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Live Amidst Nature In Far North Dallas Apartments

For the people of Texas, Far North Dallas is the area present north of Lyndon B. Johnson, also known as LBJ. In the east it borders with Richardson and in the north with Plano. Addison and Richardson are the inner suburbs over there. So, the neighborhood is surrounded by many suburban communities.

With surrounded by so many suburbs, it is quite easy for the residents of  far north dallas apartments to go for shopping in these nearby suburbs. There are some excellent shopping places like The Promenade shopping center in Richardson, and other such places in Plano, Denton and Carrolton too. Read more

Texas lawmakers clash over contentious transgender bathroom bill

Less than two months after failing to pass a “bathroom bill” restricting access for transgender people, Texas lawmakers are trying again amid fierce opposition from Democrats, civil rights groups and leading businesses.

A special legislative session will start on Tuesday in Austin. Among the main items on the agenda is a measure to limit transgender access to restrooms and changing facilities. The issue is the latest battleground in the conflict in Texas between moderate, pragmatic Republicans and far-right, ideologically driven conservatives emboldened by the rise of Donald Trump.

That clash is embodied by antipathy between two of the state’s most important politicians: Joe Straus, speaker of the House and a relative moderate, and Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick, a Christian conservative who was the state chairman of Trump’s presidential campaign.

Passing a bathroom bill is a top priority for Patrick. In a sign of the pressure being placed on moderates as Texas politics lurches even farther rightwards, the GOP in Straus’s home county last week passed a resolution calling for him to be replaced as speaker, in protest at his lack of enthusiasm for a bathroom bill.

A reported conversation between Straus and a state senator friendly to Patrick was recounted in the New Yorker, which quoted Straus as saying he was “disgusted by all this. Tell the lieutenant governor I don’t want the suicide of a single Texan on my hands.”

Critics contend that a bathroom bill will stigmatize an already vulnerable part of the population and fear that children will seek to avoid using school toilets by skipping meals and drinks.

Supporters argue, without evidence, that a bathroom bill is necessary to safeguard privacy and will improve public safety by offering protection against sexual predators.

In March, the Texas senate passed a bill obliging people in public buildings such as schools and universities to use restrooms and changing facilities that comport with their “biological sex” as written on birth certificates. The House approved a modified version applying only to public schools. But Patrick and the Senate rejected that measure as insufficient.

After the 140-day regular legislative session, Republican governor Greg Abbott called a special session to address unfinished business. There are 20 items, including the bathroom bill and anti-abortion measures.

Among the options lawmakers will consider is a statewide move to supersede existing local non-discrimination ordinances in cities such as Austin and Dallas. This would stop entities such as school districts from following or creating policies that accommodate transgender people.

Abbott has argued for uniform rules across the state. Critics charge that Republicans are seeking to impose unwanted policies on Democratic-leaning big cities such as Dallas, Houston, Austin and San Antonio.

“These anti-LGBTQ bills are part of a larger, overarching strategy to roll back the rights of LGBTQ Texans,” JoDee Winterhof, senior vice-president for policy and political affairs at the Human Rights Campaign, said on a conference call with reporters.

“Ever since marriage equality became the law of the land after the [US supreme court’s 2015] decision in the Obergefell case, legislatures around the country have been introducing blatantly discriminatory bills at state level in order to curtail or roll back the rights of our community. These bills come in many forms but the latest form they have taken is discrimination against transgender people.”

Mara Keisling, executive director of the National Center for Transgender Equality, said on the call that proponents of bathroom bills were “trying to score political points with lies and scare tactics”.

In Texas, such a bill would be popular with the core constituency of many of the politicians who back it: staunch suburban and rural conservatives who turn out in large numbers for Republican primary elections.

A University of Texas/Texas Tribune poll released last month found that 44% of all respondents consider a bathroom bill to be “important” and 47% “not important”. But among those who identify as Tea Party supporters, 70% said it is important, a figure that grew as the issue was discussed extensively this year.

Texas led a legal challenge to federal guidelines introduced by the Obama administration last year that told schools to provide facilities for transgender students that align with their gender identity. The Trump administration rescinded the guidance in February, boosting bathroom bill advocates.

However, moderates such as Straus fear economic boycotts of the kind that rippled through North Carolina when it introduced a bathroom bill in 2016.

