6 mins read

Tinie’s, Fort Worth, Texas.

Tinie's Duck Cartnitas
Just the Fucking Food tried: Duck Carnitas. Served with tortillas, picante beans, pickled vegetables, and salsa.

Fine Mexican Cuisine and Mezcal Hall in Fort Worth, Texas.

Nestled in Fort Worth’s adorable South Main Village, Tinnie’s serves up family style Mexican dishes with an expansive Mezcal selection. I headed there so I could try their food and write about it here for you. While there we tried: Chicken Empanadas, Duck Carnitas, Zanahorias, and Churro Donuts.

First things first, to appetizers. While classic snack foods such as queso and and guacamole were tempting, as a Texan I can truly not resist an offer of empanadas. Serving up a rotating chef’s selection of stuffings, we snacked on some shredded chicken served with salsa verde. The chicken stuffing was seasoned with a little kick of spice, and cooked tinder and juicy. An additional spice kick along with a dash of acid from the salsa verde made the chicken very pleasant, but the real star of the dish is the pastry. Pulled thin around the body of the empanada and thick around the crimps, the shell remains flaky without losing structural integrity. The puff in the middle proved the perfect spot to stash a little salsa verde.

The only gripe I have is that of the three we were served, two were very pale. The last of the three (the main subject of the attached picture) was browned perfectly.

Tinie's Chicken Empanadas
Just the Fucking Food tried: Chicken Empanadas
Tinie's Zanahorias
Just the Fucking Food tried: Zanahorias - braised carrots.

As a side  ordered with our main we tried the Zanahorias: braised carrots served on a puddle of garlic crema with a pile of chimichurri and cotija cheese. The presentation of the striking deep purple and oranges of the carrots was a pleasure to look at before we even dove in. The carrots had the nice sweet woody flavor expected of a root veggie. While I could not detect any garlic in the crema, it was a nice complement to the salty cheese and herbaceous chimichurri.

Again the only downside with the carrots seemed to be cooking time. While the outsides were soft and insides crispy, only about a quarter of the carrots we were served had the nice flavor-enhancing char that you can see in the two right-most specimens in the attached image.

For the family style main we selected Duck Carnitas. At Tinie’s mains are served with tortillas, a bowl of picante beans, pickled vegetables, and house salsas. The duck itself was served with chimichurri, cilantro, and papitas. Our serving contained both breast as well as some shredded duck at the bottom.

Unfortunately the duck was a little underwhelming. Not to say it wasn’t good. When the tortillas, herbs, papitas, and some pickled veggies came together with the duck it made a decent fancy taco. Papitas added a nice texture change, and the vinegar of the picked veggies really cut through the rich fat of the duck breast.

Tinie's Duck Cartnitas
Just the Fucking Food tried: Duck Carnitas. Served with tortillas, picante beans, pickled vegetables, and salsa.

However both as a part of a taco and on its own the breast was a little difficult to eat. I could find no evidence of scoring on the layer of fat, and I don’t think that it was rendered enough. While it tasted good, it was pretty chewy. Additionally, I really (and I mean REALLY) missed crispy duck skin. If this was left off intentionally I feel this is a big misstep. There were crispy bits mixed in with the shredded parts of the duck which were my favorite part of the dish.

Just the Fucking Food tried: Churro Donuts. Warm, crunchy on the outside, soft on the inside donuts served with chocolate sauce.

Dessert was an easy selection: Churro Donuts (and a cup of coffee). Yes please, say no more. Crispy fried dough covered in cinnamon and sugar served with a chocolate sauce. The flavor of the donuts was nice, not too sweet and the cinnamon was complemented by the dark chocolate sauce.

Once again tho, I believe this dish to be a victim of a cooking time miscalculation. When I think churro, I think a crispy but crumbly shell surrounding a light, but fully-cooked inside. The only crunch from these came from the sugar/cinnamon outside. The insides were gooey to the point of being stringy when I pulled them apart to dunk in my coffee.

Overall Tinie’s food is very good. Everything was beautifully presented and tasted good, but I found it strange that everything missed the mark in exactly the same way. It is possible I happened to show up on an off night, and I would definitely give them a second shot. The empanadas alone are worth showing up again for!

Tinie's Duck Cartnitas

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