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Ft. Worth: Nonna Tata and Panther City Bicycles

Submitted by on June 12, 2010 – 1:41 pmNo Comment

I’d like to tell you that I rode one of my many bicycles to Ft. Worth today from my East Dallas home. I’d love to tell you about the 37 mile struggle, my travails, etc.

But it wouldn’t be true. What is true is that I had to be in a Ft. Worth Family Law Court on Friday for a hearing in a divorce case.

So I’m going to tell ya’ll instead about a few of the things that I like to do in Cowtown when I have a suit on and no bicycle. First of all, if I can possibly do it, I go to Nonna Tata (1400 W. Magnolia Ft. Worth TX 76104, 817-332-0250…I would provide a link, but they have no web-site) for lunch. It is one of the most amazingly authentic Italian restaurants that I know about in the entire DFW area. It is also relatively inexpensive, and quite small, so you have to get there early. They fill up for lunch fast, close early, and that’s it: they aren’t open for dinner or on the weekends. And it’s BYOB.

I usually just get whatever the special is, and I’ve never been disappointed in anything. Here is a photo of the rosemary-infused smoked pork loin that they used in Friday’s lunch special:

First, though, the lovely house salad that comes with lunch. Cute, huh? I got mine with the balsamic vinaigrette.

They sliced up the pork loin and put it in a simple tomato sauce with bowtie pasta. Benissimo!

A really amazing dish. Followed by: dessert! I have two questions for any waiter when it comes to dessert. Number one: what’s the most popular dessert on the menu? And, number two: what do you recommend? If the answer to both questions is the same dish, my choice is really no choice at all. At Nonna Tata, the answer to both questions is the Torta Ciotola, or Apple-Pear Cake. I have had it every time that I go to Nonna Tata. On this trip, it was still warm from the oven:

I usually would bring a bottle of wine, especially if I was with a friend, or if I was going to follow up lunch with a trip to one of Ft. Worth’s wonderful museums. This week I was being responsible. By the way, lunch with a  good tip was $21.00. More than I usually spend for lunch, but very reasoanble for what you get. Now, here is the part of the trip that has something to do with bicyles. The first time that I ever came to Nonna Tata I noticed that about half way down the same block of Magnolia was a bicycle shop, Panther City Bicycles. Until my first trip to Nonna Tata, I wasn’t familiar with this interesting commercial district just south of downtown Ft. Worth. It is an area that is clearly in the process of gentrification, and if I had to compare it to any part of Dallas it would be the Bishop Arts District in the Oak Cliff area of Dallas. I was impressed to see that W. Magnolia has a bike lane:

And how about this seriously Texas-style Bike rack!

Anyways, here’s the darn bike shop:

And the sign……..


The owner/proprietor is a very nice guy named Jason Magby. He was hard at work when I popped in and started asking questions.

He has a nice shop. I always like to see a few vintage bikes in a bike shop amongst the new bikes that I can’t afford. Why the heck do I buy used bikes on CL and spend all my time and money rebuilding them when there are places like this? Because I’m insane, and I enjoy punishment.

Jason pointed out this beauty of a Colnago with a full Campagnolo set-up. $1300! OK, that’s why I haunt CL and estate sales. Because someday I’m gonna screw somebody’s widow out of a bike like this:

OK, I was kidding about screwing somebody’s widow out of their (former) bike. I’m just looking for a deal. Speaking of deals….how about a bike shop with a kegerator full of the local brewery’s beer?

Let’s give a shout-out to the home team, the Rahr Brewing Company of Ft. Worth! Apparently, this weekend was their Grand Re-Opening after a calamitous roof collapse as the result of the huge snow storm this last winter.

So now you know. Cowtown ain’t just about the the museums, the Stockyards, Sundance square, etc., etc. It’s about W. Magnolia, Nonna Tata and Panther City Bicycles. Next time, I’m bringing a bike!

Oh, well. All good things must come to and end, including this very long article.


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Michael W. Hubbard

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