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Hit the Highlights of the Metroplex With a Pro

Two years ago Kevin Mench was an Oklahoma Redhawk. Now he's a Texas Ranger and an expert on the Dallas-Fort Worth area.

It’s only been two years since Texas Rangers outfielder Kevin Mench played his last game with the RedHawks and left Oklahoma to make the Metroplex his home. He’s used that time well, bringing his average to .320 and finding the places that he likes best.
Next time you’re in Dallas, Arlington, or Fort Worth, pay a visit to some of these places, and maybe you’ll see him there!
1. The Ballpark in Arlington (Arlington).
It’s no surprise that the Ballpark tops his list. “It’s my home and the best place to play baseball,” says Kevin. The Ballpark celebrates its 10th anniversary this year, but it hasn’t rested on its laurels. Last year players got a new clubhouse, paneled in cherry wood with state-of-the-art equipment. Go for a game or take a tour and you’ll see why Kevin likes his work place!

2. The Legends of the Game Museum (Arlington).
This interactive museum is more than just a display of baseball memorabilia. When you’re done viewing the old uniforms, gloves, and photos of teams from baseball’s early days, head upstairs. Here you can play catcher to Nolan Ryan’s pitch, test your knowledge of history, science, and math, and much more. The computer-based games can be adjusted for all skill levels making it as much fun for kids as for adults.

3. American Airlines Center (Dallas).
This new arena is home to the Dallas Mavericks, Stars, and Desperados. “I love hockey,” says Kevin, “and this is a great place to watch the game. It has a great atmosphere.” The Big 12 Tournament was held here in 2003 and 2004, and it will host the NCAA Finals in 2006. Maybe the 8-sided scoreboard is what makes it so popular for sporting events!
It’s also quickly become a favorite venue for touring acts from Beyonce to Bette Midler, the circus, Disney on Ice, and many other events. It seats up to 20,000, including 8 suites you can rent for the night, and there isn’t a bad seat in the house.

4. Steele Restaurant (Dallas).
“ This is my favorite sushi place,” says Kevin. “It has excellent food and a good atmosphere. I can really relax here and enjoy the food.” You will too. Steel describes itself as Indo-Chin Cuisine, but if that leaves you scratching your head just try the Vietnamese “Shaken Beef” Sauteed Tenderloin. The tasty morsels practically melt in your mouth. If you prefer seafood, try the Miso Sea Bass. This large portion of flavorful fish is marinated 24 hours before it’s baked to perfection. Most dinner entrees are available at lunch, and the Bantu Box lunch offers a full meal (California roll, salad, egg roll, Japanese pickles, and your choice of main dish) for just $15. Steel is also one of the few places you’ll find speciality cocktails made with Shochu, the latest trend! Or have a private dinner in the wine room surrounded by over 400 bottles.

5. Chisolm Club (Fort Worth).
Kevin thinks this popular restaurant has great steaks and great atmosphere, and you’ll agree. Voted “Best Place to See a Celebrity” by Fort Worth Magazine in 2003, this is a great date spot. Chef Grady Spears’ Texas roots show up in dishes like Dr. Pepper Marinated Skirt Steak Tostadas, Prime Dry-Aged Beef Ribeye with Buttermilk Onion Rings, and Barbequed Quail with Smoked Onion Grits. Every Sunday all 170 bottles of wine are 1/2 price. You can even take a cooking class and learn how to prepare everything from game to desserts.

6. Javier’s (Dallas).
Forget everything you think you know about Mexican food. When Javier opened this Dallas landmark in 1977, he was determined to bring authentic Mexico City cuisine to north Texas. The food owes its influence to the Aztecs and Europeans from the days of Cortez. Is it good? You won’t get in on weekends without a reservation!
Javier’s also boasts a large, comfortable cigar bar. Roomy club chairs and a full bar make this a popular place to relax, talk, and enjoy a fine smoke. The rest of the restaurant is smoke-free.

7. Six Flags Over Texas (Arlington).
“ They have the biggest roller coaster in Southwest,” says Kevin. “It’s a good place to have fun.” There’s something for everyone — tree-shaded walkways, little kids’ park, virtual reality games, Wild West Show, and more than 100 rides and attractions on 212 acres.

8. Hurricane Harbor (Arlington).
“ This is a great place to cool down from the Texas heat,” says Kevin. Ride the surf at Boogie Beach, float around the park on the Lazy River, or sit back while the kids play at Hook’s Lagoon. This water park is a favorite summer spot for kids of all ages.

9. The Galleria (North Dallas).
“ Everything you need is here,” says Kevin, and he’s right. In three levels of shopping under a dramatic glass barrel vault atrium you’ll find Nordstrom, Macy's, Saks Fifth Avenue, Louis Vuitton, Gucci, Cartier, Tiffany & Co., Gianni Versace, MaxMara and nearly 200 more world class stores. A 4-star hotel, an ice rink and 28 restaurants and eateries make the Galleria a complete urban marketplace.

10. Capital Grille (Dallas).
“ This is one of the nicest places I’ve eaten,” says Kevin. “It has great steaks and wine.” This Dallas location is part of a national chain. It’s a popular power-lunch spot known for its 22 oz bone-in ribeye steaks and Stoli-Doli martinis.

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If You Go...

Texas Rangers
(817) 273-5100
www.texasrangers.com


Ballpark in Arlington
(817) 273-5222
http://museum.texasrangers.com


Legends of the Game
(817) 273-5600
http://museum.texasrangers.com


Six Flags Over Texas
(817) 640-8900
www.sixflags.com


Hurricane Harbor-A Six Flags park
(817) 263-3356
www.sixflags.com


The Dallas Galleria
13355 Noel Road, Dallas
(972) 702-7100
www,dallasgalleria.com


American Airlines Center
2500 Victory Avenue, Dallas
(214) 665-4217
www.americanairlinescenter.com


Steel Restaurant and Lounge
3102 Oak Lawn Avenue, Dallas
(214) 219-9908
www.steeldallas.com


The Chisolm Club
222 Main Street, Fort Worth
(817) 210-2222
www.thechisolmclub.com


Javier’s Gourmet Mexicano
4912 Cole Avenue, Dallas
(214) 521-4211
www.javiers.net


The Capital Grille
500 Crescent Court, Dallas
(214) 303-0500
www.thecapitalgrille.com

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