2015 Best Of Food & Drink

Food & Drink    
Reader Pick: Piranha Killer Sushi
Piranha’s is a great before or after the theatre place because of its hours. It is popular among the downtown folks for two things, both excellent: martinis and sushi. 335 W. 3rd St., Fort Worth, 817.348.0200
859 N.E. Green Oaks Blvd., Arlington, 817.261.1636
309 Curtis Mathes Way, Ste. 149, Arlington, 817.465.6455, piranhakillersushi.com

Staff Pick: Shinjuku Station
This neat place offers indoor and outdoor seating in the Near Southside and serves small dishes that might best be described as Japanese comfort food and an extensive selection of sakes. The design was inspired by the train station of the same name in Tokyo. You can make reservations on a limited basis. 711 W. Magnolia Ave., Fort Worth, 817.923.2695, Website

Reader Pick: The Bearded Lady
Looking for a neighborhood tavern on the Near Southside? Well, here it is. The Bearded Lady features an extensive selection of craft beers, as well as a full bar. Some go here to drink. Many go here for the food. All go for the atmosphere.  1229 7th Ave., Fort Worth, 817.349.9832, Website

Staff Pick: The Pour House
The atmosphere is great, the beer selection is staggering, and the food is good. What’s your question? 2725 W. 7th St., Fort Worth, 817.335.2575, pour-house.com

Reader Pick: Bluebonnet Bakery
This is Old Fort Worth, tracing its lineage to 1934 and the Harper family. The Hart family bought the bakery in 1993, and in mid-2010 moved the establishment a short distance to a renovated 1920s-era church with 7,600 square feet of space. Everything here is good. 4705 Camp Bowie Blvd., Fort Worth, 817.731.4233, bluebonnetbakery.com

Staff Pick: McKinley’s Fine Bakery and Café
Eat-in, take-out, breakfast, lunch, dinner and catering, this popular place specializes in from-scratch baking. There are sandwiches, soups and salads on the menu — and, of course, cookies, pies and cakes. 1616 S. University Drive, Fort Worth, 817.332.3242, mckinleysbakery.com

Reader Pick: Billy’s Oak Acres
In a city where debates about the quality of barbeque can lead to, if not blows, at least hot tempers and raised voices, this joint has developed a passel of loyal fans who swamped us with votes. 1700 Las Vegas Trail N., Fort Worth, 817.367.2200, Website

Staff Pick: Angelo’s
How do you describe this place? Homey? A hunting lodge? (That’s because of the trophies everywhere.) Or as a world-famous barbecue joint? All fit. And the beer is cold — really, really cold. Skip the trendy parts of town and visit a place that is family-owned and been earning its reputation for food since 1958. You can buy Angelo’s seasoning in the restaurant, at several stores around town and online. You really can try this at home. But good luck with that. 2533 White Settlement Road, Fort Worth, 817.332.0357, angelosbbq.com

Reader Pick: Max’s Wine Dive
For the second year in a row, our readers picked this place as a favorite because of the unusual menu and the attitude. Consider Fried Bologna Sliders with onion jam and house-made Cheez Wiz, or PB&J Wings with Thai peanut sauce and blackberry coulis. There are gluten-free options as well. 2421 W. 7th St., Ste. 109, Fort Worth, 817.870.1100, Website

Staff Pick: Righteous Foods
Lanny Lancarte is well known around Fort Worth as a member of the Joe T. Garcia family, and his latest venture on the site of his Lanny’s Alta Cocina Mexicana emphasizes healthy eating with organic and non-processed foods. But it’s not a vegan joint — witness the organic beef burger and pork tacos on the menu next to Organic Sweet Potato and Mung Bean Soup and Kelp Noodles. 3405 W. 7th St., Fort Worth, 817.850.9996, eatrighteously.com

Reader Pick: Flying Saucer Draught
It’s not just the beer selection — although we did count 327 on the website list (but we might have missed a few). It is also the location in the Sundance area and the food. Take the challenge: Try all of the beers, just not in one setting. 111 E. 3rd St., Fort Worth, 817.336.7470, Website

