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. Where to eat in Fort Worth right now: 6 best restaurants to grab lunch. 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. Here are six Fort Worth restaurants where you can grab a bite for lunch.

2. The top 10 neighborhood restaurants in Fort Worth offer a feeling of home. Up first in our special editorial series leading up the Tastemaker Awards, 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.

3. Where to drink in Fort Worth right now: 7 best new bars for March. A fresh batch of new bars has popped up in recent weeks, and this round is prime for spring sipping. All offer either expansive patios or picturesque interiors, and there’s plenty of space at each to spread out; so going with a group is welcomed. Live music is also a common theme with this collection of new spots.

4. 10 new ideas for a FOMO-free spring break staycation in Dallas-Fort Worth. It’s spring break time across North Texas. For families who did NOT jet off to ski the slopes or head to the beach, there’s still plenty of fun to be had in Dallas-Fort Worth. We once called this "staying home." Now it's a "staycation!" Here are 10 new ideas for fun things to do, even into the weekend.

5. 5 Texas cities make a splash as best places for family-friendly vacations. Fort Worth families looking to create lasting memories - or just really need a last-minute getaway for spring break - don’t need to look outside their state. In a new report from lawn care company Lawn Love, five Texas cities ranked high as Best Cities for Kid-Friendly Vacations.


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.

Kathy Tran

Where to eat in Fort Worth right now: 5 restaurant meals perfect for sharing

Where to Eat

With Valentine’s Day around the corner, our thoughts turn to romance. The real test of whether you're meant to be together: Can you share a dish with them?

If the answer is yes, you’re in luck: This month, our Where to Eat feature is dedicated to restaurants with excellent shareable dishes. (And here's our list of restaurants with Valentine's Day offerings.)

61 Osteria
Opened this week, just in time for Valentine’s Day, the city’s hottest new Italian restaurant comes from Adam Jones and Blaine Staniford, the same owner-chef team behind two of the city’s finest restaurants: Grace and Little Red Wasp, both also downtown. The menu is heavy on handmade pastas, the house specialty, but you can make a shareable meal from the appetizers and “snacks,” from head-on blue prawns with salsa verde, to hearth meatballs, made from a mix of brisket, pork and veal, and served with hearth tomato sauce, to the blue fin tuna crudo with crispy farro and horseradish gremolata.

El Ranchito
One of the most criminally overlooked Mexican restaurants in Tarrant County, this upbeat, family-owned spot in south Arlington serves a made-for-two meat-lover's paradise: Parrillada Mexicana. A mountain of beef fajitas, chicken fajitas, pork ribs, and pork sausage is served on a smoking, sizzling platter, with rice, charro beans and pico de gallo. Seasoned pros know to throw in grilled shrimp for an extra $6. El Ranchito has a fun, couples-friendly atmosphere: On weekends, there’s a mariachi band and an Elvis impersonator performs at least once a month – good, silly fun.

Little Lilly Sushi
Sushi is an inherently shareable dish, and some of the city’s best is served at this long-running spot on the west side, which recently reopened after a fire (and has a Keller location in the works). Owner Chih "Danny" Liu’s menu is made up of sushi rolls and sashimi filled with both traditional and exotic ingredients. For novices, there are California and Philadelphia rolls. Those with more adventurous appetites can choose from marinated salmon roe, sea urchin from Japan, and bluefin tuna belly from Australia. There’s a larger selection of vegetarian items than what you usually find at a sushi restaurant – plus mango or green tea cheesecake, perfect for sharing.

Tre Mogli
New Near Southside hotspot is tailor-made for those who love to share. Their subhead is "family-style Italian," with many entrees served in choice of individual portion or in family-style portions so large that sharing is pretty much mandatory. (The menu even has a category called shareables.) You can’t go wrong or hungry with any of the pastas. The cacio e pepe with cracked pepper and Pecorino Romano cheese is especially divine, while the Bolognese, made with a mix of beef, pork, and veal, is as rich as it is filling. Dim lights, cool drinks, and five-star service make this a dining destination for those with romance on their minds.

