Best Restaurants in Dallas, Texas

One of the best parts about a new city is having the opportunity to experience all of the incredible food it has to offer. Dallas is no exception as far as culinary greatness is concerned. You can find a wide-range of incredible places to eat in Dallas, from casual food courts to fine dining restaurants. Look over this list and choose a place that appeals to you, or do research on your own to find other incredible restaurants in the Dallas area.

Pappas Bros. Steakhouse

One of the pricier restaurants in Dallas, Pappas Bros. Steakhouse is sure to be worth the cost. It’s truly the best steakhouse in the city and visitors from all over choose to dine at this establishment. A family-run restaurant, Pappas Bros. Steakhouse is dedicated to quality and service and never wants to disappoint customers. If the fine dining experience at the restaurant isn’t for you, keep an eye out for one of the Pappas food trucks!

Kenny’s Wood Fired Grill

Kenny’s Wood Fired Grill takes pride in offering a twist on classic American dishes. Consider stopping by Kenny’s for brunch or to enjoy some of their smoked gouda mac and cheese. Kenny’s has other affiliated restaurants throughout Texas, such as Kenny’s Burger Joint, Kenny’s Italian Kitchen, or Kenny’s Smoke House.

Pecan Lodge

Pecan Lodge is considered one of the best barbecue joints in Dallas, and with good reason. Started by a couple who wanted to spend more time with family and honor traditions, Pecan Lodge was a small stand at a farmers’ market before it became the restaurant it is today. Sticking to traditional wood-firing techniques and family recipes has made Pecan Lodge a huge success and these are aspects the owners refuse to deviate from.

Jimmy’s Food Store

Known as an incredible Italian restaurant in Dallas, Jimmy’s Food Store has been delighting patrons for decades. Before opening this restaurant, the family ran a small grocery store that they continued running for years after the beginning of the restaurant. The current restaurant opened in 2006 after extensive fire damage destroyed the old store. Now, all kinds of Italian foods are served, from various Italian desserts to dishes specific to a certain location in Italy.

Easy Slider
One of the most recent restaurants on the list, Easy Slider started out as a food truck (and still has one driving around today). Now, the restaurant has a permanent location that patrons can visit to order their favorite sliders or sample some of the incredible new recipes.

Great Day Trips from Dallas, Texas

Image of Texas state capitol in Austin, Texas. Used for Robert Peter blog about great day trips from Dallas, Texas.

Though there’s nearly an endless supply of activities to enjoy in Dallas, a plethora of day trip opportunities surrounds the city as well. If you’re spending only a weekend in Dallas, take time to explore the city itself and make plans to come back another time for some of the great day trips. But, if you recently moved to Dallas or are visiting for a longer period of time, definitely take a look at the incredible places close to the city!



Distance: 3 hours

Austin is located only a few hours from Dallas and also serves as the state capitol. Considered one of the most stunning capitols, visitors can take tours that are free to the public. You can choose a guided tour or wander around yourself, but either promises to be a great experience. Spend the rest of your day exploring the city and trying the great food.


Enchanted Rock

Distance: 4 hours

This park has the typical outdoor attractions, such as hiking and camping, but the true attraction are the rocks in the center of the park. Enchanted Rock is named for the giant pink granite rocks that visitors can climb, stargaze, or have a picnic at.



Distance: 2.5 hours

If you enjoy history and old homes, Jefferson is a town you have to visit. You’ll love the old, historic homes, some of which you can even tour. If you want to stay overnight, many of the older homes also serve as bed and breakfasts. Since Jefferson is located close to the Big Cypress Bayou, visitors can easily take a tour of the bayou in a riverboat as well.


Arbuckle Wilderness Park

Distance: 2 hours

The Arbuckle Wilderness Park is a perfect day trip for families; it’s home to many wild animals you’ll definitely get to see as you travel through the 200 acres of the park. Some of the animals even come up to your vehicle! If you go to this park, you might want to camp overnight at Turner Falls State Park since it’s so close and home to beautiful landscapes.



Distance: 1.5 hours

While Tyler is more commonly associated with business and retail in Texas, if you go at the right time of the year, you’ll see stunning fall leaves. You can drive around and look at the leaves or you can visit the Tyler Rose Garden, which is the largest in the country. If you choose to visit in the spring, the Tyler Azalea Trail is in full-bloom and makes for a beautiful walk.


Fort Worth

Distance: 40 minutes

Fort Worth is often referred to as Dallas’s twin city, but it has a much more laid back atmosphere than Dallas. The city contains an endless amount of cultural and historical attractions, such as museums, art galleries, and old houses and buildings.


Turner Falls

Distance: ~2 hours

Turner Falls is the largest waterfall in Oklahoma and just a short trip from Dallas. There’s a state park situated around the falls, which visitors can explore and hike the various trails. You’ll see caves, streams, beautiful plants and trees, and even have a chance to hike through portions of the Arbuckle Mountains. You can camp here overnight and there are even beaches and places to swim.

