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The Back Porch -- restaurant


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#1 Giraffe

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Posted 25 July 2008 - 09:55 PM

Anyone remember this restaurant? "The Back Porch" was a chain, I suppose, if two restaurants can be called a chain. My family and I ate there often during the 1980s. In particular, they made a GREAT French-onion soup. Their ice cream parlor specialized in a flavor called "Illegal Vanilla"... supposedly it contained far more butter fat than allowed by the government. They made great pizza, and they offered a neat gimmick on their salad bar: you loaded up your own salad, and you then guessed how much it all weighed. If you were correct to within a half-ounce, the salad was half-price or free... something like that. I took several dates there.

The two locations of The Back Porch were as follows:

Berry Street, in the same strip mall next to a church (a block from Pascal High School). Way back in the day this same strip mall once housed a White's Hardware, where my father bought a push-type power mower. Later on a McDuff's electronics store was in that strip mall as well. Very close to TCU.

Camp Bowie Blvd, next to Texas College of Osteopathic Medicine. Very close to the museum district, I sometimes ate there after my shift at the FW Museum of Science and History.

Sadly, both of these restaurants are not only closed, the buildings they were in have been completely eradicated. I think in both cases the circumstances were the same: the nearby universities wanted to expand. TCU built a parking garage, and TCOM built another classroom building. (Then again, maybe the government found out about their Illegal Vanilla ice cream and sent in the Dairy Police.)

#2 The Haltom City Kid

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Posted 25 July 2008 - 10:11 PM

I ate at the Camp Bowie store a few times. If I remember correctly, it was owned and operated by three kids, a brother and two sisters. I remember seeing them on PM Magazine or the 4 Country Reporter (or what ever version of the show that was on at the time). It was a good place to eat.


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#3 GenE

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Posted 26 July 2008 - 09:36 AM

QUOTE (Giraffe @ Jul 25 2008, 10:55 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Anyone remember this restaurant? "The Back Porch" was a chain, I suppose, if two restaurants can be called a chain.

Camp Bowie Blvd, next to Texas College of Osteopathic Medicine. Very close to the museum district, I sometimes ate there after my shift at the FW Museum of Science and History.


When I was in Fort Worth for the forum meet in May 07, I drove around looking for the Back Porch. I was disappointed to see that its original location was gone, but then a little further toward town/Wards, I think I saw another incarnation near where the 7th street theater used to be. (Forgive me, I'm not taking the time to look at mapquest to verify the street name.)

I didn't stop and investigate, but I did wonder if it was same basic restaurant in another location.....and then again, I didn't know of the Berry St. location either

#4 bailey

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Posted 26 July 2008 - 02:22 PM

The location on Berry Street was across the street from University United Methodist Church in a location in the shopping center that was originally a Mott's. The other end of the center did have a White's store years before.

#5 Saginaw

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Posted 26 July 2008 - 04:52 PM

I definitely remember The Back Porch on Camp Bowie Blvd., as it was next to Tolson's Hobby Shop. I only went there once, with a friend of mine back around '84. I think I did in fact order the French onion soup, which was very good.

The thing that stands out to me about the location on Camp Bowie was it's tight little parking lot. My friend and I went on a Sunday after church, and she and I were in my old 1975 Chevrolet Caprice Classic. The lot was rather crowded that day around lunchtime, and old cars like mine were as big as battleships! If you weren't lucky enough to get a space in the lot, then you were relegated to parking on the curb in the street.

Then again, maybe those that parked in the street were lucky! laugh.gif


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#6 John T Roberts

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Posted 26 July 2008 - 07:25 PM

I have a note of slight correction. The Back Porch location on Berry did not become a parking garage for TCU. They only merely paved over the site and made it a parking lot for the university.

#7 JulieM

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Posted 26 July 2008 - 09:17 PM

That French onion soup was to die for and the ice cream was great too.

#8 Birdland in Handley

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Posted 27 July 2008 - 12:59 AM

Mr. Birdland and I are vegetarians and we ate at both Back Porches a LOT. We lived near the one on Berry and I worked near the one on the west side. It was also one of our places to take out-of -towner. It seems like they changed hands a year or two before they folded, and the food wasn't as good. (Maybe thats why they folded. And they had stopped the fun "Guess your salad's weight option.")
Salad bars were popular in the 70' & 80's. Bonanza' really touted theirs, seems like it was pretty good. Are there any good ones out there now? Having excellent hot entrees like whole-wheat-crust vegetable pizza by the slice and a vegetarian soup of the day, and an ADJACENT ICE CREAM PARLOR YUM, like the Back Porch, might be too much to ask for; but a good salad bar would sure be a boon on these blistering days.

#9 cbellomy

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Posted 27 July 2008 - 11:50 AM

The Camp Bowie location was at the northwest corner of Boland. The stores were owned by man named Charles... Charles Moore comes to mind as I type but I'm not at all confident that's right. In those days I had several friends who worked at the Back Porch. I actually ate there so much I got sick of it! Maybe I should have gone easy on the veggie pizzas. smile.gif


#10 cherokeehippie

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Posted 28 July 2008 - 12:22 AM

I sooooo remember the Back Porch and miss it BIG TIME!!! My grandfather used to take us there for cappuchino icecream!!! I miss Back Porch CAPPUCHINO icecream BIG TIME, too!!! I also remember the Tortilla soup!! I was so disappointed to come home ot FW one day..to find the Back Porch not there anymore. (Camp Bowie)...things are changing...there...with the hospital enlarging, etc..and I don't like it.

