Eats Beat: Count the winning dishes at new 24 Plates

Posted 9:21am on Tuesday, Jul. 08, 2014

The new 24 Plates is more than a number.

A Weatherford chiropractor’s dream has turned into a credible and stylish new restaurant, now open on the quiet end of West Magnolia Avenue. Joel Kleven’s hors d’oeuvres convinced friends that he should open a restaurant.

But it took chef Beau Johnson and designer Marta Rozanich to pull 24 Plates into shape, and the result is an airy and beautiful “small plates” restaurant-bar-and-patio that pairs perfectly with Thai neighbor Spice Fort Worth.

The original tag for 24 Plates was “global tapas.” Thank goodness Kleven and Johnson outgrew that cliche.

The dinner menu is simpler than originally planned, with 24 rotating “small plates” such as bacon-wrapped stuffed dates, queso flameado or Kleven’s Peruvian anticuchos with cilantro-peanut sauce. But it also has full platters such as short-rib tacos, scallops, a sliders combination plate or sesame ahi.

The weekday lunch menu meets the hospital district’s needs with salads, panini and flatbreads, all for $9-$12.

But 24 Plates may wind up even more popular at weekend brunch, when the menu includes biscuits with fresh-roasted apple butter or the Klevens’ favorite family French toast with strawberry compote.

Diners the first week argued whether the white chocolate bread pudding or warmed chocolate cake was best.

It’s all served in former flower shop and Mexican restaurant spaces on Magnolia at the corner of May Street, three blocks east of Cane Rosso and Brewed.

Rozanich’s design relies on simple lines; light, soft woods; mirrors; and a few eye-catching features such as a test-tube candelabra to lead diners through the three-room restaurant and patio.

“I really liked the loft feel of this space, and the open, raw appeal,” Kleven said.

The restaurant is big but still seems cozy. Banquettes include throw pillows that feel like home. The patio is a good addition to the ones at neighbors Shinjuku Station and Brewed.

Kleven has juggled the hours and settled on daily weekday lunch from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., weekend brunch (at 10 a.m.) and dinner after 4 p.m. nightly except Sundays. A bar snacks menu is served after lunch and again late.

It’s at 407 W. Magnolia Ave.; 682-730-5749 (a new number that will be active on Friday);

‘Crawl’ comes to Everman

Tuesday was Chef Tim Love’s CNBC Prime TV series debut.

But on Wednesday, a small local barbecue restaurant gets its share of national attention. Longoria’s BBQ in Everman turned down Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives rather than disclose its family recipes, but it will be on the Travel Channel’s BBQ Crawl, starring the Diva Q, Danielle Dimovski.

Longoria’s, owned by a family from Gonzales, near the Central Texas barbecue mecca of Lockhart, is known for homemade beef sausage and brisket burgers. It consistently makes Texas top-50 lists, mostly for the strikingly different sausage and also brisket jerky.

Longoria’s has been taking a holiday but will reopen Thursday. It’s at 100 Christopher Drive, Everman; 817-568-9494,

Farewell to a fryer

Yes, Massey’s Restaurant is being demolished, or may have been by now.

The legendary chicken-fried steak cafe made famous by Dan Jenkins, Lesley Ann Warren and Julia Roberts as Herb’s in Baja Oklahoma had gone more than a decade without Massey family management, and it had suffered.

Instead of wishing it could come back, thank Doris Massey for days gone by, and for all those great chicken-frieds and fried chicken platters. (And the open-face chicken-fried steak sandwich on biscuits.)

For all the stories of Massey’s and the adjacent Blue Note bar, it’s remembered more as an affordable restaurant for families and Sunday meals.

If you miss the low Sunday plate-lunch prices, try Hemphill’s Restaurant at Hemphill and West Biddison streets, open into late afternoon. If you miss the chicken-fried steaks, try Ginger Brown’s on Texas 199 or the Star Cafe in the Stockyards, or a different rendition at Old Neighborhood Grill nearby in Park Place Village.

Bud Kennedy’s column 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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