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Here are five downtown Fort Worth restaurants to try during Main St.

April 17,2018

Star-Telegram article by Bud Kennedy 

Even at an arts festival, sooner or later you want to sit down.

Besides all the restaurants on Main Street, there are a few off Main to try during this weekend's Main St. Fort Worth Arts Festival:

▪ Wild Salsa, on the walkway along West Second Street, is a brightly decorated Mexico City restaurant with some distinctive dishes.Watch the crowds go by with a platter of chicken tinga nachos, or the tropical coconut salad. The menu offers five salsas or pestos, including a habanero, a serrano molcajete and pineapple-laced pico de gallo.

Try a taco trio with three fillings and salsas, and save room for the cuatro leches cake served in a jar.

It's open for lunch and dinner daily except Sunday; 300 Throckmorton St.,

▪ Next door, Chop House Burger is underrated for its burger choices and also for an above-average bowl of Texas beef chili, available on the side or on the crisp fries.

Chop House Burger's current special is the Smoking Pig, a cheeseburger with bacon and mushrooms mixed into the beef. Pair it with a Milky Way shake. (Chop House Burger is a spinoff from a Dallas prime steakhouse. Do not confuse CHB with the similarly named Chop House Burgers in Pantego.)

Chop House Burger is also at 300 Throckmorton St., sharing the side patio with Wild Salsa. It's open for lunch and dinner daily except Sunday;

▪ Picchi Pacchi Pizza & Pasta, formerly a late-night landmark on Main Street, has moved to West Seventh Street but still serves the same bargain pasta dishes, pizzas, calzones and stromboli.

If you have a favorite BYOB pizza-and-pasta restaurant in your neighborhood, Picchi Pacchi will be familiar. You walk in to see a display case of single and double-crust pizzas, waiting for you to pick a size or a topping.

It's open for lunch and dinner daily except Sunday; 411 W. Seventh St., 817-870-2222,

▪ Black Rooster Cafe & Bakery is the downtown stop for early risers or for a midday break.

A newly expanded menu offers egg breakfasts, quiches and avocado toast, plus a choice of about 12 lunch sandwiches.

Save room for cookies, macarons or pie, and plan to take home a loaf of Rooster bread.

The Rooster is now open for breakfast and lunch daily including Sunday; 910 Houston St., 817-882-8108,

▪ Thai Tina's is a hidden secret across from Bass Hall.

Known for its curries and Thai beef salad, Thai Tina's has a larger menu than most Thai restaurants and a more elaborate presentation.

It's open for lunch and dinner daily inside the Embassy Suites hotel; 600 Commerce St., 817-332-0088,

More Main stops: Sundance, steakhouses

▪ In Sundance Square, meander off the main path to find great new stops like Istanbul Grill, a Turkish and Mediterranean restaurant on Throckmorton Street; In the Sack, a take-out food, wine and convenience store on Houston Street with breakfast tacos beginning at 10 a.m.; and of course, Bird Cafe, a brunch and brew mainstay on Commerce Street facing Sundance Square Plaza.

▪ At the south end of Main Street, Del Frisco's Double Eagle's wraparound balcony is open all day Friday and Saturday overlooking the crowd. There's a lunch menu at midday Friday and a limited menu at midday Saturday; 812 Main St.,

▪ Or for a stop in mid-fest, Grace's bar and patio will open at noon daily this weekend.

Stop in for one of Fort Worth's best prime steakhouse cheeseburgers ($13 with fries, and worth it). Or try a lamb burger, a flatiron steak frites, baby back ribs or charcoal-grilled prawns.

Grace will serve lunch this weekend and serves dinner nightly at 777 Main St.; 817-877-3388,

Festival food: cream puffs, fried chicken

On the street, Main St.'s food booths are now promoted as a festival of “culinary arts.”

The Schmidt's of German Village half-pound cream puff straight from Columbus, Ohio, is definitely a work of art.

Other don't miss items: Buttons Restaurant's chicken-and-waffle bites, Joe Riscky's Barbecueoak-smoked tenderloin or jalapeño sausage wrapped in bacon, Gus's World Famous Fried Chicken, Thai Tina's red curry or Fletcher's Corny Dogs.

(And remember: Take the Trinity Metro bus or the Trinity Railway Express train if you can, or loop around downtown and come in from the west or south to find parking.)

Bud Kennedy; 817-390-7538@EatsBeat

Locations Mentioned: Chop House Burger, Del Frisco's Double Eagle Steak House, Grace, Istanbul Grill, Picchi Pacchi