singing star Leon Bridges came to work in restaurants in Fort Worth and Crowley, and now he’s telling the world the best we have.
Bridges is known for his days serving tables at a chain of Tex-Mex cafes and a steakhouse.
But in a new Apple Hyperlocal travel guide to Fort Worth, he recommends two of our best local and unique restaurants.
His favorite Tex-Mex restaurant is often cited here as the best in town: El Paseo Mexican Restaurant5436 Jacksboro Highway in Sansom Park.
When El Paseo first opened in 1987, it was in a small Jacksboro Highway slum that was once the office of a used car park.
There were 11 tables, velvet bullfighting paintings and a steady line of customers at the door for the Lerma family fajitas and giant combo plates, made from recipes inherited from yesteryear El Chico Restaurants cooking when this chain was family owned.
Now, El Paseo is a Jacksboro Highway landmark known for its balance.
The fajitas and Tex-Mex combo dinners are excellent. Others have great fajitas or great enchiladas and tacos, but few have the same level of consistency.
“Tough call, but possibly the best Mexican restaurant in Fort Worth,” Bridges writes for Apple. “It’s off the beaten path but really a gem.”
El Paseo is open daily for lunch and dinner except Mondays. 817-625-9755, elpaseomex.com. There is also an Azle location, 100 W. Main St.
It’s always difficult to choose the best among El Paseo; Playa Mayawith multiple locations; Los Asaderos, 1535 N. Main St.; and more restaurants -Mex and less Tex- like Benito’s Mexican cuisine1450 W. Magnolia Ave, and Esperanza Restaurant and Bakery2122 N. Main St.
These days, Fort Worth also has flashy high-end restaurants such as by Maria1712 S. University Drive; mesero4955 Gage Avenue; Meso Maya, 3050 S. Hulen St.; and Paloma Suerte122 E. Exchange Ave.
Tokyo Cafe: sushi with Texas sauce
For sushi, Bridges recommends Tokyo coffee5121 Pershing Ave. near the corner of Merrick Street and Camp Bowie Boulevard.
“Favorite low-key sushi spot,” Bridges wrote. “Reminds me of all the big malls in Los Angeles, but with a Texas twist.”
Tokyo Cafe, owned by Whoa family and recently known for chef/personality work Kevin Martinezopened in 1997 and operated briefly as Teriyaki House before changing its name and menu.
It’s still Fort Worth’s busiest sushi restaurant, although some customers prefer Little Lilly Sushi, 6100 Camp Bowie Blvd., one of Texas Monthly’s “Best New Restaurants” of 2014. Crowds also find new Hatsuyuki hand bar907 rue Foch.
The Tokyo Cafe is open daily for lunch and dinner except Sunday and Monday. 817-737-8568, tokyocafefw.com.
Cherry for a coffee break
Bridges also preferred Cherry Coffee Shop, 1121 W. Magnolia Ave. “I love coming here to write or catch up with friends,” he wrote.
It’s next to Bridges’ recommended Magnolia Wine Bar1101 W. Magnolia Ave.