There was an error in this gadget

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Fort Worth's Japanese Gardens

Japanese Koi at the Gardens
I haven't felt inclined to write lately but knew I needed to do something before I fell off the writing wagon. Why not head over to the Japanese Gardens and walk around?

I was still uninspired as I drove through Fort Worth's Botanical Gardens and parked. The scenery was beautiful, but I was distracted by my lack of enthusiasm.

All of that changed the minute I paid my $4 fee and walked through the entrance of the Japanese Gardens.

There was silence. I was alone in a new world, and an overwhelming serene feeling took me away from the loud and busy world just moments away. The only sounds I heard were a cool breeze that tickled the never-ending canopy of leaves overhead, and a waterfall off in the distance. I instantly felt calm.

"In Japan, a tea garden or stroll garden offers more than a place to cultivate favorite plants. It provides a place for meditation, relaxation, repose and a feeling of tranquility," the garden's official brochure read.

Karesansui Garden
I couldn't have said it better. There was something different about this garden. It really brought tranquility to the willing soul. Every path, plant and rock seemed intentional. Even the canopy of leaves brought the eyes to the heavens.

"Nature is honored and revered. Through the use of trees, shrubs, stones and water, beauty is created and serenity is achieved," the brochure continued on. "The quiet shades of green and various textures compose garden peacefulness."

Sometimes we all need a break from our hectic lives. Some get massages, some get pedicures, some have a therapist. My advice is much cheaper — spend $4 at the Japanese Gardens and meditate about how your week went, if that job is satisfying, what it is that your life may be missing. I think we underestimate the power of silence in nature. Either that, or we've forgotten. Here is a place in our hometown where we can hear ourselves think.

I didn't want to leave. I didn't want to go back to the traffic on University Drive, back to grading papers and cooking dinner. I wanted to stay here lost in time and space.

But I will go back next time with a book and sit in one of the many benches that overlook the trickling ponds. If you're missing inspiration in your life, I recommend spending one hour here by yourself to unwind, rewind and do as I did. I'm writing, aren't I?

See photo gallery below. 

Monday, April 25, 2011

My Favorite Happy Hour in Fort Worth

One of my favorite things to do in Fort Worth is grab an affordable drink and a reduced-price snack with my friends. This is also known as happy hour, and below are a few of my favorite happy hour hangouts. Atmosphere is as important to me as price, so these warm places are more than inviting. Click restaurant names for link to place website.

Winslow's Wine Café 
This quaint little neighborhood hangout offers a red and white wine selection during their happy hour for $6. The wine changes weekly, which I like because I'm introduced to new wines this way. Cocktails are about $2 off regular price. A Kettle One vodka martini would be $11 during happy hour and $13 during regular hours. The pizza is about $5 dollars off the regular price (which varies depending on which pizza you order). A few other items like their hummus are also discounted. The garlic-truffle hummus on their warm pita bread is my favorite in town.

The patio and restaurant are warm and inviting. I think the atmosphere is my favorite thing about this place. Happy hours are 5 p.m.-7 p.m. Monday through Thursday and all day Sunday.  Warning: not a big fan of the brunch.

Eddie V's
Eddie V's on W. 7th in Fort Worth
My favorite happy hour-priced food in town!  The huge lump crab cake is $8 and melts in your mouth, but my favorite is the tuna tartar with mango, grapefruit and avocado for $7. Yum. Gulf oysters are 75 cents each. As for drinks, I usually get their Svedka vodka martini or house red wine (Mark West pinot noir), both for $5. If you want Belvedere vodka then you'll need to cough up a little more dough. Dinner and a drink for $15 in this elegant enclave is a steal.

And the best part about this happy hour is that it is seven days a week — from 4 p.m.-7 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday and all day Sunday and Monday. I also prefer happy hour times because you can hang out before the crowds hit, which means you can hear your friends talk.

Cat City Grill
Cheap flavored martinis and great snacks to share. Try the tempura asparagus spears and pear martini. Their hours are 4 p.m. - 7 p.m. Monday through Friday. I love to sit by the window and look out on the street at the year-round Christmas lights on Magnolia Avenue.