Best Attractions to See When Visiting Dallas, Texas

Image for Robert Peters blog post on the top attractions to see when taking a visit to Dallas, Texas.

Whether you’re a longtime resident of Dallas or merely visiting for a weekend, there are lots of sights to see and experience. Everyone can definitely find something to do in Dallas, whether it’s tasting great food, going shopping, or visiting historical landmarks. Plan your trip ahead of time and make an effort to see as much of this wonderful city as you can; regardless of what you decide to see, you’ll have an incredible time. No matter where your interests lie, find time to visit some of these great attractions.

Sixth Floor Museum at Dealey Plaza

This museum is all about John F. Kennedy; it’s also reportedly from where the murderer of the president fired his shots. The museum is filled with exhibits and memorabilia related to the life, presidency, and death of JFK. If you visit, make sure to check out the replica Oval Office and the many historical videos kept in the museum. If you’re tired of walking outside, there’s a 15-acre park attached to the museum you can stroll around after touring the museum.

Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Gardens

If the weather’s nice and you feel like spending time outside, these gardens are stunning. Spanning nearly 70 acres, there are 19 different gardens you can wander through, filled with shady trees and beautiful flowers. There are plenty of places to have a picnic, so enjoy some time outside; you definitely won’t lack space. The Arboretum and Botanical Gardens is also attached to the White Rock Lake and Park, so you can spend even more time in nature.

Reunion Tower

This skyscraper is one of the most distinctive features of Dallas’s skyline. It’s a globe that sits on top of supporting pillars and provides views overlooking the entire city. The globe is covered with lights that are eye-catching and make it impossible to miss when it’s lit up at night. In 2011, extensive renovations were done to Reunion Tower, which now has a revolving restaurant that gives diners a view of the entire city while they eat. There’s also the Geo-Deck observation room from which visitors can view the city.

Dallas Museum of Art

Opened more than 100 years ago in 1903, the Dallas Museum of Art is home to 25,000 art pieces from all over the world. There are many permanent collections you can visit, spanning from Ancient Egypt to Claude Monet and more. In addition to the normal art pieces, there are always a few temporary art installations that visitors can experience.

Nasher Sculpture Center
In addition to the Dallas Museum of Art, the city abounds in many other art museums and exhibits. If you enjoy art, find time to visit the Nasher Sculpture Center. Using a mix of indoor and outdoor exhibits, the Nasher Sculpture Center has beautiful statues you can spend hours looking at, such as Picasso, Rodin, and Ernst, to name a few. This sculpture museum is incredibly modern and will be a pleasant contrast to the Dallas Museum of Art.

6 Qualities of Great Community Leaders

Community leaders who have the potential to make change require a certain set of skills in order to reach their communities’ objectives. A community leader’s job is a difficult one and without strong leadership qualities, it can make the job that much harder. The list below highlights a few of the more prominent skills needed to enact change, bring people together, and ultimately make changes for the greater good.

Self Awareness

Possessing the ability to know yourself, your strengths, and your weaknesses, provides you with an understanding of how to lead yourself and others. Knowing yourself also helps you identify when you need to ask for help and where you can improve. Being self aware allows you to take on projects you know you can handle and provide consistent and powerful leadership.

Honesty & Integrity

Honesty and integrity play an enormous part in effective leadership. If you are not honest or operate with integrity, people are going to notice and no longer follow your lead. As a leader, you want to be an exemplary member of the team. Trust from the community you’re serving and the members of the community standing with you will gain traction for your initiatives.


Teamwork should go without saying, but it can be easy to get bogged down with delegating work and leading from above. Having the ability to step back and see when you are getting too bogged down in leadership “busy work” is vital. You will need to work alongside and in the trenches with those who are following you. Teamwork pride grows comradery and general morale.

Forward Thinker

Forward thinking is another key characteristic of an effective community for a few reasons. Thinking ahead is helpful to mitigate future issues and setbacks. Additionally, as a community leader you are not looking to make temporary changes. You need to think years ahead to continue to help the community for the long haul.

Interpersonal Skills

To be an effective leader you need to be an effective communicator. You will have to give direction and guidance to the people following your lead. Conversely, you will be called to communicate the needs and wants of a community to people that have the power to set funding or laws in motion. Interpersonal skills also show your strength in collaborating with other to achieve common goals.

Ability to Organize a Group

As a community leader, you are not going to be able to do everything yourself. You are going to have to organize a talented group of likeminded people together. Rallying the troops for change can be a daunting task, but possessing the skill to excite potential help will ultimately make you and the cause you are fighting for successful.

