The feel is a combination of border cerveceria and old college hangout — except for the array of flat-screen and wide-screen tv’s and the squeaky-clean wood floors.
They suggest that this is a newer establishment. Much bigger than it looks from its narrow street presence, the joint goes deep and widens out toward the behind-the-building parking lot. Colors are bright, and the décor combines the classics of beer signs, wooden booths, and tin siding. The neighborhood, even early on a Tuesday evening, has obviously already located the place, though they may have to circle the block to find the off-street parking.
Even if you hadn’t seen the neon sign, even if you thought you must have gotten lost, the food would tell you where you were: Yup, fish tacos, shrimp tacos, and garlic beef tacos good enough to make Texas Monthly’s recent list of the 63 best — you must be at Fuzzy’s.
The original Fuzzy’s, on West Berry Street, of course, is still going strong, with big crowds, great vibe, and food that’s perfect either at the beginning or end of a bender. Fuzzy’s No. 2 is an outpost in a land that much of West Fort Worth — or TCU students, at least — tends to regard as the wild and woolly frontier, the Riverside area a few blocks east of the Trinity and north of Airport Freeway. Part of the Race Street renaissance that two local developers began a couple of years ago, Fuzzy’s is bound to make a splash on this side of town, where there’s absolutely nothing like it, since dining options in the area run mostly to some excellent Mexican and Asian restaurants, fast food, home cooking, and the new Italian restaurant just a few blocks away.
Ambiance, of course, takes a little time, a little spilled beer, something personal to the ’hood on the walls. But the food, with a few exceptions, is already there — the slightly spicy, flavorful combinations that have made the original joint such a success.
Tacos first: The grilled shrimp taco was a soft corn tortilla wrapped around shrimp, cheese, and the usual veggies. The shrimp were small but juicy and flavorful, and the combination with feta and garlic sauce was excellent, with no single ingredient overpowering the rest. At $1.95, anybody with a healthy appetite could go for at least a three-pack. But wait — try a fish version (grilled or tempura), a messy, delicious concoction. Or garlic beef or shredded pork. The list isn’t endless, but it’s pretty damned long.
The same basic ingredients can go in a salad, inside sandwiches, or as the stuffings in burritos. The garlic beef sandwich was great on the inside — the beef was tender, juicy, and heaped high, with just enough garlic not to overwhelm. Outside is a kind of flat roll called teleras, looking like a triple hot dog bun that’s been sliced and toasted.
My fellow diners tried the grilled chicken and grilled vegetable sandwiches — and kind of wished they’d opted for the classic tacos. The chicken in this case was shredded and bland enough to make you look around for the can it might have come out of. The veggie taco, with black beans, onions, lettuce, tomatoes, black olives, and melted cheese was tasty — but there wasn’t enough of the filling to satisfy. A side order of borracho (drunken) beans was great — spicier than your basic pintos, more flavorful than refritos. The guacamole was, well, regular — good not great.
The place also offers Mexican dinners and breakfast, though those would have to wait for another day. A separate bar across from the food-ordering counter offered a nice selection of beers.
Just don’t try turning into the small front parking lot from the street. First of all, there’s no curb cut. Second, it’s probably going to be reserved for bikes — motorcycles that is, and probably a good idea, with a bike shop just down the street.
Fuzzy’s Taco Shop
Grilled fish taco $1.95
beef sandwich $5.25
Grilled veggie sandwich $5.50