Fort Worth Stock Show

Heading up the Stock Show food lineup: Italian cuisine

Monica Russo, owner of Momma Monica Italian Restaurant, holds a veggie Parmigiana sub. Her food booth is new this year at the Stock Show.
Monica Russo, owner of Momma Monica Italian Restaurant, holds a veggie Parmigiana sub. Her food booth is new this year at the Stock Show. mfaulkner@star-telegram.com

Italy comes to Cowtown when the Fort Worth Stock Show and Rodeo welcomes a new vendor to its impressive variety of foods.

“We have long experience with food in Italy,” said Monica Russo, the matriarch of a family that loves to feed people.

Russo brought recipes and experience developed over generations when she moved her folks from Verona to Texas. They settled in Weatherford, because her son, David, was in love with cutting.

In August, the family opened Mamma Monica Italian Restaurant in their new hometown at 5107 New Tin Top Road. Mamma’s stand in the Richardson-Bass Building (John Justin Arena) will feature cuisine prepared fresh daily at the restaurant and whisked to the Stock Show.

“We have lasagna, a meatball sub, an eggplant Parmesan sub, and homemade tiramisu,” Russo said. “Another desert is chocolate rolls — like a salami made with dark chocolate and animal crackers. We also have fresh green salads with onions and cherry tomatoes, and we can add chicken or eggs for the salad.”

Mamma Monica got the Stock Show gig when Russo and her employees catered a recent National Cutting Horse Association event, said Steve Coburn, whose Coburn Catering wrangles most of the Stock Show’s food vendors.

“They worked some of the events with us during the cutting and were very successful,” Coburn said. “They have a pretty good menu.”

Mamma Monica’s stand will be open from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily.

Reata provides high-end eating

Fort Worth’s Reata Restaurant will be back in the Amon G. Carter Jr. Exhibits Hall, next door(ish) to the Round Up Inn, providing a black-tablecloth dining experience called Reata at the Rodeo, featuring many of the restaurant’s most popular items.

“There’s pepper-crusted tenderloin, charbroiled rib-eye, carne asada topped with cheese enchiladas, and a full bar,” said Julie Fairley, a Reata spokesperson.

Reata also has La Espuela Mexican Cantina, in the Centennial Room of the Moncrief Building.

“It’s a fast-casual restaurant with beef tenderloin tamales, tortilla soup, enchiladas, tacos and the best frozen margaritas at the Stock Show,” Fairley said.

Upstairs in Will Rogers Memorial Coliseum, Reata at the Backstage Club is an exclusive venue. Membership is required through an application on the Reata website, reata.net. It also has a full bar, as well as a similar menu to Reata at the Rodeo, with somewhat fewer items, Fairley said.

The Backstage is a Stock Show experience like no other.

“I think the ambiance and camaraderie are what makes it so special,” Fairley said. “The Stock Show is like its own little city within a city. The Backstage provides a great place to be part of that community, and it has a wonderful view of the arena.”

Stockman’s Cafe open from start to finish

Coburn Catering’s Stockman’s Cafe won’t shut down from the moment its Cattle Barn 2 doors open at 8 a.m. Friday, until the show’s over Feb. 4.

“We stay open 24 hours for breakfast and lunch,” said David Daniels, who manages the dozen or so Coburn’s stands and vendors in the show’s livestock barns.

Stock Show regulars will notice lots of changes at the Stockman’s — not the least of which is the introduction of Coburn’s barbecue, which will be served 11 a.m.-7 p.m. daily.

“We’ll have brisket, sausage and ham here for the first time ever,” Daniels said. “On our breakfast menu we’re adding breakfast quesadillas and pancakes for the first time.

“This year, all our breakfast sandwiches are served on croissants instead of toast. We’ve also added a fried chicken and ranch sandwich to the menu.”

Stockman’s Cafe will be charbroiling its burgers, instead of frying them on a grill, Daniels said.

“They taste better that way, and I’ll bet they’re healthier,” he said. “People will notice some other changes, too, that are nice but aren’t as big.”

Across the Stock Show grounds there are more than 50 places to have a meal or a snack — at least one in every building.

Cinnamon rolls a huge hit

Vendors returning to the Round Up Inn Food Court in the Amon G. Carter Jr. Exhibits Hall include Bayou Kitchen, Mama’s Pizza, The Hamburger Shack, Tad’s Burritos, Coburn Barbecue and Nothing Bundt Cake.

“On the weekends, we typically open barbecue buffets in the Roundup,” Coburn said. “It’s the same food as served in our stand, but this is a fast way to get a barbecue plate if that’s all you want. There’s sliced brisket and sausage, but also beans, potato salad, coleslaw, pickles, onions, jalapeños and dinner rolls.”