6 Ways to be a Good Role Model for Students

Teachers play a huge role in children’s lives as they’re growing up. Students spend numerous hours every week in the classroom from ages 5 to 18. That’s a lot of time spent around teachers! For many students, their teachers may be the only role models they’re ever exposed to and they may spend more time with them than they do their actual parents. This issue is why it’s vital for teachers to prepare to be stellar role models to their students. Here are some ways they can accomplish that.


To be a good role model, you need to have passion for what you’re doing. As a teacher, this means you need to feel passionate about teaching and the students you teach. It’s so easy to burn out and feel hopeless when you’re having a tough year, but you can make it through if you have genuine passion for what you do. Your students will see this passion in you and it’ll hopefully spark some of their own for a certain subject or hobby!


Like I mentioned above, it’s easy for an educator to feel burned out. That’s why perseverance is such a vital quality to possess. You’ll need to persevere in order to be an astounding teacher, especially during those days when it’s tough to continue. When you have a difficult student, it’s important to be able to persevere and continue attempting to connect with them.


It’s important to know what your personal set of values are when teaching. Students are going through the time in their lives when they’re trying to figure out who they are and what their own personal values should be. If you can stand firm in your values, it’ll encourage students to stick to theirs. Values differ from person to person, but a couple that are important for educators to own are honesty and humility. It’s important to admit mistakes so students realize you aren’t perfect, while also being upfront with them.


To become an effective role model as a teacher, you need to be committed to the students and make sure they know that. They’ll trust you and believe your interest is sincere. A way to get this point across to them is to show a commitment to the local community as well. By volunteering and being involved outside of your workplace, you’ll show students that you have a genuine interest in them and where they’re from and you aren’t merely “doing your job.”


Have respect for your students. While it’s true that respect must be given to be received, many students may not understand what it’s like to have an adult who really cares about them and wants to listen. No matter how unruly a student may be, treat them with as much respect as possible. Try to never lose your temper and call them names or curse at them; these actions will break down any professionalism and cause students to not respect you.


The most important part of being a good role model is having the ability to communicate effectively with the students. By knowing how to talk to them about their interests, their hopes and dreams, and themselves, you’ll be able to connect with them on a deeper level, which will inspire them to view you as a role model.

Don’t Mess With Texas



As Texans, we know that there is nothing better than the Lone Star state. We know it, and thanks to a variety of slogans, the rest of the country does too. People know that everything is bigger in Texas, and every knows not to mess with Texas, but do they know why? The saying, “Don’t mess with Texas,” asserts our strength, but this famous slogan has its own history. This slogan was created for a great cause, one as valiant as the people of our state.

A little over 30 years ago, Texas was allocating a huge amount of money to cleaning the highways across our state. By 1985, the state was spending nearly $20 million annually, to pick up the trash Texans were throwing out of their windows as they drove around the state. As a response, the Texas Department of Transportation (TXDOT) hired advertising agency GSD&M to create a slogan as part of an anti-littering campaign. The project was led by Mike Blair and GSD&M founder Tim McClure, and was targeting the 18-35-year-old male demographic. The team had some difficulty convincing TXDOT to adopt the slogan, who wanted to try a tamer slogan like, “Keep Texas Beautiful.” McClure and Blair knew an ordinary statement wouldn’t inspire anyone to resist throwing their garbage anywhere they pleased, so the campaign stuck with “Don’t Mess With Texas.”

The campaign launched in 1985, with bumper stickers as the vehicle for spreading the message. A year later, the campaign aired its first TV advertisement, and the slogan made a television debut. The ad ran during the 50th annual Cotton Bowl Classic on January 1st, of 1986 and featured Stevie Ray Vaughn singing the class “Eyes of Texas” with the slogan “Don’t Mess With Texas” added at the end. The TXDOT has worked with many other famous faces in “Don’t Mess With Texas” public service announcements, including Lance Armstrong, Willie Nelson, and even Chuck Norris.

The TXDOT, McClure and Blair didn’t know this slogan would become as ubiquitous as it is today, but it has become “an identity statement, a declaration of Texas swagger.” The slogan is federally trademarked, and the TXDOT has tried to enforce trademark rights with very little success. It is printed on all types of souvenir goods, spreading the message to others across the country, and maybe even internationally. The campaign was successful in reducing litter across Texan highways, but today, the slogan lives on in the spirit of Texan pride.

The Top 10 National and State Parks of Texas

Texas is known for it’s rich history in the development of our nation, but it’s physically characterized by breath-taking scenery. When you think about the landscape of the Lone Star state, images of flat desert come to mind, but Texas is full of high peaks and low caves. Below is a list of top 10 national and state parks to go out and explore:

Big Bend

1. Big Bend National Park and Big Bend Ranch State Park

Big Bend National Park and it’s neighbor, Big Bend Ranch State Park, both sit on the border of the U.S. and Mexico. The Rio Grande runs through both parks which encompass and protect a large portion of the Chihuahua desert. The two parks offer more than 200 miles of hiking trails, some of which can be completed in a day. Notable sites within the park include Chisos Basin and Rio Grande Village.



