Restaurant News Roundup

Fort Worth piles on the new restaurants and more dining tidbits

Fort Worth piles on the new restaurants and more dining tidbits

Wild Salsa
Wild Salsa is finally open in Fort Worth. Photo courtesy of Wild Salsa
Liberty Burger, Restaurant, American, Hamburger
Liberty Burger makes its debut in Tarrant County. Liberty Burger/Facebook
Boca 31 empanadas
Empanadas are a thing at Boca 31 in Denton. Photo courtesy of Boca 31
Wild Salsa
Liberty Burger, Restaurant, American, Hamburger
Boca 31 empanadas

Fort Worth is seeing plenty of restaurant activity, nearly all of it good. Here's all the latest restaurant news in Fort Worth:

Boca 31 is a cool restaurant in Denton serving Latin street food from chef-owner Andres Meraz. A native of the Bay area, Meraz and his wife moved to Fort Worth from Miami; his in-laws live in Irving. He spent a year looking for the right location, all the while working at restaurants such as Neighborhood Services.

"The space we found was a sub shop. It's in a good area with a lot of little restaurants, and Denton is a college town, which is good," he says.

The menu has ceviche, empanadas, tacos, and some Peruvian sandwiches. "My wife is Peruvian," Meraz says. He recently launched a tostada Tuesday series, where each Tuesday will feature a different type of tostada, such as a chicken mole tostada with lettuce, pickled onions, queso fresco, and crema for $3.50.

Boca is a Spanish word that means mouth. "You eat with your mouth," he says. "I wanted to pick a name that was easy to remember, even for people who don't speak Spanish."

Wild Salsa opened its long-planned location in downtown Fort Worth on October 26, at the new One City Place building at 300 Throckmorton St. This is the third branch, following locations in downtown Dallas and Fairview, and comes from DRG Concepts, owner of Dallas Chop House, Dallas Fish Market, and Chop House Burger.

To mark the Fort Worth opening, all branches have new menu items including a chili relleno, queso fundido, a chorizo torta, chorizo-potato tacos, and veggie tacos. There are also new drinks including a blood-orange margarita and a tequila twist on the Moscow mule. The decor at the Fort Worth location observes the chain's Day of the Dead theme with skulls, crosses, and sophisticated lighting.

Liberty Burger, the Dallas chain founded by Mariel Street, daughter of longtime Dallas restaurateur Gene Street, has opened a branch in north Fort Worth. This is the seventh location for the chain but the first in Tarrant County. The menu has 10 burgers, including a standard beef, bison, lamb, tuna, turkey, and veggie, priced from $6 to $10.

Paco's Mexican Cuisine has opened at 1508 W. Magnolia Ave., in the former Temaki space, with a menu that includes tacos, quesadillas, spicy tomatillo chilaquiles, and even duck eggs Benedict. The restaurant is the spawn of Paco & John Diner, which is now closed. It'll be open for breakfast and lunch, with dinner to come.

Houlihan's Restaurants is doing five new "Americana" dishes, including lobster corn dogs; boneless short ribs with potatoes and Brussels sprouts; ravioli with clams, crab, shrimp, and scallops in a spicy tomato broth; deconstructed chicken pot pie which chicken, carrots, and celery in a chicken gravy pot pie filling, served with a cheddar biscuit; and bag o’ doughnuts, with mini chocolate doughnuts fried to order, and shaken with cinnamon and sugar. All dishes will be available through mid-January.

Starbucks PSL will soon be on the wane, and therefore it is time to usher in their holiday beverages. The lineup includes the chestnut praline latte, which has espresso, caramelized chestnut flavor, steamed milk, whipped cream, and spiced praline crumbs; caramel brulée latte, containing espresso, steamed milk, caramel brulée sauce, whipped cream, and caramel brulée topping; eggnog latte, with espresso, steamed eggnog, and milk; gingerbread latte, with espresso, gingerbread flavoring, steamed milk, and whipped cream; and peppermint mocha, with espresso, steamed milk, chocolate, and peppermint flavors.

Pollo Tropical, the chicken-themed chain from Addison-based Fiesta Restaurant Group, parent company of Taco Cabana, closed 10 branches, including eight in Texas in Southlake, Denton, Watauga, Dallas, and Frisco. Interim president and CEO Danny Meisenheimer said in a release that, "After a period of aggressively growing Pollo Tropical in Texas, we have hit the pause button to focus on building brand affinity, frequency, and awareness." Some of the locations will reopen as Taco Cabanas. Sad news for pollo fans, but the chain is still opening branches of Pollo Tropical.