| photography by Alex Lepe |
Sandwiched between a beauty product supplier and embroidery shop, Dagwoods’ understated storefront is easy to miss, but its local craft beers and upscale sandwich offerings are definitely worth a trip off the beaten path.
Located on the outskirts of Ridgmar Mall, Dagwoods Grinders and Growlers isn’t the sort of sandwich shop customers are likely to stumble upon while running errands, even if you live in west Fort Worth. When I first visited Dagwoods, I tried to remember the last time I’d been in the area, and it had been a few years.
Despite its lackluster location, Dagwoods has attracted a loyal following since it opened about a year ago (unlike its sibling Dagwoods Fire Grill Tap on Foch, which shuttered after less than six months). Any apprehension I felt before walking into Dagwoods disappeared once inside.
The shop is small, but the vibe is relaxed and fun. Floor-to-ceiling chalkboards along one wall list sandwiches, sides and daily specials, and chalkboards above the bar list the (mostly) Texas beers on tap. Mounted stag heads decorate the wall, and customers can snag a stool to eat or drink a brew at the bar or along one of two communal bar-height tables.
Grabbing a late dinner with friends on a weeknight, we found the atmosphere lively but not crowded. If you’re lucky, Eddie will greet you with his enthusiastic refrain “Welcome to Dagwoods!” from behind the bar when you walk through the door, then offer you a sample of whichever beer catches your fancy.
My favorite thing about the menu at Dagwoods is that you’ll see a lot of unique takes on familiar sandwiches. The grilled cheese ($9) includes tri tip and charred poblanos, and one of my favorites, the BLT ($9), includes an herby aioli and burrata cheese.
For starters, I suggest a cup of the beer cheese soup ($3). Made with Rahr Pale Ale and rich Gouda cheese, the soup has a slow heat, thanks to the addition of yellow bird sauce and piquillo peppers, and is topped with smoky bacon, goat cheese and thyme.
For your first visit, try The Dagwood ($12), a decadent steak sandwich made with charred Akaushi tri tip accompanied by beefsteak tomato, blue cheese crumbles, crispy leeks, smoked rosemary aioli, and an over-medium fried egg on grilled sourdough. Or if you are more of a seafood lover, try the firecracker shrimp po’boy ($11) with fried shrimp and remoulade on a Cuban hoagie, which has a kick, and the shrimp is made with a tender breading of both flour and cornmeal.
Dagwoods has several flavors of potato chips to accompany your meal, or opt for a side of potato salad, cabbage slaw or mac and cheese.
The only disappointment of the evening turned out to be dessert. A couple of regulars recommended the Lakewood Temptress Toffee TX Bourbon Cake, so we decided to give it a try. Served in a pool of sweet liquid toffee with a scoop of vanilla ice cream, the cake was not as moist as I expected, and I found the whole dish overly sweet.
Of course, who needs sweets when you have brews? Dagwoods’ regulars know they can buy a growler or bring their own to fill with 64 ounces of their favorite Texas ale. Whether it’s subs or suds that strike your fancy, Dagwoods’ artisanal offerings and attention to detail are sure to please.
Location: 1736 Mall Circle
For Info: 817.570.7924
Hours: Mon.-Thurs. 10:30 a.m. - 9:00 p.m., Fri. 10:30 a.m. - 10 p.m., Sat. 11 a.m. - 10 p.m., Sunday 11 a.m. - 4 p.m.
What We Liked: A great option for the gluten sensitive, Dagwoods has GF bread and ciders on tap.
What We Didn’t: Since it appears the website hasn’t been updated in a while, we recommend giving the restaurant a call with any questions about the menu or hours of operation.
Our Recommendations: Craft beer fans should definitely visit on Growler Tuesday, when refills on Dagwood-branded growlers are 25 percent off.