Opening News

Return of the chocolate piñata smashes this Fort Worth restaurant news

Return of the chocolate piñata smashes this Fort Worth restaurant news

Uncle Julio's, chocolate pinata
You get to smash it with a wooden mallet. Uncle Julio's

This roundup of restaurant news around Fort Worth includes openings, new dishes, and tempting happy hour bites. There are chocolate pop-ups coming our way and the return of an epic chocolate piñata.

Here's what's happening in Fort Worth restaurant news:

BoomerJack's in Arlington, less than a mile from AT&T Stadium, is open after a remodel. New features include an extended backyard-style patio with fire pits, and a larger collection of big-screen TVs. Founded in 2000, BoomerJack's Grill & Bar is part of Hurst-based On Deck Concepts, which also owns Bedford Ice House and Sidecar Social.

Las Delicias de Michoacan Ice Cream is a sweet family-owned ice cream and snacks shop recently opened in North Richland Hills at 5340 Rufe Snow Dr. It's a spinoff of the original location in Hurst, with ice cream, cold drinks, and savory dishes, and everything's made in-house with lots of TLC including house-made potato chips topped with hot sauce and elotes two ways: cut from the cob before your eyes, or else the whole cob served up to you. They do cool fruit dishes such as fresh banana dipped in chocolate, or pineapple and watermelon cut into cubes and topped with granola and cream. There's also shaved ice and "snow," shaved extra fine. It's the perfect combination of slightly familiar and slightly novel.

Funky Picnic Brewery & Café, the brewpub in the Near Southside, has a new menu from Chef Josh Rangel and team with dinner entrees and upscale appetizers alongside their turkey sandwich, fried chicken sandwich, and Funky Burger with pimento cheese. New entrees include roasted lemon garlic half chicken and beer-steamed mussels. New vegetarian options include Blueberry Flatbread and Roasted Cauliflower. They're also adding the Bacon Bourbon Meatballs they debuted at the 2021 Fort Worth Food and Wine Festival.

See's Candies is opening temporary pop-up stores around town beginning November 9 through December 31. There'll be pop-ups at The Shops at Highland Village, Watters Creek in Allen, and Southlake Town Square.

Eddie V's steakhouse has new South African Lobster Tempura Bites topped with spicy aioli, available during happy hour only.

Fireside Pies has new dishes created by Chef Stephen Pyles that include Smoked Salmon Flatbread, Garlic Bites with sauce, Turkish Pizza with sumac seasoned lamb, Beef Short Rib Stroganoff, Cedar Planked Salmon, and Chicken Saltimbocca.

Panda Express has a plant-based twist on its most iconic dish, the Original Orange Chicken, but made with Beyond chicken chunks. Co-developed with Beyond Meat, this entree captures the texture and tangy-citrus flavor of The Original Orange Chicken, with the nutritional benefits of plant-based protein. Panda Express initially offered it in a trial run in New York and Los Angeles, and now it's available at 70 locations across the U.S., including DFW. The list includes Allen, Coit Road in Plano, Addison at Belt Line and Montfort, Garland, and Sunnyvale.

Lazy Dog Restaurant & Bar, known for innovative twists on American dishes, has two new dishes, available through February 15: Roasted Turkey TV Dinner, with turkey breast, gravy, mashed potatoes, corn, celery-onion stuffing, and salted caramel pumpkin cheesecake and graham cracker crumble. Jolene's, Lazy Dog's virtual concept, has Korean Dry Rub Wings, bacon candy mac & cheese, pickled cucumber salad, and loaded potato hushpuppies.

Thirsty Lion Gastropub in Irving and Euless has launched a fall menu featuring Beer-Steamed Shrimp, Arugula & Beet Salad with Herb Grilled Chicken, Bacon Jam Burger, Black Cherry BBQ Pork Tenderloin, and Whiskey Bing Cherry Bread Pudding. New seasonal cocktails include he Templeton Maple Old Fashioned and Tito’s Winter White Cosmopolitan.

Vitality Bowls, the superfood café specializing in delicious açaí bowls, has brought back the fan-favorite Pumpkin Bowl, featuring açaí, pumpkin, strawberries, banana, cinnamon and almond milk topped with granola, banana, strawberries, pumpkin seeds, honey and nutmeg. It's available through November.

Chili's has four new burgers whose sole selling point seems to be their gargantuan size. There's a Big Bacon BBQ with two beef patties, six slices of bacon, BBQ sauce, cheddar, red onion, and pickles; a Bacon Rancher, same thing but with ranch and American cheese; a BBQ Brisket Burger with brisket, BBQ sauce, cheddar, pickles, and coleslaw; and a Secret Sauce Burger with duh secret sauce. Also a Big Mouth Crispy Chicken Sandwich with lettuce, tomato, and Secret Sauce. Does anyone really need six slices of bacon on a burger?

Uncle Julio's celebrates its 35th Birthday by re-launching the Chocolate Piñata, a made-from-scratch chocolate globe filled with mini churros, pineapple, and strawberries, on its permanent menu. Guests can crack open the chocolate delicacy with a wooden mallet and dip the contents in chocolate ganache and whipped cream. The Chocolate Piñata is $30 and it serves 4-8 people.

El Pollo Loco is giving away two personal sized loaves of its festive Pan de Muerto bread with every Familia Dinner purchase on Monday November 1. The Mexican sweet bread is flavored with orange blossom and anise and pairs with El Pollo Loco signature fire-grilled chicken.

Messina Hof Winery, with an urban wine tasting room in Historic Grapevine, earned three awards at the 38th Lone Star International Wine Competition held on October 6-7 in Grapevine. Messina Hof won two awards for their Gewurztraminer Private Reserve, 2019: Best in Texas White, and the Grand Star; and a Bronze for Blushing Angel label, new vintage.

Baum+Whiteman, a market research company, has released its 2022 Food & Beverage Forecast. The No. 1 trend: robots and automation. Other top trends include vegan chicken on menus everywhere; quirky fast food from Asia; replacing the word "ethnic" with "heritage" cooking; boozetarians; and more ghost kitchens. The condiment of the year is chili crunch.