Appetizers are great and entrées are essential — but where is the respect for dessert? Spooked by calories and how uncouth you’ll look if you order it, you foolishly dismiss the most important course, shaking your head no when your server asks if you have any room.
Only on Valentine’s Day does the world seem to give dessert the attention it deserves. To that end, we dedicate this month's Where To Eat to the sweetest things. Here are eight spots in and around Fort Worth with the latest and best desserts.
One of the city's best kept secrets is this ice cream shop on the east side at 1215 E. Seminary Dr. In a tiny spot that only holds about a dozen people, Jose Ponce and his family make their own ice cream and paletas daily, in flavors both straightforward and gourmet.
Young and old, well-heeled and drubby, every walk of Fort Worth life, sooner or later, visits this south side institution for what are possibly the city’s best sandwiches. The wise, however, stick around for dessert: pies, in flavors such as key lime, butter scotch, chocolate, and coconut, made daily by owner Mary Swift. If you time your visit right, you can get a slice right out of the oven.
Del Frisco’s Double Eagle Steak House
Nothing says “I Love You” more than a $12 piece of cake, right? If you manage to snag a table at downtown’s classiest steak house, definitely go for the Godiva chocolate mousse cake, which, along with a $12 price tag, comes draped in warm chocolate caramel sauce and shaved bits of chocolate.
El Rancho Grande
The unsung hero of Fort Worth’s Tex-Mex scene, this long-running north side spot offers more than the usual flan and sopapillas for dessert. Instead, try a slice of the housemade margarita pie, similar to key lime pie but with a lighter, silkier texture and sweeter flavor. The pie does, in fact, contain the restaurant’s margarita mix — and also a touch of tequila.
Riverside ice cream shop is super kid-friendly, with board games and a big front porch. Owner Julie Markley serves cray-cray ice cream concoctions called freak shakes, comprised of ice cream, cake, and candy, all served in a glass mug; they’re meant for sharing. The “Choc Crazy” comes garnished with a chocolate chip ice cream sandwich, the “Elvis” with candied bacon and a peanut butter-glazed waffle. You can also create your own, choosing from ingredients such as brownies, doughnuts, pretzels, and marshmallows.
Melt Ice Creams
To help ring in Valentine’s Day, Kari Crowe recently introduced several new flavors of her housemade ice cream at her popular Near Southside shop. Among them is Crème Brûlée, caramelized sugar pieces embedded in vanilla ice cream; S’More, Please, chocolate ice cream studded with pieces of graham crackers and smoked marshmallows; and, maybe the best of the best, Black Forest, comprised of chocolate cake and almond meringue from Swiss Pastry Shop’s legendary Black Forest Cake, peppered into cherry ice cream.
Pinky’s Waffle Bar
The city’s hottest new dessert shop can be found in the most unusual of places: Ridgmar Mall. Opened a few weeks ago by onetime Eddie V’s chef Maritza Sepulveda, Pinky’s specializes in gourmet-inspired Belgian waffles, topped with fruit, ice cream, and other ingredients. Flavors include the blue waffle, a yeast waffle made with blueberries, blueberry syrup, lemon curd, and almonds; and strawberry Nutella, topped with Nutella spread and fresh strawberries. Pinky’s also serves ice cream sandwiches, frappes, and house-made lavender lemonade.
Swiss Pastry Shop
Hans Muller’s 40-year-old bakery on Fort Worth's west side is best known for its light and airy Black Forest Cake, so popular, it's practically the official dessert of Fort Worth. Dare we say it, though: Just as good is the “crack pie,” a chess pie made with brown sugar, cinnamon, and molasses, outlined in an oatmeal crust. The top is usually made up of powdered sugar in the shape of Texas.