Frustrated with difficulty of finding a good selection of organic, local produce when they moved to the area, the founders of It's Organic 2U began frequenting local farmers markets to get their plant fix. Talking to local produce growers, they quickly realized that, despite their struggles, the Dallas-Fort Worth area was brimming with people as eager to sell their fruits and vegetables as they were to eat them. With all their new contacts, they hit on an idea: consolidate the area's organic produce and send it out to customers, helping people eat healthier, more varied foods. Now, every week, subscribers receive a bin chock full of fresh fruits and veggies?in-season delicacies, largely sourced from local farms. A testament to the company's environmentally responsible nature, It's Organic 2U's truck leaves their warehouse with as many as 200 bins, making it responsible for a tiny fraction of the emissions made by 200 families traveling to the market in cars or balancing atop barrels of flaming crude oil.
At Chef's Meat and Fish Market, friendly staff members answer preparation questions while filling customers' baskets with guaranteed-fresh items including locally sourced, high-quality meats, poultry, and seafood. Stock up on flavorful beef tri tips ($8.99/lb.) for grilling, roasting, or baby proofing the steak knives, or blanket dinner plates with tender, juicy assorted pork-loin chops painstakingly hand cut by accomplished pork artisans ($5.99/lb.).
An array of decadent sweets and dainty confections fills bakery cases and curbs candied cravings at Elegant Cakery's masterful cake-baking studio. A team of ganache gurus applies artful eyes to forging peeper-pleasing and mouthwatering masterpieces with custom cakes ($60+ for 9” cakes) donning a variety of delicious decorations, such as flowers, company logos, and fondant reproductions of the Hoover Dam.
Central Market cooking schools enlightens the epicurean masters of tomorrow with instruction from the gourmet gurus of today, having previously hosted guest instructors such as the renowned Cat Cora and Mario Batali. Meal mentors post classes in both Fort Worth and Southlake every four to six weeks, usually providing 26–30 options per month. Whether it's your first time holding a skillet or you're looking to polish your sushi skills after finally discovering how to uncook fish, Central Market provides coaching for every experience level. Curious foodies can peruse an array of informative options, including sharpening your knife skills ($55), making indulgent desserts ($45), creating vegetarian dinners ($55), and fine-tuning a soufflé filled with an event horizon. Running roughly 2.5 hours each, sessions are offered most days of the week. Most hands-on classes can accommodate about 18, while demonstration classes can accommodate up to 48, depending on location. See Central Market's frequently asked questions page for more information.
Owners Steve and JoAnn Barker sling their spicy creations—which include 12 to 15 types of tamales and 35 varieties of house-made salsa—from their own store between Ball and Scribner, and at the Grapevine Farmer’s Market on Main Street. Served hot or frozen and prepared without gluten, Tommy’s tamales teem with fresh and creative ingredients, from pumpkin and sweet potato to spinach and cinnamon, with vegetarian options and a breakfast tamale stuffed with sausage and potato. An epic spread of mild to hot house-made salsas seize their spiciness from panoplies of different peppers, including habaneros and serranos, and part their piquant surfs for crispy tortilla chips and roving bands of piñatas.
Sauces play a starring role on the menu at Cafe Italia, from basic but hearty marinara and alfredo sauces to elaborate blends with port wine, vodka, and balsamic vinegar and honey. One of these deftly simmered medleys flavors each dish, whether the entree features broiled salmon or Angus-beef filet mignon. The feasts reflect culinary traditions from both northern and southern Italy and give a nod to the peninsula’s oceanfront bounty with shrimp, clams, mussels, and giant tridents instead of forks. Cafe Italia’s BYOB policy invites guests to dream up their own beverage pairings for each meal.