Rock Springs Cafe in Fort Worth Botanic Garden adds brunch

Surrounded by flowers and butterflies in the beautiful Fort Worth Botanic Garden, the Rock Springs Cafe now lives up to the setting.

The popular patio cafe has resumed a Sunday brunch menu. That goes along with the lunch burgers, salads, sandwiches and flatbreads served daily in the flower garden’s 90-year-old Rock Springs Building.

The cafe, 3220 Rock Springs Road, is in a historic stone structure in the century-old Botanic Garden, now an improved attraction with upgraded gardens and tours.

No, you can’t just pop in for lunch. The cafe requires buying a garden ticket — that’s $10-$15 per adult — and taking a walk or ride to the cafe.

The cafe is a quarter-mile walk from the west gate, or a half-mile from the main gate. There’s a van to drop patrons closer, but not at the door.

The good news: Lunch and brunch are inexpensive.

Rock Springs Cafe in the Fort Worth Botanic Garden, March 20, 2024.
Rock Springs Cafe in the Fort Worth Botanic Garden, March 20, 2024. Bud Kennedy bud@star-telegram.com

Burgers, sandwiches, flatbreads and quesadillas are $11-$12.

The Sunday menu starts at $14 for avocado toast with eggs and pancakes. The most expensive item on the menu is a $17 spinach-bacon-and-eggs flatbread.

There’s a sausage-mushroom-havarti frittata, a bacon-cheddar burger with an egg and “pancake tacos” served with bacon, ham, peanut-butter-and-banana or berries folded inside.

Veggie tacos at Rock Springs Cafe in the Fort Worth Botanic Garden, March 20, 2024.
Veggie tacos at Rock Springs Cafe in the Fort Worth Botanic Garden, March 20, 2024. Bud Kennedy bud@star-telegram.com

On a quick visit this week, diners filled the patio for chicken-salad sandwiches on wheatberry bread, a cranberry-pecan salad or chicken-bacon-ranch tacos on wheat tortillas.

With advance notice, the cafe also sells picnic baskets for two for $25, or $45-$65 with wine.

Chef Erik Sjolander manages the cafe for owners Dirk and Mark Kelcher, owners of the Dallas-based Barrel & Bones barbecue restaurants. They took it over in 2018, when they owned a since-closed Barrel & Bones in Montgomery Plaza.

The cafe menu continues to expand, with a new menu coming by summer.

Rock Springs Cafe is open for lunch daily; 817-366-1100, rockspringscafe.net.

Rock Springs Cafe is in the Fort Worth Botanic Garden, as seen March 20, 2024.
Rock Springs Cafe is in the Fort Worth Botanic Garden, as seen March 20, 2024. Bud Kennedy bud@star-telegram.com

This story was originally published March 21, 2024, 5:30 AM.

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Bud Kennedy is a Fort Worth Star-Telegram “Eats Beat” dining columnist and restaurant podcast co-host. In print since 1985 and online since 1992, he has written more than 3,000 columns about Texas cafes, barbecue, burgers and where to eat.
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source: star-telegram

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