Friday, January 4, 2008

Best of 2007 (some surprise entries)

For the Best of 2010 go to: Best of 2010
Best of 2007 -- Fort Worth and Area:

Italian: Ruffino's. Pleasant dining atmosphere. Unhurried. Needs better bread.
Mexican: Mi Cocina - downtown and Cantina Laredo - downtown. Good food, more expensive than La Familia, but in my opinion, the food is better, too.
Pizza: Charlies Pizza on Meadowbrook Drive. Real New York style made by a real New Yorker.
Whole Foods - Arlington. The only authentic bakery in town anymore.
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.
Panera's has some decent breads, especially when they are fresh.
Central Market's breads all taste the same.

Bread is a perfect item for combining the five elements of pleasureful food: taste, texture, aroma, appearance and temperature. Does anything taste better than the aroma and appearance of fresh-baked, crusty bread? Some breads are chewy, others airy, some are better warm, others toasted, etc. Most local breads are all appearance and none of the other four. If a bagel-shaped bread product is not made from boiled batter it is not a bagel. It is a roll. Just as a patty made from a vegetable to look like a hamburger is not a hamburger. It is a veggie-burger.
Speaking of Bagels: Yogi's on Hulen. They are good.
Donuts: Pauls, off Magnolia. Good people, good donuts.
Chinese: I have no idea.
Sandwich: Carshons is our readers choice for sandwiches and F&FW agrees. Central Market at I30 and Hulen, also.
Burger: Kinkaid's, Tommy's, Boogie Burger. All good. You can have the nouveau places including Pappa's. Too expensive.
Coffee: Starbucks on University. Busy enough to have to make it fresh all the time. And nice folks as well. We need more locally owned coffee shops. Eurotazza is good. 4-Star is another local trainwreck.
Steakhouse: Del Frisco's, Downtown.
Best Destination Restaurant: Reata
Barbecue: Angelos on White Settlement.
Dining Restaurant Downtown: The Chop House on Main Street.
Beer Downtown: The Flying Saucer.
Beer elsewhere: Ginger Man on Montgomery and Bull & Bush.
Ice Cream: Braum's, $1.50 for a single dip of pretty good ice cream.
Biggest rip-off ice cream: Marble Slab.
Margarita: Mi Cocina.
Fajitas: Papasitto's on I30. Good beef, fresh flour tortillas. Cantina Laredo is a close second.
Sushi: Hui Chuan Sushi, on Camp Bowie.
Thai: Suk a Thai, in Arlington.
Nicest Small Restaurant Atmosphere: Zambrano's downtown.
Best Place to use wifi: Panera Bread on University.
Best View of Fort Worth: From the hilltop at Channel 5
Bet You'd Love It: the bicycle walking path on the North side of downtown
Best Bicycle Shop: Colonel's, TCU area
Best Bookstore in North Texas: The used Bookstore in Denton.
Best Place to buy vegetables: Fiesta Market on 8th Street
Best Radio Sports Talk: The Ticket, 1310 am.
New Night time drive-by: Lancaster south downtown. The street lights are in and look great. Coolest re-developing street: Lancaster Boulevard downtown
Best Pool Tables: Fox and Hound, Downtown.
Only Great Pool Tables in DFW: Dave & Busters / Dallas (also, real snookers table)
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.
Most Improved Park: Botanic Gardens. Been lately? it's worth a visit.
Most Underappreciated Great Amenity: Trinity River Park and Botanical Gardens.
Favorite Architecture: Modern Art Museum
Most Dependable Good Meal: Charleston's on Hulen. Okay, it seems no one under 50 is allowed in, but the food is still good.
Most Looked forward to Development: Omni Hotel and Dallas Cowboys are two but there are many more.
Biggest how much money are they losing development? Montgomery Plaza. How long can the condos stay empty?
5 Year Prediction: The Dallas Cowboys Stadium will change Arlington for good and in a smaller way the entire Dallas - Fort Worth area. This really is big. Dallas will receive the least benefit of the major cities in DFW. What city receives the most benefit? Arlington, of course, then, Fort Worth, DFW Airport, Grapevine (hotel accomodations), Grand Prairie, Irving (the new use of the old stadium property will be better for them) and finally Dallas. The "center of gravity" in DFW has been shifting west and north and that trend will continue. The Cowboys stadium and the Texas Motor Speedway make Tarrant County a place with 2 of the countrys largest performance venues.
5 Year Prediction #2: Remember the old Graduate movie line: "think plastics." Well, if you are starting in business today, "think shale, Barnett Shale." Its effect on Fort Worth will be long lasting.


jake said...

great list! as someone who has just moved to Fort Worth, I really find your blog to be informational!


Francis Shivone said...