Staff Pick: The Social House
If beer on tap is your passion, this is the place for you. The Social House offers more than 100 beers on draft. Only the alcohol keeps them from freezing solid; they’re drawn at 32 degrees. 840 Curie St., Fort Worth, 817.820.1510, socialhousefortworth.com

Reader Pick: Rahr & Sons Brewing Co.
If you haven’t done this yet, don’t miss one of the tours and taste testings at the brewery. They are held 5-7:30 p.m. on Wednesdays and 1-3 p.m. on Saturdays. Fritz and Erin Rahr founded the brewery in 2004. It’s grown to producing 20,000 barrels a year and has collected a passel of awards. 701 Galveston Ave., Fort Worth, 817.810.9266, rahrbrewing.com

Staff Pick: Revolver Brewing
Revolver Brewing features three flagship beers and three seasonals with interesting names like Blood & Honey and High Brass, a nod to the name. And you can also visit and tour on Saturdays from noon to 3 p.m. in what is described as a family-friendly event. Check out the website for musical events as well. 5650 Matlock Road, Granbury, 817.736.8034, revolverbrewing.com

Reader Pick: Rodeo Goat
Big, noisy, bustling Rodeo Goat is great fun for the entire family, and the lineup of burgers is interesting, surprising and stunning. (And you can get just a plain-old hamburger here as well.) But the homemade Goat Chips may someday be listed as an illegal drug. 2836 Bledsoe St., Fort Worth, 817.877.4628, rodeogoat.com

Staff Pick: Kincaid’s
There are a number of locations, and the food is good in all of them, but if you want to get your “True Fort Worth” card punched, you’ve got to visit the original location at 4901 Camp Bowie Blvd., housed in the grocery store where this burger place began. Multiple Locations

Reader Pick: Z’s Café and Catering
Catering from Z’s is always innovative and pleasing, especially where there is a generous portion of Z’s Chicken Salad included. (You’ll be tempted to spread in on your body, but that would be wasteful.) By the way, the vote on this category wasn’t even close. 1116 Pennsylvania Ave., Fort Worth, 817.348.9000, zscafe.com

Staff Pick: Bistro Louise
We love Louise Lamensdorf. If you attend a Fort Worth, Texas event, odds are that you will be eating something she prepared. She also teaches cooking classes. Check out the website for dates and subjects. 817.922.9244, 817.291.2734, bistrolouise.com

Reader Pick: AVOCA Coffee Roasters
Coffee shops these days are experiences for the senses. You come to AVOCA for the coffee, but each month, the shop features works by a different artist. That’s a plus, as well as the roasting coffee smell of the place. 1311 W. Magnolia Ave., Fort Worth, 682.233.0957, avocacoffee.com

Staff Pick: The Cup
The full name is Sip Wine Bar & The Cup Espresso Bar. What’s not to like about that? Throw in tapas-style food and a deck and patio; life on the West Side is good. 3909 Camp Bowie Blvd., Fort Worth, 817.735.5226

Reader Pick: Buttons
This is sort of your ultimate in Southern comfort food, with music thrown in. And it’s probably the first place most people in Fort Worth ever had chicken and waffles. 4701 W. Freeway, Fort Worth, 817.735.4900, buttonsrestaurants.com

Staff Pick: Tillman’s Roadhouse
This is an upscale take on the traditional Texas roadhouse, although the Vegan Chili Relleno might give you pause. What never gives you pause here is what these people do to potatoes. And Shrimp N’ Grits. 2933 Crockett St., Fort Worth, 817.850.9255, tillmansroadhouse.com

Reader Pick: Carshon’s Deli
Staff Pick: Carshon’s Deli
Anyone can tack “deli” onto a restaurant’s name. But this is a real deli, and the only kosher-style one in Fort Worth. Immigrant David Carshon established it in 1928, and it truly is legendary. 3133 Cleburne Road, Fort Worth, 817.923.1907, carshonsdeli.com

