Chow, Baby: Wednesday, September 05, 2002
Hey, Boo-Boo

Chow, Baby fully expected to loathe Yogiís Deli & Grill. For one thing, itís in the heart of Chow, Babyís least favorite part of town, the home of oblivious drivers in pointlessly large vehicles, strip malls encircled by strip malls, and presto-thereís-another-one housing developments that sprout traffic lights like ripe zits along Bryant Irvin: Yes, itís The Erroneously Named Cityview.

For another thing, Yogiís is at heart a bagelry. Chow, Baby, who learned to order bagels in (reverent pause) New York City, has found that doing so in these parts frequently turns into an extended Q and A session, with Chow, Babyís oft-repeated point being that if it had wanted its fill-in-the-blank to be fill-in-the-blank, it would have blanking said so in the first blanking place. A revelation: Yogiís did quite well. Chow, Baby actually got a not-toasted plain bagel with full-fat unflavored cream cheese (total $1.64) and minimal argument. A greater revelation: At 4pm, the bagel was fresh and hot. For that, Chow, Baby will overlook the order-takerís ďfriendlyĒ request for its name when it was the only patron in the place.

Bagels are the least of Yogiís business. The menu gave Chow, Baby complete sensory overload. Grilled sandwiches. Deli sandwiches. Chicken sandwiches. Bagel sandwiches. Burgers. Salads. Soups. Salad and soup combos. Tacos. Good thing it was long past breakfast, or Chow, Baby would also have had to weigh a dozen omelets, migas and other Tex-Mex stylings, French toast, pancakes, blintzes... . Itís a blur after that, but when Chow, Baby came to, it was back downtown, alive, free of fender dents and full of belly. A successful expedition.

No Moo, Moo

Though Chow, Baby is a confirmed flesh eater, itís not too chicken to try Tarrant Countyís first no-animal-products-whatsoever restaurant. And so one recent noon, Chow, Baby made a beeline for Spiral Diner, recently opened in the Fort Worth Rail Market.

No dairy, no eggs, no honey? No problem. Other than personally and professionally, Chow, Baby supports veganism 100 percent, and is happy as a clam to report that Spiral Dinerís noble cuisine is not all that bad. The Luv Us Hummus wrap ($6) was particularly tahini-tasty, with gooey layers of sweet potato and hummus surrounding salad greens, steamed veggies, avocado, and cucumber. As opposed to the tortillas in Chow, Babyís fridge, this wrapper was green because it was made with spinach. Meanwhile, Chow, Babyís companion made a pig of herself over the spicy greens plate ($6), whose fiery peanut-coconut sauce saved collard greens and shredded carrot from the mushy depths of buckwheat soba noodles. The only beef Chow, Baby had was with the chalky, bitter-aftertasting chocolate mousse ($3.50). Hmmm ó just a hop down the wooden brick path, Hot Damn! Tamales sells a nice Key lime pie. Chow, Baby, always hungry as a horse, could gobble that down until the cows come home.

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