First I want to thank the folks at Visit Plano for hosting me for the long weekend! I hadn’t really heard much about the food scene but they created an itinerary for me and I was so excited! In addition to dining, we managed to get in some shopping, pedicures, shopping and yes – shopping! There are so many cute pockets in the city and it’s huge!
The first thing I loved is all the murals around town! For a selfie hound like me – I had a great time – every mural was another opportunity for a fun pic. The wings are all over the city! Plus I was lucky enough to have a blogging friend in the area (Kitchen Gone Rogue) who spent the weekend exploring the city with me!
My first night in town, Kelly took me to the Turkish Cafe & Lounge. They have a lot of great dishes: hummus, gyros, kebabs, flatbreads, baklava and so much more. It’s also a hookah lounge – which I’ve never done – but I’m just not much for smoke – so I didn’t partake. We tried a few things including falafel and crispy feta rolls.
What Should You Get at Turkish Cafe? The hummus ($12) – pureed chickpeas served warm but here’s the kicker – be sure to get it topped with their housemade Turkish sausage!!! OMG – so much better!! I mean – the hummus is great, the pita is soft (where can I find soft pita in Cinci?) – but that sausage on top was heavenly!
The decor is really cool too – they have these beautiful lanterns all over – big ones, little ones, so gorgeous! I wish they had those on the menu – I would have come home with a dozen of them. On weekends they have live music and dancing too!
The next morning we checked in at the Dallas-Plano Marriott at the Legacy Town Center and it was amazing! We had a two room suite with two balconies and two queen beds. The hotel is right at the Legacy Town Center – which is within walking distance of shops, restaurants and a great community. It’s definitely THE place to stay in Plano! They also have a great restaurant and bar downstairs.
After checking in – we headed to Downtown Plano for lunch at Urban Crust. Downtown Plano is very cute! Plano is very big and has tons of places that are new architecture, etc. But Downtown Plano is historical and has great old buildings that have been taken over and redone and filled with shops, restaurants, coffee houses and more. You can definitely spend a leisurely afternoon (or more) exploring.
Urban Crust is a wood-fire pizza shop with a fantastic rooftop balcony! Once seated they brought out a basket of cut up pizza crust with two dipping options: marinara and olive tapenade. I tried the marinara and LOVED it – but Kelly said she hates olives. So I surrendered the marinara to her and killed the tapenade myself. It was so good! I might have had them bring me another cup. 🙂
We decided to split a pizza and made our own – Kelly is allergic to cow’s milk – so we went with a tomato, mushroom and goat cheese pizza. We asked for light sauce but somehow that got interpreted as no sauce. Fortunately they brought out us a bowl of the marinara pizza sauce on request and we just piled that on as needed. It was so good!
What Should You Get at Urban Crust? The custom pizza ($15) was a great option – they have combos but it was nice to have the flexibility of choosing the toppings we wanted and the crust was yummy!
We headed straight for the balcony when we got there and even though it was a chilly day it was a great view. They have a cover on the balcony with clear walls that unzip when it’s nice. So we got to enjoy the view without freezing.
After chowing down on pizza – we went shopping in Downtown Plano. We found so much fun stuff! There’s a big mural next to a Farmers Market, home decor shops, coffee shops, a cake ball store (yum!) and some really cute shops. I might have purchased that flask for a friend! There’s also a cool watch store called Shinola – they make bikes and watches in Detroit and are trying to help with the economic issues in the city. I definitely put a dent in the credit card at these shops!
After all that shopping, our tootsies needed some pampering! The folks at Woodhouse Day Spa invited us to stop by and have some fun. We decided to get spa pedicures! It was a fun experience – it’s a fancy spa! We had these neck warmers and comfy reclining massage seats. I know there is a Woodhouse Day Spa here in Cincinnati as well – I might have to pay them a visit!
After all that shopping and pampering – we were starving! We might have stopped back at the hotel for a nap – and then to The Keeper. The Keeper is a seafood place – but taken up a notch.
