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The Denton Traveler Podcast

Thursday, December 29, 2016

Denton's Traveling Grooming Parlor & Beard Emporium

If you have been to Eastside here in Denton, you can't help but notice the truck sitting behind it with Eric Mancini branded hood and a tattoo art inspired emblem on the side depicting a goateed lady. If not, you might not be paying much attention to the place around you. The Traveling Grooming Parlor and Beard Emporium was envisioned by Jenn and Zach Johnson, this barber shop is more than what your father or grandfather went to. 

Lined with beard products and accessories, with a decanter of whiskey and cigars, this homage to a time and experience that is making a comeback. The dark wood and green painted inside make it feel like you are a Dapper Dan Man sitting and getting a clean cut in a small town barber chair. 

With a style all its own, you can head in and get a great experience with one of the shops great stylist that include Gary, Ashley, and Jenn herself. You can get a beard trim, a stylish cut. or a straight razor shave, if you give them advance notice. They like to talk, when I go in there, the conversation usually moves to movies and TV shows, what we binge watch on Netflix, or just how life is going. You can sit out on the faux grass area they created outside and just conversate with some of the locals, The personal nature makes you feel like you have been a customer for years. 

So, if you enjoy a good cigar and whiskey and want that feel of an old style barber shop, head here, this place will be a great memory to add to your time in Denton. 

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Dot's Hopin' House

Here in Denton, we tend to get some nostalgia with our bars and eateries, a new blended with historic, a natural way of letting old grow with the new. One person that does this well is John Williams, owner of Oak Street Draft House and Eastside. He tends to take a space and create a historic yet inviting atmosphere that is uniquely Denton, until now. Dot's Hop House, located at 2645 Commerce St in Dallas, TX in the Deep Ellum area, is a sight. Personally, this is a place that when I heard about it, I was excited, because this is exactly what I like to see as the Denton Traveler, that laid back feel of Denton in other places. 

Some Dallas venues tend to be a bit uptight, but Dot's is the exact opposite of that, with a huge beer garden and a fully stocked beer and drink list, John has brought a taste of Denton to the Dallas scene, with a food menu to match. Bringing some people that we know here in the Denton scene to help provide the extra friendliness that we know here in Denton, and that will hopefully spread out to the Dallas Area. 

The original space was home to a Ford dealership back in the days, and John has paid homage by using some unique items to adorn the space. As you walk in you have a pub feel on the inside, cozy and warm with rich dark wood. As you walk outside, there is an homage to the Dallas music scene with a mosaic portraying Blind Lemon Jefferson and other music greats in Dallas's history, out in the back of the beer garden, a stained glass window of Dallas sporting legends- including Tom Landry and Jimmy Johnson, The Stars Stanley Cup win, and others, and you are met with a colossal chandelier adorning the back area with 65,000 glass beads

If you thought this place was only about the drinks, think again, John has also collaborated with Rodman Shields of Common Table, then hiring Common Table's own Nick Wells as head chef, so, food is not just a run of the mill menu.

With the initial visit there, we shared some drinks with friends and found it to be worth the trip, plus anyone not wanting to drive, the Elm St Station of DART is just a half mile walk, not far. 

So, go head out and see the big bearded man, John Williams, addition to the Deep Ellum scene, Dot's Hop House, you will not be disappointed. 

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Hidden Pools of Splendor

I know it has been a while, for that, I apologise, I am still here for you Denton. Anyways, on to the good stuff. I have recently come back from the Texas hill country and have been to some interesting places. I would recomend checking out a few places if you have a chance to get that way. Here they are!

     1. Krause Springs- Spicewood, TX

What can I say about this place that would bring it justice, one word, beautiful. With a haven of people hanging out and having a good time, this place, for the money, is one of the best. Fed by natural springs that go from a spring fed pool, dropping down into a lagoon of hill country beauty, this is the place to go, yes I did try the rope swing, and it was awesome. Head that way and have some fun on one weekend in the warm summer months to cool off. At $7 per adult and $5 per child 4-11, it is a great place for everyone, and family affordable!

     2. Pedernellas Falls- Spicewood, TX

With a natural beauty of the hill country going into natural falls, this place is pretty cool, they have a swimming hole near the bottom of the falls. Grab some water shoes or some that you mmight not mind getting wet, because there is a little bit of a hike to it, but worth it. You have to pay for entrance, but still, cheap considering all the high priced water parks out there. Plus you can hike all arround, but keep watch, the walls are unpredictable and can get dangerous, and they warn you about it.

There are more comming, check back to see what else is out there!
Have some fun and be careful. 

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Podcast Episode 4

Here is Episode 4 of the Podcast, I talk with Wesley Kirk about The People of Denton and focus on some other Denton area happenings.

You can also download the episode HERE to listen to later!

