This year's hottest headlines

Top 10 Fort Worth food stories of 2019 include hot biscuits and queso brouhaha

Top 2019 Fort Worth food stories include hot biscuits, queso brouhaha

Hot Box Biscuit Club
It was time for these biscuits to finally settle down at Hot Box. Photo courtesy of Hot Box Biscuit Club
Matt's El Rancho bob armstrong queso
Much ado about this queso.  Photo courtesy of Matt's
Cafe Republic
Cafe Republic opened in far north Fort Worth in the fall. Photo courtesy of Cafe Republic
Cowtown Brewing
Cowtown Brewing had a hot new patio for spring sipping. Courtesy photo
Terra Mediterranean Grill lamb chops
Shed a tear for Terra.  Terra Mediterranean Grill/Facebook
Rule the Roost fried chicken
Choose your level of spice at Rule the Roost. Photo courtesy of Rule the Roost
Dallas Chop House steak
Steak will be the ticket at the new Wicked Butcher. Photo courtesy of Dallas Chop House
Smoke-A-Holics BBQ
Brisket is on the menu at Smoke-A-Holics, of course. Photo courtesy of Smoke-A-Holics
Four Sisters
Four Sisters took home a trophy this year. Photo courtesy of Four Sisters
Fred's Texas Cafe
This is a burger you may not want to share at Fred's. Photo by Nancy Farrar
Hot Box Biscuit Club
Matt's El Rancho bob armstrong queso
Cafe Republic
Cowtown Brewing
Terra Mediterranean Grill lamb chops
Rule the Roost fried chicken
Dallas Chop House steak
Smoke-A-Holics BBQ
Four Sisters
Fred's Texas Cafe

Editor's note: As the year comes to a close, we look back at the 10 most popular restaurant and bar stories of 2019. These are the openings, closings, and newsy bits that Fort Worth readers gobbled up.

1. Where to eat in Fort Worth right now: 5 hot new restaurants for November. This year, Fort Worth was crowned the 13th largest city in the United States — that's a lot of mouths to feed. Knowing we're in the middle of a growth spurt, corporate concepts have been landing in Fort Worth, with fast-casual service, open kitchens, and bottomless mimosas. But the heartbeat of the city's dining scene is the mom-and-pop restaurant, typically run by those who know, live in, and love Fort Worth. For the November edition of our monthly Where to Eat feature, we brought news of five new family-run spots.

2. Fort Worth's hot biscuit pop-up restaurant takes next big step. A massively popular Fort Worth restaurant pop-up took the next big step this year: Hot Box Biscuit Club, which had been hosting monthly brunch pop-ups at restaurants around town since 2016, secured its own permanent digs, at 313 S. Main St. at Broadway Avenue. Owned by Sarah Hooton and her partner Matt Mobley, the restaurant opened its doors on October 1. 

3. Where to drink in Fort Worth right now: 5 hottest new patios to sip outdoors. Will the weather be chilly, warm, rainy, or sunny today? The answer in Texas throughout April was “yes.” But despite unpredictable outdoor conditions, it was the season for patio-sitting-and-sipping, and there were several new options around town ready to wet the whistle. For the April edition of our monthly Where to Drink roundup, we offered five of Fort Worth’s hottest new patios for spring 2019.

4. One of the original restaurants on Fort Worth's Seventh Street closes. One of the original eateries on Crockett Row closed suddenly in the fall, and fans shed some tears. Terra Mediterranean at West 7th closed its doors on October 23, following their lunch buffet service. The restaurant had been there for nearly a decade.

5. Fort Worth chef Grady Spears' Horseshoe Hill Cafe gets sued over queso. Queso is a topic sufficiently serious in Texas that it was the subject of a lawsuit between two restaurants. On June 28, Austin restaurant Matt's El Rancho filed a lawsuit against Horseshoe Hill Cafe, the Fort Worth restaurant owned by chef Grady Spears, for featuring its trademarked Bob Armstrong Dip on its menu. A few weeks later, Spears broke his silence, telling us through his lawyer that he had the dish on his menu as a tribute, with the creator's blessing.

6. Trendy new Nashville hot chicken restaurant rules the roost in Fort Worth. Nashville-style fried chicken was hot in more ways than one this year, and Fort Worth landed a new place to get it. Rule The Roost opened August 20 in Westworth Village, serving this ultra-trendy, spicy-hot fried chicken in a variety of configurations.

7. Grand steakhouse and rooftop bar will fuel Fort Worth's Sinclair Hotel. The Sinclair Hotel, which opened October 31 in a stunning historic building, was one of the biggest openings in downtown Fort Worth. In July, we broke news that it will also come with an exciting, chef-driven restaurant: Wicked Butcher, a modern steakhouse from DRG Concepts, owner of such restaurants as Dallas Chop House, Dallas Fish Market, Chop House Burger, and Wild Salsa. The restaurant is expected to open in January 2020.

8. New BBQ restaurant with soulful touch opens on Fort Worth's east side. The east side of Fort Worth became home to a new barbecue restaurant, thanks to a chef who imbues his food with a soul-food touch. Called Smoke-A-Holics BBQ, it opened in July at 1417 Evans Ave. It was the first brick-and-mortar venture for owner Derrick Walker, a Fort Worth native who got started in the barbecue business in 2006, catering special events and hosting pop-ups.

9. 8 best new restaurants in Fort Worth vie for top honors — vote now. The 2018 CultureMap Tastemaker Awards, our annual event honoring the best in local food and drink, included awards to top chefs and restaurants and a party in April, emceed by renowned chef Dean Fearing. We reserve one category, Best New Restaurants, for readers to decide, via our Tastemaker tournament, a bracket-style competition where eight new restaurants go head to head. Here we presented the nominees who were vying for the title. (And here's who won.)

10. Where to eat in Fort Worth right now: 8 restaurants to take out-of-town guests. In December, we turned our focus on an immediate holiday-related need: where to take your visitors who are coming in for the holidays. For our December Where to Eat feature, we rounded up the eight best Fort Worth restaurants to take out-of-town guests.