Eats Beat

Is this the best meat loaf in Fort Worth? Nana’s Kitchen plans a second location

East Fort Worth always has a great little home-cooking restaurant.

Nana’s Kitchen is one of the best of all.

In the tradition of John Carter’s Place and more recently the short-lived Lady & the Pit, Nana’s Kitchen serves first-rate home cooking.

On Sandy Lane just north of Interstate 30, Toshia “Nana” Ramsey’s serving-line restaurant opened a year ago and built a quick reputation for hearty meatloaf and smothered pork chops.

The meatloaf is easily large enough for two or even three to share. With sides like old-school Velveeta mac-and-cheese or greens with ham hocks, a Nana’s dinner can turn into a family dinner.

Daily specials include turkey-and-dressing Sundays, brisket, Smitty’s real Central Texas sausage from Lockhart, catfish and salmon croquettes.

Now, Ramsey is already planning Nana’s expansion.

“Maybe Arlington or Mansfield,” she said last week.

But she’ll keep the original Nana’s, officially at 7403 John T. White Road on the eastern edge of Fort Worth.

“There was a need for a little family-owned diner on the east side,” she said.

“People didn’t have enough places to go. This little place has been a jewel.”

The crowd has been mostly eastsiders — but Arlington folks are starting to catch on.

Nana’s has a chitterlings special. And high school football coaches from Arlington send runners to bring meat loaf.

“Anything people in the community need, they call me up,” Ramsey said.

She switched careers 10 years ago and went into the catering business, studying at a Le Cordon Bleu school.

A grandmother was one of the first African American women to cook for Sky Chefs at DFW Airport.

Fort Worth has several chef-owned home-cooking favorites, led by fried-chicken mainstay Drew’s Place in west Fort Worth, Madea’s Down Home Cooking near Everman and Rosako’s Soul Food & BBQ in Bedford.

Nana’s belongs on that list.

The restaurant also has a dessert selection ranging from peach cobbler to a custom baker’s pineapple cake, strawberry cake or German chocolate cake.

Nan’s is open for lunch and early dinner Tuesday through Saturday, brunch and lunch Sunday; 817-653-7078.

Columnist Bud Kennedy is a Fort Worth guy who covered high school football at 16 and has moved on to two Super Bowls, seven political conventions and 15 Texas Legislature sessions. Since 1985, he has also written more than 2,000 “Eats Beat” columns about Texas dining, restaurants and food.