Chow, Baby: Wednesday, July 18, 2002
Greasy Rider

Caught on the West Side when a barbecue craving hit, Chow, Baby considered itself lucky that the Riscky’s family had recently opened Riscky’s Barbecue Steaks & Catfish at 6701 Camp Bowie Blvd. Very lucky, as it turned out: Thursday at the Camp Bowie Riscky’s is “Bikers Night.” Dinner and a show! In perfect formation, dozens of motorcycles roared into the parking lot and neatly lined up. Strolling around the line-up, the riders oohed and aahed at the parked bikes but didn’t touch, as if they were viewing an exhibit at the Guggenheim. The reverence was puzzling. Chow, Baby, who will blushingly admit to a college fling with a debonair Moto Guzzi named Guido, well understands the allure of a beautifully designed, superbly engineered machine. All of these, however, were Harleys.

Their owners partied on the deck to a live band as Chow, Baby, feeling unusually small-bellied, treated itself to Riscky’s sliced brisket platter ($11.95), a nice portion of lean yet juicy meat, tender and flavorful. Chow, Baby’s luck ran out at the cherry cobbler ($3.50) — too sweet, too canned-filling-gooey, and too bad to be homemade, though the menu claimed it was. “Come on, boys, let’s go to Pedro’s!” came a cry from the deck; the men adjusted their American flag do-rags and the women their halter tops, and by threes and fours they roared off into the night as if choreographed. Chow, Baby went home to bed and dreamed of a sleek Italian crotch-rocket and the banana cream pie at Pedro’s Trailer Park. Perhaps next Thursday.

Thai-ed Up at the Moment

All right, all right! Chow, Baby is sorry it ever crabbed about the dearth of Thai restaurants in the area. Whoever opened the wormhole between Bangkok and Tarrant County can close it now. New kids Thai Jasmine in Bedford, Ayuttaya in Arlington, and A Little Home in Fort Worth ought to hold us for a while.

Caught on the West Side when a lemongrass craving hit, Chow, Baby headed for A Little Home, at 6465 Camp Bowie Blvd, with high expectations — this is the new venture from Tommy and Nume Chantharojwong, owners of the late, lamented BKK-Narita. (Choosing restaurant names is not their strong suit.) At 1:30 the lunch buffet looked lame, so Chow, Baby dove into the Thai-Chinese menu. And a bit of Japanese: The gyoza (pan-fried dumplings) were light, crisp, and pork-tasty. Thai sweet-and-sour ($7.95) proved the perfect light, fresh summer lunch: unbattered chicken stir-fried with mounds of cucumber, pineapple, bell peppers, and onions in a delicate tomato sauce. Pud wun sen (glass noodles with mushrooms and choice of chicken, pork, or beef, $6.95) and tom kha gai (the classic Thai soup of chicken, coconut milk, mushrooms, and lemongrass, $5.25) reheated nicely for dinner. It’s not gourmet — the converted IHOP is none too classy, and the service was cranky — but A Little Home is a nice addition to West Side dining options.

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