IBM has taken out full-page advertisements opposing the bill in Texas newspapers and plans to send senior employees to Austin to lobby against it, the Dallas Morning News reported. Other technology companies with a significant presence in Texas, including Facebook, Google, Amazon and Apple, have also criticized the plan.

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Rangers cap first half of season with shutout loss to Angels

ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) — J.C. Ramirez provided a much-needed boost in the Texas heat on Sunday afternoon to the Los Angeles Angels’ beleaguered starting rotation and struggling offensive attack.

Ramirez outpitched All-Star Yu Darvish and Albert Pujols hit his 604th career home run as Ramirez and three relievers held the Rangers to two hits in a 3-0 win.

Ramirez (8-7) allowed both hits in his six innings. Bud Norris earned his 13th save with a perfect ninth inning in only the second shutout of Texas this season, the first since mid-April. The Angels went into the game last in the American League in total bases.

Ramirez made his 16th straight start since mid-April after his previous 108 career appearances in the major leagues were in relief. The 28-year-old was moved into the starting rotation after Los Angeles lost multiple starters to injury.

“We’re not going to reach our goal unless these guys go out and give us an opportunity to win like J.C. did this afternoon,” Angels manager Mike Scioscia said.

Ramirez credited a switch to a four-seam fastball from a two-seamer following a recent talk with pitching coach Charles Nagy for his Sunday success.

Ramirez’s plan for the All-Star break? “I’m going to Vegas for a couple of days,” he said. “I need my mind to get away from baseball.”

Darvish (6-8) gave up two runs while pitching 7 1/3 innings. He allowed three hits, fanning six and walking four in a start that cost him a potential appearance in Tuesday night’s All-Star Game. Darvish last week complied with a club request not to pitch in Miami two days after starting.

“We ran into a guy today who was on top of his game,” Texas manager Jeff Banister said. “Darvish threw the ball extremely well. He made two mistakes.”

Pujols hit a two-out home run on a curveball into the Angels’ bullpen in left-center in the first inning. He took a .206 career batting average vs. Darvish in 34 at-bats into the game. Three of his eight career hits off the four-time All-Star have been homers.

The Angels added a run in the fifth inning after Ben Revere stole third base following Darvish’s throw behind him to second base. Juan Graterol followed with a sacrifice fly.

Ramirez ends the season’s first half with a major league career-high 103 innings. His previous high as a reliever was 78 2/3 innings last season, which was divided between the Angels and Cincinnati.

The Rangers are 1-8 in Darvish’s last nine starts. Texas has scored 15 runs in his eight losses this season.

“It’s part of baseball,” Darvish said through an interpreter. “I don’t really think about it.”

READY, BREAK

The Rangers end the first half 43-45, 16 games out of first place in the AL West. They were 42-46 two years ago at the break but only three games out. They grabbed the division lead on Sept. 15 and won by two games.

The Angels are 45-47, 19-20 without reigning league MVP Mike Trout in the lineup. They’ve been within three games of .500 since April 23, when they were 8-12.

ANGELS’ RISP DROUGHT ENDS

Andrelton Simmons’ ninth-inning double that scored pinch-runner Eric Young from second base ended Los Angeles’ 0-for-10 streak with runners in scoring position during the series. In Friday night’s 10-0 Angels loss, they failed to get a runner beyond first base.

SHORT HOPS

Rougned Odor went 0-for-4, ending a career-long 10-game hitting streak. . The Angels will have six off days during the first 35 days of the season’s second half after having only six to date in 98 days.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Angels: Trout is scheduled to make rehab starts on Sunday and Monday with high-A Inland Empire with the Angels hoping to return him to their active roster on Friday.

Rangers: RHP Keone Kela (shoulder soreness) can come off the disabled list on Monday and is expected to rejoin the club on Friday.

UP NEXT

Angels: No starter has been announced for Friday’s home game vs. Tampa Bay.

Rangers: LHP Martin Perez (4-6) will open the three-game series at Kansas City on Friday.

Jeff Banister on pitching in shutout loss against Angels

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Weird but true Cowboys stories: A big Romo fan could get death penalty and more

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Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Lucky Whitehead (13) catches an exercise ball during drills before the Blue-White Scrimmage at training camp in Oxnard, California, Saturday, August 6, 2016. (Tom Fox/The Dallas Morning News)

The Dallas Cowboys are always in the news.

