By: Malcolm Mayhew
By: Amber Bell
Ever since Magnolia’s neighborhood tavern Zio Carlo’s became Chimera Brewing Company more than two years ago, the hangout has endeared itself to patrons who come for the craft beer, made in-house, and its scratch Italian kitchen.
Housed inside a renovated 1950s-era laundromat, Chimera Brewing Company has a spacious and casual vibe that is welcoming and relaxed. Local artwork adorns the brick walls, and soccer jerseys and flags hang throughout the space. “We Love Soccer” signs around the bar proclaim, and they proudly support the Fort Worth Vaqueros FC, the city’s amateur soccer club.
Whether you are a soccer fan or not, Chimera has a warmth to it that makes you want to stay awhile and share a pizza and pint with friends. The bartenders are friendly — even when you aren’t a regular — and the covered patio is nice on cooler nights.
Large blackboards list house beers and menu items, as well as specials. The “from scratch” menu at Chimera is casual Italian — pizzas, sandwiches and pasta — but the quality and flavors of the food are better than you might expect from a pub, thanks to Italian-born founding partner Carlo Galotto. Pizza toppings include rosemary potatoes, Gorgonzola and prosciutto, and its version of the BLT sandwich includes mozzarella and uses basil instead of lettuce. Chimera has also added a brunch menu on the weekends.
Fresh-made bread is used for the bruschetta, and the garlic knots are delicious, but I prefer to start with something on the lighter side — especially when I know I’m ordering pizza later. The Elote Style Corn Salad ($4.50) is the perfect appetizer. Creamy and spicy, the corn is served on a bed of mixed greens with a large chunk of fresh avocado.
The pizza is a great choice, and Chimera does sell it by the slice ($4). My favorite pie is the Brie & Speck ($16). Made on a rustic, hand-tossed crust, this pizza has no tomato sauce, but plenty of mozzarella, Brie and dry-cured Italian ham (speck). The saltiness of the ham is perfect with the tangy creaminess of the Brie. Be sure to pair your pizza with one of Chimera’s house-made brews. The restaurant/pub has six beers that are always available, as well as a couple of seasonal options. Fans of Mexican-style lager would enjoy the Playa Pantera, which is perfect for patio weather.
For the sweet tooth, Chimera has a couple of rotating desserts. I decided to try the classic Italian panna cotta ($5). Topped with fresh blueberries, this cold and creamy treat is perfectly smooth and just the right amount of sweet.
Chimera Brewing has found a good home on Magnolia as a casual brew pub serving up craft beers and unique bar food. It has earned its place as a solid choice in the regular bar and restaurant rotation.
Locations: 1001 West Magnolia Ave.
For Info: 817.923.8000
Hours: Mon.-Fri. 11:30 a.m. - 12 a.m., Sat. 10 a.m. - 12 a.m., Sun. 10 a.m. - 10 p.m.
What We Liked: Monday through Friday from 3 to 6 p.m., Chimera has a happy hour or “Apericena” with buffet-style treats.
What We Didn’t: There are limited options for anyone who doesn’t eat bread.
Our Recommendations: Although Chimera is great for a late-night meal, its lunch menu has reasonably priced pizza and pasta specials.
By: Malcolm Mayhew
By: Amber Bell