Friday, April 17, 2015

Spinning the Wheel and Restaurant Review

Fort Worth’s Jacksboro Highway was one of those places my parents forbid me to go when I
Top L to R: Lake Worth, Bluebonnets and Spanish Dagger
Bottom: L to R: Indian Paint Brush, Prickly Pear
and Bluebonnets 
was in high school. It was lined with beer joints, dance halls, and other hangouts for ne’re-do-wells. Of course, that only lent force to its attraction. However, one time was enough; my girlfriends and I decided that there was nothing attractive about either the drunks stumbling from the bars, or the scary, poorly lit side streets. Farther out of Fort Worth, in the little town of Lake Worth, there was a place I wish I had gone.

Casino Beach at Lake Worth had everything from an amusement park and casino in the 1920s to a rather up-scale ballroom in the 1970s. Now all that remains is the foundation of
Top L to R: Park, Street sign
Bottom L to R: Mallard pair, Lake house
that once grand dance hall, Casino Beach Ballroom, and a rather pretty little lake. Lake Worth is on the West Fork of the Trinity River and now is entirely inside the Fort Worth city limits. Built in 1914 Lake Worth reservoir has space for boating and swimming, with several pretty parks along its edges. The day we visited, someone was holding a birthday party in one of the picnic areas under the tall oak trees. For many years Fort Worth didn’t have the funds for taking care of the park areas, however with moneys collected from the gas drilling industry, funding has been found to begin adding nature trails and recreational facilities near the Fort Worth Nature Center and Refuge.

Lake Worth is also the site of one of the ‘Lake Worth monster’ or ‘The Lake Worth
Don't move an alligator
Goatman’.  The cryptozoid wandering the area, terrorizing couples out for a romantic evening in their parked cars, was described as being part man, goat, and fish. Everyone pretty much laughed at these reported sightings until Tommy Busron appeared with the proof: his care had about a 20 inch scar along one side. This close encounter was followed by the report of the critter throwing a car tire off a bluff at several individuals who were out looking for the monster. Evidently one of these onlookers took a picture of the Goatman. Thirty years later, in 1999, the story was still being investigated, although some high school students had admitted to pretending to be the monster. But the mystery still exists (or not); the Monster has been reported on Greer Island near the Fort Worth Nature Center.

What we ate…
We actually weren’t looking for monsters, lake front property or somewhere to dance when we drove out to the Lake Worth area for lunch; two of our group were looking for crayfish and the other two for brunch (for information about my rating system, see Reading the Reviews).
Four carrots

Boo-Rays of New Orleans (7255 Boat Club Rd, Fort Worth, TX; 817-236-6149) is much larger than it looks from the outside and it’s a good thing. We happened to get there just at opening time; about 20 minutes later there was a steady stream of customers. Our waiter
Top L to R: Catfish, One serving of crayfish
Bottom L to R: Chicken fried steak, Key lime dessert
was efficient and ready to engage with four slightly crazy customers, bringing us extras of whatever we wished. Andi and Steve did, indeed, get their crayfish. Although the crustaceans were small, they were well cooked and tasty. You can ask for hot sauce and spicy seasoning on the side that will enhance the flavor of these little goodies, as well as the taste of the corn and potatoes that come with the dish. Dave finally settled for a chicken fried steak with cream gravy, green beans and a good chunk of garlic bread. The chicken fried was nicely done, and the gravy was flavorful with chunks of sausage; the garlic bread was great. The mashed potatoes and the green beans were nothing special. I had fried catfish that was fresh and firm with no hint of dark meat; the batter was crispy and well-seasoned. The French fried potatoes, by themselves, were worth the drive out to this restaurant. The hush-puppies looked and smelled wonderful; Dave said they tasted good, too. Unfortunately, there are onions in those golden orbs so I’ll never know. Dave and I decided that we needed to try their key lime cheese cake. Creamy, tart and with slices of sponge cake, this is a lovely way to end a meal. Boo-Rays provides good value for the price of the meal.

Lake Worth marina
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