Adventures in Fort Worth

This past Saturday, my roommate Lindsey and I headed over to Fort Worth. We wanted to get away from our normal life for a while and just enjoying something we didn't get to do every day. 

Our first stop was at the location of one of my first jobs, Paper Planet. Paper Planet is a wonderful store filled with handmade papers, custom invites, and lots of fun and whimsy. I worked there eons ago in my last couple years of high school and some breaks from college. If you are in Fort Worth, or in the market for some beautiful invites, you should stop by and say hi to them!

After that, we headed over to the up-and-coming Southside part of Fort Worth. We enjoyed a lovely lunch at Brewed. This was my second trip to Brewed, and there are things I love, and a few things I don't. The location, the ambiance, and decorations are all great. They have a good selection of both coffees and beers (hence the name), and my favorite, Holy Kombucha on tap. Both times I have been has been for lunch on a Saturday and they only serve brunch then. Which is a little disappointing, it's a pretty limited menu. I had the fried egg sandwich this time which comes on toasted sourdough, fried egg, crispy bacon, fresh arugula and tomatoes. It was good, but it would have been awesome with something tangy like an aioli and a mayo of some kind. The sandwich came with seasoned sweet potato fries, which were perfect. 


We then made the 5 minute walk over to MELT which happened to be celebrating their first birthday. They should have many more years to come if our visit was any indication. They were rotating their list of delicious favors throughout the day. We both ended up with the mint and lavender ice cream. It was SO good. I want more right now. 

After that we stopped for some shopping at Anthropologie and Free People (two of my personal favorites), and then went on to the Kimball Art Museum. The Kimball is a great place to spend a few hours. We saw the Bass Family collection in the new building at the Kimball and it was fantastic. I cannot imagine having those famous works of art just hanging up in my house. The most ironic piece was the cast of "The Kiss" which is based on an adulterous affair in the Dante's Inferno, which was given as an 25th wedding anniversary gift from Perry Bass to his wife Nancy Lee. I got a a laugh when I saw that. 

We finished out the day joining my parents for dinner at Lilly's Bistro. They are always sure to have good food and this Saturday was no exception. I had the seafood sampler, which had the best sesame seed crusted crab cake. I could have eaten several more, it was delicious! We didn't have them, but if you ever go to Lilly's, I must insist you get the donuts and coffee ice cream. You won't be disappointed. 

There is SO much that we could have done in Fort Worth, and as usual, I can't wait to get back. It's one of my favorite places to hang out. 

Velvet Taco

It is hard for me to believe anyone living in Dallas hasn't experienced the joy that is Velvet Taco yet, but I am always running into people who look at me with questions when I start raving. Started in Dallas, now in fort Worth (and I just saw a Chicago location is coming soon!), this place is just plain fun. Lots of quirky, weird taco combinations, like Tikki Masala, cheeseburger, and even tacos in lettuce wraps. They also have delicious margaritas, a good beer selection and a few other of my favorite drink options like sugar-based soft drinks and Holy Kombucha. 

Having just gone this week with some work peeps, it's fresh on my mind. A perennial favorite with my group is the Tikka Masala taco, also knows simply at the #3 on their fun number ordering system. As well as all the guys I know love the #10, The Texas Burger, which boasts hamburger meat, american cheese, and toppings all in a flour tortilla. 

I branched out this week to two new tacos. I got the #9, the Bahn Mi taco. It was pork, thai basil crema, cucumber, pickled veggies all rolled into a blue corn tortilla. It was ok. Having been spoiled by the ever amazing Nammi Truck, I was a little disappointed with this taco recreation of one of my favorite food truck foods. However, if I hadn't had Nammi Truck, I think I would have enjoyed it. I also got the #16, the Fish 'N Chips. This taco has beer-battered cod, fresh fries, pea tendrils, and a curry mayo all in a flour tortilla. It was so yummy! It will definitely be enjoyed again. As a table we enjoyed the corn side and the crisp tots with local egg. Those tots y'all! Do it. You won't regret it. They are tots with herbed goat cheese, smoked cheddar, basil crema, and bacon. OMG. I wanted to eat them all myself and not share with anyone else. 

When you go, be sure to look at the board up by the cash register to see the WTF (Weekly Taco Feature). This week was a soft-shell crab taco. 


The Gin Mill

For my 27th birthday recently, I knew I wanted to do brunch since it's my favorite meal of the day. Seriously, what is better than delicious breakfast food you don't have to get up early to enjoy?! So, in searching around the interwebs, I came across the menu for The Gin Mill and thought it looked fun and hoped it wouldn't be too crowded like Breadwinners and the more popular places.

