My Neck Of The Woods. Villa’s in Irving, Texas.

Drugstore in Downtown Irving, TX Most travelers would never see the old drugstore in downtown Irving. You have to search for what was once the “heart” of the city to find it.

The Interstate Highways and our state highways are a marvelous way of getting from one place to another in a hurry (unless you are driving in rush hour). However, it’s difficult to tell much about the towns they skirt from the vantage point of the road. Every town looks alike!

On highways in north Texas, all you see are chain stores and restaurants lining the highways: Chili’s, Red Lobster, Olive Garden, Home Depot, Best Buy, etc. The only way you know you have entered the next metropolis is when you see another Wal-Mart. From Hwy 183, which passes through Irving, Texas, you would never know that the city has an almost bucolic downtown area.

Downtown Irving, TX

Although there isn’t a lot happening on Main Street these days, there is one restaurant that you don’t want to miss (unless you are a vegan).
Villa's Grill in Irving, TX
It might not look like much to you, but Villa’s Grill is a genuine Brazilian churrascaria (which supposedly translates from the Portuguese to mean “barbecue”). The owner came from Brazil to help start the churrascaria that we have here in Denton — then decided to open his own restaurant.

Have you ever been to a churrascaria? There is a salad bar, and a bar with cooked vegetables and side dishes. The main attraction is that waiters bring skewers of meat to the table: pork, beef, chicken, bacon wrapped meats. OH! It’s all you can eat.

Each time I’ve been there, I took my camera, intending to take pictures for you, but once the food started coming to my table I couldn’t bother with the camera. Sorry ’bout y’all. You’ll just have to use your imagination (or go see for yourself!).

At most churrascarias, you’d better eat a lot because you will spend all your weekly grocery money on one meal. Not at Villa’s! It’s “all you can eat” for $9.90!

The place is small, and the decor will not make you think you have gone to Brazil. The walls are decorated with vintage pictures of downtown Irving. Trust me, you won’t be looking at the decor. This is seriously delicious food.

When the waiter comes to your table, be sure to ask if they have any “camel meat.” Most likely, he will sigh and shake his head, “No.” Then, he will bring that “camel meat” to your table. It’s an inside joke at the restaurant. “Camel meat” is what they call the pineapple that has been dipped in cinnamon and grilled. As delicious as the barbecued meats are, I’d be satisfied if all they only brought me the pineapple.

Go to their website on the link above for all the information you need to get there — but get there!

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This is the first in a series of posts I will be doing on Saturdays called “My Neck Of The Woods.” My neck of the woods is pretty big, because I consider that it encompasses all of The Lone Star State! Each Saturday, I will post about something in my area, or in my state, that a tourist passing through here might not know to find.

I invite y’all to join me in that. As bloggers, we are in a unique position to get our opinions out on the internet for all the world to see. I think it would be fantastic to have a whole list of resources from around the country (or for that matter, the world!). If we post, we could add links to other bloggers who are posting about their own home towns. Soon, nobody will need those guide books, because they will have us!

Three things I’ll ask of you, if you decide to post:

  1. Talk about something that you have visited, so you can give a first-hand review of it for the readers. A favorite local restaurant, a unique store, a festival, a small town museums, a local bed and breakfast inn, family friendly parks, hiking trails, and anything else you think qualifies as something that would interest you as a traveler, and hope it might interest someone else.
  2. Title it “My Neck Of The Woods [+ the name of the attraction or the town],” and tag it with “travel” and your state, so people could track them all on the internet.
  3. Come back to my own posting for that Saturday to let me know, so we can share links.

I’ll list the posts (of people who tell me they’ve written) here:

  • The Merry Wife of Canon jumped the gun with her post on West Virginia
  • Thorne’s World posted on the desert of Southern California.
  • Jamie at Duward Discussion tells about the magnificent Museum of Glass in Tacoma, Washington.
  • Jessica the Rock Chick at Life Is RANTastic will make your mouth water for a hotdog at The Works in Chicago, Illinois.
  • You are next

  6 comments for “My Neck Of The Woods. Villa’s in Irving, Texas.

  1. March 21, 2009 at 2:30 am

    You are so lucky that my GirlyBoi made me peanutbutter pancakes with buttered maple surple tonight, or I’d have to smack you for gettin’ me hungry right before bed! 😈
    That camel meat sounds too yummy, although I’d practically kill for good stick-meat!
    No Bottle Trees this week, but come see an energy machine designed by aliens from Venus!

    Thornes last blog post..My Neck of the Woods – The Integratron

    I will, but you’d better remember those bottle trees! The camel meat is so good, and I am thinking I may try to grill some for myself this summer. Wish I knew whatever trick they use to get it so delicious.

  2. March 21, 2009 at 7:09 am

    I’m with you – the pineapple sounds like the best part!

    Robins last blog post..Caution: Excavations in Progress

    It was ALL good, but yeah…the pineapple made my day.

  3. March 21, 2009 at 7:30 am

    Mine’s up. Don’t break the glass. It will cost you.

    EEK!

  4. March 21, 2009 at 7:35 am

    The perfect marriage of what Leon loves with what I love. Our RV is becoming a closer reality… We will meet you there! I want some camel meat.

    PS. Love this idea.

    Marcias last blog post..Having a Bad Work Week?

    I am not sure that the salad bar at this one had enough to thrill a vegetarian. At the big churrascurias, you get more options. Still, all you need is the “camel meat” to make a meal.

  5. March 21, 2009 at 12:06 pm

    What a marvelous idea!! My posting today doesn’t quite make the grade for this idea but it is about the changes that are going on around my neck of the woods. I will work on places to feature on future Saturdays.

    carol gs last blog post..This and that from the last 10 days…

    Looking forward to it! But, I don’t think you need to tell me about the renovations at your house 😆 Just the few e-mails you have sent scared me 😯

  6. March 23, 2009 at 2:01 pm

    I’ve never been to a churrascaria, but I would love to go! Your town looks very friendly and sunny!!!! I’m longing for some sunshine and warm weather!!

    I did mine! (better late than never!)

    Jessica

    Jessica The Rock Chicks last blog post..This Is How It Works (My Neck Of The Woods)

    You might not have told about gangsters, but the proprietor of The Works sounds pretty scary! Irving isn’t “my” town, but it’s in “my neck of the woods.”

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