The restaurant business can be fickle anywhere. Here in Fort Worth it seems like there’s another great new place popping up every week. But among the comings and goings, some Fort Worth restaurants have survived and thrived for decades.
Here’s to the upcoming silver, golden, diamond, and platinum anniversaries of some of our favorite places.
Platinum Anniversaries (100 years)
Paris Coffee Shop
People have been enjoying breakfasts and meat-and-three lunches along with all kinds of pies at Paris Coffee Shop for 92 years, open since the roaring 20s.
The Original Mexican Eats Cafe
Another 90th anniversary, The Original Mexican Eats Café opened in 1926 and boasts serving President Franklin D. Roosevelt when he came to town in the 30s (there’s even an entrée named for him).
Carshon’s Delicatessen began serving deli-style kosher food in 1928. You’ll find classic lox and bagels, and several variations on the Reuben sandwich (The Rachel subs in corned beef and turkey, and the Rebecca adds pastrami, cream cheese, and smoked turkey to the mix).
Joe T. Garcia's
The famous Joe T. Garcia’s Mexican Restaurant opened in the 30s. The sprawling jewel-like patio and network of rooms belies the size of the original restaurant –– when Joe and wife Jessie set up shop, the place could barely seat a dozen people!
As the legends go, the ultimate Western waste not, want not appetizer calf fries (aka mountain oysters) were invented at the original Riscky’s Steakhouse, which opened in the Stockyards in 1927. Most of the lunch menu items still come in at under $10.
Cattlemen’s Steakhouse is celebrating 71 years of being open in the Fort Worth Stockyards. You can still get some of the best steaks in Cowtown in an environment that lets you know you’re where the West begins.
Montgomery Street Cafe
Perhaps if there were a 70th anniversary gift, it might be biscuits and gravy: Montgomery Street Café has been serving “food as good as Grandma’s” since 1949.
Golden anniversary (50 years)
Ol' South Pancake House
Ol’ South Pancake House has been dishing their Dutch Babies and everything else pancake-y since the 60s, delighting multiple generations of TCU fans and early risers everywhere.
In 1968, the original Mama’s Pizza location near Texas Wesleyan University opened its doors. By the 80s, the restaurant known for its East Coast style pies became a local franchise, expanding and contracting until the brand was redeemed by current owner Jordan Scott in the early part of this century.
Zeke's Fish and Chips
Zeke’s Fish and Chips is also approaching the golden anniversary mark – the Zagat-rated family restaurant opened in 1971. In addition to the flaky-crusted white fish (catfish or cod), you can get shrimp, oysters, and both chicken-fried chicken and steak.
Griff’s Hamburgers began selling their burgers, fries, and shakes in the 1960s. They’re not gourmet, but they are good, juicy and inexpensive. If you’re looking for portabella patties covered in a quail egg and aioli, there are plenty of other places to go. If you want a giant dose of nostalgia, wander on in!
Silver Anniversaries (25 years)
Blue Mesa Southwest Grill
Blue Mesa Southwest Grill opened in 1996 on University Street, and the happy hour quesadilla bar (free with purchase) became the stuff of legend. The restaurant moved to Carroll Street, and the new layout is much more conducive to the lovely Sunday brunch.
Michael’s Cuisine opened in 1992, and Chef Michael S. Thompson’s little restaurant survived the years of construction that brought us West 7th Street. Michael’s specializes in contemporary ranch cuisine: The MC Mixteco casserole is a loving nod toward the classic King Ranch casserole, and the red velvet cake is not to be missed.
The traditional gift for the 20th anniversary is china, and Reata Restaurant’s gone through a lot of china in 22 years. The glorious four-story restaurant has survived quite a few Texas thunderstorms (previous location) and has been home to some of the city’s best chefs: Grady Spears, Lou Lambert, and Juan Rodriguez all started their careers in the Reata kitchen.
Bonnell's Fine Texas Cuisine
Steel is the traditional gift for the 17th anniversary, and everyone knows Chef Jon Bonnell’s got righteous knife skills. Bonnell’s Fine Texas Cuisine has shored up the space on Fort Worth’s West side since 2000, and the menu was one of the original farm-to-table restaurants in town (most of what you eat was grown in Texas).