72 GoodLifeFamilyMag.com MARCH | APRIL 2019 FirstWatch Sure, these days you can get trendy and healthy menu items like avocado toastatjustaboutanywhere,butatthisplace,it’sover-the-topgoodwith smashed avocado, extra virgin olive oil, a squeeze of lemon and Malden sea salt. A seasonal menu focusing on fresh produce offers lighter fare in warmer months and comfort food in cooler months, making it a perfect choice any time of the year. Carnivores shouldn’t miss the scrumptious Millionaire’s Bacon—four slices of hardwood smoked bacon baked with brown sugar, black pepper, cayenne and a maple syrup drizzle, and the Power Bowl made with protein-packed quinoa, veggies and lemon chick- enbreastisaperfectchoiceforlunch. MultiplelocationsthroughoutDFW www.firstwatch.com GlobalPeaceFactory If you think the name of this place refers to a hippie-dippie alternative to “that other factory” (you know, the one with cheesecake), think again. “Factory” is just for fun, because Global Peace is anything but. A fairly small space with highly customizable drinks, interesting ingredients and super-friendlywaitstaffarewhatbringfolksbackheretimeandagain.We said interesting coffee ingredients, and we meant it: lavender or coconut syrup. Honey. Brown Sugar.There are also plenty of milk alternatives. But what makes Global Peace a standout for us is that it donates a portion of itsproceedstopeaceworkcharities.Prettycoolforaplacethatservesreally hotbeverages. 1377LegacyDr.|Frisco (214)705-2664 www.globalpeacefactory.com HugsCafé Everything about Hugs makes us want to smile—from the friendly staff, to the exceptional customer service, to the giant“HUGS”sign on the wall, and of course, to the food. Owner RuthThompson created the Hugs con- cept as a lunch-only place where adults with special needs could find meaningful work and then used her cooking background to create truly delicious menu items. You’ll find daily soups, fresh salads and decadent sandwiches that are piled high with tasty fillings. Our favorite just might be The Chickie Hug, made with Hugs’signature chicken salad, cucumber, fresh spinach and tomato on your choice of bread. Ultimate Picnic Potato Saladisamust-tryside,andeveryoneravesabouttheSignatureWedding CakeCookies.ClosedonMondays. 224E.VirginiaSt.|McKinney (469)301-6900 www.hugscafe.org Mama’sDaughters’Diner If your own mama always told you to“clean your plate,”then you’d better come to Mama’s Daughters’ Diner hungry. This family-owned and oper- ated business (since 1958!) is currently run by three generations, serving generous portions of made-from-scratch yumminess throughout the day. Dailyspecialsareofthe“Meat&3”variety(entréeplusyourchoiceofthree sides) and priced at just $10.50—chicken and dumplings and meatloaf are standouts. Pies and cobblers are decadent and also available in whole sizesfortakeout. MultiplelocationsthroughoutDFW www.mamasdaughtersdiner.com MapleLeafDiner When experienced restaurateurs, Michael Delaurier and Chef Debra Delaurier, couldn’t find the Cana- dian comfort food they craved in the Metroplex, they created their own place. Maple Leaf’s menu of- fers what Canadians dream about: poutine (French fries topped with cheese curds and gravy), peameal bacon (aka“real”Canadian bacon) and butter tarts. For a little bit of Can- ada meetsTexas, try the scrumptious Southern Poutine with chicken fried chicken and white gravy. And with all-day breakfast plus a lengthy menu of burgers, wraps and hearty entrees, it’s a pretty terrific spot for family dining,eh? 12817PrestonRd.,Ste.129|Dallas (214)434-1626 www.mldiner.com Nerdvana We’re not sure what makes us nerdier: our love of Nerdvana’s borrow- or-buy board games library or the fact that we get super excited about a hot beverage served in actual coffee mugs. Never mind. Nerdvana gets a big thumbs up. Much of the seating in this wide-open space is commu- nity-style—perfect for socializing and playing games—with plentiful outlets for all your electronic devices.Teas and fresh juices round out your beverageselection,andtheTexasToastsaredefinitelyworthatasting.We swoonedovertheDivineApplePecanversion. 5757MainSt.|Frisco (214)618-8130 www.nerdvanafrisco.com Norma’sCafé Since 1956, Norma’s has been serving up its own brand of delicious fare and down-home hospitality. From giant omelets stuffed to the brim, to burgers,sandwiches,andsomuchmore,narrowingdownyourchoicescan beachallenge.EveryonelovesNorma’sbiscuits,butdon’teattoomanyof them or you won’t have room for things like the Chicken Fried Steak (one ofDFW’sbest),Open-FacedPotRoastSandwichonTexastoastservedwith mashedpotatoesandsmotheredwithgravy,ortheubiquitousdinerPatty Melt, positively oozing with Swiss Cheese and smothered onions. Don’t forget the pies!You can’t leave without indulging in one of Norma’s Mile- HighCreamPies™;thecoconutversionisanotherworldlyexperience. MultiplelocationsthroughoutDFW www.normascafe.com PearlCup When Carlene Saelg and Rita Da- vis moved to Dallas from Austin in early 2007, they began looking for a “real”coffee shop—the kind that served strong, mostly espres- so-based drinks that weren’t bitter, providedacommunityatmosphere and welcomed those who wanted to open up a laptop or book and hang out for a while. When they couldn’t find one, they boldly opened Pearl Cup. Using only the best, local Texas roasters, Pearl Cup is the per- fect venue for true coffee snobs—and we mean that in the most com- plimentary way. Of course, you must try their creamy, dreamy signature drink:ThePearlLatte™. 