There's a lot happening in Fort Worth right now: new burgers, abrupt closures, and sweets on the move. Here's our summary of the top Cowtown dining news:
Campestre Chula Vista, the popular Mexican restaurant, closed abruptly on January 10. According to Regino Rojas, who runs the restaurant with his family, it can no longer function due to repairs that need to be made. Rojas said he brought the repairs to the attention of the company that owns the restaurant, Taly Properties in McKinney, but that his repair requests have not been addressed. Calls to Taly were unsuccessful; the company's mailbox was full.
Perched on a hill overlooking Jacksboro Highway, the restaurant is part of a sprawling complex with seating inside and out. The site dates back to the 1950s and has had several occupants, including other restaurants; Campestre opened in 2015.
Rojas says that some of Campestre's menu items, along with the popular weekend brunch, will reappear at Revolver Taco Lounge, the family's upscale taqueria in the West Seventh area. Rojas recently extended Revolver's lease for another six months; a second Revolver location is slated to open in Deep Ellum this year.
Press Cafe is open at the Clearfork Trailhead, offering breakfast, lunch, and dinner on the Trinity Trail. This is the long-awaited restaurant from Felipe Armenta, chef at The Tavern and the critically acclaimed Pacific Table. The menu is small, with burgers, salads, pasta of the day, craft beer, and cocktails. A rooftop bar is still under construction, but the landscaped patio is open.
Melt Ice Creams, Kari and Mark Seher's gourmet ice cream shop on the Near Southside, is moving. After nearly two years on Rosedale Street, the shop will move to 1201 W. Magnolia Ave., a 1965 building that was previously home to Cartan's Shoes, a shoe repair shop. It's a bigger space with a parking lot and room for a patio. They anticipate a late spring opening and will operate out of the original location until the move.
Pouring Glory Growler Fill Station & Grill is a new gastropub serving food, craft beer on tap, and growlers to-go. It comes from a pair of ex-corporate restaurant types: Scott Glover, a former Chili's Grill & Bar executive, and Kevin von Ehrenfried, who spent nine years as director of operations for Humperdinks Restaurant & Brewpub. The location was previously nightclub called Nu Flava. They've given it a makeover with exposed brick and rustic "fill station" decor: gauges, pipes, etc. In an area not known for parking, there's a large attached parking lot, plus patio. The menu includes a burger topped with fried bacon, sausage and chicken gumbo, and fish and chips. A weekend brunch menu offers omelets, breakfast tacos, and smoked brisket hash.
Crazy Joe's Burger Shack is an old-fashioned burger joint that recently opened in the tiny strip mall space best remembered as the original location of Pop's Burgers. It's run by Joe Mares, a former manager at the Torchy's Tacos in Fort Worth. The menu features a half-dozen burgers, with thick patties that are cooked on a flat-top grill and basic toppings including mushrooms, guacamole, and bacon — no arugula or fried tofu here.
"Wait till you see the bacon burger," Mares says. "We pile on the bacon. Like, really pile it on." Also on the menu: a chicken fried steak sandwich, extra crispy french fries, and onion rings.
Acre Distillery & Coffee House, a distillery/bar/coffeehouse combo, is up and running on the south end of downtown, from two former employees of Rahr: Tony Fornby and onetime Rahr brewer J.B. Flowers. Acre is a unique concept that brews and serve spirits, either retail by the bottle or in a cocktail to be savored onsite while planted at the 25-foot bar left behind by the building's previous occupant, the Keg Steakhouse. Acre also serves coffee and espresso drinks; sandwiches such as a veggie wrap; and pastries by pastry chef Jane Sokolov, formerly of Leah's Sweet Treats.
BBQ on the Brazos just received a major kudo by the BBQ Snob, Daniel Vaughn. In his Best Bites of 2015 roundup for Texas Monthly, Vaughn singled out pitmaster John Sanford's excellent brisket tacos made with finely chopped brisket, grated cheddar, and pico and wrapped in a warm, house-made flour tortilla. Tucked inside a Texaco gas station in Cresson, Sanford's spot was the only North Texas 'cue joint on this side of the Trinity to get a Best Bites of '15 nod.
Taco Heads opened its first brick-and-mortar location at 1812 Montgomery St. in the super-tiny spot previously occupied by Trevino's Comida Mexicana. In addition to tacos served morning, noon, and night, owner Sarah Castillo is dishing out elotes, queso, and guacamole. A cantina and patio, still under construction, will open in the spring and a second Taco Heads location will open next year in the South Main Village development.
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