October 25, 2013 by BettyCupcakes
My week in Dallas has been a whirlwind of visiting with family, packing up my old yearbooks and dollhouses to ship back home, and eating all of my favorite foods. Even though I’ve been home hundreds of times since moving to Massachusetts in 2002, it feels so different to come home with Sam. We’ve played at my favorite playgrounds and driven past all my old haunts. We spent our last afternoon walking around Snider Plaza in University Park, which is just a block from my childhood home.
Some of us were more interested in this trip down memory lane than others. If only he’d known there’d be cookies. Full disclosure: there are a LOT of pictures.
University Park is a small town inside Dallas city limits. We have our own school district, fire, police, and mayor. Growing up, we called it “the bubble” because it always felt like such a small town, despite the fact that it’s literally in the middle of a huge metropolitan city. Think Hill Valley from Back to the Future and Bluffington from Doug rolled into one.
Our first stop in Snider Plaza was JD’s Chippery. My mom used to work in the building across the street. On days I spent the afternoon filing or sitting under her desk, I got to go get cherry lemonades and ham & cheese muffins from JD’s. The oatmeal raisin cookie that my dad requested I bring home for him tasted exactly the same as I remember.
Next door to JD’s is Peggy Sue’s BBQ. I’ve eaten more than a few brisket sandwiches here.
Across the street from Peggy Sue’s in Kuby’s Sausage House. Texas actually had a sizeable German population starting in the 1830s (source). I took German as my foreign language in high school. Frau Muller would have “culture” days and I bought the weisswurst I shared with my classmates from Kuby’s extensive selection of German meats and other delicacies.
Plaza Health Foods will always be the original “hippy” store for me and the place where I first tasted frozen yogurt in the 90s.
When I wasn’t daintily eating froyo, I was downing burgers with my best friend at Jack’s Burger House. Their famous fries are legendary.
I sipped my first latte at this Starbucks on Hillcrest Avenue, yet another rite of passage for any child of the 90s.
Mustang Donuts is where my love for blueberry cake donuts began. You just have to walk in the door to know you are in the presence of donut greatness. The smell is intoxicating.
By far, my favorite hometown food comes from Bubba’s, also on Hillcrest Avenue. They serve up my gold standards for the holy trinity of Southern food: fried chicken, biscuits, and gravy.
The fruit salad at Bubba’s has mini-marshmallows in it and their cinnamon rolls will make you swoon. They even serve Plugra butter on the side- this isn’t a hole in the wall diner. Bubba’s is the real damn deal- Southern food done right every time.
Now that I’ve made you hungry, let’s finish up with a few more highlights of my childhood.
Where I went to elementary school: University Park. Go Panthers! Those lunch ladies were the best.
Where I opened my first bank account with thirty three $1 bills and the 7-11 where rival teams rumbled after Friday night football games.
Where I took voice lessons from Miss Casey in practice rooms she never actually rented out from SMU.
Where I thought I’d go to school and never leave home. Whoops. Sorry, Mom.
And finally, the house that built me.
Have you visited your hometown recently?
What’s your favorite hometown restaurant?