Photo courtesy of Tarrant Co. Veterans Council

With Veterans Day coming up Friday, November 11, we've unearthed some of the best deals around Dallas-Fort Worth to ease the strain on the bank accounts of all military veterans and current service members.

Below are the top Veterans Day deals to check out for 2022:

  • 7-Eleven: The convenience store chain, which is everywhere throughout Dallas-Fort Worth, is offering a free Quarter-Pound Big Bite 100% all-beef hot dog on November 11. The deal, which is available in-store and via delivery through the 7NOW app, is available to all, not just veterans.
  • Bar Louie: The gastrobar chain, which has four area non-airport locations, is offering veterans and active-duty military a complimentary craft burger, including That’s My Jam Burger, Bourbon BBQ Burger, GastroBurger, and more. The deal is good for dine-in only.
  • B&B Butchers & Restaurant: The Fort Worth restaurant offers a complimentary three-course lunch to all active military and veterans November 11. The special menu includes appetizer, entrée, side, and dessert. Guests of veterans and military can partake in the menu for $25. Reservations are encouraged and the special will run from 11 am-3 pm.
  • Beck's Prime: The steakhouse chain, which has one location in Dallas, is offering all veterans and active duty military a free burger on November 11. The deal is good for dine-in and in-store to-go orders only.
  • Bedford Ice House: The bar/restaurant in Bedford is offering all active and retired military members a free meal up to $14 on November 11. This offer is available for dine-in only.
  • Black Rock Coffee Bar: The coffee house chain, which has four locations in Dallas-Fort Worth, is offering one free medium drink for veterans, active-duty military, and members of their immediate family on November 11 with proof of ID. Both the veteran and immediate family member must be present.
  • Bombshells Restaurant & Bar: The Texas-based military-themed casual dining chain, which has two locations in Dallas-Fort Worth, is offering free entrees for veterans on November 11; other items will be discounted 20 percent. In addition, families accompanying veterans as well as active service members and accompanying families will receive a 20 percent discount on entrees and other items. Alcoholic beverages are not included.
  • Bonefish Grill: The seafood restaurant chain, which has two locations in Dallas-Fort Worth, is offering a free order of their Bang Bang Shrimp to all veterans and active duty military on November 11. They also offer a Heroes Discount that gives 10 percent off for all service members, veterans, and first responders' checks all day, every day with show of valid ID.
  • BoomerJack's: The sports bar chain, which has 18 locations throughout Dallas-Fort Worth, is offering all active and retired military members a free meal up to $14 on November 11. This offer is available for dine-in only.
  • Bourbon & Banter: The underground speakeasy inside The Statler will offer veterans one drink (including draft or bottled beer, house wine or Champagne, and well cocktails and shots) on the house tab on November 11.
  • Buffalo Wild Wings: The chicken wing chain, which has 18 locations throughout Dallas-Fort Worth, is offering 10 free Boneless wings and fries for all veterans and active-duty service members with valid ID on November 11. The deal is good for dine-in only.
  • Cantina Laredo: The Mexican restaurant chain, which has two area non-airport locations, is offering veterans and military members a free entrée on November 11, up to a $20 value.
  • Carrabba's Italian Grill: The Italian restaurant chain, which has three locations throughout Dallas-Fort Worth, is offering a complimentary dine-in appetizer or dessert paired with a soft beverage for veterans and active-duty military with show of ID. They also offer a Heroes Discount year-round, providing 10 percent off to all service members, veterans, and first responders.
  • Charleys Philly Steaks: The fast-casual cheesesteak chain, which has 16 locations throughout Dallas-Fort Worth, is offering free Gourmet Fries in-store with no purchase necessary to all veterans and active duty military on November 11.
  • Coolgreens: The healthy food chain, which has three locations in Dallas-Fort Worth, is offering a free meal to all current and retired military personnel on November 11. They can choose from sandwiches, wraps, salads, or bowls valued up to $15.
  • Corner Bakery: The fast casual chain, which has 17 locations throughout Dallas-Fort Worth, is offering 20 percent orders for active and former military members on November 11.
  • Cotton Patch Cafe: The casual dining restaurant, which has 22 locations in the greater Dallas-Fort Worth area, is offering a free Chicken Fried Steak or Chicken Fried Chicken for all veterans or active military on November 11 with proof of military service. The deal is good for dine-in only.
  • Denny's: The family dining chain, which has 40 locations throughout Dallas-Fort Worth, is offering a free Grand Slam breakfast to all active, non-active and retired military personnel on November 11. The offer is valid for dine-in only at participating locations from 5 am to noon.
  • Dickey's BBQ: The barbecue chain, which has over 60 locations through Dallas-Fort Worth, is offering a free Pulled Pork Sandwich to veterans who use the code VETFREE on November 11. Veterans can redeem the offer in-store for carryout and online for pickup all day at their nearest Dickey’s.
  • Dunkin': The doughnut chain, which has over 30 locations throughout Dallas-Fort Worth, is offering veterans and active duty military one free doughnut of their choice at participating locations. Check with your local shop before heading out. Deal is good for in-store orders only.
  • Einstein Bros. Bagels: The breakfast/coffee chain, which has over 40 locations throughout Dallas-Fort Worth, is offering a free hot or iced coffee of any size with purchase when veterans show their ID. The deal is good at all locations except license stores inside colleges, hospitals, airports, and hotels.
  • El Chico: The Mexican restaurant chain, which has four area locations, is offering veterans and military members a free entrée on November 11, up to $20 in value.
  • El Chingon: The Mexican restaurant in Fort Worth is offering veterans and active military duty 50 percent off their meal on November 10 and 11. They also offer an ongoing 10 percent discount for military members all year long.
  • Fish City Grill / Half Shells: The sister restaurants, which have 10 locations throughout Dallas-Fort Worth, are offering veterans and active-duty military personnel a free entrée (up to $25.99) with valid ID. This special offer is available with dine-in and to-go orders.
  • Ford's Garage: The burger and beer chain, which has one location in Plano, is offering a 25 percent discount with up to three guests per table (alcohol excluded) on November 11 for veterans and active duty military. The deal is good for dine-in only.
