I’m not sure there’s a better time to resurrect this blog, and I can’t think of a better place to highlight than Heim BBQ. Since my last post, I’ve been a little busy, but Fort Worth has too. Over the last year, I got married to my soulmate, experienced the honeymoon of our dreams, changed jobs from the corporate 9 to 5 and am now working from home—doing what I love. But all of that is nothing compared to the growth I’ve seen here in Fort Worth’s Near Southside. From construction on the new Salsa Limon lot to the South Main development, there’s a ton to be excited about and much to share. So, you’ll see many more regular posts from me, and I hope you enjoy reading about my travels and life off Magnolia Avenue.
Before Heim BBQ opened, I knew my life would be forever changed. Not only can I smell the delicious smoked meats from my house six days a week, (they’re closed on Tuesdays…kind of random, I know) but it’s probably the best place to cure my near-weekly craving for Texas-style Southern cooking. Some people might disagree (no disrespect to die-hard Angelo’s or Railhead fans) but this is hands down my favorite barbecue join in Fort Worth, and anywhere else for that matter.
The bacon burnt ends alone are worth the typical wait in their outside-the-door line. And, while they don’t sell out all of the time, I still recommend getting there early to beat the rush and improving your odds at getting the best on the menu. I’ve found the best time to come is for an early lunch. Follow them on Facebook for updates.
My go-to (other than Monday evenings when I make it for their weekly Heimburger offering) is a chopped brisket sandwich with a couple of sides like their potato salad or green chile mac and cheese. But a must here is topping it off with Emma’s Banana Pudding. I usually leave this place feeling so full after gorging myself, but with all of the delicious menu options, it’s hard to have restraint here. My husband recently ordered the potato skins, and I made him share them with me. They are that good.
Owners Travis and Emma Heim have a pretty inspiring story, too. After several years of selling their meats out of parking lots and throwing backyard barbecue parties for friends, their talents and hard-work are paying off. Recently named one of the top 50 BBQ Joints by Texas Monthly, this place is worth all of the hype.
After several months of waiting, Bentley’s, a craft cocktail and crepe shop, is now open on Magnolia. This quaint, family-owned establishment is the perfect addition to Magnolia Avenue and a much-needed crepe restaurant in Fort Worth.
I’m always a fan of breakfast places, and you can enjoy Bentley’s breakfast items 7:30-10 a.m. We stopped in for lunch today, and while I’m a sucker for crepes, it was too hard to resist their menu offerings of the craft dogs. Scott tried the Bentley while I ordered the Pestoroni, and it was hard to pick a favorite as both were delicious and unique in their own way. We also tried their buffalo fries, a light and a tasty addition to the meal.
We were greeted by smiling faces and the service was on point. One of the managers walked us through the restaurant and mentioned their future expansion plans. While there’s currently limited dining space with stand-up counters, it seems that the small walk-in shop is just the beginning. They plan to open their covered patio soon and add more dining space on the second floor of the building they own next door. He also mentioned they plan to expand their hours and menu in the future.
I have to admit when I heard the combination of crepes and hot dogs, I wasn’t so sure. Bentley’s definitely did it right though. With the shop now open, I know my sweet and savory teeth will be pleased with their options.
When I first found out about Cannon Chinese Kitchen, the sister restaurant of Shinjuku Station and Tokyo Cafe, I was pretty excited. Tokyo Cafe brings back great memories as that’s where Scott and I had our first date, and Shinjuku Station is one of our favorites for celebrations, good sushi, and the freshest ingredients. Oh, and the Tok […]
One of my absolute favorite places, Melt Ice Creams is where you can find THE best craft ice cream – not just in Fort Worth – but I would have to say, the world. Melt is where happiness is made and served up to smiling faces like me, over and over again. Their flavors change every few weeks, so there’s always something new to try, plus your tasting the freshest ingredients. What I love most about Melt though is the sense of community that is shared here. Located on Rosedale Ave, Melt has transformed this corner and street into a really vibrant place. If you haven’t been, you have no excuse as I will be happy to accompany you anytime. It’s a great spot for the community to gather and enjoy ice cream.
