Weekend Culinary Tour

By the time last weekend came to an end, I realized just how busy I had been, and when I was sorting through my pictures I also noticed that I had eaten out quite a bit during those days. With my camera in tow I had documented my restaurant visits and savory meals. Good thing, too, because now I can present you with Sriprae’s…

Our first stop is Reata’s in downtown Fort Worth. Two things most tourists do when they visit Cowtown is take in the sights and sounds of the Stockyards and watch the cattle drive as cowboys herd steer from one side of town to the other. The rodeo is also there if you want to experience bull riding, calf roping and such. The Stockyards give you a feel of what Fort Worth must have been like during the high glory of its western days. The main thoroughfare is a brick road. A couple of saloons and plenty of bare bones steak houses and BBQ joints can be found on both sides of the streets. There are many souvenir shops available to relieve you of your cash in exchange for some refrigerator magnets, cowboy hats, boots, spurs, or toy guns. There are also shops that sell high-end western apparel, home decor and jewelry. When you’re tired of the dust and grime, head over to downtown. The modern side of Fort Worth. The locals will recommend that you eat dinner at Reata’s. You haven’t completed your Fort Worth experience without visiting Reata’s.

(Salad lightly dressed in a poblano buttermilk dressing, topped with crispy back, avocados and hard boiled eggs.)

Reata’s used to be a revolving restaurant located on the top floor of an office building. The view was spectacular, and each table sported crisp, thick white table cloths. All that changed when a tornado tore through downtown and destroyed the office building. Reata rebuilt and relocated. It’s main dining room is now located on the ground floor, but they also have open air roof top seating on the second floor and an enclosed conservatory space for an intimate gathering. Gone are the starch table cloths, but the cuisine is still legendary. Reata serves upscale Western fare.

(There’s a 6 oz. tenderloin underneath that blanket of cheese.)

(Baked apple crisp with cinnamon ice cream.)

Our next stop is in the part of town I dub as little Vietnam. It’s basically a strip mall with a large Vietnamese grocery store, a couple of Vietnamese restaurants, a laundry mat and an Asian video rental shop. I tell my friends that when I enter that grocery store, it’s the only time in the United States that I feel don’t feel Asian. (It’s bizarre!)

(Spring rolls and peanut sauce.)

Pho 95 is located right next door to the grocery store. It’s a cozy little establishment where they serve a wide variety of pho, and they play a mixture of contemporary Asian tunes and Katy Perry. It’s quite interesting. Their pho is delicious. It’s all about the broth, and Pho 95 serves excellent broth. Their menu is extensive, and their price can’t be beat. My ‘small’ bowl of pho was under $7.

If you love coffee, try their Vietnamese coffee. They serve it in a normal size mug, and the first time I ordered it I doctored it with my usual two packets of sugar (no cream). That brew was so strong, I couldn’t even taste the sugar.

Our last and final stop to cap this whirlwind weekend is Mi Cocina. Mexican cuisine. They serve an awesome street taco platter. The beef is so tender it practically melts in your mouth. They also make the best margarita in town. If you arrive to eat after the lunch rush, ask to be seated at the booth against the wall. It affords plenty of elbow room and you get a commanding view of the restaurant.

(Nachos al carbon)

And that ends my Weekend Culinary Tour of Fort Worth. I hope you enjoyed the little tid-bits and pictures. If ever you’re in Cowtown, remember to stop by Reata’s before you leave. If you really would rather not eat there, stop by anyway and take a look inside the restaurant; it’s like a small cowboy/western museum. Oh, and they sell cigars, too.

All images ©2012 Sriprae P. McDonald

Disclaimer: I did not consume ALL this food by myself. Just letting you know…

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