The April edition of our monthly Where to Eat column has a spring theme, with five Fort Worth restaurants that are celebrating the season with fresh new menus for spring.

Spring means the end of hearty, heavy comfort food and the beginning of light and breezy dishes, perfect for springtime nibbling. These new dishes also provide a great excuse to revisit a favorite restaurant: You get to try something new.

Here's where to eat in April:

Ellerbe Fine Foods
So many local restaurants have adopted a farm-to-table philosophy, it’s easy to forget who was doing it first. Since opening nearly 15 years ago in a 1940s service station on Magnolia Ave., Ellerbe’s — like clockwork — introduces a new menu when the seasons change. Chef Molly McCook’s new spring menu includes cornmeal-crusted redfish with blackened tomatoes; grilled, herb-crusted rack of lamb with housemade labneh; and, a sure-fire way to start a meal, spring beets with pickled turnips.

Opulent downtown dining destination is celebrating spring with several new dishes from executive chef Blaine Staniford. For an appetizer, try the new shrimp and grits, featuring Royal Red shrimp (large, crimson-colored shrimp), grits, and Staniford’s take on etouffee; or spring carrot bisque, made with pickled baby carrots, crème fraîche and spicy macadamia nuts. There’s a new salad with citrus roasted beets and smoked blue cheese, and a seafood bouillabaisse with crab legs, shrimp, mussels, and hirame fluke.

Maria’s Mexican Kitchen
Opened in 2021, Fort Worth chef Felipe Armenta’s high end Mexican restaurant in the TCU area is one of the few local Mexican restaurants to offer seasonal menus. Its spring menu emphasizes seafood, with new items such as seabass ceviche, blue crab and butter-poached enchiladas, and salmon marinated in a combination of garlic, soy, sesame, and chipotle peppers.

Pizza Verde
Nominated for Best New Restaurant in CultureMap's 2023 Tastemaker Awards, Fort Worth’s plant-based pizza joint recently introduced a handful of new pies, including the Funghi, made with an oil and garlic base, mozzarella, roasted oyster and cremini mushrooms, capers, parsley and fried leeks; and the Chimi, a pie with an oil and garlic base, mozzarella, Juicy Marbles steak, red onion, chimichurri, and parmesan chips, all of which are plant-based ingredients. For heavier appetites, there’s a new sub sandwich, made with plant-based meatballs and marinara; and Fritto Misto, their plant-based take on the classic appetizer, featuring oyster mushrooms and New Wave shrimp.

Taste Project
Open for breakfast, brunch and lunch, this cheffy, pay-what-you-can restaurant in the Near Southside area regularly rotates items, especially on its lunch menu, which was recently updated with several spring dishes. Among them is a shaved carrot and red and golden beet salad, with arugula, crumbled goat cheese, and mint, all tossed in a toasted fennel vinaigrette. New entrees include a lamb burger topped with whipped feta cheese, and a rice & veggie bowl filled with snap peas, pea shoots, fried leeks, and pickled veggies. Desserts include panna cotta and pineapple upside down cake, both made in-house.

Kathy Tran

8 best new restaurants in Fort Worth compete for top Tastemaker title

Tastemaker Awards News

In the 2023 edition of our annual CultureMap Tastemaker Awards, we're honoring the best in Fort Worth food & beverage, from best chefs to best bars to the best restaurant in Fort Worth.

Those bests are chosen by a panel of judges consisting of former CultureMap Tastemaker Award winners and local F&B experts. (The full list of nominees is here.)

But one category — Best New Restaurant — is chosen by our readers, in a bracket-style competition where eight new restaurants go head to head. You can vote daily for your favorite in our bracket-style elimination challenge, until two finalists emerge.

The winners will be revealed at our party on April 27 at The 4 Eleven at 411 S. Main St. Emceed by Fort Worth chef Jon Bonnell, the culinary extravaganza will feature bites from the nominees and sips from sponsors. A portion of the proceeds will benefit nonprofit Cuisine for Healing. (Get your tickets here before they sell out.)

To vote, click here. Don't delay: The first bracket ends on April 15.

Here are our nominees for Best New Restaurant in Fort Worth:

61 Osteria
Gorgeous interiors, floor-to-ceiling window views, and upscale Italian dishes like bucatini cacio e pepe and smoked spaghetti carbonara make this downtown spot by restaurant duo Adam Jones and chef Blaine Staniford (Grace, Little Red Wasp) one of the hottest dinner reservations in town.

Food truck was a smash hit when it debuted in 2020, gaining a following for its signature birria tacos, served with a side of beef broth consommé. Owner Jacqueline Anaya opened a brick-and-mortar location on Race Street in 2022, but hours are still limited as she awaits a liquor license.

Chef Tim Love's uber upscale Italian concept in the Stockyards exudes elegance, with cocktails shaken tableside, a dress code, and a partial ban on cell phones. (They're OK at lunch.) Dishes are perfect for sharing, such as the show-stopping Lobster Alison served with sweet corn ravioli and parmesan cream.

