One of my favorite things about living in Fort Worth is visiting Joe T Garcia's during the summer. There is literally nothing better this side of heaven than hanging out with good friends and drinking margaritas on the Joe T's patio. The keys to my heart include good Mexican food, strong margaritas, and a killer patio. As a result, Joe T's as the locals call it, is probably my favorite spot in Fort Worth.
Joe T Garcia's is located on the Northside of Fort Worth just up the road from the historic stockyards. It has been around since the 1930's and is probably one of Fort Worth's most famous restaurants. It has an insanely cool and huge patio, tasty food, and margaritas that will leave you feeling mighty fine.
Some of my favorite memories of growing up in Fort Worth were made there. That list of favorite memories includes: having one of my first High School dances there, celebrating friends weddings, receptions, and rehearsal dinners there, celebrating my 21st birthday there, as well graduation parties and charity events. I even had one of my first dates with Melissa at Joe T's. And to top it all off when I was 16 I did a cannonball into the swimming pool and swam a few laps around the pool for good measure.
However, my all time favorite memory at Joe T's is the time Melissa and I were there with a few friends from Dallas. We stayed pretty late eating and we ended up being some of the last people there. So when we finished up paying our bill, I wanted to go show our Dallas friends the cool fountain and gardens in the very back. So we headed to the back and hung out there and enjoyed the atmosphere and good conversation for another forty-five minutes. By the time we started walking back to leave we realized was past midnight and when we got the the exit, the gate was locked! We then realized that we had been locked inside Joe T's and there was not a single person there. We yelled for a bit to see if anyone would come and we tried to find another exit, but the place was sealed! I contemplated scaling the wall, but it was a good 10-12 feet high. Truth be told, I was pretty excited about the idea of spending the night at Joe T's and hanging out with friends all night. We hung out for another hour an a half snacking on some chips and salsa we found and finishing off our margaritas. But around that time we saw a police car driving down the street. Luckily he had his window down and we caught his attention. He happened to have a key to the gate, since he was often stationed in that area. We explained what happened and he let us out after a good laugh. I still wish we had spent the night there, but it made for a great story!
A few Joe T's Tips from the Ice's:
- Expect long lines on weekends and beautiful nights. If you come on a nice Friday or Saturday at 7pm, expect to wait for at least an hour. To avoid the lines try coming early between 3:30-5:30 p.m. or later after 8:30 p.m. Now don't get me wrong, it's worth the wait and worth the long lines. You won't regret it once you are inside.
- Pro Tip : The long lines are not bad if you grab a pitcher of margaritas and enjoy them with friends while you wait. There is a bar right past the entrance, and if you walk up the exit stairs you can buy margaritas to enjoy while you wait.
- Joe T's is cash only. Make sure you bring cash or a debit card to use at one of their ATM's.
- Their margaritas are strong & Uber is your friend. I would avoid driving if you have more than 2.
- Not a margarita guy? Try a Chelada! A Chelada is a Mexican beer served in a salt rimmed glass over ice and lime juice. Super tasty! I always get them with Negra Modelo.
- They do not have menus (except during lunch or brunch). They serve Fajitas or the Family Dinner. The family dinner comes with cheese enchiladas, beef tacos, a nacho, beans & rice, and guac. Mel and I normally split the family dinner and add 2 tacos (my favorite part).
- There are a few "secret menu" items that they don't tell you about. You can order fajita nachos (which are awesome!), a fajita salad, and chili con queso.
- I always opt for the margaritas on the rocks because they pack more of a punch but the frozen are good too, especially on a hot day.
- My secret parking spot is right behind the line past the ramp, because normally there are some spots hidden by the long line. If you smile and wave, the kind folks in line will normally let you pull right in.