  • Golden Corral: The casual restaurant chain which has seven locations throughout Dallas Fort Worth that are currently open, has put on a Military Appreciation Night for over 20 years. They offer a free meal to any person who has served in the U.S. military on November 14 from 5 pm-close. The deal is only good for the military member, not guests.
  • Grimaldi's: The pizza chain, which has seven locations in Dallas-Fort Worth, is offering veterans and active duty military 25 percent off their bill on November 11. If you can't make it that day, they also offer 15 percent military discount all year long.
  • Hawaiian Bros.: The fast casual Hawaiian food chain, which has 11 locations in Dallas-Fort Worth, is offering a free plate lunch from 11 am-11 pm on November 11 for veterans and active military, as well as their friends and family.
  • John Wayne: An American Experience: Veterans and active-duty military with ID get free walk-in admission to the museum dedicated to the Duke in Fort Worth on November 11.
  • Kolache Factory: The pastry chain, which has four locations in Collin County, is offering free breakfast to all veterans and active duty military on November 11. Those with valid ID will receive a free kolache and a cup of coffee.
  • La Madeleine: The fast-casual French restaurant chain, which has 20 locations throughout Dallas-Fort Worth, is offering active-duty service members and military veterans 30 percent off any purchase all day on November 11 with military ID.
  • Logan's Roadhouse: The casual restaurant chain, which has four locations throughout Dallas-Fort Worth, is offering a free Vets Meal on November 11 from 3-6 pm. Vets Meal options include Steak Tips, Bayou Shrimp, Chopped Steak, Pork Chop, Tenders, and Pulled Pork Plate, as well as side options.
  • Lucky's: The home-cooking diner on Oak Lawn Avenue is offering veterans and military members a free entrée on November 11, up to $20 in value.
  • Overeasy: The diner inside The Statler will offer veterans one drink on the house tab on November 11. Options include draft or bottled beer, house wine or Champagne, and well cocktails and shots.
  • Perry's Steakhouse & Grille: The steakhouse chain, which has three locations in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, is offering one complimentary dinner pork chop on November 10 (4-10 pm) or pork chop lunch on November 11 (10:30 am-5 pm) to active or former military members when they’re accompanied by a guest that purchases a dinner entrée while dining in. Reservations and proof of valid ID are required.
  • Pie Five Pizza: The pizza chain, which has 11 locations through the Dallas-Fort Worth area, is offering area personal pizza for active and retired military veterans, in-store only, on November 11.
  • Pluckers: The chicken wing chain, which has 8 locations in Dallas-Fort Worth, is offering a free meal (entree, side and non-alcoholic beverage) for veterans and active military on November 11 with valid ID.
  • PJ's Coffee: The coffee chain, which currently has six locations in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, is offering a free 12-ounce hot coffee or cold brew iced coffee for veterans and active-duty military on November 11.
  • Primo’s MX Kitchen & Lounge: The Tex-Mex favorite with locations in Uptown and Downtown Dallas will offer veterans one drink (including draft or bottled beer, house wine or Champagne, and well cocktails and shots) on the house tab on November 11.
  • Red Lobster: The seafood restaurant chain, which has 12 locations throughout Dallas-Fort Worth, is offering a free Walt’s Favorite Shrimp, Fries, and Coleslaw for veterans and active duty military on November 11. The offer is available for dine-in and to-go orders placed in-restaurant between 11 am and 4 pm.
  • Sfereco: The Spaghetti Western-themed Italian-American restaurant with locations in Downtown Dallas and Lewisville will offer veterans one drink on the house tab on November 11. Options include draft or bottled beer, house wine or Champagne, and well cocktails and shots.
  • Shell Shack: The growing seafood restaurant chain, which has five locations around Dallas-Fort Worth, is offering active or retired military a free shrimp basket from 11 am to 4 pm on November 11. The deal is good for dine-in only.
  • Sidecar Social: The social lounge in Addison is offering all active and retired military members a free meal up to $14 on November 11. This offer is available for dine-in only.
  • Silver Fox: The steakhouse chain with two area locations is offering veterans and military members $30 off their entire check on November 11.
  • Six Flags Over Texas: The amusement park in Arlington is offering veterans, active duty, and retired military personnel free park admission, meal, drinks, and more when they present a valid military ID on November 12 and 13.
  • Snuffer's: The burger restaurant, which has eight locations throughout Dallas-Fort Worth, is offering veterans and military members with valid ID a free Snuffer’s burger or sandwich on November 11. The deal is good for dine-in only.
  • Thirsty Lion Gastropub: The gastropub chain, which has four locations throughout Dallas-Fort Worth, is offering all active and retired military members with a valid ID a free entrée and a nonalcoholic beverage on November 11. The offer is good for dine-in only.
  • III Forks: The Frisco steakhouse is offering veterans and military members a free entrée on November 11, up to $60 in value.
  • Trinity Metro: All of Trinity Metro’s local services – including buses, TEXRail, ZIPZONE and ACCESS – will be available on at no cost to veterans on November 11. To receive a free ride, riders must show proof of service to the driver or train conductor.
  • Twin Peaks: The breasteraunt chain, which has nine locations throughout Dallas-Fort Worth, is offering a free lunch on November 11 from 11 am-3 pm. Veterans and active military personnel can choose from a menu that includes Cheeseburger and Fries, Chicken Tenders and Fries, Pulled Pork Sandwich and Fries, Soup and Salad Lunch Combo, and Chicken Caesar Salad. The deal is good for dine-in only.
  • Walk-On’s: The sports-themed restaurant chain, which has two locations in Dallas-Fort Worth, is offering all active and retired service members a complimentary Scholarship Burger & side of fries on November 11. The deal is good for dine-in only.
  • Waterproof: The rooftop poolside lounge at The Statler will offer veterans one drink (including draft or bottled beer, house wine or Champagne, and well cocktails and shots) on the house tab on November 11.
  • WOB Bar & Kitchen: The beer-focused restaurant chain, which has one location in Fort Worth, is offering an order of their famous, traditional, bone-in chicken wings for free to all veterans and active military personnel, November 7-11. Additionally, on November 11, veterans and service persons will receive an exclusive WOB Bar & Kitchen-branded t-shirt, while supplies last. These offers can be redeemed by presenting a military ID, VA card, or proof of service.
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These are the 13 best things to do in Fort Worth this weekend