Wicked Butcher
Downtown steakhouse has all the makings for a night out: You start with dinner, then hang in the trendy bar on the first floor and people watch. If you’re too tuckered out to drive home, you can get a room since the restaurant is part of the Sinclair Hotel. For dinner, the ultimate shareable dish is the gargantuan Tomahawk steak, a 32-ounce rib-eye, dry-aged for at least 31 days, that's designed for two people to share. You're meant to supplement that with shared sides such as brown butter roasted cauliflower, creamed spinach with nutmeg béchamel, or Brussels sprouts with an orange chili glaze.

Photo courtesy of The Fitzgerald

The 10 most delectable dining headlines Fort Worth devoured in 2022

This year's hottest headlines

Editor's note: Looking back at our most-read dining stories of 2022, we see Fort Worth's adoration of a certain Texas grocery store that's finally expanding into Tarrant County - it claimed two spots in our top 10. Readers also gobbled up news about new restaurants, a new high-tech McDonald's, and Fort Worth's very first Tastemaker Awards event honoring local culinary superstars.

1. McDonald's tests out one-of-a-kind new restaurant model in Fort Worth. McDonald’s is trying out a brand new test restaurant concept, and the only place it's happening is in Fort Worth. Located at 8540 West Fwy., the new store is a first-of-its-kind test restaurant that the company says is designed for customers on-the-go.

2. New Crazy German restaurant serves Dallas-Fort Worth the best wursts. There's a very-authentic German restaurant newly opened in North Texas. Called The Crazy German, it opened quietly on February 1 in a little shopping center at 27379 E. University Dr. in Aubrey and comes with the best credentials: The owner was born and raised in Germany.

3. Best Fort Worth restaurants for Thanksgiving 2022 dining-in or to-go. One minute it's January. The next minute, we were thinking about the holidays. It's never too soon to start dreaming about pumpkin pie, mashed potatoes, and stuffing fragrant with sage and thyme. In late October, we rounded up the best restaurants to get Thanksgiving 2022 feasts in Fort Worth.

4. Where to eat in Fort Worth right now: 5 hot new restaurants for March. Fort Worth saw a burst of restaurants open early in the year. There was a little something for everyone, including high-profile chef-driven spots and bar-driven restaurants with generous outdoor space. For our March edition of Where to Eat, we presented five need-to-know restaurants that recently had opened.

Photo courtesy of The Fitzgerald
Oysters from The Fitzgerald.

5. H-E-B supermarket chain opening first location in Tarrant County. In the biggest news of August, adored Texas supermarket chain H-E-B is opening a location in Tarrant County: specifically, Mansfield. The store will be located at the corner of US 287 and Broad Street. This will become the first H-E-B store in Tarrant County, joining its sibling Central Market in Fort Worth.

6. Location accidentally leaked for possible H-E-B supermarket in Fort Worth. On June 8, it was looking like Fort Worth was going to get an H-E-B grocery store, according to a press release from Parkside at Alliance Town Center that got nearby residents excited. An H-E-B spokesperson confirmed that the company owned land there but had no immediate plans to build a store. Then in October, H-E-B finally made it official: Fort Worth's Alliance is getting an H-E-B store after all. A groundbreaking took place at the northwest corner of Heritage Trace Parkway and North Riverside Drive on November 16.

7. Fort Worth restaurant vet to open burger joint in former dive bar space. Gigi Howell, a Fort Worth restaurant veteran, announced in January that she was opening her own burger joint. Called JD's Hamburgers, it's now located at 9901 Camp Bowie West, a space previously occupied by bars such as Last Call and Randi's Knotty Pine Saloon.

8. Fort Worth's best restaurant, chef, and more winners crowned at 2022 Tastemaker Awards.The annual CultureMap Tastemaker Awards program came to Fort Worth for the very first time this year, with a brand-new event to honor the city’s talented and hard-working culinary stars. The nominees for bar, chef, and restaurant of the year, best new restaurant, and best breakfast were introduced in an editorial series, and winners were crowned at an awards ceremony and signature tasting event on Tuesday, May 10 at the 4 Eleven venue.