Cheba Hut
Pot-themed sub sandwich chain from Colorado made its Fort Worth debut in the Medical District. There’s no actual marijuana on the menu, there are more than 30 “toasted” sandwiches, along with a full bar and “Munchies” like loaded nachos, meatballs, and pretzel nuggets. Signature sandwiches include the Jamaican Red with grilled chicken, hot sauce and jalapeno, and the Chronic with roast beef, barbecue sauce, bell peppers, and mushrooms.

Don Artemio
Also nominated as one of the top 10 best new restaurants in the country by the James Beard Foundation, this upscale Mexican restaurant takes diners on a journey deep into Mexico through cuisine and atmosphere. Dishes like the crispy fried cactus and Chilean sea bass in black mole add to the adventure, along with an array of Mexican wines.

Jon’s Grille
TCU bar and grill from chef Jon Bonnell serves burgers, barbecue, tacos, baked potatoes, akaushi beef hot dogs, and craft cocktails. The menu includes a burger of the week in creative flavors such as the Al Pastor topped with shredded pork and a seared pineapple, or the Sweet & Sour, smothered with pork belly jam and melted Swiss.

3rd Street Market
Bright and airy market and café in Sundance Square comes from foodie couple Dena Peterson Shaskan (Cafe Modern) and baker Trent Shaskan ( Icon Bread) Menu of sourdough sandwiches like bacon, avocado, and black pepper aioli, and soups like French onion changes daily. Fresh-squeezed juices, gourmet coffee, gifts, treats, and cooking classes add to the appeal.

Tre Mogli Cucina Italiana
Upscale Italian restaurant on South Main St. from the Trident Restaurant Group and chef Stefon Rishel is a white-tablecloth, family-style eatery, popular for its focaccia with truffle ricotta, cacio e pepe fritters, and pork milanese, and happy hour menu in the bar.


One Fort Worth restaurant makes list of James Beard Award finalists

Awards News

An unprecedented number of DFW chefs and restaurants, including one from Fort Worth and five from Dallas, are in the running for a prize from the James Beard Foundation, which has selected finalists for its annual Restaurant and Chef Awards.

The awards recognize chefs and other culinary professionals in a wide range of categories, ranging from Outstanding Chef to Best New Restaurant. These finalists emerged from a pool of semifinalists announced in January.

Candidates from Dallas-Fort Worth who are in the running for national awards include:

  • Best New Restaurant: Don Artemio Mexican Heritage, Fort Worth
  • Best New Restaurant: Lucia Dallas
  • Outstanding Bakery: Kuluntu Bakery, Dallas
  • Outstanding Bakery: La Casita Bakeshop, Dallas
  • Best New Restaurant: Restaurant Beatrice, Dallas

Don Artemio has been on a winning streak. It's been nominated for Best New Restaurant in CultureMap's 2023 Tastemaker Awards, and also made the latest list of Best New Restaurants by Texas Monthly.

In addition to the DFW nominees, three other Texan restaurants and chefs are in the running for national awards:

  • Best New Restaurant: Tatemó, Houston
  • Outstanding Wine and Other Beverages Program: Nancy’s Hustle, Houston
  • Outstanding Bar: Las Ramblas, Brownsville

Texas also gets its own regional award in the category of Best Chef: Texas. The finalists are:

  • Reyna Duong, Sandwich Hag, Dallas
  • Benchawan Jabthong Painter, Street to Kitchen, Houston
  • Emiliano Marentes, Elemi, El Paso
  • John Russ, Clementine, San Antonio
  • Ernest Servantes and David Kirkland, Burnt Bean Co., Seguin

Notably, all of this year’s finalists for both the national categories and Best Chef: Texas are new. None received nominations in 2022.

Last year, Texans did well in the awards, with Houston cocktail bar Julep winning Outstanding Bar Program, Austin chef Edgar Rico (Nixta Taqueria) winning Emerging Chef, and Austin chef Iliana de la Vega (El Naranjo) winning the first ever Best Chef: Texas.

In addition, two Texans won media awards — Austin chef Jesse Griffiths (Dai Due) for his cookbook, The Hog Book: A Chef’s Guide to Hunting, Butchering and Cooking Wild Pigs and Texas Monthly taco editor Jose Ralat for his Tex-Mexplainer columns.

The Foundation will reveal its Restaurant and Chef Award winners at an awards ceremony on Monday, June 5 at the Lyric Opera of Chicago. Media Award winners will be announced on June 3.

Photo courtesy of Las Ramblas

Where to eat: Best Fort Worth restaurants for Easter 2023 dining

Holiday News

Brunch has become a big trend, but it has always been a thing on Easter Sunday, when it's a tradition to hit up a brunch as a reward for attending Mass. It's such a thing that some restaurants in Fort Worth that are usually closed on Sundays open for special hours on this one holy day.

