WHAT: A cook off, free family photos, swag bags, prizes and food trucks! In honor of Father’s Day, the Mark Cuban Heroes Basketball Center is teaming up with Concord Church to honor dads, bonus dads and father figures at its 3rd annual He’s My Hero event Sunday, June 19, from 11 a.m.-1 p.m. at Concord Church in southern Dallas.

Sponsored by The Heroes Foundation, the event will offer dads a variety of family photo shoots – with a professional photographer or in an oh-so-fun photo van – so that they may capture the special memories with their kids, family members or young people they mentor. Digital photos will be sent via email.

Food trucks from Caribbean, Waffles, Porch Swing Tea, BBQ and Beignets will be on site offering free food to delight an array of taste buds. Additionally, prizes will be distributed, from swag boxes, to gifts from Pappas Bros Steakhouse and Planet Lincoln, and more.

Sponsored by Eberl, there will be an all-in-the-family grilling cook-off between Concord Church Pastor Bryan Carter and his wife, First Lady Stephanie Carter, around 11:45 a.m.

Two renowned local chefs will consult each team – The Bearded Chef will guide Pastor Carter, and Chef Blythe Beck will advise First Lady Carter. 

Pastor Carter and the First Lady are keeping their dishes under wraps, but it’s safe to say Pastor Carter will not be cooking burgers. (See video where the fire department arrives to rescue his charred burgers –

During the He’s My Hero event, the Heroes Cuban Center leaders also will announce plans for a men’s cook-off competition to be held in September 2022 (date TBD).

The event is free and open to the public. No registration required.

WHY: As families face the rising costs of gas, food and other essentials that make life challenging, the Heroes Foundation wants to ensure that fathers feel the love this weekend.

WHEN: Sunday, June 19, from 11 a.m.-1 p.m. The cookoff will begin around 11:45 a.m.

WHERE: Concord Church, 6808 Pastor Bailey Dr., Dallas, TX 75237


Grand Prairie

Grand Prairie, Tx. –  At 10 a.m. Thursday, Oct. 21, 2021, the city of Grand Prairie and its hotel, conference center and restaurant partners will break ground on EpicCentral, 2960 Epic Place, Grand Prairie.  The 172-acre park site is located in the heart of the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex off George W. Bush Tollway (Highway 161) and Arkansas Lane.

The city is building two connecting hotels with a shared conference center, six restaurant spaces, parking garage and creating a water/light show on the lakes as well as interactive technology experiences on the land.  EpicCentral will emphasize Grand Prairie’s family, friendly, fun culture and offer exciting new dining and entertainment experiences.

Details about the projects:

Hotels, conference center.  Grand Prairie will build two connecting hotels with a conference center in EpicCentral, with the two hotels being Hilton Garden Inn and Homewood Suites to open in 2023.  Concord Hospitality is providing construction development and procurement services.  The Hilton Garden Inn will offer 129 luxury rooms, executive lounge, restaurant, pool, fitness room and business services.  The Homewood Suites will offer 147 studio, one- and two-bedroom suites with full kitchens.    

The conference center will offer a 10,000-square-foot ballroom with seating for up to 1,000.  The ballrooms can be divided into five conference rooms in addition to an executive conference room with seating for 10 across the hall.  The complex is designed by Merriman Anderson Architects, and built by Arch-Con Corporation.  Interiors will reflect the flora and fauna of the north Texas prairie in tones of blue, green and whites, with accents of orange and red. 

Restaurant Spaces. The city is building six restaurant spaces designed by Merriman Anderson Architects and built by Hill & Wilkinson Construction Management in EpicCentral to open late 2022 and has negotiated terms with Milkshake Concepts to bring Vidorra Cocina de Mexico; an American modern concept; Serious Pizza, Sliders and Shakes; and a new breakfast/brunch concept called Poach’d.  Larry Lavine, the founder of Chili’s, will open Loop 9 BBQ in a fifth space.  The city is entertaining options for the sixth restaurant space. This is all going just north of Chicken N Pickle, offering farm fresh foods and indoor/outdoor pickleball courts, and opening December 2021.

The American modern restaurant will be an approachable neighborhood restaurant and bar, suitable for all of life’s gatherings; a business lunch, a happy hour cocktail, an intimate meal or a relaxed place to eat and unwind with friends.  Its artisanal menu offers a variety of unique delicacies for all palates. 

Vidorra Cocina de Mexico celebrates Mexican food, drink and culture.  The restaurant offers bold and exciting Mexican flavors, a unique cocktail program, lively social experience and rooftop patio. 

Serious Eats will feature the infamous Serious Pizza and introduce Serious Sliders and Serious Shakes.

The restaurant space will feature expansive seating, a full bar, and a live music stage that faces both the interior and the lawn. Finally, Milkshake Concepts – one of Dallas’ most dynamic and fastest growing hospitality groups – will launch their new breakfast/brunch concept called Poach’d.

