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The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

Drew draws mixed crowds to his place for soul cuisine

Dee Smith, South Campus student, left, with Phyllis Ross, enjoys a plate of fried chicken and mashed potatoes at Drew’s Place at 5012 E. Rosedale in Fort Worth. Drew’s Place is open Tuesday-Saturday.  Photo by Charity Montieth/The Collegian
Dee Smith, South Campus student, left, with Phyllis Ross, enjoys a plate of fried chicken and mashed potatoes at Drew’s Place at 5012 E. Rosedale in Fort Worth. Drew’s Place is open Tuesday-Saturday. Photo by Charity Montieth/The Collegian

By Charity Montieth/managing editor

Dee Smith, South Campus student, left, with Phyllis Ross, enjoys a plate of fried chicken and mashed potatoes at Drew’s Place at 5012 E. Rosedale in Fort Worth. Drew’s Place is open Tuesday-Saturday.  Photo by Charity Montieth/The Collegian
Dee Smith, South Campus student, left, with Phyllis Ross, enjoys a plate of fried chicken and mashed potatoes at Drew’s Place at 5012 E. Rosedale in Fort Worth. Drew’s Place is open Tuesday-Saturday. Photo by Charity Montieth/The Collegian

When searching for a good soul food restaurant in Fort Worth, nearly everyone I spoke with had one place in mind.

That place was Drew’s Place, famous for its smothered pork chops. Evidently I’m the only person in the area who has never frequented the quaint eatery with the sign that boasts the food is good for the soul.

Drew’s has two locations. The more famous of the two is located on Curzon Avenue, and owner Drew Thomas has been serving up lip-smacking soul food there for the last 20 years. This spot has collected numerous rave reviews from The Fort Worth Star-Telegram and Texas Monthly, among others.

In April, a second location opened on Rosedale bringing those signature smothered pork chops to East Fort Worth. I was curious to find out if the new location could live up to the reputation established by its predecessor.

However, visiting Drew’s Place would be no easy task for me. On my first visit, traffic on 820 was snarled, and I pulled into the parking lot just as it was closing.

For my second visit, I planned a Monday afternoon lunch—only to discover the restaurant is closed on Mondays.

But persistence pays off, and the third time was a charm. My husband and daughter accompanied me for a Friday evening dinner.

The moment we walked in, a sunny smile greeted us. That smile belonged to Drew himself, and he made us feel welcome to be at his place.

The menu is simplicity at its finest; diners chose one meat option and two sides. Entrée options include buffalo wings, spicy catfish filets ($6.99 each) and fried or smothered pork chops, chicken fried steak and fried or grilled chicken breast ($7.59 each).

For a somewhat lighter appetite, a vegetable plate ($4.89) offers four veggie selections served up with either Texas toast or fresh-baked corn bread muffins.

Most of the veggies are seasoned with pork fat or butter, so this is not the best choice if you’re a vegetarian.

Since the smothered pork chops almost have a cult following, I couldn’t resist. Moments after placing my order at the counter, two huge chops arrived at the table, doused in brown gravy and topped with grilled onions.

I eagerly dug in to the lightly breaded chops and found no knife was needed. These tender, juicy chops fall off the bone without falling apart.

My sides didn’t disappoint either. The macaroni and cheese was creamy and velvety. But, my other side would be the deciding factor for me—the collard greens. Being extremely picky about my greens, I skeptically took a bite. They were finely chopped, and the onion and smoky flavors were perfectly balanced. There was a big piece of bacon buried right in the middle like a little present. The greens were so good my husband went back to the counter and ordered some for himself.

In addition to the greens, my husband ordered the chicken fried steak and mashed potatoes. Like my pork chops, he also got two massive portions. (And these were the small orders!) His steak was deep-fried until crisp and golden—but not greasy—and swimming in creamy, peppery gravy. His potatoes were definitely made from scratch, buttery and rustic.

My daughter, who is possibly the pickiest eater of all time, devoured her macaroni and cheese and chicken tenders.

There was not a single crumb left on her plate.

We decided on dessert, to-go, and I asked the cashier what their signature dessert was. No thought was required, he immediately pointed to the blueberry pound cake ($2.50).

We later discovered why. Not heavy and dry like a typical pound cake, this cake was light, moist and filled to the brim with fresh blueberries.

Drew’s Place is a no-frills eatery; you won’t find candles or ambient music in the background. The friendly service and outstanding food put a smile on all of the diners’ faces, creating its own warm cozy ambience.

The sign outside speaks for itself. Drew’s Place offers food that is good for the soul.

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