zoo, Southtown, Brackenridge Park, SeaWorld San Antonio, Six Flags Fiesta Texas, Historic Pearl Brewery, Tower of the Americas, La Villita, Market Square.

Must-try eats: Check out incredible South Texas fare on the River Walk such as Tributary restaurant in the San Antonio Marriott Rivercenter Hotel, with seasonally rotating menus and ingredients sourced from regional farming partners and purveyors.

Escape to the Texas Hill Country at 18 Oaks for an outstanding quality of meats and seafood prepared with style and expertise, ideally enjoyed after a day of golf at TPC San Antonio or a splashy time at the nine-acre waterpark at the JW San Antonio Hill Country Resort.

Take the kids or pups and head to the Historic Pearl Brewery, where you'll find everything from upscale bistros to an array of dining choices inside the Food Hall at Bottling Dept. Enjoy a picnic on the green spaces and a family-favorite splash pad while taking in the quaint European vibes in this special area of Alamo City.

Must-sip drinks: Visit the new 1 Watson rooftop deck atop the AC Hotel San Antonio Riverwalk for downtown views and a cocktail or two by a fire pit.

People at Knotty Deck in Austin

Photo courtesy of Marriott International

Gather at Knotty Deck & Bar in Austin.

Hop on the city’s shared bike or scooter systems to explore local-favorite breweries and coffee shops such as Merit Coffee, Freetail Brewing, Weathered Souls Brewing, and Alamo Beer Co.

Must-attend events: Fiesta San Antonio (April), Pride San Antonio (June), Día de los Muertos (November), San Antonio Stock Show & Rodeo (February).


Comprised of 30 unique brands, Marriott Bonvoy is a travel program that goes beyond rewards to connect members to more of what they love through hotel and resort stays, elevated dining, and endless experiences.

Marriott Bonvoy member benefits include free membership, special member rates, ability to earn and redeem points, contactless mobile and contactless service, free WiFi, and more.

Pop culture provocateur Janelle Monáe loves on Dallas-Fort Worth with Age of Pleasure tour stop

Lipstick lover

Janelle Monáe's upcoming Age of Pleasure album is already making headlines with her latest single (and music video) "Lipstick Lover." And thankfully, Dallas fans won't have to wait long after the album's release (June 9, via Atlantic Records) to watch it come to life on stage.

The critically acclaimed and award winning singer and actress will bring her "Age of Pleasure Tour" across North America later this year, with a 26-city lineup kicking off on August 30 at WAMU Theater in Seattle, Washington. The Texas leg of her tour will include a stop in Dallas-Fort Worth (October 9 at The Pavilion at Toyota Music Factory) before moving on to Houston's Bayou Music Center on October 10 and Austin's Moody Ampitheater on October 11.

Known worldwide for her inimitable style and visionary sound, Monáe is an eight time Grammy Award-nominated singer, songwriter, producer, performer, and fashion icon. According to a release, she promises to light up your body, soul, and all of your senses with an unforgettable performance featuring songs off her latest album and classic hits from her discography.

Tickets for the tour go on sale Thursday, June 1, starting with a Verizon presale at 10 am; the exclusive presale via Verizon Up gives customers access to purchase presale tickets for select shows until Tuesday, June 6, at 10 pm. Additional presales will run throughout the week ahead of the general onsale beginning Wednesday, June 7 at 10 am on Ticketmaster.

The full list of tour dates is below:

Wed Aug 30 – Seattle, WA – WAMU Theater
Thu Aug 31 – Vancouver, BC – UBC - Doug Mitchell Thunderbird Sports Centre
Sat Sep 02 – Portland, OR – RV Inn Style Resorts Amphitheater
Wed Sep 06 –Salt Lake City, UT – The Complex
Thu Sep 07 – Morrison, CO – Red Rocks Amphitheatre
Sat Sep 09 – Kansas City, MO – The Midland Theatre
Mon Sep 11 – Minneapolis, MN – Armory
Wed Sep 13 – St. Louis, MO – Stifel Theatre
Thu Sep 14 – Chicago, IL – Byline Bank Aragon Ballroom
Sun Sep 17 – Boston, MA – MGM Music Hall at Fenway
Mon Sep 18 – Philadelphia, PA – The Met
Wed Sep 20 – Montreal, QB – Mtelus
Thu Sep 21 – Toronto, ON – Massey Hall
Sun Sep 24 – Washington, DC – The Anthem*
Tue Sep 26 – New York City, NY – Radio City Music Hall
Thu Sep 28 – Brooklyn, NY – Kings Theatre
Mon Oct 02 – Charlotte, NC – Skyla Credit Union Amphitheatre
Tue Oct 03 – Nashville, TN – Ryman Auditorium
Wed Oct 04 – Birmingham, AL – Avondale Brewing Company
Fri Oct 06 – Atlanta, GA – Fox Theatre Atlanta
Mon Oct 09 – Dallas-Fort Worth, TX – The Pavilion at Toyota Music Factory
Tue Oct 10 – Houston, TX – Bayou Music Center
Wed Oct 11 – Austin, TX – Moody Amphitheater
Sun Oct 15 – Phoenix, AZ – Arizona Financial Theatre
Tue Oct 17 – San Francisco, CA – Bill Graham Civic Auditorium
Wed Oct 18 – Inglewood, CA – YouTube Theater

* non-Live Nation date