Texas Golf Association, Since 1906
Texas Golf Association, Since 1906

Cowtown Throwdown

Cowtown Throwdown

Off the golf course, few things ignite the passion of a Texan more than a spirited discussion about where to get the best steak, Tex-Mex or BBQ. We weren’t trying to stir up any trouble (yes we were), but with the State Senior Amateur being played at Shady Oaks CC from Sept. 26-28, we thought it might be informative for those coming from out-of-town if we corralled our four Fort Worth directors – Bill Hanley, Vern Spurlock, Hollis Sullivan and Ron Norman – and asked them where the best places are to chow down in Cowtown, as well as what to do after you’ve signed your scorecard.
[Q] The best place to get a burger is…

[Bill Hanley] This might come as a bit of a surprise, based on the large number of new/old burger places in Fort Worth, but for me it’s a double/double from In ‘N Out cooked well done, animal-style, with an order of fries!
[Vern Spurlock] In ‘N Out?! It’s like I don’t even know you anymore, Bill. Granted, they make a tasty burger but it’s not even in the same league as Fred’s. You cannot go wrong with this place.
[Hollis Sullivan] I agree with Vern. Fred’s is the best, a longtime Fort Worth favorite. (A famous Fred's burger is shown on the right.)
[Ron Norman] I have to stay with Kincaid’s. They get just the right amount of grease in their burgers. However, if you want a second choice, I’ll go along with Vern and Hollis and say Fred's. Now there's a good burger in a "memorable" atmosphere.
[Q] The best place for Tex-Mex is…

[Bill] This one probably comes as no surprise - Joe T’s is my choice, hands down. Great atmosphere combined with the best hot sauce around and the chicken fajitas are top notch! I should also point out that you need to bring cash because they don’t accept credit cards. [Editor’s note: For the uninitiated, that would be Joe T. Garcia’s on Commerce Street, just off North Main.]
[Vern] Esperanza’s on 8th Avenue, near where it intersects with Park Place. It’s the little sister restaurant to the great Joe T’s, but it’s the more varied menu and lively mariachi band that earns it a top spot in my book.  
[Hollis] It’s obvious you have excellent taste, Vern, because I think Esperanza’s is the best too, although I usually go to the one that’s on Main Street, just north of the Stockyards.
[Ron] Are you guys new in town? How could you leave out The Original on Camp Bowie? Fresh ingredients, great service and excellent margaritas. What else do you need to know?
[Q] The best place for pizza is…

[Bill] Mama’s Pizza was # 1 for me…that is UNTIL Campisi’s arrived. I’ll give the nod to Dallas-based Campisi’s because it’s simply the best!
[Vern] It’s very hard to beat Joe's at the corner of Hulen and Bellaire. Try the Italian sausage and pepperoni.
[Hollis] This may sound hard to believe but I don't eat pizza. However, a lot of people I know rave about Bosses Pizza out on Jacksboro Highway. It’s a little bit of a drive from Shady, but well worth the trip I’m told.
[Ron] You know, I don't go to pizza places that often but Winslo’s Wine Bar on Camp Bowie has great small, thin crust pizzas. Split with someone as appetizer or make a meal. Really good!

[Q] The best place for BBQ is….

[Bill] Only one name you need to know: Railhead. I highly recommend the jalapeno and cheese sausage…wonderful! I might also add that an ice cold, frosted schooner of Miller Lite goes well with anything on the menu.
[Vern] For once we agree, Bill. It’s Railhead all the way. I usually get the sausage dinner plate with beans and potato salad. 
[Hollis] Well, gents, Railhead is very good but you’re missing out if you don’t go to Cooper's in the Stockyards, across the street from Billy Bob's. The sliced marbled brisket is really something special. 
[Ron] Barbecue is a toss-up. Railhead? Cooper’s? Sammie’s? Nope, I stick with the iconic Angelo's on White Settlement Road. Angelo wrote the book on barbecue in Fort Worth and even though he died several years past, the quality and barbecue joint atmosphere lives on!
[Q] The best place for steak is….

[Bill] Del Frisco’s in downtown is my choice. Awesome filets. Combine the filet with a cold iceberg salad, plus a side or two and you got a meal you can’t beat. Make sure your credit card isn’t maxed out, though, because it’s pricey.
[Vern] Lonesome Dove in the Stockyards. If you don’t order the tenderloin then, well, I don’t know what to tell you.
[Hollis] This time around I’m agreeing with Bill. For a steak that has no equal you have to go to Del Frisco's.
[Ron] It looks like it’s a 2-2 tie because I gotta go with Lonesome Dove (shown left) on North Main, too. Like Vern said, you have to order the tenderloin. It’s the size of a softball and it melts in your mouth. Plus, the atmosphere is definitely Fort Worth all the way.

[Q] If you haven’t been to Fort Worth in a while, be sure to check out…

[Bill] TCU’s newly renovated football stadium. They did a fantastic job. There’s not a bad seat in the house and it’s a great atmosphere to take in a Big 12 football game!
[Vern] A touch of culture will not hurt any of the senior amateurs, so I recommend a visit to the Arts District to see the new Renzo Piano Pavilion at the Kimbell Art Museum (shown right). It’s truly one of a kind. And while you are there, to the west is the Amon Carter and to the east is the Modern. A good way to spend your afternoon if you have an early tee time!
[Hollis] It’s certainly worth your time to check out the Sundance Square Plaza in downtown Fort Worth. Whatever it is you like to do in your free time, chances are you’ll find it there – everything from dining, shopping, entertainment and more.
[Ron] Hollis is spot-on. A walk around Sundance Square is a great way to spend an afternoon or evening. Two new places I think would be good to mention because they’re in the area are Del Frisco’s Grill (different place from the steakhouse mentioned above) and the Bird Café. Both places have good atmosphere, good food and provide for lots of great people watching.
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