This round of Fort Worth restaurant news is a buffet of culinary tidbits. There are openings and closings. Expanded hours and new dishes. And there's new healthy menus going on just about everywhere.
Here's what's happening in Fort Worth dining news:
Cookie Dough Bliss is a new cookie dough shop coming soon to Waterside, a mixed-use development in southwest Fort Worth. You choose a base dough flavor such as sugar cookie, cookies and cream, cake batter, or brownie, then add toppings such as sprinkles or chocolate syrup. The concept is a North Carolina-based chain with locations in Florida, Kentucky, Louisiana, Tennessee, and Minnesota. This is their first location in Texas, and will be located at 5924 Convair Dr., #404, behind Steel City Pops. They'll join Waterside's collection of retail and restaurants which includes the city's first Whole Foods Market and REI; The Grove, a signature green space; more than $3.5 million of public amenities; and 383 multi-family units.
Shake Shack is set to open its location in the Fort Worth Stockyards at 122 E. Exchange Ave, #160. They'll serve burgers and local concretes, including the Cold Shot, consisting of vanilla custard, chocolate custard, malt, salted caramel, dark brown sugar and chocolate toffee. The official grand opening is January 26, but as a prelude, on Saturday, January 18, they'll host a party from 11 am-6 pm, with radio stations, gift cards, and Shiner beer.
Dunkin', the doughnut and coffee chain from New England, opened a new location in far north Fort Worth at 5144 Golden Triangle Blvd., right between I-35W and North Main Street on Saturday, January 11. There's not much out there yet but if you're commuting from Keller, the shop has a drive-thru for morning coffee needs (or late-night doughnuts, if that's how you roll). It's located at the intersection of Park Vista Boulevard, off what they call a "roundabout" here, but if you were in Dunkin's New England home turf, you'd call it a "rotary."
La Zona, the once-buzzy restaurant-bar located at 1264 W. Magnolia Ave., closed in mid-December. The restaurant announced its closure by posting a sign on the door. The dual concept was from the owners of Americado, and comprised two separate buildings: Hotel Madrid and Saint Sofia. Hotel Madrid offered cocktails, beer, and pizza; Saint Sofia offered coffee, churros, and churro ice cream sandwiches. It's safe to say that the best thing about the place was the location, a one-time used-car lot that had been transformed into a cool urban patio and courtyard.
My Lan Restaurant, a popular mid-cities Vietnamese spot in Haltom City, has opened a second location. They've taken over the space at 9180 North Fwy., in the same shopping center as Sam Moon, that was previously occupied by Noodles @ BTH. My Lan is beloved for its egg rolls, but noodles fans can still get their fix at the Noodles @ BTH location at 7355 N. Beach St.
Austin City Taco Co., the Austin-inspired taqueria, has extended its hours and is now open seven days a week. In addition, culinary director and chef Juan Rodriguez has revamped the menu with new options, including bowls and salads and a kids' menu. Al pastor salad has pork, lettuce, onion, pineapple, cilantro, jalapeno sauce, black beans, pickled carrot slices, and queso fresco. Sunshine shrimp salad has Gulf shrimp, Boston Bibb lettuce, coleslaw, pineapple, pepitas, queso fresco, and a lime honey vinaigrette. There are two bowls: rotisserie chicken bowl, and brisket bowl. There is brisket by the pound and a half rotisserie chicken. The kids' menu has cheese, chicken, and brisket quesadillas, and chicken tenders with fries and queso.
Yard House, the modern American gathering place, has introduced a new Lifestyle Menu with nutrient-dense superfoods, as well as new American cuisine and globally inspired flavors. Items include hummus, ahi sashimi, beet salad, avocado toast, poke salad, shrimp zoodle bowl, steak bowl, red quinoa salad, Mediterranean salmon, Caprese chicken, pan seared ahi, roasted halibut, and a Mediterranean Burger. There's also a host of alternative meat options including spicy Beyond Sausage pasta, Gardein wings, Gardein sesame chicken bowl, Gardein orange chicken, Gardein Mac + Cheese, Gardein grilled chicken & avocado sandwich, and a Beyond Burger.
El Pollo Loco has a trio of new Pollo Fit Bowls, good if you’re trying to eat Keto or Paleo: Double Chicken & Avocado has chopped chicken breast, avocado, spinach, pico de gallo, queso fresco, lettuce, and red cabbage and carrot blend. Double Chicken & Queso Fresco has chopped chicken breast, spinach, pico de gallo, black beans, queso fresco, and lettuce and red cabbage blend. Double Chicken & Mango has chopped chicken breast, spinach, mango salsa, avocado, and lettuce and red cabbage blend.