I'm always looking for new happy hour hangouts, so if you have any suggestions please comment on this post.

Upcoming Events in Fort Worth

Click the event name to link to website for more information. 
April 28: The Aluminum Show at the Bass Hall
Aluminum Show
OK, I've never seen this show, but it looks awesome! Does it count if I've been to the venue before? The choreographer uses aluminum tubes and dance to create odd visual effects on stage.  Click here to watch a video of the eccentric Israeli dance group. It's 7:30 p.m. April 28 at the Bass Hall.

If you are anything like me and would like to know more about the FW mayoral candidates, then this would be a good event for you. It's from 5-7 p.m. at TCU's Brown Lupton Union Auditorium.

May 5-8: Mayfest
Maybe it's because I've been going to this event since I was in my mom's belly, but I think this is fun to do at any age. I love walking around, eating all of the snacks, watching the performances and playing some of the games. But there's endless activities for the kiddos. Try to avoid tornados.

May 15: Hidden Gardens of Fort Worth
Take a walk through FW's finest private gardens. For those of you with a green thumb or just want to see beautiful landscaping, this event is from noon to 6 p.m. one day only. Ticket sales benefit the Historic Fort Worth, Inc.

May 16-22: Colonial Golf Tournament
You don't have to love golf to like this event. It helps though.

This is one of my favorite summertime activities. Grab an old blanket, bring your favorite beer or wine and some cheese, and watch your favorite show in the Fort Worth Botanical Gardens. The Beatles and Star Wars shows are some of my favorites from the past. I've done this with my sister, on dates or with groups of friends. Although I don't have children yet, I've seen lots of families at the shows. Update: The lineup is set for this summer series. Click here for a Star-Telegram schedule of events. 

August 10: Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus
I went to this show as an adult with some girlfriends. My sister surprised me with tickets as a going away present before studying abroad. It was a magical night, and even more entertaining that I remember it being as a child. The people swinging from the rafters, the tricks and more were all fascinating. Tickets go on sale May 21. The show will be 7:30 at the FW convention center.

April 29-30: Looking to leave town? Check out the Granbury Wine Walk this weekend. Read more about it on my friend's blog [click here].

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Fort Worth Mayoral Candidates

It's time to vote! Early voting began May 2. Vision FW is hosting a Fort Worth Mayoral Candidate Forum 5-7 p.m. today (May 4) at the Brown Lupton Union Auditorium. Click here for more information. I also found this KERA website for you to peruse; it should be a good starting point.

Fort Worth Mayoral Candidates

And CBS is asking you to participate in the election by presenting questions to the candidates via social media. Click here to see the progress.

Who are you voting for and why?

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Piola's and Other Great Fort Worth Patios

Spring is making the transition into summer, and people are looking for a great porch to dine and enjoy the weather.

My favorite porch in town is at Piola Italian Restaurant and Garden on the corner of Haskell and Mattison in Fort Worth. The restaurant is inside a little house and tucked in a neighborhood on the west side. It can be hard to find, but is worth the search. (Click for map).

It's even harder to find a place that has great food and a great patio that's not in a shopping center, which is why we love this place. The atmosphere is great inside and out. We went last weekend and enjoyed every bite of what we ordered. We can also be hard to please when it comes to the good-food-to-price ratio.

We started with the giant calamari. It was fried and smothered in parmesan cheese and a sweet, spicy chili sauce. My husband ordered the baked ziti. He gave me some. The noodles were perfectly cooked al dente, and the five cheeses were rich and flavorful. Last week, I had baked ziti at another Italian restaurant nearby that was nothing like this. Side note: the other place was half the price.

I was full on giant calamari and bread, so I ordered an appetizer for dinner—shrimp-stuffed portobellini mushrooms with mozzarella. Every bite was full of flavor. I'm not a fan of those restaurants that don't put the salt and pepper shaker on the table as if to say, 'my food is so amazing that you don't need to change a thing.' This place didn't have a salt or pepper shakers but they didn't need one. I was completely satisfied the way it was, because the ingredients offered sufficient flavor.

