Sunday, October 7, 2007

Fort Worth's Best Local Food . . .

Because I have been in Philadelphia and doing what I do best, eating, and particularly eating good street vendor food, I thought it would be a good idea to pull out the post on our (Fort Worth's) best local food. Our version of street vendors are in aluminum sided kitchen vans and roadside barbecue smokers on wheels, but we have them. And for the most part I think they are good. Most of the time the best food at the best price is in a locally owned establishment with limited or no seating.
Also, if you have a favorite taco stand, chicken-fried steak or barbecue pit. Let me know.
The following post was first run in August.

You know what your local food is by counting the number of family owned "corner" cafes and restaurants. When I was a boy in the northeast it was Italian: deli's, cheesesteaks, pizza, with an occasional Jewish or Polish deli (hot pastrami on rye with a barrel-picked dill pickle). Here, it's Mexican, with a second going to Texas Barbeque. I have traveled throughout much of mainland Mexico and, food wise, it would be like traveling the U.S. A lot of consistency but more difference than you expect. What we know as "Mexican" food is the food of the lower income person in Mexico, beans, rice, corn tortillas, and chicken. I have stayed in their homes and eaten on their family farms, and throughout Mexico you will see those ingredients in various recipes -- all of them good. This was also true when Italians immigrated to America in the early 1900's. Spaghetti, pastas, tomato and cream sauces, and pizza are eaten in Italy and what we consider "Italian food", but in-Italy Italian food is more seafood, aged cheeses, ham, breads, fresh fruits and vegetables, than it is pasta. I never had spaghetti dinner as a meal in Italy. But back to native Mexican cuisine -- My favorite meal in Mexico was in the home of an average "office- working" family in San Luis Potosi. The main course was Chicken mole', which was brought to the table about 10 p.m., after a couple of "warm-up appetizers." Everyone was served a breast of chicken topped with a hot, spicy, chocolate mole sauce. It is hard to describe a chili-powder infused, smooth, milk-chocolate sauce alongside the taste of chicken but at the time I thought it might be the most delicious thing I had ever eaten (I've tried it since, but it wasn't the same, maybe it was the influence of the 2 glasses of wine prior). Mexican food in the mainland is: fish, beef, chicken, pork, many varieties of peppers and other warm clime vegetables and fruits, and breads, along with, tortillas, beans and rice. There is none of the mainland-Mexican restaurants in Fort Worth, that I know of, but what we have, is good, though limited in its scope. Look for a torta sandwich the next time you visit a local place. There's a Lunch Van parked outside the Carnival on 8th St south of downtown and north of Berry that has the best $1 tacos you can get. Hot beef, fresh tortillas, cilantro and onions, with a spicy red picante sauce on top. Plus tortas. It's not for everyone but I love them.

1 comment:

Francis Shivone said...
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