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In Fort Worth, Texas barbecue from the legendary Eddie JR.’s BBQ and fajitas from Abuelo’s will never go out of style. But that doesn’t mean the city isn’t embracing new trends. The Fort Worth restaurant scene is growing quickly, as Eater points out. There are more options, and more and more of Fort Worth catering isn’t just following trends. They are leading the way on blending familiar ingredients with fresh new ideas, embracing variety, and adding new twists on comfort food.

Greetings from the Fort Worth catering and restaurant scene

Familiar Ingredients

There’s always some comfort in the familiar. But just because a dish is a classic, doesn’t mean it can’t be reimagined for a flavor kick. Chefs throughout the Fort Worth restaurant scene are trying out old favorites with new twists.

  • Kari Bakker, Owner and Cook at Simply Paired Catering says: “My number one best seller by far is my rosemary chicken.” Baked with fresh rosemary and served with a light beurre blanc sauce and two vegetable sides, the dish hits all the right trend points.
  • Heidi Fernandes, Director of Catering and Events at Axcess Catering, shares that one of her most popular Fort Worth catering dishes is the Southwest Chicken Cheese Tortellini. With Tex Mex seasoning swirled into a southwestern style alfredo sauce and the pasta stuffed with garlic glazed chicken, the dish mixes comforting flavors with the eternal appeal of pasta. It’s tossed with roasted mushrooms, corn, and bell peppers.

More Vegetables…and Variety

Even in Fort Worth, where steak seems to always be popular, there is a movement in Fort Worth catering towards including more variety on the table. That includes vegetables and options for those with dietary concerns.

“People are newly aware of dietary restrictions and are more conscious about their catering selections,” says Fernandes. “Most times, our customers make sure salad and veggies are available for people looking for alternatives.”

Bakker is seeing interest in updated side dishes such as roasted turmeric cauliflower and green beans with fennel and orange sauce. Next time you’re planning a catered meal, think of these as stand-alone dishes or as accompaniments for ham or turkey.

  • Snappy Salads, sources only hormone-free steak. They are on trend, offering salads with or without animal-based proteins such as steak and taco meat.
  • Café Izmir’s offers Mediterranean tapas, which means there’s always variety on your table. One of their most ordered dishes is the Greek Salad, which comes with feta and a house-made balsamic-Dijon dressing
  • Teriyaki Madness is very veggie-friendly. They serve up lots of Yakisoba Noodles with an assortment of veggies. But don’t forget the Edamame.

Heartier Fare’s Seasonal Comeback

As the season shifts and the weather gets cooler, heartier fare is making its way back onto Fort Worth catering menus. Traditional dishes are getting an update with fresh, somewhat unexpected ingredients. Bakker is seeing a pop of orders for mashed potatoes with gravy and bread pudding. “I add a little smoked gouda to the potatoes. It is a little different without being too unusual,” she says.

Fernandes confirms that the trend in the Fort Worth restaurant and catering scene is moving back to more comfort foods. “Everyone wants to feel comfortable and cozy,” she says. “Good ol’ pot roast is always coming out as a number one seller,” she adds.  “It’s cooked low and slow with lots of love and seasoned with carrot and red onion, it is a classic staple.”

  • City Kitchen Catering redefines the home holiday lunch. Their Smoked Turkey with Cranberry Sauce sandwich is an entire meal to itself.
  • Modern Market is subtly shifting the definition of comfort food. And they’re offering gluten-free sandwich options to make everyone feel welcome. The Chipotle Chicken and Eggplant and Goat Cheese have broad appeal with their warmth.
  • HoneyBaked Ham hits all the cozy notes. They are an institution in the Fort Worth restaurant scene, and for good reason. They’ve been at it since 1957, and so they have perfected, well, their HoneyBaked Ham. Don’t forget to add on their famous Potato Salad. And for dessert the Cinnamon Walnut Coffee Cake is comfort food at its absolute best.

While barbecue and Tex Mex favorites like fajitas are always popular, Fort Worth catering is embracing the latest trends. Even Brussels sprouts are making a comeback. “They are newly popular for parties,” says Fernandes.  

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Christina Mueller

Written by:

Christina Mueller

Christina Mueller has been writing about restaurants, chefs, and culinary trends for more than 10 years. She has published recipes and written a cookbook that is still in a stained manila folder close to the stove. She spends her free time sharing favorite restaurants around the world with anyone who asks.

Posted in: Trends in FoodNeed to Know

Tagged with: American, Fort Worth, Healthy, TX, Vegetarian