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Two days in Fort Worth

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  • AJC Jan 18, 2009 10:58 AM

I am spending two days and nights in Fort Worth in March. I have never been there before (coming from the UK) and I really wantb to enjoy the best of the local food.
Can anyone recommend a couple of lunch/dinner venues, please.
Many thanks!

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  1. I heartily recommend Joe T Garcia's, which is located near the Stockyards. If the weather is nice, which is possible in March, eat on the patio, which is absoulutely beautiful - at least it was in early September, when my wife and I ate there.

    Another place is Angelo's bar bq, which is only open for lunch, and when they sell out they close. Not much on atmosphere, but pretty good bbq.

    There are a number of places in the stockyards, very, very, touristy, but if you wander around and find something tasty - go for it. I've eaten there and thoroughly enjoyed it,
    and I'm a local.

    6 Replies
    1. re: GDunnells

      There have been a few recs for Angelo's and Joe T's so far. Some like these both. Other's, like me, find them to be poor to mediocre. Joe T's is a tremendously fun place, but as for food, you can do MUCH better. I don't say this ignorantly either. Just a warning.

      BTW, if you're coming all the way from the UK, you have to end up in the Stockyards. It is touristy, but it is at least reminiscent of a authentic period of time. I've never been to Lonesome Dove, which get good reviews. I'd just as soon get a burger at the Love Shack and hang out on the patio as do anything else though.

      Someone else mentioned Fuzzy's which is a lot of fun and a unique place. cheap too.

      My next meals in FW will either be at Lanny's or Buttons.

      1. re: kindofabigdeal

        Couldn't agree more about Joe T's--the food is just about the worst in town. Love Fuzzy's--I always get the crispy shrimp tacos or shrimp salad. My own personal preference for Tex-Mex is the Mexican Inn on 8th Ave, but there is a nostalgia factor--I've been eating there since I was about 3. I like the arroz con pollo, taco salad, nachos, and queso loco. Do not order randomly off their menu if you go ... They make their own masa and corn tortillas fresh daily--that and the salsa are two of the best reasons to go.

        I was disappointed in Lanny's, but am thinking of giving it another try. When I went, it didn't stack up to the best restaurants in Dallas as I'd been led to believe.

        1. re: foiegras

          I really like the pulled pork nachos at fuzzy's with an extra side of the queso blanco. Also, i always order the side of salsa that you have to pay extra for b/c i'm not that fond of their complimentary hot sauce. Their grilled sandwiches are pretty good as well.

          1. re: iluvtennis

            Thanks for the recommendation. I was looking for a lunch today that wouldn't require a raid on the federal mint (I understand that's frowned on), and this fit the bill. I swear they've changed the pork since I started going there! This was quite good, if doled out sparingly--I told myself that was a good thing. The side of pico it came with was insufficient, but they gave me more. I'm going to have to try more of the things on the menu with pork now ...

        2. re: kindofabigdeal

          I agree with you completely about Joe T's. Our office used to go there yearly for a welcome party for new faculty. Joe T's has almost no menu. You pretty much take what they make that day. The food is cafeteria quality at best. Big pans of Mexican food prepared for a crowd. No thanks!

          1. re: kindofabigdeal

            ditto to Love Shack - my favorite place on a nice day.

        3. G! Not sure where you're getting that Angelo's is only open for lunch. Maybe you're thinking about another bbq place. Angelo's is open until 10:00 pm, but closed on Sunday. See "contact" info @ http://www.angelosbbq.com/index2.html

          The stockyards is a place to enjoy an outdoor walk with a real rodeo on certain nights, cowboy hall of fame and museum, shops and eateries. Just steer clear of Risky's BBQ. I haven't eaten there myself, but I've heard enough about it that ....... But back to the stockyards - http://www.fortworthstockyards.org/

          For other FW rec's, key in "fw" (include quotes) in the search box and an abundance of recs will appear. Others to search would be Lanny's and Love Shack (burgers in the Stockyards). If you're up for breakfast and have transporation, Paris Coffee Shop serves traditional American country style breakfasts (and plate lunches).

          Enjoy your stay!

          2 Replies
          1. re: CocoaNut

            Mea Culpa, probably confused about the name of the place I was thinking of........ Barbecue places tend to run together in my mind.

