Five New Year's Resolutions for Dallas Food Lovers That Are Actually Fun

Categories: Whimsy

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Maybe it's time we rethink how we handle our resolutions.
If you're like most everyone, you're already having trouble with your New Year's resolutions. Maybe you haven't folded yet, but surely the gears of self-doubt have begun to turn, challenging your will to move forward. Eventually you'll crumble, hanging this year's resolution in the closet, ready to be dusted off again in preparation for next year's failure.

Personal change is hard. But maybe one of the reasons we never succeed past late March is because most of the goals we try to attain aren't the least bit of fun to work on. Only weirdos enjoy cutting calories, and if you liked working out you wouldn't have to resolve to do it. And while becoming debt free might feel good, the act of paying down your debt is as alluring as eating a tablespoon of iodized salt. No wonder we fail.

A few years ago I wondered what would happen if I made my own personal New Year's resolutions from more of a hedonistic mindset. Instead of bettering myself through torment and sacrifice, what if I made promises that not only left me in a better place than the year before, but also were enjoyable in the process?

One year, after becoming acutely aware that I had the fashion sense of a computer engineer, I promised myself I would go to the mall and spend (x) dollars over a period (n). Shopping would be fun, I thought, and I'd have a decent wardrobe at the end of the year. Other years I promised to take myself out for dinner more often, or spend more time in my kitchen.

Each year, everything went great until my enthusiasm began to wane, usually before spring. It turns out all personal change is difficult, even if the behaviors are perceived as self-indulgent. But I didn't beat myself up about it too much. There's always next year, right? The only difference with these resolutions was that I was having fun while I worked on them, which is enough of a reason to make me think it's worth giving it another shot.

So here are some New Year's resolutions for the food lover in you, just in time to save you from the impending failure you set yourself up for on January 1.

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Some of the best tacos around may require you to get out of your comfort zone.
Explore
It doesn't matter if you're branching out into new neighborhoods, restaurants or cuisines, get out of your comfort zone and explore something new. If you previously didn't like a dish or restaurant, try it again. The more you eat, the more you'll expand your palate and then the more dishes you'll enjoy down the road. Take a look at our list of 50 Most Interesting Restaurants. If there's a cuisine you don't know much about, pick one of those restaurants and try it. You have nothing to lose, and you just might find your next favorite.

*****

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You didn't want to share the salumi board at Lucia anyway.
Take yourself out on a date
Find a nice restaurant whose menu you've already fallen in love with, or you know has a great reputation for making amazing meals. Pick something refined but within your means and make it a splurge. Sit at the bar or sit at a table, but do it alone and try to focus on your meal in a way you wouldn't be able to if you were sharing your time with someone else. This one is all about you.

Want help with a pick? Try Nonna or Lucia if you're craving Italian, and Spoon if you'd like to focus on seafood. Each of these restaurants has a nice bar that's perfect for dining alone. You've never treated yourself so good.

*****

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Make friends with Urbano, or your own neighborhood equivalent, and never feel lonely again.
Make friends with a new restaurant
Pick a restaurant in your neighborhood and resolve to put in some time. Meet the chef, get to know the staff, be generous, polite and friendly, and soon enough you'll have a restaurant that feels like an extension of your living room. It's a pleasure to walk into a restaurant where the staff knows your tastes and preferences.

*****

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Cheap knives make tasks like these impossible
Buy a good knife and a woodblock
You know who you are. That knife you got at Target has been stored unprotected in the same drawer that houses cooking spoons and measuring cups for years now and you have to bear down with all your weight to get it through a cucumber. It goes perfectly with that stained, plastic cutting board that's the size of a magazine. I'm amazed at home many kitchens I walk into that have tired worn out tools that are a bear to work with, not to mention unsafe.

You'll never prep ingredients with tools like this as well as you could with better equipment. Go out and buy a good knife and cutting board. And then make sure you read up on how to take good care of them.

*****

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With the right restaurant you won't even miss your carnivorous ways.
Eat less meat
What's this? I know eating less of something delicious sounds a lot like the resolutions I've advocated abandoning, but I'm only trying to talk you out of eating meat because it's keeping you from other things that are delicious. Middle Eastern, Indian and Asian cuisines produce some amazing dishes that you'll never see if you're permanently caught up in beef kebabs, lamb vindaloo and sesame chicken.

Forget meatless Monday, or other strict regimens that are tough to stick with. Instead, take a look at how much meat you're eating now, and then resolve to replace at least some of it with delicious vegetarian dishes. Try Pera for Turkish cooking, or Chennai for Indian that goes way beyond dosas and idlis. Try Royal Sichuan, if you think Chinese is limited to Kung Pao chicken.



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11 comments
Sotiredofitall
Sotiredofitall topcommenter

Like a bit o' mutton or goat in my Indian food 

ewellborn
ewellborn

Where is that last picture taken?!  Those sauces look amazing!

kergo1spaceship
kergo1spaceship

My resolution for the past 8 years or so is to eat more in January.......basically, fill up, buck the trend..........folks are going to workout or run for 4 hours, and I'm devouring all manner of fast food, booze and in general, engage slothiness. Then in February I get started with some stretching, then some walking, then some running, then hiking, then trail running; by then, everyone not dedicated has quit-and I have the bike trails/hiking trails all to myself!  It's great in July on my bike trail near the casa, I could run naked, and no soul is within 800 miles of you. 



BTW, SR, aren't the resolutions you mentioned pretty common sir?



Let's review:


Explore-you should be doing this all year you f@t f*ckers!

Splurge-you should be doing this also, on a regular basis folkage.

"Meet the chef, get to know the staff, be generous, polite and friendly".....Ok, this is new to me, but I am thoroughly engaged in this principle.  To be nicer. Care a little more. 

"Buy a good knife and a woodblock" .....every year a Jan. I buy myself new shit, usually at half price. 

"Eat less meat"; every year I eat less and less, and love meat MORE and MORE!   My passion now is eggplant, so versatile!!  Saute it, make eggplant parm, mix it with chili paste and put it in a burrito, put it on pizza, etc.

Sotiredofitall
Sotiredofitall topcommenter

I like meat - but find steakhouses boring

AdamsonScott
AdamsonScott

Enough with the anti-meat diatribes. It's predictable and tiresome.

kergo1spaceship
kergo1spaceship

@AdamsonScott 



The world is heading that way; are they diatribes sir.....ma'am?  People are informed, is this bad? 


So, stop seeking knowledge; and then knowledge is power, so be dumb?  Just sayin'. 


ps-Unless you are slaughtering your own free range cow, you have no idea what you are getting. 

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