The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus


Exploring Dallas through bacon

Bacon-topped cupcake form Kreme de la Cupcake. Photo credit: Paige Kerley
Bacon-topped cupcake form Kreme de la Cupcake. Photo credit: Paige Kerley
Bacon mac and cheese from 303 Bar and Grill. Photo credit: Paige Kerley

On a warm February day dozens of people chatted and chewed on the Neapolitan style pizza at Dallas’ Dough Pizzeria. One large group in the corner of the restaurant focused on a single ingredient: bacon.

The group, consisting of 30 bacon-loving individuals, was on a food tour hosted by local company Dallas Bites!. They were on their first stop of the day to find the best bacon-inspired dishes in town.

First-time tourist Sarah Rose attended the bacon tour with her husband Phillip. After scanning the friendly yet diverse crowd she said, “Bacon just brings people together I guess.”

Dallas Bites! hosts savory food tours while its sister company Dallas by Chocolate centers around sweet tours. The companies, both owned by Jeanine Stevens, were started as the “reinvention of a career.” Stevens was a copywriter looking for a way to supplement her income. After talking with a friend, she knew she should do something she liked.

“Well, I like to eat,” she said.

Dallas By Chocolate began tours in the summer of 2011. For prices starting at $39, chocolate lovers could pile into the company’s van for day-long tasting trips around the city. However, Dallas’ sweltering summers did not help the start-up’s cause.

“It wasn’t the greatest thing,” said Stevens.

Months of heat caused tour participation to slow to a trickle. Only 17 people signed up for tours that December. Stevens was ready to throw in the towel, but when her Valentine’s Day tour sold out for two consecutive weeks, she was back in business.

Sell-out tours inspired Stevens to diversify the menu. She added wine and cheese at first and then expanded to more savory foods with Dallas Bites!.

Tourists who opt for one of these tours will explore local cuisine including barbecue, bacon, ethnic food, and pizza. Dallas Bites! also features a combination barbecue and brewery tour.

“We started the brewery tours for the husbands,” said Stevens.

Steven Doyle, one of six tour guides, has plenty of testimony on the success of the barbecue and brewery tours. Doyle said plenty of grown men weep on these tours because of the succulent barbecue and great beer. “They don’t think it could get any better than that,” he said. Doyle, a food blogger for CraveDFW, leads about 90 percent of all company tours.

While no one on the bacon-themed tour shed any tears, everyone seemed to enjoy all the restaurants had to offer. Every stop on the tours is a business local to the Dallas-Fort Worth area.

Stevens said the tours are partially about “celebrating the local Mom and Pop places of Dallas.”

The menu on the bacon tour, which was broken into four different stops, ranged from chocolate-covered bacon, to cupcakes topped with crumbled bacon, to a bacon-infused bloody mary.

Mouths drooled when local baker Keiyana Roberts walked into Dough Pizzeria with large white boxes of bacon-topped cupcakes. Roberts, owner of Kreme de la Cupcake in Dallas, created the cupcake when she was a contestant on Food Network’s “Cupcake Wars.” During one of the rounds, bacon was the secret ingredient contestants had to incorporate into their cupcakes.

Bacon-topped cupcake form Kreme de la Cupcake. Photo credit: Paige Kerley

“I was thinking, ‘Everyone loves bacon, everyone loves corn, and gouda is a good smoky cheese,’” said Roberts.

She said she loves to take flavors everyone is familiar with and “smash” them together. Cupcakes from Kreme de la Cupcake have been featured in the cupcake and bacon-themed food tours, but Roberts looks forward to collaborating on more excursions with Stevens.

Tourists couldn’t wait to dive into the bacon-topped cupcakes. Silence took over the lunch table once everyone at the table had a forkful of cake. Plates emptied quickly as the first-time tourists indulged in the sweet and salty treat.

Christina Bailey said she takes food tours while she travels, but hasn’t done one in Dallas. “I’ve done a chocolate tour in Boston while I was visiting but this is my first tour here,” said Bailey, a resident of the Dallas-Fort Worth area. Bailey joined her coworker Amanda Johnson on the tour. Johnson was there with her husband, twin sister, and her sister’s boyfriend as an early birthday gift from her mom.

Owner Jeanine Stevens said birthdays and other events were big draws to the tours. “We host a lot of sorority groups, corporate events, birthdays, and other groups,” she said.

The tours, like the bacon tour, often have a central theme. Stevens and her crew are working on expanding their offerings, but she has had tremendous success with her Valentine’s Day and Christmas lights tours. All of Stevens’ Valentine’s Day tours in 2014 sold out quickly. On the Christmas light tours, guides lead patrons to local stops for chocolate treats, then through Highland Park to gaze at the light displays. Stevens said every Christmas light tour in December 2012 was sold out, bringing in numbers topping 1,000 tourists.

“It’s amazing how many people take our tours,” she said.

To find out more about Stevens’ food excursions or book a tour, check out her website at or

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