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Mar 17, 2007 11:01 AM

Reccomendations for Ft. Worth?

I gotta be in Ft. Worth next week for business. Anyone have reccomendations for a good place near Sundance Square that isn't a chain? Since I'll be in Texas something regional would be nice, but my palate is broad so if there's anything outstanding let me know. Doesn't need to be fancy, in fact probably better if it's not.


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  1. Joe T. Garcia's...Mexican food. A few miles away from Sundance Square. People from Ft. Worth love Joe T's. (Cash only)

    Reata is probably a must-hit place. It is more "fancy" than "casual" but it's not stuffy. Not much of Ft. Worth is stuffy. Cuisine is Southwest style but very good.

    1. There is also Taverna.

      1. Reata is still very popular but the food isn't as special as it once was. The setting is loads of fun, however, particularly on the roof.

        Mercury Chophouse in Sundance Square has good food - Chris Ward from Mercury in Dallas oversees the food. Service usually good.

        Piranha in Sundance Square also has good sushi and other Japanese/new Asian stuff. Insane on weekends, so it's loud but still fun.

        On Seventh Street, about five minutes by car from downtown, you can go to Gloria's for Mexican and Salvador food; to Saint Emilion for French; to Lanny's for a real high-end version of Mexican, and it's really more French/Mediterranean in effect.

        If you want something delicious but totally laid-back, go to Fred's Texas Cafe, just off Seventh St. on Currie. Rumor is they're taking credit cards now.

        Joe Ts is fun and it's great on the patio. If it's a really nice day or night you could be waiting for a table for a long time, so go at an odd hour.

        1 Reply
        1. re: HalleyP

          I second Piranha Sushi in Sundance Sq, and further up away from downtown on 7th Street is Micheal's the Ancho Chile.


        2. If you like barbecue and can get out of downtown, take I-30 west to Montgomery, cross over the highway and stop in at The Railhead for some sliced beef. If you can't get out of downtown, try the lobster bisque at Daddy Jack's.

          1. Welp, here's what we did.

            The first night we started at Reata on the roof for a drink and an app. The roof deck was great, the drinks were tasty and the calamari app was good as well. The squid was cut long-ways so it was more of a french-fry shape than the rings I'm used to, but it was tender and the tomato based dipping sauce had a little kick but wasn't overpowering. The service was spotty, though. It seemed like there were 3 managers running around but only one waitress for the entire deck. Then we went downstairs for dinner. The food was good, but not memorable. I had the chicken-fried steak which was tasty and the batter was nicely spiced. The mashed potatoes and broccoli it came with were unremarkable. Nobody had a bad meal, though, and the waiter was attentive although I didn't personally like his style.

            The next night we tried to go to Mi Cocina for drinks but we wanted to sit outside and even though they had tables and chairs set up on the patio, they wouldn't seat us there, so we headed back to Reata. Again there was only one waitress on, but we liked the rooftop. For dinner we headed down to the Stockyard and H3 Steakhouse (or something like that, you know, the place with the saddles). The meal started off well enough. Drinks arrived, the waitress made a tasty guacamole table-side and orders were placed. It was all downhill from there. My rib-eye was a little over-done (which I can live with) but you might say the secret ingredient was salt, and plenty of it. Another in our party ordered his steak medium and it was barely rare and had to be sent back. And yet another lady in our party had her steak sent to parts unknown so all she could do was watch as everyone else dug in. The waitress was apologetic (it seemed like the problem was in the kitchen) but when the missing steak finally arrived after 15-20 minutes it was practically raw and had to be sent back for more time on the fire. The waitress did the appropriate thing and had the manager adjust the bill without any prompting, but all–in-all it was a frustrating experience in a place that wasn’t very busy.

            I guess my overall reaction was that at $50+ a head for drinks and dinner I expected a little more from both places. Hopefully if I have to go down there again I can get off the beaten path and find a hole-in-the-wall that I’ll really enjoy.

            10 Replies
            1. re: masterson

              Well, sounds like you went to the , and thetouristy places instead of experiencing some of the better dining places in Ft Worth. Reata has become a parody of itself, catering to the expense account/anniversary crowd (the tenderloin tamales are phenomenal, though). Mi Cocina, especially that location in downtown, is suffering the same problem as Reata. H3 is usually a great alternative to someplace like Outback, but the weekends are terrible in the stockyards. Next time, try these places:
              Downtown: Piranha Killer Sushi, Taverna, Mercury Chophouse,
              Downtown North/Stockyards: Lonesome Dove, Byblos (Lebanese), La Playa Maya
              Seventh St/Camp Bowie: La Familia (best TexMex), Gloria's (Salvadoran), Duce, Ovation (high end Soul Food/Texas Country Cooking), Michael's (Southwest), Cafe Aspen (American, with Chicken Fried Lobster)

              1. re: masterson

                Yeah, I hate Mi Cocina. I was so excited to go there... and man was I dissapointed. They were rude and pricey and i thought that would be OK as long as the food was great-- but I can name fifty places that serve better food MUCH less. I think they're just trying to be trendy.

