Buenos Dias, Magdalena’s – Fort Worth Weekly
Imagine driving to a normal looking brick building, giving your keys to a valet, and then being taken to a cheery dining room by a sharply dressed waiter. You’ll spend the next hour tasting everything from sangria-compressed watermelon to tortillas fried in bacon fat as you bond with other guests seated at an intimate shared table. While you are waiting for your check, a sudden melancholy will surprise you: you will never be able to enjoy these dishes again. Not because all of this was just a wonderful dream (although some of them included free valet parking and bacon fat), but because of the delicious vision I just described of the kitchen at the Magdalena Supper Club (502 Grand Av, 817-740 -) was produced. 8085), a popup that serves a different menu each month.
The club, which opened a little over a year ago, is the brainchild of chef Juan Rodriguez. While the concept of the Supper Club is new, Rodriguez has been on the scene for a while, having held positions at the Reata Restaurant and Lonseome Dove Bistro. He seems to have found quite a number of followers. Despite the relatively young founding, more than 2,000 people have already joined the Magdalena mailing list, and the events routinely sell out in a few minutes.
Despite the pop-up’s growing popularity, I’ve managed to secure a spot at several events recently. Given the excitement surrounding Magdalena, I have to admit that the exterior of the nondescript venue on the north side made me a little forewarned when I first saw the box-shaped, harmless building. But the nondescript exterior is hidden in an airy dining room with long communal tables littered with succulent arrangements and charmingly mismatched dishes. The strange location also offers a cooler view of downtown on cooler nights when meals are served on the terrace.
Although Fort Worth is home to a multitude of Mexican restaurants, Rodriguez’s special interpretation stands out. Some of the dishes are so unique that even adventurous eaters hesitate to delve into. The chef is not afraid to use authentic ingredients and spices that may intimidate the uninitiated at first. However, he carefully combines these unfamiliar ingredients with fashionable foods like avocado toast and chia seeds to make even the best of dishes more accessible. A delicious example of the innovative chef’s old-new-new approach was the finely crafted grasshoppers and ants oaxacan salsa served with otherwise traditional pork tacos at dinner in August.
Rodriguez and Company recently founded another club: the Buenos Dias Breakfast Club. At the opening meal in mid-September, a papaya smoothie, a slice of cheesy brioche, a heaping platter of huevos divorciados, and a cup of Cafe Con Leche Mousse were more than enough to satisfy even the most starved bruncher. Breakfast was served on the usually charming terrace, but the scorching midday sun made it a chore to enjoy the feast. Several guests even stood in the bathroom between the aisles to escape the heat. Hopefully, when Texas receives the memo that it is November it won’t be a problem at future events.
Securing a place with Magdalena can feel a bit like joining a secret society. People pride themselves on their reservations and eagerly compare how long everyone has waited to get a seat at Chef Juan’s table. The excitement only grows during the meal – when I left, even the most disinterested dad guys were snapping Instagram-style pictures of their food over dessert.
This month’s recently announced menu, which is sure to inspire more iPhone photography, is an autumnal selection of masa dumplings, roast turkey, and tres leches cake with brandy and maraschino cherries.