Survival tips for a Main St. Arts Festival foodie:
1. Come early. Yolk restaurant in Sundance Square is a first-class breakfast cafe, and a platter of red velvet French toast with strawberry-orange juice or a Belgian waffle will bolster your family for a busy day. Also, Jakes Hamburgers is ranked among the city’s best for breakfast.
2. Follow names you know. Besides the famous Schmidt’s of German Village from Ohio, serving the cream puff and “Bahama Mama” sausage seen on “Man v. Food,” look for Buttons Restaurant’s chicken-waffle bites or shrimp-and-grits. Or downtown Thai Tina’s chicken or beef satay, or red-curry chicken.
3. Hydrate. Do not miss the Fletcher’s Corny Dogs lemonade, along with the funnel cakes, original corny dogs or jalapeño dogs. Or stop into Riscky’s for iced tea.
4. Come inside. Stop street-noshing long enough for an affordable Greek salad or Turkish dinner at the new Istanbul Grill on Throckmorton Street, or one of Fort Worth’s best burgers beginning at noon daily at the patio and bar at Grace, 777 Main St.
5. Have fun. The rooftop is open at Reata Restaurant, serving its festival-winning strawberry-mint lemonade with TX Whiskey all weekend.
Side trip for tamales
You’ll have to go inside busy Reata for its signature tenderloin tamales, no longer sold on the street.
“Instead of the tamale stand, we have ’em here,” Reata manager Russell Kirkpatrick said.
“We have plenty of families who come every year and say they always get a Reata tamale.”
Reata will serve brunch, lunch and dinner on the rooftop both Saturday and Sunday. The brunch menu features elk sausage-and-biscuits with gravy, banana-pecan French toast, chorizo shrimp-and-grits or chicken chilaquiles.
Escape the crowd
Besides Istanbul Grill, don’t forget the other quiet getaway off the festival path: Mercury Chop House. The steakhouse serves lunch and dinner daily in the Tower at 525 Taylor St.; 817-336-4129, facebook.com/mercurychophousefw.
At the south end of downtown, Tie Restaurant & Bar is a completely unassuming little Thai restaurant with excellent dishes and dinner specials such as ginger snapper, duck curry or green-chile salmon; 911 Houston St., 817-332-9110, thaiftworth.com.
Burgers and salsa
The new Chop House Burger in One City Place (no relation to Mercury Chop House) serves downtown’s newest hit burger.
A spinoff from the Dallas Chop House steakhouse, Chop House Burger’s include a “wine country” burger with goat cheese and arugula, or the regular burger with truffle sauce. The menu also includes signature fried-chicken sandwiches, a turkey burger and a falafel burger.
It’s next door to Wild Salsa, the Day-of-the-Dead-themed Mexico City-style restaurant with fajitas, tacos and Saturday brunch.