UPDATE: Spice 8 officially opens its doors at 11 am October 19, at 5633 N. Tarrant Pkwy. Regular hours will be 10 am-9 pm Monday-Thursday and 11 am-10 pm Friday-Sunday, a restaurant spokesman says. It will open initially for dine-in and to-go orders, with delivery service planned for the future.
A new Indian restaurant that takes a fast-casual Chipotle-style approach is coming to far north Fort Worth. Called Spice 8 Indian Fusion Grill, it'll follow the trendy "build your own" routine, offering a choice of bowl, wrap, or pizza.
The restaurant comes from partners Ashutosh Acharya and Suresh Sedhain, along with chef Upendra Thapaliya, who is Sedhain's relative. The three are of Nepalese descent, and you can see flavors and dishes from their native country on the menu.
Thapaliya worked for a five-star hotel in Nepal and restaurants in the U.S., including a similar concept in the D.C. area.
Acharya and Sedhain both have other careers — Acharya is a software engineer and Sedhain is a physician — but were encouraged into this venture because of Thapaliya's reputation and experience as a chef.
Acharya was also motivated because he was dissatisfied with the customer service and lack of consistency at other Indian restaurants. "We intend to offer great food, top-notch customer service, and a clean establishment," he says.
For the bowls and wraps, you pick your "base" from selections such as basmati and brown rice, then add meat or tofu, veggies, sauces, and chutneys. For pizza, you choose sauce, toppings, and cheese.
Both wraps and pizzas will be served on naan, the puffy Indian flat bread prepared in clay oven.
They'll do momos, the Nepalese version of dumplings, which you can get steamed or fried, filled with chicken or veggie; and specials such as Nepali spicy potato salad, one of the most common dishes in Nepal.
There will be an open kitchen with two clay ovens: one for meats such as lamb and chicken, and the other designated for naan and veggie items such as cheese. Acharya is a strict vegetarian.
"We'll make sure the utensils and surfaces for meats and other items are kept separated," he says. "Also, we will not offer beef or pork, out of respect for South Asian sensibilities."
While some Indian restaurants do not serve alcohol, Spice8 will feature a bar with beer, wine, and seating for up to 10, as well as its own menu of bar snacks. Their spice level is moderate, with a goal to appeal to all diners, from those who grew up with the cuisine to those who like good Indian food to those who just want to check it out.
The restaurant is going into a newly constructed shopping center at 5633 N. Tarrant Pkwy., an area that has seen tremendous growth in recent years. The trio considered different areas around Dallas-Fort Worth, including downtown Dallas, Acharya says. "There are very few Indian restaurants, but a large Indian and Nepali population in the area," he says.