One of Fort Worth's most popular food trucks is upgrading to a brick-and-mortar location. Calisience, which draws sell-out crowds for its crispy birria tacos, will open a permanent location on the city's east side, not far from where the truck originally started.
The restaurant will be located at 2707 Race St., in the spot previously occupied by a restaurant and live music venue called Dino's Live. Calisience Owner Jacqueline Anaya says she's hoping to open by the end of the year.
She plans on keeping the truck going, but may move it to a different location after the brick-and-mortar opens.
The restaurant will pay tribute to her family and to the area of Mexico from which her family hails. The menu will feature dishes from in and around the area of Jalisco, as well as other regions in Mexico. Anaya is also planning on traveling to Jalisco to hand-pick furniture and other design elements for the restaurant.
"Our family roots are deeply embedded in Jalisco," she says. "This is my way of honoring them."
The menu will be short and sweet, consisting primarily of tacos, appetizers, and a handful of entrees.
The featured item will be Anaya's popular grilled tacos made with birria, a traditional Mexican dish consisting of a meat cooked as a stew with different spices and peppers. For her tacos, Anaya uses beef, simmered in spices for six to seven hours, which gets folded inside corn tortillas along with Monterrey Jack cheese. They're grilled for several minutes, melting the cheese and crisping the tortillas. The tacos come with a side of beef broth consommé for dipping.
The birria will also be available in what Anaya calls its original form.
"You’ll be able to order it as an entrée, with the meat, tortillas, consomme all separate," she says. "You'll be able to make your own tacos or eat each item separately. That’s how it was originally served and made."
Other items will include
- her take on a Mexican street corn salad called esquites
- chiles en nogada, a dish consisting of poblano chiles stuffed with ground meat and topped with a walnut-based cream sauce
- chilorio, a Sinaloa-inspired spicy pork dish
"It’ll be more Mex-Mex than Tex-Mex," she says. "I love Tex-Mex but I want to do something personal, something that reflects my heritage and the food me and my family grew up making and eating."
She's still debating whether to serve ramen, another popular item from her food truck. "I may do it as a weekly special," she says.
The new location has nearly 4,000 square feet and comes equipped with a large, shotgun-style bar and a stage for live music, both of which the restaurant will utilize.
There will be a craft cocktail menu and tequila program, plus drinks made with Calisience's popular horchata. The stage will be used for live music during holidays and special occasions, Anaya says.
Anaya launched her food truck in February 2020, right on the brink of the pandemic, and it became one of Fort Worth’s biggest food-related success stories. Her food helped shine a light on birria and helped spur a local food trend.
Calisience will be side by side with Stir Crazy Baked Goods, which will open its second location in the same building.