At the time, your backpacking through Europe was the best budget-conscious way to experience fantastic food, history, and culture (and creepy, crawly hostels).
Luckily, you've since padded the old savings account, and can now afford to hit a restaurant that does the food/history/culture trifecta locally.
Named after the Catalàn word for market, Mercat Bistro brings Dallas a dose of European flair without the jet lag (or those clingy bedbugs).
Start the day with a dish of braised mushrooms and a sunny side up egg complemented with fried bread crumbs. Perhaps some Zeppole (Italian fried doughnuts) would be great on-the-run with a cup of coffee.
For lunch, you have a choice: Take a proper siesta, as the locals do, or make lunch light with a farro & kale salad, or an authentic French-style ham sandwich on baguette.
Bring Dad in for Father's Day and listen as he reminisces about his own times abroad. You'll hear about his first love, his lost nights in Amsterdam, his awe of Mercat's braised short rib with celery root and green apple, and veal sweetbreads with a poached egg.
Or simply stop in for a glass of wine and stellar people-watching.
Nearby: Saint Ann; Palomino; Ocean Prime