Written by Crystal Willars Vastine.
Photos by Crystal Willars Vastine.
The most frequently asked question I get about my Instagram account (@fwfoodie) is “do you really eat all that?” Yes, I really eat all that…with a little help from my friends. They have, thankfully, been brought up to believe sharing is caring even though I have ‘Joey doesn’t share food’ tendencies. Can I get a buffer plate of fries for the table, please?
The second most frequent question I am asked is about my recent favorite food finds. This is something I am much more willing to share. Here are a few new spots I find myself frequenting lately as well as an old favorite with some new flavor.
Black Cat Pizza
401 Bryan Avenue
My first foray into the Black Cat experience was last Fall when tasked with picking up grub for ‘Better Call Saul’ watch night. Chef Jaime Fernandez started pizza pop-ups at the now closed 44 Bootlegger then moved the party to Stir Crazy Baked Goods taking over their kitchen a couple of nights a week. I went for the whole pie with half TMNT (Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle) and half Red Fang. One side came packed with greens including pesto, kale, arugula, pepitas, beet greens and green onion. The other side featured a fiery red combo of chorizo, tomatoes, charred peppers, cilantro and the clincher…Thai chili honey.
Now I can pop into their new digs on Bryan Avenue any day (except Sundays) where they share a roof with Funky Picnic Brewery & Cafe. Order by the slice at the counter where you’ll also find Cowtown Brewery and Panther Island beers on tap as well as cans from Locust Cider. Black Cat keeps it simple with a solid offering including cheese, pepperoni, pepperoni and mushroom and the aforementioned TMNT and Red Fang. But keep an eye out for creative specials that recently included an elote pizza with Takis Fuego corn chips.
Austin City Taco Co.
517 University Dr.
It’s easy to think this new taco spot is part of a chain that has landed in the Fort, but Austin City Taco Co. is the first restaurant from University of Texas alum, Cameron Powell. The restaurant is inspired by Austin’s fondness of Texas barbeque, tacos, coffee, and soft serve ice cream. If you’re there at just the right time in the evening, you’ll catch a parade of 12-hour oak smoked briskets coming out of smokers set right behind the ordering counters.
Chef Juan Rodriguez of Magdalena’s Catering and Events created the menu that features tacos filled brisket, achiote marinated rotisserie chicken, pork and shrimp along with vegetarian options. I’ve sampled a cross section of the menu, but the taco I keep going back to is the Midnight Cravings taco. How can you possibly go wrong with egg, brisket, diced potato, queso fresco, bacon jam and buttermilk ranch on a house made flour tortilla. No meal is complete without fries and queso (yes, forget the chips and go with the fries) and a $5 swirl margarita. Pro Tip – you can get free French fry refills so you will always have the perfect fry to queso ratio! Finish off with honey oat cereal soft serve gelato topped with a splash of Fruity Pebbles.
In addition to the NITRO cold brew, Austin City offers a hot brewed Italian roast that at $2 a cup will make you want to get out of your car, grab a hot coffee and a breakfast
taco for less than you spend on your morning cup at the drive-thru next door.
The Bearded Lady
300 S Main St.
As much as I loved the previous Magnolia Avenue cozy house turned gastro pub, The
Bearded Lady managed to up their game with a move to South Main. The most impressive upgrade is the expansive patio complete with picnic tables, Adirondack chairs for lounging and cool metal beer signage on the fence that makes you feel like you’re hanging out in a friend’s backyard.
As always, the menu is packed with craft beer options along with some new cocktails. Most importantly, the fried leeks, pork wings and the poblano-feta stuffed LUST burger are all back on the menu. The Bearded Lady upped the ante with the Tejas Poutine – fries topped corn, queso fresco, fresno chiles, pickled onion and the gravy that gets a Tejas twist with morita peppers. Bearded Lady is open seven days a week with a late night menu from 10pm to midnight on Friday and Saturday.
Flores BBQ (soon to be Campo Smokehouse)
4801 Edwards Ranch Rd. (behind Mellow Johnny’s Bike Shop)
Whitney’s loss is Fort Worth’s gain. Flores BBQ’s trailer in
Whitney was open for less than a year when they were named to Texas Monthly 2017 list of Top 50 Barbecue Joints in Texas. Now, pitmaster Michael Wyont has moved their yellow rose adorned food truck to the Trailhead at Clearfork.
Purchase brisket, pulled pork, turkey, sausage and ribs by the half pound or by the plate along with brisket or carnitas tacos dressed with tomatillo salsa and queso fresco. While all of the options are well executed and worth the visit, the tender and flavorful post oak smoked prime brisket is what has barbecue connoisseurs near and far seeking out this trailer at the Trailhead. The green chile grits are new to the local menu and have carved out a crave-worthy spot of their own.
A brick-and-mortar location is in the works steps away from the current location, but ground has not yet been broken. Until then, you can find them Thursday through Saturday from 11am-4pm (or sellout) behind Mellow Johnny’s Bike Shop with plenty of picnic tables under the oaks to enjoy your food finds.
4901 Camp Bowie Blvd.
There’s nothing new about this Fort Worth favorite of over 70 years, but Kincaid’s Hamburgers is bringing some fresh flavor to the menu. The restaurant chain took home the Fan Favorite award at this year’s Fort Worth Food + Wine Festival event Burgers, Brews + Blues. Festival goers expecting the traditional Kincaid’s burger got a drool-worthy surprise with the Texas Firecracker topped with jalapeno cream cheese, crispy bacon and habanero honey. It will only be on the menu for a limited time, as will the cherry vanilla shake which makes for a perfect pairing.