NEW FOODIE HOTSPOTS
Sugar Bee Sweets is a favorite of mine for portion control: The adorable bakery offers tiny personal-sized pies, one-bite cupcakes, and possibly the best cake pops ever. Plus you can get all giddy looking at their glorious wedding cakes.
Just up the street you’ll find The Tipsy Oak, with a chef-driven menu and a tightly-curated beer list. If you’re interested in tasting any of the options on tap but don’t want to commit to a full 12-ounce glass, try a tiny five-ounce pour for about $3. On my visit, I found that the poutine pairs well with the Bishop’s Pineapple Cider.
Also up the street: Urban Alchemy Coffee + Wine Bar, which manages to be the best of both worlds: It’s a coffee shop and a cute little wine boutique, with a surprisingly extensive menu. There’s a new Sunday brunch option (10 am – 3 pm) that leans heavily on neighboring Sugar Bee Sweets’ menu of goodies.
While I’m throwing love at Urban Union, I want to take a minute to honor the places I call the “old guard” –– the establishments that sprung up long before Texas Live was even a glimmer in a developer’s eye.
Before he concepted Cartel Taco Bar, Greg Gardner brought Arlington the Grease Monkey Burger Shop & Social Club, in what used to be the Luke Honda dealership. It’s a great place to meet up before or after games or other events at the two stadiums nearby. Grease Monkey also shares space with national chain Mellow Mushroom and regional chain Babe’s Chicken Dinner House. The complex is across from the beautifully eclectic Arlington Music Hall, a 1950s theatre that’s been renovated into a music venue.
Finally, J. Gilligans probably cornered the market on longevity –– the family-friendly sports bar with the semi-legendary Irish nachos (everything you like about nachos stuffed into potato skins) has been serving good grub as long as I’ve lived here.
While you’re here, venture off the beaten path a little. And remember that Gilligans, along with some of the other bars and restaurants also offer shuttles to games at AT&T Stadium or (currently) Globe Life Park. It’s a perfect excuse to explore, drink and dine before heading to the big game.