CEDIA Expo: A Dallas Insider’s Guide for Ihiji Dealers

As CEDIA Expo quickly approaches, I hear grumblings from our clients and prospects about the location of this year’s show, and while I agree that Dallas is no Denver or San Diego, I could not be more thrilled to have Expo in my home town. Having grown up and gone to high school just 4 miles from the convention center in Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center in Downtown Dallas, I wanted to take it upon myself to introduce the custom electronics industry to my old stomping grounds with an insider’s guide to CEDIA Dallas for friends of Ihiji. So if you get some time away from the show, definitely venture out and take a look at what the city has to offer. While you are at the show, be sure to come by the Ihiji booth #4938 and let me know what you think about selections.

The State Fair of TexasTexas fair for CEDIA Dallas

Timing for Expo in Dallas could not be better. Ask any Dallas native, and they will tell you that the State Fair marks the beginning of fall, a break in the heat, and the arrival of the greatest smorgasbord of artery clogging delicacies that money can buy- all washed down by cheap beer in wax paper cups. The Fletcher’s Corny Dog, which was invented on the fairgrounds, is ubiquitous, but other fried delights featured this year include a fried pork chop with bourbon barbecue glaze, fried alligator, deep-fried red velvet Oreos, and chicken fried lobster tail served with lemon-butter Champagne gravy.


While Texas’ reputation as a BBQ capital is rightly deserved, the City of Dallas is notoriously lacking in sold ‘cue when compared to the rest of the state. For a true palate changing BBQ experience, you need to make your way down I-35 to Austin That being said, there are a few joints in Dallas that are worth a visit:


CEDIA Dallas-LockhartsLockhart Smokehouse

By amendment to the Texas Constitution, the City of Lockhart is the official Barbecue Capital of Texas. The founders, whos BBQ and familial roots trace back to two of the most famous meat markets in Lockhart, opened this joint in the very hip Bishop Arts District with the mission statement of bring authentic Central Texas style BBQ to the Metroplex.



Pecan LodgePecan-Lodge-CEDIA-dallas

Pecan Lodge is a relative newcomer to the BBQ world, founded in 2009 in a little shack at the Dallas Farmer’s Market, they have since moved to a brick and mortar location in the Deep Ellum neighborhood, right next to downtown. While I’m generally a BBQ purest, i.e. meat only, sides and sauce being an afterthought, I can’t pass up Pecan Lodge’s baked sweet potato stuffed with barbacoa, bacon, chives, butter, and chipotle BBQ sauce.

Sonny Bryan’s Smokehouse

In all honesty, I’m including Sonny Bryan’s on my list due to its status as a century old institution and its close proximity to the convention center. Residing in a little shack just outside of downtown, Sonny Bryan’s was founded in 1910 and specializes in the brisket sandwich. Get the onion rings as well- they may be the best thing on the menu.


Dallas Bar Scene/Nightlife
Lower Greenville

The southern stretch of Greenville Ave. has been a popular bar scene since the ‘70s. Having grown up in this neighborhood, its establishments will always hold a special place in my heart. My recommendation would be to start at Greenville and Ross and work your way north. HG Sply Co., The Blind Butcher, The Libertine, or 504 all have great food and cocktails, so I would start with dinner and drinks and let the night devolve from there. Would definitely hit Truck Yard, The Dubliner, Stan’s Blue Note, and The San Francisco Rose as you work your way north.

Deep Ellum

Far and away the live music capital of Dallas. Its adjacency to downtown makes it the perfect for the influx of audiophiles descending on the Metroplex for CEDIA. Double Wide, Trees, The Prophet Bar, Curtain Club are all solid listening rooms, but the historic Son’s of Hermann Hall will always take the cake for me.


Slightly Yuppy and/or SMU crowd, but, at at just the right level of intoxication, this neighborhood, epicentered on McKinney Ave, between Routh and Boll, can be a hell of a good time. It’s loud, it’s ruckus, shots will be had, and I generally look at it as a feature, rather than a bug, that I probably won’t remember much of a night out in Uptown.

Bishop Arts

Bishop Arts, over the last several years, has made a name for itself as one of the cooler, more hip neighborhoods in the city. Situated just across the Trinity River from downtown, the newly revitalized district is a great place to hang out both day and night. Art galleries, boutiques, and coffee shops line the streets, and for my money, the neighborhood has the best dining in the city. Hattie’s and Bolsa are both personal favorites for dinner.


Alex Jaremko

Alex Jaremko

The author in his current hometown Austin, Texas

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