9. Fort Worth bar is one of 9 across the U.S. to host spooky Halloween pop-up. A Fort Worth bar was one of the few bars across the U.S. chosen to host a special pop-up with a Halloween theme. Called Black Lagoon, it was an immersive Halloween pop-up bar concept that hit nine cities across the U.S., and that includes Nickel City, the neighborhood bar located at 212 S. Main St. in Fort Worth.

10. Authentic deep-dish pizza from Chicago is coming to Fort Worth. An authentic Chicago-style pizza name announced in February it was coming to Fort Worth: Rosati's Pizza, a chain based in Illinois that's been doing Chicago-style pizza since 1964, then opened a location at 5152 Golden Triangle. It went into a new little center at the intersection of Park Vista Boulevard in far north Fort Worth.

Toni Blay Flickr

Best Fort Worth restaurants for a sparkling night out on New Year's Eve 2022

Holiday dining

New Year’s Eve falls on a Saturday night this year, providing perfect timing to hit the town. Start with dinner at one of these Fort Worth-area restaurants, all of which are offering special New Year’s Eve menus, and some, after parties to ring in 2023 at midnight. Sequins are encouraged – they always pair well with a sparkling toast. (Prices are per person, unless otherwise noted.) Looking for some fun NYE parties? Find that list here. New Year's Day brunches are here.

97 West Kitchen & Bar
The Hotel Drover contemporary Texas restaurant will offer a four-course prix-fixe dinner with choice of appetizer, soup or salad, entrée, and dessert. Main courses include a carpetbagger steak topped with cornmeal fried oysters and Texas hot sauce hollandaise, butter-poached twin lobster tail, pan-roasted sea bass, roasted duck, and Akaushi New York strip. End the meal, and the year, with ooey gooey butter cake. The dinner is $125 plus tax and gratuity and will be offered from 5-10 pm by reservation.

The Beast & Company
The West Magnolia Ave. restaurant will offer not one but two special tasting menus for New Year’s Eve – one for omnivores and one for vegetarians. Each will start with a welcome toast with bubbly and proceed to eight tasting courses. The omnivore menu ($115) features foie gras mousse, tagliatelle of crab, and beef shank en crepinette. The vegetarian menu ($95) features charred leek with black truffle, tagliatelle of cauliflower, and salt roast celeriac. Both have eggplant dumplings. Add wine pairings for $75. Reservation times vary.

Clay Pigeon Food & Drink
Chef Marcus Paslay’s original restaurant will host a four-course prix-fixe dinner with not-to-be-missed prime beef tartare to start. Entrée courses include duck breast, salmon with caviar beurre blanc, or eye of ribeye. Dinner is $100 with an optional wine pairing for $45 more. Reservation times are from 5-10 pm.

FnG Eats
The upscale Keller restaurant invites folks to ring in the New Year with a special three-course menu. Choose from shrimp bisque or a wedge salad; filet mignon, salmon, or halibut; and flourless Kahlua chocolate ganache cake with Nutella sauce or cheesecake with miso caramel. Dinner is $75 plus tax and gratuity and seating times are 6:30 pm and 8 pm.

Dubbed “Boogie on the Bricks,” this New Year’s Eve bash will feature an elaborate buffet menu by Chef Ben Merritt, casino games, DJ music, and open bar, and champagne toast at midnight. Tickets are $250n and the party starts at 8 pm.

Flying Saucer
The longtime downtown draught beer emporium will offer a special four-course beer pairing dinner on New Year’s Eve from 6-9 pm. Courses include a charcuterie board, strawberry spinach salad, 12-ounce prime rib with stout au jus, grilled asparagus, and roasted Yukon gold potatoes, and choice of black forest cake or carrot cake for dessert. Dinner is $85 and includes beer pairings. Stay for DJ music starting at 9:30 pm and a champagne toast at midnight.

