Brewed, the latest explosion of culinary gentrification on Magnolia Avenue on Fort Worth's near Southside, opened for a sneak preview Wednesday evening and, no doubt, some people arent going to know what to make of it when it opens Thursday at 6 p.m. to the public.
Is it a coffeehouse hangout where you can work on that novel -- reading or writing one -- while noshing on a $14 lobster corn dog? Is it an upscale restaurant where you have to order at the counter? Is it a bar that serves homemade ice cream? Well, yes, its all of these things and -- at 4,000-square-feet and with a large outdoor patio -- a little more besides.
At the press preview Wednesday, we were allowed to sample some of the menu and what I had -- the Brewed Fries ($4.50), a large cup of duck fat fries with garlic salt and black pepper, and the Gulf Fish & Greens ($15), pan roasted redfish on top of local greens -- was quite impressive. The chef is John Kramer who has worked at restaurants in Bryan-College Station and Las Vegas.
But will people who just wander in for a beer -- 14 of 'em on tap, 70 in the bottle -- or a coffee, want to belly up to a $10 burger (served with the duck fat fries) or The Best BLTB (bacon, butter lettuce, tomatoes, burrata cheese, and those duck fat fries) if theyre feeling a bit peckish? What about the $8 Bacon Mac n Three Cheese (Texas aged cheddar, smoked gouda, parmesan, bacon studs, roasted potatoes, Bechamel sauce)?
It is a gastropub, which gives license to be a little bit of everything to everyone. And the space is big and comfortable, especially now that the cooler weathers here, it will be an optimal time to enjoy that expansive patio. (It could become the Cowtown equivalent of, say, Dallas Katy Trail Ice House -- but with much better food.)
But it will be interesting to see how this Friends-meets-Cheers-meets-Top Chef space gets used -- more as a bar, coffeehouse, or restaurant -- or will it truly be a marriage of all three? This could be one of the more intriguing destinations for recreational dining to hit Fort Worth in awhile.
You can learn more about Brewed here.