Restau­ra­teur’s apol­ogy for botched hol­i­day or­ders wins new friends

Star-Telegram - - Weekend - BY BUD KENNEDY [email protected]­gram.com

Al­most ev­ery­body in south Fort Worth loves Taste­buds Eatery, but suc­cess comes with a price.

Two days be­fore her 28th Thanks­giv­ing on McCart Av­enue near Sycamore School Road, Taste­buds owner Sunne Hill re­al­ized she had al­most 300 or­ders for side or­ders, cakes and pies but only stove and oven space and time for about 220.

“I didn’t go home — I cooked and baked all night,” she said this week.

“But I just couldn’t get it all done. This one cus­tomer made a scene.”

She poured her heart into a Face­book post: “As I sit here with tears in my eyes … I sin­cerely apol­o­gize! I was com­pletely over­whelmed … I wish I could do it all, but I sim­ply can’t.”

New cus­tomers saw the heart­felt Face­book post, and have come to see this unique lit­tle restau­rant with en­trees, 23 veg­eta­bles or sal­ads, zero fried food and plenty of love.

A sign at the door warns that “Grandma — pos­si­bly Grandpa — is in the kitchen! If you’re in a hurry come back next week!”

When I or­dered, the cashier asked plainly: “Now, this might take up to 20 min­utes, Is that all right?”

Hill and her hus­band, By­ron, are de­ter­mined to serve slow food in fast-food-plagued sub­ur­bia.

When Taste­buds moved to McCart from its orig­i­nal South River­side Drive lo­ca­tion, “ev­ery­thing out here was fried or smoth­ered or bar­be­cued,” Sunne Hill said.

“I don’t ever eat fried food.” Her veg­eta­bles range from as­para­gus and broc­coli-rice casse­role to spicy col­lards and turnip greens with turkey, sausage and jalapeno.

The most pop­u­lar en­tree is the meat­loaf ($11.99), but the menu also in­cludes baked or grilled chicken and fish. The most ex­pen­sive din­ner is less than $14.

When din­ers ask if they can call the news­pa­per and rec­om­mend Taste­buds, Hill tells them, “No, please don’t.”

She is one of a grow­ing num­ber of restau­ra­teurs who trea­sure re­peat cus­tomers and lo­cal friends over one-time din­ers.

Taste­buds is open for lunch and din­ner week­days and Satur­days, lunch Sun­days at 7674 McCart Ave.; 817-361-5500, taste­bud­seatery.org.

ALL-YOU-CAN-EAT LUNCH JOINS SPICY SAUSAGE, BBQ AT SOUTH FORT WORTH SHOP

The Sausage Shoppe now of­fers an all-you-caneat lunch, and that’s yet an­other rea­son to visit one of the re­gion’s truly unique bar­be­cue restau­rants.

Where other restau­rants spe­cial­ize in brisket, the Cham­bers fam­ily’s restau­rant spe­cial­izes in house­made beef and pork sausage.

It comes in spicy or mild. Or try their dis­tinc­tive smoked chicken.

The sausage isn’t on the all-you-can-eat $10.99 soul food buf­fet Tues­days through Thurs­days at lunch, but there are plenty of other good choices.

One re­cent week­day, the choices in the serv­ing line in­cluded smoth­ered pork chops, beef tips or smoth­ered chicken, along with greens, sweet pota­toes or mac-and-cheese.

Sausage plates cost about $12 with three side dishes, or or­der a “sausage burger” with a patty made com­pletely of ground sausage,

Texas Monthly’s bar­be­cue critic also rec­om­mended the red beans.

The Sausage Shoppe has been around 25 years. It moved five years ago from East Sem­i­nary Drive to McCart Av­enue.

It’s open for lunch and din­ner Tues­days through Satur­days, lunch Sun­days; 3515 Sycamore School Road (but ac­tu­ally fac­ing McCart), 817-921-9960. It has a page on face­book.com

BUD KENNEDY [email protected]­gram.com

Meat­loaf with spicy greens and car­rots, two of the 23 veg­etable or salad sides at Taste­buds in south Fort Worth.

BUD KENNEDY [email protected]­gram.com

A com­bi­na­tion plate with house­made spicy and mild beef and pork sausage at the Sausage Shoppe.

BUD KENNEDY [email protected]­gram.com

Sunne Hill of Taste­buds was swamped with Thanks­giv­ing or­ders.

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