Fort Worth Dining: Sample the Cuisine of Cowboys & Culture
You can’t go to Texas without sampling a little beef and Tex Mex, but did you know you can also get a killer slice of chocolate meringue pie and a poached pear salad masterpiece. While touring Fort Worth last month with a few other travel-writing gals, I was wooed by more meat than I could ever imagine, along with desserts that would be worth a plane ticket just to sample. Wondering where to hang your hat and dig in during your own trip? Here are a few suggestions to get your salivary glans flowing.
Paris Coffee Shop, 704 W Magnolia Avenue, Fort Worth, TX 76104.
Walk in, grab a table, and introduce yourself to owner Mike’s famous pies. I recommend the chocolate meringue; it should be your first course. Once you are finished gorging on this homegrown favorite of Fort Worth, move onto a cinnamon bun, some French toast, and a side of eggs and bacon. You can just plan on skipping lunch right now. You will be full at least until dinner, but don’t worry, at these prices you can eat until your heart’s content, and even take a pie or two home to enjoy.
Joe T. Garcia’s Patio, 2201 N Commerce Street, Fort Worth, TX 76164.
As you explore Fort Worth save room for one of the city’s most famous Mexican joints. This is no taco truck people. The outside looks like an old house from the 1930s (the restaurant opened in 1935), but the inside is painted in brilliant colors with a patio out back that seats about a thousand. Yes, one thousand people. It doesn’t look like a banquet hall at all. There are tables of all shapes and sizes tucked into a magnificent garden with fountains, boxes overflowing with flowers, trees, and even a few local birds popping in and out. But you aren’t just there for the ambiance. Grab a sangria margarita, chips and guacamole, an order of fajitas, and tortilla soup as you sit down with your family and enjoy the view.
Café Modern at the Modern Art Museum, 3200 Darnell Street, Fort Worth, TX 76107. The second you walk into the Cultural District of Fort Worth you will see that this city is so much more than cowboys and beef. Mosey through the glass doors of the Modern Art Museum, and enjoy a little high art in your dining experience. Tropical Ceviche, Bacon Jam Mussels, and a daily omelet special are just a few of the beautifully displayed dishes that will grace your table as you soak in the edible art on your plate, before enjoying the art on the walls.
Reata, 310 Houston Street, Fort Worth, TX 76102.
Tap into your inner cowboy (or girl) as you order up plates inspired by Southwestern, Creole, Southern, and a little Mexican, but mostly what Texas is known for, steak, all kinds of steak. Prices aren’t cheap, so make this your splurge meal, but know that the Pan-Seared Pepper Crusted Tenderloin with Port Wine Sauce is worth every penny. This is also your chance to try buffalo, tenderloin tamales, macaroni and cheese that almost made me a believer (not a fan since childhood), and smoked quail with jalapeno cheddar grits. Save room for dessert! The white and dark chocolate bread pudding tamales, and berry cobblers are worth a stop of their own.
Woodshed Smokehouse, 3201 Riverfront Drive, Fort Worth, TX 76107.
Anyone who is a fan of Iron Chef America knows Tim Love and his iconic cowboy hat and tequila shots. Love is putting Fort Worth dining on the map one restaurant at a time (he has 4 in the area.) He battled, and beat Bobbie Flay, and no wonder with the ribs he serves up at Woodshed Smokehouse. Almost better than the ribs is the brisket stuffed piquillo peppers; little plates of heaven for any meat lover to devour. The more intriguing parts of the menu include the rotating meat of the day, and yes, snake will be on there. The peach cobbler was delicious, although the cobbler part was a big dry. The smoked chocolate pie lacked a bit of chocolate, but we really didn’t care as it was topped with the most decadent marshmallow-like whipped meringue you will ever taste. Make sure there is a wheel-barrel to cart you out. You will need it.
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