Chow, Baby: Wednesday, January 9, 2003
What’s in a Nickname?

In desperate need of some cultcha, last week Chow, Baby took a whirlwind tour of the spanking new Modern Art Museum. By “whirlwind tour,” read “two stops.” The first, of course, was at the museum’s luxe Café Modern, presided over by the Continental-ly handsome maitre d’hôtel (and erstwhile Sapristi! and Saint-Emilion honcho) Charles “My Friends Call Me Chuck” Lee. Having just screeched “Hey, look, it’s Chuck!” Chow, Baby, paranoidly took this pronouncement to mean that in the future it should address him as Mr. Lee. Or possibly Monsieur Lee-san, given the Café’s nouvelle world cuisine menu. Can’t say anything more than that, because Chow, Baby’s host at this visit, and the official reviewer on duty, was Nancy “Greatest Restaurant Reviewer in the Metroplex” Schaadt, as she is known on the East Side. (When her article runs, watch for a mention of “my companion.” That’s Chow, Baby!) Being Nancy’s second is a real treat, mostly for her delightful company but also because the meal goes on her expense account — allowing Chow, Baby to escape, for another week, the wrath of Fort Worth Weekly General Manager Hi “How Could You Spend That Much on Dessert?” Bob.

After a museum-quality miso-marinated flank steak salad — whoops, forget you heard that — Chow, Baby’s second stop was a fact-checking mission. Alas, it turns out that the bright green Warhol self-portrait at the top of the grand staircase was not, in fact, the work of Coffee House Gallery proprietor Gregory “Just Because Chow, Baby Likes It Doesn’t Necessarily Mean I Painted It” Story. Great. That was (somehow) going to be an integral part of a rant about the CHG “We’d Much Rather Discuss Cher Amongst Ourselves than Assist Obviously Dying-of-Thirst Customers” waitstaff. Now it’s completely ruined. The moral: Don’t fact-check.

But at least CHG is still in business. Chow “How’s That for a Smooth Transition?” Baby just learned that ReRe’s “The Number’s Been Disconnected” Grill has joined Daisy’s “Formerly Reuben’s Cuban” Café and Str- “Best Damn Sit-Down Chicken in Town” -oud’s on the list of great local restaurants that are now out of business. Chow “Oooh, a Soapbox Opportunity” Baby will refrain from again telling you Chili’s diners that this is all your fault. Instead, here’s a new opportunity to support one of the wonderful little spots that make this city great: Alvarado’s “Say, That’s Mighty Tasty” Mexican Food has just opened in the old Burger Street building on Berry, next to Paschal High School. It’s not local — the menu boasts three locations in Arizona and one, mind-bogglingly, in Omaha, Neb. — but the combo plates (name it, plus tons of rice and refrieds, $5.09-6.09), tortas (Mexican po-boys, $2.49-2.79), and breakfast burritos (the sausage, $3.09, is muy satisfying) are hot and hefty. Granted, the shredded beef — not hamburger, thank you — is occasionally dry (yet always flavorful), and the wimpy hot sauce must be from a Cornhusker State recipe. But the hustling Alvarado’s staffers make your meal fresh to order, plus they’re open 24 hours at the handy drive-thru, plus they have horchata and tamarindo on tap. Chow “Don’t Make Me Hurt You” Baby better not catch you at the across-the-street Taco “... Nah, Too Easy” Bell.

You can reach Chow, Baby at

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