Here's than where to get brunch (and dinner) on Easter Sunday in Fort Worth:

Blue Mesa Grill. Brunch award-winner will add extra items for Easter including ginger chipotle glazed ham, on top of signatures like street tacos, omelets, Belgian waffles, churros, biscuits & gravy, blue corn cheese enchiladas, potato chile tarts, Chimayo corn, Adobe Pie, and dessert bar with chocolate-dipped strawberries, banana pudding, fruit cobbler, raspberry-cajeta bread pudding, cookies, and bars. $35, includes Mimosas, or $10 for 11 and under. 8 am-4 pm. 817-332-6372.

Bonefish Grill. Opening one hour earlier for brunch with entrées such as Grand Marnier French toast sticks, and frittatas with bacon & cheddar, Caprese with tomatoes and mozzarella, and crab & Fontina cheese, all served with bacon and breakfast potatoes. Shareable pitchers include blackberry red sangria, sparkling mango white sangria, or margarita with OJ and Grand Marnier, plus bloody Marys, espresso martinis, and mimosas. 10 am-3 pm. Southlake 817-421-3263.

Bonnell's. Chef Jon Bonnell has a dozen to-go options for Easter, including rack of lamb, beef tenderloin, prime rib, turkey breast, and sides for 4 or 8 people, plus cake, cheesecake, and pies. $35 to $300. Order online by March 31 at 12 noon for pickup on April 8 from 11 am-6 pm. 817-738-5489.

Cafe Modern. Brunch buffet at museum restaurant features pancakes, omelet station, benedicts, and pastries, plus regular menu. 10 am-2 pm. $62. 817-840-2186.

Capital Grille. Opening early with full dinner menu, as well as four special brunch features: lobster frittata with asparagus, NY strip steak & eggs, filet mignon with white cheddar hash browns, and smoked salmon and caviar. 10 am-2 pm. 817-348-9200.

Clay Pigeon. Special four-course brunch features choices from tomato-piquillo pepper soup, Bibb salad, brisket hash, shrimp & grits, CP burger, and cookies for dessertz. $50, plus $12 brunch cocktails including mimosas and bloody Mary. 10:30 am-2:45 pm. 817-882-8065.

Del Frisco’s Double Eagle Steakhouse. Regular menu plus special feature: 12-oz Prime Delmonico steak with maitake mushroom and shaved black truffle for $87. Special hours 12-9 pm. Fort Worth 817-877-3999.

Eddie V's. 3-course brunch includes cinnamon rolls with cream cheese frosting, choice of salad, lobster bisque, smoked salmon, steak & eggs with red-eye gravy, lobster quiche Florentine with Fuji apple salad, avocado and crab on brioche toast, seasonal berries, or bananas Foster cake. Kids menu includes fruit, scrambled eggs, chicken fingers, Mac & cheese, sorbet, or ice cream. Full menu also available. $52, or $16 for 12 and under. 10 am-2 pm. 817-336-8000.

El Chingon. Easter brunch will feature Peeps eating competitions, Bad Bunny soundtrack, and menu items such as the burrito clásico with ham, bacon, scrambled eggs, sour cream, and Chingón cheese blend; huevos rancheros, and chilaquiles chingones, all served with choice of rice and beans, breakfast potatoes, or fruit. Buzzed Bunny with Red Bull Red Edition Watermelon and Deep Eddy Lemon Vodka is $12. Peeps eating contests occur at 1 pm and 4 pm. 11 am-3 pm. 817-870-9973.

Fort Brewery and Pizza. Regular brunch menu with signatures like their "Panther Bones" extra-large extra-garlicky breadsticks, avocado toast, biscuits & gravy, the hangover burger, pizzas, cinnamon roll, waffle on a stick, do we need to go on. 10 am-10 pm. 817-923-8000.

Fuzzy's Taco Shop. Easter to-go for parties of 10 or more with Build Your Own Taco bar ($120), Fajita bar ($140), and Nacho bar ($100). Order online by April 7.

Golden Corral. Buffet restaurant with nine DFW locations features 100-plus items has all-you-can-eat Easter favorites and popular core menu items, including cut corn and cherry cobbler. An Easter to-go package offers choice of half-sized glazed pit ham ($90) or fried chicken ($50), feeds 6 to 8, with mashed potatoes, gravy, a dozen yeast rolls, two sides, and choice of apple pie, lemon meringue pie, carrot cake, or coconut meringue pie. Order online.

Hotel Vin Autograph Collection. Brunch in the Bordeaux and Tuscany ballrooms with chef Juan Pablo Silva's bountiful menu includes flambee crepe and Belgian waffle station, seafood station, raw bar, prime rib carving station, omelet station, and kids buffet. Reservations include entry into an Easter egg hunt plus Easter bunny photo op. 11 am-3 pm. $90, or $45 for 12 and under. 817-796-9696.

Malai Kitchen. Brunch includes banh mi French toast, Thai eggs benedict, fried rice “over easy”, spicy bloody Marys, and mimosas. Price varies. 11 am-3 pm. Southlake 682-707-3959.

