Klyde Warren Park Food Trucks (Dallas, TX)



While I’m on board with food trucks in general (I like that my office building now has a different one outaide for lunch every day), I do have to complain about the artisan food trucks. 

To go “back in my day” again…

Back in my day, food trucks were taco trucks – you’d go to these little stands that were known only by word of mouth and pay absurdly small prices for a good amount of Mexican food and eat with a bunch of strangers on some nearby picnic benches.

Now you’re (OK, I’m) dropping $8-10 on a basic gyro or a mini-pizza; it costs MORE than it would at a restaurant, somehow.

The park was fun – lots of cool stuff to do and you can visit nearby art museums for free if you want some culture (but honestly, for the air conditioning). The food trucks were so-so – the food was adequate but overpriced, but I didn’t have to go try to park again or walk around to a restaurant, so I guess it’s a convenience fee. 

The one food truck that was especially delicious was called Cool Haus, maybe, (I’m writing about this about 11 months later). Snickerdoodles with ice cream between them? Yes, every day of the week. The $5 or so for an ice cream sandwich felt ridiculous, but given that I’d just paid like $20 for basically a personal pan pizza and an aggressively mediocre gyro, it was the best waste of money I had that day.

Thank you, Cool Haus (probably).

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Starburst, Symbol of the Alt-Right

I don’t know if you’ve heard, but America is in the middle of a messy divorce. Sure, the thought pieces and studies describing our separate news sourcesbook selectionsTV series, and how we’re all talking past each other make good observations, but one thing truly epitomizes what is tearing us apart: Starburst.

FaveREDs, which are bags of Starburst with only red and pink colors included, were introduced in 2016. In 2017, the product went a step further and released all-pink bags.

This was inevitable, probably. The proliferation of “Have it your way” culture has given seemingly everyone the expectation that they should get everything they want, exactly the way they want it, right now, and for free.

Back in my day (I’m 34, so basically a senior citizen), Starburst came in four flavors, like it or not. Pink and red were the favorites among most, but orange and yellow, for people that didn’t like them, allowed us to grow as human beings in one of two ways:

  1. You could give the orange and yellow Starburst to a friend (or a stranger, starting a conversation and making a new friend). This ensured we were all at least capable of generating small talk and acknowledging others’ existence. It reminded us that people had different opinions than us and that we could not only live with those differences, but that those differences could help us get the job done.
  2. You could learn to like orange and yellow Starburst. They provide a tangy pop in a line of overly sweet, soft candy. It’s a nice curveball to keep your tongue from getting too comfortable at the plate (or tube, as it were). This option had the advantage that you could also work with others who refused to grow their character to acquire THEIR candy, providing an incentive to broaden your tastes and learn to appreciate new things.

Instead of strengthening ourselves as a nation, now we’re focused on getting only what we want – never trying to grow beyond what we already like; never trying to understand why other things exist; never appreciating others for what they bring to the table.

If I post #OrangeStarburstMatter on social media now, I’m bound to be shouted down by the #AllStarburstMatter crowds who are constantly spewing nonsense about how the entire Starburst empire was based on pink and red Starburst, and orange and yellow should be happy they were allowed to exist in the same bag for so long. They would praise Starburst for eliminating those pesky orange and yellow Starburst for them. Are those the kind of selfish people we want running the show?

Let’s get back to uniting, not dividing. Don’t be tempted by the ease of having your preferred flavor pre-separated for you. As Denzel Washington said: “Ease is the greatest threat to progress, not hardship.” Don’t allow them to tell America that only one flavor really matters.

Stop Starburst now. For America.

Popeye’s (Irving, TX)

If you like cold chicken tenders and gross fries, this is the place for you!

Just close the rest of the prep area down and turn it into a bakery for those biscuits, ’cause they were the only acceptable thing associated with this place. In fairness, I would probably eat 70 of them at one sitting, given the opportunity, they’re so delicious (and I’m such a glutton). I discovered afterwards that I could’ve just bought a dozen biscuits – had I ordered that, I might have been willing to overlook the flies coming around the table every so often. 

I have been to other Popeye’s that weren’t gross, but I wouldn’t go back to this particular location with your money.

El Pollo Loco (Grand Prairie, TX)

Somehow, despite them being all over the place when I grew up in Southern California, I don’t remember ever having gone to El Pollo Loco.

That…was a mistake. (Or perhaps they have changed their menu in the 20+ years since then.)

Thanks to their insistence on moving into my work’s neighborhood and what I’m calling a “Take 5” day, wherein my favorite CEO gives us five bucks each to go grab some food at a local restaurant as a team, I went and tried an avocado chicken burrito. And I added a chips and queso. And some avocado salsa.

If you’re squeamish about seeing a couple dozen chickens on sticks being grilled, maybe order your food ahead of time and don’t look up as you’re paying for your food. If you’re not, appreciate the presentation, which is certainly better-looking than the typical assembly line of frozen food at many other fast-food joints.

Each time I’ve gone to this location (and it’s now been a lot since I’m writing this about nine months later), the food has been fresh and the service has been great. I went to another location (Watauga) and they had horchata, which is apparently Spanish for “Churros you drink.” 🔥🔥🔥

Also, they have regular churros if you like. Is it REAL Mexican food? Nah. Is it 💣? Yup.