Tuesday, March 24, 2009

The Stockyards in Ft. Worth, Texas

Good evening everyone! I finally get a chance to sit down & continue my blog about traveling to Texas. Like I wrote yesterday, we arrived there last Monday. Tuesday was a relax & unwind day after driving almost 900 miles out there.

Wednesday we drove to Ft. Worth & visited "The Stockyard". It is an historic part of the city where cattle was brought to be sold at auction & loaded on trains. There are a lot of shops & restaurants to choose from, so the first thing we did was go eat lunch at Risques' BBQ (not exactly sure if that was the name) but close. (If any of you know the name & need to correct me let me know.) They have all you can eat BBQ Ribs plus a variety of great options to choose from. They even have BBQ spareribs on the kids menu which I thought had a better flavor than the adult ribs. My son did not want the kids meal, so I ordered him the kids spareribs & ate them myself. My son ordered a combo appetizer which had cheese sticks, corn fritters, BBQ shrimp & stuffed jalepenos. He loves shrimp & spicy peppers so this was a great option for him. Surprisingly he liked the corn fritters which is rare because he does not like corn, but he liked these. I tried some & I have to say they were some of the best corn fritters I have ever had. What really made the ribs tasty was the BBQ sauce which has great flavor with a touch of sweetness. The restaurant also had great decor & ambience....so we recommend this for your next visit.

After eating lunch we headed to the mechanical bull where two of our group decided to give it a try. My son was one of them & half way through he looked in distress but never yelled out for them to stop. He was finally thrown off but apparantely he obtained a slight muscle pull & limped around with a stiff leg for about an hour, but not long after that time he was off and running again. The cost for riding the bull is $5.00 per person, so a little pricey seeing that you spend less than a minute on the ride, but for a kid to get to be a cowboy for a brief moment it is worth it.
We then went to the Visitors Center & purchased a self guided tour for our group. For $15.00 you receive a GPS system which guides you around the Stockyard & takes you off the main road. As you arrive at each location on your tour it tells you the history & even has videos & photos that appear on the GPS screen which brings to life things that happened in that very spot. Since it is self-guided we were able to go at our own pace & hit some of the museums & gift shops along the way. In the Livestock Exchange building there is a musuem that is free for kids & adults are asked to pay a $2.00 donation. In that musuem is a light bulb that has been burning, without ever being turned off, for over 100 years. They even have T-shirts about the lightbulb, which my son just had to have.
After hitting another gift shop, to buy the all important cowboy hat, we finished our tour. One of our last stops was Billy Bob's, the largest Honky Tonk in the world?, or at least the country. It is a kid friendly place with video games, pool tables, food, etc. The only problem is it is not smoke free, it is a honky tonk after all, so take that into consideration before taking your kids. Regardless, it was a nice place to sit & relax. There is a $1.00 cover charge to go in but it is free with the tour. One of the last parts of the walking tour was following the footsteps of Bill Cassidy & the Sundance Kid, so there was a lot of history we would have missed if we had not had the GPS system with us.
The tour took us several hours so by the time we were done it was time for dinner, so we decided to eat at Habenero's. This restuarant has only been open for a couple of months (it used to be Risky Rita's). The service was excellent & the food was great. It is really fresh, original Mexican which was a nice change from what we get in Georgia. So I would also recommend this if you are in the mood for Mexican.
Well, it is late. Tomorrow I will try & finish up with the trip to Texas & will be telling you about an authentic Chinese place you MUST go to if you are in the Dallas/Ft. Worth area. So sign up to be a follower of my blog so you don't miss it.

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