Aren’t those lists on the internet awful? Do we really need to know  “The Top 10 Cities for Buying Porcelain Donkeys” or which states some magazine editor thinks are the most “livable”? Something must be done.

Am I suggesting the end of lists? Of course not. Let’s keep only the practical ones — like, you know, the ones I create. Who can argue the value of knowing “The Five Most Romantic Restaurants in Fort Worth” (Feb. 13, 2013) or the “10 Essential Fort Worth Restaurants to Visit” (Jan. 29, 2013)?

But I’m about to top myself. (I know a lot of you keep running lists of Chow, Baby’s top columns and probably argue over them on some Facebook fan site).

the blok rectangle

First, what could be more practical than a list that will keep you from spending too much on food? In the spirit of Eateries Near Thrifteries, that glory of Chow Baby’s past, I present Eateries Near Groceries. Keep this in your wallet, and you’ll never grocery-shop while hungry again, never end up with a cart full of Hot Pockets and other stoner food.

• The kitchen staff of First Chinese BBQ (2214 S. Collins St., Arl.) are noodle mavens. Before you hit the Asian market next door, I’d strongly recommend the flat noodles with beef, black bean sauce, and bell pepper ($8.25).

Bravo! Cucina Italiano (3010 S. Hulen St.) has become the best part of going to the Tom Thumb on Hulen. In particular, the pasta Bravo ($13.99), with grilled chicken, mushrooms, rigatoni, and rich roasted red pepper cream sauce, will keep you out of the cookie aisle.

• God help you if you go to Central Market on a Sunday. It’s like landing amid a war between ant colonies. But if you must, stop by Buttons (4701 W. Fwy, Ste. 100) first, for their amazing brunch buffet, so you can load up your omelet, not your grocery cart.


Room and Board

A lot of out-of-town visitors here never get out of their hotels, either because they’re too busy with bidness or too clueless about the town. In either case, the true gourmand would choose the hotel based on its in-house dining options. My top three Fort Worth hotel restaurants:

• My favorite Thai place in the Fort, Thai Tina’s (600 Commerce St.), lives inside the downtown Embassy Suites, and the Panang roasted duck ($16.95) is worth the trip to Fort Worth all by itself. The half duck is served with pineapple, green bell peppers, tomatoes, asparagus, and onions, with basil rice.

The H3 Ranch Restaurant & Booger Red’s Saloon (105 E. Exchange Ave.), attached to the Stockyards Hotel, is a must for anyone visiting Fort Worth. You haven’t really been to Fort Worth until you experience the saddle seats at the bar (complete with stirrups!) while chomping on a Cowtown sirloin with a rich, intense steak Diane sauce ($27.95).

• There’s no place in town better for tea than Six 10 Grille at The Ashton (610 Main St.). But keep that pinky out for dinner, because it’s that kind of place. If you must order something that sounds particularly Western, the Texas bangers and mash ($14) are great. The dish features Hill Country sausage with mashed potatoes, ancho chiles, and onion gravy.

As long as I’m taking editorial cues from BuzzFeed, maybe next week I’ll start writing quizzes. Which Fort Worth Weekly food critic are you?

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