Thursday, May 28, 2009


This is the first of two new reviews so don't forget the information in the next post below.

I had an interesting experience with Grady Spears and I thought you might care since nobody else in my life does. Grady has a new restaurant in Fort Worth, named Grady's (rumor has it that he hired Michael's branding team to help him with the name). According to Chef Spears, he wanted to open up a small comfortable place where he could make his food, with an atmosphere that completely fits him.

This place, I've never seen. However, I did get to enjoy his food at a special dinner down in Comanche, Texas. About a month ago, Comanche, Texas hosted the Western Tales and Trails Festival to celebrate the writers, story tellers and people who make the stories of the west come alive through writing. As part of the event, Grady cooked a fancy meal at the Brennan Vineyards in Comanche and I was one of the lucky guests.

I know, this isn't in Fort Worth, but he makes all the dishes I'm about to talk about in his new restaurant so its akin to me eating in Fort Worth. Plus, trump card, I was wearing boots.

So what did I have? Quail tostados, some salad, beef tenderloin, green onion mashed potatoes and a bunuelo with ice cream. And wine. Delicious Brennan Vineyards wine.

The quail tostado was delicious and everybody at my table (except my mom) really enjoyed it. But Grady, when you read this, don't hate her. She doesn't eat birds with vice presidential last names - that's been a long standing issue with her. However, I thought it was delicious even though I felt like I had to eat it with a fork because of the fancifulness of the event. At Grady's, you can probably eat it with your hands. If people ask, just tell them I told you it was okay.

We then had a salad and it was good but if you'll notice, I don't normally give much information on salads. They're that thing you pay for so you don't feel so guilty for all the dirty food you eat later.

The beef tenderloin was the star though. Grady made this dish for 70-80 people and each piece at our table was perfectly prepared and so tender that I could cut it with my spoon. It was like ice cream tenderloin. With a port reduction. There were some carrots on the side and they were good, but I was too distracted by the pile of green potatoes under my meat. They looked like something from Dr. Seuss but they tasted like they came from Dr. Seuss' favorite chef, Grady (check wikipedia). The potatoes were great because they didn't have the bland quality most potatoes possess. And they were green.

Finally, came our bunuelos, which is spanish for "quail-less tostado". Mine came with ice cream, some liquor sauteed bananas, cinnamon and a dash of quail. Just kidding, I didn't really taste any cinnamon. We all ooo'ed and aah'ed the delicious dessert and most people decided it was a resounding success. I disagree. It was great, but I had the smallest ice cream scoop at my table. It was noticeable and embarrasing. I felt immasculated and empty. Later I told Grady I was going to try out his restaurant, but I hope he knows that I expect him to fix this problem. I want ice cream at the beginning of my meal just so I know he's going to make this right.

The meal was so delicious and everybody was so overjoyed with the excitement of the deliciousness that we all hugged, all 70-80 people, to show our joy. It was straight out of a movie.

I had the opportunity to chat with Chef Spears after dinner which is unusual because I don't normally talk with the cook/chef after a meal. It was great to talk with somebody who had such passion and care for what he did. Plus, he really seems to dig Fort Worth and tries to keep his focus on the city.

Grady, if you don't know, is the reason Reata is what it is. He has a style that matches Fort Worth perfectly - it's down-home, casual classics, with an upscale flair. It's a little Texas with style. It's like the love child of Robert Earl Keen and Queen Elizabeth. In fact, I think that should be put on his menus from now on ("My food is the forgotten love child of Robert Earl Keen and Queen Elizabeth"). I would probably steal that menu. And sue Grady for trademark infringement. Just kidding...buddy.

As a disclaimer, I am not actually friends with Grady, but merely a guy who has met him. He was incredibly nice but I don't want people to think badly about him due to an inaccurate belief that we are somehow associated. We just talked. But he swore he'll remember me.

We'll see if I get my ice cream or not.

Grady's is located at 2443 Forest Park Boulevard. It's at the northern end of the center on the east side of Forest Park Blvd.

If you've been to Grady's, let me know what you think.

Grady's on Urbanspoon


Anonymous said...

This place has a great kitchen and pretty decent wine selection. Went with my gf and parents earlier this spring and we had a great time. Definitely want to go back and try the outdoor seating. Don't really care for the strip-center look but that's hardly their fault. Go try it.

FortWorthHoleInTheWall said...

Thanks for the info. The wife and I are headed up there soon and we'll probably try to sit on the patio if it's available.

Chewy said...

My wife and I hit Grady's up on Saturday evening. Got there at 5:50 and sat in the cocktail lounge as they were full on reservations. I'd recommend reservations if you're going.

Menu is pretty strong but my wife and I went with layups as I wanted to try the CFS and she went with their special that night which were fish tacos. She's a fan of fish tacos like I am of CFS.

We started with the red chile quail tostadas which were outstanding and more filling than you think. We then had the house salad which is a spinach salad and was very good as well.

The CFS was outstanding with a light batter and tender cut of meat. The fish tacos were actually three meaty fish tacos. My wife could only handle one after the tostadas and salad. They looked damn good and she said they tasted just as good.

We took them home but stopped off at Finn MacCool's leaving the tacos in the car for a couple of hours in 100 degree heat on our behalf. Not smart as we decided to throw them away rather than risk eating something that had gone bad. No good for me as I really wanted to try one.

All in all it's a great place and I'd recommend it.

FortWorthHoleInTheWall said...

Chewy, thanks for the review. The tostadas were part of my meal and I agree - they were terrific. I may have to take my wife and split a plate of fish tacos.

Thanks for reading.