Coburn said the restaurant’s hot dog stands use Nolan Ryan all-beef hot dogs, “but we’re doing them with Chicago dog toppings, chili cheese dog toppings, just a lot of variety in the toppings that are sure to please any tastes,” he said.

Not a big sugar eater, Coburn said he doesn’t crave what some folks believe is the best Stock Show edible: Crown Cinnamon Rolls.

“My kids love ’em,” he said. “Sometimes I have a few bites of one that they get. It’s the most amazing thing you’ll ever put in your mouth.”

Although he can pass on the cinnamon rolls, Coburn said he can’t resist the corn dogs served at several stands.

“They’re second to none,” he said.

Stock Show roundup

The Fort Worth Stock Show and Rodeo continues through Feb. 4 at the Will Rogers Memorial Center, Lancaster Avenue and University Drive, just west of downtown.

Details: 817-877-2400 or www.fwssr.com. Mobile apps are available for Apple and Android devices.

Grounds admission: $10 adults; $5 ages 6-16; free age 5 and younger

Rodeo tickets: $28 on Friday nights, weekends and some special events; $20 weekdays. Rodeo tickets are good for general admission to the Stock Show the same day. Star-Telegram Press Pass holders can get discounts on grounds admission and rodeo tickets.

Advance tickets: The office, at 3401 W. Lancaster Ave., is open 8 a.m.-8 p.m. daily; 817-877-2420.

Parking: $10 per vehicle

Take the Rodeo Redline: Saturdays and Sundays, visitors can take $5 shuttles — called the Rodeo Redline — from the parking lot just north of Billy Bob’s Texas in the Fort Worth Stockyards. Buses run every 30 minutes, 8:30 a.m.-10 p.m. Saturdays and 10 a.m.-10 p.m. Sundays.

Information booths: In the main concourse of the Amon G. Carter Jr. Exhibits Hall and the Richardson-Bass Building. 10 a.m.-8 p.m. Sundays-Fridays and 9 a.m.-8 p.m. Saturdays.

Shopping: 10 a.m.-8 p.m. Sundays-Fridays and 9 a.m.-8 p.m. Saturdays in the Amon G. Carter Jr. Exhibits Hall and Brown-Lupton Exhibits Hall (north and south).

Saturday

8 a.m. Junior Agricultural Mechanics Project Show — Equestrian Multi-Purpose Building

9 a.m. AQHA Ranch Horse Riding — Coliseum

9 a.m. Pigeon Show — Poultry Building

9 a.m. Poultry Show — Open Division — Poultry Building

11 a.m. All Western Parade — Downtown

11 a.m. The Premier Texas Longhorn Sale — West Arena

Noon AQHA Best of the Remuda Horse Sale — Justin Arena

Noon 4-H and FFA Goat Judging Contest — Swine Arena

5 p.m. Premier Cowtown Elite Santa Gertrudis Sale — West Arena

6 p.m. Celebrity Goat Milking Contest, followed by Goat Creative Costume Contest — Cattle Arena

7:30 p.m. Best of the West Invitational Ranch Rodeo — Coliseum

Sunday

7:30 a.m. Southwest Intercollegiate, 4-H and FFA Dairy Cattle Judging Contest — Cattle Arena

8 a.m. Texas M.A.D.E. Competition — French Room, Watt Arena

8 a.m. All-American Dairy Goat Show — Swine Arena

8 a.m. AQHA and NRCHA Working Cow Horse Classes — Justin Arena

9 a.m. Cowboy Church, provided by Shepherd’s Valley Cowboy Church — Auditorium

9 a.m. Pigeon Show — Poultry Building

9 a.m. Poultry Show — Open Division — Poultry Building

10 a.m. Exhibition Poultry Workshop — Cattle 1 Meeting Room

11 a.m. American Premier Boer Goat Show — Sheep Arena

12:30 p.m. Best of the West Invitational Ranch Rodeo Awards Presentation — Coliseum

1 p.m. Southwestern Exposition and Livestock Show Invitational Ranch Horse Show and Sale — Coliseum

2 p.m. Junior Agricultural Mechanics Awards Presentation — Equestrian Multi-Purpose Building

2 p.m. Super Regional Point Santa Gertrudis Cattle Show — Watt Arena — West Ring

3 p.m. Ayrshire and Milking Shorthorn Dairy Cattle — Open Show — Cattle Arena

4 p.m. Braford Cattle Show — Watt Arena, East Ring

6 p.m. National Braunvieh Sale — West Arena

7:30 p.m. Best of Mexico Celebración — Coliseum

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