Eats Beat: Berry Street hangout goes under the microscope

Posted 7:52am on Friday, Oct. 18, 2013

If at first you don’t succeed — call in a reality show.

On the Rocks, a new Food Network show about rescuing restaurants, focused on Fort Worth last week and remade a West Berry Street grill.

The result: the new Science Lab Bar & Grille, an upgrade in both name and product from XII Whiskey.

The Science Lab brings chemistry-geek chic to Fort Worth, serving drinks in test tubes and beakers and dishes such as a “ Weird Science Sandy” ham-and-pickled cabbage sandwich or “skewers von Braun” with chicken and sweet potato.

If Science Lab sounds overengineered, don’t worry. The familiar burger platters are still there, with menu updates coming.

XII Whiskey had some bright spots, but also some inherent problems. For starters: the name.

The Science Lab is in a block where only full-service restaurants are legal, but the old name sounded like a bar and alienated diners and neighbors. But the food wasn’t a problem, particularly not the burgers or brisket.

On the Rocks is a new show premiering in mid-November. We won’t know exactly what ideas Canadian bar consultant John Green contributed until the show airs.

Warning: Be patient. The Lab isn’t finished yet.

But for now, it’s open for dinner Mondays through Wednesdays and lunch and dinner Thursdays through Sundays at 2858 W. Berry St., 817-927-0822,

• The Taste of Arlington is our oldest and largest restaurant festival. This year, it’s also a showdown of old and new.

One of the original entrants is Spring Creek Barbecue, known for 31 years for its pork ribs. But crosstown Rudy’s Country Store & BBQ plans to serve brisket and sausage.

Fuzzy’s Taco Shop, a newer downtown favorite, is back with beef or chicken tacos and nachos.

But Digg’s Taco Shop from the College Park shops will counter with its own chicken tacos with serrano pepper sauce and Monterey Jack cheese.

Other highlights: Blue Mesa Grill adobe pies, Olenjack’s Grille shrimp and grits, Raising Cane’s chicken fingers and 23-year favorite Cacharel’s chocolate souffle.

Tickets cost $40 or $65 for a VIP reserved seat; 817-275-7661,

• For 45 years, Parton’s Pizza has been an old-school favorite Fort Worth pizza buffet.

Sunday, customers who love Sunny and Jody Parton will chip in $20 for a special night.

The Partons lost their home in a fire and diners want to help.

The party starts at 5 p.m. at Parton’s, 2813 S. Cherry Lane, 817-244-5152. Or just go by any day for lunch or dinner.

Bud Kennedy's Eats Beat appears Wednesdays in Life & Arts and Fridays in 817-390-7538 Twitter: @EatsBeat Facebook: Bud Kennedy’s Eats Beat Get alerts at

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