Dining OutEat & DrinkFeatures


By Debbie AndersonFebruary 2, 2022March 1st, 2022No Comments

Dining Out


Happy Tomato and its line of fresh salsas turn 10 in February.

Happy Tomato celebrates 10 years this month — no small feat for this small, Fort Worth-based business. Owner Lauren Keefe started out making fresh salsa in her kitchen, eventually getting her products into Whole Foods, Central Market and Natural Grocers just two months after starting her company. COVID hit Happy Tomato hard, but Cynthia Nevels, the owner of Soulgood vegan food truck and restaurant, stepped in to collaborate, offering resources and advice. Nevels also started her venture in 2012 and, like Keefe, is a graduate of the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses program. Together, they are adding taqueria sauces to Happy Tomato’s inventory; look for them at Central Market stores this spring along with anniversary promotions and giveaways in February at the grocer. Learn more on Keefe’s website. happy-tomato.com


Central Market is marking Black History Month by offering virtual classes in February with chefs (with cooking kit options) and winemakers. On Feb. 18, spend an evening with Marcus Samuelsson, who’ll also discuss The Rise, his newest cookbook. On Feb. 28, Houston’s Chris Williams leads an online class featuring his globally inspired Southern cuisine. Williams’ great-grandmother is Lucille B. Smith, who ran a catering business with her husband in Fort Worth and was the first Black woman to join the Fort Worth Chamber of Commerce. Go to centralmarket.com to register.

Marcus Samuelsson

Chris Williams

Shareable appetizers include lobster corn dogs and grilled bone marrow. Photos by Meda Kessler

The Fitzgerald: Big space, bold menu

Ben Merritt, culinary director and owner of Fixture Kitchen and Social Lounge, has wrangled an 8,000-square-foot space (the former Blu Crab) into three concepts, including an airy front dining room with bar. The clubby Regal Room in the middle has moody lighting and leather furniture, while a spacious back patio enjoys a separate entrance. The Fitzgerald — executive chef Callie Doyle heads up the kitchen — has a seafood-centric menu with enough beef options to keep meat eaters happy. There’s also a Southern accent thanks to the grilled oysters, barbecue shrimp and light, but flavorful hush puppies. 6115 Camp Bowie Blvd., Fort Worth, 817-349-9245, eatatfitz.com

L’Epicerie by Quixote: Bakery, market and lots of coffee

Sayda Rapalo hails from Honduras but trained as a pastry chef in Dallas and France, where she also worked as a chocolatier. She and husband Roland opened Quixote Bakery in Richland Hills in 2017. COVID closed it down, but they recently found a new spot in Hurst to showcase not only Sayda’s confections but also Roland’s house-roasted coffee (they plan to sell the beans wholesale). Gourmet items for sale include paella kits, salts, French mustards and imported honey. And, of course, there are Sayda’s baked goods: croissants, fruit tarts, quiches, tiramisu, flan and more. House coffee drinks can be enjoyed in the small seating area. Follow on social media for hours and other info. 512 W. Harwood Road, Hurst, 817-663-3581, quixotepastries.com and facebook.com/lepiceriebyquixote

From flaky croissants to custard-filled pastries, Epicerie by Quixote makes our sweet dreams come true. Photos by Meda Kessler

Good & Tasty: Cheesecakes for everyone

Since 2020, Good & Tasty Bakes has shipped cakes to 48 states from a certified gluten-free facility. The all-natural ingredients include almond flour, small-batch butter and rbGH-free cream cheese. Founder Lauren Jo Gandillon, a Texas Tech University grad, grew up outside Abilene, where her mom, Joey Weir, still resides. Gandillon recently relocated to Colleyville and is now GTB’s full-time CEO. “Momma Joey” works from her ranch as CFO and chief culinary creative. “I love to come up with recipes, and I’m good with finances,” Weir says. As for the company’s sugar-free focus, Gandillon says, “We wanted to create a grain-free/gluten-free product that wasn’t highly processed and full of preservatives and artificial ingredients.” Order traditional, Key lime, chocolate (our favorite) and seasonal cheesecakes ($15.99 to $16.99) or six minis ($29.99) through the website, and check back for local retail outlets. goodandtastybakes.com

Gluten-free Good & Tasty Bakes cheesecakes come in a variety of flavors, including a seasonal key lime. Photo courtesy of Good & Tasty Bakes

Courtside Kitchen: Eat, drink, play

Fort Worth’s first public pickleball courts business also includes a spacious restaurant, plus an outdoor patio and stage. And the menu is not your typical bar food. Complimentary crispy pickles start every meal. For snacking, try the chunky pimento cheese with crispy sesame crackers and the hummus. Or dig into the steak frites with the just-right chimichurri sauce. Sign up for classes if you’re a pickleball novice; equipment rentals are available, too. 1615 Rogers Road, Fort Worth, 682-255-5751, courtsidekitchenfw.com

It’s dinner and a show at TK’s

Dinner plus a show is an equation that holds at TK’s, a new Addison restaurant, cocktail lounge and comedy club from native Texans T.K. Matteson and Kara Kimbrough. The married couple are both established stand-up comedians and show producers (Matteson has appeared on Comedy Central’s Comics Unleashed, and Kimbrough, whose stage persona is “Kara with a K,” has performed comedy on America’s Got Talent). At TK’s, the couple lean on their television and Hollywood connections to book many of the entertainers. Unlike traditional comedy clubs that operate only after dark, TK’s restaurant, which is separate from the stage, is open most days for lunch, dinner and drinks. The kitchen focuses on familiar dishes such as burgers, steaks, tacos, pizzas and veggie-forward dishes. Headliner comedy shows require tickets (usually $25 to $40). 14854 Montfort Drive, Addison, 945-800-7668, tkscomedy.com

At TK’s comedy club and restaurant in Addison, food gets a star billing, too. Photo courtesy of TK’s

Photo courtesy of The Adolphus Hotel

The Rodeo Bar returns

The Adolphus Hotel in downtown Dallas has resurrected its Rodeo Bar, a 1980s throwback crammed with the same neon beer signs, vintage posters and refurbished booths plucked from the space years ago. The 95-seat tavern has been revamped with a jukebox, darts and pool. Enjoy classic cocktails, draft beers and a straightforward menu of burgers, a fried chicken sandwich, bar snacks (wings, nachos, scratch-made corn dogs) and even a Dr Pepper ice cream float. Rodeo Bar is open nightly from 4 p.m. 1321 Commerce St., Dallas, 214-651-3559, adolphus.com

If it hasn’t been your week, your day or even your year …

Here’s a throwback destination worth a drink: the living room set where television characters Joey, Chandler, Ross, Rachel, Monica and Phoebe spent a good 10 years, mostly in the ’90s. The Whippersnapper has done its best to recapture TV magic by refashioning this East Dallas bar into a Friends-themed pop-up. Fans of the hit series can order cocktails based on popular episodes, pretend they’re sitting in Joey’s recliner or kick back in a re-creation of Central Perk, the coffee shop/hangout. Plans are to keep it open until mid-March. 1806 McMillan Ave., Dallas, 469-567-3358, thewhipdallas.com