When you’re a drunk like me, every week is Cocktail Week. When most people sample eight mezcals in a night, it’s a special event. I just call it Thursday.
But, in honor of the occasion, I’ve decided to do something I’ve never done before in this column: write it under the influence of alcohol. As I type, three Bloody Marys from City Works – Fort Worth (5288 Monahans Av, 682-207-1500) are swimming around in my system, and I feel like I’ve just awoken from a Ketamine-induced disco nap.
Editor Anthony Mariani said I needed to write something incorporating cocktails and food for our booze-dedicated issue, so I set out to write a column about those elaborate garnishes in cocktails. I was inspired by the dump truck’s worth of snacks that garnishes the Bloody Mary at Chef Point Bar & Restaurant (5901 Watauga Rd, Watauga, 817-656-0080). The enormous cocktail, served in a glass that makes those gas-station XXXL plastic tumblers look like a cup from a child’s tea set, is festooned with a whole hamburger speared like the severed head of an enemy, several plump shrimp, a giant piece of chicken, bacon, more bacon, celery, a huge jalapeño, waffle fries, asparagus, olives, and probably a few things I’m missing. The whole production is about as ’Murican as I can stand.
I planned on visiting the gas station-cum-gourmet-eatery over the weekend, but instead I dutifully wiped the noses of two infirm children. Instead of a Bloody Mary, I was riding the intoxicating high of being the best parent on the planet. And bourbon.
Since I whiffed on that outing, my lunch date and I donned our cleanest jeans and trucked it out to the oh-so-toney Shops at Clearfork to check out the garnishes at Fixe Southern House (5282 Marathon Av, 682-707-3965). Apparently, the bar slips a sliver of candied bacon into its Old Fashioned, which sounds like something Paula Dean would drink while pleasuring herself to Mississippi Burning. Turns out, the place is closed for lunch on weekdays. So much for my research skills.
No matter. City Works was a few skips away, and I saw on Facebook that the beer-centric chain serves a Bloody Mary garnished with a mini-caprese salad, shrimp, and (wait for it) beef jerky. It was also definitely open for lunch. The bar, however, doesn’t serve that iteration of the drink on weekdays – even the brunch version is now a little different, though I forget why. Realizing my garnish story was kaput, I cooked up this idea to write after day-drinking, which is exactly the opposite image that the organizers of Cocktail Week want to evoke. The week is a celebration of the craft, not my bad habits.
Since I have you here, City Works’ dining room lives in the space between a sports bar and a beer-nerd mecca. There are about a dozen or so TVs all broadcasting something different, which felt like I was dining inside someone’s IG feed. As I fixated on a show that featured people hurting themselves on skateboards, our appetizer of kung pao cauliflower ($13) arrived at the same time as my first cocktail disappeared. The roasted florets were slathered in a spicy-sweet tamari and chile oil and tossed with sweet peppers, green onions, garlic, ginger, arbol chiles, and fried peanuts. The house burger ($13) was a perfectly burgery booze sponge, and the white cheddar cheese was a nice touch. City Works’ kitchen is great, especially for a craft beer joint.
Rather than dwell on the fact that I didn’t fulfill any part of my assignment, I choose to focus on the new place I’ve discovered to watch sports while eating food that doesn’t arrive in a bag from Sysco. I didn’t miss the elaborate garnishes – I was only going to make fun of them anyway.
I’ll see you all at brunch next weekend when you’re recovering from Cocktail Week with bacon-shrimp booze. I just call that morning.