When you’re always in the news, there’s going to be a wide range of stories. Some will be uplifting, some troubling, some light-hearted and some, well, they’re just weird.

Here’s a sampling of some of the stranger stories involving the Cowboys in the past few months.

homas Randolph, wearing a Tony Romo jersey, leaves the courtroom after appearing in his death penalty phase trial at the Regional Justice Center in Las Vegas on Friday, June 30, 2017. Bizuayehu Tesfaye/@bizutesfaye/Las Vegas Review-Journal

Former Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo always had his supporters, even in the midst of Dak-mania in 2016.

As Exhibit A, we offer Thomas Randolph, a 62-year-old from Las Vegas who has been convicted of hiring a hitman to kill his sixth wife and then killing the hitman.

Randolph wore an XXXL Tony Romo jersey to court for his sentencing hearing, according to the Las Vegas Review-Journal. Randolph faces punishment ranging from 20 years in prison to the death penalty.

And this wasn’t Randolph’s first time on trial in the death of one of his wives. According to the Review-Journal, he was acquitted in a 1986 murder case but pleaded to tampering with a witness for conspiring with a cellmate to kill the prosecution’s star witness.

1986, hmmm. Three quarterbacks started games for the Cowboys that season: Steve Pelluer started nine, Danny White started six and Reggie Collier started one. No information is available as to whether Randolph wore Pelluer’s No. 16, White’s No. 11 or Collier’s No. 10 for his trial appearances in ’86.

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Overall, everything went smoothly for the Cowboys on the first night of the 2017 NFL draft. Dallas sat back with the 28th overall pick and selected Michigan defensive end Taco Charlton when he fell to them.

Before making the selection, however, the Cowboys had to change the number of their war room phone line after it was compromised.

"Somebody got their hands on [it]," Cowboys executive vice president Stephen Jones said. "They got it off social media."

The fix was simple. The Cowboys pulled the old number and switched the phone line to another number so they were back up and running quickly without any interference.

There’s nothing unusual about Stephen A. Smith’s bashing of the Cowboys or their fans on ESPN’s First Take. He’s been doing it for years. It’s just his annoying schtick. Take it as you should take Stephen A., with a more than a few grains of salt and a pain reliever.

But Smith — even though he was joking — took his anti-Cowboys message to a new level on this episode, which aired the morning before Game 5 of the NBA Finals. Smith asked a police officer to join him on camera, then pointed to two Cowboys fans sitting in the front row of the audience, one sporting a Dak Prescott throwback jersey.

"If they are disrespectful in any way, I want them removed," Smith said. "They’re [Cowboys fans] are like cockroaches A nuclear bomb could drop and some how, some way, they’d find a way to contaminate the proceedings."

Whatever, dude!

On a scale of 1 to @88DrewPearson how fired up are you for football to be back in 132 days? #CowboysNation pic.twitter.com/ZAnC7yNQ77

— Dallas Cowboys (@dallascowboys) May 1, 2017

This one came totally out of the blue on the second night of the NFL draft … or should we say totally out of the silver and blue.

Former Cowboys All-Pro wide receiver Drew Pearson stood at the podium to announce the Cowboys’ second-round draft pick and essentially spiked a football in the face of the city of Philadelphia, which hosted the 2017 draft.

Pearson: "How ’bout them Cowboys?"

The crowd: "Booooooo!

Pearson: "Thank you Eagle fans for allowing me to have a career in the NFL. Thank you."

Pearson: "I am honored as an undrafted free agent to be selected to make the Cowboys’ second-round draft pick and on behalf of the five-time World Champion Dallas Cowboys, Hall of Fame owner Jerry Jones, Gene Jones and the Jones family, Jason Garrett, all the Cowboys players that played before me and played with me and played after me. With the 60th pick in the second round, the Dallas Cowboys select defensive back from Colorado Chidobe Awuzie."

NFL Network’s Rich Eisen: "That is an all-time great pick announcement. I am standing and applauding. Drew Pearson soaking in the hate and spitting it back."

