Sunday 23 July 2017

Day Zero

The road trip doesn't officially start until I reach Las Vegas, but first a couple days in Fort Worth - a chance to recover from the jet lag (I woke at 5.30am this morning, compared with 3.30am yesterday - nearly there!).

This is part of the annual family ritual. My daughter goes to a summer camp north of here. She's my reason for being here in the first place - and my excuse for this road trip. We always come to the Stockyards - our eighth visit - and the predictability is comforting after the long flight. We always eat at Riscky's, Joe T's, Love Shack, H3. A year without one makes me itchy. We also meet with friends, do some shopping, get me used to driving on the right and generally acclimatise.

When I travel, I like to review everywhere I eat for Google Maps - it's good to give something back. My trips would be so much harder without all the wonderful online resources out there. So to get us started, here's my reviews (copied from Google) for my favourite Stockyards restaurants.

Riscky's Steakhouse ⭐⭐⭐⭐
140 E Exchange Ave, Fort Worth, TX

Firstly, you need to know I'm British, so I might be looking at this place with different eyes from a local. But I love this place because it's so foreign - from the 'rustic' decorations to the Texas toast with my all-you-can-eat beef ribs. We come here each year to recuperate after a ten hour flight from the UK - and at times like that, nothing beats a cold beer and a plate of meat.

Love Shack ⭐⭐⭐⭐
110 E Exchange Ave, Fort Worth, TX

Most definitely a shack - a simple steel frame between two buildings in the Stockyards with seating among the scaffolding. No A/C, little shelter, but that adds to the charm. Live music too, most days, on the stage at one end. But the main show is the burgers - simple, messy, tasty - I love the 'dirty love', with a quail's egg and bacon. Probably one of my favourite burgers.

H3 Ranch ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
109 E Exchange Ave, Fort Worth, TX

I love H3. It's the best steak I've ever had, and I've had quite a few! I normally stick to the rib-eye, that's plenty for me. I can also strongly recommend the table-side guacamole. Service is friendly, and you can watch them cook the steaks on the grill in the open kitchen.

Joe T. Garcia's ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
2201 N Commerce St, Fort Worth, TX

For atmosphere alone, this place gets 5 stars - you're transported into a magical garden of fountains, flowers and fans (even in July it's pleasant to eat outside). The food is good (there's probably better available, but not in surroundings like this!), and a bonus point for building off-menu vegetarian quesadillas for my meat-free daughter.

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