We got a special kitchen tour with Chef Gil. He chatted with us about how they get their seafood in fresh daily (there’s even a map on the site), how the restaurant took shape and more. They wanted it to be a beachy seafood restaurant but without the kitschiness of fish and netting on the walls. We had a blast in the kitchen as well – watching them crack open fresh oysters, bringing food to the pass – it was all very Hells Kitchen minus the screaming.
We started out with popcorn sprinkled in Old Bay Seasoning! Yum – what a fun starter instead of heavy bread and butter – light, salty popcorn got us in the mood for a seafood feast!
What Should You Get at The Keeper? Well this is the shocker – I don’t like oysters. BUT apparently I love fried oysters!!! Chef Gil talked us into these as neither of us was so excited about this – but thank God he did! These little fried nuggets of gold are amazing! They’re lightly battered and fried with a great remoulade. Oddly enough this was my favorite item of the night!
I went for the lobster linguini – there was more to it than that but the menu has changed so I can’t recount it all. I think there was even kale in this – but it was delicious! The buttery lobster was a delicious addition. The thing is too – when it’s something more seasonal – they run out some nights – so go early or be flexible!
We really loved our visit to The Keeper and they were gracious enough to surprise us by covering our meal! It was a wonderful surprise to end our evening.
After all that activity – we went to the hotel and crashed! After sleeping in a bit (woohoo) – we headed downstairs for breakfast. The Dallas-Plano Marriott has a kick-butt breakfast buffet! There were eggs, biscuits and gravy, chorizo, an omelet station, pastries, mounds of bacon, pancakes and more. It was sooo delicious! We were happy to put a dent in this buffet a couple mornings!
The next morning – we decided we needed some play time – and that meant the Crayola Experience! This is a kid’s paradise and luckily we had some kids to borrow for the morning! Kelly invited her son’s family down so we got to take three little nuggets to check it out.
It was a bit overwhelming for me – so I can’t imagine being a little kid! There’s so much to do! It’s definitely tailored to the younger crowd with lots of things to do – that all take about 5-10 minutes max – short attention spans abound.
The kids loved it! We got tokens with our admission which allowed us to get personalized crayons and the the Crayola version of play-doh. They also have tons of activities like these fun cameras that will take a photo of you and make a coloring page out of it. There is also a big playland that will wear the kids out and give Mom and Dad a break.
After a few hours at the Crayola Experience, we were starving! So we headed to what – hands down – turned out to be the most fun dining experience I’ve had in years if not EVER!!!! This is a MUST SEE in Plano – hell anywhere they have one – Kura Revolving Sushi.
There is a track that winds it’s way through the restaurant – always moving – always bringing new sushi delights to your table. It’s so fun! Each dish that comes by has 2-3 small plates and if you see something you want to try – you grab a plate! They only cost $2.25 a plate – so if you don’t like it – you’re not out much!
It was so much fun!!! If you order 5 plates – you get a cartoon on the TV and 10 plates gets you a toy! If what you really want doesn’t float by – you can order it on the TV and it whizzes to you on the super fast track!
I saw something called Salmon Cheeks and decided I needed to try it – so it whizzed right to us in just a couple of minutes. Wow – this was amazing! I guess it was the side of the salmon – there were parts that were fatty – but then there was a ton of delicious meat and it was all coated with this sweet glaze. OMG – it was sooo good!
Is the sushi the best I’ve ever had? No. But is this the most fun sushi I’ve ever had? YES!!! And when we went – there was one plate we just didn’t like – and couldn’t stick it down the plate chute (seriously – you have to experience it) – and the server didn’t even charge us for it. We also had dessert donuts with ice cream.
What Should You Get at Kura Sushi? It doesn’t matter. Just go. It is hands-down the most fun meal!!! I recommend going with 2-4 people so you can try more plates and get the toy!