It was a good choice! The location is super fun. It's a big spread out building with lots of patio space, a nice interior space, and what looked like a great bar area. We were the first ones there right when they opened at 11 a.m., but more people quickly joined us spreading out between the bar and the patio. The waitstaff was friendly and helpful, giving suggestions, and even hunting down what herbs were in a herbed hollandaise for a friend who has food allergies. I had the special for that day which was the Steak Benedict. It was delicious, really fresh and not overwhelmed with a heavy hollandaise. It was also a the perfect amount of food where I felt satisfied, but not stuffed when I left. 

Everyone else at my table seemed to enjoy their food as well. I tried some of the flatbread pizzas and they were very yummy! The only complaint I would have was that the drink I ordered, also a summer special, was just so-so. Nothing to write home about, and with Dallas prices, I want to be wowed with my cocktail choices. Next time, if I happened to bring a DD with me, I would be up for trying the $15 bottomless mimosas. ;) 


The Common Table

So, I didn't obsessively photograph my food and surroundings as usual, but I wanted to post a short review of The Common Table in Uptown. My friends and I were looking for a casual, fun place to eat on a Saturday night, and Common Table fit the bill. The place has a fun, very laid-back vibe. The staff was very welcoming, friendly, and helpful. We elected to sit on the patio to avoid a wait, and even thought it was an August evening in Texas, found it very pleasant. There a couple of flat screen TV's out there that were showing the Rangers game for the evening. I got a little distracted willing them to beat the Astro's while eating. :) 

The beer/drink selection is quite impressive and the pricing wasn't really bad considering we were in Uptown. I enjoyed a Founders Rübæus ($5) and my friend got a Duval ($6). We skipped appetizers and went straight for dinner. Between us we enjoyed: the grilled cheese ($12) that is made with shredded pork tenderloin, three kinds of cheese, and marinara for dipping, and fries. The crab cake BLT ($14) that came with a saffron aioli, and applewood bacon, and fries. And a house salad that came with a mimosa dressing. Everything was very fresh and delicious. The grilled cheese was HUGE; and the crab cake sandwich was a little more petite. Their fries are more on the shoestring side, but really crispy and yummy. The salad was a really good size for a house salad. 

I would love to go back and try one of their entrees like the chicken and dumplings with jalapeño dumplings; or the curried lamb shepherd's pie. I also can't wait to sit on the patio once fall gets here! 


The "Ginny"

The "Ginny"

Anyone who knows me, knows that I have a growing love of the Bishop Arts district. Who doesn't love all of the creative restaurants, fun shops, and unique vibe that is going on down there? I could be down there every weekend if it wasn't such a trek from my neck of the woods. But I make it down there often enough. A few weeks ago I met my dad down there for an early dinner at Oddfellows. Which like everything else in Bishop Arts has a cool, artsy, hipster thing going on. The decor looks like it came from antique and junk shops, which is right up my ally. The room is filled with mismatched tables and chairs, and yet somehow it all works together. 

Oddfellows Benedict

Oddfellows Benedict

Now, a restaurant can look pretty, and their food can still be ho-hum. That is not the case here though. The menu if filled with fun twist on many classic southern dishes and I think I could eat here over and over and not get bored. I started off my meal with a "Ginny" cocktail which was a blend of apricot gin, ginger beer, mint and lime. And it was delicious. It had a dried apricot garnish that had been soaked in the gin, which was a nice touch. For dinner, I went the breakfast route and enjoyed the Oddfellows benedict which featured their own honey ham. My dad wasn't very hungry (since he had enjoyed Lockhart Smokehouse for lunch), and enjoyed the deviled eggs and cheese grits. The deviled eggs are a nice spin on the traditional with a bacon marmalade and sprouts. He said they were really good and I'll have to take him on his word as he wasn't sharing. The cheese grits were delicious though, very rich, but yummy!

Deviled Eggs

Deviled Eggs

Finally, after watching several tables around us order the fried chicken, which comes with house beignets, we decided to split an order to go. Even left-over the next day, it was delicious. The chicken was well seasoned, and it's salty fried-ness was perfect with the honey they served with it. 

Overall, I really enjoyed Oddfellows. We went super early and didn't have to wait, but I heard for brunch and the later in the evening it gets, there is a considerable wait. Also, there are some super cute outside tables that I can't wait to check out once the weather backs off of the insane Texas summers.