This post was brought to you by Car Free Fridays Fort Worth.
I took a little ride on my off day. I stopped by the City Cyclist where they are busy as always. They got a nice letter from someone they recently sold an ICE recumbent bike to. Debbie said hearing from the customers makes it worthwhile. After chatting with the crowd there, I rode up the McCart corridor toward the southside. I wandered a block or two off my normal route and found some interesting neighborhoods. The most unusual thing I saw, a block east of McCart (this is the middle of the city, folks) was this little guy.
OMG, it's a teeny little horsey!
Moving on, I got to the southside. My intent was to go to the new Avoca Coffee House on Magnolia, but they aren't open yet. So I continued on for a little visit at Trinity Bicycles. They said they heard Avoca is now due to open mid-November. While I was there, I mentioned that I was trying to figure out how to describe their shop. I said they are a cross between a boutique bike shop and a flea market. Bernie agreed that, yeah, that's about right.
By now it was getting to be lunchtime and since Avoca isn't open yet I decided to try out the fare at the brand spankin' new Magnolia Motor Lounge. Oddly, they are nowhere near Magnolia Avenue. In fact, you can see the new buildings on West Seventh Street from their parking lot at 3005 Morton Street at Norwood.
The Magnolia Motor Lounge is a classic car themed restaurant and bar. This greets you as you walk in the door.
It is located in a former transmission shop and decorated by motor heads.
The staff dresses in uniforms that would look right in a 1950s gas station. Everyone there is very friendly; the servers all introduced themselves and asked for my name... and even remembered it.
I asked Mark, the owner, why he named the place the Magnolia Motor Lounge when they are not on Magnolia. He told me a little story about trying to by a former gas station on Magnolia but couldn't work out a deal. He liked the way the name Magnolia Motor Lounge sounded, though, so he kept it.
The first thing you need to know about the place is that PBR is only $1.50 for a draft pint. Other selections are reasonably priced as well; Rahr Octoberfest was only $2.75 for a pint. The drafts come out of an old pickup bed mounted to the wall, and served by someone like Crystal:
But I was there for lunch. They have simple fare, really, featuring comfort food that would be at home at the State Fair of Texas, along with hot dogs, burgers, salads, and other pub grub.
I chose to go with the Sloppy Jalopy, described as "Chicken fried steak, chicken fried smoked applewood bacon, lettuce, tomato and Spicy Magnolia Sauce." (Now maybe you know what I mean by State Fair food.)
The sandwich was tasty for sure, and the cole slaw was better than you usually get in a restaurant; Crystal assured me they make it right there. If I have one complaint about the menu, it's that the only vegetarian offerings involve withholding the chicken off the salads. This isn't a problem for me but it will be a tough sell to convince my vegetarian wife to go there for a meal. At least they are up front about it: On the About Us page of their website it says "We offer our customers a tasty selection of vegan free grilled animal products, a good selection of beer and booze, live music, and the option to smoke cigarettes somewhere else."
There are some other things I thought I should mention- the music was a great selection of the rock I grew up with in the 60s and 70s. And perhaps more importantly, you could hear the music, but you didn't have to yell to talk over it, or strain to hear what others were saying. Too many bars blast their music all day long regardless of whether people are partying to just hanging out. The building itself is a no smoking facility. They allow smoking on the outdoor patio though. One last thing to note: The Capital Bar next door is building a beer garden. Since they don't serve food, the MML will put in an order and pickup window on the wall that faces the garden, so look forward to that.
The Magnolia Motor Lounge is a great place to hang out.