Cafe Reviewed: Wednesday, March 02, 2005
Lookin’ good, baby! Pappa Chevy’s shrimp, chicken, and noodles in alfredo sauce (right) and a dish of lasagna.(Photo by Jerry W. Hoefer)
Pappa Chevy’s Italian Pizza & Pasta Restaurant
16-inch cheese pizza
$9.99 (toppings $1 extra)
16-inch alfredo and spinach pizza
Tough Enough?

Pappa Chevy’s will have to battle through average fare and history to succeed in this Jacksboro Highway spot.

Pappa Chevy’s Italian Pizza & Pasta Restaurant
2607 Jacksboro Hwy, FW. 817-624-4200 or 817-624-4207. Sun-Thu 10am-10pm, Fri-Sat 10am-11pm. All major credit cards accepted.

Legendary Fort Worth musician Delbert McClinton once said that “Jacksboro Highway was like desolation row.” This was when the road was full of kicker bars and smelly music clubs, and was where outlaws, gangs, and knives regularly intermingled.
If there’s a desolation address on Jacksboro for Italian restaurants, that location would be “2607.” OK, maybe the “desolation” description is a stretch, but over the last few years, four Italian restaurants have opened and closed in this building near the intersection of Jacksboro and River Oaks Boulevard.
It’s not that weird a place for a restaurant, but the neighborhood is not that conducive to great eats. Businesses near 2607 include a place where you go to sell your plasma, a hotel with hourly rates, two dollar stores, Thrift Town, and a store that rents tires and rims.
Now along comes the fifth Italian eatery. Pappa Chevy’s Italian Pizza & Pasta Restaurant was opened a few months ago by the owner of both Joe’s Pizza & Pasta on South Freeway and BJ Keefers in the Hospital District. Pappa Chevy’s mission is clearly stated on the menu: “Nothing fancy, just more great Italian food.”
That line has some truthfulness. Pappa Chevy’s is nothing fancy — its décor simply consists of painted brick walls and an open kitchen. The menu covers all the basics, from spaghetti to veal parmigiana to fettuccine alfredo. But as far as “great” Italian food, Pappa Chevy’s has a way to go.
The restaurant comes closest to greatness with its pizzas. The key to any good pie is the crust. Pappa Chevy’s does the thin kind very well — crispy on the bottom and chewy enough to pull your teeth into it. And you can fold a slice in your hand like a bona fide New York slice. The tomato sauce and cheese are used in small enough doses to pull it all together.
The prices are great. A pretty big slice of cheese pizza is just $2 (plus 25 cents for each topping), and a 16-inch cheese pizza is only $9.99 ($1 extra for toppings). Pappa Chevy’s also has one of the most inventive pizza menus in the area. Their gourmet selection includes an eggplant pizza with ricotta cheese, broccoli, and spinach; a white pizza; and a baked ziti pizza. The alfredo and spinach version on a recent visit had just the right blend of creamy parmesan sauce and spinach to make for a supremely tasty delicacy that not too many eateries around can or want to serve.
On the traditional pasta dishes, Pappa Chevy’s was hit-and-miss. The fettuccine alfredo was done simply and correctly — wide noodles in a decadent parmesan sauce that thankfully wasn’t tricked out like similar sauces at other establishments. The spaghetti with mushrooms lacked flavor, and the pasta was overcooked. The eggplant and chicken parmigianas were both flavorful and not over-cooked, but the kitchen covered both dishes with so much mozzarella that it was hard to find the main ingredient.
The subs fared better. Both the meatball and Italian sausage hoagies were spicy but not too spicy — just right. The bread was a perfect complement. It was fresh and chewy and held the sauce inside without any leakage.
As for the service, we’ll be a little nitpicky. Ours was quick and friendly, but I just wish the dress-as-casual-as-possible trend would go away. Our server, while skillful and polite, wore a long-sleeve t-shirt, baseball cap, and baggy jeans adorned with one of those chains attached to his wallet. I’m not saying my server needs to be dudded up in a tie and apron, but I also don’t want to be attended by a guy who looks like he just got finished pouring concrete — or emerged from a bar fight on “desolation row.”

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