As you probably know, Cowboys owner Jerry Jones met with Pope Francis recently on a visit to Vatican City. There’s no truth to the rumor (which we’re starting) that Jerry was trying to sell the Pope on the idea of an NFL team in the Vatican City.

The folks at WBAP-AM 820 took note of Jerry’s visit, even writing a song (sung to the tune of Dionne Warwick’s I Say A Little Prayer).

Here’s some of the lyrics from WBAP’s parody, which was posted on the station’s Facebook page.

Every morning when he wakes up,

He checks his collar for makeup,

And says a little prayer for Dez.

Sipping some Jack now,

Or watching his Razorbacks play now,

He says a little prayer for Dez.

He met with the pope, yeah.

They’re full of pizza and hope, yeah.

They say a little prayer for Lee.

Friday Music: Jerry Says a Little PrayerWBAPShareFriday Music: Jerry Says a Little PrayerWBAPapp-facebookLearn More

Oh, those NFC East rivalries.

Take the case of 32-year-old Brittan Holland, a Cowboys fan who was arrested and charged following a bar fight with a Philadelphia Eagles fan in New Jersey.

In a class action lawsuit filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey, Holland claims that the state’s current bail reform laws are illegal. Following his arrest, Holland was ordered to be released on the condition that he wear an ankle monitor. The suit claims that Holland was denied the option of bail, to which he should have been legally entitled.

A preliminary injunction motion has been filed, with the court being asked to hear the matter by July 17.

In an interview with Pro Football Hall of Fame Radio on SiriusXM, Jerry Jones talked about the time the Cowboys bus took on the ESPN bus in a race.

"We were in San Antonio and we had a drag-strip race," Jones said. "I’ve forgotten who finished first — we’ll call it a tie. But I thought about how that transmission joint was going to look like laying out there on that parking lot."

Must not have been any wagers on that race or Jerry would certainly remember who won.

Cowboys rookie receiver Ryan Switzer has a tattoo of the word "Believe". What’s weird about that, you ask? It’s tattooed across the inside of his lower lip.

Switzer quickly tired of talking about his ink when he met with reporters for the first time after being drafted in the fourth round out of North Carolina.

"I’ve got a tattoo on my lip. There are worse things in the world, trust me," Switzer said. "There are guys who have tattoos on their face and their neck. I think that’s a little bit more fearless than lip."

"We’re really talking about my tattoo right now," he said with a smile before responding about the pain level. "I don’t know. It doesn’t compare to getting hit across the middle, I’ll tell you that."

Switzer originally got the lip tattoo while in high school so his mom wouldn’t see. He said she’s still not a huge fan, but "she has kind of grown into it."

Cowboys sixth-round pick Marquez White can relate.

"That’s kind of how this Nike sign ended up on the back of my [left] leg," he said Saturday. "I was trying to hide it from my mom, too. I was like 13 or 14."

So, the question for Switzer and White is … if you have to hide the tattoo, why get the tattoo?

That’s weird.

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Taking A Look At The State Of Texas

The largest state in the continental United States, and the second largest in the U.S. behind only Alaska, the old saying that “Everything is bigger in Texas!” is one that really captures the confidence, the heart, and the swagger that the Texan identity provides many of the state’s proud residents. Texas is also the second largest state by population, with only California acting as home to more people. There’s a lot of interesting culture and cities throughout the Lone Star state, and Texas is also unique as being only one of two U.S. states that was once its own independent nation state, as well.

If you are going to be driving across Texas you’ll realize not only is there a whole lot of territory to cover by car, but much of the western part of state is desert that stretches on and on. There is plenty of rough ranch land, and there’s a reason this is a state known for its cattle, as well. When you hit the central to eastern part of the state you will run into a large number of great large cities that have a little bit of everything (including plenty of Texas barbecue joints), plenty of college and professional sports, and rolling hills and remarkable areas of nature that any outdoorsman can truly enjoy.

Add in unique cities like Austin, the state capital which is also known as the Live Music Capital of the World as well as the hosting city of the famous South by Southwest annual festival and it’s not hard at all to find a little bit of everything. You even have one of the better beaches and spring break destinations in the United States down on South Padre Island.

Texas is a state with a bit of everything and we’d expect nothing else from a place as big and bad as the Lone Star State.

