Cuisinious: Food that looks, smells and tastes delectable. (Urban Dictionary)
Fort Worth is filled with fabulous restaurants. Truly. A quick Google search yields nearly 350 highly recommended restaurants. Too many for me to choose from! So I turned to the pros on all things Fort Worth: the Fort Worth Convention and Visitor’s Bureau, who recommended two restaurants that “wowed” us with ambiance, customer service and delectable food.
Joe T. Garcia’s, Where Fort Worth Goes for Mexican
From the front Joe T. Garcia’s appears to be an intimate restaurant, not flashy nor overly large.
Appearances can be deceiving.
While the interior of the restaurant may be all those things, the incredible patio- stretching a city block- is, in a word, phenomenal. As we meandered through tables filled with lunch time diners Brenna took my hand and said, “Mom, it’s like we’re eating in a castle.”
The high stone walls surrounding the patio look like a match for the Missions in San Antonio. Fountains, cabanas and pools wait around every turn of the path, twisting walkways lead you through an oasis of flora, seemingly never-ending. Though the patio can seat well over 500 people, the garden setting feels incredibly intimate, almost secluded in spots.
The mixed scents of flowers and Mexican dishes is intoxicating. Over freshly made tortilla chips and salsa made in-house we took out eyes off the surroundings long enough to choose our meal. The menu, perfected over 70 years of business, isn’t large but has enough offerings to please everyone- even the kids.
Everything at Joe T. Garcia’s is handmade. You can tell from the first bite. And, while you can’t go wrong with anything you order, allow me to highly recommend the Chicken Flautas. Trust me.
Know before you go:
Open at 11am daily.
Monday- Thursday the restaurant closes at 2:30pm, opening again for dinner at 5pm.
Credit cards are not accepted. Average entree $10; $
Upscale Southwestern at Romantic Reata
When initially entering Reata in downtown Fort Worth the vibe is very Texas. Leather, dark woods, comfy chairs in the lounge. As you walk through it begins to feel more luxurious, romantic and special.
From the beginning we knew dinner would be memorable. As she led us to our table our hostess chatted with my little cowgirls about their new cowgirl hats. A birthday card, signed by the staff, was waiting at the table for Doug. And our server, Ashley, was the epitome of Texas charm.
The menu had so many choices, each sounding more delicious than the last. We ended up ordering our entrees from the nightly specials; I enjoyed a beautifully prepared filet with shrimp while Doug tried the game special: Elk. The girls split some incredible Macaroni and Cheese- agreeing to share because they had spied the dessert tray as we entered.
While dinner at Reata is outstanding, I would go just for the desserts. They all looked so good that we each ended up ordering our own! Doug and my little cowgirls’ dessert plates may have arrived with special chocolate designs, but my Bread Pudding Tamale (seasonal) stole the show for presentation.
Before waddling out of Reata we took the elevator to the 4th floor and wandered around the incredible rooftop patio. The next time we are in the area I predict the girls will spend an evening with their grandparents while Doug and I enjoy a romantic date.
Know before you go:
Dining on a weekend or during an event? Make a reservation- especially for the rooftop patio.
Valet parking is free!
Entrees average $27; $$$
Disclosure: The Fort Worth CVB made our reservations for these dining experiences and the expenses were covered. We did, however, tip our servers handsomely as they were fabulous! Photos and thoughts are my own.