For 38 years, cold weather has meant gumbo at J&J Oyster Bar.
But the return of wind chills also brings another winter warmer: J&J’s chili.
Chef Angel Mota came over last fall from 16 years at nearby Fred’s Texas Cafe and brought along some of Fred’s laid-back specials and style, particularly the chili and calf fries.
He only makes chili in season, but that season is here. So J&J offers big bowls of beefy Texas red, topped with cheese and fresh jalapenos.
Look, Fort Worth has a history with chili. This is where the first commercial chili powder was packed and sold by Pendery’s.
But today, it’s mighty tough to find a good bowl of chili.
The Kimbell Art Museum’s seasonal chili is good, but it’s only served about once a month in winter.
Dutch’s Hamburgers, M&O Station Grill and HG Sply Co. all serve excellent restaurant chili.
But right now, J&J’s might be best.
If you’re not familiar with J&J Oyster Bar, it’s a daily lunch and dinner stop for grilled or fried seafood.
When it opened in 1981 in an old-timey chrome diner three blocks south, J&J quickly became known for oysters, grilled shrimp, catfish and platters.
Today, J&J is in an equally dilapidated, 50-year-old former Taco Bell. Now, it might be better known for grilled seafood, fish tacos and ceviche tostadas.
In the middle of a gentified hipster West 7th neighborhood, J&J is a haven for rodeo cowboys, beer drinkers and anyone looking for a menu that does not include avocado toast or spicy chicken.