The cherry on top of this experience is that everything was piping hot when it came out. Not sure why it's so hard for places to get the food out hot, but I really appreciate it when they do.

Shrimp-Stuffed Portobellini
We split a fantastic bottle of chianti with our meal and the total bill (plus tip) was under $80. Good and hot food, great atmosphere, not too loud and a reasonable bill. We're definitely going back soon.

(Click on name for link to place page. Any more suggestions on patios?)
Joe T. Garcia's
Café Modern
Kimbell Art Museum's courtyard
Chadra Mezza
Rock Bottom
Lambert's (dinner and Sunday brunch only)
Winslow's Wine Café
Nonna Tata

Patios I hope to try soon and heard good things about ...
Hacienda San Miguel
Hottubs Back Porch Grotto (going there next week with some girlfriends!)
Ellerbe Fine Foods

I purposefully left some patios off this list because of cacophonous music or poor views. Loud music might be your thing, but nice shrubbery and the ability to hear my friends are key for my patio time. People watching is a plus as well. I also like the food at these places.

Friday, April 15, 2011

A Look at Fort Worth Main St. Arts Festival 2011


The smell of turkey legs and pizza was carried up and down Main Street in Fort Worth Friday afternoon by 50 m.p.h. wind gusts that almost collapsed a kaleidoscopic of art booths. 

Despite the wind, it is was a bright, brisk and lively afternoon in downtown Fort Worth. The booths and artists were as colorful as the paint on the pieces that hung everywhere. Artists came from all over the U.S. to showcase their unique view of the world.

The pictures below are some of my favorite bits of art. Click on the artists' names to be directed to their websites.

(Below) Artist Jim C. Brown said he takes pictures of trees every time he travels. Each tree is from a different picture, which he turns into imagined forests. He prints these trees on plaster and then chips away at the plaster to reveal the sky beneath. These imaginary forests are beautiful to see in person. Check him out (booth #150).

(Below) I fell in love with the whimsical art of S.D. Meadows, and couldn't stop smiling the whole time I was in his booth. I can't imagine where he finds all of this stuff, but he knows how to turn junk into charming little characters. They each had a distinctive personality. The artist was exactly what you'd expect as the father of these creations — quirky and friendly. Meet Meadows' people. 

S.D. Meadows

Artist S.D. Meadows

Artist S.D. Meadows

Artist S.D. Meadows

(Below) Gary Stretar's art brought me peace ... literally. I imagined standing wherever the landscapes in his paintings were, deep in quiet thought. I could hear myself think in his paintings. If I had money I would like to see this every time I walked into a room.

Gary Stretar

Gary Stretar

These artists come in a marital pair. Meet Signe and Genna Grushovenko. I want their art all over my house. There was something powerful in the simple scenes of faceless people. They also capture the brilliant color and light in the photographs they paint. Check them out in booth #521.

Signe & Genna Grushovenko
(Below) James W. Parker's photograph of a cow standing next to a for sale sign with his eyes fixed on Parker's camera caught my attention. Parker said the cow seemed to be asking what the sign meant. Parker said he spends a lot of time in Nebraska, Colorado, Arizona, New Mexico, South Dakota, etc. taking photos. My favorites are his black and white photos of places far from the city.

James W. Parker

James W. Parker

Even Fort Worth's restaurant, Embargo, had an artsy mojito stand that looked delicious.

Embargo's Mojito Stand

Upcoming Events (things I've done before and enjoyed!)

[Click on Event to link to place page]

April 16 (This weekend!): Modern 'Till Midnight
This makes for a great evening of art and live music. Tickets are $15 for nonmembers and free for members. What I remember loving about this night was being outside on the second floor of the Modern Art Museum with a phenomenal view of Fort Worth. The music always seems to be good, too.

