Friday, November 16, 2007

Fall 2007: Best of Fort Worth

November 15, 2007 Update:

Best Restaurants:
Italian: Nonna Tata
(change: see October 27, 2007 review on Nonna Tata. Editor) and La Piazza are both authentic and good.
Mexican: I am changing my "Best Mexican" to Cantina Laredo, Mi Cocina is now second.
Pizza: Charlies Pizza on Meadowbrook Dr. Real New York style made by a real New Yorker.
Bread: In Arlington at Whole Foods. Try their dense rye. Toasted with butter. Wow. Their other breads are good as well. I know the pastry chef of the North Dallas store. They're serious about their bakery. The Dallas-Fort Worth area does not have many old stand-alone bakeries. I wish we did. La Madelaine's at one time had an authentic French baguette and other good baked goods. But don't get me started on that trainwreck passing itself off as a bistro. Forget Corner Bakery, too. Panera's has some decent breads, especially when they are fresh. I think Central Market's breads all taste the same. Want to make a lot of money? Start a bakery, limit the number of products, make a few things well and you'll end up supplying restaurants and retail buyers.
Donuts: Pauls, right off Magnolia. Good people, good donuts.
Sandwich: Central Market at I30 and Hulen. A real roast beef sandwich on real crusty bread, with anything you want on it for about 6 bucks. I'll get blasted for this, but I like the Subway roast beef with double meat, toasted. It is a good deal and it tastes good. It's not a gourmet sandwich but for $6 including chips and a drink, it's not bad.
Burger: Kinkaid's, Tommy's, Boogie Burger. All good.
Coffee: Starbucks on University. Busy enough to have to make it fresh all the time. And nice folks as well. Say hi to Elvis.
Steakhouse: Chop House, Downtown.
Barbecue: Angelos on White Settlement.
Dining Restaurant Downtown: The Chop House on Main St. There is almost no such thing as a fine dining atmosphere anymore -- anywhere, but this is the next best thing. The food is good, the staff is hospitable, the seating is spacious, and of course, I think their menu is excellent. (In this age of the casual, friendly and overly familiar, isn't there a place for fine dining? Live piano, coat and tie for men, dresses, or at least dress suits for women?)
Beer Downtown: Still, The Flying Saucer, downtown
Least Appreciated Good Food: Costco and Sam's. If you shop right and can use the larger quantities, seasonal fruits and even cheese can be bought at great prices.
Coolest Real Pub Beer Joint in Fort Worth: Bull & Bush, Montgomery
Ice Cream: Braum's, $1.25 for a single dip of pretty good ice cream
Biggest rip-off ice cream: Marble Slab
Margarita: Mi Cocina, downtown
Fajitas: Tough to beat Papasitto's for good beef and fresh flour tortillas. Cantina Laredo is a close second. Pappasito's has fresher tortillas.
I Wish We Had A: Bakery that daily made fresh sandwich rolls with a crispy crust and chewy dough. It's a lost art. All the store breads have different colors and shapes but taste the same. Again, Whole Foods is closest to good.

Other Fort Worth Bests (or worsts)

