The Bottom has plenty of Fort Worth pride. The multiple flat-screen TVs attract flocks of TCU students and fans on game days, and the menu itself has items that pay homage to the fearsome Horned Frogs. There are the purple beer and the Polliwog: a frozen concoction named after the Old English term for a tadpole and made with secret ingredients that can only be revealed if the blender is kissed by a princess. Also in the bar, 35 taps represent breweries from nearby and afar, including Rahr & Sons, Shiner, Saint Arnold, and Stone.
In addition to the bar, this family-owned, community-oriented restaurant offers something for everyone. Saturday and Sunday brunch entice local families to stop by this neighborhood eatery. Outside, guests can unwind on the spacious patio and enjoy gigantic burgers and Southwestern apps and entrees amid leafy palms at tables in both the shade and the sun.
Dos Juans dishes up savory skillets of authentic Mexican fare and signature puffy tacos in a casual BYOB restaurant. The menu delights diners with inventive tacos, such as the tacos Diablo ($8.99), fresh shells stuffed with spicy pork and anchos chilis hot enough to melt the icicles off eyebrows. Chimango tacos ($8.99) sweeten the scene with slow-cooked pork, mangos, and garlic, and signature puffy tacos beef up ordinary shells with a delightfully soft exterior. On weekends, brunch dishes deliver generous portions of classics, including breakfast burritos ($6.99), the perfect follow-up to a night on the town or a dawn on the high seas.
Hot Tub’s chef, Randy Montoya, grills up a sizzling menu brimming with meaty entrees, seafood spreads, and Tex-Mex munchables. Commence nosh fests by bobbing for crispy fried crawfish tails ($8.99) or bolster Southern beach cred with a plate of shrimp and grits ($10.99). Appetites in the mood for heartier eats can pursue the chicken-fried steak ($14.99) or the Willie’s signature fried catfish that's coated in Cajun breading and accompanied by french fries and coleslaw ($12.99). Take tongues on a trek to Mexico without licking an atlas with an order of fajitas ($13.99–$19.99), or bite into a crab-cake burger ($13.99) for a taste of the sea slathered in southwest remoulade and bookended by brioche buns.
At each Los Vaqueros Restaurant, Chef Cisneros imparts his third-generation culinary expertise to crafting Tex-Mex menus that feature local poultry, beef, fruits, and veggies. He ensures these ingredients are never chopped or prebagged before they reach his kitchens, preserving their flavor until he’s ready to turn them into chalupas, sizzling fajitas, and stuffed jalapeños that warm insides better than a shot of barrel-aged magma. Chef Cisneros's spread of fresh-made fare can also be enjoyed at catered events, and each eatery's private banquet room can accommodate football-watching parties, receptions, meetings, and hula-hoop marathons.
In a former warehouse in Fort Worth, a flight of yellow steps leads through the Stockyards location's leafy archway into a lively dining room filled with vintage cowbells and tin signs. The West location in Weatherford, on the other hand, sits within Crown Valley Golf Club, where patrons dine on enchiladas, tacos, and burritos as wild golf balls cheep from their perches on the windowsills. Los Vaqueros’ most recent location finds itself nestled in the TCU area, with an outdoor patio, yellow dining area, and all the same appetizing food as the other locations.
While working at a national pizza chain, Scott Gittrich looked at the palette of ingredients around him and wondered why pizza seemed so limited. Then in 1991 he got his chance to experiment. He opened the first Toppers Pizza, combining a fun, party-fueling atmosphere with edible concoctions that topped housemade dough with unexpected delicacies such as mac ‘n' cheese and a deconstructed gyro. More than 19 house specialty pies make use of freshly kneaded dough, transporting classic recipes and unheard-of combinations to get people excited about pizza again. And the people respond, enjoying the treats as much as Scott himself, who once went 60 days eating at least one meal a day from Toppers. Today Toppers Pizza stretches across the country, peppering the Midwest and reaching to the East Coast. Along with pizzas, the cooks offer wings with a variety of dipping sauces, including mild and hot buffalo, smoky bbq, parmesan garlic, and sweet chili. Signature Topperstix—breadsticks adorned with cheese, garlic butter, and toppings such as bacon and pepperoni—accompany pizza orders, silencing rumbling bellies until the early morning.
The fast-prepping salsa sovereigns at Red Cactus grill, toss, and skillfully season fresh Mexican fare in a creative, casual eatery. Guests can gleefully witness the menu come to life at the counter, where delectably fresh ingredients are fashionably fused into burritos, tacos, and miniature Alamo replicas. Sink hungry dientes into a trio of tacos planchados, a mixture of shredded beef, refried beans, monterey jack, and cheddar cheese encased in grilled flour tortillas ($6.25). Or, jolt sleepy taste buds awake during breakfast hours (8 a.m.–11 a.m.) with a chorizo con huevo burrito, a proteinous partnership of eggs, Mexican sausage, and cheese ($3.95). Sandwich glands can be nourished with the torta, a Mexico City sub available with a choice of shredded beef, chicken tinga, or beef and chicken fajita ($5.95). During their stay, guests can smell the smattering of sauces in the air, which can be harvested and enjoyed with some of Red Cactus' homemade tortilla chips. While the open kitchen allows diners to witness the birth of each flavorful feast, salsa saboteurs should know that Red Cactus takes inspiration from family recipes before hacking the mainframe in a cunning recipe heist.