Fort Worth is a fine city, with plenty of laid-back charm and style. It’s home to world-class museums, honky tonks and an array of notable dining options.
This past weekend, the tables were set at quintessential venues, and the distinct flavors of Cowtown were spotlighted in the inaugural Fort Worth Food + Wine Festival. The four-day festival brought in the city’s best chefs with their best bites, as well as wall-to-wall showcases (and samplings) of Texas wines, beers, whiskeys, bourbons and vodkas.
There was much to sample, from beef done many ways to Fort Worth's finest adding their signature flavors and innovative twists to morsel mainstays. Perini Ranch always impresses with flavorful cuts of first-rate beef, and Chef John Tesar added his twist with a demonstration for a tender and inexpensive seared braised beef tongue. His blend of spices turned this oft-overlooked meat into a delicate, but decadent meal.
One bite after the other, it was easy to appreciate the unique blends of clean, simple flavors done right.
Recipe: Seared Braised Beef Tongue
I had to double back for another mini-barbacoa (braised beef cheek) taco from Salsa Limon. A perfect bite into the fresh corn tortillas gave way to the moist (not fatty) barbacoa inside that melted in my mouth. The surprise kick was the restaurant’s signature pickled cabbage, a crisp Oaxacan-style slaw that added a tangy freshness. It was like an exclamation point at the end of the taco bite. It truly made a difference. I couldn’t get them to part with the recipe, but rest assured, I’m working to recreate it.
On the sweet side, the Swiss Pastry Shop offered its Black Forest Meringue Cake, a light and airy sugar cloud of meringue layers, thick cream and chocolate shavings. Delightful!
Stir Crazy Baked Goods' display of delectables was hard to pass up, too. Goodness! They tasted as exquisite as they looked. One bite into the salted caramel cupcake and my taste buds were in love. The simple, but salty sweet creation, is a regular on the bakery’s menu, along with the rich, flourless chocolate cake with chocolate ganache and more.
What a treat to cram so much of Fort Worth's food and wine scene into four days. But it was just a sampling. There is much dining to do in this town, and I look forward to the quest. God as my witness, I shall never go hungry in Fort Worth! :)