The great brunches are not all on West Seventh Street or Magnolia Avenue.
The Tavern Bar & Grill remains a first-rate brunch choice on both Saturdays and Sundays, and south-siders don’t even have to cross the Hulen Street bridge.
The brunch menu features choices such as a shiitake mushroom-spinach omelet, Frosted Flakes French toast, migas or huevos rancheros, plus blueberry sausage and rosemary biscuits. The regular menu is also available, with familiar dishes such as “fall-off-the-bone” pork ribs (true) for $16, barbecued or fried chicken, or steaks for $15-$30.
Huge sandwiches and salads include the Fort Worth Cobb with turkey, ham, pecans and a bacon vinaigrette for $11-$16. And don’t miss the cast-iron-skillet cornbread or the Key lime pie with a walnut-graham cracker crust.
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Chef Felipe Armenta has been remodeling and upgrading the Tavern. The interior has been improved, and the patio will be expanded toward South Hulen Street. He also plans to add more fresh baked goods.
Armenta owns Pacific Table in University Park Village as well, and hints that another restaurant might be coming in the new Shops at Clearfork near the forthcoming Neiman Marcus.
The Tavern opens at 9 a.m. weekends and 11 a.m. weekdays, serving lunch and dinner daily; 2755 S. Hulen St., 817-923-6200, thetavernftworth.com.
New chef Andrew Dilda will soon start tweaking the Reata Restaurant menu. For now, however, the former Woodshed Smokehouse and Barter chef is just planning some daily specials.
One popular Reata special was in place before Dilda: fried chicken and grits, a Monday-only lunch special ($13.95). The chicken always comes with a vegetable such as fried asparagus and a variation on grits like this week’s poblano-bacon-Jack cheese grits.
Reata is open for lunch and dinner daily (but not at midafternoon) at 310 Houston St.; 817-336-1009, reata.net.
Make that Paco & gone
Time is short to visit Paco & John Mexican Diner, which is leaving its current location at the end of May — its fate uncertain.
Paco & John has thrived as a breakfast-and-lunch cafe for Francisco Islas. Some workers also work nights at Saint-Émilion Restaurant.
Always BYOB, Paco & John served both Mexican and French dishes and became popular for mussels. But it struggled to build evening or summertime business in a 60-year-old former Valero Corner Store with feeble air conditioning.
Despite it making Texas Monthly’s list of the 50 best interior Mexican restaurants in Texas, south-side crowds preferred nearby brewpubs and taverns.
Saint-Émilion owner Bernard Tronche said Paco & John will return if he and Islas find a more favorable location, but there is no specific plan as yet.
For now, Paco & John is open daily for breakfast and lunch, weekends for dinner at 1116 Eighth Ave.; 817-810-0032, pacoandjohn.com.
Bud Kennedy’s column appears Wednesdays in Life & Arts and Fridays in DFW.com. 817-390-7538