VIBE: Inspired architecture and white tablecloths inside, with outdoor seating available as the weather allows — it’s a grown up place that kids can enjoy, with the best of possible surroundings.
WHY IT’S TOT-FRIENDLY: Cobb salad has always been one of the more kid-accessible salads in dining world, and the Gardens does a great one here. Smoked turkey croissants and old-fashioned hamburgers will convince the young’uns that this place has something to offer them outside of kid’s menu grilled cheese or bowtie pasta entrees. And then there are the desserts: a brownie sundae, the perfect topping to a relaxing day.
BE SURE TO TRY: The panini Italiano is a great lunch by itself, and the apricot chicken salad sandwich is a refreshing update to a Southern staple. I am a sucker for a good Reuben, and the Gardens doesn't disappoint, with thin pastrami and love-it-or-leave-it sauerkraut on (of course!) rye.
GOOD TO KNOW: Catering, trays and dips and outdoor events are all handled — and handled perfectly — at the Gardens. This is a lunch-only place, so be mindful of the hours; no late lunches or after-school meals here. Tea service with a separate menu available, as well.
BEST TIME TO GO WITH KIDS: Great weather means an immediate post-lunch romp through one of Fort Worth’s most beautifully manicured and maintained public gardens. Inclement weather calls for a trip to the conservatory, where a tropical garden awaits. (In April, the butterflies are let loose inside to pollenate, and every kid and camera-toting parent goes nuts.)