Restaurateur’s apology for botched holiday orders wins new friends
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
Meatloaf with spicy greens and carrots, two of the 23 vegetable or salad sides at Tastebuds in south Fort Worth.
A combination plate with housemade spicy and mild beef and pork sausage at the Sausage Shoppe.
Sunne Hill of Tastebuds was swamped with Thanksgiving orders.