Fort Worth’s Worth It

By chet | July 11, 2014

I’ve always liked Fort Worth.  There’s just a rustic quality to the whole city that really appeals to me.  As a self-proclaimed history nerd and wanna-be cowboy, I must say that the answer to Terri Clark’s question “Is Fort Worth Worth It” is a resounding “YES!”
Even though it’s only a Texas-sized stone’s throw from Dallas, it couldn’t be more different.  You may have seen our Fort Worth episode featuring the city’s historic Stockyards District and world-class art museums (not to mention epic food).  However, that episode only scratched the surface of the “City of Cowboys and Culture.”  So with another episode bubbling in my head, I returned to Fort Worth to experience some of things I missed, both new and old…very old.
We checked in to the Omni Hotel downtown and headed immediately to the newly-remodeled Sundance Square.  We could have walked but opted instead to hop aboard “Molly the Trolly,” a free shuttle taking folks around downtown.  It couldn’t have been easier.
The new Sundance Square is fantastic!  And packed with folks dining, visiting, and just enjoying the night’s breeze.  It was crazy to think that this area used to be a parking lot. The vibe was something you’d expect to find in Europe, but not Fort Worth.  We ate on the patio of Bird Cafe.  Craft beer and craft food lovers take note – this place was great.  I had wild boar sausage on top of mashed sweet potatoes.
Over by the water fountains, the Fort Worthians (???sure???) were living it up.  Keeping our one-and-a-half year old from bolting toward the water was…”fun.”
Sundance Square
The next morning, I think our kids would have been happy just hanging out in the window of our room at the Omni, but I dragged them out of the hotel to explore.  Gotta teach em young.
We hit the road and headed to the Fort Worth Zoo.  I hadn’t visited since I was a kid and was just as excited about it as my kids were….OK, probably more excited.  I’m like a big, dumb kid anyway.  I loved this zoo.  All the animals (big and small) were out to play.
PLUS – the entire place was shaded.  If you’re a Texan, you know how important this is.  PLUS PLUS – they had GIGANTABUGS.  Seriously – Gigantic Bugs.   If you ever wanted to know what it felt like to live inside of Honey I Shrunk the Kids, just head to the zoo.
http://www.toddwhite.orgMy 5 year old was in heaven.  My bug-terrified wife – not so much.
For dinner that night we headed to Tim Love’s new restaurant Woodshed which is on the Trinity River.  It’s got an awesome outdoor patio.
And in typical chef fashion, rather than just stick with one sort of wood, Tim mixes it up with different logs for different dishes.  Awesome stuff.
The next morning, we hit up the Fort Worth Water Gardens.  As a kid, I remember these being roughly the size of Niagara Falls.  They weren’t quite as big as , but are still pretty huge.
That’s my 5 year old on the mountain
That’s my wife way down in the valley.  I told you this place was big.
Before heading home, we hit up Peters Brothers Hats (since 1911) which is still making hats the old fashioned way which takes something like 4 months to finish.  I didn’t get my head sized just yet.  I think I’ll save that for the episode.
And just one block over was the JFK memorial where President Kennedy gave a impromptu speech before heading to Dallas.
We left with much more still to see in Fort Worth, but that will have to wait for another trip.  I could probably do 5 more shows about this place.  If you’ve never been – get on the road and….Vaya con Dios Amigos!

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