Upscale tacos are coming to Fort Worth with the arrival of Austin City Taco Co., a new fast-casual taqueria concept making its debut in the Cultural District at 517 University Dr., in the space formerly occupied by The Grotto, which closed in 2017 after nine years.
According to a release, Austin City was founded by Cameron Powell, a Fort Worth resident and UT alumnus who draws his inspiration from Austin, with the signature dish being 18-hour smoked brisket tacos.
To help execute his vision, he's assembled a high-wattage team that includes Juan Rodriguez, chef and owner of Magdalena's, who is culinary director and a primary stakeholder; Plan B Group, the Dallas-based architecture, branding, design company; and J&R Manufacturing, the Mesquite-based company that makes smokers and rotisseries.
The menu will include tacos with flame-cooked achiote rotisserie chicken, Gulf shrimp, and veggies. There'll also be breakfast tacos.
Other highlights include salsas, fries with queso, fresh tortillas, and soft serve ice cream.
Beverage offerings will include frozen house margaritas, beer, Topo Chico, bottled Mexican Coca-Colas, and nitro cold brew coffee.
Rodriguez says the menu will be like a greatest hits album, except they'll be serving tacos, not songs.
"We think the simplest ideas are the best, so our plan is to showcase Texas-style slow-smoked brisket and excellent tortillas, with a cool East Austin vibe," Rodriguez says. "We want to serve tacos of the highest quality, but without any pretense."
The 2,489-square-foot building will feature a bright, upbeat, and contemporary design with white-washed walls, exposed brick, wood and metal siding, rustic wood posts and beams, concrete floors, and an exterior green wall.
Seting will be "comfortable," with well-worn materials and authentic equipment and design features such as a J&R smoker, J&R wood-fired rotisserie, and a vintage cooler. There'll also be a 462-square-foot patio.
It's slated to open in spring 2019.