#11 sarahlmac

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Posted 28 July 2008 - 01:11 PM

QUOTE (cbellomy @ Jul 27 2008, 12:50 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
The Camp Bowie location was at the northwest corner of Boland. The stores were owned by man named Charles... Charles Moore comes to mind as I type but I'm not at all confident that's right. In those days I had several friends who worked at the Back Porch. I actually ate there so much I got sick of it! Maybe I should have gone easy on the veggie pizzas. smile.gif




Charles Moore is correct...I'm still getting some of his mail! He used to live in the condo below mine and was a really cool guy. He is now living in eagle mountain lake, I think, and sells a bottled wine margarita called blue azul or azul blue or something like that. They serve it on the patio of Central Market. He also has some sort of construction-grade insulation company.

#12 Sam Stone

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Posted 28 July 2008 - 01:37 PM

"Does anyone remember the Back Porch?" How could I forget. Our parents used to take us there when we were little. Nothing like lunch AND ice cream all in one place. I'd say we used to go to both locations equally, except we would go to the Camp Bowie location more for ice cream than food after walking through the museums on a weekend afternoon. I also remember the trippy mural on the walls of the ice cream section.

Someone needs to bring back the Back Porch. Speaking of Berry St. restaurants, who else used to go to the Pizza Hut on stilts? What was up with that? I think all the Berry St. restaurateurs were on drugs in the 70s.

#13 bailey

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Posted 28 July 2008 - 01:50 PM

I used to eat at the Pizza Hut on stilts all the time. If I recall, it was built that way to make room for parking. It was the only one I ever saw on stilts.

#14 801hme

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Posted 28 July 2008 - 05:05 PM

QUOTE (Sam Stone @ Jul 28 2008, 02:37 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
"Does anyone remember the Back Porch?" How could I forget. Our parents used to take us there when we were little. Nothing like lunch AND ice cream all in one place. I'd say we used to go to both locations equally, except we would go to the Camp Bowie location more for ice cream than food after walking through the museums on a weekend afternoon. I also remember the trippy mural on the walls of the ice cream section.

Someone needs to bring back the Back Porch. Speaking of Berry St. restaurants, who else used to go to the Pizza Hut on stilts? What was up with that? I think all the Berry St. restaurateurs were on drugs in the 70s.


We went to the Back Porch for Ice Cream alot, but never to the restaurant...don't know why...Isn't the Pizza Hut building still there? I know it hasn't been a Pizza Hut in years, but I seem to recall the bulding being there last time I checked. There's been so many changes in that vacinity though that I may be wrong...Do you remember the Merry-Go-Round burger joint where (I think) the Domino's is now? It had the cool neon sign with horses flying around in a circle...good burgers, too.


#15 Giraffe

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Posted 28 July 2008 - 06:06 PM

QUOTE (Sam Stone @ Jul 28 2008, 01:37 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
"

Someone needs to bring back the Back Porch. Speaking of Berry St. restaurants, who else used to go to the Pizza Hut on stilts? What was up with that? I think all the Berry St. restaurateurs were on drugs in the 70s.



AH, now there's a landmark! Just say "Pizza Hut on stilts," and everybody knows what you're talking about! I know I ate there at least twice -- once with my sister and some of her friends, and again with my 6th-grade class from Morningside Middle School. That would have been 1979 or 1980.

That shows how much things have changed -- I can't think of a single go-in-and-sit-down-to-eat Pizza Hut that's open around here anymore. The last one I knew of was on Hwy 157, very close to Airport Freeway in Euless, but it closed about a year ago. There is a "Mama's Pizza" on Fielder at Randol Mill in Arlington that's just a Pizza Hut with a new name painted on it, and it's a good sit-down restaurant. But now all the Pizza Huts are delivery or crammed into a Taco Bell (where all you can get are the single-serve sizes).

I know the Pizza Hut on stilts closed many moons ago, but I forget if the building is still there or not. Someone else will have to answer that...

#16 John T Roberts

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Posted 28 July 2008 - 10:03 PM

The Pizza Hut on stilts has been demolished. I think it came down in 2006.

#17 Birdland in Handley

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Posted 31 July 2008 - 12:43 AM

So answer me these questions three, since there's positive postings about the Back Porch:
Are there any good salad bars in town; we long for one? Is last year's spinach bad germ and this year's tomato and jalapeno germs the reason there are no salad bars? Should we be afraid of salad bars for that (Spinach/jalapeno-tomato) reason? And why were there no health warnings during the heyday (70's-80'0s). Are germs getting stronger? Sorry, that's four questions.

#18 amanda

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Posted 31 July 2008 - 10:17 PM

I remember my mom taking my sister and I to the Back porch when we were younger. We always got a kick out of trying to guess the weight of our salads. I think the last time I ate there was at the one on Berry on the last day of my freshmen year at Paschal in the early 90's.

#19 GenE

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Posted 20 August 2008 - 05:08 PM

Another sandwich/salad shop of the 70's era was The Great Outdoors. Central Texas never had anything like this (or at least not while I have been here).

Is The Great Outdoors sandwich shop still in existence in Fort Worth/Dallas?

gbs


#20 longhornz32

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Posted 20 August 2008 - 05:32 PM

QUOTE (GenE @ Aug 20 2008, 06:08 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Another sandwich/salad shop of the 70's era was The Great Outdoors. Central Texas never had anything like this (or at least not while I have been here).

Is The Great Outdoors sandwich shop still in existence in Fort Worth/Dallas?

gbs


Absolutely, there is one down on Camp Bowie right across from The Modern. Great sandwiches.

#21 mmiller2002

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Posted 21 August 2008 - 11:33 AM

QUOTE (Birdland in Handley @ Jul 31 2008, 01:43 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
...Are there any good salad bars in town; we long for one?



Central Market, maybe? Jason's deli.

I usually call them "sneeze bars" instead of salad bars since i picture sneezing patrons and grabby kids.




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