A Finer Grocery in Fort Worth
By ALYSSA THOMAS
Growing up on old westerns and "Little House on the Prairie", I've always romanticized the concept of general stores. There's just something about the old-fashioned form of socializing that seemed to take place in general stores. Sure, people meet one another and chat at coffee shops and pubs, but the general stores in my imagination offer not only a convenient place to shop, but a feeling of camaraderie, community, and family. The Fairmont District in Fort Worth, often referred to as 'the neighborhood,' has taken big strides in the past few years to bring the feeling of a small-town community to Cowtown. Despite the neighborhood's advancements, there was always a big hole -- the lack of a local 'market.' The opening of Ryan's Fine Grocer & Delicatessen promises to fill this void.
Ryan's, a mom and pop type grocer, is actually owned by the sibling duo, Brittany and Hunter Ryan. The Ryan siblings are Fort Worth locals, finding their way back home and to their family roots after stints in New York and Colorado. The Ryan's family ran a general store in the 1800s which eventually became the White Swan Distributing Company (also known as the maker of Ranch Style Beans).
The newly opened store offers a lot of quality in the allotted space. They sell everything from gourmet vinegars, chips and organic produce to toilet paper and dog food. They cover all dietary desires where one can buy seitan or walk three feet over and purchase foie gras. Their beers, wines, and sodas are eclectically selected and composed of tried-and-true favorites and exciting new brands to try.
Ryan's butcher section is nothing like the deli counter at your local Tom Thumb. Oh no. They offer prime steaks which they cut fresh for you, house-made corned beef, and house-cured meats. I know that we're talking about Fort Worth here, and that Ryan's isn't too far from Fort Worth's legendary Stockyards, but what if you're more of a seafood fan? You're in business. They have a great selection of fish, caviar, and rumor has it that house-cured salmon is going to be making an appearance in the near future. All of this meat talk is making me hungry, which is perfect because Ryan's also has their own delicatessen where they are serving up some pretty incredible sandwiches and salads.
The saltiness of the prosciutto on the melted Mozzarella and Prosciutto (see top)sandwich is not at all overwhelming and perfectly complements the mozzarella. The same goes for the Corned Beef Reuben. The tangy house slaw and sauerkraut are surprisingly mild and are complimentary rather than an unwelcome punch in the taste buds. The Melted Ham and Brie with fig spread is definitely a crowd pleaser, pulling off the ever-so-delectable mixture of salty and sweet like a champ. Ryan's house salad and Caesar salad are not your typical 'side' salads. The Caesar salad is as authentic and garlicky as a Caesar gets, topped with a crunchy paprika parmesan tuile.
Pictured are the Corned Beef Reuban (left) and the Melted Ham and Brie (right)
There is almost too much deliciousness to mention in such a short time but here is a sample of other delectable selections: 1 and ¼ pound Lobster Roll, Smoked Salmon Awesomeness, Turkey and Chicken Club, Mediterranean Tuna Salad, Crab Heirloom and Avocado Salad, Grapefruit and Orange Salad, and Apple and Bleu Cheese salad. Phew. Top your meal off with a coffee, beer, or cucumber soda and grab a seat either inside or on the patio and enjoy.
Ryan's Fine Grocer & Delicatessen offers convenience and variety. What stands out the most to me is that they've managed to put a modern spin on one of my favorite concepts -- the old-time general store. In a neighborhood that is quickly becoming one of the best places to live, eat, and drink in all of the Metroplex, its addition is a welcome one.
Ryan's Fine Grocer and Delicatessen
815 W. Magnolia Ave.
Fort Worth, TX