‘What the Fung?!’ takes a taste tour of Fort Worth

David Fung, left,  Buttons chef Keith Hicks, and Andrew Fung.
David Fung, left, Buttons chef Keith Hicks, and Andrew Fung. FYI Network

Andrew and David Fung — hosts of a new food and travel TV show called What the Fung?! — did the typical tourist thing when they recently came to Fort Worth.

They went straight to the Stockyards.

The brothers even climbed onto a couple of steers and took them for a test drive.

“We were wearing our Air Jordan shoes at the time,” Andrew Fung remembers. “I bet not that many people have ridden steers with Air Jordans on.”

Once they got that out of their system, the Fung boys found out that there’s more to Fort Worth than cowboys and cattle. The What the Fung?! episode chronicling their time in the city reflects that.

It premieres at 8:30 p.m. Thursday on cable’s FYI Network.

“We were pleasantly surprised,” Andrew says. “I’ll admit it: We were a little bit ignorant of what a cool city Fort Worth really is, how sophisticated it is culturally. This trip really was an eye-opener for us.”

Now they’re spreading the word.

What the Fung?! is a typical food and travel series: The hosts, who grew up in Seattle, visit a different city each episode and introduce viewers to various aspects of its food culture.

Andrew and David’s gimmick is that they do it on the cheap. With just $50 each to spend, the guys take a taste tour of the city, trying everything from authentic regional cuisine to innovative modern bites.

“The food trend today is moving toward reasonably priced food,” Andrew says, explaining the show’s “ballers on a budget” philosophy. “Our generation isn’t as interested in eating at super-high-end, fancy restaurants with seven different kinds of forks and knives.

“Our generation would rather go to a spot where it’s, like, great food, but $12 a person, $13 a person. Thinking economically, that’s the thing now. So I think it’s cool that we’re doing a food show that gives you some great food experiences without breaking the bank.”

The Fungs clearly are partial to food-truck dining. They sampled a lot of the rolling restaurants while in Fort Worth, including Ruthie’s (where they had brisket mac & cheese) and Say Kimchi.

But they also visited brick-and-mortar establishments, including Buttons Restaurant (sampling the chicken-fried steak with smashed potatoes and green beans), Brewed (goat cheese queso con chile), Landmark Bar & Kitchen (giving the “shot wheel” a spin) and Max’s Wine Dive (chicken Parm sliders).

All of these places left the brothers satisfied, declaring, “We’re full and so are our wallets!”

Other cities they visit in Season 1 include Los Angeles, New Orleans, San Diego (Thursday’s 8 p.m. episode), San Antonio, Philadelphia, New York and Asheville, N.C.

FYI decided to give Andrew and David a try after their comedic YouTube videos about food, fashion and Asian culture ( built a fan base of more than 850,000 subscribers.

“Some of our fans and our friends have been like, ‘Oh, my gosh, this sounds like the greatest job ever! You get to travel around the country and eat food!’” Andrew says. “Obviously there’s more to it than just going to interesting places and having a good time. It’s a lot of work making a TV show.

“But I’m not going to lie — it was a fun experience. We’re looking forward to finding out what people think. We hope the show does well, so we can do a second season and go to more cool cities.”

What the Fung?!

▪ 8 and 8:30 p.m. Thursday