Some Dallasites are lucky enough to escape the blistering heat of the city by fleeing to the emerald green beaches of Destin, Florida, or at least the less glamorous oil-kissed shores of Padre Island. Then there are the rest of us. Some of us must begrudgingly embrace the word "staycation" and make our own fun within the confines of the concrete.
If you're one of the latter, consider Dive Coastal Cuisine in University Park for a quick, fantasy getaway. Enter, and you're instantly transported. In this upscale-casual setting, capiz shells dangle in the window, beachy décor surrounds you, and an icy air-conditioned breeze blows your hair back -- you could almost believe you're on an exotic vacation.
And what's vacation without eating like you're on vacation? So, after a long day at work, slip on your flip-flops, grab a friend or two and go out for a light dinner, making a pact to save room for dessert. Your next destination: Dive. Polish off your evening with their Key lime pie, which is a well-crafted trifecta of flavors and textures. The filling is smooth and creamy, with the added interest of just a few bits of pulp. The tart, bright, citrus flavor is counterbalanced with a dollop of fresh, unsweetened whipped cream. While the fundamental elements of this dish are present, what sets Dive's Key lime pie apart is its gingersnap crust. Whoever made that call deserves a raise; the ground-up cookie base adds a zing and a crystalline sugar crunch that elevates this dish into the extraordinary.
To quench your thirst, there are plenty of options. Sangria, beer, wine, cocktails, or...wait for it ... fill up a cup at their iced tea bar. Just the sound of it knocks your core body temp down a notch, right? A variety of choices, such as mint, black and peach hibiscus teas are on tap. If you fall in love with a particular blend and want to brew some up at home, you're in luck. They sell jars of their loose tea blends -- a perfect souvenir of your fake-cation.
Maybe a real beach bum would laugh at Dallas' landlocked attempt to be "coastal," but hey, Dive is as close to the ocean as some of us are gonna get this summer. What better way to celebrate the season than with one of summer's quintessential desserts? Don't worry about the splurge on dessert -- everyone knows calories don't count on vacation.
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