A "West Texas Cantina" Called Thurber Mingus (Really) Is Coming to DFW

The people of Thurber, Texas probably never knew there would one day be a cantina named after their humble town. If they did they probably didn't give a shit. Look at those people? Not a lot of shit-giving going on there.
The people of Thurber, Texas probably never knew there would one day be a cantina named after their humble town. If they did they probably didn't give a shit. Look at those people? Not a lot of shit-giving going on there.
Texas State Library and Archives Division

Restaurant names may range from the practical (Norma's Cafe) to the vaguely pretentious (Spoon, Knife, any other utensil restaurant) to annoyingly alliterative (Scotch and Sausage), but they're usually pretty good at indicating whether or not an establishment is, in fact, a place where people can buy and eat food. A forthcoming "West Texas cantina" in Fort Worth, though, has taken hipster naming conventions to a whole new level with what is likely the weirdest name in all of Dallas-Fort Worth's restaurant scene.

As CultureMap reported this week, a new burger and taco joint called Thurber Mingus will open up in Fort Worth early next year. The restaurant will focus on the essentials -- tacos, burgers, local beer -- and will host live music on an outdoor patio. Chef-Owner Coby Baumann told CultureMap that his eight-years-in-the-works venture will be targeted at "Millennials," which is code for "young, impressionable idiots who spend a lot of money on fancy food." Hey! That's us!

Chef-owner Baumann has been in the restaurant business for years, honing his knives at country clubs across Texas. A sketch of the space posted to the Thurber Mingus Twitter page in early November is off-kilter but clearly indicates that it will be a relatively large restaurant, with an equally massive outdoor patio.

Thurber Mingus' menus have already been posted online, and are heavily influenced by Texas and Tex-Mex cuisine. Hearty dishes like chili (no beans, duh) topped with fried egg, a goat cheese-bacon jam burger, and green chile pork are particular standouts, along with a constantly rotating feature taco and burger program, dreamed up daily by the "Kitchen Brigade" in the back of the house.

As for the restaurant's weird-ass name, Thurber and Mingus are both teeny towns in Texas. Thurber, Texas is located about halfway between Abilene and Fort Worth, and currently boasts a population of 48. In 1906, the town's population exceeded 10,000. Mingus, Texas, is about 70 miles down I-20, and is a booming metropolis of 238 people living in a city that is 1.5 square miles in total.

Baumann told Culture Map that he chose the name because it "represents where West Texas meets East Texas," and there's actually a pretty interesting story behind the choice. The Thurber Brick Plant was once one of the largest brick companies in the country, and the bricks it produced are found in everything from the halls of Congress to countless historical buildings in Texas. No word yet on why exactly he chose "Mingus" to follow, probably just because it sounded cool.

If you're hyped about going to the weirdly-named Fort Worth burger and taco joint, you'll have to wait until January. The restaurant has not yet announced an exact opening date, but we'll keep you posted.


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