Chuck E. Cheese has a newly remodeled look and menu which can be seen at its Irving location at 3903 W. Airport Frwy. There's a modernized dance floor where Chuck E. makes a live appearance every hour. Kids’ feet light up the dance floor as they move. They've done away with the tokens. Now, parents can load a play pass with time, allowing kids to play as many games as they want for the time bought. There's a new logo, new color scheme, sleeker furniture, brighter lighting, and refined signage. They've also improved the food & beverage experience with BBQ chicken pizza, Cali Alfredo pizza, Cauliflower crust pizza, and an endless salad bar with over 30 items including fruits, vegetables, meats, cheeses, pasta salads, and more.
Pinstack, the entertainment concept, has two new dishes for January: Texas poutine and French onion soup, available at all three locations.
First Watch, the breakfast-centric chain, has three new dishes available through March 15. Brilliant Beet Toast is on whole grain toast with beet hummus, avocado, pickled onions, diced red beets, arugula, and herbed Goat cheese, served with two basted eggs. Vanilla chai pancakes has vanilla chai and fresh banana added to their multigrain pancake batter, served as three mid-sized pancakes topped with sliced bananas, raspberries, maple-chai almond butter, and superseed crunch. Baja chicken burrito bowl has an ancient grain blend and seasoned black beans with salsa verde chicken, pico de gallo, lime crema, kale slaw, sliced avocado, Cotija cheese, cilantro, and a sunny-side-up egg. They also have a new juice, the Blue Booster, with white grape, blueberry, lemon, and basil.
Chick-fil-A has added a new Kale Crunch Side featuring kale and cabbage, tossed with Apple Cider and Dijon Mustard Vinaigrette, and topped with salted almonds. It can be substituted for Waffle Potato Fries at no additional charge. Kale Crunch Side was tested in various Chick-fil-A restaurants in Florida, Iowa, and Texas last spring and received positive customer feedback. The new menu item will replace the Superfood Side on restaurant menus nationwide.
Shake Shack has a new limited-edition Classic Comfort Menu with a burger and a trio of shakes flavors. The ShackMeister burger has a regular Shackburger but it's topped with shallots marinated in Shiner Bock. It's exclusive to the Texas Shacks, so we're special. The three shakes are Cookie Butter, Malted Milk Chocolate, and Frozen Hot Chocolate. The shakes will be available through March 16. The ShackMeister Burger will be available through March 31.
Taco Cabana has an exciting new ChoriBean Breakfast Bowl with spicy chorizo, refried beans, potatoes, eggs, queso, and pico de gallo, for $2.49, available during breakfast hours only. They're also discounting their bowl lineup with the Chicken Fajita Bowl and the Ground Beef Bowl at $3.99; the Beyond Meat Bowl at $4.99; and the Steak Fajita Bowl at $4.99. They're also doing TC Chili for $2.99, available for a limited-time only.
Whataburger has brought back the Buffalo Ranch Chicken Strip Sandwich, which comes with the perfect marriage of buffalo sauce and ranch. And their latest creation, the Breakfast Burger, is staying on menus during late night/breakfast hours: from 11 pm-11 am.
Impossible Foods, the faux meat juggernaut, has created a new product: Impossible Pork, made from plants. They introduced it at a tech show in Las Vegas, and will roll it out for consumers in the spring. A video shows it being used for sausage and as a filler for dumplings; China is the world's largest consumer of pork. Pigs are considered the fifth-most intelligent animal in the world, even more intelligent than dogs. They're capable of playing video games with more focus and success than chimps. They have excellent object-location memory and possess a sophisticated sense of direction. Impossible Foods is also introducing a new product in partnership with Burger King: the Impossible Croissan'wich featuring Impossible Sausage made from plants, which will be available soon in select Burger King restaurants for a limited time. Burger King began serving a Whopper made with Impossible beef in August 2019, and reports from the field say that it is extremely delicious.
Dunkin has a new Oatmilk Latte, available hot or iced, containing espresso and creamy oatmilk. It's available now in California and will roll out to the rest of the country in the spring.
Lay's has added three new flavors: Lay’s Cheddar Jalapeño, with sharp cheddar and a warm kick of jalapeño; Lay’s Poppables in a new Sea Salt & Vinegar flavor; and Lay's Kettle Cooked Flamin’ Hot.
Long Drink is a canned alcoholic drink from Finland that's just been introduced in Texas. It's made with grapefruit, gin, and juniper berries. The company has Texan investors/board members and its Finnish founders just moved to Dallas.
Shiner has brought back its Prickly Pear seasonal beer. This limited release is brewed with organic prickly pear, a cactus native to the Poteet, TX landscape. It's tart yet sweet, with citra hops to provide aroma, and a gentle ABV of 4.9 percent. It's available in bottles and cans for a suggested $7.99 per six-pack.
Stephanie Allmon Merry contributed to this story.