Reader Pick: The Wild Mushroom Steak House and Lounge
The meal will be excellent, and the wine outstanding. And then … Choose from among Gourmet Cheesecake (the server will tell you your options); triple layered devil’s food cake with a chocolate mousse icing drizzled with chocolate ganache; triple layer lemon cake with citrus filling, topped with a thick layer of white coconut frosting; or crème brulee. What the heck, just have all of them. 3206 Winthrop Ave., Fort Worth, 817.570.0340, Website

Staff Pick: Cacharel Restaurant & Grand Ballroom
Watch the sunset over Fort Worth and Arlington from the restaurant while you finish off your meal with a choice of six desserts that includes apricot soufflé served with roasted macadamia nuts, warm Texas peaches with vanilla bean ice cream and fresh raspberries and New York-style cheese cake with raspberry coulis. 2221 East Lamar Blvd. - 9th Floor, Arlington, 817.640.9981, cacharel.net

Reader Pick: Yatai Food Kart
Yatai means “food cart” in Japanese, so we are told. You often find this cart along Magnolia, and the Japanese, Chinese and Korean offerings are cooked on the spot and succulent. facebook.com/yataifw
Staff Pick: Sauzy’s Food Truck
Hot dogs and hamburgers with a flair. Consider the Angus burger with Sauzy Sauce, a nine-hour, slow-cooked, beer-based sauce with onions and fresh jalapeños. Or the Beet Me Burger, a veggie-vegan burger of roasted beets, quinoa, panko bread crumbs and toasted walnuts. tinyurl.com/sauzy-s

Reader Pick: Melt Ice Creams
Word spread quickly among the Near Southside neighborhoods when Melt opened. There’s more than 5,000 likes on the Facebook page in just over a year. The varieties of ice cream are innovative — lavender and honey, for example — and the staff makes this a favorite happy place. 954 W Rosedale St., Fort Worth, 817.886.8365, melticecreams.com

Staff Pick: Steel City Pops
You can visit the shop or look for the rolling carts downtown for this recent addition to the sweetness of the city. The pops are made in small batches from the freshest all-natural or certified organic ingredients, local if possible. All are gluten free and vegetarian. You can also hire carts for a special occasion. 908 Currie St., Fort Worth, 817.744.8544, steelcitypops.com

Reader Pick: Kona Grill
The drinks are complicated and interesting, and the sake selection is one of the best — if not the best — in Fort Worth. 3028 Crockett St., Fort Worth, 817.210.4216, Website

Staff Pick: Bar Louie
Start with the live Blues at 9 p.m. on Thursdays. Add in the convenient location in the hot West 7th Street area, the rooftop deck, the extensive bar and food service, and you have the perfect after-work wind-down place. 2973 W. 7th St., Fort Worth, 817.566.9933, Other Tarrant County Locations, barlouieamerica.com

Reader Pick: Aventino’s Italian Restaurant
This restaurant is just a few blocks from the original that made it one of Fort Worth’s most popular for 28 years. It was reopened in 2012 by Erica Paez Hight, daughter of Olga and Al Paez, the founders of the original Aventino’s Ristorante, and her husband, Chris Hight. The fare here is traditional central Italy cooking, and the reviews of the restaurant are rave. It’s small, so reservations are recommended. 5800 Lovell Ave., Ste. 170, Fort Worth, 817-570-7940, aventinos.com

Staff Pick: Piccolo Mondo
The food and atmosphere are excellent, but another reason to like this place is that it is the perfect east-meets-west location for Dallas and Fort Worth residents to meet for fun or for business. Maybe someday, peace in the Metroplex will be negotiated here. 829 Lamar Blvd. E., Arlington, 817.265.9174, piccolomondo.com

Reader Pick: Rio Mambo Tex Mex Y Mas
There’s a full bar here, but why would you bother when you are in the home of the best margarita selection in the area? We should note that with some of these servings, you need to exercise a little restraint. But we also want to recognize that last September, Rio Mambo expanded the bar at the Fort Worth flagship restaurant and renamed it bar9eleven in memory of victims and survivors of the terrorist attack on the World Trade Center. 6125 SW Loop 820, Fort Worth, 817.423.3124, riomambo.com

