For most restaurants, expansion is a long-term goal that only a few manage to achieve. Lately, though, there have been several local expansion success stories, whether it’s a second location or an upgrade from a food truck to a brick-and-mortar.
For this month’s Where to Eat, we tip our hats to these newly expanded spots.
Hoang's Noodle House
The latest local food truck to graduate to a brick-and-mortar is Hoang’s Noodle House, which recently opened a storefront inside a Shell gas station at 8405 N. Harwood Road in North Richland Hills. Owner Johnnie Hoang serves food you wouldn’t normally see in a gas station restaurant, including fried lobster tail atop garlic noodles; meatball or chicken dry pho; shrimp and beef ribs over jasmine rice; and a salmon salad ladled with raspberry vinaigrette. He also serves specialty tea, coffee, and boba drinks.
Hot Box Biscuit Club
Hot Box started out as a pop-up — not just any pop-up but THE pop-up. Events sold out minutes after they went on sale, a good sign owners Sarah Hooton and Matt Mobley would do well with a permanent restaurant. That restaurant opened October 1 in the happening South Main area at 313 S. Main St., where they're open for breakfast and lunch every day but Monday. Of course, the buttermilk biscuits and biscuit sandwiches are the primary draw. But don't ignore the fried green tomatoes or the deviled eggs, topped with green onions and a dusting of Flaming Hot Cheetos.
Second location of this long-running Vietnamese staple opened recently in Colleyville, where good Vietnamese food is hard to find. Regulars of the charmingly scruffy Haltom City original will hardly recognize the new location, at 5307 Colleyville Blvd. All-white décor is sleek and upscale; each side of the wall boasts a big-screen TV. The abbreviated menu offers many of the original's signature dishes, such as the crispy chow mein and a grilled pork and rice plate served with a side of crunchy egg rolls; along with several new drinks, including frosted limeade and various milk and boba drinks.
Ohana Hawaiian BBQ & Poke Bar
Poke comes to the west side of Fort Worth, to a strip mall space at 6328 Camp Bowie Blvd., thanks to this spinoff of a family-run spot in Garland. Poke bowl ingredients include classic ingredients such as ahi tuna, ginger, wasabi, avocado, and crabmeat, along with a few interesting items like scallops, purple cabbage, and corn. The menu is rounded out with Hawaiian-inspired fare, tough to find items that include musubi, blocks of sticky rice topped with spam and wrapped in dried seaweed; kalua pork, slow-roasted shredded pork served over a bed of rice; and loco moco, a hamburger patty topped with a fried egg and brown gravy and served over rice.
Panther City BBQ
One of the city’s best barbecue spots has made the jump from trailer to brick-and-mortar. Owners Ernest Morales and Chris Magallanes will officially unveil their new open-air digs, nearly a year in the works, on Saturday, October 12 at 201 E. Hattie St. Designed by Near Southside architecture firm Studio 97W, the new building features an outdoor seating area that'll hold up to 100 people. Magallanes says eventually they’ll add vinyl curtains to heat and cool the dining area. With the new building comes a new smoker — their third — and new menu items, including cheesy grits, cornbread pudding, and collard greens.