Weekend event planner

This weekend across Fort Worth offers a little bit of everything, including some top-level tennis, four concerts from different genres, a documentary about a legendary country singer, four festivals with vastly different focuses, the first holiday lights of the season, a new art exhibit, and a new local theater production.

Below are the best ways to spend your precious free time this weekend. Want more options? Lucky for you, we have a much longer list of the city's best events.

Thursday, November 3

WTA Finals Fort Worth
Fort Worth is hosting the prestigious year-end finale for the WTA, featuring the top 8 singles players and doubles teams. Players who've taken the court this week include U.S. Open winner Iga Świątek, Jessica Pagula, Coco Gauff, Caroline Garcia, and more. The tournament will go on through Monday at Dickies Arena.

The Cliburn presents Jessie Montgomery
Jessie Montgomery is a decorated composer and violinist whose works are frequently performed around the world by leading musicians and ensembles. Her music interweaves classical music with elements of vernacular music, improvisation, poetry, and social consciousness. She'll perform at the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth.

Friday, November 4

Magnolia at the Modern: The Return of Tanya Tucker - Featuring Brandi Carlile
The trailblazing, hell-raising country music legend Tanya Tucker defied the standards of how a woman in country music was supposed to behave. Decades after Tucker slipped from the spotlight, the rising Americana music star Brandi Carlile takes it upon herself to write an entire album for her hero based on Tucker’s extraordinary life, spurring the greatest comeback in country music history. This documentary follows Tucker’s richly creative, utterly captivating, bumpy ride back to the top as Carlile encourages her to push past her fears to create a new sound and reach a new audience. The film will screen six times through Sunday at the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth.

Q BBQ Fest
The Q BBQ Fest gathers the finest pitmasters from across Texas and throughout the country to dish out award-winning smoked meats to BBQ lovers. The weekend-long celebration features tons of barbecue, local music, BBQ tutorials and demonstrations, and games and activities. The festival goes on through Sunday at AT&T Stadium.

The Light Park
Most holiday light shows wait until around Thanksgiving to open, but the new The Light Park is already raring to go. It features a mile-long, drive-thru spectacular where guests will witness millions of lights synchronized to a mix of music by DJ Polar Ice. Open daily through January 1 at Hurricane Harbor Arlington, the show claims it has the longest light tunnel in the world.

REO Speedwagon in concert
The legendary REO Speedwagon are now into their sixth decade as a recording group, as they released their first album in 1971. Their biggest days were in the early 1980s, when best-selling albums like Hi Infidelity, Good Trouble, and Wheels are Turnin' yielded hits like "Keep On Loving You," "Take It on the Run," and "Can't Fight This Feeling." They'll play at Billy Bob's Texas.

Foals in concert
English alt-rock band Foals has been big in their native UK since their debut 2008, as all seven of their albums, including the new Life is Yours, have made the top 10 over there. They've recently started to make inroads in the U.S. but still haven't come close to that popularity here. They'll look to change that with a two-night stint at Tannahill's Tavern & Music Hall, playing on both Friday and Saturday.

Saturday, November 5

Fort Worth Botanic Garden presents Japanese Fall Festival
At the Japanese Fall Festival, guests can enjoy traditional Japanese dance, music, martial arts, sword demonstrations, raku, tea ceremonies, and more. The festival, located inside the historic Japanese Garden inside the Fort Worth Botanic Garden, will take place on both Saturday and Sunday.

Studio Nano and Sleepi ZZZ presents Nishi Fest
Nishi Fest is a single-day celebration of anime and Asian pop culture in the west. Planned attractions and events include voice actor and industry guest panels, cosplay guests and cosplay contest, autograph sessions and photo ops, fighting game and TCG tournaments, exhibitors and Artists Alley vendors, a JDM/KDM car show and contest, Asian food truck style night market, and more. The festival will be at Arlington Convention Center.

Amon Carter Museum of American Art presents Charles Truett Williams: "The Art of the Scene"
Charles Truett Williams: "The Art of the Scene" examines the Fort Worth mid-century art scene through the presentation of more than 30 works by the Fort Worth artist and the artistic community drawn to his studio salon. Accompanying the works on paper and sculptures are ephemera from the recently acquired archives of Williams, enhancing the Carter’s strong holding of artist archives. The exhibition will be on display through May 7, 2023.

