Upscale artistic gifts fill the unique space at Strings.
Fort Worth perfectly balances Western heritage with high-class culture. A weekend here offers so many diverse options, you'll
swear you're splitting time between several cities. From eclectic art galleries and gift shops to an old-fashioned swimming
hole, we'll give you several cool ways to enjoy the warm July days.
Friday--Shopping On Seventh
Make your first stop a late lunch at Joe T. Garcia's Mexican Dishes, just outside of the Stockyards National Historic District. Order the chicken fajitas ($8.50, cash or checks only), and soak up the lively, Old Mexico, cantina-esque atmosphere for which this local institution is known. Scan the many framed, autographed photos of celebrities who've eaten here, such as Tiger Woods, Gwyneth Paltrow, and Bette Midler.
One of Fort Worth's most alluring areas is its Cultural District, centered on several world-class museums. First, though,
peruse the art galleries and fine gift shops sprinkled among the district's outlying lanes. Several line West Seventh Street,
including The Edmund Craig Gallery, which features representational and abstract pieces by local and national artists. Duck
into Strings to find contemporary-style gifts and home furnishings. Before leaving the area, wander through University Park
Village on South University, and check out Uncommon Angles. Featuring works from more than 200 artists, the store specializes
in glassware and jewelry.
For unique accommodations, try the Stockyards Hotel down in the historic district. Its Old West ambience has attracted guests
(including the infamous Bonnie and Clyde) since 1907. Check-in is after 3 p.m., and rates start at $169; (817) 625-6427 or
www.stockyardshotel.com. You'll also find a string of chain hotels, such as the Fairfield Inn (rates range $84.95 to $92.95; (817) 335-2000), along
South University, which situates you close to the Cultural District.
We'll take you downtown tonight for a casually upscale dinner at Zolon. Warm colors such as pumpkin balance flashes of stainless
steel and contemporary light fixtures. We like this place not only for its feel, but also for its affordability. Each menu
selection is available in a large portion called a Z and a smaller portion called a Demi-Z. Start with the Wood-Grilled Polenta
Tower ($12 Z, $7 Demi-Z), and try the "Papaya" Marinated Flank Steak ($26, $14) as an entrée.