Splash ‘dancing’ at the Dallas Zoo with Zola the gorilla

Gorilla shows off splash-dancing moves 00:44

(CNN)There seems to be a lot more going on behind the scenes at the Dallas Zoo — including some splashy dance moves by Zola the gorilla.

The Zoo released video this week of the 14-year-old Western Lowland gorilla dancing in a kiddie pool and the footage has gone viral — with almost a million views on YouTube.

"Zola’s "dancing" is really just a play behavior (there was no breakdance music playing in the building, we promise)," the Dallas Zoo said in a news release. The gorilla’s willingness to play apparently shows that it’s content or comfortable.

Some are comparing Zola’s dance to the famous water scene in the 1983 movie Flashdance. Others on social media are adding their own Flashdance music, including "Maniac."

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You gotta believe! ‘Improbable’ Aggies not satisfied as Texas A&M preps for CWS favorite Louisville

Sam Craft/AP Texas A&M catcher Cole Bedford, center right, hugs teammate Hunter Coleman (10) after defeating Davidson in an NCAA college baseball tournament super regional game Saturday, June 10, 2017, in College Station, Texas. (AP Photo/Sam Craft)

When this season began, Texas A&M baseball coach Rob Childress probably didn’t expect to be sitting in Omaha in the middle of June, talking to reporters a few days before the College World Series.

After all, the Aggies were coming off their second loss to TCU in the super regionals in as many years and lost 16 players from that 2016 team, with 12 of those headed to the minor leagues.

And yet, Childress was seated at a table Friday with three other coaches he could face this week, talking about his team’s improbable journey. For the first time since 2011 and only the second time since 1999, the Aggies are one of the last eight teams remaining in the NCAA postseason.

But just because the Aggies have somehow made it to Omaha doesn’t mean they’re satisfied.

"We’re going to be going to win a national championship," A&M senior outfielder Nick Choruby said before the team’s super regional series win over Davidson last week. "We’re not just going to be happy to be going."

Sunday’s matchup between the Aggies (41-21) and No. 7 Louisville (52-10) is one that features two teams with opposite expectations. According to the Las Vegas’ Bovada Casino, Texas A&M has the worst odds of winning the national championship. The Cardinals have the best chances of holding the trophy at TD Ameritrade Park.

Louisville also happens to have junior Brendan McKay. McKay, who will start opposite A&M’s Corbin Martin, is the nation’s best two-way player and was drafted fourth overall by the Tampa Bay Rays in this week’s MLB amateur draft.

Louisville coach Dan McDowell said the left-handed pitcher with a 2.34 ERA and a team-high .464 on-base percentage has been level-headed and humble despite all the accolades that show he’s one of the best players in college baseball. McDowell said McKay helped ease Louisville’s transition into the Atlantic Coast Conference.

"We needed a superstar player like Brendan along with all the kids we’ve had around him to elevate each other and allow us to compete in a great baseball league," McDowell told reporters Friday.

While Louisville was on its way to being the ACC’s best team during the regular season, A&M was trying to fight its way into NCAA contention. The Aggies’ low points included a 17-3 loss to Vanderbilt and a loss to Missouri in the first round of the SEC tournament.

Yet, the Aggies managed to squeeze into the NCAA tournament and somehow found themselves hosting Davidson, the only No. 4 regional seed to advance to the super regionals.

"The guys believed an awful lot," Childress told those gathered in Omaha on Friday. "We found a way to get into the NCAAs and certainly made a lot of breaks along the way to get here."

That belief, along with some good defense and decent pitching, helped propel A&M into an unlikely postseason fate.

Before Childress traded his gray A&M polo into a maroon shirt for team picture day at the front of TD Ameritrade, he said he’d give his players the same tips he’d give someone before their wedding day.

"Remember every hand you shake and every hug you get," Childress said. "Don’t look up and go, ‘What just happened today?’ But at the same time, you need to make sure you keep your head down when it’s time to prepare in practices and when the games occur."

Texas A&M (41-21) will play the No. 7 national seed Louisville (52-10) in the afternoon game at 1 p.m. CT on Sunday.

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Chaat Room: A Guide to Dallas’ Best Indian Street Snacks

The India Chaat Cafe in Far North Dallas offers aloo tikki chaat, papri chaat and samosa chaat.