Social House Entertainment presents The Tacos & Tequila Festival
The Tacos & Tequila Festival may have food and drink in the name, but it's equally about the music, as it will feature performances by T.I., Lil Jon, Chingy, Baby Bash, Mike Jones, Petey Pablo, Twista, and DJ Ashton Martin. Attendees can enjoy chef-inspired tacos, tequila and margarita tastings, authentic Lucha Libre wrestling, an exotic car showcase, and a Chihuahua beauty pageant in addition to the music. The festival is at Panther Island Pavilion.

Casa Mañana presents Here You Come Again: How Dolly Saved My Live in 12 Easy Songs
Here You Come Again: How Dolly Saved My Live in 12 Easy Songs is a rollicking and touching new musical about a has-been-who-never-was comedian and his unusual relationship with his longtime idol, Dolly Parton. The show is a celebration of Dolly’s music and of the profound and funny things she has to say to us all about life, love and how to pull yourself up by your bootstraps during the toughest of times - even if your bootstraps don’t have rhinestones. The production runs through November 13 at Casa Mañana Theatre.

Joe Nichols in concert
Country star Joe Nichols has been crafting hits since his breakout in 2002 with his sophomore album, Man with a Memory. Thanks to songs like "Brokenheartsville," "Tequila Makes Her Clothes Fall Off," and "Gimmie That Girl," he's remained at the top of the genre for the past 20 years. He'll play at Billy Bob's Texas in support of his new album, Good Day for Living.

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Coco Gauff and Caroline Garcia play an early match at the WTA Finals in Dickies Arena.

Photo courtesy of The Judds

These are the 15 best things to do in Fort Worth this weekend

Weekend event planner

It's a packed weekend in Fort Worth, with six concerts that will draw a variety of music lovers as the headline. Also on tap will be a new local theater production, an art festival, the start of a new opera season, a celebration of musical theater, and more.

Below are the best ways to spend your precious free time this weekend. Want more options? Lucky for you, we have a much longer list of the city's best events.

Thursday, October 20

Stage West presents Guards at the Taj
India, 1648. Two hapless Imperial Guards watch from their post as the sun rises for the first time over the newly-completed Taj Mahal. But the morning light brings with it an unthinkable task that will shake the foundations of everything they thought to be true. In this disarmingly funny and deeply moving story, two friends behold the most sublime of wonders and discover the perils of bearing witness to perfection. The regional premiere runs through November 20 at Stage West.

Phillip Phillips in concert
The reality singing competition American Idol has produced its fair share of stars, sometimes from the winner's circle, sometimes not. Phillip Phillips won the 11th season of the show in 2012 on the strength of his song "Home," which went on to become the best-selling song in Idol history. Phillips has released three albums in his career, most recently 2018's Collateral. He'll play at Tannahill's Tavern & Music Hall with support from American Authors.

Friday, October 21

Art Worth Festival
Art Worth is a juried festival of fine craft and fine art that spotlights skillfully executed works of art in glass, metal, wood, clay, and fiber, plus paintings, photography, jewelry, and more. Visitors can meet the artists who make the pieces and learn about various art disciplines through live demonstrations. There will also be performances of classical music by area youth ensembles and fare from local eateries. The festival takes place through Sunday at Will Rogers Memorial Center.

Magnolia at the Modern: God's Creatures
In a windswept fishing village, a mother (Emily Watson) is torn between protecting her beloved son (Paul Mescal) and her own sense of right and wrong. A lie she tells for him rips apart their family and close-knit community in this tense, sweepingly emotional epic. There will be seven screenings through Sunday at the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth.

Fort Worth Opera presents Noches de Ópera
Fort Worth Opera will open their 2022-23 season with two new productions as part of its Noches de Ópera initiative. On Friday, Noche de Zarzuela will take the audience across the Atlantic for an evening of excerpts from Spain’s most beloved zarzuelas from composers Jacinto Guerrero, Frederico Moreno and Soutullo-Vert. On Saturday and Sunday, Noches de Latinidad: El Fuego de Una Mujer is a Latin-American musical extravaganza that features a mix of art songs, arias, and folkloric music from Mexico, Cuba, Colombia, Puerto Rico, Brazil, and Argentina. Both productions take place at Rose Marine Theater.

Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra presents "Rodgers and Hammerstein Celebration"
The Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra will harken back to the golden age of musical theater when Rodgers and Hammerstein, one of the greatest writing duos in history, had their heyday. The musical partners had a run of award-winning Broadway shows, including Oklahoma!, Carousel, South Pacific, The Sound of Music, and more. The concert, conducted by Carl Topilow and featuring vocalists Scarlett Strallen, Hugh Panaro, and William Michaels, will have three performances through Sunday at Bass Performance Hall.

Junior Brown in concert
Country singer Junior Brown is a true original, best known for his signature instrument, the "guit-steel" double neck guitar that is a hybrid of an electric guitar and lap steel guitar. Active since the early '80s, Brown has released 11 albums in his career, including 2018's Deep in the Heart of Me. He'll play at Billy Bob's Texas.

Saturday, October 22

AllianceTexas Aviation Expo
The world-renowned U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds will soar through the sky at the AllianceTexas Aviation Expo presented by Bell (formerly Bell Fort Worth Alliance Air Show). The event at Fort Worth Alliance Airport will include static aircraft displays, exhibitors, food concessions, and a gift shop. In addition to the Thunderbirds, aerial acts will include the F-22 Raptor Demonstration Team, Bell 505 Fly-By, and the National Anthem Flag Presentation by the RE/MAX Skydiving Team.

Flying Saucer Draught Emporium presents BeerFeast
BeerFeast is a beer tasting extravaganza that is celebrating 16 years at Flying Saucer Draught Emporium in downtown Fort Worth. Guests can enjoy beer samplings from 50 Beerknurd-approved local, national and international breweries, along with live music and food.Tickets include a BeerFeast 2022 t-shirt, tasting glass and 12- 2 ounce tastings.