April 16 (This weekend!): Fort Worth Zoo Run
Although I've never run in this event, I absolutely love running FW races every chance I get. Races are fun for the whole family and promote health and fitness. The money to register usually goes to a great cause in Fort Worth. Proceeds from this run will go to conservation efforts around the world ... and you usually land a cool shirt.

April 14-17: MAIN ST. Fort Worth Arts Festival
I've purchased some great items here. The food is pretty good as well; I'm partial to the turkey leg. If you don't like crowds, this is not the place for you.

April 3-23: Jubilee Theatre and The African Company presents Richard III
The one time I went to see a production at this theatre I absolutely loved it. I get antsy quick, but this show kept my attention until the very end. I laughed, I cried and even better, I got to peek into another world. I was still in Fort Worth, but it was such a unique experience I felt I got to leave the bubble for a bit. After the show we went to the Reata rooftop for a snack and drink. It was a fantastic night.

April 28: The Aluminum Show at the Bass Hall
OK, I've never seen this show, but it looks awesome! Does it count if I've been to the venue before? The choreographer uses aluminum tubes and dance to create odd visual effects on stage.  Click here to watch a video of the eccentric Israeli dance group. It's 7:30 p.m. April 28 at the Bass Hall.

May 4: Fort Worth Mayoral Candidate Forum
If you are anything like me and would like to know more about the FW mayoral candidates, then this would be a good event for you. It's from 5-7 p.m. at TCU's Brown Lupton Union Auditorium.

May 5-8: Mayfest
Maybe it's because I've been going to this event since I was in my mom's belly, but I think this is fun to do at any age. I love walking around, eating all of the snacks, watching the performances and playing some of the games. But there's endless activities for the kiddos. Try to avoid tornados.

June/July: Concerts in the Garden
This is one of my favorite summertime activities. Grab an old blanket, bring your favorite beer or wine and some cheese, and watch your favorite show in the Fort Worth Botanical Gardens. The Beatles and Star Wars shows are some of my favorites from the past. I've done this with my sister, on dates or with groups of friends. Although I don't have children yet, I've seen lots of families at the shows. According to their website, they will firm up a schedule first week of May.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

New Fort Worth Restaurant Makes Sushi Simple

Temaki on Magnolia Avenue
I just found a pocket-sized sushi restaurant that leaves behind all the pretentiousness and complexity of ordering and eating sushi.

Don't get me wrong, sometimes I'm in the mood for the highfalutin experience. But if I ever want sushi simple, affordable and fast, I'm going to Temaki on Magnolia. 

That’s the owner’s intention. You don’t have to be sophisticated to get this place. There are five simple panels that hang over the cash register — sides ($3), classics ($5), temaki ($5), nigiri/sashimi ($5) and signatures ($9).

The temaki is my new favorite healthy thing to eat. It is a hand roll that reminds me of a Japanese soft taco-like treat. Brown rice, your fresh raw fish of choice and cucumbers are loosely rolled in this light seaweed thingy. Those of you who haven’t figured out chopsticks can pick this up with your hands.

The most brilliant part of this restaurant is that I had a complimentary appetizer of edamame, one brown rice California roll and the Temaki hand roll for $10.83. There wasn’t even a line on the receipt for a tip nor a tip jar.


I got my own water and enjoyed my meal with no interruptions from a server. And I didn’t have to wait for a check because I paid at the cash register. You must try it! 

TCU Hosts Journalism Symposium

    Some of us didn't get enough in college, so I appreciate it when a university lets me in to soak up a little more brain juice. Last week — the seventh annual journalism symposium hosted by TCU. I heard from several organizers it was the biggest hit of them all.

“This is one of the largest crowds we’ve ever had for the symposium,” moderator Bob Schieffer said as he pulled up his pant leg and flashed his new purple boots with TCU stitched in white leather. He had bought them at Lusky’s earlier that day. The full room roared with approval of his latest purchase.

