For die-hard sports fans, there is no happier time of the year than late October. The world series has commenced, and – if the sports Gods are smiling – might even stretch out to seven games. Football season, both college and pro, has reached its mid-point, so now we can all start obsessing over who’s going to make the playoffs and bowl games.
Meanwhile, both the National Basketball Association and the National Hockey League are just beginning their seasons. (Go Mavs! Go Stars!)
Yet with all these sporting events happening concurrently, a culinary challenge arises: It’s easy enough to plant yourself for the afternoon and evening at a bar with countless television screens, each tuned to a different match-up. But at some point you’re going to have to eat; and most bar food – whether soggy French fries, or greasy chicken wings, or out-of-the-jar queso and chips – usually leaves you feeling like you have just taken a baseball bat to the gut.
Lucky for Fort Worth sports fans (and the non-sports fans who love them and patiently watch the games alongside them), the city boasts an uncommonly impressive line-up of sports bars / restaurants – places that showcase just about every game imaginable and bust all of cliches about bad bar food.
If you’re in downtown Fort Worth, Frankie’s is an essential stop. First of all the sheer number of viewing options is head-spinning: fifty-seven flat-screens and three large-screen projections TVs, spread out across an 8000-square-foot space. The menu, meanwhile, includes some surprisingly sophisticated sandwiches (such as the Turkducken, which features teriyaki chicken, turkey, duck and Asian slaw), as well as some lighter options, including an excellent housemade hummus, which comes with pita bread and a corn relish.
In the West Seventh area, the competition is even stiffer among sports bars, with places like Bar Louie, Boomer Jack’s and Reservoir all solid options. But I’m a Pour House loyalist. Relocated in 2009 from its original downtown location, the roomy space features both indoor and outdoor sitting and plenty of TV screens – I have especially fond memories of watch the Super Bowl here in 2011. Food-wise, I’ve tried just about everything on the menu, but return again and again to the red pepper pasta (penne tossed with a spicy-tangy red pepper vodka sauce) and the immense Cobb salad.
Finally, for those searching out a somewhat classier sports bar experience, there’s Whiskey & Rye, located inside the Omni Hotel in downtown Fort Worth. There are plenty of television screens, but it’s also quieter than most other sports bars, with comfy leather seats where you can enjoy a conversation when you get bored with the game. And the menu takes a number of bar-food staples to new heights: I’m a particular fan of the paprika-dusted calamari and the spicy venison chili.
Of course, I’ve barely scratched the surface of Fort Worth sports bars – or mentioned other excellent spots like Ojos Locos in downtown Fort Worth; the Fox and Hound English Pub (which has multiple locations); and Flips Patio Grill in north Fort Worth.
Let us know what your favorite sports bars / restaurants are in the comments section. In the meantime, I’m going to go order a beer and root for the Cards to pull it out over the Red Sox.
[Photos: Frankie's Sports Bar in Sundance Square, Pour House, Whiskey and Rye]