Let them eat cake!

And so we begin the hunt for sweets! We had already decided that we wanted a carrot cake for the Groom's Cake, as chocolate is not Adam's favorite. We were open to ideas for the Bride's Cake, but I had found a picture of a cake I liked for inspiration.

Our first stop was at a well known Dallas cakery which shall remain nameless. After sitting around for 15 minutes, watching teenagers build cakes, we finally met the wedding cake saleswoman. I won't call her the baker, as it seems the teenagers do all the actual work. Simply put, quite possibly the most awful cake ever. Stale cake, utterly lacking in flavor of it's own, slathered with overly sugared icing and fillings. She also informed us that they couldn't do carrot cake, and that no one could reproduce the inspiration for the Bride's Cake. Don't call us, we'll call you... or not.

Our second stop was a tiny little bakery in the Park Cities, with tasty cake and a willingness to make the effort and give us what we were looking for. Turns out the woman is cousin to the people who own Malibu (our favorite gourmet take-away) in Montreal! Talk about a small world! The lady was really nice, and the cake was quite good, but still not quite what we were looking for.

Our third and final cake tasting was with the pastry chef at the Adolphus. We had emailed the selection of cakes we wanted to try ahead of time, including our special carrot request. This was the only place that allowed us to choose what we would taste in advance. Our wedding coordinator ushered us into a small private dining room, where we (Adam & I, my Mom & Dad, two wedding coordinators, the pastry chef and her assistant) all sat down at a beautiful table with linens and china and candles and everything. We were served coffee (oh such lovely coffee) before the cakes were brought out. As the foot long cake plate was delivered to the table, I assumed it would placed in the middle so we could all take bites from the line of 5 small cakes it held. And then they sat it right in front of me. "Oh - I get to taste first!" I'm thinking, till they sat identical foot long plates in front everyone. Now, I make a pretty mean carrot cake, and anyone who knows my Mom knows she is a genius at sweets, but I have NEVER had a carrot cake this good in my life.

Done deal.


BBQ in Flower Mound

During our visit, Erlann (Kelly’s mother) organized a BBQ to celebrate the engagement and help me get to know some of Kelly’s extended family. Since we were a bit of a crowd, Barry and Susan kindly hosted the event at their lovely home in Flower Mound, TX. So many Texas towns seem to have interesting, quirky names. Mind you, I come from Quebec where people thought nothing of naming a community St. Polycarpe or St. Louis de Haha…so quirky may just be a matter of perspective.

I was a little anxious before we arrived but everyone was so gracious and friendly that, before long, I felt right at home. Erlann was even kind enough to make labeled hats so I could learn everyone's name with a minimum of embarrassment. At any rate, between the wonderful company, delicious food, and Barry’s potent margaritas, Kelly and I got some much needed relief from the frenetic pace of our visit.

Check out the photos on our Flickr page.


Filet Mignon, Please!

One more stop in the gravy train! It seems like we do nothing in Dallas but go from one meal to the next... food here is like nowhere else. In case you were not aware, Dallas is a major restaurant test market for the United States. Snuffer's was making some killer loaded cheese fries long before the Outback Steakhouse was a gleam in anybody's eye! We get some seriously good food here. That said, the dining plan for the week is even more complex than the wedding vendor appointment schedule! From Bacon & Eggs ala Erlann to barbacoa tacos at Chipotle, from the French Room at the Adolphus (that's another post entirely!) to table-side guacamole at Mariano's... excuse me while I wipe the drool off my chin...

Ah, that's better. So for one of our "must dine's" we went to Dunston's Steakhouse on Lovers Lane, where we've decided to hold the rehearsal dinner (How apropos, I hear you say). For those of you who are uninitiated, Dunston's is a Dallas Institution with a capital "I". My parents love to tell about me, age 4, asking the waitress (I think her name was Sunshine, and she was about 87) for a filet mignon medium rare and "Yes ma'am- she knows what that means and that really is what she wants to order thank you..." Needless to say Dunston's was a mainstay of my childhood. They have an open mesquite grill in the middle of the main room, where you can watch your steak cooking, and a salad bar that reminds you that salad can be comfort food, too, and certainly it needn't be healthy if you don't want it to be. At Dunston's, you know you're in Texas!

Remember I said they have an open mesquite grill? You probably won't notice till it's time to go to bed, but mesquite smoke clings...