In a fifth restaurant site, Dallas entrepreneur Larry Lavine, who founded Chili’s in Dallas in 1975, and his partners, will open Loop 9 BBQ.  Lavine helped launch Ten50 BBQ in Richardson in 2014.  Loop 9 fare will tempt guests with great barbecue, melt-in-your-mouth brisket, burnt ends, pork ribs, beef ribs, sausage, pulled pork, and farm fresh poultry. From scratch sides include hand cut fries, mouth-watering mac n’ cheese, crisp coleslaw, hand battered onion rings and Grandma’s creamy potato salad. Hand crafted golden crust fresh fruit pies and cobblers provide a sweet ending to every barbecue celebration.

The city is entertaining options for the sixth restaurant space.

Open Space.  Surrounding the hotels and restaurants is a large outdoor open space with covered stage for events, concerts and programs.   

Water/Light Show and Land Experiences.  The city of Grand Prairie is working with Outside the Lines (OTL), 900lbs of Creative and End Design to design and fabricate creative and innovative placemaking attractions at EpicCentral, with construction to start 2022, opening late 2022.  OTL, a design-build specialty construction company, creates one-of-a-kind water features, rock work and themed environments.  900lbs is an interactive design agency that creates a diverse range of interactive initiatives and visual content to showcase the art of the possible using an arsenal of cutting-edge technologies.  End Design is a leader in fabricating high quality custom goods and jaw dropping public art installations.. The experiences will repeat daily and be refreshed 3-4 times per year.  Design concepts may integrate technology, water, lighting, image projection and other inventive ideas. 

EpicCentral also home to.  Reflecting innovation and community investment, EpicCentral is also home to Epic Waters Indoor Waterpark; The Summit recreation center for adults ages 50+; The Epic Arts, Fitness and Entertainment Center; PlayGrand Adventures, an all-inclusive playground; Prairie Paws Adoption Center; Central Bark dog park; and the Grand Prairie Public Safety Building.   Amenities include five lakes, a grand lawn, boardwalk, and pad sites for future retail opportunities.

Chicken N Pickle.  Opening in late 2021 just south of the hotels is Chicken N Pickle.   Chicken N Pickle is the wildly popular, indoor/outdoor entertainment complex centered around pickleball, offering a variety of games, a casual, chef-driven restaurant and sports bar.  The 77,000-square-foot venue will feature a dining room, six indoor pickleball courts, five outdoor pickleball courts (two covered), and 7,500 square feet of outdoor yard games.  A large rooftop bar, stages for live performances and the signature lawn games for which Chicken N Pickle is known round out the property. In this joint venture between the company and the City of Grand Prairie, the city will own the land, develop parking needs and lease to Chicken N Pickle.   Chicken N Pickle will operate the facility. 

Bolder Adventure.  In addition, Bolder Adventure Indoor Adventure Park broke ground in EpicCentral in August 2021.  Bolder Adventure is an indoor family entertainment facility that will provide adventure-based attractions in a 66,000-square-foot pneumatic dome structure with ceiling heights of approximately 75 feet. Guests will be offered a unique opportunity to experience rock climbing, zip lines, via ferrata, ropes courses, tubing slides, synthetic ice skating, adventure nets and more.  The venue plans to open summer 2022, and Grand Prairie would be its first nationwide location. 

The list: These 99 restaurants will sell dinner for a good cause at DFW Restaurant Week in August

DFW Restaurant

North Texans can make reservations starting July 12.

DFW Restaurant
Restaurants that participate in DFW Restaurant Week tend to be finer-dining establishments, like steakhouses and modern American restaurants. The 2021 list includes Al Biernat’s, Del Frisco’s and YO Ranch Steakhouse, as expected. But it also includes some newer and more casual eateries, like Windmills brewery in The Colony, El Patio Tex Mex in Lewisville, and the restaurants inside Eataly at NorthPark.(Tom Fox / Staff Photographer)

By Sarah Blaskovich

DFW Restaurant Week is back on the calendar in 2021.

The popular foodie event did take place in 2020, but the number of participating restaurants was smaller than in previous years and the starting date was later than usual.

The 2021 version of DFW Restaurant Week reads more like the events in pre-pandemic years. Restaurant Week will kick off Aug. 6 with about 100 restaurants in Dallas-Fort Worth offering special menus throughout much of August. Fixed-menu dinners are priced at $39 or $49 per person (which fluctuates because of the quality and price of the ingredients). Two-course lunches cost $19 per person.

The annual event, now in its 24th year, gives a 20% cut from each meal to two local charities, North Texas Food Bank and Lena Pope.

