If you’re like me, you’ve been waiting (not so) patiently, for DFW Restaurant Week to arrive, and now it’s here. The Preview Weekend started Friday, August 10th and official dining dates are August 13-19. Many restaurants will extend to a second and even a third week of specially priced Restaurant Week meals that generate donations to the North Texas Food Bank and Lena Pope.
Fun City Stuff was delighted to be invited to the DFW Restaurant Week Specialty Bites Kickoff Event, and I headed over to Crockett Row at West 7th in Fort Worth for the festivities. I’ll tell you all about the very special evening and share a few tips for making the most of this amazing DFW-wide dining event. As an added bonus, I got the inside scoop on a few really great Fort Worth restaurants and destinations.
Bonus Fun Food: The Best Ways to Eat Fruity Pebbles in DFW
Specialty Bites on the Menu
This year for the first time, restaurants can participate in DFW Restaurant Week even if they don’t offer a three- or four-course meal. Specialty Bites are highlighted dishes offered at a variety of restaurants and 10% of the purchase price is donated to DFW Restaurant Week’s beneficiary charities. Check out the full list of Specialty Bites participants and start making your plans (no reservations required) to gobble up some delightful dishes.
Of course, delicious bites were the star of the kickoff party evening. Here’s a taste of what event attendees were treated to.
Mercury Chophouse, whose Fort Worth and Arlington locations are offering a $39 dinner or a $20 lunch (August 13th through 26th) delivered the goods. They treated kickoff attendees to caprese skewers and steak topped bruschetta. They also treated us to their smiling faces.
Insider tip: If you missed it or read about it once and then forgot (like I did), the Arlington Mercury Chophouse is in the space where Cacharel was for many years. That means your Restaurant Week meal (or any other meal you have here) will come with an incredible view, free of charge!
Both locations are offering a three-course dinner as well as a lunch option, with an incredible variety of choices. They’re also serving an optional fourth course, priced at $12, or free with your Fourth Course Certificate from FedEx. I’ve got my eye on the Tamales with Chophouse Chili. Make your reservations ASAP if you want to enjoy the best of Mercury Chophouse and donate to Lena Pope simply by having a delicious meal.
Other Fort Worth area eateries brought some tasty treats for attendees too.
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Eager to show off their catering chops, Blue Mesa brought their local favorite chips, salsa, and guacamole. I sampled it all – who could resist those sweet potato chips?! They also offered a piled-high tray of pinwheel snacks filled and rolled with chicken and spinach or avocado. Yum.
Social House represented their West 7th location by serving up some of the prettiest bites of the night. The shrimp and grits and a tasty balsamic bruschetta were flying off the serving trays.
They also served up some nice goodies with coupons for a $1 drink at Social House and a $1 drink at their sister restaurant America Gardens. A $5 off food coupon for America Gardens was in the mix too. Score!
This watering hole and eatery is just east of West 7th on Foch Street. Their menu highlights flatbread pizza and creative comfort food. They treated event visitors to their locally loved The Captains Tenders, fried up nice and crunchy in a coating of Cap’n Crunch cereal with sweet chili ranch sauce for dipping. Delish!
Insider tip: As if there weren’t enough to do with a visit to Crockett Row West 7th and Fort Worth’s cultural district, you may need to squeeze in one more stop that’s just a block away. Foch Street Warehouses is a small shopping center full of unique service, shopping, and dining venues like Reservoir. It’s also the home of one of Fort Worth’s best photo/selfie mural backdrops.
This little company that could brought some very welcome party treats. They were serving up chips and guacamole as well as fresh fruit, fresh veggies and dip. Their dessert lineup was amazing – from flan to homemade cookies and brownies, to the much sought-after mini pineapple upside-down cake.
Cocktail, Beer, and Wine Sampling
What’s a party without beer, wine and cocktails? I’m glad I didn’t have to find out. Adult beverages were in plentiful supply.
This West 7th bar and restaurant was at the kickoff event serving up Fort Worth brewery Wild Acres’s Texas Blonde ale. They also gave out flyers highlighting their happy hour and late-night drink and food specials. I learned (to my delight) that a build-your-own burger is just a buck on Tuesdays from 5PM to close with the purchase of any beverage. As if that wasn’t enough, I left with a coupon for one free appetizer or flatbread. I think a Texas Blonde ale might just go great with a free appetizer or $1 burger.
Shawn Cox from Wild Acre Brewing was also on hand to hand out smiles, thumbs ups, and free koozies.
Firefly Moonshine brought some peach moonshine which you can purchase at local Total Wine locations. Firefly offers other flavors too, and the blackberry moonshine is featured in some pretty nifty cocktail recipes.
Several wine vendors provided samples including tastes of Messina Hof (Grapevine) Cabernet Sauvignon.
Blue Chair Bay (owned by country singer Kenny Chesney) rounded out the spirits offering with vanilla-infused and banana-flavored rums.
Specialty Bites Event Sponsors& Venue
NewsRadio 1080 KRLD AM was on site to welcome guests& capture pics and videos. Upon arrival every attendee received a souvenir sampling glass and a free Fourth Course Certificate.
The event venue, Crockett Row at West 7th, was a perfect spot for a block party style festival, with live music and a wide street full of booths. Outside the festival area, visitors could discover the dozens of fun retail, dining and entertainment venues in the area. With beautiful loft apartments and what may be the most beautiful movie theater anywhere, this center is a destination on its own, and a must-see for visitors to the many museums of Fort Worth’s cultural district.
Lyft was also a sponsor of the event, and boy did they ever make a big (pink) splash. Their awesome street team kept busy keeping happiness levels high, handing out ride credits, and lending a hand capturing perfect pics. Lyft also teamed up with Sugaire, a local product by MakeYourLifeSweeter.com, to offer a sweet treat that was in high demand. Strawberry Lemonade was topped with organic strawberrycotton candy to make a delicious and oh-so-pretty pink treat.
EarthX was also a sponsor of the evening’s festivities with a booth set up to educate visitors about their SOS – Strike Out Straws campaign. DFW Restaurant Week is the perfect time to raise awareness and eliminate the use of single-use plastic straws.
Volunteers were available to share more information about the charities who benefit from DFW Restaurant Week each year. Lena Pope in Tarrant County and the North Texas Food Bank in Dallas have received over eight million dollars in the twenty-plus year history of the event.
The Lena Pope organization, named after its founder, has been helping children and families with counseling, school, and community services since 1930.
The North Texas Food Bank (NTFB) provides access to 190,000 meals per day in a 13-county service area.
Doing good gives all of us a great feeling, but doing good by eating well? Now that’s hard to top!
In Case You Missed It
This event was a smash hit – I might even go so far as to say it was the best DFW Restaurant Week kickoff party I’ve attended. But if you didn’t get to come to the event, there’s still fun in store for you!
If you’d like a Fourth Course certificate, you can get one with a $10 purchase at DFW FedEx locations. Specialty Bites are offered throughout restaurant week, and if you hurry, you can still get reservations for specially priced lunches and dinners at participating locations. Look for wine pairings and specialty cocktails (available at additional cost) on the special menus when you dine.
Dining continues through August 19th at all participating locations and is extended until the 26th or September 3rd at many of them. Check out the full list of participating restaurants at DFWRestaurantWeek.com.
If you don’t know what this extra special dining event is all about, check out my Discovery Guide to DFW Restaurant Week here on Fun City Stuff. You’ll be in the know before you know it! We hope you’ll share your past as well as planned experiences with us in the comments or on our Facebook page.