Jump into your brand new 2017 Imagination and follow me on a trip to the other side of the Americas.  Just south of Mexico lies a myriad of new tastes and sights and sounds.  Imagine the call of a macaw, pan pipes playing in the distance, and a cuica's beat that matches the cadence of ocean waves kissing the shore. And now you have arrived, because you need to look no further than the Four Seasons Resort and Spa, Villa's Brazilian Grill, Empa Mundo and Tio Carlos Mexican Latin Grill.  Prepare your taste buds and join me for a trip through the beautiful south.

For a list of additional restaurants, hotels and events, please visit our website at www.IrvingTexas.com.

Wines of the Beautiful South

Where:  Four Seasons Resort and Spa, 4150 N. MacArthur Blvd. 75038
When:  Friday, February 24, 2017 from 6 - 7:30 p.m.
Cost:  $55 per person

Join Four Seasons Dallas' Master Sommelier James Tidwell, and taste your way through the Southern Hemisphere of the World of Wine paired with inspired LAW (Land-Air-Water) bites crafted by LAW Chef de Cuisine, Johan Van Niekerk. Must be 21 years old to attend. For reservations, call LAW at (972) 717-2420. Learn More
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Villa's Brazilian Grill

Villa's Brazilian Grill

Where:  Historic Downtown Irving, 137 S. Main Street 75060
When:  Lunch is served Mon - Sat. from 11 am - 3 pm and Sun from 11 am - 5 pm.    Dinner is served Tue - Thu from 5 - 9 p.m. and Fri - Sat from 5 - 10 p.m.
Cost:  $16.99 - $29.99 per person

Offering an excellent variety of meats, native Brazilian Alex launched his churrascaria (steakhouse) with the original Brazilian way of slow-roasting meat so its natural flavor permeates each slice. Add to that a gourmet salad bar, fresh side dishes made from scratch, and a very attentive staff, Villa's will make you think you're in a cafe on the streets of Rio de Janeiro.  For reservations, call (972) 259-2939. Learn More  

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Empa Mundo

Empa Mundo
Where:  In "The Most Diversified Zip Code in America" - 3977 N. Belt Line Road 75038
When:  Mon - Sat from 10:30 a.m. to 9 p.m.  Sun from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Cost:  $2.99 for most empanadas

Named the "Best Empanada" by the Dallas Observer, Empa Mundo offers the world's most perfect food.  "It's cheap, filling and, considering that it's a tiny dough pouch filled with ingredients, perfect to eat on the run." These classic Argentine empanadas include delicacies like Pulled Pork, Texas Brisket and Chorizo.  But my personal favorite is the Banana & Nutella (with marshmallows). For added convenience, you can call your order in ahead of time.  (972) 746-4516  Learn More

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Tio Carlos Mexican-Latin Grill

Tio Carlos
Where:  2742 N. O'Connor Blvd. 75062
When:  Sun - Sat from 11 a.m. - 10 p.m.
Cost:  Most dinners are between $10 - $15 

Okay, we know that Mexico is in Central America and TexMex food is about as American as apple pie, but at Tio Carlos, they also serve up Latin American favorites cooked from scratch such as Mango Avocado Tilapia and Lomito Argentino (an Argentine-style sandwich filled with grilled steak, fried eggs, jack cheese, ham, lettuce, tomatoes and salsa rosa).  They've been a part of the Irving scene for over 20 years, and they have a fully stocked bar.  Take advantage of this nice weather and dine out on the patio.  Do I hear a margarita calling my name?  Why yes, I think I do.  Learn More

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Other happenings this weekend

Friday, February 24

8:00 p.m. - Cody Wayne is playing at The Ranch, 857 W. John Carpenter Fwy. 75039.  

8:00 p.m. - Jerry Don Branch's Monthly Party is at the Texas Musicians Museum, 222 E. Irving Blvd. 75060.

9:30 p.m. - In10City Band is playing at Cool River Cafe, 1045 Hidden Ridge Drive 75038.

Saturday, February 25

2:00 p.m. - Family Movie Matinee presents Lemony Snicket's Series of Unfortunate Events at the Valley Ranch Library, 401 Cimarron Trail 75063.  All ages.

2:30 p.m. - Latin Grammy Winner 1, 2, 3 Andres performs at the East Library, 440 S. Nursery Road 75060.

4:00 p.m. - Cinema 13 presents The Light Between the Ocean at the Valley Ranch Library, 401 Cimarron Trail 75063.  Ages 13 and older.

8:00 p.m. - Faron Lee Gilbert is playing at The Ranch, 857 W. John Carpenter Fwy. 75039.

8:00 p.m. - LL & Pure Country featuring Danny Sanches are playing at the Texas Musicians Museum, 222 E. Irving Blvd. 75060.

9:30 p.m. - Time Machine Band is playing at Cool River Cafe, 1045 Hidden Ridge Drive 75038.  

You may now put your imaginations in the upright position and exit the journey.  I hope you've enjoyed Irving's South American tour.  Come again real soon, won't you?

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For more area events, please visit our website at www.IrvingTexas.com.