            Hey - I'm going to visit my son in Stephenville, and we were going to take him to FW, what can you recommend, restaurant wise? Nothing fancy - maybe good steaks? Is there anywhere other than the Stockyards that is worth just wandering around in? Thinking of West U or River Oaks in Houston - anything like that? We've been to the Amon Carter museum.

            1. re: GDunnells

              I've really only begun to "explore" Ft. Worth restaurants in recent months - so can't be of any big help on the restaurants, but FatBastage (below) seems to provide some pretty good sounding recs.

              As far as just wandering around, weather permitting, I've heard wonderful things about the Botanic Gardens (but have never been myself). See the "calendar of events" at http://www.fwbg.org/

          2. I further promote Joe T's and Angelo's, cash only places, but ATMs on site. For a quick taco, Fuzzy's Taco Shop on Berry. Go for the Garlic Shredded Beef. It may not sound amazing, but it is.

            I frequent Dutch's on University for a burger and fries. Can't be beat, IMO. (The Love Shack apparently has great burgers too, though I haven't been. I believe they were recently voted the best burger in FW by local critics.)

            For Italian, I hit up Fortuna on Camp Bowie or Milano's on 7th. Ferre downtown is an upscale Italian-Tuscan place; though for downtown dining I recommend Reata. It can get pricey, but the food is pretty amazing - "Legendary. Texas. Cuisine." - and it gives you a chance to walk around downtown and check out Sundance Square while you are here.

            For a truly unique experience, I suggest Ovation on Camp Bowie. "Soul food" is most often used to describe the menu (chicken and waffles are a big hit), but the menu is pretty diverse - steak, seafood, etc. Jazz-themed atmosphere with live music that provides a truly entertaining dining experience. I have never heard a bad word about this place. The owner recently opened a new restaurant at Hulen and I-30 called Buttons (where 29 Degrees bar used to be for those that knew it). I haven't been yet, but I hear the food is great. Different atmosphere than Ovation, more homestyle cooking, but apparently worth a try. Neither place is low on the price scale, but both are worth the price.

            -----
            Angelo's Barbecue
            2533 White Settlement Rd, Fort Worth, TX 76107

            Reata Restaurant
            310 Houston Street, Fort Worth, TX 76102

            Joe T Garcia's Mexican Restaurant
            2201 N Commerce St, Fort Worth, TX

            Dutch's Burgers & Beer
            3009 S University Dr, Fort Worth, TX 76109

            Fuzzy's Taco Shop
            2917 W Berry St, Fort Worth, TX 76109

            Ovation Dining & Entertainment
            6115 Camp Bowie Blvd 112, Fort Worth, TX

            1. Angelo's BBQ now accepts credit cards.

              1. Albeit, it's been probably 10 yrs or more since I've been to Joe T's and the reason is, for authentic Tex-Mex food/taste, there is certainly better in FW, Dallas and parts in between. But for that touristy, fun, upbeat "feel" of Old Mexico and being limited to only 2 days, Joe T's would be an excellent casual choice for the out of towner - particularly one from out of the country. (And it's in the same part of town as the stockyards.) They have an inside dining area, but on a weather friendly late afternoon/early evening, there is a beautiful patio to enjoy dinner while sipping Margarita's and listening to the strolling Mariachi band. And assuming the OP is unfamiliar with Tex-Mex fare, the menu is simple - there isn't one. You simply choose between enchiladas or fajitas yet still receive the standard accompaniments.
                http://www.joets.com/
                http://www.guidelive.com/portal/page?...

                As to BBQ, to vaguely quote someone else that I read here on the TX board, if I were to limit myself to eating only the "haute" bbq of Central TX, I'd never eat BBQ. So that being said, Angelo's, a very rusticly appointed "order/pick-up at the counter" restaurant on the west side of FW, has a longstanding rep for being (one of) the best in the metroplex. The brisket and ribs are meaty, flavorful, moist and lean requiring no additional sauce. I found the sausage to be particularly bland while the chicken is tender, but needy.
                http://www.angelosbbq.com/menu.html

                If you partake in the brewed essences, be certain to try a Shiner Bock which is (TX) locally brewed at the Spoetzl brewery in Shiner, TX

                2 Replies
                1. re: CocoaNut

                  Beer! how could I forget beer? Check out Rahr in Ft. Worth. It's not a world class beer, but they're generally pretty good and truly local. You could get a brewery tour on a saturday if you're into that sort of thing.