A Native American legend claims Caddo Lake was formed when one of the Caddo Chiefs failed to obey the Great Spirit. The Great Spirit retaliated with an earthquake which created and filled the lake. Today, the cypress swamp of Caddo Lake State Park is an excellent location to camp, hike and kayak.



3. Longhorn Caverns State Park

Once a refuge for ice age animals, Native American peoples, pioneer settlers, Confederate soldiers and outlaws, Longhorn Caverns State Park is now attraction for all. The limestone caverns were formed by an underground river that dwindled away thousands of years ago. The naturally cool temperature of the caverns (68F) makes this destination ideal to visit during the summer months. While there is no overnight camping allowed, there are daily tours available.


padre island

4. Padre Island National Seashore

Located off the southern coast of Texas, the Padre Island National Seashore is a constantly changing coastline of dunes and tidal flats. One of the island’s greatest attractions, Kemp’s ridley sea turtles nest their eggs along the coast. If you have a chance to visit, don’t miss the sunset over the Gulf of Mexico.


Screen Shot 2015-10-30 at 12.12.36 PM

5. Enchanted Rock State Natural Area

The Enchanted Rock, a massive pink granite dome, is the focal piece of this Texan park, located in the plains west of Austin. Visible for miles in the area, this rock is has been exposed for (as geologists estimate) more than one billion years. A short .6 mile hike will lead you up to spectacular views of the park.



6. Monahans Sandhills State Park

Located near the town of Monahans, Monahans Sandhills State Park has sand dunes that can up to 70 feet tall. This is an ideal location for recreational activities like sand-boarding, sand surfing and sand football.



7. Kickapoo Cavern State Park

With 18 miles of trails available to birders, hikers and mountain bikers, this park has more to offer below the plains of the southwest. This state park has 20 caves, the largest of which is open to the public via guided flashlight tours. The park has something to offer to animal lovers in particular, visitors can watch Mexican free tailed bats emerge from the caves from March through October.



8. Hueco Tanks Park and Historic Site

Once inhabited by the people of Jornada Mogollon, the Hueco Tanks Park and Historic Site are know for the pictographs left behind by previous cultures. There are more than 200 face designs left behind by the Mogollon, as well as pictographs from the Apaches and Kiowas.



9) Pedernales Falls State Park

Whether you want to climb over the limestone rocks along the Pedernales River or wade in the low flow of the river, this park is full of gorgeous scenery. Be careful of the highly variable levels of the river, when it is low it is ideal for swimming.



10) Palo Duro Canyon State Park

Home to the second largest canyon in the U.S., this park has 30 miles of biking, hiking and equestrian trails.  You may also see Longhorn steers grazing along these trails, part of official Texas state longhorn herd is known to wander around the edge of the park.


Check out this informational video about Houston, Texas!

The Effort to Enroll the Uninsured

Robert Peters Manor Texas

The Obama administration has announced recently that with the next round of open enrollment under the Affordable Care Act happening quite soon, they will be focusing on certain areas of the country.
Two major areas to focus on are: Dallas and Houston. Interestingly, the secretary o health and human services Sylvia Mathews Burwell said on Tuesday that this year will be quite different than last year in terms of open enrollment.

Many uninsured people have already signed up for healthcare, which leaves a smaller pool of eligible people to sign up. Ms. Burwell stated that their goal this enrollment period is to focus on 10.5 million Americans who are uninsured.

To be clear, the enrollment period starts on November 1st and goes through January 31st, 2016. Ms. Burwell also said that they expect about 9.1 million people to have coverage through the marketplace, which is where state and federal exchange programs and information for where people can buy insurance.

The issues that may arise when signing up for insurance or help from marketplaces is that some people fail to pay their premiums, which brings the numbers down on a national level in terms of who is insured. Other instances include issues of inadequately answering questions o federal employees about citizenship or immigration status.

Another interesting fact that Ms. Burwell brings up is that many of the eligible uninsured in the specific pool of people being target for this enrollment period are between the ages of 18 and 34.

Last year, the Census Bureau reported that the number of Americans without health insurance has dropped 8.8 million since last year – because of the Affordable Care Act. Unfortunately, 33 million people are still uninsured and the goal is to get every eligible American insured within the next few years.

Houston and Dallas will be big focal points for the health and human services department. We should be encouraging families and individuals to sign up and receive health insurance!

Startup Scene Brewing in Austin

It’s interesting to see cities grow and evolve! It’s no secret that Austin, Texas, is a large tech hub attracting young professionals around the world. Many intelligent, creative people have made the move to Austin to live a better quality life and work at the company of their dreams.