Let’s talk chaat.

It’s the unofficial favorite fast food of India, a quick cuisine of street bites, snacks, fritters and other savory treats to eat on the go. Chaat isn’t meant to be fancy. It’s almost all vegetarian, and it often repurposes other foods in surprising ways, but it’s the ultimate in big-flavor fast food, from stuffed flatbreads and incomparable veggie burgers to samosa sandwiches and other strokes of fusion genius.

Best of all, chaat is all around Dallas, and a filling meal often costs as little as $4.

This guide isn’t meant to be a complete listing of all the chaat in North Texas. Instead, we’ve highlighted some of the best dishes from four terrific restaurants in Dallas and Irving. They all have other, equally scrumptious snacks to order, but this is a starting point, an inspiration to go exploring. Go forth, now, and chow down on some of the best bargain food in Dallas.

The biggest compartment of Bombay Chowpatty’s pav bhaji platter ($8.50) is a well-spiced, but only somewhat spicy, mash of vegetables.

Chowpatty is a major public beach in Mumbai, and with swimming risky because of heavily polluted waters, the beach is most famous for its street carts serving up chaat. Bombay Chowpatty in northern Irving gets its name from that beach and its iconic savory snacks. The beach appears as a wall-sized poster, and the restaurant has an outdoorsy feel, thanks to bright sunlight, iconic Bollywood movie posters and a wide-open floor plan. The chefs work at a large island in the middle, right behind the ordering counter. Stop by the sides for napkins or plastic utensils.

Lunch platters here are reliably superb, like the chole puri platter ($8), with a spicy chickpea curry and greasy-in-a-good-way frybread, or, even better, the pav bhaji platter ($8.50). The biggest compartment is a well-spiced, but only somewhat spicy, mash of vegetables. Try a spoonful, sure, but the point of pav bhaji is to build a sandwich with little dinner rolls that have been seasoned and griddled. Few fast-food meals are more satisfying, especially since the lunch platters all come with good rice, free tea and dessert.

Bombay Chowpatty also serves what might be the weirdest fusion food in metro Dallas: the pizza dosa ($7.50). It’s a dosa filled with sweet tomato sauce, red onions, green bell peppers, cheese and a very liberal dusting of oregano. The result is admittedly pretty odd, especially since the tomato sauce tastes like supermarket Boboli-brand stuff. It’s best and most intriguing if you dip the dosa in one of the accompanying chutneys.

825 W. Royal Lane, Irving. bombaychowpattyirving.com, 972-677-7658. Mon.-Thu. 11 a.m. – 3 p.m., 4:30 – 9:30 p.m.; Fri. 11 a.m. – 3 p.m., 4:30 – 10 p.m.; Sat. 12 – 10 p.m.; Sun. 12 – 9:30 p.m.

India Chaat Café
In Far North Dallas, sharing a strip mall with the refined French bistro Cadot, India Chaat Café is a fast food and takeout spot that projects peppy optimism. The bright colors, TV tuned to an Indian music video channel and simple menu all suggest the kind of comfort food in which this restaurant specializes.

India Chaat Café’s aloo tikki chaat ($4) is a colorful bowl built on two patties formed from potatoes, herbs, hot chili pepper flakes and seeds.

Aloo tikki chaat ($4) is a colorful bowl built on two patties formed from potatoes, herbs, hot chili pepper flakes and seeds. On those potato cakes, India Chaat Café piles up chickpeas, chutney and a sort of curried gravy with a bewitching blend of spices. It’s enough for a meal by itself, but save room for other snacks and sides, including naan stuffed with lamb ($3.50). It couldn’t be simpler: a stack of buttered naan with a paper-thin layer of ground lamb and parsley folded into the pockets. In case you hit spice overload, there’s a refreshing yogurt dip speckled with seasoning and thin shreds of carrot.

The restaurant’s specialty, while not technically a chaat, is indisputably delicious: “Desi-style” pizzas with Indian toppings. A small chili paneer pizza ($8) boasts a thin crust that stays perfectly crisp all the way to the center, topped with bell peppers, small cubes of paneer, a little bit of oregano and a lot of spice. This is some of the best, and unlikeliest, pizza in North Dallas.

