Food & Drink

On a horse ranch near Benbrook, Cafe 1187 chef is back in the saddle

Cafe 1187 is in a farmhouse south of Benbrook.
Cafe 1187 is in a farmhouse south of Benbrook.

Cafe 1187 chef Michele Tezak is back after missing Valentine’s Day, and Easter Sunday, and all the beautiful springtime flowers at her rural farmhouse restaurant.

But the pastures are still red and yellow with Indian blanket blosssoms, and the spring rains kept the herb gardens green around the small cafe on a horse ranch along Farm Road 1187 south of Benbrook.

Tezak was out with a broken leg from a running collision with one of her dogs, Ziva. While she was recuperating, a spring storm toppled the cafe’s landmark water tower, so you’ll have to look for the turn at Ben Day Murrin Road.

She still has Ziva, and the water tank is going back up.

“Everything is going to be just like always,” she said this week, a month after easing onto her feet long enough to serve Cafe 1187’s Sunday lunch again after a three-month absence.

Her customers want the Cafe 1187 they’ve known for 20 years, she said.

That includes the roasted pork tenderloin, the sweet potato-jalapeño soup and the coconut layer cake with raspberry and orange filling.

Tezak serves about four lunch and dinner choices on weekends ($7-$15 lunch, $18-$46 dinner).

A recent dinner menu offered filet mignon with jalapeño-blue cheese butter, garlic-chive mashed potatoes and vegetables.

Tezak was trained in France and owned a Salt Lake City restaurant before moving to Dallas with the original, chef-owned La Madeleine and then cooking at the Greenhouse, a former Neiman Marcus spa.

I asked why she doesn’t host TV shows or foodie tours.

“I like to stay behind the scenes,” she said.

She had horses at the equestrian center next to what is now Cafe 1187 and decided to buy the farmhouse as a restaurant.

Cafe 1187 is open for lunch Thursday through Sunday, dinner Friday and Saturday; 8780 Farm Road 1187 East (6 miles west of the Chisholm Trail Parkway at Ben Day Murrin Road), 817-443-1473, cafe1187.com.

Set the alarm

If you want to see what’s new in Fort Worth, get up early:

▪ FunkyTown Donuts, the new artisan doughnut shop, opens at 6 a.m. weekdays and Saturdays, 8 a.m. Sundays.

It often sells out by midday. Go earlier for fresh-fruit choices or specialties such as red-velvet cream cheese, or for the special gluten-free doughnuts Wednesdays and Saturdays; 1000 Eighth Ave., Suite 101, 817-862-9750, funkytowndonuts.com.

▪ Black Market Bakery & Cafe, the night-owl restaurant sharing the same space as Nonna Tata, is open until 6 a.m. to serve a wide-ranging menu of breakfasts, burgers and tacos.

Owner Giovanna White bakes cookies, cakes and desserts, and promises more breakfast pastries ahead. It opens in the wee hours Thursday through Sunday mornings; 1400 W. Magnolia Ave., 817-223-6909, facebook.com/Blackmarketfood.

▪ Brewed, the coffee cafe-and-brewhouse, has a new menu and beckons all to come back for another look.

It’s open at 8 a.m. Tuesdays through Fridays, at 9 a.m. weekends; 801 W. Magnolia Ave., 817-945-1545, brewedfw.com.

▪ A new Avoca Coffee location opened this week in the Foch Street Warehouses at 835 Foch St., a half-block south of West Seventh Street.

It opens at 7 a.m. daily; avocacoffee.com

A Saturday Clown

Apologies: Clown Burger’s new Louthan on the grill is Kari Louthan Negrete, Bill Louthan’s daughter. He retired after 53 years.

She has restored Saturday hours, but last weekend she sold out of the classic thin-patty burgers about 1:30 p.m. It’s regularly open 10:30 a.m. until after 2 p.m.; 5020 Stanley Keller Road, 817-831-8015, facebook.com/ClownBurger.

Bud Kennedy: 817-390-7538, bud@star-telegram.com, @EatsBeat. His column appears Wednesdays in Life & Arts and Fridays in DFW.com.

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