Sunday, February 04, 2007


Ovation: Lively Atmosphere and Impressive Food

I have never had a bad time at Ovation! I have been over 5 times and every time I have enjoyed the drinks and the crowd. Ovation is very unique for Fort Worth for two reasons (1) they have wonderful live music every single night and (2) the crowd is more culturally diverse than most places in town.

Ovation is a great place to go for drinks because it has a great energy; however, with its growing popularity, you may have a hard time finding a place to sit. Don't let this deter you from trying it though because although there is a crowd, it is not unbearable. The crowd really starts to pick up around 9:00 which is when the live music begins.

On my most recent visit, I had the opprortunity to try two new fish entress that were new additions to the menu. First, the pan seared sea bass ($19) was delicious with its rich flavors. It seems it can be difficult to find a nice fish entree in town for under $28, but now you can! I will definitely be ordering the sea bass on my next visit. The blackened salmon with shrimp on a bed of cheese grits topped with crawfish cream sauce ($18) was also delicious. Another good example of fresh fish at a reasonable price.

I certainly suggest starting with the jalapeno beef appetizer ($8). It is served with pineapple, orange and cucumber salad. Wonderful! The calamari ($9) is also impressive. It has a little more spice to it than many calamaris, but it is not overwhelming.

The only food item that was a little disappointing was the steak. FWJoey and I once shared the shitake tenderloin (10 oz = $34, 8 oz = $30) and while the steak was good, it did not taste like the quality of meat you expect for that kind of price. The grade of the meat is not the prime grade meat that you get at Del Frisco or Silver Fox, yet the price is as much. The steaks would be good if the price were lowered to reflect the quality of the meat. As a side item, we shared the indulgent 4 cheese maccaroni ($4). If calories do not matter, then do not fight yourself and order the mac! We have not yet tried any of the pasta dishes, but my dear friend FWJanet loved the Rasta Pasta. Beware of the gumbo which we have been told is too salty and difficult to eat since the shrimp still has its tails on. We have never had room for dessert.

The best server we have had at Ovation is Austin. He has been consistently friendly and a top notch server. I have heard a few complaints about the service at Ovation from other diners, but I have not experienced poor service first hand. Every time we have been there, it has been a true pleasure!


Gloria's: Beautifully Bland

I have been to Fort Worth's new Gloria's restaurant a handful of times and the best thing I have to say about it is it's interior is beautiful and I enjoy the two dips (fresh salsa and black bean) that they serve with their cripsy tortilla chips. Other than that...I find Gloria's to be forgettable. I really, really want to like Gloria's because I love the new Montgomery Ward Plaza area and I want to support the businesses in it, but unfortunately, there is not much to love when it comes to bland food. Not to mention a manager who apparently did not go to "How to be a friendly manager" school. On more than one occasion, I have walked into Gloria's and the same manager has been standing at the host stand. He does not acknowledge the patrons as they enter the restaurant. No "Hello, welcome to Gloria's." He doesn't even make eye contact. Then, at the end of the meal, when you leave, he does not even say thank you. Even when you walk right by him. This is rude and does not encourage me to revisit.

On a recent visit, FWJoey had the ground beef chile relleno with a cheese enchalada ($11.95). He was unimpressed and won't be ordering it again. There was nothing wrong with the food, but there was also nothing unique about it. It was just a large plate full of food that tasted like the same ol' Mexican food you can get just about anywhere. I ordered the combo #2 ($10.95) which included a spinich and chicken quesadilla, chicken tostada, and beef enchalada. The overwhelming flavor of the spinich and chicken quesadilla was wilted spinich. I did not even finish it because it was not enjoyable. The tostada - boring and the beef enchalada tasted good and contained alot of beef, but again, nothing unique about it.

By the end of our $27.00 lunch (not including tip), FWJoey and I were sorry we had come to Gloria's for lunch. We felt like we had just wasted an hour of our day.

Perhaps the Salvadorian food is not as bland as the Mexican food. It is possible that we have not tried the right things at Gloria's. I remember the first few times I went to Rio Mambo (6125 SW Loop 820), I was not all that impressed by the food. It was not until I tried a couple of their house favorites such as the talapia ole or the tacos camerones that I agreed with other Rio Mambo lovers that Rio Mambo has excellent food!

On a more positive note, Gloria's does have good happy hour specials lasting all day Monday - Thursday. Mojitos and various margaritas start at only $3.00. Along with happy hour drinks, try some plantains! They are great! Gloria's also has a good brunch menu and there is live music and salsa dancing on the weekends. There may be reasons, such as a craving for yummy plantains or a desire to go have a mojito at the lovely bar, that a trip to Gloria's might be worth going....but the mexican food, is not one of those reasons.

Thursday, February 01, 2007


Edohana Sushi: Consistently Delicious

Well, it is official. Edohana (2704 S Hulen St) is my favorite restaurant in Fort Worth for sushi. Up until now, I have been unwilling to declare a favorite because there are things I like about alot of the sushi joints in town. I love the tapas at Hui Chuan (6100 Camp Bowie Blvd # 12) and the energy at Piranha Killer Sushi (335 W 3rd St), but when it comes to food...Edohana has every other sushi joint beat. Edohana has all of the standard rolls as well as a huge selection of unique specialty rolls. The fish is also super fresh and served at the perfect temperature. I have never had a bad meal here. However, one time FWJoey ordered the beef terriaki instead of having rolls and he was not overly impressed. This confirmed to us that the thing to get at Edohana is the rolls and other fresh seafood items.

By far my favorite specialty roll is the temptation roll. This is a great roll to introduce to non sushi fans because nothing in it is uncooked. It's main ingredients are shrimp tempura and cream cheese rolled in rice and topped with wonderful crab meat and delicious sauces. The presentation of the dish is beautiful. Not only do I love the sushi at Edohana, but they also do a wonderful job on my Belvedere dirty martini. It is always ice cold with just the right amount of olive juice. They also have a nice selection of sakes and 6-8 wines sold by the glass.

In addition to the food being better at Edohana than some of the other places like Piranha, diners also get more for the money. The sushi prices are less than Piranha AND the sizes of the rolls are bigger. The price of drinks is also significanly less at Edohana. Piranha is still a great place to go downtown and it has a fabulous energy (and excellent jalapeno poppers - best I have ever had), but if you don't mind something more low key, then try Edohana. The restaurant is small and there seems to always be a wait to be seated. The wait is worth it though - I promise!

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