Another OU-Texas week is in the books, and like always, it meant several days in Dallas for me. This year, we went Thursday morning, instead of Wednesday, because the annual OU Engineering dinner is a day later than normal.
Discovered a fabulous place to eat. Babe’s is a north Texas franchise – locations in Carrollton, Garland, Frisco, Sanger, Burleson, Cedar Hill, Arlington and Granbury – that serves up fried chicken, chicken fried steak, chicken tenders, pot roast and smoked chicken. Each person gets his or her own meat, but everything else is served family style: mashed potatoes and gravy, green beans, salad, fabulous corn and homemade biscuits. All meals are $11.99.
My cousin Jimmie Tramel of Tulsa World fame told me about Babe’s years ago, but I just now got around to going. It was fantastic. Reminds me a little of one of my old haunts, Frontier in Norman, which gave up the ghost 20 years ago.
I give Babe’s the highest recommendation and will make it one of my routine Dallas stops.
We went to Babe’s’ Frisco location, in the old railroad district of Frisco. A rustic setting in the middle of one of America’s shiniest cities.
Frisco is an affluent suburb just north of Plano. In the 2000 census, Frisco’s population was 33,714. In 2010, the population was 116,989, making it one of America’s fastest-growing cities in recent years.
Frisco was born in 1902 as a watering stop for the St. Louis-San Francisco Railway. It was a sleepy little town until the last couple of decades, when the migration from Dallas grew into and past Plano.
Maybe you’ve heard of Stonebriar Centre, an upscale mall? That’s in Frisco.
Frisco has six high schools – Frisco High, Centennial,Liberty, Wakeland, Heritage and Lone Star. A bond issue has been approved to build a seventh high school, with plans to open an eighth in the latter part of this decade. None of the schools are Class 5A (Texas’ large-school classification). I was told that Frisco would like to have eight 4A high schools and all compete in the same district.
Frisco is a sports mecca. Home to Dr Pepper Ballpark, which houses the Rangers’ Texas League franchise, the Frisco Rough Riders; Pizza Hut Park, a 20,500-seat soccer stadium that houses FC Dallas of Major League Soccer; Dr Pepper Arena, home to an NBA D-League team and a Junior A team in the North American Hockey League.
Pizza Hut Park hosts the NCAA I-AA championship game. The Dallas Stars are headquartered in Frisco and practices at Dr Pepper Arena. The Southland Conference is headquartered in Frisco. Stuns me that Jerry World didn’t land in Frisco.
We stayed Thursday night in the new Omni Hotel in downtown Dallas. The Engineering dinner was there.
The Omni is an interesting place. It’s a city-owned hotel. Dallas funded the hotel with a bond issue, and Omni runs the business for the city.
It’s an excellent hotel, though at $199 a night it ought to be. It’s $18 a night to park, which beats Chicago and San Francisco but strikes me as unnecessary on the plains of north Texas.
In every Omni room, the bathroom mirror has one of those inset televisions, so you don’t miss a moment of Jerry Springer or the NFL Network.
The dinner was OK, though nothing special. I didn’t think it was as good as the Eddie Deen catered barbeque served in the Cotton Bowl pressbox. We had some kind of thick steak and some kind of chicken. I’m sure it cost a bundle. I’ve never really been partial to those hotel banquet dinners, even the upscale kind. Always better to order off the menu.
But the event was great. I’ve been going to the Engineer dinner for several years – my wife is a fundraiser for the Engineering college– and I’ve gotten to know many of the people who regularly attend, and they are quite charming.
That’s just one example of the OU-Texas traditions that would make it difficult to ever move the game away from Dallas. Too many functions for both schools, from student recruiting to fund-raising to alumni recognition, to consider leaving the Dallas tradition.
Fort Worth Crosses My Mind
Another OU-Texas tradition: the OU Club of Fort Worth luncheon at the downtown Petroleum Club. I’ve been part of the program the last three years, this time with former Sooners Dusty Dvoracek and Teddy Lehman, who now co-host a radio show on KREF.
Message Sent Successfully
Be Sure to Check Out Our Top Headlines
Back to share with a friend form.
Add More Recipients