Fort Brewery
With a ticket price of only $25, Fort Brewery might be home to one of the most affordable New Year's Eve celebrations in town. The reservation includes a dinner buffet, DJ dance party music featuring '90s hip hop, and a champagne toast with party favors at midnight. The buffet will run from 7-10 pm.

Gaylord Texan Hotel
The Grapevine hotel and resort will host an eight-course wine pairing dinner inside the wine cellar at Old Hickory Steakhouse. After dinner, ring in the New Year at the Glass Cactus, where Le Freak will provide live entertainment with a champagne toast at midnight. The event is $200, plus tax and gratuity, and dinner begins at 7 pm.

Hotel Vin
The Grapevine luxury hotel will host a New Year’s Eve Masquerade Party that starts with a four-course dinner followed by live music, blackjack, and a champagne toast at midnight. Courses include oysters with caviar, spiced lobster bisque, wild salmon, and Wagyu tenderloin. All courses come with wine pairings. The event is $275, which includes gratuity. Or pay $100 to skip dinner and head to the casino and dance party.

La Onda
The acclaimed Latin-inspired seafood restaurant and cocktail bar on Race Street will host a five-course dining experience paired with both wine and cocktails. There’ll be smoked oysters, swordfish with bowfin caviar, lamb porterhouse, and brie en croute with brandied black figs. Dinner is $200, including gratuity, and begins at 6 pm.

Lonesome Dove Western Bistro
Chef Tim Love's team is doing a five-course prix fixe meal. Courses include Scallop Carpaccio, Fennel Leek Escabeche, Chorizo Oil and Herb Flatbread; Baby Kale, Pecorino Romano, Pomegranate Seeds, Rosemary Wheat Bread Croutons and Lonesome Dove Caesar Salad Dressing; Mushroom Black Garlic Bisque, Polenta Croutons and Dill Creme Fraiche; Bison NY Strip, Truffle Butter, Garlic Chile Broccoli, Boulangerie Potatoes and Red Wine Demi; Basque Cheesecake, Cranberry Compote and Rosemary Oil. The five-course menu is available for $170 or a la carte; call 817-740-8810 for reservations.

The supper club will host a special New Year’s Eve edition dinner with five courses and live music. The menu includes Spanish escargot, lobster bisque, cheese souffle, house-smoked prime rib with champagne horseradish, and bosc pear canelé with Earl grey whipped mascarpone. The dinner is $130 plus tax and is BYOB, or guests can choose one of Magdalena’s wine packages from VinoCo. Arrive by 6 pm for a welcome cocktail before dinner begins at 6:30 pm.

Messina Hof Grapevine Winery
The historic downtown Grapevine winery and bar will host a “glittering” New Year’s Eve celebration where sequins are highly encouraged. Enjoy appetizers and an open bar of Messina Hof’s award-winning Texas wines. Tickets are $80 and include a Texas sparkling wine toast at midnight. The party will start at 8 pm.

Tannahill’s Tavern & Music Hall
Tim Love's newest venture is hosting a New Year's Eve dinner and party. The evening starts at 7 pm with a tequila and champagne tasting. At 7:30 pm, dinner will consist of a raw and cold seafood bar, salad station, carving station, mashed potato bar, and dessert station. A party will rev up at 9 pm, featuring the band 4 Ya Soul, dancing, and ball drop, plus an open premium bar. An after-party will continue the night at 12:30 am, with a DJ set featuring a VIP special guest. Individual tickets are $195; $190 for a table for two, $1,170 for a table for six, and $1,950 for a table for 10.

The Back Room at Funky Picnic
End 2022 in indulgent fashion with a 10-course event at this South Fort Worth brewery and restaurant. Instead of a plated dinner, the celebration will feature 10 different tray-passed hors d’oeuvres and desserts leading up to a midnight toast. The $115 ticket includes either four beers, two glasses of wine, or two craft cocktails. The party will run from 8 pm-1 am.