Chamber Music Society of Fort Worth presents "La Dolce Vita"
The Chamber Music Society of Fort Worth presents "La Dolce Vita," featuring an all-Brahms program including Cello Sonata No. 1 in E minor, Op. 38; Quintet for Piano and Strings in F minor, Op. 34, and more. Guest pianist Alessandro Deljavan of Italy won Fort Worth hearts as a two-time Cliburn competitor; he is joined by violinist Gary Levinson, violist Michael Klotz, and cellist Bion Tsang. The concert takes place at 2 pm at the Modern Art Museum.

The Judds: The Final Tour
What was meant to be the last hurrah for mother-daughter duo Naomi and Wynonna Judd has turned into a bittersweet tour after the death of Naomi in April. Wynonna Judd will go on without her, joined at this concert at Dickies Arena by fellow country music icons Trisha Yearwood and Martina McBride. McBride will play a full set of her own classic hits before Wynonna takes the stage to sing some of her own hits and songs by The Judds.

Ludacris in concert
Almost from the start of his career, rapper Ludacris has been on two paths - one as a music star and another as an actor. On the music side, all eight of his albums have landed in the top five of the Billboard 200, including four at No. 1. On the acting side, he's become a reliable performer, most notably as a member of the Fast & Furious family. He'll perform at Tannahill's Tavern & Music Hall.

Casey Donahew in concert
Country singer Casey Donahew had a nice run of success on the national country music scene, charting four straight albums in the top 10 on the Billboard Country charts in the 2010s, including the No. 3 All Night Party. He comes back to town in support of his new album, Built Different. He'll play at Billy Bob's Texas.

Sunday, October 23

Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth presents "Modern Masters: A Tribute to Anne Windfohr Marion"
Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth will present "Modern Masters: A Tribute to Anne Windfohr Marion," an exhibition of contributions of one of the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth’s greatest patrons, tracing her support over nearly a half century. Marion’s generosity to many institutions is legendary, but no organization stood above her love for the Modern. The exhibit, which will feature 80 works by 47 artists, will be on display through January 8, 2023.

Foreigner in concert
With 10 multi-platinum albums and 16 Top 30 hits, Foreigner is universally hailed as one of the most popular rock acts in the world. They are responsible for some of rock and roll’s most enduring anthems, including “Juke Box Hero,” “Cold As Ice,” “Hot Blooded,” “Waiting For A Girl Like You,” “Feels Like The First Time,” and more. They'll play at Tannahill's Tavern & Music Hall.

Photo courtesy of Toro Toro

These are the 7 best food and drink events in Fort Worth this week

This week in gluttony

A Fort Worth barbecue institution will celebrate its 95th birthday this week with too-good-to-be-true menu specials. There’s also a brunch aimed at celebrating lost loved ones with a special ceremony, and a Halloween-themed afternoon tea at a brand new downtown destination. This week also brings the return of a popular beer festival.

Tuesday, October 18

Caymus TasteMaker Dinner at Ruth’s Chris
The fine-dining steakhouse chain is hosting a series of wine dinners, and the next one features popular Caymus Vineyards. The four-course event – to be held Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday evenings this week – features a main course of filet with rosemary charred wild mushrooms, zucchini pancakes with herb crème fraiche, and twice-baked potatoes with bacon lardons and truffle cheese sauce paired with Caymus Cabernet Sauvignon. Dinner is $130 per person, plus tax and gratuity, and begins at 6 pm.

Wednesday, October 19

Lot 40 Dark Oak Whisky Launch at Nickel City
The Southside bar is hosting a month-long Halloween pop-up experience called Black Lagoon, but on Wednesday the folks from Lot 40 Canadian Whisky will be on-site to launch their new Dark Oak Rye. Go for complimentary whisky samples and stay for Halloween-themed cocktails.

Thursday, October 20

Riscky’s BBQ Celebrates 95th Anniversary
Serving Texas barbecue in Fort Worth since 1927, Riscky’s will celebrate its 95th birthday with all-day specials and a party in the Stockyards. From 5-7 pm at the barbecue joint’s Stockyards location at 140 E. Exchange Avenue, guests can enjoy complimentary barbecue samples, craft beer courtesy of Ben E. Keith, giveaways for the first 95 attendees, and a radio broadcast by 95.9 The Ranch. In addition, Riscky’s will offer 95-cent food and drink specials all day long at all locations, including chopped beef sandwiches, pulled pork sandwiches, beef and pork ribs (per rib), brisket tacos, fried pickles, fries, tea, soda, and single pints of domestic beer (except the Benbrook and North Richland Hills locations for the beer).

Saturday, October 22

Homage to Heritage Brunch at Toro Toro
The downtown Latin steakhouse will host a four-course Mayan brunch experience that will begin with a special ceremony to honor loved ones who have passed, and guests are invited to bring their photographs. Called a Copal Ceremony, the ritual begins with the burning of tree resin of pre-Columbian Meso-American tribes. Menu highlights include red snapper ceviche, short rib birria tacos, and brisket Benedict with mole enchilada. The brunch is $90 per person and includes breakfast cocktails. The event will run from 10 am-2 pm.

16th Annual Flying Saucer Beerfeast
Beerknurds, rejoice. The downtown draught emporium’s outdoor beer festival is back. Guests can enjoy beer samples and limited releases from 50 different local, national, and international breweries along with live music on the 8.0 stage. The $45 per-person price includes a T-shirt, tasting glass, and 12 tastes. Or pay $60 for early entry at 1 pm and access to the patio lounge and exclusive beers. The event will run from 2-6 pm.

