Friday, December 16, 2016

Going to Grapevine

Statue chatting with Cynthia
The little town of Grapevine has been one of the places I’ve visited many times without stopping to think about its origins much. There are lots of places to eat, both chains and those owned by individuals, lots of places to shop, and a few places to explore just because they are there. It’s also the home of Grape Fest in the fall and Christmas grandeur during the holidays. Now Grapevine is most dependent on the tourist trade, but that hasn’t always been the basis of their economics.

Way back in the mid-1800s, General Sam Houston, along with the Republic of Texas Commissioners, camped at Tah-Wah-Karro Creek (Grape Vine Springs) as they prepared to
Buckboard and windmill
meet with leaders of ten Indian Nations to hammer out a treaty. This treaty of ‘peace, friendship, and commerce’ allowed settlers to build homesteads on a prairie that was rather thickly covered with wild grapes. Their settlement, originally named Grape Vine, would eventually become the modern city we know today, with its name changed, by the post office in 1914, to Grapevine. In the 1930s, Grapevine’s only claim to fame was that Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow killed police officers E.B. Wheeler and H.D. Murphy near the town. However, once cantaloupe farms replaced cotton crops and the Rotary Club did a bit of marketing, Grapevine became known as the ‘Cantaloupe Capital of the World’. The population and the economic growth rocked along slowly but steadily, relying on agricultural production until the northern entrance of the Dallas-Fort Worth Airport was built. Once the airport was up and running, the Grapevine economy quickly switched to service based. Massive development of a regional commerce center provided new jobs and the Grapevine area was roomy enough for the influx of workers. Grapevine is greatly changed from its agricultural beginnings into a service economy and tourist destination.

Our latest trip into Grapevine was to have a nice dinner and to enjoy the holiday decorations
Top L to R: Tree in show, Torian cabin
Bottom L to R: Group, City Hall
before the crowds got too thick on the streets. We had a good meal and an entertaining time out with the rest of the tourists. The most fun I had was playing in the ‘snow’; there were three little kids who were giggling and shrieking along with me. It was also entertaining to be asked to take a picture for a group of people in front of one of the decorated trees on the street; of course, Dave took their picture, too, but with his camera. I think they thought he was a bit crazy; but how is this unusual? Dave liked the lights on City Hall because they looked like giant snowflakes. He also commented that you could tell that the decorations were a group effort, making the entire main street festive. We both enjoyed the manner in which the Torian Cabin was decorated for the season. This log cabin was built in 1845 in the Lonesome Dove community and occupied until the 1940s. In 1976 the Grapevine Historical Society rescued it from demolition, moving it to its current location and restoring it. We had a great time on the streets of Grapevine! For information about my rating system, see Reading the Reviews.

Four carrots
Dinner was at Mac’s on Main (909 S Main Street, #110, Grapevine, TX 76051, 817-251-6227). Having had lunch there with a group on one occasion, we made dinner reservations 
Top L to R: Menu logo, soup, bread
Middle L to R: Salad, Steak
Bottom L to R: Tuna, Cake
but really didn’t need to do so since we ate fairly early. There were patrons in and out of the bar, but the crowds in the dining areas didn’t begin until around 7:00PM. Fresh, hot bread was delivered to our table just after the wine arrived; Dave had an unexceptional chardonnay and I had a too dry Riesling. The bread was very good, though. Dave began his meal with a small bowl of Onion Soup that he said was good but not outstanding. I had their Unlimited House Salad that was more than enough without having the bowl refilled. The crumbled blue cheese and the house dressing on the crispy lettuce were delightful. Dave had Ribeye with a Loaded Baked Potato and Sautéed Mushrooms. These were all very good, with the steak being almost as good as what he can produce on his grill. I had Sesame Seared Ahi Tuna with the seasonal vegetable, Broccoli, rather than the Quinoa Brown Rice. The tuna was wonderful and the vegetable was good. For dessert we shared a Dark and Light Chocolate Cake that was okay; the chocolate was good, but the cake, itself, was rather dry. Service was good and the prices were reasonable.

Two and one-half carrots
For breakfast a few weeks before this latest visit, we decided to try an interesting little 
Top L to R: Menu, Chips
Bottom L to R: Torta, Huevos Rancheros
Mexican café. Burritos Locos (416 W Northwest Highway, Grapevine, TX 76051, 817-416-7230) has both outdoor and indoor seating. The waitress who served us was very nice but wasn’t too excited about making changes to what was offered. The coffee was hot and plentiful, even if it did have an odd taste, perhaps chicory. Dave had Huevos Rancheros with rice and beans. He said that they were one of the best he had ever had. I had Tortas Desayuno, a mixture of eggs, potato, Mexican sausage, bacon, cheese, and beans on a torta; it was huge, but only just OK. We may go back one day and try one of their other offerings from their menu.

Main Street, Grapevine

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