                  1. re: kindofabigdeal

                    I had no idea there was a brewery in the area. With spring coming, on a rainy Sat. afternoon, the tour would probably be something to get out of the house for. Thanks for posting that. Per their web site - good to know they're environmentally concious.

                2. Let me be the lone ranger here and tell you if you want good mexican, avoid Joe T Garcia's. I have never understood why people insist that Joe T's is authentic, good or anything else. Yes, the patio is nice but that is all. Drive south on Main Street to EL Rancho Grande or try El Paseo on Jacksboro Highway for a much better experience.

                  Grady Spears just opened a new restaurant on Forest Park. Grady is an acquaintance of mine and I will tell you he is the hot chef in Fort Worth, and it is well deserved.

                  Tim Love owns Lonesome Dove and the Love Shack both in the Stockyards. The Love Shack is cash only for burgers and is pretty good, but Kincaids is better imo. Grady Spears used to be a partner in Dutch's but has since left and the quality has suffered I think

                  BBQ wise, Angelo's is just like Joe T's in that I do not understand the fascination. Cousin's BBQ on Bryan Irvin and Bodacious BBQ in Arlington is much better.

                  Fuzzy's is a good taco shop and was listed in Texas Monthly's 100 best tacos or something like that.

                  Ovation & Buttons are both owned by Keith Hicks and he is an exceptional owner/ chef so do not hesitate to try either.

                  Steak wise, I like Reata, Del Frisco's and a new steak house called Grace in downtown Fort Worth. Mac's on 7th also has steaks that are good. Avoid Cattleman's - it is right in line with Joe T's and Angelos. H3 right next door is much better, their smoked sirloin rocks.

                  Babe's Chicken in Burleson is a must not miss. There is no better fried chicken/ cfs around.

                  7 Replies
                  1. re: jmartin0313

                    Thanks for the info. Bodacious is all over NE Texas, I like their hot links.

                    I had a beer in H3 and thought it was a bit touristy, but really wanted the roast suckling pig - anyone ever had it there?

                    1. re: jmartin0313

                      I want to second what jmartin said about Kincaid's (original fort worth location, not the new one in Arlington Heights). It has a great atmosphere and vibe about it.

                      1. re: kajuble

                        I didn't know there was a new one in Arlington Heights ... where is it? There's also a new one near Hulen Mall, which I haven't been to, and I think one in Southlake?

                        1. re: foiegras

                          Foiegras,

                          Re: the new Kincaid's Franchise, Arlington Heights is one of those fancy outdoor malls that are popping up everywhere-- it has a Border's, a Studio Movie Grill, a Freebird, a Gloria's, World Market and a ton more shops, and Kincaid's as well.

                          Arlington Heights is off of I-20, one or two exits east of the Cooper Street exit. It's huge and visible from the Highway.

                          1. re: kajuble

                            It's actually Arlington Highlands (in Arlington) to which you are referring, kajuble. Arlington Heights is a neighborhood in Ft. Worth, which actually does have a Kincaid's, too!

                          2. re: foiegras

                            foie, the SL location is on the SW corner of Southlake Blvd and Kimball. I've eaten there 3 times and won't go back. Burgers are consistently dry, also expensive for what it's not.

                        2. re: jmartin0313

                          I wouldn't call Grace a "steakhouse", btw.

                        3. Bonnell's is expensive, but IMO, not prohibitively so. Also, interesting and might give you more bang for your buck in allowing you to try some decidedly different dishes. We went this Saturday (party of four) and ended up trying the mixed grill - two ordered the buffalo and elk, I ordered the elk & lamb chop. All mixed grill plates are served with a wild boar chop (mine was tough, but it's wild boar, so I expected that, to be honest) and house-made andouille patty. (House made out of what? I dunno.) The fourth diner knew he wanted the elk exclusively, and I don't blame him. It's wonderful. Only caveat - we all decided the saucing might have been excessively peppery. It didn't seem to slow us, however.

                          Specials for the night were... artic char, kangaroo, rabbit and.. something that escapes me at the moment.

                          Desserts were mixed - my black and white chocolate mousse cups were mixed, indeed - the white wasn't very fluffy - more of a white chocolate soup. However, the reg. choc. was absolutely divine - the huckleberry sauce was fantastic. Other diners ordered & split the tres leches creme brulee, which was fantastic. Cheesecake was... ok. Mixed feelings there.