97 West. Holiday brunch at Hotel Drover eatery will feature breakfast pastries, followed by choices from beignets, deviled eggs, spinach & blueberry salad, smoked salmon & cucumber tea sandwiches, white bean soup, shrimp cocktail, lobster omelet, steak & eggs, fried chicken & biscuit, crab benedict, salmon, pork belly brunch burger and desserts for the table, which include petit four and mini cheesecake. $59. Special menu for 12 and under includes chocolate chip pancakes, chicken bites, and cheeseburger, $25. 8 am-2 pm. 682-255-6497.

Omni Fort Worth. Brunch includes charcuterie, deviled eggs, ceviche, cheese & herb soft scrambled eggs, Belgian waffles, spice-rubbed chicken, bourbon-honey smoked brisket, honey-baked ham, cakes, tarts, cookies, cupcakes, rocky road bread pudding, dark chocolate pot de creme, green matcha tiramisu, profiteroles, and an Easter Boulangerie with poblano corn loaf, beer bread, Parmesan lavash, hot cross buns, lemon meringue muffins, bagels, pumpernickel, focaccia, and cinnamon-raisin toast. Plus egg hunt and Easter bunny. $76 or $40 for 12 and under. 11 am-3 pm. Seatings every 45 minutes. 817-535-6664.

Perry's Steakhouse. Holiday specials include choice og glazed ham ($49) or prime rib ($69) accompanied by whipped potatoes and green beans almondine, with choice of starter from salad or carrot-ginger soup. Regular menu is also available. 11 am-9 pm. 214-855-5151.

Pinstripes. Brunch buffet includes waffle station, carving station, sweets table, bottomless mimosas, and Aperol spritzes. The Easter Bunny will hand out treats and take pictures with the kids. $32, or $15 for 12 and under. 10 am-3 pm. Reserve online or call 682-352-0905.

Reata. Brunch with pecan biscuits & elk sausage gravy, fried quail & waffles, hues rancheros, stuffed French toast, chicken chilaquiles, shrimp & grits, crab eggs Benedict, and scrambled eggs with ham or chicken-fried steak. $13-$17.11 am-2 pm. 817-336-1009.

Silver Fox. Full menu plus an Easter special: Roasted Beef Tenderloin Benedict, with poached egg, hollandaise, asparagus, and fingerling potatoes, for $60. Drink specials include a Bloody Mary with Tito’s Handmade Vodka for $18, and a Mimosa for $12. 11 am-4 pm. 817-332-9060.

61 Osteria. Brunch includes scrambled egg bruschetta, granola, semolina Dutch baby, and mozzarella in carrozza. Prices a la carte. 10 am-2 pm. 817-953-3271.

SusieCakes. SusieChick luscious lemon cake, Easter cupcakes (with carrots, bunnies, and Happy Easter decorations), Peeps sugar cookies, cookie decorating kits, and cakes with bunny and cross decorations. 817-813-2253.

Tannahill's Tavern. Gospel brunch buffet features smoked ham, leg of lamb, eggs in purgatory, yogurt with granola, French toast bread pudding, smoked cheddar grits, pastries, and desserts. $58.50. 12-4 pm. Tickets online or 817-900-9300.

Taste Project. Special pay-what-you-can brunch prepared by chef Jeff and team of volunteers. 9 am-2 pm. Reservations required, online only. 817-759-9045.

Toro Toro. Signature brunch at Worthington Renaissance Hotel with unlimited shrimp cocktail, grilled corn, arepas, steak & eggs, Belgian waffle, plus bloody Mary bar and a la carte options. $49. 11 am-3 pm. 817-975-9895.

Truluck's. Easter special favorites including miso-glazed sea bass with crab fried rice, tuna, King crab, lobster tail, and a spring fling cocktail with vodka, ramazotti rosato, and cava. 11 am-8 pm. Southlake, 817-912-0500.


Where to eat in Fort Worth right now: 6 best restaurants to grab lunch

Where to Eat

The March edition of Where to Eat, our monthly feature recommending best Fort Worth restaurants to try, centers on a meal that needs some attention: lunch.

Lunch has been in trouble, ever since the pandemic, when COVID-shy workers stopped going into the office and thus began the work-from-home trend. Pouf: Bye-bye office lunch hour, no more lunch business at all.

In good news, that trend is starting to reverse. According to security company Kastle Systems, which monitors the WFH trend weekly, more office workers are returning to the workplace. A recent survey of 10 of the largest cities in the country found that office occupancy is at its highest level since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.

So whether you're a worker back in the office or someone still doing the WFH thing, it's time to get out and support the restaurants putting out mid-day spreads.

Here are six Fort Worth restaurants where you can grab a bite for lunch:

For hurried lunchers, Tex-Mex is always a good option, and this long-running, festive spot in the Near Southside offers some of the area’s best – as inexpensive as it is quickly served. Nothing on the lunch menu is more than $10, with most of the dishes priced between $7-$9. Options include enchiladas stuffed with spinach or cheese and onions; tostados topped with chorizo; and chicken flautas. Each dish comes with rice and beans, and the portions are huge.