Panelists included the hosts of MSNBC’s Morning Joe, Mika Brzezinski and Joe Scarborough, founder of The Huffington Post, Ariana Huffington and FOX news’ senior political analyst, Brit Hume. Hot issues like Wall Street greed and the fate of journalism darted around the room like a boomerang.

Schieffer started the cordial quarrel. He said he’s never seen the government quite like it is right now. Hume came up to bat and said the liberals are more liberal and the conservatives more conservative. I can’t help but wonder if it's because news media has turned away from reporting and towards the game of political mudslinging. Newsflash: there is a difference between a news commentator and a news anchor.

Blurry picture of panelists. Bob Schieffer is in the middle. 
Scarborough made me happy when he said news media needs to “tone it down … this isn’t just about ratings.” He’s right. Journalists have a duty to society before shareholders' profit. Or do they? They are the Fourth Estate (fourth branch of government). They are the watchdogs of the country with a noble history of outing the corrupt. We need them to focus on the facts and not on hurling insults.

The topics changed faster than a schoolgirl does boyfriends, so forgive my poor transitions. No editor here, folks.

Next topic was the impact of social media in the Middle East. These American creations — Facebook and Twitter — are very democratic forms of media. There is no longer solely a government or corporate run media giant transmitting messages to the masses. We create the content too. Information now flows from the media consumers and giants. This gives people in authoritarian countries, like those in the Middle East, more power than they’ve ever had. They also have access to vital information that was traditionally withheld. Thus, we are witnessing the most fascinating piece of history — revolutions all over the Middle East. And Hume brought up a cool point.

“There was no leader in this revolution,” he said.

People organized themselves through new media. I wonder what user-generated media like YouTube, Facebook and Twitter will do for the world next.

The fate of journalism? Most of the panelists said they had no idea where it is going. Schieffer said we will always need good journalism, but the mediums will change. Scarborough said it will be something that doesn’t require 20 producers and editors. Journalists will need to do it all on their own. Ugh.

I thank TCU for letting a member of the community like me be involved. Stay tuned and click this link for upcoming TCU events like author of The Color Purple, Alice Walker, coming to speak. I've always enjoyed the plays there as well. Just some ideas. 

 Panelists covered more issues than I have room for in this post that were equally as fascinating. Tickets were $20 and students got in free. It was a sold out event. 

P.S. I just found out that Vision FW is hosting a Fort Worth Mayoral Candidate Forum 5-7 p.m. May 4 at the Brown Lupton Union Auditorium. Click here for more information. 

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Laura Bush Visits Fort Worth Bookstore


Since part of my shtick is writing about cool things in Fort Worth, I had to write about this one. First Lady Laura Bush was in Fort Worth yesterday (April 5) signing her national bestseller, Spoken From the Heart. Men and women were lined up for hours to get their hands on the paperback and meet the western beauty.

But there is a better part to this story. Since I had a VIP pass I got to stand in a short line with some fascinating Fort Worth people. (No, the VIP pass is not the better part of this story ... hold on). The only person I knew in the "cool line" was Fort Worth artist, Cindi Holt, so I stuck by her and played solitaire on my iPhone to look like I had people to email. Dang. Why do I get so nervous going to crowded events alone? Probably because I'm normal, despite what the Paxil commercials tell you.

Side note: You may be wondering how an unimportant person like me got a VIP pass. Because people did ask. Ugh. One of my husband’s business contacts in Dallas thought I would be interested, so he passed his VIP status on to me. 

When we walked up to have our books signed, Mrs. Bush looked up at Holt and said, “Hi, Cindi … I want to go back to The Pebble sometime.” This is Holt's private art space. "Cool!" I thought to myself. I wanted to know more. 

Governor's Mansion
After some asking around I figured out how Bush knew the Fort Worth artist so well. Holt not only did a series of commissioned paintings of the Texas Governor’s Mansion for the Bushes, but she also designed their 2004 White House Christmas card.