Sunday, October 23

Spooky Afternoon Tea at Indulge
The new cooking studio and tea room, located inside downtown’s new 3rd St. Market, will host a three-course afternoon tea paired with sweet and savory treats. It will include canapes, tea sandwiches, and tartlets along with cookies, mousse, and meringue. Tickets are $65 per person and the tea will run from 2-4 pm.

Monday, October 24

Creole Soul Beer Dinner at Funky Picnic Brewery & Café
The Southside brewery and restaurant is teaming up with nearby neighbor Dusty Biscuit Beignets to present a five-course Cajun-inspired beer-pairing dinner. Menu highlights include shrimp po' boy beignets with turtle soup shooters, rabbit andouille gumbo, and spicy crawfish etouffee. The $90 per-person ticket includes beer pairings, tax, and gratuity. Dinner starts at 7 pm.

Riscky's Barbeque 95th Anniversary Celebration

Riscky’s Barbeque, the second-oldest restaurant in Fort Worth and a Texas barbeque legend since 1927, is celebrating its milestone 95th anniversary. In addition to offering 95-cent specials at all locations and $95 gift card giveaways all week long on social media, Riscky’s is hosting a celebratory event at its Fort Worth Stockyards location.

Event attendees will enjoy free barbeque samplers cooked on-site, craft beer courtesy of Ben E. Keith, a live radio broadcast from 95.9 The Ranch, and Instagram-worthy photo opportunities.

Limited-edition 95th anniversary t-shirts, glassware and other prizes will be given to the first 95 attendees, with one lucky winner winning a grand “Overnight in the Fort Worth Stockyards” package, which includes an overnight stay and valet parking at the Hotel Drover, two tickets to the Stockyards Championship Rodeo, and gift cards to Billy Bob’s Texas, Sassy Pantz Boutique, Beef Jerky Experience, and Riscky’s BBQ/Riscky’s Steakhouse.

Photo courtesy of Hurtado

Award-winning Hurtado Barbecue brings the brisket & biscuits to Fort Worth

BBQ News

Fort Worth's newest BBQ restaurant has arrived with brisket a-plenty: Award-winning Hurtado Barbecue quietly opened a location on September 27 in the Southside neighborhood, in the where it will serve barbecue with a Tex-Mex twist Tuesday-Sunday from 7 am-5 pm.

The restaurant takes over the space at 1116 8th Ave. previously occupied by Derek Allen's Texas Barbecue, which closed in June.

This is the third location for a concept founded by Brandon Hurtado who started his BBQ journey doing barbecue in his backyard, then graduated to a food truck before opening the first brick-and-mortar location in Arlington in February 2020. A second location opened in Little Elm in 2022.

Fort Worth has become the erstwhile capital of barbecue in Texas, logging more spots on Texas Monthly's recent list of top 50 BBQ spots, than any other city in Texas - a list that included Hurtado's Arlington location.

The magazine recommended Hurtado's Texas Twinkie, a brisket-and-pimento-cheese-stuffed jalapeño wrapped in bacon, and also praised the El Jefe Platter, a sampler with brisket, glazed pork ribs, and turkey, and the Big Red barbacoa tostada with beef cheeks and refried beans.

Other menu items include brisket, ribs, sausage, turkey, and burnt ends plus sides such as Hatch chile mac & cheese and baked potato salad. Fort Worth will offer beer and wine, as does the restaurant in Arlington (Little Elm has a full bar).

Hurtado has said that some of his menu items originated from the food he grew up eating, such as the brisket biscuit he does and that includes his Tex-Mex spin, such as sausage stuffed with poblano queso fundido, smoked elote, barbacoa tacos, and the serrano peppers he adds to his coleslaw to give it a kick.

He does some fun items including a Texas-style brisket benedict, with a honey butter biscuit made with beef tallow, topped with brisket and scrambled eggs; and trendy brisket birria tacos.

It's a fusion with broad appeal: They also have a food stand at the Texas Rangers' Globe Life Field.

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CultureMap Emails are Awesome

'Lightscape' shines bright in this week's 5 most popular Fort Worth stories

This week's hot headlines

Editor's note: A lot happened this week, so here's your chance to get caught up. Read on for the week's most popular headlines. Looking for the best things to do this weekend? Find that list here.

1. What to expect at 'Lightscape,' Fort Worth's new walk-thru winter wonderland. Fort Worth’s most Instagrammable new holiday lights display is best enjoyed without clinging to a phone. “Lightscape,” which made its North Texas debut at the Fort Worth Botanic Garden on Friday, November 18, walks visitors through a winter wonderland experience unlike any other in DFW.

2. Hoffbrau Steak fires up the grill for new location in Grapevine. A longtime steakhouse is coming to Grapevine: Hoffbrau Steak & Grill House, a small family-owned and -operated chain that's been in Dallas-Fort Worth for more than 40 years, will open a location November 28 at 700 W. State Hwy 114, previously home to a Brick House Tavern & Tap, which closed during the pandemic.

3. Yellowstone and 1883 stars cowboy up at Fort Worth gala honoring Taylor Sheridan. Fort Worth has always been "where the West begins," and now it's where TV's hottest Western drama begins, too. The 2022 Lone Star Film Festival Gala - held November 11 at Hotel Drover in the Stockyards - leaned hard into the city's connections to Yellowstone and its prequel, 1883, with signs and programs that boasted "The Road to Yellowstone Began in Fort Worth."

4. Divine doughnuts and tempting tamales top this Fort Worth restaurant news. This roundup of restaurant news around Fort Worth has tidbits about doughnuts, Cajun food, vegan tamales, and gourmet ice cream, culled from press releases, social media, and the occasional hot tip. Here's what's happening in Fort Worth restaurant news.