Boozie's Brewery & Gourmet Sandwiches
Sandwich and suds brewpub on the west side recently reopened under a new name but, it's still under the guidance of chef Dave Hollister, who made a name for himself in Fort Worth food circles as a talent. Boozie's specializes in sandwiches, that lunchtime staple, with top shelf ingredients: a Reuben made with in-house brined Akaushi Wagyu pastrami; croque madame with housemade Canadian bacon; chicken-fried chicken sandwich with house pimento cheese. There are burgers including a build-your-own option, a Chicago hot dog, soups, and sides including bacon ranch potato salad and fried broccoli with basil pecan pesto. It's a family-friendly place, with a huge kids menu and housemade sodas. There's also a full bar with craft cocktails and in-house brewed beer.

Hurtado BBQ
Most barbecue restaurants have limited hours; many aren't even open Monday, Tuesday, or Wednesday. But the new Hurtado BBQ in Fort Worth (the original location is in Arlington), which recently took over Derek Allan’s BBQ’s space in the hospital district, is open seven days a week, making it a good option for a weekday barbecue lunch. Owner Brandon Hurtado’s menu combines Central Texas-style barbecue with Mexican food. The barbecue basics are all there - fatty or lean brisket, ribs, both beef and pork, housemade sausages, smoked turkey and chicken – and are available by the pound, in a sandwich or in tacos or on nachos. Sides are made on-site and include green beans spiked with chorizo, Hatch chile mac & cheese, elote, and pinto beans. The space inside is super tight but there’s a nice patio area with additional seating. Hurtado is open for breakfast, too, with items such as brisket and egg tacos.

Righteous Foods
If it's a healthy lunch you want, it's hard to beat Lanny Lancarte's Righteous Foods, a pioneer in the realm of better eating that Lancarte opened nearly a decade ago - far ahead of what is a growing healthy-restaurant scene in Fort Worth. Open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, Righteous meets the needs of all the specialized dining segments, from vegan and vegetarian options such as eggless curried noodles and coconut chia seed pudding, to organic burgers, gluten-free deviled eggs, keto-friendly pistachio guacamole, and other dishes that are mindful of your health.

Secret Garden
For years, the Secret Garden was just that – a well-kept secret known only to antique shoppers and dealers at the Montgomery Street Antique Mall. But this small café has become a major ladies-who-lunch spot and on weekends especially, there’s usually a wait for a table. From the small menu comprised of sandwiches, salads, quiche, and a half-dozen desserts, many opt for the excellent chicken salad, available as an entrée or sandwich; or the sampler, made up of small portions of a soup and salad of your choice, plus fruit bowl. There’s a wide variety of teas and several desserts, including a housemade bread pudding drowned in a sweet praline sauce.

3rd Street Market
After so many downtown restaurants have closed over the past three years, this salad, sandwich, and soup shop has been a godsend for downtown lunchers. Opened last fall by local culinary power couple Dena Peterson Shaskan and her husband Trent Shaskan, 3rd Street is an all-in-one restaurant, bakery, tearoom, and coffee shop. Its main emphasis is on freshly baked sourdough bread – available by the loaf, half loaf, or in the form of imaginative sandwiches. Those sandwiches rotate daily and have included roast beef with horseradish herb aioli, and paneer with garam masala aioli. Soups include nice surprises like bouillabaisse and white bean & kale.

Photo courtesy of Tokyo Cafe

The top 10 neighborhood restaurants in Fort Worth offer a feeling of home

Tastemaker Awards

In 2022, CultureMap Fort Worth debuted its own edition of the Tastemaker Awards, a culinary celebration that shines a light on top restaurant and bar talent in Tarrant County in various categories, as voted on by peers. The awards ceremony is back for 2023 and will be held April 27 at The 4 Eleven at 411 S. Main St.

The signature tasting event will feature bites and beverages from the nominees and will be hosted by Fort Worth chef Jon Bonnell. Tickets are now on sale, here. (Note that early bird ticket sales end April 2.)

While we wait for the big party, get to know the nominees. All will be profiled as part of a special editorial series leading up to the event.

Up first, the category of Neighborhood Restaurant of the Year. These places are close and convenient to established residential neighborhoods and offer a feeling of home that keeps regulars coming back over and over again.

Here are the 10 nominees for Neighborhood Restaurant of the Year, in alphabetical order:

Cafe Bella
Open since 2000 in the hidden Westcliff Shopping Center, Café Bella is the Cheers of several nearby neighborhoods, from Bluebonnet Hills to Tanglewood. Except at this place “where everybody knows your name,” it’s up to you to BYOB. Perhaps that’s part of the draw, along with the unpretentious classic Italian dishes served at affordable prices, like chicken piccata, fettucine alfredo, and baked lasagna. The interior is also inviting, with faux floral hanging from the ceiling along with preset glassware and folded napkins. Also inviting is the owner, Eli Golemi, who’s gained a loyal following not only for her comforting dishes but for her gracious personality – like that of a best friend.

