During summer in Dallas, going swimming is practically the only way to survive. The lukewarm waters of pools both public and private provide respite from the scorching temperatures, and are even nicer on days like today, when Mother Nature has once again decided to bless us with reasonable temperatures in the dead of summer, allowing pool water temps to dip below that of an old bath.
Staying afloat burns calories, which in turn results in insatiable hunger. It also results in bad hair and waterlogged shorts. Take your sunburned, pool-bloated ass to these seven Dallas spots, where the wait staff and clientele won't care if you look like a scrub after your staycation at the pool.
Zoli's (above) A big pile of carbs may seem like the last thing you could want when you're already waterlogged, but Zoli's is always a good choice. Folks who want to eat light can always keep it easy with a slice of plain cheese and a small Caesar salad, or you can hasten your eventual falling into bed fully clothed with a few doughy slices of Sicilian or Grandma style topped with spicy sopressata or Chef Brian Luscher's Italian sausage.
Monkey King Noodle Co. (above) It doesn't get much more casual than street food, and Monkey King is some of the best. If you're playing hooky and laying out on a weekday, head to Deep Ellum for chicken soup full of pillowy fresh noodles to preemptively cure your inevitable day-drinking hangover. Don't forget about the soup dumplings, and take your goods to the rooftop dining area to let the breeze finish drying your hair.
20 Feet Seafood Co. We may not have the beach and ocean to enjoy in Dallas, but you can stop by here after a day of kayaking on White Rock. Order a basket of fried clams and a few beers for a taste of Santa Monica without actually having to go to California.
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Lakewood Landing The booths are ripped, the lighting is low, and no one is going to give one solitary shit shit about how stylish you are at Lakewood Landing. This is a place to drink beer, eat burgers, and bask comfortably in the fact that you're not paying for the ice-cold air conditioning. If you stay out too late, you always know that those jalapeno corn dogs are at Lakewood Landing, just waiting on you to show up already.
Mutts This casual food shack/cocktail spot/dog park is the perfect place to go after you've finally dried off. The picnic tables and open-air setting won't make you feel bad about wearing ripped shorts, and you can continue working on your tan while you eat hot dogs and have a few cocktails. If you're trying to keep things healthy, a fresh pink grapefruit and fennel salad will hit the spot without being too heavy.
Truck Yard You probably won't even look grungy enough to fit in with the hipster crowd at Truck Yard, but you should go anyway. The cheesesteaks are always a safe bet, and the constantly-rotating selection of food trucks means that there's something for everyone. Order a frozen "trash can punch," made with fruit juices and Deep Eddy vodka to cool off and feel a little bit like you're back in college again.
Velvet Taco Tacos are an obvious choice when you're too tired and sunburned to cook for yourself, and maybe you're too tired to try to navigate the maze of taquerias in East Dallas tonight. Keep it easy and go to Velvet Taco, where you'll recognize everything on the menu and easily be able to creep down Henderson for a few more drinks if the mood strikes you. Knowing you, it probably will.