In Search of Valley Ranch's "Urban Sophisticates"
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Alice Laussade The News offers this coffee shop among Valley Ranch's urban treasures.
The Dallas Morning News has definitively ranked the best areas in Dallas for "urban sophisticates." You're either thinking to yourself, "FINALLY" or "What the holy hell is an urban sophisticate? Is that a monocle-wearing hipster?"
News columnist Jacquielynn Floyd defines "urban sophisticates" as "people who want affordable, walkable neighborhoods with plenty of entertainment and dining options." Cool. So they are people.
I still had questions about these urban sophisticates -- How much bacon do they consume? Do they wear underpants? Do they follow @CBS11Larry on Twitter? -- so I decided to do some of my own research. I had to view these urban sophisticates in their natural habitat.
I headed straight for Valley Ranch, in Irving, which beats Uptown in DMN's list. DMN visited Java Me Up, an independently owned coffeehouse attached to the library in Valley Ranch, for a piece justifying Valley Ranch on its list. So, I went there too. (Worth noting: The parking lot is totally walkable. I must've walked across 200 individual empty parking spaces.)
Inside Java Me Up, I studied Little League Coach Urban Sophisticate taking a loud phone call in the middle of the cozy coffee shop. Apparently, he's "going to cut that jerk-off from the team if he doesn't get his 10-year-old act together." Learning: Sophisticates are harsh. And loud.
My second subject was Whataburger Order-Taker Urban Sophisticate. While she was very kind, she did repeatedly ask, "What kind of sauce do you want with your taquitos?" Her quaint restaurant is found in the same shopping center as an intriguing little breakfast stop cleverly named "IHOP" that appears to sell sugar to fans of the Ford F-150. There's even a combination KFC/Taco Bell, which is either brand new or permanently closed. A few blocks down, I ran across Michael's Italian Kitchen, 7 Salsas Mexican Cuisine and Our Place Indian Cuisine. Learning: Urban sophisticates like restaurant names to include the kind of cuisine served.
Valley Ranch is just a quick 25-minute drive from downtown Dallas, but why drive when you can easily ride your fixed-gear there in eight leisurely hours? When you arrive in Irving's Urban Sophisticate Homeland, take in the beautiful urban-and-also-sophisticate scenery: Three egrets fly between what must be hundreds of apartment complexes that boast "Apartment living at its best!" A Wet 'n' Wild-swirly-style water slide awaits Permanent-Wedgied-Bathing-Suit Daughter Urban Sophisticate, and sits right around the corner from several beautiful community-planned ponds. Plus, there's a Vitamin Shoppe. Learning: Valley Ranch has affordable living and entertainment options more than covered.
Valley Ranch has everything (except the fields of ranch dressing you were hoping for). It is, in fact, the perfect place for urban sophisticates. And, of course, by "urban sophisticates" I mean "people." And by "perfect," I mean "Sure, whatever you say, DMN. Sounds good."