Our New Best of Dallas App: What a Difference It Makes to Your Day

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If you're reading this, there's a good chance you're familiar with our gigantic Best Of issue -- you know, that amazingly comprehensive annual guide to the best of what the city has to offer, from "Best Burger" to "Best Place to Get Your First Tattoo" and everything in between. While you may be tempted to stuff that beast of a paper in your back pocket and carry it with you everywhere, your chiropractor would probably disapprove. Thankfully, today marks the launch of our brand-spanking-new Best Of mobile app, which condenses every edition of that handy-dandy guide into a tiny (and free!) app for your smartphone, with a fresh new design to make it even more user-friendly.

Let's say you find yourself with a free day to do whatever the hell you please. (Playing hooky from work, perhaps? We won't tell.) Here's how a day guided by the new Best Of app might play out:

You roll out of bed with a slight headache, the taste of one too many whiskey shots lingering in your bone-dry mouth. Only a good, greasy breakfast will do -- but where to go? You pull your trusty smartphone out from beneath your pillow, ignoring the evidence of last night's drunk texting fiasco, and fire up the new Best Of app. A quick tap on the red "Search" bar brings up two simple questions: In the "What?" box you type "breakfast," leaving the "Where?" box as is ("Current Location" means exactly that). You scroll through a couple options and quickly decide on Taco Joint, 2011 winner for "Best Tacos" -- it's just a few miles away and sounds like just what the doctor ordered. A simple tap on the screen brings up the map, and another tap of the "Directions" button routes you straight there via your phone's GPS.

Three breakfast tacos and a pint of jalapeño ranch sauce later, you're feeling decidedly more human and ready to face the day. But you really have nothing on the books and all your poor schmuck friends are at work. Deciding a bit of culture would do you good, you turn back to the mobile app and type "museums" into the search box. You scroll past the DMA, the Nasher, the Crow Collection, having haunted the galleries of all those many a time, scrolling until you see the listing for Meadows Museum. The description boasts of one of the biggest collections of Spanish art outside of Spain, and hey, you're totally going through a baroque phase right now. You tap the orange button with the museum's phone number and give them a quick call to make sure they're open (they're closed on Mondays, but thankfully today is Thursday), then map your way there.

After an hour or so of browsing priceless works by art legends like El Greco, Miro and Picasso, you're ready for a little pick-me-up. It's hotter than the devil's underpants outside, as per usual, so you revert back to the Best Of app and type "iced coffee" into the search bar; you quickly settle on Oak Lawn Coffee after reading that they claim to have the city's best iced coffee (that's locally sourced to boot).

Admiring the hip, minimalist interior, you give the bearded barista your order of a large iced coffee with a splash of cream and decide to add a tasty-looking strawberry muffin. A sip of the rich, well-balanced cold brew is instantly invigorating, and you settle in to one of the comfy microfiber sofas to take advantage of the free Wi-Fi.

Last week's paycheck burning a hole in your pocket, you decide a little shopping is in order, but what's around here? You pull up the Best Of app and this time tap the purple "Explore" bar, choosing the shopping category. One of the first results is Gratitude Vintage, which sounds right up your alley, and the map shows it's just a few blocks away.

The tiny store is stuffed to the brim with '80s prom dresses, leisure suit jackets and hats (so many hats). Forty-five minutes of digging later and you're the proud owner of a vintage pearl-snap shirt and a couple old records that will fit into your vinyl collection perfectly. Energized from the thrill of the hunt, you decide more vintage treasure-hunting is in order; you use the Best Of app to search "vintage clothing" and map your way to Dolly Python in East Dallas, which according to the app has a pretty killer selection of vintage band T-shirts.

Unfortunately you've missed the palm reader -- she's only at the store on Saturdays -- but there's still plenty of gems to be found at this haven for eclectic treasures. You sadly decide to forgo the taxidermied armadillo and Pabst Blue Ribbon velvet painting you're eyeing and instead settle on a pair of perfectly broken-in cowboy boots for a mere 50 bucks.

By now it's nearing five o'clock -- high time for happy hour. You use the Best Of app to search "cocktails" and decide to hit The Cedars Social. Knowing full well that your bestie probably needs a stiff drink after a long day at work, you hit the "Share This" button to text her the Voice Places listing, adding "Meet me in 20?"

Half an hour later, you're perched atop a '60s-style bar stool admiring a suspender-clad bartender as he cracks fresh black pepper into your Number Four cocktail, a tasty gin-based concoction accented with honey and cardamom. You wave to your friend as she dashes in the front door looking harried and spill the details of your awesome-filled day, pausing to order a salumi plate and some Kobe meatballs. "Best Of," indeed.

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