David and Andrew Fung are back and this time they’re exploring Fort Worth, Texas and sampling some chicken fried steak, kimchi bowls, craft shots, and chicken parm sliders.
They first hit up Buttons, a restaurant known for it’s decadently delicious comfort food. Chef Keith Hicks, a.k.a. Buttons, shows us how he makes his famous Chicken Fried Steak. For the record, chicken-fried steak has absolutely no chicken involved, it’s actually beef deep fried like chicken. The brothers help Buttons out in the kitchen as they pound the steak, and season it with salt and pepper. Buttons also points out that there’s also seasoning in the flour and batter to add extra flavor. There are “reasons to the seasons,” you know. The brothers cover the steak in the flour, dip it into the batter, and then back into the flour before they drop it in the deep frier. Once the beef is deep fried to perfection, the serve it up on a plate with smashed potatoes, green beans, and gravy. They even get to try sweet potato mini pies, which are topped with strawberries and a bananas foster chutney. All in all, the Chicken Fried Steak cost $11 a plate, and the Sweet Potato Minis cost $6 each, leaving them at $66 total.
Before they move on to the next restaurant, the Fung brothers give a shout out to Holy Frijole, a restaurant that serves up a mean Torta Mexicana for just $8, and a seafood restaurant called Mariposa’s Latin Kitchen, which has a delicious Tropical Ceviche made with tilapia, shrimp, red bell pepper, mango, pineapple and citrus marinade for only $9.95.
The brothers move on to Fort Worth’s famous Food Park to sample out a couple of awesome food trucks, like Ruthie’s, where creator Ashlee serves up custom mac and cheese based off of the recipes she learned in her grandma Ruthie’s kitchen. The brothers go for mac and cheese topped with beef brisket, caramelized onions, jalapenos, and “Slob sauce” (which is made of BBQ sauce, Ranch, and secret spices) for $9.25.
At food truck Say Kimchi, creator Andrew is a Dallas-born Korean-American who is introducing Texans to the Korean staple food, kimchi, which is a spicy fermented (Andrew prefers the word “pickled”) cabbage combined with ginger, garlic, sugar and chilis. The result is a flavorful food that is both salty and sweet. Customers at the food truck get to customize their kimchi dishes by choosing a base, style, meat and sauce. The Fungs choose a rice base, Korean grilled bulgogi meat (which is ground with mushrooms, red and green bell peppers, and kimchi), and top it with hot asian sauce and a fried egg. The result is a unique Texan take on Asian food with the right amount of sweet and spicy. Each kimchi bowl costs $7.95, and the bothers end up with $40.85 left.
Next stop is Brewe, a coffee house and gastropub. There the brothers try a dish called Queso con Chile, which is $10. The dish consists of a goat cheese dip topped with chile and is served fondue-style with a burning candle underneath. The dish is an example of the food at Brewe, and has a homestyle feel with gourmet flavor to it. The goat cheese adds a unique smooth texture, and the fried pita chips that come with it are house made (they’re soft on the inside, and crispy on the outside). After they’re done with Brewe, the brothers still have $30.85 to go.
They grab a drink at Landmark Bar, which boasts mechanical bulls, arcade games, and cocktails. The brothers take a shot (pun intended) at the Shot Wheel. David spins and lands on the Shot-o-Rita, which is made with tequila, triple sec, and a secret margarita lime juice blend. Andrew ends up getting the Breakfast Shot, made with kentucky bourbon, maple syrup, orange juice, and grenadine, resulting in a cocktail that pleasantly tastes like syrupy buttered pancakes with orange juice. The two shots cost them $11 total, and they give a shout out to a restaurant called Epic Cones, a place that serves the perfect I’m-drunk-and-I-don’t-care-about-calories food. Ladies and gentlemen, the Cheezy Burger Cone — literally a cone made out of hamburger buns and piled up with ground burger meat and cheese ($7). If you’re looking for something a bit less kitschy and more Asian-Tex, then try the Brisket-Filled Potstickers ($8). Yes, they are traditional Asian potstickers filled with beef brisket instead. This is Texas, guys. Brisket is everywhere.
Moving on to Max’s Wine Dive, we get a taste of some more deep fried food, only this time it’s gourmet deep fried food. The brothers step inside the kitchen to watch Chef Stefon make his Fried Chicken Meatball Sliders ($13 for 3 sliders). He mixes mashed potatoes, ground chicken, and collard greens together, and forms the mix into meatballs. The meatballs are baked before they go in the frier, and once the meatballs are golden brown, they are taken out of the frier and covered in tomato basil sauce and provolone cheese. Then they’re baked again so cheese melts, and are placed on slider buns when they’re melted to cheesy perfection. Chef Stefon, David and Andrew all dig in to their own meatball sliders while Andrew declares “This is a tasty chicken meatball!” (#pulpfictionshoutout). Since Stefon sampled one of their sliders, he only charged them $10 for the plate, which leaves the brothers with $9.85 after their culinary adventures in Texas are over.