Mrs. Bush was such a fan of Holt’s work that just before they were leaving the White House she asked to be taken to Holt’s personal studio, which is The Pebble. The First Lady continued to peruse the art for a while with her White House staff, but kept coming back to one piece. It was a painting of one of her favorite spots at the White House. Her staff took note of her admiration and bought the painting from Holt as a White House parting gift to the Bushes.

I was so proud of Fort Worth and its brilliant art community. I was also happy Fort Worth hosted such an event and opened it to the public. This made me want to check the book signing calendar so I can meet more authors that blow through. So I provide you with a schedule link here. And did you know Barnes & Noble has poetry night? Not really my thing, but just sayin'.

* Stay tuned this fall for Holt's art show presenting her Big Bend series.

[The not-so-cool part was when I walked up to Mrs. Bush, just smiled at her and said nothing for what felt like an hour. I totally freaked her out, but hey, I'm easily starstruck. I then said, “I lived in Odessa for a few months" to try and relate. Really? It was awkward.]

Laura Bush coming in the back door at Barnes & Noble
(she's in the red)
The Red Room at the White House (2004 Christmas Card that was emailed to two million people.)

Monday, April 4, 2011

Into the Wild West Texas

(One of my favorite trips from Fort Worth)

Monahans Sand Hills. Balmoreah's Natural Spring. Davis Mountains. McDonald Observatory. Historic working cattle ranches. State Parks. We pass all of this on our way into our Trinitarian food and fun Mecca: Fort Davis, Alpine and Marfa. Due to my passion for this raw and simple part of Texas I will write in parts so you don’t fall asleep on your computer screen. I could keep an entire blog just about West Texas.

PART I: The Drive Out There
The speed limit is 80 m.p.h. and the sky is as vast as the vaqueros’ vocations that have worked this land for more than 150 years. A smile always crosses my face as I leave the complications of society and the city life behind me. The drive from the Midland/Odessa airport to our destination is roughly 150 miles west and rich with undulating landscape, history and even bigger skies.

I don’t know what it is about the desert, but the drive from Odessa to our Fort Davis/Marfa/Alpine destination has become an essential part of our vacation. As the city sloughs off my shoulders like an old heavy coat, the air lifts me into the ever-growing blue sky. I put on Eddie Vedder’s Into the Wild soundtrack and roll down the windows. I turn up the volume to the lyrics "wind in my hair I feel part of everywhere." Very few people are out there, but the cars we do pass almost always give us the “L” wave. They stick their index finger and thumb out while still holding onto the wheel just to say, “Howdy, welcome to West Texas.”

Monahans Sandhills
Our first stop is usually the Monahans Sandhills State Park just 30 minutes west of Odessa. We surf 70-foot, snow-white sand dunes on round plastic discs. One time we actually camped out there, drank wine and cooked steaks under the visibly brilliant Milky Way. It was so bright that night because the moon reflected its light off the alabaster sand. We let the ancient dunes tell their story and imagined what it was like for the first explorers who stumbled upon the edge of the 3,000-acres of salt-like sand mountains. They probably said something like “oh no … still no water.” 

But we don't always have time to camp and stargaze,  so we stop for an hour and surf until our legs go weak and we can’t hike the huge hills anymore (you think running on the beach is hard?) By time you're finished surfing it's time to dip in a huge cold bathtub, which is usually our next stop — a chilly tub filled by a natural spring. 

Fort Davis State Park
Just as the Fort Davis Mountains begin to peek over the deserts’ flat horizon we arrive at a glassy, two-acre pool fed by the San Soloman Spring in the Balmoreah State Park. It’s time to rinse off the sweat and sand. This 75-degree natural spring is in the middle of nowhere at the mountains foothills. One arm of the pool is about five to 10 feet deep and another is 25 feet deep. The first time I doggie-paddled over to the deep abyss I was intimidated because amazing visibility allowed me to see all of the fish, flora and fauna below. I scream every time one of those minnows tries to suck on my fingers or toes. Yek! Apparently it’s part of the experience. Sometimes it's nice just to sit on the side and look at the mountainous backdrop. 

