Eats Beat: Fort Worth’s dining scene is ready for company

03/20/2014 12:00 AM

03/19/2014 5:50 PM

Wine and food festivals are fun.

They’re also expensive.

As Dallas and Fort Worth begin back-to-back festivals, remember that these events are priced for the connoisseur, not the casual diner.

Savor Dallas’ events this weekend range from $20 to $150 each. Price for the entire weekend: $365.

The Fort Worth Food + Wine Festival next week has a food truck party for $50 and a weekend ticket including eight events for about $325, plus an extra $500 Stephan Pyles-Jon Bonnell luncheon. But it also has free chefs’ demonstrations March 29 in Sundance Square Pavilion.

If those prices seem steep, look at Abilene’s Buffalo Gap Wine & Food Summit, $695, or the Austin Food & Wine Festival: “only $850.”

Food and wine festivals are tourist events, meant to draw wealthy travelers for a weekend of food, fun and financial extravagance.

Fort Worth can host a festival because we now have celebrity chefs, famous destinations and a Sundance Square Plaza setting.

No other food festival can offer events at a famous art museum (The Modern), the world’s largest honky-tonk (Billy Bob’s Texas) and a drive-in theater (Coyote Drive-In).

Look for more about Fort Worth Food + Wine next week, and in our cover story this week, or at, and at least stop by Sundance Square Plaza next weekend.

( Taco Diner will be open.)

• Southwest Arlington finally has its own Thai restaurant.

And if a visit this week is any indication, Thai Texas is as popular for home delivery and take-out as for dining out.

The phone was ringing with call-in orders for chef Anong Khunsri’s curries or spicy basil chicken, or for noodle dishes such as the pad Thai or fried-noodle Yakisoba.

Khunsri cooked at other area Thai restaurants before family members rented a former Japanese steakhouse on Southwest Green Oaks Boulevard along the south Interstate 20 access road.

Thai Texas is open for lunch and dinner daily; 5736 S.W. Green Oaks Road, 817-870-6057,

• It’s never too early to book Easter or Mother’s Day reservations.

If you’re planning to go to Fort Worth’s premier hotel brunch buffet at Cast Iron in the Omni Fort Worth hotel, book soon and be warned: The price is $54.

That’s still cheaper than the $71 for Easter at the Gaylord Texan Resort in Grapevine. (Children dine for $29 at the Gaylord, $27 at the Omni.)

Del Frisco’s Double Eagle, Ruth’s Chris Steak House and most other top restaurants will open for lunch both April 20 for Easter and May 11 for Mother’s Day. Reservations for many restaurants are at

Bud Kennedy’s column appears Wednesdays in Life & Arts and Fridays in 817-390-7538

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