It's been a few years since I have done a "Best of." Three to be exact. A lot has changed. Honestly, Marian and I don't go out as much as we once did and I'm not always going to be able to say with any kind of authority that restaurant X is better than restaurant Y because I may not have been to restaurant Y.
But here's what I like best in Fort Worth right now -- and of course we'll start with the hamburgers.
1. The better than fast-food burger and fries: I like 5 Guys when I'm going for a good hamburger. I know there are lots of options now in Fort Worth, Dutchs, Jakes, Smashburger, M&O, Kincaid's, the Chop House in Arlington, but when decision time comes it's tough to beat the burger-fry combination at Five Guys downtown.
2. Fast-food burger and fries: Whataburger and In-and-Out. I like them both for different reasons. There's something about the efficiency of In N Out that I like but I probably choose Whataburger more often.
3. Beef Fajitas: still number 1 with no competition is Pappasitos. Their Tuesday night 2 for 1 special on Fajitas is a great deal and enough food for two meals for two people.
4. Coffee: you might not like this but I still say a fresh cup of Starbucks dark roast is as good as you can get in the city. And thankfully they've stopped hawking Pikes Place which in my view is just god-awful. I tried the special brewed coffee at Starbucks a couple weeks ago and thought it bitter and over-priced. I think it was $3.25 a cup.
5. Steaks and finer dining: I haven't been to any of the newer steak restaurants at least at the Fort Worth locations. I had been to Bob's in Dallas and the Capital Grille in Washington and Philadelphia which I liked. Marian and I did go to Eddie V's for our anniversary and I liked it with some reservation.The twice-baked potato was very ordinary and the steak was not what I had hoped for but everyone says good things about Eddie V's and they're probably right. I'm going to go back and try again. I still miss the Swiss House on University: mandatory coat and tie, piano, beef-Oscar.
6. Mexican. In Fort Worth I still think Mi Cocina is very good. For family run restaurants I like Benitos on Magnolia. I think La Familia has gone down in quality in the last couple years. Marian and I really like Lupe's in Lincoln Square in Arlington. It's real food, cooked with some care and their brisket tacos are as good as you'll get.
7. Retail disappointment of the year. The loss of Barnes and Noble at University Park. I have nowhere to go now when the wife is shopping down there and I just hate to see bookstores closing everywhere.
8. Pizza. The best pizza is probably Il Cane Rosso, new on Magnolia.
9. Thai: Spice on Magnolia
10. Best new development in the planning: 34 acre Left Bank development on the Trinity at 7th. "Centergy’s plan calls for about 1.5 million square feet of construction, 1,500-1,700 residential units, 100,000-120,000 square feet of retail space including a 50,000-square-foot grocer, and a 150-200 room hotel on the river levee." Fort Worth Business Press
11. Favorite new spot for a night out dinner: Bird Cafe'
12. Most changed area in the last three years: Magnolia, 7th, or Sundance. Pick one.
13. Best new development: Sundance Square
14. Most unexpected outdoor venue: Panther Island Pavilion
15. Sounds good I need to go: Coyote Drive In movie theater and Melt ice cream cones, on Rosedale.