Carshon's Deli
Family owned and operated since 1928, this kosher-style delicatessen has been in its current location in South Fort Worth since the 1970s, serving generations of patrons. Located near a busy intersection at Berry Street and Cleburne Road, the sandwich shop draws regulars for its corned beef and pastrami sandwiches, chicken and tuna salads, soups, chili, and toasted bagels. Don’t miss the Strawberry Delight, a layered slice of whipped cream, strawberries, and crumbled shortbread. Carshon’s is cash only and is only open for breakfast and lunch but does serve beer and wine.

Guapo Taco
Because of its discreet location inside a Riverside gas station, this neighborhood taco joint may fly under the radar – but not to its neighbors in the know. Angel Fuentes (who has also been nominated for a Tastemaker Award for Rising Star Chef) opened the eatery in 2021, but he had already gained a following as co-owner of another taco hot spot, Mariachi’s Dine-In, which had been in the same space since 2018 before moving to West Fort Worth. Now as the sole proprietor, the Monterrey, Mexico native has been able to showcase hometown flavors along with personal creativity. Patrons will find birria tacos, quesadillas, burritos, and tortas along with elote, beef cheek barbacoa, and green or red chile chicken posole. Customers can order to-go easily or sit and enjoy a plate in the colorfully decorated, sectioned-off area of the gas station’s convenience store.

Los Vaqueros
When your neighborhood is the Fort Worth Stockyards, your customers may come from all over the world. But the Cisneros family, who opened the Tex-Mex institution on North Main Street in 1983, welcomes every guest as if they are a next-door neighbor. In an area of glitzy revitalization with the addition of Mule Alley, Los Vaqueros is a mainstay now celebrating 40 years in business under the same ownership. Regulars, whether locals or out-of-towners, visit for the airy chips and fresh salsa, sour cream enchiladas, stuffed chiles rellenos, and the popular Don Juan Coco Von – chicken breast marinated in wine sauce with mushrooms, peppers, and tomatoes served with guacamole. Because the restaurant offers a massive footprint in what was formerly a warehouse, accommodating large families here is easy to do.

Roy Pope Grocery
Open since 1943, Roy Pope Grocery has been a neighborhood go-to for generations. The Camp Bowie Boulevard grocer, wine shop, and café received a facelift when a new ownership group took the reins in 2020. What stayed the same: custom beef butchery, high-end shelf stable products, chef-made hot and cold deli items, and a wide lineup of wine and beer. What’s new: an on-staff sommelier, wine club, gourmet coffee bar, indoor and outdoor seating, floral department, frozen custard, house-made sangria, and even occasional live music. The new-and-improved Roy Pope earned a nod from Texas Monthly as of the state's best new restaurants in 2022.

Tokyo Café
Simply referred to as “Toyoko” to its regulars, this West Fort Worth Japanese restaurant and returning Tastemaker winner has a steady stream of patrons from nearby neighborhoods, along with destination diners who drive in from the outskirts of town. That’s because owners Mary and Jarry Ho, both graduates of Texas A&M, have kept Tokyo Café innovative and relevant while maintaining a welcoming atmosphere. Jarry’s parents started the restaurant in 1997; he took over in 2003. In 2009, he hired chef Kevin Martinez, who’s added his adventurous influence to the menu, attracting a new generation of young foodies. The restaurant survived a terrible fire in 2014 that led to a two-year closure. Upon its reopening, customers came back in droves, ready to support their favorite neighborhood Japanese eatery that’s popular for date night, girl groups, and young families, too.

Tributary Café
When a restaurant owner chooses to open their restaurant just blocks away from where they live, the investment into the neighborhood is pretty big. That’s the case with Tributary Café on Race Street, whose owners Cindy and Roney Wheeler live in nearby historic Oakhurst. The couple opened the Louisiana-inspired eatery in a renovated 1940s bungalow in 2016. Because the restaurant is an actual house with wooden floors, front porch, and covered patio, the feel is definitely neighborly. Wheeler has an extensive restaurant background (Nonna Tata, Zodiac at Neiman Marcus), and once owned her own place in Waxahachie. She moved back to Fort Worth and wanted to showcase some of her favorite Creole dishes in a then up-and-coming part of the Riverside district. Today she has a slew of regulars who visit for fried green tomatoes, shrimp and grits, fried oyster po’ boys, and specials like etouffee-topped burgers. Other draws are the weekend live music, Sunday brunch, and happy hour from 2-6 pm Wednesday through Friday.

Tu Hai
A man named Jimmy Ho opened this Vietnamese mainstay at Belknap and Beach streets in 1986. Some of the same customers who knew Jimmy are greeted today by his son Lee, who’s run the family business since 2009. What keeps a good neighborhood restaurant running smoothly on all cylinders is not fixing what isn’t broken, and that’s what the younger Ho has done here. Affordable prices, a simple interior, good food, and quick service has kept regulars – from nearby workers to neighborhood families – coming back. Always popular are the various pho as well as the shrimp and bean sprout-stuffed Saigon “pancakes” (which more resemble an omelet) and the French baguette banh mi. It’s a place to eat adventurously in what feels like a home-cooking café.

