Not only do we love dining out.
We love it more than almost anyone else in America.
Based on a recent national spending study, Fort Worth customers spend 30 percent more than others every month on dining out, No. 3 nationally. Dallas is No. 1, Plano No. 5.
That doesn't mean we're paying high prices -- it means we're finding good deals like these:
The best little dining deal in Texas hits town every August: Restaurant Week is when our best restaurants serve $35 dinners and donate a portion of the proceeds to the Lena Pope Home children's charity in Fort Worth or to a Dallas food bank.
This year's Restaurant Week is Aug. 13-19, with some restaurants extending the special through Sept. 2. The list of restaurants is announced late in July by KRLD/1080 AM or at www.lenapopehome.org.
A Cultural District trip doesn't have to be expensive.
The Buffet at the Kimbell Art Museum serves early dinner Friday nights for $12, with wines for $5-$6. Lunch costs $9-$11 Fridays through Sundays; 3333 Camp Bowie Blvd., 817-332-8451, ext. 277, www.kimbellart.org.
Saint-Emilion Restaurant, the highest-rated restaurant in the region by Zagat Survey diners, offers early diners a $25 three-course dinner and $12.50 wines by the bottle Tuesdays and Wednesdays. Book a reservation before 7:30 p.m.; 3617 W. Seventh St., 817-737-2781, saint-emilionrestaurant.com.
The best deal in Tex-Mex is at tiny taco stands like San Diego Tacos Shop in Richland Hills.
The tiny "Cal-Mex" taco stand serves California-style fish tacos and rolled tacos, plus little-known specialties such as a chile rellenos burrito or carne asada-topped fries. The most expensive plates are $5 and $6; 7116 Boulevard 26, 817-284-1399, www.letseat.at/sandiegotacosshop.
The most famous dining deal in Texas might be at El Fenix Restaurants, where the Wednesday enchilada special is still $4.99. El Fenix originated the idea of a Tex-Mex "combination plate"; locations include Fort Worth, Arlington, Grapevine and Burleson, elfenix.com.
When real cowboys come to the Fort Worth Stockyards, they dine in restaurants like Barbie's Colonial House.
The old-fashioned home-cooking diner in north Fort Worth serves a daily lunch buffet with dishes such as roast pork or fried chicken, vegetables and desserts, and a breakfast buffet on weekends. It's always under $10; 3816 N. Main St., 817-624-1262, barbiescolonial.com.
The Swiss Pastry Shop in west Fort Worth still sells half-sandwiches with a side item for $4, or full sandwiches for $5. The classic pies, cakes and eclairs are $2 or $3, so lunch with dessert is less than $10; 3936 W. Vickery Blvd., 817-732-5661, www.swisspastryonline.com.
Then there are the great little hole-in-the-wall restaurants, tiny places you can barely find like Aguilera's Cafe, Bailey's Bar-B-Q or Mi Cocinita.
They're all open for lunch at least three weekdays. You'll have to go looking for them. (Bring cash. But you won't need much.)
Bud Kennedy's Eats Beat appears Wednesdays in Life & Arts and Fridays in DFW.com Weekend. 817-390-7538
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