We had the good fortune of connecting with Nida Dolani and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Nida, what role has risk played in your life or career?
There are many ways to look at risk, most of us fear the idea and some find it thrilling. I was reading the Harvard Business Review a few years ago and I remember it mentioned that people are more likely to take risks who are “impulsive sensation-seekers or aggressive.” I somewhat agree with that and I’m definitely the opposite. I grew up not taking risks, sticking to what I knew best. I liked the idea of being in my safe zone and I wanted to make sure I always had all my ducks in a row. Now my younger brother Faizan was the opposite of me. He grew up pushing the limits, taking chances, and when he was only 20 years old he decided to quit his job, get a loan (from my dad) and he started his own company, Prime Limo, which is now one of the most successful transportation companies in Texas. My brothers story was so inspiring for me and it made me change the way I thought about risk. It made me realize that taking risks doesn’t necessarily mean you will always have a positive outcome, but you will never know what could have been if you don’t take the chance. That is how The Real Dish was created. I remember when I first applied for an LLC in 2018, I had doubts and fears as I’m sure many of you who own your own business can relate to, but if I didn’t take the risk I wouldn’t be where I am today. The lesson I learned was the importance of taking that first step and overcoming that fear. There will never be the perfect time, but all you can do is research, be prepared and just go for it.

Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I started my career working in finance and banking and have been in that industry for over a decade now. My current day job is at JPMorgan as VP of treasury. As much as I love that job, I’ve always had a creative side – I love photography, trying new things, and being adventurous. I’ve always found a lot of joy in sharing my experiences with others through photos and writing. So, initially, as a way to express my creative side, I started posting on Yelp and I became very active in the Yelp Community. I did this for years and built a following and I got a lot of positive feedback from individual users to restaurant owners reaching out for everything from more recommendations to review requests in exchange for perks. Although that worked well for a few years, after a while, I wanted to be more creative in the content I was putting out. I wanted to write more reviews, post pictures, speak my mind, and just be creative. So, after thinking about it for several months, I finally decided to create a platform – The Real Dish – for me to share my thoughts, experiences, photos, and write reviews. I know this is just a fancy way of saying I started a blog, but I think the culmination of it all was pretty unique. Today, I consider myself an experienced blogger – I share my experiences, stories, photos, reviews and uncover hidden gems all for my readers.

Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
Dallas is full of new and exciting restaurants and a ton of great places to explore from art museums to parks and amazing shops. One of my favorite areas to explore is Trinity Groves. They have so many dining options for even the pickiest eaters. There is a new restaurant that just opened up called Avoeatery. If you love avocados as much as I do, you have to try it out. From the drinks to the food and even dessert has avocados in it. After dinner I would head over to Beto & Son for a drink. Now what sets them apart from all the other bars is that they offer chef prepared tableside liquid nitrogen margaritas! It is a must-see, instagrammable spot! During the week I suggest checking out Legacy West in Plano, TX! I spend my lunches dining at the incredible restaurants. A few of my favorites are Bulla, Haywire and Velvet Taco, I can’t seem to get enough. There is a stunning fountain in the middle, and at night you can sit outside and watch the choreographed music and light show. Legacy also has one of my favorite gelato spots called Amorino where you can get rose shaped gelato in 25 different flavors and top it off with a macaron! Right down the street from Legacy West is The Star in Frisco. A popular spot to hangout is Concrete Cowboy. It is a lively place with great music, drinks and an awesome view of the Dallas Cowboys practice field. On the weekends I recommend exploring the Dallas Arboretum & Botanical Gardens. With over 66 acres it is a beautiful place to get lost at. They normally have different exhibits depending on the time of the year. My favorite is during the fall when they have over 90k pumpkins on display throughout the arboretum. It is another insta-worthy spot to take pictures, have a picnic and and just relax. On Sundays I venture out to the Dallas Farmers Market where you can shop for local produce, meet the farmers and grab a bite to eat at the numerous restaurants located inside. Dallas and the surrounding cities have so much to offer, and I have only scratched the surface. If you are new to the area or on vacation, get ready to eat at some of the finest restaurants, meet some of the sweetest people, and have some unforgettable experiences.

Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
There are two individuals I have to give a big shout-out to. The first is my younger brother, Faizan Dolani. He has truly been an inspiration in my life. He believed in me and gave me the extra push I needed to pursue what I was most passionate about, from my career at JPMorgan to being a blogger. It is only fair I give him some credit on my success. Secondly, I wanted to give a shout-out to my friend Nancy Duron. I’m so thankful to her for supporting me in this journey since day one. The funny thing is I actually met Nancy at a bloggers event when I was first started out. We’ve been close friends ever since. She’s extremely talented and helps me capture those gram-worthy photos. I couldn’t thank her enough for everything she has done for The Real Dish!

Website: http://www.therealdish.co
Instagram: @therealdish.co
Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/nida-dolani-mba-011081a8/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TheRealDish1/
Yelp: Nida D. – Carrollton, TX

Image Credits
Nancy Duron, Anis Bhimani, Kanwal Bhimani, Brittany Grafa