Fort Worth has seen buzzy new restaurants open in obvious places we all expect: from the Stockyards to the Near Southside to West Seventh.
But there's buzz happening in the 'burbs, too. In fact, at this moment, the 'burbs are seeing the majority of the action.
For the September edition of Where to Eat, we go beyond the loop to find the six best new restaurants in the suburbs.
Mansfield lucked out by landing the second location of this family-owned, fast-casual Mexican restaurant. Like the original in the tiny North Texas town of Venus, the new location, at 1050 Country Club Dr., specializes in artfully presented Tex-Mex fare, from fajitas to enchiladas to street tacos, in a festive atmosphere. The restaurant also serves breakfast all day, and not just the usual breakfast tacos. Choose from migas, huevos rancheros, and massive breakfast burritos stuffed with eggs and your choice of bacon, barbacoa, beans, or potatoes.
The second location of this gourmet comfort food spot has finally debuted in Colleyville in the old Gator's building at 5200 Highway 121. Opened by Franson Nwaeze and Paula Merrell in a gas station in Watauga, the original restaurant became a regional sensation after an appearance on Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives. The Colleyville store has nearly the same menu, but there's more legroom to enjoy signature dishes such as lobster mac and cheese; crab-stuffed pork chops; and over-the-top Bloody Marys studded with sliders, waffle fries, and shrimp.
Cherry Kitchen & Catering
New mom-and-pop cafe in River Oaks takes over the historic building at 5412 River Oaks Blvd., for decades occupied by beloved doughnut shop Jessie's. Owner Kathy Cox Mills-Hood has given the space a homey makeover, decorating it with antiques and comfy furniture. There are light bites, such as lemon rosemary scones and pecan pie muffins, plus gourmet sandwiches like the Thanksgiving 365, which comes with turkey, stuffing, and cranberry relish. There are also salads, kids meals, and assorted coffee drinks. On Fridays, many items are half-price.
Dog Haus Biergarten
Hot dogs get the gourmet treatment at this newly opened beer and brats spot in the Arlington Highlands area, at 4000 Bagpiper Way. The second North Texas location of this Cali concept, the restaurant serves a half-dozen hormone- and antibiotic-free beef hot dogs topped with ingredients such as arugula, bacon, chili, and pineapples. Sausages and black Angus burgers get the same chef-inspired treatment, plus there are two plant-based burgers and two plant-based dogs. All are served on King's Hawaiian Bread — a nice change of pace from the same old. Sides include fries, tater tots, and coleslaw, and there are 24 beers on tap.
HG Sply Co.
Dallas-based Paleo-inspired concept opens a third location, this time in the suburb of Trophy Club, at 2980 TX 114. It boasts some new features that the Dallas original and the second location in Fort Worth lack, including an outdoor game area and an expanded menu featuring a 24-ounce porterhouse steak, roast chicken with goat cheese dumplings, and a salmon poke bowl, joining the signature bowls for which HG is best known.
New tavern in Hurst, in the old Vino space at 750 E. Pipeline Rd., comes with a menu designed by local chef Blythe Bridges. Of course duck is featured prominently, in dishes such as smoked duck cakes with garlic aioli and mac and cheese spiked with duck, bacon, and green onions. There are gourmet burgers with cutesy names, like the Guacing Dead and Give 'Em Something to Shiitake Bout, and hearty dishes such as chicken-fried steak. There's also a breakfast buffet that runs 7-10 am Monday through Saturday.