Neighborhood Hangout

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The nostalgia and simplicity of a cheeseburger and chocolate malt is hard to resist. Shaw's Patio Bar and Grill lets the good times roll again.

David and Ann Shaw have run some of your most favorite Fort Worth dining spots since 1977. Remember Blue Bonnets Grill, Shaw’s Restaurant & Bar, Bogards and Abernathy’s Restaurant & Bar? The Shaws were behind the success of each of them. Many local restaurateurs (and even certain magazine publishers we know) got their starts working in one of the Shaw establishments.

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Most recently, the popular Scampi’s Mediterranean Cafe closed last year after a 15-year run on Magnolia when Ann’s father and the restaurant’s executive chef passed away. That space is where the new Shaw’s Patio Bar and Grill began in 2011. It has expanded bit by bit over the past year, incorporating other available spaces into its vast footprint, which now includes two charming patios to enjoy on either side.

  

Start off with an order of cheesy Frog Fries ($8.99). These crinkle-cut beauties are served London Pub style with brown gravy on the bottom and then crowned with a layer of cheddar and bacon bits. Fresh Ranch Dip and jalapeños come along side. For a spicy starter, the Fried Green Beans ($6.99) will wake up your taste buds. This is one of the biggest sellers. The crusty coating is speckled with red pepper flakes, wrapped around fresh green beans and served with a cool aioli for dipping.

The Chili Cheese Burger ($8.99) is served on an egg bun, with a fresh patty of lean Angus beef topped with meaty chili. For a side dish, try the baked beans. They have a smoky flavor with plenty of bacon and a touch of mustard. Besides burgers (and Shaw’s has any variety you could dream up), there are also lovely fresh salads and many other sandwiches to choose among. Shaw’s Club, for instance, is a triple-decker served on wheat toast with Applewood smoked bacon, smoked turkey, Provolone cheese, spinach, tomatoes and mayo. There also are pressed sandwiches like the Veggie Lovers Panini filled with eggplant, zucchini, yellow squash, red bell peppers, olive tapenade and Brie cheese.

On Sunday you can choose from the brunch menu as well. All brunch items come with free Mimosas and are served alongside fresh fruit, country-diced hash brown potatoes and a couple of slices of Applewood smoked bacon. Choose from Migas, French Toast or a baked Vegetable Frittata. I tried the Portobello Eggs Benedict ($8.99). Two grilled portobello mushrooms are presented on top of wilted spinach and are layered with perfectly poached eggs and a light, creamy pesto sauce.

When entering, you are greeted with a wall of glass blocks and a red stained-glass namesake feature to your right. Once inside, you feel welcomed into the quintessential neighborhood pub, with flat screens and a central bar area. Warm woods abound with a mix of booths and tables. The wood paneling and utilitarian concrete flooring are blended with browns and neutrals and the occasional pop of color from graphic modern artwork.

The entrance effectively separates two dining spaces with matching patio features. The patios are lively with bands that will serenade you on the weekends, and Wednesdays are Fido-Friendly with Yappy Hour and Mutt Mingling on the patio. Bring your pooch and enjoy a special hot dog menu from 5 p.m. to close.

There is no better way to finalize your meal than with an indulgent ice cream float in a frosty mug or a hand-blended milkshake or malt. We sampled the chocolate malt, blended by the master himself, owner David Shaw. It was a great throw-back dessert, both authentic and old-fashioned, and served in a soda fountain glass, topped with fresh whipped cream that comes along with what’s left in the blender cup to enjoy every last drop.

Don’t worry. You don’t have to make your New Year’s resolutions until next month.