If you’ve lived here long enough, you know that when out of towners come to visit and when the weather’s nice, you stand a good chance of going to Joe T. Garcia’s. And it doesn’t even matter if you think the food is overrated or you ate there the night before or your car needs new shocks and you don’t want to drive over any brick roads — no matter anyone’s misgivings, it is really easy to get dragged to the vaunted Northside Tex-Mex joint. In fact, I’d say that the ironic use of “twist my arm” possibly originated with someone suggesting a trip to Joe T.’s for Sunday brunch.
I’ll be honest: With the exception of the tacos that come with the enchilada dinner, there is nothing that I’m truly excited about on Joe T.’s menu, even the lunch menu, which offers considerably more than its evening counterpart’s two choices. It’s just Tex-Mex, served the same way for ages and ages. Nothing fancy. Just consistently decent cheese-meat-and-tortilla configurations that are best used to soak up pitchers of the restaurant’s famously turbo-charged margaritas.
After all, that’s why you go to Joe T.’s, right? Sure, you’re “going out to eat,” technically, but I feel like deep down inside, we all go to Joe T.’s for the frothy, tequila-heavy margaritas, ideally on the patio, hopefully when it’s not a thousand degrees outside. But even in the cruelest parts of August, when stepping outside for two seconds guarantees Texas-sized pit stains on your shirt, the answer to “Wanna go to Joe T.’s?” is almost always yes.
This past week, the weather finally decided to drop into need-a-jacket temps, making Friday night dinner on Joe T.’s patio a little less enticing, but in terms of weekend brunches, that tree-strewn concrete retreat with the absolutely unnecessary swimming pool in the center is still pretty awesome. When I went a couple Sundays ago, I must have hit the Joe T.’s Patio Lottery — friendly server, good friends, the barest of breezes, the temperature hovering around 75. Ahhh.
Sure, the nosy bees, hefty tab, and the mariachi band that blasted its way through everyone’s conversations were annoying, and on the surface, you’d think that having drinks at Joe T.’s is a mixed bag; I’d offer that they’re precisely what makes a late-morning or early-evening trip to the patio worth it. You could go to another place with better food, a similar price point, and, I dunno, light jazz or some earnest singer-songwriter to provide the necessary conversational ambience, but that’s something you can do just about anywhere. Having to shout over a blaring trumpet about who hasn’t put in for their share of margaritas while waving away a bee at Joe T.’s is probably one of the most Fort Worth-ish experiences in town. It might seem touristy, and truth be told, if Fort Worth were somehow part of Epcot Center, Joe T.’s would be in the food court. But who cares? When it comes down to it, I always welcome an invitation to eat there, as long as I can mentally prepare myself to spend $60 on lunch. Or at least the liquid part of lunch. Salud. –– Steve Steward
Dallas Beer Week Here
If you’re a beer nerd, you probably headed to Dallas on Saturday to kick off Dallas Beer Week. If you didn’t, because Dallas is, like, a million miles away and you think it’s all stuck-up ’n’ stuff, there are plenty of DBW events on our side of the Trinity. On Wednesday, The Flying Saucer (111 E. 4th St., 817-336-7470) is offering a limited supply of Deschutes Brewery glasses with pints of its Mirror Pond Pale Ale and is holding a Sam Adams “Tap Takeover” and beer dinner on Thursday. Of course, you could go to The Live Oak Music Hall & Lounge (1311 Lipscomb St., 817-926-0968) on Thursday for Texas Craft Beer Night, or you could hit up World of Beer (5005 S. Cooper St., Arlington, 817-471-1101) for its “Super Friends” beer dinner, featuring brews from Peticolas Brewing Co., Deep Ellum Brewing Co., Lakewood Brewing Co., and the Wonder Twins, the male half of which will likely activate his “form of hefeweizen” powers. OK, the Wonder Twins won’t be there, but check out dallasbeerweek.com for a complete calendar, especially for all of the other brewtal events that I’m sadly leaving out. — S.S.
Joe T. Garcia’s
2201 N Commerce St, FW. 817-626-4356.
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