I remember talking to my sweet friend, neighbor and creator of Melt, Kari Crowe a couples years ago about her idea to open an ice cream shop, and I thought it was pure brilliance. How was there not a craft ice cream (the best dessert of all time) shop in Fort Worth, let alone the Near Southside? It was really amazing to see Kari turn her dream into a reality by making the most wonderful ice cream in the most welcoming space. Like many great places in this area, what makes them enjoyable and memorable experiences are the incredible people behind them. Kari’s built an incredible team, so anytime you stop by, you’re sure to be welcomed with a smiling face ready to scoop up some happiness. Not only is Melt flourishing in Fort Worth as a community hotspot and well-known favorite, but they are doing a pop-up in Dallas over the next few months, so our friends to the east can now get Melt Fridays-Sundays!
Follow Melt on Facebook and Instagram to keep up with their current flavors. Each phenomenally crafted menu offers something sweet, something light, something vegan and all delicious. You’ll find yourself tasting new flavors and combos you’ve never imagined, and pleasantly surprised. Last night, I tried the vegan coconut curry and it was delicious. I also really loved the Nectar of the gods (think nectarine creamsicle) flavor. Do you have a favorite Melt flavor? I’m always a fan when Avoca Coffee is involved and pretty much everything Kari does.
Details: Melt Ice Creams, 954 W. Rosedale Ave. www.meltfw.com | You can visit Melt Tuesday-Sunday. Plan ahead for a case of the Mondays and purchase a pint (or two) to hold you over. Dallas: Melt is popping up in Oak Cliff for the next 3-6 months inside Urban Acres (1605 N. Beckley Ave. Dallas, Texas 75203) farmstead market Friday-Sunday: 11 am to 9 pm.
One of the newest fixtures on Magnolia, Fixture is known for its eclectic, yet delicious menu and cool, local vibe. Next to Spice and Proper right off of Hemphill and Magnolia, Fixture Kitchen and Social Lounge has a prime location in the beautifully-renovated space previously occupied by 24 Plates. I checked it out recently for date night and then again for a Sunday brunch, and both experiences were absolutely solid on food, service and atmosphere. Delicious drinks (Try the lemoonade) and surprising menu items like beet fries and a decked-out PB&J, make this a must-try Fort Worth foodie destination.
Brunch is absolutely one of my favorite weekend activities, so I was happy to find that Fixture is doing it right. Whether you’re in the mood for something on the lighter side or want some down-home cooking, there’s a good mix of options on Fixture’s menu. A few Sundays back, the 3Tree teachers went out for brunch and I was thrilled when everyone was on the same page to try a few starters. All three of the samplings: Texas Beet Fries, Brie & Cranberry Nachos and the Cauliflower Hummus were delicious. I tried the Frittata for my entree (airy, flavorful, and fresh), but couldn’t stop eyeing the Chicken and Waffles or the Fried Bologna Brunch Sandwich. My recommendation for your next trip: go with some friends, try a mix of starters with drinks and even split a couple entrees to get a good range of flavors.
They say August is like the Sunday of summer, and so it is appropriately fitting that I am diving back into my Off Magnolia blog on an August Sunday afternoon, in the heat of Texas summer. Maybe it’s the weather that keeps me indoors and thinking on my blog or perhaps the huge surge of restaurant and all kinds of openings on Magnolia, but I’m happy to be back writing again.
This particular Sunday, I’ve been reminded how truly wonderful this neighborhood is. I led the third class of my Popup Yoga: Sunday Service series in Fairmount Park, brunched at one of the new hot spots on Magnolia, and just minutes away taught paddle board yoga on Lake Worth. And, nothing celebrates Sunday better than a good brunch.
There are so many delicious brunch places on Magnolia sometimes it can seem overwhelming, so I usually end up directly across the street at Spiral where I know I can count on their pancakes, tofu scramble and smoothies for a delicious meal, but I decided to head to Cane Rosso and try their brunch offerings.
