If you are a foodie like me, you are probably very familiar with one of Fort Worth’s best known restaurant rows, Magnolia Avenue. Over the past decade, Magnolia has become a hot spot for diners seeking unique restaurants. One of these distinctive venues is the Magnolia Cheese Company.
Opened in 2012, Magnolia Cheese Company is an artisan cheese shop and café, serving local and American artisan cheeses, a menu featuring shared plates, salads and sandwiches and a nice variety of wines and craft beers. The kitchen is a self-proclaimed “scratch kitchen” and the food is all prepared on site, with the exception of the bread which is locally made. To prove their “scratch kitchen” status even further, Magnolia Cheese Company does not have a freezer or fryer.
Walking into the restaurant you are welcomed by the simple charm that is Magnolia Cheese Company. The restaurant’s street corner location and ample windows fill the dining room with natural light. Diners may seat themselves for dining or may browse the cheese counter and wine collection for dining in or taking home. I will caution you now, if you are on a work lunch hour, you may need to alert your server you are on a time crunch because the Magnolia Cheese Company staff do not rush the courses or the guests. You may find yourself in the Magnolia time warp like we did and experience a lunch hour that was well over an hour and a half. Worth EVERY minute of it!
After reviewing the seasonal menu, my guests and I began our cheesepalooza with the American Artisan Cheese Board ($16). The sharable dish is artfully presented on a beautiful board displaying five cheeses, curried pecans, green tomato relish topped with candied orange marmalade with black lava salt, local honey and fresh fruit. Accompanying the cheese is day-old baguette. Our server brought small beautiful mis-matched vintage plates for us to use as we shared our appetizer. Additionally, our knowledgeable server educated us on the cheeses we tasted: Marin Triple Crème Brie from California, Beecher’s Flagship Cheddar from Washington, Cypress Grove Purple Haze from California, a Mobay and a Cranberry Chipotle Cheddar, both from Wisconsin.
The main meal consisted of the Cuban Cousin ($12), a sturdy sandwich featuring Serrano ham, pecan-wood smoked bacon, dill gouda, green tomato marmalade, djion on toasted sourdough bread. The Cuban Cousin was a sandwich masterpiece. The flavors were perfectly melded and earned itself a “winner” ribbon by my companions and myself. Our second sandwich was the Marley Bird ($12) featuring jerk-seasoned turkey, No Woman Cheddar, pepper slaw, grilled pineapple and spicy oregano on a baguette. This sandwiches first bit packed a nice crunch! The jerk-seasoned turkey was deceiving and at first reminded us of pork. Both sandwiches were accompanied by the quinoa du jour and perfectly seasoned baked kale chips which provided a nice salty balance to the cheese on the sandwiches. The last entrée was technically a shared plate item, the Drunken Pimento. This distinctive pimento cheese is made with Drunken Monk gouda, watercress chimichurri, pecans and lavash. Our sweet server obliged when I inquired about swapping some of the lavash with fresh cut veggies. For those shy to try pimento cheese, this recipe is like no other with faint flavors of smoke paprika, a dash of Cheyenne pepper and whiskey as mysterious ingredients.
Our meal was topped off with one of Magnolia Cheese Company’s signature “sweet stuff” deserts – the chèvre cheesecake ($9). This heaven on a plate was presented to us as two miniature cheesecakes built upon sturdy graham cracker bases drizzled with honey and golden pollen dust. Other desert features are the bread pudding du jour, grilled angel food cake (I will be back to try this!) and the dessert trio – smaller versions of the desserts listed above.
For those of you looking for a Sunday brunch, Magnolia Cheese Company is happy to accommodate. The Sunday brunch menu teases diners with a frittata du jour, a Magnolia Cheese Company play on biscuits and gravy, French toast du jour, salmon and waffles and several small plate brunch items such as Cabot Cheddar Cheese grits, hummus du jour and quinoa du jour.
Next time you are visiting Magnolia Avenue located in the Medical District of Fort Worth, you will want to make time to visit this unique haven for cheese lovers. Whether it is for lunch, happy hour, dinner or desert, you are sure to find something that will make strike your fancy.
Magnolia Cheese Company
251 W. Magnolia Avenue, Fort Worth
Hours: Tuesday – Thursday 11 – 9
Friday – Saturday 11 – 10
Sunday Brunch 11 – 3
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