5. Here comes Santa House, back to Grapevine for a very charitable 2022 Christmas season. After taking a much-needed break last year, Louie Murillo and his family are once again decking their halls, yard, and rooftop to bring back the Grapevine Santa House — a smash hit during the 2020 holiday season. The half-acre property is a "Where's Waldo?" maze of more than 1,000 Santa statues, which visitors can walk among, snap photos with, and then, they hope, make a donation to Grace Grapevine's Christmas Cottage program.

Texas parks beckon throughout 2022 holidays with festive events and peaceful escapes

If roasting ‘smores and hiking in the great outdoors sounds fun, pack up your family and visit one of Texas’ state parks this holiday season.

Texas state parks and historic sites are ringing in the holidays with a number of festive events. There are drive-thru light tours, special holiday hikes, arts and crafts for the kiddos, and more.

Reservations fill up quickly, so be sure to visit an individual park's website before you head out. And check the Holidays in the Parks page for many more fun options, pricing information, and more information.

Dallas-Fort Worth-area parks

Tyler State Park
Avoid the Black Friday madness with the 15th annual “Walk-off the Bird” Bird Walk, a 2.1-mile walk by the lakeshore at 9 am November 25. Bring your binoculars to relax and enjoy the bird life of the East Texas Pineywoods. At 2 pm the same day, enjoy a Fall in the Savannah fall foliage hike. Enjoy Reading Ranger Campfire Stories around a cozy campfire at 3 pm December 3. Head back December 9-10 for A Pineywoods Christmas, when you can stroll or drive through the Lakeview and Big Pine campgrounds to take in campers' elaborately decorated sites and take a Winter Wonderland Hike.

Lake Tawakoni State Park
Drive through or stay at the park and decorate your campsite with your favorite Christmas decorations to receive your second night of camping free during your stay. There will be a decorating contest, complete with awards, as well as a reading of The Night before Christmas — all part of Twinkle Tour 2022, 5-8 pm December 3.

Daingerfield State Park
Drive through the park lit up like Santa Land during the 10th annual Christmas in the Park drive thru lights tour December 14-17 (times vary). Marvel at the decorated campsites and lights, and enjoy hot chocolate and cookies while waiting for a chance to visit with Santa.

Eisenhower State Park
Help those in need and spread holiday cheer — and as a bonus, get free entry to the park — by bringing one unwrapped donation item to the park’s Holiday Donation Drive from November 25 to December 19. Come back December 9-10 to visit the Light Up the Park drive-thru lights event, featuring milk and cookies with Santa. This year, the park is taking unwrapped toys to donate instead of collecting entrance fees for the event.

Cleburne State Park
Enjoy Pancakes With Santa and make pinecone bird feeders 9-11 a.m. December 10.

Cedar Hill State Park
Walk off your Thanksgiving Day meal and explore nature in the cool fall air during the three-mile Thanksgiving Nature Walk 7:30-9 a.m. November 26. Search for birds taking their winter break at the park during their Winter Birding Walk, which takes place 7:30-8:30 am December 13. Explore Christmas on Penn Farm on December 17: Learn about the history and pioneers of the Penn Family and the farm they built 150 years ago.

Lake Mineral Wells State Park
Experience Christmas, cowboy style, at Cross Timbers Cowboy Christmas, December 3. Park ranger and cowboy poet David Owens will gather guests around a campfire at the Lone Star Amphitheater for an evening of cowboy culture through songs, stories and poems.

Dinosaur Valley State Park
In partnership with Toys for Tots, the park is hosting Christmas in the Valley, a full day of ranger-led events, programs, family friendly activities, arts and crafts, food and more. Bring a new and unwrapped toy for free admission for the whole family. The event takes place 1-4 pm. December 17.

Austin/San Antonio-area parks

Bastrop State Park
The park’s annual Gobble Till You Wobble hike November 25 has been canceled due to predicted rains. However, you can still follow ornaments with clues through the park every day in December during the annual Fa La La Through The Forest Scavenger Hunt. Enjoy the Lost Pines Christmas Parade, a collaborative event with Bastrop and Buescher Parks, at 6 pm December 10. Tour the inside of the historic Refectory and see how the Civilian Conservation Corps celebrated Christmas away from home during A Lost Pines CCC Christmas 9 a.m. to noon December 17.

Lyndon B. Johnson State Park & Historic Site
Attend Deck the Halls, 10 am. to 3 pm November 26 to explore how early Texans at the Sauer-Beckmann Farm got ready for the holidays by stringing popcorn and decorating cookies to hang on their Christmas tree; learn how to make wreaths out of local cedar and dip candles as the farm staff get ready for das Weihnachten (Christmas). Return to the park at 5:30 pm December 18 for the 53rd Annual Tree Lighting, a holiday tradition started by President and Mrs. Johnson.

Garner State Park
Join the Buffalo Soldiers program and friends as they stop into Garner State Park before leaving for Christmas break during the Marching Towards Christmas event 10 am to 2 pm December 10. Christmas activities will include hand-dipped candles, frontier Christmas painting, Christmas-themed hard tack in Dutch ovens, and stories of the Buffalo Soldiers.

Buescher State Park
Take a Giving Thanks Guided Hike and learn how the Civilian Conservation Corps built the park from 3-4 pm November 26. On the Fa La La in the Forest Scavenger Hunt, you can follow ornaments with clues through the park to secure a prize at the end, December 1 to January 1. Enjoy the Smithville Festival of Lights and Lighted Parade, a collaborative effort between Buescher and Bastrop parks, on December 3.

