A family-owned restaurant concept from Upstate New York is bringing its carefully crafted Mediterranean food to Fort Worth: Called Rachel's Mediterranean Grill, it's a fast-casual spot serving Greek and Lebanese-style dishes, and it's opening its first location in Texas.
Rachel's director of operations Brandon Guzda confirms that the Fort Worth location will open at 2801 Heritage Trace Pkwy., with a goal of opening in the fall. They're going into Phase II of the Victory Shops at Heritage, where they'll be neighbors to buzzy centers including The Citadel and Presidio Town Crossing.
Rachel's was founded in Buffalo in 2006 where it started out as a neighborhood cafe from brothers Joseph and Gene Khoury. Mostly in response to demand for their food, they grew to 12 locations, 10 in Western New York.
They have seven more in the works including the one in Fort Worth, which Guzda says has a special story.
"We are family-owned and operated," he says. "But we had a colleague who used to live in the Buffalo area, who worked for us for nearly six years. He moved to Fort Worth and missed Rachel's, and thought there might be a market for what we do. We observe a very high quality."
As they've expanded, they've changed their model for new locations from café-style to fast-casual service.
They offer customizable wraps, bowls, and salads, featuring classic ingredients such as chicken shawarma, steak souvlaki, gyro, and falafel.
They take a Chipotle-esque approach in which you choose a base and then add your ingredients.
Base options include salad, rice bowl, or pita wrap; to that you add your protein option, then toppings such as veggies, cheese, and sauce.
Proteins include Greek marinated chicken, char-grilled filet steak, char-grilled chicken shawarma, hand-carved gyro meat, falafel, or grilled veggie.
Veggies include onions, red pepper, tomato, pitted kalamata olives, red onion, green pepper, tomato, cucumber, and feta cheese.
Six sauces include house Greek, dill, tzatziki, tahini, garlic, and red hot sauce.
The best seller is the chicken souvlaki wrap in a baked Greek pita.
Sides include fries, rice, and hummus with pita. The fries are fresh cut and can be ordered regular or Greek style, topped with melted feta cheese.
It's fast, it's good, and it's affordable, from $9.75 to $11.95 depending on your choice of protein.
In classic Northeastern fashion, Guzda doesn't waste words bragging about how good their food and service is, but says they're enthusiastic about coming to Texas.
"We took a look at the area, and the market overall, and it spoke for itself — we're excited," he says.
Stephanie Allmon Merry contributed to this story.