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Save the Marble Falls

So, I recently had the opportunity to visit some of the sights of Marble Falls, TX where there has been interesting growth in this little hill country Texas town. Many people know the area around Marble Falls, including Horseshoe Bay, Deerhaven, Sunrise Beach, Cottonwood Shores, and some of the Colorado River man-made lakes including Lake Marble Falls, LBJ Lake, Inks Lake, Lake Buchanan, and Lake Travis. With that being said, I was able to take some time on the Memorial Day weekend with my wife to experience one of the interesting breweries in the area, Save the World Brewing Company

This little brewing company started with the idea that all proceeds would go towards local charities and host a non-profit idea. Started by two physicians, Dave and Quynh Rathkamp, from Austin who wanted to see a change in the world and saw the opportunity through craft beer, and started a purely philanthropic brewing company. This idea lead to Save the World Brewing Company located on the North side of Marble Falls, they even tout some excellent beers that have everyone lining up to try. They are truly looking to enhance the area and give back to the community and are #doingitDenton even out in the beautiful Texas Hill country. 

I had a flight of the Celebration Ales with my wife of the more interesting ones that included Princeps Pacis (Prince of Peace), Sol Hominis (Sun of Man), Celestis Thesauri (Heavenly Treasures), Bonus Pastor (The Good Shephard), Sanguis (The Blood), and Verbum in Tenebris (Word in the Darkness). Some of you Bible scholars might notice the Latin influences of naming their beers, and they do focus on Christian influences as they were missionaries as well. The Princeps Pacis is a light fruity yet spiced toned beer that goes down easy and has a great flavor (one of the wife's favorites), Sol Hominis has more floral tones with a crisp finish, Celestis Thesauri was a farmhouse inspired ale (my pick of the day), Bonus Pastor is a Scotch Ale that puts a spin on the "wee heavy" ales is a good one (it was a warm day and would have been great on a cool fall day), rounding out with the Sanguis barleywine that is great for some of you who are wine drinkers looking for a touch in the beer world, and then finaly the Vebum in Tenebris a milk stout that has hints of chocolate and mint (one of my other favorites). 

As I was talking with some of the helpful ladies and Quynh, they recommend doing a flight, finding one that you like, and then getting a glass. Now they actually give you the glass and you can bring it back for discount refills, so DON'T LOOSE THE GLASS! They do have a line especially for their beer club they name as the True Beerleivers which gets you a shirt, glass to keep in the brewery when you come back, free pours, and some special event notices as well in their newsletter. This brewery is doing it right and has a great tone of relaxing wine country feel and will keep people coming back.

So, when you are roaming around the Austin and hill country area of Texas and need that break from the busy nature of the city, looking for a new relaxing piece of Texas, go check out Save the World Brewing Company. 

Save the World Brewing Company: 

Monday, May 16, 2016

Podcast Episode 3

Here is Episode 3 of the Podcast, I talk with Velo Republic Bike shop and ReGeared about the Denton Bicycle Tour and some other Denton happenings.

You can also download the episode HERE to listen to later!

Friday, April 29, 2016

DJ Jazzy Jazzfest and the Dentonites

Well fellow Dentonites, it is that time of year, where things get muddy, thunderstorms come in, and that means it is time for Jazz Fest! For 36 years, Denton has hosted this great family friendly event with artisans and musicians coming in from all over. I have been to most of them, when I can, and have attended for going on 5 years straight, so, I think I have some insight on this event. Here are some things to help out some of the newbies and to remind some of the seasoned Jazz Fest veterans out there. 

