Everywhere you turn in Fort Worth, it seems, is a new restaurant. This includes the suburbs, too, where there's plenty of new-restaurant action.
For this month’s Where to Eat, we look beyond the loop, for eight of the best new restaurants in the 'burbs.
Cancun Mexican Restaurant
The tiny suburb of Everman lucked out and landed the second location of Juan Pina's coastal-inspired Mexican restaurant. Like the original in west Fort Worth, the new location, at 1809 Everman Pkwy., offers above-average Tex Mex fare, from fajitas to enchiladas, mixed in with its pride and joy: a dozen or so specialty seafood dishes, including ceviche tostadas, blackened tilapia, and sautéed octopus.
Mansfield’s dining scene is on a roll, and this new fast-casual Asian restaurant, at 1571 E. Debbie Ln., is one of the reasons why. With its arty, industrial decor, Char'd looks like a corporate chain but it's an independent spot, run by the Doan family of Fort Worth. These restaurant first-timers have put together a snazzy little spot with a cool concept: build your own bowls of Korean, Japanese, and Thai staples, from red curry chicken to poke to bibimbap, all of which you can personalize with additional veggies and proteins. Steamed buns, spring rolls and housemade ice cream are also on the menu.
Hopdoddy Burger Bar
Austin’s better-burger chain settled in Euless for its latest branch, with its usual collection of burgers, shakes, fries, and beer - and more. The chain timed the opening to coincide with several new menu items including a so-called "breakfast burger" with Angus beef, sausage, ham, scrambled eggs, American cheese, bacon, and chipotle aioli. There are new fries and new shakes flavors such as bananas foster and vanilla birthday cake. The restaurant is at the hot-hot Glade Parks shopping center, at 1200 Chisholm Trail.
The Lost Cajun
Mansfield welcomes this branch of a national Cajun chain with some clout: It was founded by Louisiana native/cook Raymond Griffin, who, after Hurricane Katrina, fled to Colorado, where he started the chain with fishing buddy Jon Espey. Its Cajun/Creole staples include as jambalaya, fried gator, po-boy sandwiches, and gumbos. It's not hard to decide on an entree, thanks to a complimentary sampler that includes a couple bites' worth of most of the main dishes.
This new Burleson spot, from the same restaurant group as Rio Mambo, has an unusual mission: It aims to replicate the experience of eating at a gourmet food truck - but indoors. Located at 295 E. Renfro St., it's a vintage Airstream trailer, outfitted with a kitchen. You order your food from the trailer, then take a seat in the bar or dining room and wait for servers to deliver your food and drinks. The small menu of mostly American staples includes a maple-butter fried chicken sandwich, a burger topped with beer-braised onions and bourbon barbecue sauce, and a hot dog sprinkled with crisp pork belly and barbecue mustard aioli. There's also a wide selection of craft beers.
Smoke N' Ash
While craft barbecue seems to be the way to go these days, this new 'cue joint in south Arlington, at 7301 Matlock Rd., is defiantly old-school, serving simple lean brisket, pork ribs, chicken and hot links in a frills-free atmosphere. Pitmaster Patrick Hicks runs the show, smoking meats for hours over hickory. He also serves baked potatoes stuffed with your choice of chopped brisket or sausage. Desserts, including pineapple upside-down cake, are made in-house.
Urban Alchemy Coffee + Wine Bar
Downtown Arlington just got a little hipper, thanks to the arrival of this coffeehouse and wine bar at 403 E. Main St. Urban Alchemy comes from Tony Rutigliano, who left a sweet gig as president/CEO of Downtown Arlington Management Corporation to open this cool spot in a former automotive repair shop. There are several hot and cold coffee options, along with a full wine bar, with 28 reds and 28 whites. To eat, there are light sandwiches, desserts, and a build-your-own charcuterie option.
The Wharf Steak and Seafood
Local chef Erin Miller returns to Roanoke, where she worked at the nearby Classic Cafe for many years, with this new steak and seafood restaurant at 310 S. Oak St. The fourth-generation chef was inspired by a recent trip to Ireland, and many of the recipes come from early family members. The menu is driven by seafood fare, from Maryland crab cakes to salmon roulade, and the steaks for which she became known for at Texas Bleu in Keller. The bar menu features several Irish beers and signature cocktails.