Weinberger's Deli
It’s no accident that this Grapevine sandwich shop feels a bit like Chicago – Weinberger’s originated in the Windy City in 1952 before opening in historic downtown Grapevine in 2002. For more than two decades, the deli has attracted locals and out-of-towners for professionally crafted sandwiches. Without a doubt, sandwich making is an art here – that’s the way owner Dan Weinberger intended it. Customers rave about the authenticity of the Chicago-style specialties, from the hot pastrami sandwiches to the Chicago dog. But the menu goes on and on; there are cheesesteaks, Cuban sandwiches, gyros, club sandwiches, sausages, and even meatloaf sandwiches. Regulars know their favorites, so if you’re not sure what to order while in line, step out of the way until you do.

Winslow's Wine Café
Many patrons conveniently walk to this Crestline area wine bar and restaurant from their nearby homes. Winslow’s was opened by Joe Berry in 2008 in a former gas station on Camp Bowie Boulevard and was named for his beloved blue heeler. Here, the pizzas are wood-fired, the cozy bar is always busy, and the wine goes down smooth. Berry has modified the menu over the years to reflect what his clientele craves – think parmesan truffle fries, jumbo lump crab cakes, and fig and prosciutto pizza. Winslow’s is also popular for Sunday brunch or a glass of wine on the comfortable patio, where there’s always a familiar face.

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'Yellowstone' stars to greet fans at Fort Worth Stock Show & Rodeo

Yellowstone news

Yellowstone fans, get your comfy shoes ready - there'll be a long line for this one. Cole Hauser a.k.a. "Rip Wheeler" on Yellowstone, and Taylor Sheridan, the show's co-creator, executive producer, and director of the series, will meet fans and sign autographs at the Fort Worth Stock Show & Rodeo.

The event will take place from 4:30-6:30 pm only on Friday, February 3. Location is the 6666 Ranch booth near the south end of Aisle 700 in the Amon G. Carter, Jr. Exhibits Hall.

According to a February 2 announcement from FWSSR, "fans will have the opportunity to snag an autograph as well as purchase some distinctive Yellowstone and 6666 Ranch merchandise while also enjoying all the features the Stock Show offers."

The event is free to attend (with paid Stock Show admission) and open to the public.

It's the second year in a row for Hauser to appear at FWSSR; in 2022, he and fellow cast mates drew huge crowds.

Sheridan, a Paschal High School graduate, is no stranger to Fort Worth; he lives in a ranch near Weatherford and filmed 1883, the prequel to Yellowstone, in and around Fort Worth. Currently, another spinoff, 1883: The Bass Reeves Story, is filming in North Texas.

The Fort Worth Stock Show & Rodeo is winding up its 2023 run on Saturday, February 4.

Get free pet food, vaccines, and spay/neuter at Fort Worth animal event

Animal News

Animal shelters across North Texas are overcrowded right now, due to an increase in owner surrenders, and a group of animal rescues are coming to the rescue.

Several Texas-based animal welfare organizations are coming together on Saturday June 3, to offer a day of free pet food, vaccines, microchips, and spay/neuter vouchers to pet owners in Fort Worth.

The owner surrenders are a symptom of economic pressures and related issues such as food insecurity, which are up in Texas and across the U.S.

According to a release, in Fort Worth alone, the North Texas Food Bank estimates that 30 percent of the population faces challenges accessing nutritious food. These issues affect not only people, but pets as well - often resulting in families surrendering their pets to a shelter or to an animal rescue.

Fort Worth Animal Care and Control (FWACC), which receives animals from the area, has seen an increase in animals—more than 1,000 additional animals coming through its doors so far this fiscal year—with many exhibiting signs of illness easily prevented by vaccinations.

The significant increase in animals has stressed resources that are already maxed out. FWACC for example, has faced a difficult crease in its "live release rate" - the percentage of animals that leave their care alive. Last year, its live release rate was at 96 percent and a year later, it has decreased to 87 percent.

Keeping pets at home where they have families who love them is a key component to preventing shelter crowding and the impact felt by the organizations who are faced with it.

The event is Saturday June 3, from 8 am-12 pm, rain or shine, and will take place at 1678 Rockwood Ln., across from Rockwood Park.

Organizations stepping up to help include Cowtown Friends of Fort Worth Animal Control; Spay Neuter Network; Dallas Pets Alive; The Love Pit; and SPCA of Texas.Partners: Fort Worth Animal Care and Control; Don’t Forget to Feed Me Pet Food Bank; Saving Hope Animal Rescue; and Rahr to the Rescue.

The event is supported by CUDDLY, a mission-driven company centered around the needs of rescued animals and the community focused programs that sustain them.

3 Dallas-Fort Worth entrepreneurs rank among Forbes' richest self-made women for 2023

Elite entrepreneurs

Twelve of the country's 100 most successful female entrepreneurs live in Texas this year, and three of them call Dallas-Fort Worth home. So says Forbes in its 2023 list of America's Richest Self-Made Women, released June 1.

"Bolstered in part by a rebound in the stock market, [the richest 100 female entrepreneurs] are cumulatively worth a record $124 billion, up nearly 12% from a year ago," says Forbes.