  • First off, if you have a phone, get a good charge in the morning, if you have backup batteries, bring them or a charger. The reason I say this, go on to their Facebook page and make sure that you look at all the events, they are sectioned out by stages and you can see who is playing and when. Plus you can take some great pics and share them on the page and with the #Jazzfest and #DentonTrav, and keep an eye on possible weather situations (it is Jazzfest and it is notorious for weather situations). I have listed some other helpful page links here below as well. I did the searching for you.
  • Next, don't forget sunscreen! Trust me on this one, even though it might seen cloudy, this is where it gets bad, so, unless you plan on being a lobster or wanting to match the color of the crawfish you just ate, I would suggest a few coats during the weekend. 
  • Bug spray, not a bad idea to go ahead and have some on hand for when it gets into the evening, those little buggers can be frustrating and make for a not-so-fun-fest.
  • Cash, good idea to have some on you, most of the vendors now have some kind of card swiping, but at times just makes it easier and keeps you from having to go to the ones that charge you at the festival.
  • Water, I would grab a few bottles of water to head out or one that you can refill there. It is planning on being a nice day on Saturday, but you can get dehydrated pretty fast.
  • Blankets and something to sit on, I recommend the folding chairs if you can but at least a blanket, with all the rain here lately, it is going to be a bit wet, I would get something that will fight the wetness of the ground but also make for a place you and your friends can call home for the next few days during the festival.
  • Sunglasses, well, you have to look cool while you are doing the Chicken Dance, plus it helps when you take those pictures as well. 
  • A hat- keeps the sun out of your eyes and off your head so you don't get sunburned.
  • Also, head by either of my good friends close by at The Bearded MonkMidway Mart or Midway Craft House and get you some cans of good tasting beer to take out there as well if you don't want to spent too much. And Midway Craft House and The Bearded Monk had some plastic growlers available as well, last I heard, but they might go pretty quick for the weekend. Now I will say, the proceeds do go to the festival for all the food and beer purchased there.
  • And a bag for all of this to go in, I usually take a backpack, it is easier to deal with and transport. Plus, I can hang things off of it and keep my purchased items in there, if they aren't too big or fragile (it's Italian). 
  • Last but not least... friends, family, coworkers, sons, daughters, and everyone in between. This is what makes this fun, the memories and fun shared with friends and family while you are there. Be respectful of others, meet some new friends, get some good food and drinks, a great souvenir, and as always, be safe!
There is my list and advice for fun at the annual Jazz Fest. Hope this helps some people out there and enjoy this year listening to some great music and fun at what Brave Combo's Dave Finch would say is Denton's Family Reunion! 

Stay safe and have fun!

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Raised Right Men, Crawfish, and Other Denton Spicyness

Well, to say that this weekend was fun would be an understatement. With all the going on here in Denton, we got to see how to do a crawfish broil done right. With the Denton Kiwanis Club and Eastside, you know you will have a good time. With the proceeds going to a good cause, why not? Good food and a good cause, always a reason to head out and see what is going on. 

We headed out to Eastside, with the great weather and good food we couldn't pass up this opportunity. We walked over and surveyed the area, some were already in line and others had taken up their spots to start chowing down on some great crawfish. John Williams pulled out his new beer wagon and got some different tappings out for the people, plus with the great weather and great music from Raised Right Men, it made for a great event! With over $3000 raised for the event, this was a great time had for all. As we walked over to get the tickets to get a helping of the tasty little beasts, the salty and spicy smells filled the air as they were cooking and getting them ready for us to devour. While that was happening my wife got us situated close to the line and I went and got some of the food, with a corn cob, two potatoes, and a pound of the crawfish, we were set. 

Now, for those of you that have not had any of these spicy, tasty little critters, it is something that is a bit different and sometimes agonizing. You have to crack these things open and rip out the meat, a bit like shrimp, yet with half the meat at times. Mudbugs are something I have known to come to love, even though they tend to be a lot of work, it is worth it. I think for myself, it is the fun of sharing spicy fingers and hanging out with good people, for me, I love when I get a chance to do both. My wife and I, with our chihuahua Bandit, got out there and in line and met some people and got to share some space with some new friends. 

So when you see a place hosting an event that includes some of those delicious, flavorful little spiny creatures, head down and grab some as soon as you can, get your spice on and have some fun. I had a great time and it was fun to see everyone out at the event and getting to meet some new people as well.

The Denton Traveler

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

The Lost Episode Season 1 Episode 1 Full Edited

Here is the full recording of the premiere episode in all its glory. It is edited and scaled down for your enjoyment!

You can also download the episode HERE to listen to later!

Monday, April 4, 2016

Podcast Season 1 Episode 2

Here is Season 1 Episode 2 of the Podcast, I talk about Halley's Heroes and Jazz Fest and some other Denton happenings.

You can also download the episode HERE to listen to later!

Friday, April 1, 2016

The Tastes of North Texas

If you have not had a chance to sample all the food here in Denton, you are not the only one, though your local Kiwanis chapter is here to help. Every year they host the Taste of North Texas where ou can sample all the good stuff. From some new places like Upper Park Cafe to some that have been here for years like Candy Haven and Milpa's Mexican Restaurant and Cantina. That will at least help with most of your taste buds right there. There are many others that help this local event that benefits the Kiwanis Children's Hospital.

Now starting out, I was taking it slow, about half way through I was full. When they do an event, it is an event. With multiple vendors and restaurants volleying for your vote of the People's Choice and Kids Choice, there was so much to choose from. TWU Catering had a lettuce wrap with chicken or tofu, while you had Palio's and Mellow Mushroom with their fares which included a safe flavor and something a little different. Plus with a little music and some good conversation with the people there, it was a great time.
There were some vendors out that were giving a taste of things to come as well. Upper Park Cafe is taking over the space where Samone Lounge, Gerheart's, and Muddy Jake's tried to fill. With a breakfast and lunch fare that will give the square another option for some upscale yet home style feel. 