Staff Pick: Yucatan Taco Stand
This place has been packing them in since before Magnolia was a hot destination for the rest of the city, and one reason is the margaritas. You can tell, because the decibel reading goes up as the evenings wear on. Be sure to eat some of the delicious food if you plan to be there awhile. 909 W. Magnolia Ave., Fort Worth, 817.924.8646, yucatantacostand.com

Reader Pick: Terra Mediterranean Grill
Open for lunch buffet and dinner, and eat in or take out, you can just start at the top of the menu and eat your way to the bottom. Be sure to include the hummus, rated by locals as perhaps the best in the city. 2973 Crockett St., Fort Worth, 817.744.7485, terramedgrill.com

Staff Pick: Jazz Café
This Greek-oriented restaurant — there are other things on the menu — remains unchanged through the years, and that’s a good thing judging by the ratings customers post on various websites. Throw in jazz on Sunday morning, and the package is complete. 2504 Montgomery St., Fort Worth, 817.737.0043

Reader Pick: Righteous Foods
Even after Lanny Lancarte closed his Alta Cocina Mexicana, people continued to nominate it in various categories. They’ve obviously discovered his new venture and followed him there. 3405 W. 7th St., Fort Worth, 817.850.9996, eatrighteously.com

Staff Pick: Spice
The more Thai restaurants there are in Fort Worth, the better your chances are at living close to one. This location on Magnolia is a prize addition to the hip food scene along the street, for both the authenticity of the food and the quality of the service. 411 W. Magnolia Ave., Fort Worth, 817.984.1800, Website

Reader Pick: Joe T. Garcia’s
We might as well retire this category. No one else ever comes close. And no one else will ever be able to come close. 2201 N. Commerce St., Fort Worth, 817.626.4356, joets.com

Staff Pick: The Harbor at Possum Kingdom
Of all the places you can dine in Fort Worth, not one of the can match the view from this lovely restaurant in Graford, Texas. 3415 Point Road, Graford, 940.779.7600, Website

Reader Pick: Cane Rosso
If you are a pizza freak, you know that there are different styles. This one is Neapolitan — and it is good Neapolitan. It’s wood-fired and uses imported Italian flour, house-made mozzarella and house-made tomato sauce. And the crust is thin — something sometimes difficult to find.  815 W Magnolia Ave., Fort Worth, 817.922.9222, ilcanerosso.com

Staff Pick: Mama’s Pizza
This is East Coast-style pizza that has been around since 1968 when the original owner, then a student at Texas Wesleyan University, opened a pizzeria right across the street from the university. He sold out two years later, but the pattern for the food was set and remains true to its founding. It’s a Fort Worth institution. Multiple locations, mamaspizzas.net

Reader Pick: Del Frisco’s Double Eagle Steak House
Strange to say, but the elegantly appointed setting at Del Frisco’s is almost homey in atmosphere. And the servers treat you that way. From a variety of seating areas to the more than 1,200 wines to — of course — the steaks, this is a place to truly dine. 812 Main St., Fort Worth, 817.877.3999, Website

Staff Pick: The Capital Grille
The steaks are one reason to come here. But then so are the offerings on the rest of the menu. Capital Grille prides itself on the preparation of the meat prior to cooking — hand-trimmed and dry aged on site. 800 Main St., Fort Worth, 817.348.9200, tinyurl.com/capital-fw

Reader Pick: Blue Sushi Sake Grill
Blue Sushi is more than a restaurant. It is an experience, and deliberately so. It’s a high-energy place with an extensive menu. And Happy Hour in Sake Bombers Lounge is, well, happy. 3131 W. 7th St., Fort Worth, 817.332.2583

