Chow, Baby: Wednesday, October 15, 2003
Foam and Obscurity

Chow, Baby usually manages to duck Fort Worth Weekly staff meetings. This is easy, because somehow they’re always held on days when Chow, Baby isn’t in the office. But this gathering was off-campus, at the downtown Flying Saucer, and it had been at least a year since Chow, Baby had added to its golf-tee collection. Plus, the interns were coming!

Of course, the Flying Saucer is all about the beers, a couple of hundred on tap and in bottles. But for a bar, the food isn’t bad. Chow, Baby settled in with a dark, rich, Seattle-brewed Thomas Kemper root beer and perused the menu — ah, here’s a new item: the “I Would Rather Be Drinking Beer in Fort Worth, Texas, Than Drinking a Martini in Your Piss-Ant Town” t-shirt. A sentiment expressed in far fewer words by the Railhead’s “Life’s Too Short to Live in Dallas” chemise — lawsy, those beer-drinkers do run on at the mouth.

So does the brass. Ignoring the corporate blah blah, Chow, Baby conferred at length with its comely server (that’s the only kind the Saucer has) and accepted her proposal of the chicken breast salad ($6.95) with jalapeño vinaigrette dressing. Good call on the dressing, which woke up an otherwise fresh-but-bland mix of iceberg lettuce, tomato, avocado, and the teeniest chicken cubes you’ve ever seen. For dessert, Chow, Baby called for a round of Hippie Chicken wrap sandwiches ($7.25), a much more delightful assembly of chicken chunks, cream cheese, and crisp veggies in a tomato-basil tortilla — and best of all, it was held together with the coveted golf tees. Chow, Baby had intended to bestow them upon the interns, along with a couple of hours of career advice and reminiscences, but somehow they always manage to duck the staff meetings.

Tragically Mac

Poor Michael Thomson, bearing the brunt of being handsome, talented, smart, sophisticated, and successful, plus having to wear cool eyeglasses. Maybe he and Chow, Baby could start a support group for others with this problem. We could have monthly meetings at his eponymous (of course) restaurant in the Cultural District, share our lonely pain over bites of his faaaaabulous ranch-baked crab cakes ($9.50 lunch, $16.50 dinner) with (of course) ancho chile cream sauce.

Michael himself wasn’t in evidence, possibly off drinking martinis in Dallas, when Chow, Baby stopped by at lunch in order to check out the meeting-space possibilities. (Warhols on the walls: perfect!) Chow, Baby was carbo-loading that day, as it does every day, and called for the pasta-with-vegetables special ($8.50) and a side of “ranch” mac & cheese ($2.75). As always happens when one doesn’t ask exactly what vegetables are in the “pasta with vegetables” mix, it turned out to be Chow, Baby’s three least favorite: green bell pepper, red bell pepper, and yellow bell pepper. Urgh. But the mac & cheese was comforting despite its upscale pretensions, with gooey fancy cheeses and appropriately mushy penne. Best of all was the piña colada flan ($5.75), a coconut-cream-laced, pineapple-studded, rum-sauce øCaribbean twist on the Latin American classic. Motion from the floor for monthly dessert meetings.

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