Dinner in Fort Worth
We are looking for two great dinners in Fort Worth...cuisine doesn't matter as long as it's the best eats possible. Since we're mainly going to check-out the Modern, we plan on making a reservation to lunch there. We are absolutely unfamiliar with the Fort Worth area, so any suggestions would be incredibly helpful.
Babe's Chicken Dinner House. Well, it's not fancy but it has some of the best fried chicken around. There is one north of Ft. Worth in a small town and a new one about 10 miles south of downtown off of 35W in a small town. It's family style, and out of this world fried chicken. Their vegtables, which are all you can eat, are great southern style and their biscuits with honey are very yummy.
Babe's is OK, if you are looking for relatively inexpensive, "country-style" fried chicken or catfish. But I wouldn't say it's the best Fort Worth has to offer, by any means.
On the other hand, if you are looking for something more upscale you might try Lanny's Alta Cocina Mexicana, which is very sophisticated Mexican food. A review is located here:
The restaurant's website is http://www.lannyskitchen.com/index02.php
You might also try searching some earlier Texas posts, since this question comes up frequently.
Some photos from a recent meal:
re: River Rat
Everything you're asking about is on the website Kirk linked to in this discussion about 2 weeks ago. Scroll up a bit and you'll see it. They do serve individual dishes.
After you've had a look, I hope you'll start a new conversation by reporting back on your impressions of the chow.
You already made a good call by having lunch at The Cafe at The Modern. Make sure someone orders the Portobello Melt. Let us know if you enjoy it.
If you're a Chowhound, you'll probably stop by Central Market after lunch.
For cheap, hit the Mellow Mushroom on Bluebonnet Circle. Those guys are actually making real pizza.
For Mexican, Mi Cocina is a beautiful place with interesting Mexican food -- not tex-mex. There's one downtown and one at I-30 and Hulen. Take your pick. They're both pretty locations with pretty plates of food.
The wild card is a new place called The Covey. It's on Hulen a few miles south of I-30. It's a brewpub, but with some very upscale food.
Let us know what you eat.
You beat me to it by 20 minutes or so, Scott.
I can't think of a thing I've eaten at Mi Cocina that is NOT Tex-Mex. Or worth eating again, for that matter, except maybe the brisket tacos.
Last time I had the Tacos al Carbon (at $16.95, I might add), the meat had been pre-cooked and reheated.
The restaurant Sikhay was the best Lao food, and the best Thai pad see ew, that I have had in the USA. Search the Texas board for posts about it. Really awesome. The Chinese food on the menu was just average (I wouldn't have ordered it, but the young kids with me did--and loved it).
kincaids has good ol' burgers for a very casual dining experience. mi cocina is good food. have not been to lonesome dove but the stockyards are worth exploring. 3H ranch house has some good steaks,in the stock yards too. babe's chicken dinner house in roanoke has only fried chicken and chicken fried steak served family style with cream corn, biscuits, gravy and salad. i say it is very good food, featured in southern living as some of the best fried chicken. good luck, enjoy!
There's a great bistro called Sapristi! on Forest Park, which is off I-30 and south a couple of miles. They have wonderful mussels.
Two other spots in downtown Fort Worth to suggest are:
(a) Reata, which is upscale western cuisine - nice western atmosphere and huge servings; and
(b) The Worthington Hotel's restaurant also serves excellent food.
Better than H3 for sure are steaks at Mercury Chop House, caddy=corner from Worthington.
Lanny's has the best food in the city, hands-down.
Covey is OK at best.
MiCocina is totally Tex-Mex.
Just a few comments on the places that have been suggested ...
Babe's--the first visit is always the best. The biscuits are great, and they're served with Plugra butter and your choice of sorghum or honey. Delicious. I always get the fried chicken.
Kincaid's--known far and wide for their burgers. Shakes are good too.
Sapristi--I like it. Prepare yourself for leisurely service. Preorder the bread pudding as they run out of the sauce sometimes ... creme brulee's good too. Great frites.