Staff Pick: Sushi Axiom
Locally owned Sushi Axiom is less frenetic than Blue Sushi, but is still a top-of-the line restaurant with interesting dishes and one of the best fried calamari appetizers around. And it does serve excellent martinis as well.
4265 Donnelly Ave., Fort Worth, 817.735.9100
2600 W. 7th St., Fort Worth, 817.877.3331
12650 S. Freeway
Burleson, 817.295.9559

Reader Pick: La Familia
Back when the Near West Side was maybe not even a dream in a developer’s mind, La Familia Mexican Restaurant opened in what was mainly an industrial area. Fred’s Texas was down the road apiece, but that was pretty much it in 1997. But family recipes passed down from generation to generation and the family-friendly atmosphere have made this a destination restaurant among locals and visitors. 841 Foch St., Fort Worth, 817.870.2002, lafamilia-fw.com

Staff Pick: Revolver Taco Lounge
Regino Rojas and his family provide a different take from Tex-Mex, utilizing as it does a menu inspired by his mother’s home cooking when he was growing up in Mexico. It’s the food you’d find in small towns. 2822 W. 7th St., Fort Worth, 817.820.0122, revolvertacolounge.com

Reader Pick: Waters
Waters — Bonnell’s Coastal Cuisine
Raw bars are hard to come by this far inland — and then Jon Bonnell opened this restaurant in West 7th. The raw bar lines the dining room with a selection of oysters, clams, shrimp and crab. But that’s not the only reason to come. The menu has something for every taste. 2901 Crockett St., Fort Worth, 817.984.1110, waterstexas.com

Staff Pick: Daddy Jack’s New England Lobster & Chowder House
Daddy Jack’s says it brings together East Coast traditions with a Texas flair. We wouldn’t know about that. What we do know is that the place features lobster, fresh seafood, pasta and steak. Nice before theatre place. 353 Throckmorton, Fort Worth, 817.332.2477, daddyjacks.org

Reader Pick: Ellerbe Fine Foods
People like this intimate Southside restaurant for a number of reasons, and one is the well-crafted wine list available across a variety of price ranges. A recent glance at the regular wine list showed 45 labels ranging from $28 to $130. There were 43 labels on the reserve list ranging up to $850. That’s quite a range for a relatively small restaurant. 1501 W. Magnolia Ave., Fort Worth, 817.926.3663, ellerbefinefoods.com

Staff Pick: Bob’s Steak and Chop House
The Omni Hotel is also home to the Wine Thief, so you are dealing with people here who know both food and wine. What else do you need? 1300 Houston St., Fort Worth, 817.350.4100, Website

Reader Pick: J.R. Clark and
Team/Central Market
Jonathan “J.R.” Clark takes pride in his team at Fort Worth’s Central Market. Amber, Miles, Bob, Jenna, and Joye — his store Partners in wine — blend their knowledge with J.R.’s years of expertise to grow one team lead each customer to the perfect wine for any occasion. 4651 W. Freeway, Fort Worth, 817.989.4700, Website

Staff Pick: Chester Cox at Kent & Co. Wines
Chester Cox started in the food and beverage business at 15 before he was old enough to drink. He was a busboy and graduated to waiting tables when he was old enough. He worked at Del Frisco’s for 11 years and joined Kent & Co. for its opening. “Wine is about having fun,” he says. 1101 W. Magnolia Ave., Fort Worth, 817.632.6070, kcowines.com

Reader Pick: Ol’ South Pancake House
Every college town has something like this 24-hour place, and aren’t we thankful for TCU? Ol’ South opened in 1962 and claims more than 10 million customers since. The food is plain but good, the service is friendly, and the coffee is hot. What better place to cram for that physics test?  1509 S. University Drive, Fort Worth, 817.336.0311, olsouthpancakehouse.com

Staff Pick: Fuzzy’s Taco Shop
Fuzzy’s Taco Shop started on Berry Street near TCU and now has 38 shops in the Metroplex, so there’s one near just about anywhere you are when the late night munchies strike. But not all of them are open late. Make a note of the 2917 W. Berry St. address. It’s open until midnight, Monday-Wednesday; 1 a.m., Thursday; and 3 a.m., Friday-Saturday.
Multiple Locations