In between running all over Plano – we had to stop by Kelly’s place and feed her kitty Cocoa. Look at this baby! I just had to share a couple pics of my new favorite being in the city. Kelly was fine – but this kitty was the bomb! I miss her so much!
Next up – more shopping! Okay – first maybe we had a sushi nap. After a sufficient nap – and can I say – the beds are soooooo comfy at the hotel – we headed to the Shops at Legacy. I got a super cute purse and some fun jewelry. Shop shop shop…Plano you’re killing me!
Next up was something I was REALLY excited for – Legacy Food Hall. It’s this new concept and is basically a kick-ass gourmet food court. Amazing chefs that want to try out new ideas, food trucks that want a permanent location, up and comers giving it a whirl – all these people come together in this great space and make kickass food.
There’s a huge bar in the middle – it’s three floors – of amazing food. I liked too that a lot of the places had some small options we could try for $4-6 because when I’m in place like this – I want to try a million things – and I was able to do that. I can tell you – if I lived in Plano – I would be at the Legacy Food Hall EVERY WEEKEND. They also have a big stage outside with free concerts!
What should you get at Legacy Food Hall? Tiffany from Top Chef has a chicken place, there’s a bao steamed bun place with a pork belly steamed bun, a chicken on a stick place and so much more. I can’t even narrow it down. Just go and pick something and kill it – then pick something else and something else and something else!
After crashing again – we woke up starving! We knew there were a bunch of great places for brunch so we headed back to Downtown Plano. We had seen a couple of places that peaked our interest and wanted to check them out.
We landed on Urban Rio – it’s a modern Mexican cantina – really cool interior and loads of great options. This is kind of my perfect breakfast – hot, bubbling queso and breakfast tacos! They also have a tequila room if that’s your thing – not mine – but I know a lot of folks that would dig that.
There’s also a little path down to a creek. I could definitely enjoy a little solitude down there just relaxing and watching the stream trickle by. Heritage Farmstead Museum is definitely a little hidden gem in the middle of the city!
On my final night in Plano, we headed to Whiskey Cake! Whiskey Cake is owned by the same folks that own The Keeper. They have a live-wood grill and a farm to kitchen menu. It’s very rustic inside and comfortable. We ate a LOT of food there – our server was fantastic and so helpful.
We had a really hard time deciding but Kelly went for the Rotisserie Farm Bird ($18) of a spit-roasted half-chicken on top of Brussels sprouts, mustard vinaigrette and gremolata.
I went for the Black Angus Ribeye ($35) because our server was bragging up the ribeye and that is my absolute favorite cut of steak. It was served with char-grilled caulini (combo of broccolini & cauliflower) and topped with roasted garlic butter. The steak and butter was amazing!!!!
What Should You Get At Whiskey Cake? First up – Goat Cheese Fondue ($10.5) – good olive oil, Greek olives,
roasted tomatoes and grilled sourdough. Kelly isn’t a huge fan of olives but even she loved this. This goat cheese though was ridiculous! It was warm and melty – it was HEAVEN!!!
Then of course – the other MUST HAVE is the actual Whiskey Cake! ($8) This is a toffee torte topped with a bourbon anglaise,
spiced pecans and whipped cream. We had the whipped cream on the side because of Kelly’s allergy. This cake…it’s similar to a spice cake – it’s dense but not super heavy and the toppings are just perfection. This was a perfect dessert to share and I had just enough room in my dessert pocket to tuck this one in.
It was such a fantastic capper to my foodie tour of Plano!
So next time you’re in or near Plano – be sure to check out all the amazing options they have to offer! I would say the NOT MISS items are:
– Legacy Food Hall – you could spend 7 nights there and not try everything!
– Kura Revolving Sushi – it was so much fun!
– Fried Oysters at The Keeper
– Goat Cheese Fondue at Whiskey Cake
– Shopping in Downtown Plano
Thanks again to Visit Plano for having us and the Dallas-Plano Marriott at the Legacy Town Center for hosting us. It was a beautiful hotel and so comfy!
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