Written by Crystal Vastine.
Photos by Crystal Vastine.
Two downtown hotels are the latest hotspots in town for top notch fare while South Main Village continues its ramp up of new eateries and coffee shops in this trending area of Fort Worth. Here are some picks at each that should not be missed.
Sampler Plate, Coco Shrimp
318 Bryan Avenue
Coco Shrimp food truck made the Ace Hardware store in North Fort Worth a destination for serious eats reminiscent of shrimp trucks in Oahu’s North Shore. While the truck is still going strong, locals can now devour several flavors of shrimp from their first brick-and-mortar in South Main Village. Coco Shrimp is everything a food truck should be – a limited menu where every single component is absolute perfection and the restaurant stays true to that concept. The only significant addition is a shrimp taco and you better believe that no one will be faulted for adding a taco to their menu.
There are no wrong answers here. Even if guests could only order a bowl of Coco Shrimp’s addictively seasoned buttery rice they would still be winning. But we came for shrimp and there’s no shortage here. Order the sampler to get seven shrimp served on a bed rice with a choice of up to three flavors of shrimp. My personal favorite is the simple butter garlic sautéed shrimp, but the original coco shrimp coated in coconut flakes and deep fried is also a must-have. Even the side salad brings its own burst of flavor with creamy ginger dressing.
Visit the Bryan Avenue location 10:30am to 10pm Monday through Thursday and 10:30am to 11pm Friday and Saturday.
Local Honey Vanilla Latte, Roots Coffee
400 Bryan Ave.
If you arrive a little early for your shrimp fix in South Main Village, head just a couple of doors down to Roots Coffee which has also found its way South from its original location in North Richland Hills where it has served customers for over 10 years.
The Fall menu goes beyond the expected pumpkin spiced offerings with Maple Bourbon Lattes and Solstice Cider made with ginger and chai. However, it’s the signature Local Honey Vanilla Latte available year-round that has me swooning. A subtle but distinct honey flavor blends with homemade vanilla syrup, espresso and steamed milk into a rich and velvety brew.
Get your holiday shopping out of the way while you wait on a cup by loading up a handmade mug created by Fort Worth’s Firehouse Pottery with gift cards, local honey and Sublime Chocolate tasting bars. This shop also has the absolute softest sweaters to keep you cozy while supporting your local Roots!
Roots Coffee on Bryan Avenue is open Monday through Friday from 6am to 7pm, Saturday from 7am to 7pm and Sunday from 8am to 7pm.
Beef Tartare, Wicked Bar at The Sinclair
512 Main Street
The Sinclair Building is slowly coming back to life floor by floor as it has begun to open to guests seeking out a boutique hotel experience in downtown Fort Worth. A sleek restaurant featuring steaks and raw bar is slated to open in the basement level this January, but until then, eager diners can get a taste of what’s to come at the hotel’s intimate first floor bar on the corner of Main and 5th street.
The art deco style bar is the perfect spot to catch a bite before strolling over to Sundance Plaza to seek out the perfect Christmas tree photo opp. Bar bites include a variety of shareables such as tempura shishito peppers with tomato aioli, a beautifully curated cheese and charcuterie board and fresh shucked oysters served with a Tabasco granita and mignonette in pretty little copper pots. If you’re looking for that one bite that has it all, go for the beef tartare that is rich with black truffle and spotted with tangy bites of cornichons and capers and topped with a quail egg.
Wicked Bar is open daily from 6:30am to 11pm.
Spanish Octopus Skewers, Toro Toro
200 Main Street
The Worthington Renaissance Hotel’s ongoing renovations bring visitors some Latin flare with the opening of Toro Toro Latin Steakhouse. The new concept will surely bring more locals as well with its tapas-style take on churrascaria fare. You won’t find roving waiters carving meats tableside, but you will encounter huge flavor in every bite. While larger entrée portions are available, opt for a variety of small plates to get a taste of everything from brightly flavored ceviches to melt in your mouth corn empanadas punctuated by a citrusy avocado sauce.
The highlights of the menu are the anticuchos – skewered meats including chicken, beef filet and pork belly each paired with a vibrant sauce and small side dish. The must have though is the Spanish Octopus skewer. Three skewers of incredibly tender slices of octopus are fired over a wood grill and served with a bright cilantro sauce and addictive Peruvian potato salad. The perfect sip for these wood-fired bites is the bar’s take on an old fashioned with bourbon replaced by a smoky rum and Toro Toro branded orange peel.
Toro Toro is open 11am to 10pm Sunday through Thursday, 11am to 11pm Friday and Saturday, and the lounge is open daily until 1am.