Sometimes you just want a badass egg salad sandwich. At least I occasionally do. But Fort Worth isn’t exactly New York. You can’t just walk down to the local deli and find a well-seasoned, perfectly creamy egg salad on rye. In our fair burgh, you need maps, a compass, a pack mule, a couple of expendable Sherpas, and a backpack full of winter provisions. Not even Google was much help, but that’s what I did, because who has the money for a decent pack mule in this economy?
My exhaustive (read: half-hearted) search led me to a few dumb lists written by SEO marketers who have no doubt combed the city day and night in pursuit of the 10 best versions of the sandwich. I’ve tried most of the listicle fodder: Carshon’s Deli (3133 Cleburne Rd., 817-923-1907), McKinley’s Bakery & Café (1612 S. University Dr., 817-332-3242), The Lunch Box (6333 Camp Bowie Blvd., 817-738-2181), and a couple others. All of them have solid, not great egg salad offerings.
I rarely make it to the second page of a Google search, but a heavenly hand possessed me, and I made the jump. That blessed algorithm led me to Local Foods Kitchen (4548 Hartwood Dr., 817-238-3464).
The place is tucked away so far off South Hulen Street you practically need to walk through a wardrobe to get there, though Bistro Louise, whose kitchen and dining room I toiled in for many years, faced the same issues and survived in that ’hood for more than a decade.
I’m surprised it took me two pages to find the new eatery, because Local Foods Kitchen sounds like it was named by an SEO writer –– like the original name was Local Foods Kitchen Café Bistro Gourmet Free-Range Grass-Fed Taylor Swift.
Maybe it’s channeling Bistro Louise’s mojo, because the strip mall eatery has a decidedly ladies-who-lunch vibe, with its selection of dainty-looking sweets sitting atop treated wood counters and deli cases full of attractively garnished pastas, salads, and proteins.
On a recent lunch visit, the place was about half-full of mostly women and a small army of enthusiastic staffers. The menu, as the name suggests, is full of locally sourced produce, wild-caught seafood, and every other imaginable menu-brag. Though it’s not all quinoa and small-batch salad dressings. The kitchen offers quite a bit of indulgent comfort –– especially in the dessert case.
My guest and I started with the two house soups. The unstrained tomato soup ($4) was fresh-tasting, though it was very thin and watery. The same was true for the cauliflower and cheese soup ($4), with smoked Gouda and cheddar. It had a strong, rich taste, but I wished the soup were thicker and creamier.
The house-smoked turkey sandwich ($8.50), with thick slabs of bird, absurdly fresh tomatoes, red onions, romaine lettuce, Brie cheese, a lemon aioli, and a apple–jalapeño jam, was a balance of sweet, spicy, and salty flavors.
But the real showstopper, the reason for the season, was the goliath egg salad sandwich ($7.95). Called Egg ’n Smoked Bacon on the menu, it wasn’t exactly what I was looking for –– it was even better. The egg salads of my youth were tangy, creamy spreads. Local Food’s version was more of a chopped–up boiled egg, well-seasoned with herbs, pepper, and salty bits of bacon, served on housemade sourdough bread with vibrantly red tomatoes and lettuce. It could have used more salt, so, in a stroke of genius, I added more.
I may not have been to as many restaurants as certain SEO marketers. I’m only a food critic, after all. But I can safely say that Local Foods Kitchen serves my favorite version of the egg salad sandwich in this town. And everything else was pretty great, too, especially the two macaroon-like chocolate cookies ($1.75) I took with me.
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