18101 Preston Road. indiachaatcafedallas.com, 972-381-0003. Sun.-Thurs. 11 a.m. – 10 p.m.; Fri.-Sat. 11 a.m. – 10:30 p.m.

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Rajwadi Vegetarian Indian Fast Food
It looks like an ordinary veggie burger. The bun is an ordinary bun, gently toasted and glistening with grease. Served on paper, this bun pulls strongly on childhood fast-food memories. The patty doesn’t look like meat, of course, but it doesn’t look too crazy on the outside, either. Maybe the lack of lettuce, tomato or onion is a giveaway that truly transporting flavors are about to hit your tongue. This is dabeli, a chaat from Gujarat that has become one of Rajwadi’s two signature sandwiches.

That veggie burger patty is, in fact, mashed sweet potatoes dosed with a brace of curry seasonings. It contains pomegranate seeds for sweet-tart balance, roasted peanuts for crunch and red onions because everything is better with red onions. Fiery-hot, refreshing, crunchy, soft, sinful and vegetarian all at the same time, dabeli is an ingenious snack like nothing else in the world. And, for $5, it is very filling.

Rajwadi’s samosa sandwich ($4.49) is a classic chaat because it adds a little texture and a lot of portability to the samosa.

Rajwadi’s other iconic sandwich is the samosa sandwich ($4.49), a samosa smashed flat and placed on another toasted bun. Hey, it tastes better than it sounds. This is a classic chaat because it adds a little texture and a lot of portability to the samosa.

Rajwadi is tucked inside an Indian supermarket with a small but excellent selection of groceries. The sweets are worth trying, and you shouldn’t leave without exploring the frozen meals section, in which $2.50 for a dinner counts as expensive. You also shouldn’t leave the restaurant area without trying sabudana vada ($4.49), crisply fried fritters made with mashed potatoes, tapioca pearls and cilantro. They’re an outstanding snack, and they come with two chutneys, one sweet, the other hot.

9400 N. MacArthur Blvd., Suite 114, Irving. 972-444-0033. Daily 11 a.m. – 9 p.m.

Taj Chaat House’s dosas are served in absolute monster sizes that defy you to try finding room for a side dish.

The most celebrated and most popular of Dallas’ chaat restaurants, Taj Chaat House, has been occupying its street corner in Irving for many years. Much has been said about Taj Chaat already; the Observer has called it one of DFW’s most interesting restaurants. The house specialty here are dosas, which are served in absolute monster sizes that defy you to try finding room for a side dish.

But if you can restrict yourself to chaat, there are rewards like the dahi puri ($3.50), gently fried pastry puffs filled with chickpeas, potatoes and chutneys. Yogurt gets drizzled over the top, along with cilantro and diced tomato; the result is served cold and not exactly elegantly plated, but it’s a refreshing snack. Taj Chaat House’s excellent free chutney bar, including peanut-garlic, ginger and spicy-coconut varieties, means that this is also a great place to grab an order or two of naan or paratha and spend lunch dipping away.

As with many chaat dishes in Dallas, few vegetarian meals can be as economical, flavorful — or affordable. What’s not to like?

1057 W. Rochelle Road, Irving. tajchaathouse.com, 214-596-1133. Daily 11:30 a.m. – 9:30 p.m.

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Over 30 live oak trees were ‘hacked’ in North Dallas and people aren’t happy

People are outraged after a developer cut off the tops of over 30 live oak trees along Forest Lane in North Dallas this week.

The trees, with foliage that had been visible from Interstate 635 near Josey Lane, were chopped down to their limbs by the property owner, who bought the lot from the neighboring Home Depot, according to city council member Jennifer Staubach Gates.

She drove by the property herself on Friday to see the damage to the trees, which are on the city’s protected list.

"I was appalled. It was horrific," she said. "There is no arborist on the planet who would recognize that kind of butchering."

Steve Houser, a local arborist and former chair of the City of Dallas Urban Forest Advisory Committee, agrees and said the way the trees were cut will likely kill them.

"Professional arborists do not top trees like this," he said. "This is a huge loss for the area."

He suspects that the motive behind cutting back the trees was to increase visibility of the building from the road while avoiding a tree removal permit and accompanying mitigation fees with the city.