Thanks -- Welcome to a great and thriving city.
I'll add your blog to F&FW links as a "thoughts of NET Developer"
A little advertising never hurts anybody.

Kevin Buchanan said...

Francis - the reason the condos at Montgomery Plaza are empty is that they just started building them a couple of months ago. They're not going to be open and ready to move in to until the summer or so. The original developer did not do the condos and sold to the current developer who just started on them. They're actually over 70% sold already, just nobody can move in yet.

Francis Shivone said...

Kevin -- thanks for the clarifying information.

Anonymous said...

So the Whole Foods bakery beats Central Market? I'll have to check it out. Surely the olive bar at CM warrants a mention, though. :-)

Chinese is really a problem. A few years ago, I would have said Tai Pan. The University location is something else now (decent, but not outstanding) and the suburban location are... decent but not outstanding. China Queen up on Beach was good the last time I was there, and they do include sushi (if you like that sort of thing). There's a new Vietnamese/Chinese soup restaurant on East Berry just off 35 getting decent reviews, but I haven't been there. Fort Worth needs a good sit-down, not a buffet Chinese place, sort of like Hung Fong's in San Antonio.

I guess I'll have to give Kincaid's another try; maybe my expectations were too high. I would still take an Old Neighborhood burger over Kincaid's, though.

You really need another category: best take out tamales.

Anonymous said...

Meant to note that on my last trip to Mi Familia, the owner berated one of our companions was wanting something other than the lunch menu. He told her that they didn't have time for other menu items and she really should go elsewhere to eat. That was definitely my LAST trip there.

dena said...

Where is Carshon's? I am a big fan of sandwiches (and do love them from Central Market)...

Great list, agree with most of it.

And I am sorry to hear about your bad La Familia incident, anonymous, they are usually so friendly there - you just have to forgive the waiters for going at warp speed!

Francis Shivone said...

Carshons is a reader favorite and an old Fort Worth favorite. They have very good sandwiches. Cash only, sit down with servers, but informal. I like the Rebecca and get a piece of homemade pie. Carshons is south of Berry in the TCU area.

La Familia is known for their friendliness, food is good not great and service is excellent. Every restaurant, like every person, has a bad day. Sorry.

The olive bar at Whole Foods is good, not as good as CM. I hate to say it, but the sandwiches at Central Market are not as good as they were when they started.

Somebody tell me where the best tamales are --- I'd love to know.

Anonymous said...

Carshon's is on Cleburne Rd. just south of Berry. The trick is to know tht Cleburne is aka 8th Ave and McCart.

From 30, exit Summit and stay on the route south. Watch to the left when you pass Berry. From 820 (south), exit McCart and go north past the tracks at Biddison. It will be on the right. From 35W, exit Berry, travel west and turn left on Clebure (big intersection, light, and just before the tracks).

The pie is good, but the strawberry delight is... delightful. Artichoke and cucumber salads are also nice.

Anonymous 2 said...

The best tamales I've ever had were from a lady who sells off the tailgate of her truck between Granbury and Glen Rose. Not helpful, I know.

We had La Playa (Hemphill St.) tamales for Christmas; they were excellent.

Anonymous said...

Not sure how Schezuan doesn't get a mention for Chinese

Francis Shivone said...

I was going to add Szechuan to the "Best of Chinese," but I don't frequent Chinese restaurants. My daughter and wife think it is the best.

I would drive to Glen Rose for great tamales. But I'm weird that way.

Anonymous said...

It's "Sue's Tamales", but I lost her card. If you are up for a drive, she is out on 144 between Granbury and Glen Rose in nice weather.

If you are going that far, I recommend going on to GR and have pie at the Pie Peddler. She is just off the square and open on the weekend. I guess it's the south east corner, sort of. Anyway, worth the trip.

Benitos on Magnolia is said to have good tamales (and good most things), as does Fina's Tortillaria down Hemphill. I'm intending to try Hot Damn Tamales on West Mag just down from the parish.

Francis Shivone said...

All very good suggestions. Thank you for the detail. I love the pork tacos at Benito's. I tried Hot Damn Tamales and thought they were not good.

rambler said...

Thanks for the warning on Hot Damn Tamales. I've heard Benitos has good ones, though.

Have you had the hamburger at Flashpoint Boogie burger on E. Lancaster? The Startlegram featured it and I thought it delicious. For some reason, though, I never think to eat there.

Francis Shivone said...

Rambler -- sorry, I haven't replied but I just noticed the comment.

Boogie burger is about a 5 year old place on east Lancaster around Beach. It's on the south side of Lancaster. It's small and it takes about 10 minutes to get your burger but it is very good. Burgers are fresh and cooked to order. They may be the best in FW for the money.