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Feb 16, 2010 11:00 AM

SF hound needs help Ft Worth

Dear wife is heading to Ft Worth for week long conference in mid March. I'd like to find her some good places to dine with colleagues. I'd say a varied menu with some meat,fish and some good Tex Mex might be ideal choices. These same choices can be at one venue or a mix. This will be for dinner. The group could be as large as 10 or as small as four.

Any great Mexcian places would be especially appreciated.

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  1. Ellerbe's Fine Foods - relatively new - small, but varied as you suggest - fresh, local and seasonal (menu changes).

    Nonna Tata for excellent Italian dinners - BYOB/W, odd hours, cash only, call ahead. I believe their largest table only seats 6 - only about 6 tables in the entire restaurant, though in March, temps may allow sitting outside.
    No website, but the Dallas Morning News provides good insight to what you will see on the menu.

    1 Reply
    1. re: CocoaNut

      Lanny's Alta Cocina Mexicana is good fine dining with some Mexican tilt.

      Had a great lunch in the cafe inside the Ashton Hotel a few years ago.

      Chef Pointe seems like it'd be worth consideration for the "cool story" value (plus good food). Something about eating upscale food in a gas station just makes me chuckle.

      Railhead or Angelo's for BBQ if the carnivor urge strikes (I prefer Railhead).

    2. Sapristi might be a good place to try ... they have a wide variety of mussels, plus much more on the menu--game, steak, chicken, etc. Slightly nouveau country French you might say? Good desserts, good wine (it's a wine bar), very leisurely service.

      In my mind, the typical FW restaurant serves meat (OK, steak) with a side of meat. We haven't recommended any of those for you here ...

      For Tex-Mex, I personally would recommend Fuzzy's, the Mexican Inn on 8th Ave (they make their own masa fresh daily, and from there the chips and tortillas--I like the taco salad, which I get half beans half beef, guacamole, nachos, quesadillas, queso loco). I also like Dos Gringos for some guilty-pleasure-yes-they-include-processed-cheese enchiladas, and (gasp) Pappacito's, part of a local-ish chain. There I really like the chicken enchiladas in blue corn tortillas with sour cream sauce.

      By no means be taken in by Joe T Garcia's, the Original Mexican Eats Cafe, or Caro's. You may not be able to get any two of us to agree on what's best, but that is the definitive word on what's worst!

      5 Replies
      1. re: foiegras

        One day, I'm going to eat at the Original Mexican Eats Cafe, aka The Original, on Camp Bowie. A friend's husband swears it's the best to be found, but like you, I've read many opinions to the negative. Googling reveals split decision reviews also. Yep, gonna have to see for myself one day.....

        1. re: CocoaNut

          It would be best to go when you are more in the mood for an adventure than good food ;)

          I remember being in another Texas city and going to one of these 'been here since 1926' Tex-Mex places. At that time I was on a chile relleno kick ... imagine the look on my face when it arrived, and it was a stuffed green bell pepper ...

          I have only been able to conclude that there are enough people with a taste for sorry Tex-Mex to keep these places in business.

        2. re: foiegras

          By no means be taken in by Joe T Garcia's, <snip>.
          You may not be able to get any two of us to agree on what's best, but that is the definitive word on what's worst! foiegras

          Oh, come on. They aren't that bad and, I imagine you're called foiegras for a reason. Joe T has managed to please enough people to stay in business 50 years and still pack in several hundred eaters at a time. It ain't all tourist hype.

          1. re: Woofy

            And I'm sure you're called Woofy for a reason ...

            Joe T's has gorgeous landscaping, pretty good margaritas (I hear), and there are plenty of people who either like mediocre Tex-Mex, or don't know what Tex-Mex (or other food, for that matter) should taste like. I find it interesting that they started as a BBQ restaurant ...

            1. re: foiegras

              (ha!) A little oasis in a long session of trying to figure out where to eat in Ft Worth or Dallas on 4/21. (thank you)

        3. Have just discovered that Tillman's Roadhouse has a location in Ft. Worth off 7th ST - very near Fred's TX Cafe and Love Shack (II).

          Search and see many reviews here on Chow.

