The Art of Living Beautifully
“I’m so happy that we operate a food tour in downtown McKinney,” Food Walks of Texas owner Lali Miles told me, her expressive brown eyes playful, “because when Paul and I moved here in 1993, the square was kind of a ghost town – nothing like the foodie and shopping paradise that it is today.”
It all began when husband and wife (Paul and Lali Miles) traveled to Georgia for their 25th wedding anniversary and found a food tour of downtown Savannah. Neither had heard of a food tour before but were intrigued by the idea. When they weren’t able to make the tour schedule work with their travel plans, they set out on their own: tasting, sipping, and exploring their way through downtown Savannah, the historical homes, trollies, and shops. “It was by far the best part of our trip, and when we returned home this idea of a food tour resonated. The revitalized downtown McKinney Square needed one!”
It wasn’t long before Food Walks of Texas gave its first tour in November of 2017. To prepare for the launch, Paul studied a plethora of history books pertaining to McKinney, Collin County, and The Republic of Texas. His diligent research made Paul an expert, so much so that the Food Walks of Texas tours are now known for being steeped in rich history. Tall Paul, as he is known around the Square, has a gift for storytelling and a genuine passion for sharing local tales. In fact, he was offered a job teaching history by one of his tour guests who happened to work for a local school district. He declined, but the compliment was reassurance that his performance was hitting the mark. “My tours are equally a show and a tour,” Paul told me with well-deserved pride.
So, what is a food tour? According to Food Walks of Texas, a food tour is a unique culinary adventure combining local cuisine with history, architecture, and culture that provides guests an authentic city experience. Paul and Lali believe Food Walks of Texas help both locals and tourists really get to know the city of McKinney. The experience is for everyone!
The Eat There or be Square tour, led by Paul, is a three-hour tour with 6 stops and 2 beer tastings that spotlight McKinney’s local breweries: Franconia and TUPP’S. Lali’s tour, Let There Be Brunch!, is also three hours, but has 12 stops: 4 sit-downs with brunch food and cocktails, and 8 stops that provide a little takeaway gift – something Lali has nicknamed a Treats and Eats experience...