It’s a perfect place to meet some friends where you can cheers with dollar mimosas. Since I first tried their delicious pizza, I’ve always been a huge fan of this place, and gotta say, am even more so after I tried their breakfast pizza. Anytime you put an egg on anything, it’s immediately elevated, so needless to say this pizza was blow-your-mind delicious. What makes it so tasty? The Italian imported ovens certainly do the trick as the pizzas are in their for a short amount of time, but come out yummy, gooey and filled with flavor. Other brunch items included fried doughnuts and an egg panini, which I will no doubt be back for. First, I need to finish off the leftovers from today, but that shouldn’t take long.
This weekend, I was finally able to check out ArtsGoggle, the highly anticipated bi-annual arts & entertainment festival happening all over Fort Worth’s Near Southside, and it was even more amazing to be right smack in the middle of all the fun. Fall ArtsGoggle presented 200 artists, 50 bands and 60 venues throughout three urban villages along Magnolia Avenue, South Main and 8th Avenue; the only complaint I have was that 4-10pm just wasn’t enough time for me to capture all the happenings.
The Near Southside is famous for its eclectic renaissance of culinary and visual arts, and ArtsGoggle is no exception. Everywhere you go, you’ll meet brilliant people and encounter so many different kinds of art: live music, jewelry, paintings, glass blowing to name a few. One of the best parts? Foodie heaven. I simply recommend eating and drinking your way through each village as you stumble upon one great setup to the next. We nibbled on gourmet corn dogs at Bearded Lady, cheese plates at Magnolia Cheese Company and Mexican goodies from the Holy Frijoles food truck.
One of my favorite parts of ArtsGoggle was discovering all the little nooks and crannies that make up this area around Magnolia Ave. Local businesses opened their doors, providing a chance for the public to see what’s really behind the photography studio, hair salon, boutique, and so on – and to meet the incredibly talented people behind them. The Words on Wheels bus, aka the WOW bus was one of my favorites. A relaxed and chic mobile library that will be posted up in and around Magnolia for you to pick up a book, sit down and read a book, or share your own books. So cool.
The festival is completely free, and I loved seeing all the sweet families and lively pups taking advantage of the beautiful fall day. It rained a little bit, but I didn’t mind it. In fact, it was almost on cue as we were watching a live opera performance of Opera Shots on the Live Oak patio. [Opera shots is a free 4x a year event the Fort Worth Opera puts on at local pubs and wine bars to make opera more accessible to everyone.] Although free, I recommend bringing some dough (most vendors take credit cards) because so much of the art is too beautiful to pass up. I took advantage of the funky jewelry finds along Magnolia including the glam jewelry vendor, Chicks and Stones, offering up some incredible precious stones; naturally, I chose a purple stone necklace.
You’d think that after living on Magnolia a couple months, one would run out of restaurants or new places to check out. With new establishments emerging constantly, there’s always something new to try (or try again and again) in the Near Southside. Here’s a few upcoming openings I’m pretty pumped about:
Cane Rosso | 815 W. Magnolia
I’ve yet to actually try this popular Italian pizza, but anytime I tell people Cane Rosso (“red dog”) is replacing the Ryan’s Grocer space, they get pretty excited and then freak out when I say I’ve never tried it as I’m teaching Thursday nights (when they post up at Times Ten Cellar from 6-9pm). No word on the website as to when they’ll be open, but chances are I’ll be there opening week and will keep ya posted.
I will be frequenting this Fort Worth wine shop moving in across the street quite often. Opening this fall, Grand Cru Wine Bar and Boutique (previously located in Overton Ridge as Grand Cru Wine Shop) is is such a perfect addition to the neighborhood.
Tina’s Cocina, a BYOB traditional Mexican restaurant – focused around fresh ingredients at a great price – is set to open this Tuesday. I’m looking forward to trying this place, and also excited to hear they’ll be open for breakfast, my favorite meal of the day.
Last night, was the highly anticipated (in my mind) housewarming and joint birthday party for Scott (25) & Ollie (1), the two most important men in my life. It was a great turnout and the Stock the Bar theme certainly lived up to it’s expectations. It was such a sweet evening with some of my favorite people in the world: from long-time friends, new friends, people from work life and from yoga – all under one roof. For my first time hosting a party, I tried to make things as easy and fun as possible. Here are some tips for first-time party throwers like myself. For a guest list of 20-30 people, follow these, and you’re party is sure to be a hit.