Toro Toro
The Pan-Latin restaurant inside the Worthington Hotel will offer a prix-fixe dinner with a wine pairing option. Menu highlights include fresh oysters paired with brut champagne, A5 Japanese Wagyu with cold-smoked tuna, choice of Chilean sea bass or Oscar filet, and dulce de leche paired with sparkling rose for dessert. The dinner is $120 and wine pairings are $40 more. Dinner reservations are available between 5-6:30 pm and again from 8-10:30 pm. Note that valet is complimentary.

The Southlake seafood destination will offer a four-course menu with lots of choices and specialties. Highlights include Florida stone crab claws, lobster bisque, New England sea scallops, South African lobster tail, Hawaiian ahi tuna, and prime ribeye with Chilean king crab Oscar. The dinner is $150, plus tax and gratuity. Go super luxe by adding champagne and caviar for $200.

Wicked Butcher
The Sinclair Hotel's underground steakhouse downtown will serve a three-course prix-fixe dinner to ring in the New Year. Highlights include an amuse bouche of hamachi tartare, tuna and foie gras, duck a l’orange, Australian rack of lamb, and gingerbread pavlova. The dinner is $125 with an optional wine pairing for $75. Reservations available between 5-10 pm.

Photo courtesy of Dave Perry Miller Real Estate

Wild party house for sale tops this week's 5 hottest Fort Worth headlines

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. For the best Christmas lights, go here.

1. Ultimate party house with indoor pool hits market for $745,000 in Fort Worth. A seemingly inconspicuous home in east Fort Worth shows that you never really know what kind of wild-and-crazy stuff is going on inside a house - and not to judge a building by its exterior. The four-bedroom, five-bathroom house at 1809 Carl St., four miles east of downtown Fort Worth, recently hit the market for $745,000, and a peek at the interior photos shows why it's attracted lots of attention on the Zillow Gone Wild Facebook page and Twitter account.

2. These are the 13 can't-miss shows in Dallas-Fort Worth theater for December. This is the best time of the year to go see a show. There are so many family-friendly offerings just begging to become traditions, and lots of new interpretations of holiday classics. Plus, there are always one or two non-holiday themes shows, if you need a break from all the tinsel and holly. Here are 13 local shows to watch this month.

3. Italian osteria to open in downtown Fort Worth from top restaurant team. One of Fort Worth's most acclaimed restaurant teams has something Italian in the works: Called 61 Osteria, it's the new upscale Italian concept from restaurateur Adam Jones and award-winning chef Blaine Staniford, and it'll open in downtown Fort Worth in early 2023.

4. Where to eat in Fort Worth right now: 10 restaurants to take holiday guests. It’s hard to please every guest in town for the holidays, but we’re going to try. As part of our annual tradition, for our December Where to Eat, we are pointing you in the direction of the best restaurants to take your holiday visitors, finicky or not, and show them the best Fort Worth has to offer.

5. Best Fort Worth restaurants for Christmas 2022 dining in or to-go. Christmas is really a two-day dining extravaganza, with celebratory meals served from Christmas Eve through Christmas night. This list compiles restaurants serving Christmas Eve and Christmas Day brunches and dinners, along with some to-go options for at-home celebrations.

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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.

Crane flies have landed ever so lightly in Fort Worth, which means one thing

Insect News

The crane flies have arrived in Fort Worth, and this year, they're here in droves.

Fragile, leggy, and whisper-light, crane flies are most often found around streams and lakes. But at certain times of year, they show up in urban areas, hovering and bobbing around houses and doorways.

If you live in certain areas — green, suburban areas — you've surely encountered them or seen complaints on your cranky Facebook neighborhood page. This, even though they don't bite or want to bother you in any way.

To bug experts like Janet Hurley, an Extension Program Specialist with Texas A&M AgriLife Extension, their arrival means one thing: Spring is officially here.

If they seem to be in larger numbers, it's, as usual, related to weather.

"The weather has been warmer, and we've had a number of damp days," Hurley says. "We've also had an unusual 2023, with spring bouncing in and out for a couple months. They usually show up during or right before spring break. But we all joke that if you see the crane fly, you won’t be seeing freezing temperatures again."

Of all the pests Texas must endure, crane flies have to be the most innocuous. Now-retired Texas A&M entomologist Mike Merchant called them "among the gentlest of insects."