Once you were done with the main course there was so many sweet options to choose from. The local favorite Beth Marie's Ice Cream, Candy Haven, and opening in the new Denton Location in June was Sprouts to fill out your sweet tooth favorites from ice cream, cake, and jellybeans to win the Kid's vote over. 

So, to say the least, my first time at The Taste of North Texas was one that filled me up. From the local barbecue to tacos, and ice cream to truffles, it was something I believe everyone should experience. You feel like you have done some good by helping a local charity and helping your hunger out by getting some good staples here in Denton.

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Season 1 Episode 1 of The Podcast

Well, here it is. Definitely not my best work but it is my first, so there was a learning curve on this one. Have a listen and keep your eyes on the page! New content to come.

You can also download the episode HERE to listen to later!

Monday, March 14, 2016

The Places You NEED to Visit in Denton

So, I thought back over my places that I reviewed that were fun and tasty. I then started thinking, "What are the top places that people need to see and experience in Denton, TX that put it into perspective and understand Denton better?" Well, these are some places that I would personally tell someone to go to say, "THAT is Denton."

So in no particular order, here you go!

  • Audacity Brew House Taproom- This is the first taproom brewery to grace the city of Denton, TX. I think they did a real good job in representing the town and the laid back atmosphere. Head that way and grab yourself a good beer, sometimes they even have some on tap that you can only get in the Taproom, so ask one of the taproom bartenders about some of those interesting beers that can only be found in Denton, TX.

  • The Bearded Monk- Home to the first growler filler station, this destination has 21 beers on tap that you can take home. You know, those ones that you can never find in a can or bottle, yea, those. It also has an eclectic selection of beer and he also has the knowledge and you can check out reviews and some other fun things he does on his blog as well.

  • Hannah's- Just off the square, this is a place that is one of our best places considered fine dining. Yes, we have fine dining. This has one of the widest selection of fine wines and great food.

  • Apogee Stadium- Home to the University of North Texas Eagles. This new stadium has it all. With a little over 30,000 seats, this stadium houses the best football in Denton, TX. Get there early for some good tailgaiting during football season!

  • Rubber Gloves Rehearsal Studios- One of the places that music still resides and a great place for that small venue concert. Has some interesting stories as well. Oh, if walls could talk.

  • Sweetwater Grill and Tavern- This is a great place for some great food. They have live jazz and music on the weekends and just a relaxing place to hang out. Great outside patio area as well when the weather is right.

  • Paschall Bar- Here in Denton you will find some hidden treasures, this is one of them. With a speak easy feel and a relaxing fun environment. With some interesting libations and some great beer selections, this is one of Denton's true hidden nuggets.

  • LSA Burger- One of the best burger places here in the city. Great atmosphere and great food. Tr the Parmesan Fries, it is worth it. They are expanding and there is some live music as well on the upstairs patio, and you can sit on the Denton Courthouse lawn and enjoy that with some good friends and great weather.

  • Dan's Silverleaf- Great concert venue, fun relaxing and has been a Denton staple since 2002. You can catch some great local acts or some eclectic groups coming through Denton on their tours. Usually is a place that hosts many of the music festivals that come into Denton as well, like 35 Denton, Denton Art and Jazz Fest, and Oaktopia (which is always a good time).

  • Guiseppe's Italian Restaurant- Great Italian food with that romantic atmosphere created by the home that this establishment has occupied for years here in Denton. The lasagna is one of the best ones here in Denton, in my opinion.
  • Barley & Board- So, what can I say about this one? Well, the concept is something you have to see. Very rustic and great food, the atmosphere is one that has a laid back sophistication. You can head there in a tie and slacks or shorts and a t-shirt. Great food and a great place for a good conversation among friends.

  • Eastside & Oak St Drafthouse- This one is doubled up only due to how you feel at the time, both of these places are great, one is more a sports bar/ local pub feel, the other is a feel of sitting and listening to friends and conversing in your back yard. Owner John Williams has created a great atmosphere for both bars, I sometimes have a hard time choosing which one to go to, that is why I am always asking myself, "What mood are you in?" to get the decision made. So, with that said, that is why I combined the two.

  • Midway Mart- Last but not least... What can I say about this place? Well, it is the most interesting entry on this list, it is a convenience store of fine fermented beverages. Servicing Denton for 20 years, this is the go to place for the interesting beer selections. Want to find some off the wall IPA or garlic flavored beer, they probably have it, maybe not the garlic one, but some interesting selections come through here often. If you subscribe to their twitter feed, they let you know about some of the ones that are not exactly on the shelf.
Well, hope this is some help, comment if you think I missed any. I am sure that I did, this is a list that I like and think is a needed list for people to see, but I want to hear our opinion, what or who do you think should be on the list?

And keep watching here for the new Denton Traveler Podcast on