Tuesday, May 10, 2011

I still like Mi Cocina's. But has something changed downtown?

We decided late Sunday night, Mother's Day, to go out for dinner. Our first thought was Pappasito's because we hadn't been in a while and because we were going to walk along the river afterwards.

Bad idear.

Pappasito's had a waiting list pouring out to the driveway -- I discovered later that Mother's Day evening is one of their busiest nights of the year.

We drove over to 7th. La Familia is closed Sunday night, Chuy's, Patrizio's, and Gloria's: packed and pouring out the doors. This might bother some people, but I'm always happy to see restaurants busy especially when they are supposed to be.

We then drove east on 7th towards downtown to try Mi Cocina's, and found an only-half-full restaurant. Mi Cocina's it was. Marian and I both ordered the beef brisket tacos. I have to say they are as good  as you can get anywhere. Packed with brisket and just the right dabs of melted white cheese and fried onions. Perfect. And for $13 you get more food than I can eat at one sitting.

The change downtown? Why is 7th and the Pappa's area overflowing and downtown dead on the evening of Mother's Day? Grace wasn't open, I guess because it was Sunday night. Is downtown becoming more and more dependent on conventions and tourists and less of a draw for locals?

Thoughts anyone . . . anyone . . . Bueller . . . Bueller?



Paul said...

I work downtown and eat out everyday at lunch. I eat downtown one to two days of each work week. It's very rare for me to go downtown for dinner.

On a mostly unrelated note, I am ok with Mi Cocina's food, but I refuse to pay per can for soda from an eatery of that quality. I will not eat there again.

John said...

My choice for Tex-Mex downtown is Cantina Laredo. I've been to Mi Cocina on a handful of occasions but don't recall having my socks knocked off.

As for whether downtown dining is becoming pigeonholed for conventioneers, there is a surplus of higher-end steakhouses and you can't eat at those often without an expense account.

Plus, 7th is the new hot-spot for the in-crowd. Maybe that's the draw.

I have no data to support any opinion regarding a decline of dinner diners downtown.

Francis Shivone said...

Paul -- I like the can of diet Coke. As a matter of fact, I prefer it. They have a bar, so they have the Coke fountain drinks. I don't know why they do the cans.

John -- I like Cantina Laredo but have the habit of M C's. I have no data on the observation, either, but I am curious how much 7th is effecting downtown.

Derek said...

I love Mi Cocina but have found that I find my self going to the West 7th area more often than downtown as of lately. I guess new things catch our eye.

Doug said...

1. Has there ever been demand downtown on a Sunday or Sunday night, absent a festival or huge convention? I haven't noticed one. Maybe it's time for DTFW, Inc. to rebrand itself as a "hideway" location for those who don't want to fight the crowds on W7th. My how times have changed.
2. Perhaps still not enough folks actually living DT yet.
3. Magnolia is also kinda dead on Sunday nights, and despite the presence of a neighborhood next door, not enough living units on or adjacent to the street to draw a Sunday crowd, I suspect.
4. Note to DTFW, Inc. and Sundance Square bigwigs - I would have taken the street car into downtown to eat at your restaurants. Don't know what you are/were so afraid of. But, you'd better get with the times or DT will die again. Fort Worth is Cool - get on board, old money.
Thanks for the platform, Francis. Needed to get that off my chest.

Francis Shivone said...

Doug -- comment at will. Thank you. You are right, downtown is usually dead on a Sunday night.

Likewise, Bud Kennedy sent me a Tweet message Sunday night is always dead and that locals don't go downtown.

I think locals have moved to other places in the last few years, that is, away from downtown.

The contrast was surprising to me that Sunday night, Mothers Day, DT was dead -- and the Pappas triplex and 7th were bulging and overflowing.

I think, and this is just speculation, that the Sundance people underestimated the power of the 7th Street critical mass. That thing could expand for years to come moving south of 7th. And that locals DID go downtown but that downtown wasn't allowing it to change and move on from the initial Disneyland type start -- so people moved on.

Just my opinion.