Here’s a list of the restaurants where you can make reservations in 2021:

DFW Restaurant Dinner
Diners should call each restaurant directly or use the online reservation system to book a table. Here’s the scallop ceviche tostadas from Billy Can Can in Dallas, a DFW Restaurant Week participant.(Ben Torres / Special Contributor)
  • 12 Cuts Brazilian Steakhouse in Far North Dallas
  • 3Eleven Kitchen & Cocktails in Dallas’ West End
  • 400 Gradi in downtown Dallas
  • Al Biernat’s — on Oak Lawn Avenue and Spring Valley Road
  • Arthur’s in Addison
  • Asador in Dallas
  • B&B Butchers in Fort Worth
  • Billy Can Can in Dallas’ Victory Park
  • Bistecca in Lewisville
  • Bonnell’s in Fort Worth
  • Bulla Gastrobar in Plano
  • CityWorks — in Frisco and Fort Worth
  • Classic at Roanoke
  • Corrientes 348 in downtown Dallas
  • Culpepper Steak House in Rockwall
  • Dee Lincoln Prime in Frisco
  • Del Frisco’s Double Eagle Steak House in Uptown Dallas, Fort Worth and Plano
  • Del Frisco’s Grill in Uptown Dallas, Fort Worth, Plano and Southlake
  • Dragonfly in Hotel Zaza in Uptown Dallas
  • Ebesu Robata and Sushi in Plano
  • El Bolero in Dallas’ Design District
  • El Patio Tex Mex in Lewisville
  • Enrique Tomas in Dallas
  • Fachini in Highland Park
  • Fire Oak Grill in Weatherford
  • Fixture Kitchen and Social Lounge in Fort Worth
  • Fogo de Chao in Addison, Plano and Uptown Dallas
  • Grace in Fort Worth
  • Hawthorn in downtown Dallas
  • III Forks in Frisco
  • Il Pastaio inside Eataly at NorthPark Center in Dallas
  • Jalisco Norte in Dallas
  • Javier’s in Uptown Dallas
  • Kirby’s in Southlake
  • Kona Grill in Plano and inside NorthPark Center in Dallas
  • La Pizza & La Pasta inside Eataly at NorthPark Center in Dallas
  • Lavendou in Dallas
  • Lawry’s in Dallas
  • Mac’s on Main in Grapevine
  • The Mansion on Turtle Creek in Dallas
  • Melting Pot in Addison and Fort Worth
  • Mercury Chophouse in Arlington
  • Mexican Bar Company in Plano
  • Monica’s Tex Mex Cantina in the Cedars in Dallas
  • Morton’s The Steakhouse in Uptown Dallas
  • Moxies in Uptown Dallas, Plano and Southlake
  • Musume in the Dallas Arts District
  • Next Bistro in Colleyville
  • Nick & Sam’s Steakhouse in Uptown Dallas
  • Niwa Japan BBQ in Deep Ellum
  • Nonna in Highland Park
  • Oak in Dallas’ Design District
  • Oceanaire in Galleria Dallas
  • Overeasy in the Statler in downtown Dallas
  • Pakpao Thai in Dallas’ Design District
  • Piccolo Mondo in Arlington
  • Primo’s Mexican Kitchen in downtown Dallas, North Dallas and Uptown Dallas
  • Randy’s Steakhouse in Frisco
  • Restaurant 506 in Arlington
  • Rise in Fort Worth
  • Salum in Uptown Dallas
  • Sfereco in Lewisville and in the Statler in downtown Dallas
  • Silver Fox in Fort Worth and Richardson
  • Sloane’s Corner in downtown Dallas
  • St. Martin’s Wine Bistro on Lower Greenville in Dallas
  • Stirr in Addison and Dallas
  • Stock & Barrel in Oak Cliff
  • Table 13 in Addison
  • Terra inside Eataly at NorthPark Center in Dallas
  • Texas de Brazil in Addison, Fort Worth and Uptown Dallas
  • YO Ranch Steakhouse in Dallas’ West End
  • Tommy Bahama in Plano
  • Toro Toro in Fort Worth
  • Tulum near Highland Park
  • Twigs American Kitchen in Grandscape in The Colony
  • Wicked Butcher in Fort Worth
  • Windmills in Grandscape in The Colony
  • Yardbird Southern Table & Bar in Uptown Dallas
  • Yellow Rose Steak & Chophouse in Flower Mound
Del Frisco's Double Eagle Steak House
Del Frisco’s Double Eagle Steak House will participate in DFW Restaurant Week, like it has for decades.(David Woo / Staff Photographer)

For many, DFW Restaurant Week is an opportunity to taste a restaurant’s “greatest hits” dishes and to help a charity along the way. Restaurant Week also tends to bring bigger crowds to dining rooms all around North Texas — which can feel like a bit of a foodie frenzy, in some cases.

Many diners choose to visit a fine-dining establishment during DFW Restaurant Week, and depending on the place, dinner priced at $49-per-person could be a deal. The event includes restaurants of all cuisine types.

Interested foodies can sign up for tables starting on July 12, which they call Reservation Day. In some years, seats to new or very popular restaurants go quickly.

DFW Restaurant Week is not actually a week: Preview weekend is Aug. 6-8 and the official start is Aug. 9. Restaurants can then choose to extend their menus and fixed pricing through Sept. 5. And many do.

Trisha Cunningham, president and CEO of the North Texas Food Bank, notes that DFW Restaurant Week helps two causes: it funnels money into restaurants that likely struggled during the pandemic, and it supports two local nonprofits.

“DFW Restaurant Week is the ideal way to celebrate the North Texas dining scene and support our community,” she says in a statement.

Some restaurants will also choose to offer their food to-go, an effort that first started last year during the coronavirus pandemic.

Story originally written June 30, 2021 and updated July 12, 2021 with the list of DFW Restaurant Week participants.

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