Cocktail Weiners – Throw 3-4 bags little smokies in a crockpot (or large pot). Add 1/4 cup ketchup, 1/4 cup brown sugar, 1 tablespoon Worchister sauce, 1.5 bottles of sweet honey bbq sauce and tabasco to taste. Heat on medium to high until cooked and warm throughout. Serve with toothpicks.
Fruit & Veggies – A few of my friends are on Paleo, vegetarian and/or just really healthy, so I cut up a half watermelon, 2 peppers (yellow & orange for color), celery and carrots. Serve with ranch or your favorite dipping sauce.
Pimiento Cheese Dip (recipe coming soon from Scott’s mom and thank goodness, because it is AMAZE)
Sandwiches – Easy peasy to prepare in advance: turkey or ham, grey poupon, your favorite cheese (swiss and cheddar are both great) on dinner rolls.
Tortellini Skewers – Another super easy app that you can prepare in advance. Boil two bags of tortellini. Drain, and serve with pesto and toothpicks for quick bites.
Mac & Cheese Bites + Stuffed Mushrooms – These snacks are so tasty and easy to eat, your guests won’t care that they’re from the frozen aisle at Trader Joe’s. Pop both in the oven (I made a dozen of each) for 20-30 minutes before guest arrive at 425 degrees.
Sweets – Everybody loves a funfetti cupcake, so go ahead and make a batch of 24 (cheap and easy to do in advance). Cookie cakes are great, too for cutting into pieces so everyone can enjoy a bite.
It’s easy to go overboard with decorations, but I think it’s all about keeping it simple. These ideas prove you don’t need to spend a ton of money to create a festive space. I recommend picking 2-3 colors to stick with throughout and tying in a theme when you can. I was inspired by the colors and patterns from The Wizard of Oz, and so, incorporated an Oz theme, There’s no place like Home.
Flag Banner – Fold some colored paper (diamond shape) horizontally over string. Glue or staple on the fold and include the string. Write a message on the triangles or use letter stickers from the Scrapbook section. Use the scraps to make matching “streamers” like the photo above.
Poms – You can follow these directions here. Or by the time, you buy the tissue paper, wire, etc. you might as well just buy the pre-made poms at Hobby Lobby (Set of three for $3.99)
Fresh flowers – easy/pretty way to bring in color
Cupcake or dessert flags – So, I failed in making these adorable etsy cupcake flags, but I think it’s a cute idea to incorporate the theme into your desserts.
One of the latest pieces to the Near Southside’s ever-growing puzzle of restaurants, the Bearded Lady – just off Magnolia and 8th Ave. – resembles many of the craftsman-style houses in the neighborhood. It’s a funkified 1926 restored and renovated home turned bar with a huge shady dog-friendly patio and an energy that’s as welcoming as the neighborhood. Known for the craft beer menu, they offer dozens of Texas and national gems on draught, and plenty more bottle options. If you’re not super educated on the beer front, or just want to try something new, ask the helpful wait staff. No matter how busy it’s been, I have to say as a former waiter, the service has been excellent.
Open late night, this spot is perfect for post-party munchies. And for us, we love to share appetizers and small plates (without breaking the bank) when dining out, so the Bearded Lady’s menu is the answer to our prayers. Eclectic appetizers, fresh soups and salads, and some creatively good eats made for an exceptional date night. We split a few of items-all of which I highly recommend: Mini Beer Brat Corn Dogs, Fancy Grilled Cheese + Avocado, and the Pork Chop Sandwich. All sound semi ordinary, but each item was above and beyond delicious, and I can’t wait to try something new each time. The corned dogs come with crispy fries and some amazing dipping sauces; the fancy grilled cheese takes it to another level with add-ons like beer-sauteed onions, bacon and fried egg; and the “Slap yo Mama” sauce mixed with grilled cinnamon was an unexpected delight.
Bearded Lady | 1229 7th Avenue | 817.349.9832
Check it out for dinner or late-night grub and brews: Mon – Sun: 4:00pm – 2:00am