Since its last checkup, Chow, Baby has been pretty good, test-tasting just enough croustade de poire, empanadas, sweetie sticky black rice, and bread pudding to do its job – perhaps dooming Chow, Baby’s own sticky sweetie, who is forced to eat the rest, to a slow, painful, contorted death, but what are you gonna do? Doctor’s orders. Unfortunately, the sugar-stunt-double didn’t come along for lunch at Carshon’s (3133 Cleburne Rd., just off Berry), oft described as “The Closest Thing Fort Worth Has to a Real Jewish Deli.” Chow, Baby’s standby here is the Rebecca ($6.50) – pastrami, turkey, cream cheese, and Russian dressing on grilled egg bread – but, remembering that “heart attack” is also on Dr. S.P.’s list of coming attractions, this time chose a nice vigorous egg salad on rye ($4.50) and a cup of hale-and-hearty mazto ball soup ($2.25).
So far, so very good for Chow, Baby – until our waitress announced, “Chocolate pie is just out of the oven.” And Chow, Baby’s companion, the sugar substitute, didn’t want to share a slice ($2.50). Or give up even one bite of his own. Chow, Baby had no choice but to devour an entire huge piece of warm, rich chocolate pudding on a caramel-drizzled crust, topped with the most beautifully browned meringue you ever saw. A glorious proportion of flavors and textures: That’s Chow, Baby’s balanced diet.
A few years back Chow, Baby had the worst red meat of its life, topped with angry service, at Arlington Steak House (1724 W. Division St., Arlington). Yet folks continue to rave about this place. Don’t you people read the papers? But a series of unfortunate events one night – every Arlington restaurant on its radar was either closed or out of business – led a desperately hungry Chow, Baby to what-the-hell another visit.
A-ha. Despite the restaurant’s name, it’s not about the steak. Chow, Baby proved this by ordering the 8-ounce ribeye ($11.99, the most expensive item on the menu after the terrible prime rib). It wasn’t quite as bad as Chow, Baby remembered: This time the steak was actually cuttable, and very close to the requested medium rare. Meanwhile, Chow, Baby’s braveheart was chowing down on fried chicken livers ($6.85 for six), which were marvelous: fresh, freshly battered, and deep-fried to a crusty-crunchiness but still juicy inside. This surprising achievement prompted Chow, Baby to order half a fried chicken ($7.50) for a midnight snack and grilled pork chops ($8.25) for lunch the next day – more marvels! The moist chicken was all that the livers were, and Chow, Baby is still licking its fingers from the juicy chops. The only sides offered are salad, fries, or loaded baked potato, but meat-wise the “home cooking” section of the menu delivers. Now Chow, Baby gets it.
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