Lanny's I tried recently, and while the food was fine and often well executed, it didn't have the greatness I expect at that price point (not my meal on that night anyway).
Mellow Mushroom--they're not kidding, they're mellow. The service is very friendly, and lacking in almost every other respect. The food is good--I was *really* impressed with my spinach, bacon, and mushroom salad. The pizza was good but unwieldy, and the prefab combos are perhaps not all they could be (but this is partially a matter of taste of course). Prepare for an extremely leisurely experience--and make sure you get your credit card back.
Mi Cocina--it's fine, but too chain-y ... go for some local color like Mexican Inn (I like 8th Ave location--there are regional differences ;) or Dos Gringos (guilty pleasure).
Bistro Louise--my experience there was nothing to write home about--I'm continually amazed by their reputation. Service went far beyond leisurely and the food was just OK except for the bread, which was great. Unfortunately the sullen bread "boy" disappeared for long stretches.
Right on with the Mellow commentary. Very leisurely.
I've had uneven service at Bistro Louise, too.
Re: Mexican food places. Mi Cocina is a mini-chain, and Mexican Inn has become one, too. My experiences at Mexican Inn have always been fine when it comes to service but the food is too tv-dinner-ish to me. Dos Gringos had the worst Mexican food I've ever eaten the two times I went last fall, however. Much of it was frozen and undercooked, and the rest of it tasted as though it was dumped from cans.
For truly authentic Mexican food in Fort Worth, the best I've found is at La Playa Maya on North Main St. and Benito's on Magnolia. Tres Joses near the Cultural District has gotten pretty good also.
It's true that the Mexican Inn has been bought out and the new owners are building new locations. However, I've been going there for about 35 years, many of those to the same location I go to today, and I've also been to the Lancaster location multiple times recently. I've been impressed at how very few changes there have been. They recently added a single item to the menu, which basically hasn't changed in forever.
I don't claim that everything on the menu is good, and in fact the restaurant fails my basic cheese enchilada, rice, and beans test because I really hate the cheese enchiladas (specifically the chili con carne). Buuut ... they make their own masa fresh daily, and from it fresh tortillas and corn chips unlike anyone else's (in strips like Fritos, except fresh and without all the nasty preservatives and too strong taste). The salsa's great too. I usually get either the taco salad (and request half beef half bean off-menu), or the arroz con pollo. Since they've been bought, the *only* change I've noticed to the food is that the queso has more ingredients--and it's actually a change for the better.
The individual restaurants maintain their own ways of preparing menu items. For example, the Spanish rice is very different from the 8th Ave to the Camp Bowie location. The guacamole salad is very different from the 8th Ave to the Lancaster location.
Dos Gringos' name makes it pretty clear that it's not puro ;) But I like the cheese and onion enchiladas even though they clearly have been more than kissed by processed cheese ... what can I say.
Benito's ... not bad. Ambience is extremely minimal and the springs are likely to be dead wherever you want to sit. I'm not a fan of the tomato and masa (I think) soup they bring you ... more authentic than Tex-Mex, which is what I grew up eating. I used to work with a bunch of people from all over the world, and when they would ask for American food, I'd usually take them for Tex-Mex.
As far as worst ... Caro's and the Original Mexican Eats Cafe cannot be beat ;) It's tough to get any two people here to agree on best Tex-Mex, but I definitely know people who agree with me on the worst :)
One of the best restaurants in Fort Worth is The Lonesome Dove Western Bistro on North Main in the Stockyards area. It is pricey, but some of the best food I've ever eaten. In fact, the owner/chef, Tim Love, is opening a Lonesome Dove in New York City. You can go online to review the Fort Worth menu.
Lanny's Alta Cucina Mexicana on 7th in the Cultural district gets my vote as the best in the city. Second is probably Duce, Tim Love's new place out on Camp Bowie. I also like Sapristi, the sushi place (sorry I don't remember the name) across Camp Bowie from Duce, I had a good breakfast at H3, Escargot on 7th was good. I miss AngelLuna when it was downtown.
