Chow, Baby: Wednesday, April 3, 2003
A D V E R T I S E M E N T
A D V E R T I S E M E N T
Spring Training

Ah, April: when a real man’s fancy turns to baseball, and Chow, Baby’s fancy turns to baseball grub. Chow, Baby’s fancy is also turning toward cutie-patootie Shawn Mattox, who last week took Chow, Baby on a Food of Dreams tour at the Ballpark in Arlington. Shawn is general manager of Sportservice, which handles concessions and dining for the Ballpark, and he’s got big news for sports-food fans: The Diamond Club has taken down its “No Riff-Raff” sign and is now open to any general-admission ticket holder, from two hours before the game until two hours after the start. It has a great view of the field and, not coincidentally, a soothing décor; the menu is in the TGIFriday’s/Chili’s vein, heavy on the red meat and deep-fried veggies, plus a turkey wrap for the ladies (entrées $8-$16). Big points for making their cheesecake in house, though.

Outside along the concourses, 75 concession stands vend more than 30 hunger-saters, including dogs kosher ($4), foot-long ($5.75), and Chicago-style ($6.75). Plus that great summer-in-Texas tradition, the turkey leg ($5). Chow, Baby is still salivating over the latest greatest food creation in the history of the world: garlic fries. Yup, regular old fries tossed with about a tablespoon of garlic — the best thing to happen to potatoes since cheese was invented. Best of all, the garlic-fries stands around the concourse also sell the new fresh lemonade and the new fresh hand-rolled pretzels. (Prices on the new fresh items “were not available at press time,” as we newspaperpeople like to say.) Chow, Baby, who made it this far without a stupid baseball pun, judges these to be home runs. Go team!

Good God, Let’s Eat

Except for being indoors and not having deviled eggs, a meal at John Carter’s Place, 5309 E. Lancaster, is like a church picnic. The hearty breakfast, bustling lunch, and early-bird dinner are your basic no-frills home cooking, but something extra comes through the good heart of everybody who works there. Clearly, divine inspiration is at work in the classic 7-Up cake and the naturally sweet sweet potato pie ($1.45). (Chow, Baby has gotten back in the habit of having dessert first, to forestall any no-room-left calamities.) Breakfast, in the three-buck range, covers the fundamentals: eggs and grits, omelets, pancakes, and bacon, all served with a smile. Lunch and dinner rituals ($5.45) include one meat — pork chop, chicken-fried steak or chicken, or slow-cooked beef short ribs — plus three heavenly veggies. The homestyle chunky mashed potatoes are a must; the stewed okra and tomatoes put the soul in soul food. If food could be a saint, the exemplary beef stew ($4.25), with chunks of roast, potatoes, and carrots, would be a worthy candidate. Even heathen Chow, Baby is moved to bow its head and give thanks.

Contact Chow, Baby at chowbaby@fwweekly.com.


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