          4 Replies
          1. re: CocoaNut

            Good to know!! I'll be checking it out ... have heard raves about Tillman's in Dallas but haven't been myself yet.

            1. re: foiegras

              Just fyi ... they close the kitchen for a good chunk of the afternoon. All you can get between 2 and 5:30 is fries and fried pickles, what they call 'appetizers' ... most places I could make a meal of the appetizers if necessary, but good Lord, pickles are not a food group ...

              1. re: foiegras

                You know, La Duni in Dallas does the same thing - except rather than apps, they serve coffee and dessert. Kind of a bummer.....

                1. re: CocoaNut

                  La Duni opening soon in the new area in Allen.

          2. We never thought that finding "hotel" food could be so exciting, but we chanced upon Vidalia's in the Worthington at the north end of downtown, and we have found what now is one of our Top 3 in all of Cowtown.

            Starting with Cheese Grits with andouille sausage and 2 big grilled shrimp, in a dish big enough to feed 3 folks, or munching on some very solid green tomatoes,it was followed by an ice cold wedge of salad with blue cheese and bacon bits.

            The entree is what really stole the show, a dynamite aged piece of filet that was fork tender and cooked a a pleasant medium rare. We thought we had eaten some great beef along the way in our 30 years in Fort Worth, but this was so memorable ti will require a return engagement to savor again!

            And by the time we arrived at desert, a rich chocolate mound of melting pleasure, we could only eat one bite, and wrapped the rest up to take home for another time.

            Prices were not ridiculous, wine list was reasonable, it wasn't crowded or loud, and we were not rushed thru our time in the restaurant.

            Highly recommended+++!

            Vidalias Southern Cuisine
            200 Main Street, Ft. Worth, TX 76102

            1. Went to Lucile's Bistro (across Camp Bowie from The Original) yesterday for a late breakfast. I left with mixed thoughts. Generally speaking my friend and I were not happy with either of our meals. I ordered the German pancake with butter, lemon and powdered sugar. It tasted wonderful, but was served cold, but on a heated plate (it didn't help) and what should have been an almost souffle texture - well, since it was cold, it had fallen and became somewhat rubbery in texture. My friend had the blueberry waffles. They were 2 small waffles that were sweet with a store bought taste. The blueberries were fresh, but had simply been scattered across the plate. Any 2 year old with a toaster oven could have "assembled" that plate.

              But there was a certain appeal to the place. When you walked in, the dining room was to the right, sectioned off by the hostess station. To the left was a long room with a full bar and several bar tables. There was a definite cool "neighborhood bar" vibe to it.

              The menu was extemely varied with entrees ($8 to < 20) including everything from burgers to CFS w/their "famous country gravy" - I was told it was scratch made - to Maryland crab cakes to pizza to live lobster and a daily fresh fish offering. It's really an inviting menu and it tempts me to go back to try again, despite my initial letdown. A number of apps and soups are also available. The lunch and dinner menu are identical with 2 exceptions. The dinner entrees are exactly $2 more and several steak selections are added ($20 - 30).

              The place was packed at 11:30, Sat. morning, which made me think our experience was due to an off-day. However, I checked a couple of other review sites this morning and it seems to be either really liked.... or not. So, fwtw......

              2 Replies
              1. re: CocoaNut

                I went once, and it was memorable only in the sense that I decided to definitely never go back. It's been nearly 10 years, so I don't remember details of what I ate ... it was quite close to my realtor's office at the time, so I stopped for lunch. I do remember having to walk across the room to steal ketchup from another table because my server was MIA, and that the tablecloth was unpleasantly sticky. I remember my food as quite mediocre, and couldn't believe it was a place people rave about! Not foodie types, however ... I seem to recall it's popular with older people. A lot of people don't expect much from their food ... I definitely know people who don't care if food is bad as long as it's cheap and they don't have to cook it. I remember one of my neighbors asked me to go along for the enchilada special at a neighborhood restaurant--she and her husband go every week. I asked if they were good, and she said, not really ...

                1. re: foiegras

                  I have a friend like that. The whole purpose of him eating is to fill an empty spot in his torso.... needless to say, the Golden Corral is one of his top spots.