Last month’s trip to Olive Garden is still paying off in terms of baseline-setting. What is it they say, “When you’re here, you’re family”? Har.

Last week at the relocated La Familia (841 Foch St.), Chow, Baby all but had its cheeks pinched by avuncular proprietor Al Cavazos. Kid-brotherly waiter Andres teased Chow, Baby’s companion/boss for ordering the same dish, the ranchero chicken lunch special ($7.25), that she had on her previous visit, which he somehow remembered even though he must have had a couple of hundred customers in between. After lunch, the maternal cashier helped Chow, Baby read the teeny print on the take-out menu and decide on a late-afternoon snack of crispy fish tacos ($7.95). Chin-chucking, gentle ragging, sage counseling: Now that’s family.

Chow, Baby must confess that the old La Familia was one of those Fort Worth Institutions that it never went to that much, so it can’t do a full compare/contrast. The new space is Southwestern-themed comfortable, a big open room with photos of ancestral caballeros on the walls and LF-branded tables. It’s a nice addition to the near-Westside industrial area that is home to Pop’s Safari, the newly relocated Black Dog, and the great Fred’s. (Or rather, what’s left of Fred’s after a grease fire took out the kitchen last weekend, likely shuttering the restaurant for a few weeks. Chow, Baby smells a benefit!)

Even though La Familia was packed at Chow, Baby’s lunch visit, service was as fast as it was familial. The food is a solid OK: Chow, Baby’s chicken enchiladas ($6.75), one of 30 lunch specials, were made with firm, grilled white meat and a real sour cream sauce, quite tasty. And the prices seem to be no higher than at the previous, more lunch-counterish West Seventh location, which was bad strategy on Chow, Baby’s part; when the boss is paying, Chow, Baby usually picks some ritzy place so the cost doesn’t go against its own expense account. The price it pays is in humbly enduring the quarterly blah blah blah missed deadlines blah blah blah spending too much chewing-out, but good news this time: Chow, Baby’s budget is going up by $5 per meal! Andres, bring us another fresh, lime-tangy guacamole salad ($4.25), please. Keep the change.


Son of a Glitch

Over the years many people have suggested that Chow, Baby visit Chapps, the local hamburger mini-chain, because its logo makes the name look like “Crapps.” Chow, Baby doesn’t follow that logic. You really think it needs a typographic excuse to mock on a place? No, Chow, Baby visited the South Hulen location (technically at 6219 Oakmont Blvd.) because it had to be in the area anyway (visit to the auto insurance agent, don’t ask, and anyway it was barely a scratch) and, sadly, the Julie’s Fresh Kitchen on Hulen is still closed down (it’s been nearly a year, so Chow, Baby should probably stop hoping and just get its butt to the original, on McCart).

Chapps’ branches vary in comfort and décor; the Hulen location is decidedly atmosphere-free, but has the same thick half-pound burgers ($4.75 for a real-mushroom cheeseburger) and fresh-cut fries (“The Works,” loaded with cheddar, bacon, and jalapeños, $3.95). No crapp here, merely a bad, or at least impish, logo designer. Anybody want Chow, Baby to go to Fuddrucker’s?

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