Foodie Friday: Game Day Delights in DFW

by Martin Ramirez on February 2, 2024 in Food+Drink,

Got game day plans? With Super Bowl LVIII around the corner, many are wondering if they should fire up the grill, start the slow cookers, or stock up on those boring vegetable dip platters. For those of us who are looking to make it a memorable gameday experience—even if our team didn’t even make it past the first divisional round—seek comfort in these three Foodie Friday options that offer some of the best catering, watch party, and dine-in options.


Thirsty Lion Gastropub: A Universal Experience  

Thirsty Lion’s menu provides a wide range of options for every taste. Photo courtesy Thirsty Lion Gastropub.

Over 18 years ago, John Plew started the first Thirsty Lion Gastropub in Portland, Oregon, an area that doesn’t bode well for chain restaurants. However, founded on the mission to evolve the gastropub business by creating a place where friends and family can come together, celebrate life, and enjoy hand-crafted food, beer, and cocktails, the Thirsty Lion quickly expanded to Arizona, Colorado, and the great state of Texas. And with its fifth location in Addison joining Grandscape, Preston Hollow, Irving and Euless, Thirsty Lion has more locations in the greater DFW area than any other state.

The BBQ prawns are a perfect combination of savory and tangy. Be sure to pair with one of their many draft options. Photo Martin Ramirez.

Like any real gastropub, the Thirsty Lion pairs unique cravings with some of the finest craft cocktails made from premium liquors, fresh produce, and hand-pressed juices and puree. Starters like bacon wrapped BBQ prawns, served with Black Butte BBQ sauce, napa slaw, and cilantro lime vinaigrette, or the creamy queso dip with roasted jalapeños, onion, and tomatoes are sure to delight.  

The Wagyu burger is always a crowd pleaser. Photo courtesy Thirsty Lion Gastropub.

Then indulge in mains like the 14 oz. grilled ribeye steak rubbed with a signature spice blend or the Wagyu beef burger. And of course, it wouldn’t be a gastropub without a diverse variety of 52 craft, import, and domestic beers on draft—all ready to be paired with your meal for a memorable experience.

Other appetizer options include the beautifully crafted spicy tuna roll. Photo Martin Ramirez.

The Thirsty Lion serves with a cause, often aligning with local organizations to raise awareness and donations for causes, such as the recent holiday cocktail benefiting Pets for Vets. So, whether it’s the gameday—as many are hosting Super Bowl watch parties, weekend brunch or your next corporate party, the Thirsty Lion is sure to be your next foodie destination.

 Loop 9 BBQ: Epic BBQ

EpicCentral’s newest BBQ addition is sure to draw crowds at this new entertainment district. Photo courtesy Loop 9.

This new authentic Texas barbecue hotspot is staking its claim to be on the next list of Texas Monthly’s Top 50 BBQ joints. Sure, with a specialized selection of prime brisket, pork ribs, pulled pork, and Meyer’s Elgin sausage, Loop 9 is quickly becoming a local favorite in Grand Prairie’s newest entertainment district—EpicCentral.

Heavy hitters like slow smoked briskets and ribs delight at Loop 9. Courtesy Photo.

With savory favorites like the signature appetizer, “Dirty” Burnt-End Queso to the in-house pie shop and full service bar serving up seasonal hits, Loop 9 offers a variety of unique reasons to visit or cater your next party. And speaking of catering, Loop 9 is serving up something special for the big game. The Big Game catering package includes 50 perfectly smoked wings for just $80. For more information, email or visit online.

Newer options like Loop 9’s smoked wings will be your next game day tradition. Photo Nancy Farrar.

Ate too much? EpicCentral is a 172-acre park complete with family friendly activities to include trails, light shows, and live music. You can also read about our coverage of Epic Waters, EpicCental’s newest water world destination.

Toro Toro by Richard Sandoval:  A Twist on the Contemporary Steakhouse

Meat options are plenty in this modern Rodizio-style Churrasco at Toro Toro in Ft. Worth. Photo courtesy Toro Toro by Richard Sandoval.

Toro Toro is a cutting-edge restaurant in Fort Worth that combines modern West with the Rodizio-style Churrasco of pan-Latin cuisines. Brought to you by the creative mind of award-winning Chef Richard Sandoval, this gastronomic cultural experience integrates fresh ingredients from Mexican and Peruvian flavors into family-style sharables and classic Latin cocktails, all hand-muddled with fresh fruits, herbs, and vegetables.

Classic Peruvian options include Japanese inspired dishes like the Tiradito. Photo Martin Ramirez.

Toro Toro’s amazing menu showcases the finest of delectable pan-Latin starters and entrees. While you cannot go wrong with their many options, take a bold stand and try the Smoked Bison Tiradito—a classic Peruvian dish with Japanese influence—complete with pickled shimeji mushroom, rocoto aioli, watercress salad, spiced pepitas, and a chipotle ponzu.

The 8oz prime center cut filet with grilled shishito peppers is sure to delight. Or, for a special treat, spoil yourself and your better half with a succulent 52oz Tomahawk RibEye flambéed tableside for an amazing culinary spectacle. Pair these options perfectly with table shareables like the pork belly mac & cheese topped with a whiskey chorizo bread crumb or the roasted heirloom carrots.

Known for shareables, Toro Toro’s side options will satisfy everyone at the table. Photo Martin Ramirez.

Be sure to check their happenings for upcoming events. From hosting Christmas brunches and NYE dinners to a special Valentine’s Day menu, Toro Toro’s modern western and pan-Latin ambiance provides the perfect intimate location for your next date night, brunch, or maybe even a quiet game day getaway.


Cover Photo Courtesy Loop 9

Martin Ramirez is a brisket-eating, Shiner-loving, road-tripping enthusiast of all things Texas. This Dallas-born writer / adventurer is ready to take his ‘78 El Camino to find the best in food, fun, and fitness throughout the Lone Star State.