Cowtown Diner quite possibly captures the Fort Worth spirit better than any place we’ve been in that city. It’s proud to be country, casual but stylish, has a great sense of humor and offers the biggest dose of southern hospitality you’re likely to find anywhere in these parts. And that’s before even cracking open a menu.
But once you get a look at the offerings, it’s clear that this is a restaurant we would frequent if we lived closer, just to work our way through the menu. Owner Scott Jones seems most at home conjuring up unique countrified (and country-fried) dishes that represent comfort food at its most surprising.
Take the starters, for instance. Bacon Wrapped Deep Fried Deviled Eggs? Pigs In A Handmade Quilt? Ranch Style Bean Hummus? Not only do the names make us smile, the flavors make us sport a big ol’ Julia Roberts horse grin.
Out of all the choices, however, our hands-down favorite was the Deep Fried Pickled Okra, Cowtown Diner’s homage to the ubiquitous jalapeño popper. Full pieces of pickled okra (stem and all) are stuffed with bacon and pimiento cheese then battered and deep fried. Yes, please, we’ll take 723.
For entrees there are almost too many choices, each sounding more over-the-top than the next, with a few sophisticated options thrown in like that fancy relative at the family reunion who has to flaunt her car’s automatic windows and that new above-ground pool.
The most exaggerated offering is their $70 World’s Largest Chicken Fried Steak. (Don’t worry, that’ll get its own Gay List feature someday soon.) If four pounds of beef isn’t quite on your calorie-counting plan for the day, the next best thing is the Dairy-Queen-inspired Steak Finger Basket. It’s mini Chicken Fried Steaks! All that’s missing is a dipped cone for dessert.
Yet the one dish that screamed louder than the rest is something we really wish was available everywhere on a daily basis, just for that special craving that can’t be satisfied any other way: Thanksgiving 365. Just like the name suggests, it’s our favorite meal of the year piled up on a plate at Cowtown Diner. Turkey. Gravy. Mashed Potatoes. Dressing. Mac & Cheese. Green Beans. Cranberry Sauce. Food coma. The only thing missing is Crazy Aunt Dot Dot asking why we don’t have a girlfriend and Uncle Stu trying to force us to watch football or gut a deer. We like this Thanksgiving much better.
It should come as no surprise that desserts are off the charts here, too. Pies are a specialty, but the Caramelized Banana Pudding won us over after the first bite. Rich, creamy, and simply delicious. But one bite was about all we could take, we were so full. Next time, elastic pants will solve the problem.
From start to finish, Cowtown Diner brought back fond family memories in our mouths. Hmmm, that sounds creepy. Let us rephrase more simply: Cowtown Diner makes country cool. Again, or for the first time, depends on your perspective.
305 Main Street, Fort Worth
Promos For Homos
Opera-Palooza in Fort Worth
Tickets are still available for the 2010 Fort Worth Opera Festival, and Fort Worth Opera is offering Gay List Daily readers 30% off single tickets to all three operas (Martín’s Before Night Falls, Mozart’s Don Giovanni and Donizetti’s The Elixir of Love) for this final weekend.
Use online coupon code: GLIST30, restrictions do apply. Buy tickets today at www.fwopera.org. You won’t be disappointed.
You know the fine print. Based on availability. Not valid on previously purchased tickets or gift certificates, and cannot be combined with any other offer. Offer expires June 6, 2010 at noon CT.