La Piazza is wonderful, plus you might see Van Cliburn there. It is in the University Park Village by TCU.
OK, what a great post! Here are my 2 cents worth:
OK it is a local chain and YES it is primarily Tex-Mex BUT the Chicken Mole is a fantastic dish and the Mole is homemade and worth the extra wait the waiter will tell you ab out. I think Mi Cocina makes the best "out of the machine" frozen margarita in DFW...even at 8 bucks a glass!
On Magnolia off of 8th ave and I30 in hospital district. Good enchildas suizas, regular Mexican cafe place, nothing special but great for the price.
Wow, what a menu. You will not soon forget this cusine. Good wine list too.
Jack's Off The Wall:
http://www.jacksoffthewall.com couldn't help but mention even though I have personally not eaten there, I have simply heard too many good things from friends I respect.
Javier's Gormet Mexican:
http://www.javiers.net/ sorry fellow cowtowner's this is one of the few places I will drive 30 miles east for (Dallas) Incredible Mexican cusine (not Tex-Mex!).
Texas de Brazil:
downtown fort worth, some may be tiring of these all inclusive Brazilian style eateries but the atmosphere of this place is stellar, right accross from the county courthouse in downtown Fort Worth. If you don't decide to eat here at least have cocktails...try the brazilian favorite "Caipirinha" like a markarita on the rocks but with real limes and "cachaca" cane sugar alcohol.
M & M Steakhouse:
Just looking for a goof cowboy place for a good steak at a good price? M&M steakhouse(817) 624-0612, 1106 Nw 28th St 76106, let your hair down for this joint...and like butter, alot!
I'm very surprised Joe T. Garcia's hasn't been mentioned. As far as I could tell Angelo's wasn't mentioned either. Those are my picks for tex-mex and BBQ, respectively. I won't go into much detail, because their lack of mention means you probably won't end up there, but it is a shame. They have fabulous food with the epitome of purity in ambience. A surprisingly wonderful place to check out is Zeke's Fish and Chips on Camp Bowie. I haven't had Fish and Chips this good anywhere on this continent, honestly. Just watch out if you park in back, the driveway can be a bit hairy.
All that said, the best meal you could have is a picnic of freshly prepared foods from Central Market enjoyed at the Japanese Gardens section of the Botanical Gardens. Wow, I really miss home...
What about Uncle Julio's at Camp Bowie and I30? Yes, it's Tex-Mex, and I like it a lot better than Mi Cocina. (I still can't get past Mi Cocina's $8 machine-made margarita!!) My husband adores their cheese chile rellenos, and I love their enchiladas and shrimp brochette. GOOD, FRESH chips and salsa, too!
Dos Gringos is gross. Ugh. Its only redeeming quality is they stay open late, which is good after horse shows at Will Rogers...
I agree with the recommendation to get a picnic from Central market. My personal recommendation is their chicken salad with apricots. Oh my! (Only a few more months until the one in NE Tarrant opens!)
Hey Shelby....watever u do do not leave town without the japanese palace experience!!!
Totally wat u r looking for....bon appetite!
The restaurant is located on hwy 80...i believe its only open in the evenings.....P.S.-ask to be seated where u take ur shoes off....seems like ur sitting on the floor...make the most out of ur experience there....
I have never had or heard of a bad experience there...enjoy
Lonesome Dove - also, this is in the historic stockyards area which would be fun for you coming from out of town. Have a pre dinner cocktail around the corner at the Stockyard hotel.
Bonnells - similar cuisine to Lonesome Dove, also truly excellent - but more out of the way for you. Also, has more of a traditional steakhouse atmosphere.
For tex mex check out Joe Ts its huge and an institution - and since you are going to be in town for 2 nights, may I recomend the brunch at Joe Ts.
There are plenty of decent places to eat in Fort Worth but if I had to choose only one it would be Bonnell's. The food is magnificent and the service is stellar.