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If you’re going to have to spend the holidays in a mall, I’d say Galleria Dallas is a solid choice.

First, a story.

Once upon a time, one New Year’s Eve years ago, Dallas scored a hard freeze. Sequestered to my parents home in the ‘burbs, my boyfriend and I whined and whined about being stuck in on a night on which you normally dress up, go out and party your ass off. The farthest we got was a freezing cold walk around a nearby soccer field. Reasonably romantic, sure, but not quite what we were going for. We finally scored some liquor cabinet action, but my parents’ liquor was so old it was mostly separated and/or stuck closed. Cheers!

What the F is my point? Sometimes you’re stuck somewhere and you should make the best of it. But taking the fam to the Galleria in Dallas for the holidays is NOT like that. Picture this: You’re three days into the holidays with inlaws and cousins and parents and aunts and uncles and eggnog and everything else that makes people crazy. I have an idea! Take the whole bunch to Galleria Dallas where you can separate, shop, eat pretty decent food and look at the big pretty tree until all is right in the world.

NOTE: Galleria Dallas invited me as part of a group of bloggers to an ambitious progressive dinner through the many restaurants in the mall. I don’t totally approve of all the selections, but I will say that when it comes to pleasing your family, feed them whatever it takes to shut them up and get on with it so everyone can have a wonderful Christmas. In theory.

First we tried out the 2nd Floor Bistro (in the Westin Hotel), where they served us some Dalmore whisky and whiskey-braised pork sandwiches. Now, I don’t drink whiskey and I don’t eat pork, but the sandwiches, I’m told, were delicious. The place is beautiful and I’d definitely bring folks there to dine, shop and have a great time. Oh, and drink. It’s the holidays after all.

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Next, we dropped by the new Privé space, where you can host a private party in style with the same great food and service you’d expect from the 2nd Floor Bistro.

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Case in point: this caramelized apple and shallot flatbread. I like.

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The Grand Luxe was next on the tour. I’m not a huge fan, generally, of the Grand Luxe, only because of its excess in decor, size of menu and portions. It’s all so American. But I will say that everything there tastes pretty damn great. And bonus: its colossal menu absolutely guarantees there’s something for everyone. This blueberry buckle is a good example. Yum. Also tried (it was pretty dark in there so my photos sucked) the ahi tuna nachos which are always a crowd-pleaser.

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From there we traveled to the more food court-y area and into Mi Cocina, where they served us chips, salsa, mini brisket tacos (full-size versions pictured above), ceviche and more. Oh, and margs. We were seriously buzzed by then.

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 Hey there, mango margarita. You’re like a pretty Slurpee but with real fruit. And tequila.

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The Grill on the Alley was next, and I admit I’ve never been there. It’s like a classy, old-school steakhouse. So expect that level of service, quality of food and price. This was our view as we walked down the “alley” to the restaurant. Pretty holiday palms!

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We were served giant scallops…

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…a (thank goodness) medium-rare steak…

20121203-101324.jpg…and then they brought us out the most gigantic chicken pot pie in the history of ever. And it was good. I wanted to crawl inside its warm belly and eat my way out.

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Next stop was Townhouse, where we the “Little Jar of Jam” which was a cheese plate with brie and bacon jam, some shrimps and their grits, and a vanilla butter cake. I don’t eat bacon or shrimps, but the cake was tasty. Best part was the cocktail, though. Since we were totally full by this point, liquid had the best chance of fitting inside. The Mojito Royale was good, but Karma was better. Svedka Citron, St. Germain and champagne. Yes please.

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NOTE: This will be the New Year’s Eve cocktail of choice.

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Lastly, we walked over to the Oceannaire (yet another spot I hadn’t ever been) for an interesting prosecco sangria made with Captain Morgan of all things, prosecco, strawberries and cucumber. Refreshing, like Christmas in July.

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Liquored up once again, we were served a really delicious crab cake (as one would expect from the classic seafood haunt), a chardonnay I didn’t hate (YAY!)…

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…and lastly, a classic key lime pie tile. A sweet ending to a slightly frantic, but pretty damn fun evening. Thanks for having me, Galleria Dallas!

P.S.: If you haven’t seen their giant tree, go do that. It’s giant.

Galleria Dallas  | You know where it is…  |  galleriadallas.com

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