Hill Country State Natural Area
See how art, history and state parks are connected; learn some basic watercolor techniques and paint a card or two to take home during the Watercolor Christmas Cards event 2:30-4 p.m. December 3. Come back for Horses in History & Ornament Craft from 2:30-4 pm. December 22 and learn how horses played important roles in the lives of vaqueros, native people, ranchers and more. Then, play a round of horseshoes and paint a horse ornament to take with you.

South Llano River State Park
At Christmas at the Ranch, 2 to 5 pm December 3, guests can warm up with hot chocolate and cider, listen to live entertainment, enjoy crafts and cookie decorating, and anticipate Santa's visit while taking in the twinkling lights and Christmas decorations at the historic Ranch House that now serves as Park Headquarters.

Houston and Gulf Coast-area parks

Brazos Bend State Park
Holiday in the Park is an all-day affair on December 10. Events include a self-guided "Elf Hike," Christmas crafts, "Pup Parade," s'mores, and more.

Goose Island State Park
See the park in lights, enjoy holiday activities, and camp for free when you decorate your campsite during Christmas in the Park on December 17. Guests are invited to "Santa's Village" at the CCC Recreation Hall for holiday crafts, games, hot chocolate around the campfire, and to drop off letters to Santa in the North Pole Mailbox.

Lake Livingston State Park
Learn about your favorite Thanksgiving food (the turkey) during Campfire Turkey Talk on November 26. Rangers will cover the history of Thanksgiving, the habits and behaviors of wild turkeys, and share interesting facts about turkeys, including how it nearly became our national bird.

Lake Corpus Christi State Park
Get in the holiday spirit with the second annual Holiday Light Drive Thru 6-9 pm December 10. Visitors can enter the park for a drive through the lighted areas of Javelina and Opossum Bend camping loops, plus the Old Pavilion.

West Texas and the Panhandle-area parks

Franklin Mountains State Park
Pack your Thanksgiving leftovers and hike 1.5 miles up to Aztec Caves during the park’s Turkey Trot at 11 am November 25. On December 3, make ornaments and holiday cards with recycled materials as part of the Art in the Parks series. During Cookies and Cocoa, you can decorate and take home your own Christmas treat while sipping on a cup of hot chocolate 2-4 pm December 23. Come back on Christmas Eve for a guided, two-mile Santa Hike at 11 am.

Hueco Tanks State Park & Historic Site
Bring your family out for Home for the Holidays guided family hike on December 10 and moderate hike on 17.

San Angelo State Park
Enjoy a drive-thru tour of lights and optional pictures with Santa and Smokey Bear during Holly-Days in the Park 6-8 pm December 10.

Affluent Fort Worth neighbor leads list of lavish holiday spending budgets in U.S.

Santa Baby

As the most wonderful time of the year approaches, holiday shopping budgets are in the spotlight, and a study from WalletHub lists Flower Mound as one of the top cities where Santa doesn't need a whole lot of help.

According to the personal finance website, the average holiday budget in Flower Mound is $3,531 per person, the third highest in the nation.

The town's 2021 population of 77,243 (per the U.S. Census) boasts a median income $139,703 and earlier this year was named by Ventured.com as the richest city in Texas.

In spite of an increase over last year's gift list totals, Flower Mound dropped to the third spot after being ranked No. 1 last year with a budget of $3,427. Newton, Massachusetts (budget $4,233) and Palo Alto, California (budget $3,920) edged out the Texas city this year.

Flower Mound was the only Texas city in the top 10, but there's plenty of holiday cheer to be found in the report, and not just for Flower Mound Santa fans.

Each year, WalletHub calculates the maximum holiday budget for over 550 U.S. cities "to help consumers avoid post-holiday regret," the website says. The study factors in income, age of the population, and other financial indicators such as debt-to-income ratio, monthly-income-to monthly-expenses ratio and savings-to-monthly-expenses ratio.

Despite nationwide focus on inflation strains, holiday spending is expected to be healthy, and higher than last year.

"The seeming social upheaval in recent times may lead households to spend more in an attempt to take some control of the environment which they can control," says Robert Wright, University of Illinois, Springfield professor emeritus who was among five experts consulted for advice about holiday shopping.

This could be good news if your Christmas wishes are on local shopping lists. Eight other North Texas cities landed in this year's top 100 heftiest holiday budgets:

  • Allen, No. 17 , $2,670
  • Frisco, No. 37, $2,150
  • McKinney, No. 45, $2,070
  • Plano, No. 50, $1,999
  • Carrollton, No. 55, $1,837
  • Richardson, No. 58, $1,823
  • North Richland Hills, No. 81, $1,658
  • Lewisville, No. 90, $1,630

Fort Worth landed at No. 366 with a budget of $890, while Dallas landed at No. 401 out of 558 cities with an average holiday budget of $845.

Elsewhere in Texas, spending in the Austin area won't be ho-hum with the Capitol City's budget of $1,705 ranked at No. 78. Two Austin suburbs, Cedar Park (budget $2,855) and League City (budget $2,541) ranked 14 and 20, respectively.

Santa's bag could be a mixed bag in the Houston area with three suburbs in the top 100, but the urban center falling behind:

  • Sugar Land, No. 15, $2,793
  • Pearland, No. 36, $2,172
  • The Woodlands, No. 71, $1,733
  • Houston, No. 366, $890

Things don't look too jolly for San Antonio, ranked at No. 431 with an average budget of $803 or Pharr, which was the lowest ranked city in Texas.

At No. 553 with a budget of $487, the Rio Grande Valley city came in just a few spots ahead of last place Hartford, Connecticut, with a budget of only $211.