I’m not a huge sports fan. I love watching a live football game or a little baseball, but I’ve never been particularly connected to a certain team, so when my travels brought me to Arlington Texas, I had no horse in the race so to speak and could really appreciate the mega complex brewing in the that little city between Dallas and Fort Worth.
I was invited to stay at Loews Live, the new gleaming hotel right in the epicenter of the stadium complex. If you’ve never seen this mega-sports center, it’s really something. Globe Life Park, AT&T Stadium and the new soon-to-be Globe Life Field are spread apart in a giant triangle with Texas Live and the Loews hotel in the middle. Six Flags over Texas is minutes away. Arlington Backyard is a 5,000 person capacity arena right next door. There’s really no type of event that this area can’t handle.The stadiums are used as much for concert venues as sports. You don’t have to be a Cowboys fan to hang out here. You’re just as likely to bump into Billy Joel as Troy Aiken.
Loews Live! is best described as an immersive theme hotel. It’s got a subtle sports themed art running throughout the property and a giant (and I mean giant) screen in the bar area. I had just been to Texas Live next door, which is like a Dave and Busters mixed with a sports bar on steroids. Lots of cool restaurants and drinking spots, sensory overload, tons of TVs and no chance of being bored. I found myself more at home in the Bar Bourbon at Loews sipping a hand-crafted Old Fashioned made the right way: a one-inch single ice cube, Luxardo cherries, a homemade syrup made from tea and Whistlepig straight rye whiskey. The bar nuts are among the best bar snacks I’ve ever had anywhere: a glazed pecan/nut mix with hints of chili and honey. My second drink was a whiskey sour made with egg whites whipped into a tangy bourbon concoction. I like a good bourbon drink, and this spot delivered.
The pool bar SOAK caught my eye, but I had unfortunately forgotten to bring my swim suit and it was a hot day in Arlington. It’s an open concept infinity pool looking out at the AT&T stadium. A swim up bar and another huge screen playing the game of the day made it look like a perfect choice to spend a Sunday afternoon. Even non-aficionados can’t help but stare at the screen,soak up the Texas sun and enjoy the vibe.
What’s great about the Live! complex is that it’s a destination in itself. It’s a great place to hang out before or after a game, but it’s also a happening spot to check out the restaurants, bars and play some lawn games on non-stadium days. You’ve got all the fun with less of a crowd. If you’re feeling state-triotic, take a whirl on one of the mechanical bulls at Texas Live!
I had a reservation at the Cut and Bourbon, the non-pretentious steakhouse at Loews. At first glance, the unique items like the Maine lobster pot pie or the Sixty South salmon caught my eye. You can’t get Antarctica salmon just anywhere, but then again you can’t get a tomahawk steak just anywhere either. I moved a little further down the menu, and in the end turf beat out surf.
Well, not exactly. There’s a respectable raw bar and the shellfish appetizer platter was an Instagram-photo-worthy dish I couldn’t turn down. Half a lobster, prawns, oysters, and the amazing king crab legs served in two tiers with three different dipping sauces was a meal in itself. The heirloom tomato salad with fresh burrata cheese was as good as anything I’ve ever had in Italy.
The steak offerings were fantastic. There were choices from an 8-oz Hanger steak to a 32-oz. porterhouse. The caveman in me loves the tomahawk and it didn’t disappoint. It even comes with a convenient carrying bone handle. There were 4 different sauces to choose from, so I got them all. Life is too short to have one sauce.The creamy horseradish got my vote.
The final piece de resistance was the 11-layer carrot cake. An insanely tall wedge of deliciousness with pecans and cream poured over the top at the table made a dessert statement that caught the attention of the nearby diners. A glass of port paired perfectly with it and a few bites was all I could manage before I had it wrapped up for breakfast.
If you don’t feel like driving anywhere else after an evening of great food and drink, rooms at the Loews Live! start at under $150 and have great views of the stadia. It’s a great place to combine a sporting event, concert or trip to Six Flags as well.