                          Very nice wine list, also. We enjoyed a rich & somewhat peppery cabernet sauvignon from Frog's Leap with the meats very, very much.

                          http://bonnellstexas.com/

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: shanagain

                            Forgot to mention - I had leftover (rare) elk that was absolutely unbelievably divine leftover, cold.

                          2. Ovation has closed.

                            1. I do not make it to Fort Worth often enough, but have spent some hefty time there in the recent past. Here's my short list and a few dishes I have tried, in no order:

                              Sardines - Italian, live music. rack of lamb, saltimboco

                              Lanny's - foie gras relleno, paella. there is a tasting menu that I hear can be fun, and paired.

                              H3 Ranch Grill - big beef touristy fun, never had a bad meal. Chicken fried steak.

                              Lonseome Dove - Unique takes on game, new menu almost daily. Chef is a cool dude.

                              Ellerbe's - Fresh, local ingredients (produce, cheeses), classic dishes. I believe this menu is a transitional one as well. I had a lamb dish that I did not see on the menu recently, but saw many other things I would want to try.

                              Bonnell's - More wild game dishes with a unique Texas flair. I've had the Elk tacos and chile relleno (greatness). Sampled an Elk steak, tender and wonderful. They have a "make your own combo" thing that is probably a best bet, plus the many specials offered.

                              Rahr is a cool brewery everyone above me has spoken about. They have cool seasonal beers that are worth sampling.

                              Stay away from: Joe T Garcia's unless yhou are rpepared to stand in a huge assed line and get a fast food version of Mexican food. If you are forced to go (and these things happen), enjoy as many margaritas as possible. They are fantastic.

                              3 Replies
                              1. re: DallasDude

                                RE: Rahr brewery. If anyone plans an outing to Rahr in the near future, call first to make sure they are open to the public. They made a local news channel last night (?) due to some snow related structure damage. Caught only the butt end of the piece, so don't know the extent.

                                1. re: CocoaNut

                                  Italian: I thought Nonna Tata was the place to go in FW?

                                  Beer in general:
                                  A partial section of the roof collapsed under the weight of the recent snowfall. Fortunately the damage didn't affect any of their equipment nor the Bucking Bock seasonal which was slated to release this weekend. Basically it looks like they won't be doing tours for a while.
                                  http://www.star-telegram.com/metro_ne...

                                  FW has some nice places to hit if you're a beer lover. Everyone knows about Gingerman and Flying Saucer but these are worthy contenders as well:

                                  The Usual is a newer place that reminds me of Houston's Anvil bar in a very good way. Mixologists who take cocktails seriously while offering an interesting beer selection to boot.
                                  http://fortworthology.com/2009/10/08/...
                                  http://eatthisfortworth.com/index.php...

                                  The Covey is one of very few brewpubs in all of the metroplex.
                                  http://www.thecovey.com/

                                  Paddy Red's is an Irish Pub boasting a broad beer selection that could rival Saucer/G-man.
                                  http://www.paddyredsirishpub.com/

                                2. re: DallasDude

                                  I love the pork tacos that come on the appetizer menu at H3...it is a touristy spot, but everyone i've ever taken there really enjoyed the atmosphere and the food. My father-in-law was really impressed with the huge chicken fried steak.

                                3. I live in Fort Worth and honestly am not a big fan of the restaurants here. However, a new kid on the block, Ellerbe Fine Foods(cafe) on Magnolia is really outstanding. The atmosphere is great and the food is innovative, fresh and delicious! It has filled in a weakness that we've had for a long time. For more casual dining...Carshon's deli is great!

                                  1. Nonna Tata's is an absolute must! It's a little hole in the wall kind of place with only six tables, but people come from everywhere to eat there! I've heard that people even bring their own tables when the weather's nice. Make sure to check the days and hours when it's open though. I think they might be closed on the weekends. Awesome food!

                                    1. Lili's Bistro was yummy the two times we went, but my alltime favorite in FW has to be Lucile's on Camp Bowie. I've had everything from the Lobster Bisque to Chicken Fried Steak to Beignets. Everything proves to be outstanding every time. It's sooooo difficult to decide what to order!

                                      1. Carshon's: the best pastrami on rye to be found in the metro. Potato salad and slaw are excellent with the former being eggy and the latter being dressed with mayo base, but having a little tang with a sprinkle of caraway.