                I LOVE Joe T. Garcias, though. I love their chicken fajitas-- perfectly flavoured and moist chicken that is brown on the outside and cloud white on the inside. I love that the beans burn onto the fajita skillet, i love eating outdoors, and when i do have to eat indoors, it's lovely too. the wait staff is incredible and the whole place just makes you feel warm and wonderful! Definately go there next time!

                P.S. I agree that the Reata's roof is beautiful, but i've never eaten there, only worked up there (my dad DJs quite a few nice events up there and I work with him).

                1. re: captainshen

                  Sorry but I have to totally disagree with Joe T. Garcia's. Those chicken fajitas were the worst I have ever had. You might be right about the beans though. I have had a couple other dishes and they were also very flavorless. The margaritas were also the worst I have had. The scenery is very nice at this time of year but the food is way below average.

                  1. re: jaime24g

                    Yeah I'll have to concur with jamie24g about Joe T's. While the atmosphere is great outside the food is subpar. Among the worst Tex-Mex I've had here in Texas. The margaritas ont the other hand are super strong. I suspect that they not only have tequila but some type of grain alcohol to make them so potent. If you want to get a buzz and enjoy the nice weather than Joe T is great place to go. If you want great Tex-Mex there are much better options out there. Can't really comment on Fort Worth selections though. Best of luck.

                    1. re: jaime24g

                      People go to Joe T's for the experience, not the food although most people will swear they love the food. It is by far the most overrated place in town but a great place for large group gatherings.

                      1. re: emily052

                        Yeah, that about sums it up. It's a large "party" place. But don't go for the very (only three items) limited menu.


                        1. re: emily052

                          Guess I've lived in FTW too long and still remember when Joe T's was busted for serving stuff that shouldn't have been in the Tacos and bad kitchen hygiene. There is better Tex-Mex around. Mi Cocina is way over priced for what you get, but it you are into seeing and being seen, it's a place. Reata's is probably going down hill since Grady Spears left (I think). You might try the Love Shack, in the Yards. H3 should have been better...and there are better places around for steak.

                          Haven't been to Mercury Chophouse, but I do know Chris Ward, somewhat personally. If he's behind the kitchen, it is going to be great and first class...might not be the cheapest, but first class.

                          A bit out of downtown is the Flying Fish Restaurant on Montgomery. Killer seafood and oysters.

                          Kincaid's on Camp Bowie, is still very good. The old grocery store ambiance helps a lot. It's been there a long time and the food is good. Much better than Southlake. For Burgers, don't forget Fred's, off of W 7th. Kinda a dive, but really good food. Was featured in the FoodNetwork show, Diners, Drive-Inns and Dives...certainly qualifies as a Dive...LOL.

                          Oh, the Paris Coffee Shop has GREAT breakfasts. Go there if you get a chance.

                          1. re: dlcole

                            The Mercury Chophouse is owned by the same people that own Mi Cocina, the MCrowd. They also own Taco Diner, Mainstreeam Fish House, and the Merecury in Dallas (another Chris Ward).

                            The Chop House is cozy, elegant and has tremendous service. The menu is simple and the food is really excellent. I was there over a year ago and remeber having some fine lamb chops.

                            However, I would definitely try out Lanny's Kitchen on 7th. The foie gras relleno is innovative and superb, as is their rack of lamb and sea bass. Totally unexpected pleasure.

                            1. re: DallasDude

                              Tell me more about this foie gras relleno ...

                              Agree with the restaurant in the Modern (Art Museum) being great.

                              Tried the Love Shack (on 7th) for the first time today, and agree with what everyone here said about the amazing finish on the burger. The onion rings were great too--I'll definitely go back. I've been trying some of Texas Monthly's top 50 burgers, and I must say I liked Love Shack's better than Dutch's blue cheese & bacon (#17 vs #7 I believe).

                              Joe T's is Mexican food for Yankees. Don't know about the fajitas, but the enchiladas were so bad I couldn't go back.

                              My experience at Bistro Louise has been sub-par. La Familia can be good.

                              Kincaid's IMO is about the atmosphere, not the food.

                    2. re: masterson

                      It's a shame that you never made it to Joe T's.