It's a myth that they prey on or are related to mosquitoes. Crane flies are larger, and unlike mosquitos, their wings do not have scales. They also don't want your blood. They live on fat reserves built up during their larval stage.

They live short but amorous lives. Their sole purpose is to mate and make more crane flies for next spring.

Hurley says that they might be a nuisance but to consider the alternatives.

"Once they're gone, the mosquitoes come in," she says.

These 10 beefy Fort Worth restaurants flip the best burgers in town

Tastemaker Awards

It’s a passionate subject in a city nicknamed “Cowtown” – burgers, that is. Everyone has their favorite, from unfussy classics to flashy gourmet versions with their aioli and brioche buns.

We're throwing charcoal on the grill and stoking fires of debate by making Best Burger our "Wildcard" category the 2023 CultureMap Fort Worth Tastemaker Awards. The Wildcard category changes every year depending on what's hot. And there's no hotter cuisine right now than burgers.

This group of nominees covers restaurants serving up wide-ranging styles, including the smashburger, the pitmaster burger, the fancy truffle burger, the eccentric burger made with local beer-infused ingredients, and the traditional chargrilled hamburger served basic with lettuce, tomato, and onion.

Study up on the selections - and all the other nominees - in a special editorial series leading up to the Tastemaker Awards ceremony and signature tasting event, being held April 27 at The 4 Eleven (411 S. Main St.).

The event, emceed by Fort Worth chef Jon Bonnell, will feature bites and beverages from the nominees. Note that early bird ticket sales end April 2. Snag those here.

The Tastemaker Awards, returning for a second year in Fort Worth, shine a spotlight on the people making the local restaurant scene special and honor their innovation, energy, and creativity. Nominees and winners are determined by a panel of industry experts, including past winners — except for Best New Restaurant, which is determined by reader vote.

Here are the 10 nominated restaurants for Best Burger, in alphabetical order:

B&B Butchers & Restaurant
The Shops at Clearfork steakhouse knows how to get fancy with burgers in a big way. Maybe it’s topping them with a thick pad of indulgent truffle butter and slathering them with truffle aioli and three-onion jam, like on the restaurant’s Truffle Burger. Or maybe it’s serving them open-faced with fried oysters, filet, and pork belly as they do with the Carpet Bagger Burger. There’s also the Hill Country Burger featuring smoked sausage, barbecue sauce, and pepperjack cheese; and the Butcher Shop Burger loaded with thick applewood smoked bacon. All are served with thick-cut steak fries and are available only at lunch.

The Bearded Lady
The half-pound burgers are always head-turners at this South Main Street gastropub and patio. One example: The Bill Dill, a mile-high pickle-themed burger topped with fried pickles, bacon, dill ranch, queso made with Martin House Brewing Company’s Best Maid pickle beer, and pickles soaked in Martin House’s Salty Lady beer. There’s also the BOTM (burger of the month), a limited special that goes wild with creativity. March’s feature is The Jambalaya, ladeled with actual sausage and chicken jambalaya along with blackened shrimp and “dirty gravy.” Get ready to get messy.

Dayne's Craft Barbecue
Dayne Weaver’s elusive OG Burger is available from his barbecue trailer as a special only on Thursdays and Fridays, and word is that they can sell out by lunchtime. Comprised of two juicy patties made from a mix of ground beef and brisket trimmings, the smoky smashburger draws legions of fans for its cheesy, heavenly goodness. Because of its limited supply, the burger has achieved legendary status. Look for it to be a daily menu offering once Dayne’s opens its brick-and-mortar location in the up-and-coming Westland area on Camp Bowie West.

Dutch's Hamburgers
This TCU-area burger hub holds a lot of history. It’s named for legendary TCU grad and football coach “Dutch” Meyer and is located in the former home of another iconic TCU burger joint, Jon’s Grille (the original, not the reincarnated version recently opened by Jon Bonnell on West Berry Street). Burgers are mostly traditional here; they come with half-pound patties, shredded lettuce, tomato, onions, and pickles if desired. Slightly flashier versions include additions like hickory barbecue sauce, bacon, blue cheese, mushroom and Swiss cheese, and fried onion and jalapeño strings.