David Cossum, director of Sustainable Development and Construction for the City of Dallas, said the owner of the property, Platinum Construction based in Fate, did not file a tree removal permit with the city.

The company could not be reached for comment on Friday.

The city has not issued a citation, Cossum said, but an investigation is underway to determine if a removal permit should have been filed.

"It’s pretty self-evident that they should be classified as having been removed," he said of the live oak trees.

"It’s shocking," said Cindy Beatty who lives down the road from the property. "I just think it’s disgraceful."

Beatty was was shopping at the Home Depot on Friday when she said she saw the hacked trees. Employees at the store told her the developer is getting ready to build a storage unit facility on the property and wanted the building to be visible from the highway.

"I just hate to see trees destroyed to put up a storage facility," she said.

The city said the investigation should be concluded by next week, but Houser said regardless of the outcome, the damage has already been done.

"It’s very unfortunate," he said. "Trees like this clean your air, water, soil and they just improve overall quality of life. Damage like this will kill a tree, and Dallas doesn’t have enough trees as it is."

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Dallas Cowboys: Is Ryan Switzer the new Cole Beasley?

It’s been nearly two months since Tony Romo announced his retirement, but the Dallas Cowboys still haven’t made a clean break with the four-time Pro Bowl quarterback.

Romo’s locker remains unoccupied, and no one on the current roster is wearing his old No. 9, according to ESPN. The 37-year-old has yet to file his retirement paperwork and hasn’t completely shut the door on a possible comeback, telling reporters in April that he’s 99 percent sure he won’t return for another season.

The Cowboys effectively ended the Romo era in Dallas last season, when rookie Dak Prescott was named the starter early in the year to replace the injured veteran and then Prescott’s role became permanent late in the season. The team was expected to trade Romo in the offseason, but he abruptly called it a career in April.

Could the Cowboys be planning to retire Romo’s number, joining Don Meredith, Roger Staubach and Troy Aikman as the only quarterbacks in franchise history to have that honor?

Romo will most likely lose his locker before seeing another player don No. 9. Head coach Jason Garrett has placed team leaders at different corners of the locker room, a location Romo’s locker currently occupies.

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Southern Dallas Is Growing Faster Than North Dallas, But Still Isn’t Caught Up

Graham Coreil-Allen / Flickr

Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings says progress is being made in revitalizing southern Dallas. He credits his GrowSouth initiative in helping stimulate investment and development in communities south of Interstate 30 and the Trinity River. Still, the area faces many challenges.

The big takeaway from the 2017 GrowSouth annual progress report: Southern Dallas is growing — and at a faster rate than North Dallas. Since 2011, when the initiative launched, the tax base growth in southern Dallas has been about 25 percent – about double the growth happening in the northern part of the city.

“Long story short, if you had invested $100 in North Dallas versus southern Dallas, you would’ve made more money in southern Dallas,” Rawlings said. “We have never seen this type of growth.”

Along with the area’s overall improvements between 2012 and 2016, southern Dallas has seen an uptick in population, lower property crime and a higher high school graduation rate – nearly 11 percent higher. Property values also increased by more than 40 percent. Per capita income is up and unemployment is down.

Rawlings said the city is trying to attract more jobs to the area by encouraging investment from companies like Uber – which has hired more than 2,500 people in southern Dallas. Starbucks announced this week it will be opening a store next to Red Bird Mall to help revitalize the area and provide more jobs for young people.

There’s still more work to do

Public school enrollment is down slightly, aggravated assaults are up, and not enough has been done to attract larger retailers to the area.

“We have to work harder, faster, quicker to catch up to North Dallas, and I think we are. I think we have that sense of urgency but we need to keep that intensity going,” he said.

Rawlings said the plan is to push more public-private partnerships and integrate GrowSouth into the city’s daily operations. He’s looping in Dallas City Manager T.C. Broadnax, who will take the initiative beyond the mayor’s office.

“I’m committed to building upon the rich history of southern Dallas through this initiative,” Broadnax said. “Our strategies and approaches for making decisions and investments in southern Dallas need to be built around data – looking at market strengths that I believe will result in transformative projects in the neighborhoods in southern Dallas and create the ripple effect we strive to create in economic development.”

The hope is that the initiative can continue on after Rawlings’ term ends in 2019.

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