Foodie Friday: Slow Down and Savor the Moment at these Three New Restaurants in North Texas

by Martin Ramirez on August 25, 2023 in Food+Drink,

North Texas is for the busy. From gridlocked highways to congested traffic lights, this fast and furious population is always on the go. And for that reason, many North Texans often look to gas stations or fast food for their culinary options. Luckily, a few new additions provide better alternatives while on the go, as well as enticing reasons to stop and savor the moment.

Shake Shack in McKinney

Shake Shack’s drive thru brings quality, fast food to customers on the go in North Texas. Photo courtesy Shake Shack.

In late June, national burger joint Shake Shack expanded their Dallas / Ft. Worth market with their first DFW Metroplex location featuring a drive-thru, which provided burger enthusiasts in the McKinney area a fast food option that focuses on premium ingredients, quality sourcing, and social good.

Enjoying a double Shack Burger on a hot summer day. Photo courtesy Martin Ramirez.

This growing local favorite features many options for your summer travels, like a classic ShackBurger,™ an angus beef cheeseburger with lettuce, tomato, and ShackSauce on a toasted potato bun, or a SmokeShack,™  an angus beef cheeseburger topped with applewood-smoked bacon and chopped cherry peppers. Be sure to marry these delicious burgers with a side of crinkle-cut fries spiced with their own spicy pepper blend—this will definitely be a contender for your most favorite fries. And as the days get hotter and longer, indulge in a crisp, iced tea or Mango Passionade made with real mango to cool off. Try them caffeinated to get you through the rest of the workday or for a nice little jolt on the way home.

Kona Grill in Dallas and Plano

Kona Grill’s summer options offer a refreshing way to enjoy the season of heat. Photo courtesy Martin Ramirez.

Kona Grill kicked off the summer season with a specially curated menu featuring signature cocktails and summer inspired eats. Dubbed as the “Endless Summer,” this seasonal edition focuses on options that will encourage you to ditch the drive-thrus and dine in.

A pair of red sangria is the perfect start to a date night at Kona Grill. Photo courtesy Martin Ramirez.

For starters, what makes Kona Grill the ideal place to hide from the heat are the refreshing cocktails that make any hour a happy hour. The Summer Refresher, which combines La Marca Prosecco with Red Bull Red Edition, is the perfect option for that midday slump. Or join Kona Grill for happy hour from 2 – 6 pm Monday through Friday and every day after 9 pm, where mojitos (traditional, raspberry, and sparkling sake), old fashions, and watermelon and skinny margaritas are priced at $9. Pair any of these items with a savory ribeye meatball, specialty slider, or seafood fettuccine alfredo for an instant summer classic.

A sampling of the Ribeye Meatballs offered a hearty attraction during the Endless Summer menu reveal. Photo courtesy Martin Ramirez.

800 North and Margaret’s at the JW Marriott Dallas Arts District

The lobby bar of 800 North is the perfect escape from the busy streets of downtown Dallas. Photo courtesy JW Marriott Dallas Arts District.

In a previous article, we detailed the extent to which the JW Marriott intertwines art and luxury into their hotel accommodations. Their flagship bar and restaurant, 800 North and Margaret’s, meticulously continues this concept into what guests and visitors can consume while indulging at these fine establishments.

With light bites like the truffle beignets, 800 North is the ideal place to meet after work or along your way to the many museums in the area. Photo courtesy JW Marriott Dallas Arts District.

What makes 800 North uniquely designed for those on the go and those looking to take a break from their busy day is the location. Located right in the heart of the Dallas Arts District, where congested intersections cross with placid fields of art and architecture, 800 North offers a street-level cocktail lounge where everyday commuters and Arts District patrons can stop for lite bites, like the truffle beignets, and trend-forward cocktails, like the refreshing Water on the Ranch which combines Topo Chico, St. Germain elderflower, Don Julio Blanco Tequila, and lime.

The halibut is the perfect seascape getaway for your taste buds in this landlocked region. Photo courtesy JW Marriott Dallas Arts District.

However, if a midday brunch or evening dinner beckons you to slow down and escape the urban daze, Margaret’s offers fine dining, elegant ambiance, and a gorgeous downtown view. Located on the 11th floor at JW Marriott Dallas Arts District, Margaret’s ranch-to-table menu options include Texas-inspired brunch entrees like the Texas Hash, which tops smoked akaushi brisket with two eggs sunny side up, crispy potatoes, onions, peppers, salsa cremosa, and shaved fresno. For dinner, the crispy octopus with salsa verde, crispy kale, and seafoam and the pan seared halibut with sweet corn purée, warm potato salad, brown butter crab, and English peas provide the perfect ocean cuisine getaway for this landlocked region.

The octopus at Margaret’s is yet another delicious option, making Dallas a foodie destination. Photo courtesy JW Marriott Dallas Arts District.

There’s no shortage of culinary options in the greater DFW region. Fun, intimate, casual, or fast, whether on the go or stopping for a moment, there is something for everyone.


Cover photo courtesy Shake Shack

Martin Ramirez is a brisket-eating, Shiner-loving, road-tripping enthusiast of all things Texas. This Dallas-born writer / adventurer is ready to take his ‘78 El Camino to find the best in food, fun, and fitness throughout the Lone Star State.