Fred's Texas Café
Having moved after more than 40 years in its original Currie Street location to Camp Bowie West in 2022, Fred’s picked right up where it left off. The look and feel – with a patio stage for live music, icy schooners, and rustic Texas décor – is still the same, as are the medium-cooked Black Angus burgers that still come with a big pile of hand-cut fries. While the chipotle pepper and grilled onion-topped Diablo Burger is still popular, don’t sleep on creative newcomers on the menu like the Enchilada Burger; Guajillo Burger with Dr Pepper candied bacon; and the Spicy Todo Jalapeño Burger with fried jalapeños, jalapeño cream cheese, and jalapeño jam served on a cheddar jalapeño bun.

Hookers Grill
There’s nothing scandalous about this hidden Stockyards burger shack, where orders are taken and picked up from an outdoor window. Hooker is the last name of Ruth, who runs the place with her mom, Kathryn. Here, fried onions are pressed into the thin Hereford beef patties, which almost fall apart between smashed, griddle-top-toasted buns. The ensemble comes wrapped in red-and-white checkered paper and is a delicious, addicting mess. Most popular is the “regular,” which comes with mustard and pickles. Customers can add cheese, jalapeños, bacon, chili, green chili gravy, or a fried egg. Hookers is open late on Friday and Saturday nights to accommodate the honky-tonk crowd after dancing.

JD's Hamburgers
After losing its roof from high winds during storms on March 2, JD’s Hamburgers is still working hard to reopen. The Westland district burger café and patio debuted last September, drawing happy crowds from West Fort Worth and beyond for its long list of burgers and Southern-inspired bites like deviled eggs, salmon patties, and fried green tomatoes. Burger varieties include the Sherlie Ann & Donnie with bacon, peach pico de gallo, and Swiss cheese; the Cheryl & Bo with Hatch chile queso; and the more traditional Allie Mae & JD with shredded lettuce, American cheese, caramelized onions, tomato, and pickle ribbons. All come on a toasted sourdough bun and may be served with sweet potato fries or long-cut okra fries.

Kincaid's Hamburgers
The longtime Camp Bowie Boulevard burger dive evolved out of a 1940s grocery store and is still family owned and operated, now with five locations across Tarrant County. Praised on countless “best burger” lists over the decades, Kincaid’s keeps things simple with its half-pound chargrilled burgers presented with the classic build of lettuce, sliced tomatoes, white onions, and pickle chips. Additions include cheese, chili, and bacon, and all burgers come with mustard unless the customer requests otherwise. There are “fancier” options, like the “Cowtown Deluxe” with pimento cheese, bacon, and grilled jalapeños and onions, but it’s the humble original that’s kept customers coming back for generations.

Little Red Wasp
This downtown restaurant and bar hangs with the local burger elite for its “knife + fork” cheeseburger. The beefy ensemble can come with one or two patties, each melted with aged cheddar cheese and stacked with thick-cut tomatoes, red onion slivers, pickle chips, crisp lettuce, and a tangy “Wasp sauce.” A toasted potato bun holds it all in place. The concept is owned by restaurateur Adam Jones and chef Blaine Staniford, who also own and operate nearby downtown fine-dining destinations Grace and the new 61 Osteria Italian restaurant.

Wishbone & Flynt
Ask for the Flynt Burger at this South Main Street hub for high-end, home-cooked dishes. With a custom-blended patty made from short rib, ground chuck, and brisket seared in rich and luxurious duck fat (a game-changer), the result is juicy and flavorful. The burger comes with lettuce, tomatoes, onions, and pickles, along with tangy slices of white cheddar melted on top. A fluffy, toasted brioche bun keeps everything in place.


The Best Burger category is sponsored by Goodstock by Nolan Ryan. The Tastemaker Awards event will feature a Burger Throwdown where attendees will have the opportunity to vote for their favorite slider.