Sorry, I Think it's Corny: The Stockyards, Billy Bobs, et. al. Reminds me of bad 80's country music movie. The White Elephant is the exception. Very cool place because it isn't trying to be something it isn't.
Football Stadium (soon): Cowboys, the new one. Oh yea, that's Arlington, but it's closer than Dallas.
Coolest Sushi place: Piranha's, downtown.
Best New Restaurant: Zambrano's downtown
Best Place to use wifi: Panera Bread on University (it's free and free coffee refills)
Best View of Fort Worth: From the hilltop at Channel 5
I Wish We Had A: Professional baseball team worth watching
Best Bicycle Shop: Colonel's, TCU area
Best "I've lived here 25 years and never been": Water Garden Park, downtown
Best Bookstore in North Texas: The used Bookstore in Denton
Latest, "Man I like this place" : Fiesta Market: great assortment of vegetables, fruits and dry foods. On 8th Street, north of Berry.
Best Radio Sports Talk: The Ticket, 1310 am. Now a Marconi award winning station. Congratulations. Copied by dozens of stations around the country, but no one does like they do. Best show on the ticket according to radio judges is the Musers in the morning, a perennial radio award nominee.
Coolest re-developing street: Magnolia, south of downtown. Soon to be Lancaster.
Most Inspiring Church Architecture: St Mary's of the Assumption, Magnolia St.
Best Pool Tables: Fox and Hound, Downtown.
Only Great Pool Tables in DFW: Dave & Busters / Dallas (also, real snookers table)
Coolest Summer Date: Fort Worth Cats, baseball
Best Date for the 50+ crowd: Dine anywhere downtown, attend a show at Bass Hall, or walk and have coffee and desert as you go.
Best Movie theater: Rave at North East Mall
Best Performance Hall: hmmmm? Bass Hall maybe?
Amenity Fort Worthians Should Most Appreciate: Bass Hall is a world class facility.
Most Underappreciated Great Amenity: Trinity River Park and Botanical Gardens.
Best damn Piece of Architecture west of the Mississippi: Modern Art Museum
And Why I Don't Go There: They have things that scare me. Sorry.
Most Dependable Good Meal: Charleston's on Hulen. Okay, it seems no one under 50 is allowed in, but the food is still good.
What Downtown Needs the Most: A World class hotel. The Omni will be close.
Sorry but I'm not Going Back: Potbelly Sandwiches, downtown.
The Biggest, "I Don't Get Why They Are Busy?": Pappadeaux, University and I30
Nicest walk: Botanical gardens or Trinity River Park at University
Best bicycling: Trinity River Trails from the eastside to Benbrook Lake.
Prettiest Girls: Anywhere in Texas.


Anonymous said...

Look, the best beer in town is to be found at The Bull and Bush, not the Flying Saucer.

Andy said...

Bull and Bush is much better than the Saucer. Beer and Bull without the best beer in town.

Andy said...

I think I might put Panther City Coffee as the winner for the "Sorry, Never going back" award. Last time I went in there it stank like B.O. and there were high school kids all over each other on the couches. Yuk.

Meg said...

I take umbrage with Prettiest Girls -- Anywhere in Texas.

What happened to your loyalty to Rehoboth Beach, DE???

Francis said...

Just pandering to the local audience Margaret.

el companero said...

southlake has the prettiest girls

Francis said...

el -- you know you might be right about that one . . .

Spanglocity said...

You must have one of the many spectacular sandwiches at Carshon's Deli, 3133 Cleburne Road - the Rebecca, the Reuben, the Ruthie and the hot pastrami on rye. After you've tried a sandwich there, I swear you will reconsider your list.

Francis Shivone said...

Spanglocity -- consider me there.

Anonymous said...

Isn't that Borders on Hulen South of 20 closed?

Anonymous said...

I second the Carshon's suggestion! Also, where is best brunch (not Lucile's) best dessert and best patio selections? How about the best place that closed? (Cafe Express).

Francis Shivone said...

Thanks for the second. Tomorrow I will be posting on your questions with some suggestions and to open it up to the general audience. If you read the old posts you'll see that I think Fort Worth is lacking in good breakfast/brunch restaurants. For good reason, I think. We don't go out for breakfast as a meal like we once did.
More later, but I can't wait to try Carshon's.

Andrew said...

Paris Coffee Shop is #1 in my book for a classic American breakfast.

What was that old restaurant on Berry where Fuzzy's Tacos is? They had great greasy spoon breakfasts.

its the pudding said...

pre-Fuzzys joint was...The Hop?

I disagree with Pirahna, that place is the epitome of "style over substance".

Panther City Coffee - I couldn't agree more with andy....I'm all for an indie or mom and pop place but I don't want to have to take a shower when I leave. I get that they are the anti starbucks but how often do you have to remind us? I sat in there one day when the staff saw a generic looking businessman walking up and they were making fun of him but when he walked in the door they were all so nice while giggling under their breath....I might have laughed too but I'm sure they did the same thing to me...haven't been back (and have taken less showers as a result)

Francis Shivone said...

Thanks for the comments. I'll be honest on Piranha's. I am so unhip that I think I was trying to put in a hip kind of place. You may be right and I dislike style over substance. I think the sushi is okay but the place on Camp Bowie is much better to me. Coffee: if you can ever go to a La Colombe coffee bar in New York or Philadelphia, it's my idea of perfect.

Appreciate the comments. They were good.