Written by Crystal Vastine.

Photos by Crystal Vastine.

I’ve been eating my way through Fort Worth and these are a few of my recent favorite food finds that cover the bases of sweet and savory along with the perfect mash-up of both worlds in a breakfast sandwich of epic proportions.

Expecto Pumpkinum Ice Cream, MELT Ice Creams

If visions of a hot cup of pumpkin spiced latte have been incinerated by 90 degree heat, cool off with MELT’s Expecto Pumpkinum. It’s one of four “Wizarding Weeks” flavors available through Halloween that put a Harry Potter spin on the holiday. Pumpkin ice cream is dressed for the occasion with decadent housemade butterscotch, white chocolate chips and blondie crumbles. This PSL replacement is anything but basic especially when scooped into a seasonal cinnamon waffle cone with a tall swirl of whipped cream and sea salt caramel.

To top it off, MELT has recently made Sundance Square the actual happiest place on Earth with their newest location at 308 Houston Street directly next to Reata Restaurant. Find all of these flavors there or at the Magnolia Avenue and Bishop Arts locations.

Cone-dog, Whirly Cones

This Hungarian street food, often called a chimney cake, is a dessert lovers dream of sweet pastry sprinkled with cinnamon and sugar that is eaten on its own or filled with ice cream. However, a recent visit to Locust Cider where the food truck was set up to serve cider-loving patrons introduced this cake’s savory side. Strips of dough dotted with garlic, herbs and cheese are wrapped around wooden cylinders and roasted over a spit until the outside is browned crisp and the inside is tender and ready to be filled with an all beef frank, mustard and relish. The process takes a few minutes, but you’ll be too mesmerized by the show of spinning fare to mind the delay.

Whirly Cones is frequently at the Keller Farmers Market on Saturdays and will be at SiNaCa Studios Open Studios Night on October 11th at 6pm at 1013 West Magnolia Avenue where you can catch glasswork demonstrations while noshing on a sweet or savory cone. Follow @whirlycones on Instagram or Facebook to keep up to date with their scheduled events.

Chicken and Waffles, Cookshack

Choose one thing and do it well, and Cookshack has the chicken tender game down strong. Order tenders on a range of spice levels from Not Hot to AMF. They’ll tell you the latter stands for “Adios, my friend,” but we know better.

Chicken and Waffles come with 3 large juicy tenders on a quartered Belgian waffle that is basically the cake donut of waffles with its dense texture and slight sweetness. I suppose naming the dish Chicken and Cake is somehow unappealing, but put it in waffle form with a smear of cinnamon butter and a drizzle of syrup and it’s socially acceptable. I can definitely get on board with that logic.

The Cookshack opened late August at 500 University Drive and already has a steady stream of regulars, but that doesn’t seem to slow them down. Friendly staff works quickly through lines of eager patrons ready for their hot chicken fix.

Laotian-Style Beef Jerky, SAAP Lao Kitchen

While I typically stick to Fort Worth proper, I have to give Bedford a little love because they are now home to SAAP Lao Kitchen. SAAP has popped up all over Fort Worth and Dallas bringing homestyle Laotian food to anyone that can handle a punch of fresh flavors in every dish.

Laotian-style beef jerky features tender strips of dried beef that can only be described as meat candy with its sticky sweetness balanced against soy sauce and spices. If you’re feeling adventurous, go beyond the Classic flavor and into Spicy, Hella Hot, Garlic Bomb and Spicy Garlic Bomb.

SAAP Lao Kitchen will be open Fridays and Saturdays from 11am to 5pm at 2816 Central Drive #180 in Bedford for jerky sales and will soon be selling Lao salsa and Jeow Som house sauce, an addictive blend of fish sauce, lime juice, garlic, chilies and sugar. Special events will continue to be held with traditional Laotian meals served until an inevitable sell-out.

Bacon, Sausage, Egg and Cheese Donut Sandwich, Doughboy Donuts

Take some standard breakfast foods and place them between a freshly made glazed donut and its anything but ordinary. Know that there will be choices to be made upon ordering so let me provide the answer key to ease your morning struggle. The offering is either a bacon, egg and cheese or a sausage, egg and cheese sandwich. When asked if you’d like both sausage and bacon, the answer is “yes”. When asked if you want to upgrade to the sriaracha maple bacon, exclaim “of course!” Then when asked if you want a glazed or unglazed donut, the only appropriate response would be “is that seriously a question? GLAZED!”

You will be left a joyful little mess with sugary crumbs stuck to spicy globs of sriracha in the corners of your mouth. Donut breakfast sandwiches are only available Fridays through Sundays at 4910 Camp Bowie Boulevard.

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