All of this climbing and swimming usually makes me hungry, so while passing through Balmoreah we always stop at the little local convenient store for some brisket burritos and salsa verde. They are some of the best I've had, but watch out for that verde ... it's hot! I don't remember the name of the little place, but it's one of the the only places open in town. We save room because in 35 miles we also stop at Cueva de Leon in Fort Davis for a late lunch before we indulge in our culinary adventures in Marfa. But that is for another post — Part II: Dining in Marfa.

Reata Alpine
During one trip we actually stayed in Fort Davis at the Indian Lodge. We spent the afternoon hiking in the beautiful state park where my husband proposed at the summit one afternoon. That evening we drove about 25 miles to Alpine to eat at the original Reata restaurant. Most of us in Fort Worth don’t know that our current Reata downtown was born out of a petite wooden house in Alpine, Texas. The menu is the same, but the experience is ten times better. The atmosphere is intimate and authentic. The local personalities and ranchers definitely add to the genuine Texas timeout. And if you have to wait for a table, I would head to the warm, chummy bar in the back and for some firewater or a barley pop.

. . .

Our trip is a variation of the same every time and it never gets old. We usually knock it out in a weekend, but recommend taking Friday or Monday off so you have a little more time to explore. Take a week off and squeeze in Big Bend.

We land at the Midland/Odessa airport about 9 p.m. on Friday night and head to Mamaw’s (my grandmother-in-law) house in Odessa for a late dinner and some good sleep. When the sun rises we embark on our two-and-a-half-hour journey into the wild, leaving all urban pretensions behind us.   

Part II: The Most Unforgettable Restaurants
Part III: The Sights, Sounds and Hikes
Part IV: The Art Scene
Part V: Married in Marfa

Places we like to stay 
(Click name to go to place website)
Places we want to stay next time:
* This link is a great guide for places to eat in and around Marfa. You will not be disappointed. 
Places that I've tried that are consistently fantastic:
  • Austin Street Café
  • Cochineal (my favorite)
  • Pizza Foundation
  • Maiya's (where my rehearsal dinner was)
  • Marfa Table
  • Jett's Grill

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Fort Worth's Jazz Café: an oh-so-good, eclectic dining experience

We decided to break away from our usual breakfast place this weekend and went to Jazz Café. I hadn’t been in years and forgot how good it was.  This place is really popular for lunch, but you must try the breakfast if you haven't already.

I went with the S.O.B. eggs, which reminds me of migas (but better). The eggs are scrambled with tons of cheese and tortilla strips.  The fresh cilantro, tomatoes and onions I sprinkled over the top gave it an extra kick. The S.O.B. comes with black beans, sour cream, fresh pico, and two flour tortillas. And I hear some of the ingredients come from the owner’s garden at home.

My husband got the ham and cheese omelet. His exact words: “I don’t say this often, but this was the best omelet I’ve ever had.” He liked the “soft” on the inside and “crispy” on the outside eggs, the big chunky and salty ham, and the generous portion of cheese. His plate came with homemade biscuits. Of course I stole one. It was very sweet and delicious like a honey biscuit. But I don’t think anything they’ve baked has ever been less than amazing (including their sandwich breads).

The unusual and eclectic décor somehow works as well. Just see for yourself. It’s BYOB, so if you feel like a bloody mary or a mimosa you’ve got to bring it. And no credit cards folks.


A little bit of FW history: Nick Kithas (who owns Jazz Café) used to own Daddio’s in downtown Fort Worth in the 1970s. My dad said he liked to go there for lunch when he got his first job as a banker in the 70s. Dad said the sandwiches were memorable after all these years. Sounds like not much has changed, because his sandwiches are still amazing. Kithas has been perfecting his skill for a long time. 

Before I was born, my parents would go there for drinks and live music in the evenings. My dad said they played jazz most nights, but his favorite was blue grass night.

P.S. The restaurant currently hosts live jazz musicians during the day but is no longer open in the evenings. 

S.O.B. eggs

Ham and Cheese Omelet

View from my favorite seat in the house