To make the Forbes list, women had to garner wealth on their own, rather than by inheriting or winning it.

Texas' wealthiest women have made their fortunes in fields ranging from home health care, insurance, and aviation logistics to jewelry design, dating apps, and running the show at SpaceX.

The three female entrepreneurs from North Texas who appear in the elite club of America’s richest self-made women (and their national rankings) are:

  • Robyn Jones, No. 29, of Fort Worth. Her net worth is estimated at $830 million. Jones is founder of Westlake-based Goosehead Insurance Agency LLC. She started the property and casualty insurance agency in 2003 after being frustrated with her truck-driver husband's "road warrior lifestyle," Forbes says. He joined her in 2004 and they took the company public in 2018. It has nearly 1,000 franchised offices.
  • April Anthony, No. 34, of Dallas. Forbes puts her net worth at $740 million. She founded the Dallas-based home health and hospice division of Encompass Health Corp and sold it for $750 million to HealthSouth. In 2022, she was named CEO of VitalCaring, a home health and hospice care firm.
  • Kathleen Hildreth, No. 44, of Aubrey. Her net worth is estimated at $590 million. Hildreth is co-founder of M1 Support Services LP, an aviation logistics company based in Denton. A service-disabled Army veteran, she graduated from West Point in 1983 and was deployed all around the world as a helicopter pilot.

The nine other Texans who appear on the list are from Austin and Central Texas.

With an estimated net worth at $4.8 billion, Thai Lee, of Austin, remains at the top of the list in Texas, and ranks No. 5 nationally.

She falls behind only No. 1 Diane Hendricks of Wisconsin (co-founder of ABC Supply, $15 billion net worth); No. 2 Judy Loveof Oklahoma (chairman and CEO, Love's Travel Stops And Country Stores, $10.2 billion); No. 3 Judy Faulkner of Wisconsin (founder and CEO, Epic Systems, $7.4 billion); and No. 4 Lynda Resnick of California (co-founder and co-owner of Wonderful Company, $5.3 billion) among America's richest self-made women.

For some additional perspective, Oprah Winfrey lands at No. 13 on the list for 2023. The TV titan (and most famous woman on the planet) has an estimated net worth of $2.5 billion, Forbes says.

Austin's Lee, a native of Bangkok who holds an MBA from Harvard University, is founder, president, and CEO of SHI International Corp., a provider of IT products and services with a projected revenue of $14 billion in 2023. Fun fact: "Lee majored in both biology and economics," Forbes says, "in part because her English was less than perfect and she wanted to avoid writing and speaking in class."

The remaining eight Texas women on the list are:
  • Gwynne Shotwell, No. 27, of Jonesboro (Coryell-Hamilton counties). Her net worth is estimated at $860 million. Shotwell is president and COO of Elon Musk's SpaceX. She manages the operations of the commercial space exploration company and owns an estimated stake of 1 percent, Forbes says.
  • Lisa Su, No. 34, Austin. Forbes pegs Su’s net worth at $740 million, tying her with April Anthony of Dallas. The native of Taiwan is president and CEO of Santa Clara, California-based semiconductor company Advanced Micro Devices.
  • Kendra Scott, No. 47, of Austin.Forbes says she has amassed a net worth of $550 million as founder of Kendra Scott LLC, which designs and sells jewelry in more than 100 stores (and is worth $360 million). The celebrity entrepreneur is also a judge on TV's Shark Tank.
  • Whitney Wolfe Herd, No. 52, of Austin. She is worth an estimated $510 million. Herd is co-founder and CEO of Bumble Inc., which operates two online dating apps: Bumble and Badoo. She owns a 17% stake in Bumble and became the youngest self-made woman billionaire after it went public in February 2021.
  • Paige Mycoskie, No. 73, of Austin. She is worth an estimated $380 million. Mycoskie created founded her 1970s-inspired California lifestyle brand, Aviator Nation, which took off during the pandemic and now has 16 retail locations across the U.S. If the name sounds familiar, that's because she's the sister of TOMS founder Blake Mycoskie, with whom she competed on TV's The Amazing Race.
  • Imam Abuzeid, No. 77, of Austin. Her net worth is estimated at $350 million. Abuzeid is the co-founder and CEO of Incredible Health, which she started in 2017 to help alleviate America's nursing shortage. Forbes describes it as "a souped-up version of LinkedIn for nurses." Abuzeid is one of only a handful of Black female founders to run a company valued at more than $1 billion, Forbes notes.
  • Julia Cheek, No. 92, of Austin. Her net worth is estimated at $260 million. Cheek founded at-home testing company Everly Health in 2015 "out of frustration at having to pay thousands for lab testing to diagnose issues related to vitamin imbalance," Forbes says. It got a Shark Tank deal with Lori Greiner and is now worth roughly $1.8 billion.
  • Belinda Johnson, No. 96, of Austin. She is worth an estimated $250 million. Johnson was Airbnb's first chief operating officer and led many of its legal disputes. She stepped down from that role in March 2020, Forbes says, and left the company's board in June 2023.