2701CusterPkwy.|Richardson (214)468-8182 www.pearlcupcoffee.com WhiteRockCoffee Whether you’re searching for a cool, caffeinated hangout after burning somecaloriesatWhiteRockLakeoraquickwalk-up/drive-thruwithplen- ty of specialty drink options, like Iced Caramel Mocha and Mango Peach GreenIcedTea,WhiteRockaimstoplease.ThemainlocationonNorthwest Highway offers plenty of seating (there’s also a small balcony upstairs if the downstairs is full), free Wi-Fi, fresh muffins, bagels and pastries and if you hit them at the right time, free live music, too. It’s also a great place to pick up a pound of locally roasted microlot, organic or direct/fair trade beansforyourhomebrews. MultiplelocationsthroughoutDFW www.wrcoffee.com RoyalBlue Whether you’re looking to grab an awesome Stumptown coffee with a buddy, a healthy prepared lunch fortheoffice,oryou’rejusttoodarn tired to cook dinner for the family, Royal Blue has something for you. It’s a thoughtfully-curated (and su- per-hip)urbangrocerystoreaswell as an excellent resource for locally sourced products; each store is different, tailored to the neighborhood it serves. Royal Blue also offers catering, with everything from breakfast tacos to boxed lunches, mix-and-match sandwich platters, cocktail bites andmore. 1HighlandParkVillage|Dallas (214)526-9516 www.royalbluegrocery.com Spoons Located right on the square in beautiful, historic McKinney, Spoons offers breakfast all day plus a plethora of delicious sandwiches, burgers and hot dogs, soups and salads—something to suit everyone’s culinary cravings. Start by sharing an order of Cottage Potatoes All the Way—basically, a breakfast version of cheese fries: house potatoes smothered with Ched- dar and Pepper Jack cheeses, crumbled apple smoked bacon and a side of Spoons’salsa.Spoonsisfamousforitschickensalad,andonceyou’vetried it,you’llknowwhy:dicedredgrapes,celery,andpecans,mixedwithmay- onnaise and pickle relish, served on bread or slider buns, make it a stand- out. It’s a terrific place to chill with family and friends after shopping“The Square.” Hint:Donotmissoutonthekillerdessertsincludinghomemade pies(mightwesuggestcoconutcream!). 100E.LouisianaSt.|McKinney (972)548-6900 www.spoonscafe.com Cajun Amberjax This light and spacious Louisiana-style eatery has plenty to offer. Not only is it smack-dab in the middle of one of Dallas’hottest dining destinations for date night and more, the freshly prepared seafood is tough to beat. Whetheryou’vegotahankeringforDownHomeShrimpandGrits,Lobster Mac&CheeseormaybesomethinglighterlikeSearedYellowfinTunawith Wasabi, Ponzu and Ginger, Amberjax will not disappoint. Don’t like fishy things?Noworries.Theyalsoofferdeliciouschickenandbeef. 3011GuldenLn.,Ste.107|Dallas (469)513-9088  www.amberjax.net LavaCantina Lava Cantina offers a unique dining/entertainment concept that father andsonownersSteveandIanVaughnliketocall,“CreolefoodwithaMexi- cantwist.”Theplaceisfloodedwithmusicmemorabilia,makingittheper- fect backdrop to enjoy live outdoor bands, a rooftop patio, fantastic food, and plenty of adult beverages. This is where you want to people watch, with that just-right combination of Austin-esque outdoorsy-ness with a nod to bigger venues such as House of Blues. Grab a nosh or a meal: ap- petizer standouts include Crawfish, Alligator and Chorizo Dip served with tortillachips,andGreatBallsofFire(basically,riceballs)madewithboudin sausage.Entreescanbeaslightorasdecadentasyourwaistlineprefers. 5805GrandscapeBlvd.|TheColony (214)618-6893 www.lavacantina.com French Cadot Chef Jean-Marie Cadot, a native of Paris, grew up in a family that has been in the restaurant, hotel and bakery business since 1758—and no, that’s not a typo. In other words, Cadot knows food, and the offerings at his eponymous restaurant in North Dallas are French comfort at their fin- est. Be sure to start with the Onion Soup Gratinée, a rich broth with silky onions, smothered in bubbling cheese. After that, any choice is the right choice.FromDuckTerrinewithPistachios,FoieGrasandTruffle,toFlounder Crusted with Parmesan, to other French classics, such as Steak Frites with PeppercornSauceorCoqAuVin—eachdishisbothlovinglypreparedand expertlyexecuted. 18111PrestonRd.,Ste.120|Dallas (972)267-5700 www.cadotrestaurant.com Lavendou Bistro Provencal Best described as a “retreat into the French countryside,” and we couldn’t agree more. The elegant yet cozy dining room, made even cozier with quintessentially French fabrics anddecor,istheperfectsetting for all of your favorite gath- erings—from date night to familydinners.Startwithvelvetyonionsouporlobsterbisquetogetyour tastebudssinging.Entreesarenicelyportionedandeverythingyou’dhope for:BeefTenderloinwithcrackedblackpepper,PorkTenderloinwithsweet and savory lavender honey, and our favorite—Roasted Duck with Cassis. Don’tmissthecalorie-worthysouffléwithGrandMarnierorchocolate.Be suretoreturnMonday-Saturdayfrom11:30-4forHighTea—awonderful andrelaxingwaytospendanafternoonenFrance. 19009PrestonRd.,Ste.200|Dallas (972)248-1911 www.lavendou.com goodEATS