The pandemic may still linger, and yet new restaurants bravely continue to open in and around Fort Worth. But these days, restaurants open with a 2020 twist: to-go service.
For our November edition of Where to Eat, we've ferreted out eight new and undiscovered spots, all of which offer COVID-friendly options of curbside, delivery, or in-person pick-up.
Meat-loving Fort Worth may seem an unlikely candidate to support an all-vegan Mexican restaurant, but the second location of this family-run spot has been doing steady business since opening in August. Located at 3516 Bluebonnet Cir., in the old R Tacos spot, Belen Hernandez's roomy café offers vegan Mexican dishes for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and all are available to-go or delivery through Grubhub. At breakfast, there are burritos and bowls made with potatoes, soy sausage, tofu, and cactus, and breakfast tacos made with gluten-free corn tortillas. Lunch and dinner feature flautas, enchiladas, empanadas, nachos, tacos, and tostadas, all made with vegan ingredients. The original location in Granbury also offers to-go and delivery.
Da Crab Trap
One of several new local seafood boil restaurants to open recently, this upbeat mom-and-pop spot in far south Fort Worth, at 3401 Alta Mesa Blvd., comes from a mom-and-pop who know their seafood. Owners Daisey and Terrence Shields hail from coastal Georgia, and the couple spent years perfecting their recipes. They started out in the Forest Hill area, working out of a gas station restaurant before opening a full-on brick-and-mortar over the summer. Their signature dish is Low Country-inspired seafood boils, with choice of jumbo shrimp, salmon, and crab legs or clusters. Spice levels range from mild to "Hell Razor." Extras include sausage, red potatoes, boiled eggs, and corn on the cob. Other entrees include a five-cheese mac and cheese, filled with shrimp, crab meat and lobster; rice bowls; and fried seafood baskets.
When the pandemic hit, Mary Perez was one of the first restaurant owners in Fort Worth to switch focus from dine-in to curbside service. At her new location in North Richland Hills, at 9005 North Tarrant Pkwy., she does both, offering table service or carry-outs. Like the original in Fort Worth, Perez focuses on her namesake dish, making enchiladas with imaginative ingredients such as smoked brisket, zucchini, curry chicken, and squash. There’s a Sunday brunch menu, too, available from 9 am-3 pm, that includes chilaquiles and huevos rancheros.
Sushi is one cuisine that travels well – a good reason to try the food from this new spot in Colleyville. There’s more than two dozen rolls and sashimi, from basic California and avocado rolls to fancier rolls stuffed or topped with crawfish salad and fried sweet potato. A cool option is a sushi dinner, which comes with choice of roll, plus a bowl of miso soup and a house salad. Those dining in will find a lively hibachi grill, serving items such as mahi mahi, filet mignon, calamari, and flaming tofu.
La Colombiana Kitchen
New food truck parked on weekends at 625 E. Rosedale focuses on Colombian food — a nice change of pace from the usual food truck fare. The small menu features arepas, filled with choice of shredded beef or chicken, plus plantains and desserts. Your best bet is the Bandeja Paisa, a sampler plate that includes a miniature arepa, pork rind, plantains, sausage, ground beef, avocado slices, eggs, and beans and rice. Hours are Saturday-Sunday from 11 am-3 pm.
Los Tacos H
Recently opened on the south side at 3025 Cleburne Rd., the second location of this popular, locally owned taqueria makes social distancing a snap: there's a drive-thru window. Tacos, of course, are the thing to get. Choose from more than a dozen fillings, from excellent tripe to cactus to beef and chicken fajita. But the real gem is the huarache, a house-cooked fried masa base topped with refried beans, onions, cilantro, and streaks of sour cream. The restaurant also serves tortas, quesadillas, gorditas, and their own desserts, such as tres leches cake.
New taqueria and margarita bar from chef Miguel Mendoza features classic fillings: carnitas, barbacoa, pollo asado, and trompo, plus trendy birria, too. Like a traditional taqueria, the prices are low — under $2 per taco — and also like a traditional taqueria, Maestro has a big outdoor space thanks to a newly built open-air patio in front. It's open late: until 3 am Thursdsays-Saturdays. They're at 3011 Bledsoe St., in the former OMG Tacos space and next door to Ampersand, the coffee bar that is also its sibling.
With temperatures taking a dip, soup season is officially on – a good time to try a new pho spot. This family-owned restaurant in far north Fort Worth, opened earlier this year at 8653 North Beach St., offers more than a dozen varieties of the popular soup, with ingredients ranging from meatballs to steak to honeycomb tripe. There’s a veggie and tofu option, along with pho ga, a chicken noodle soup with dark or white meat or both. The restaurant's expansive menu, nearly 100 items strong, also includes rice noodle soup, broken rice dishes, pan-fried noodles, banh mi sandwiches, and other staples of Vietnamese cuisine.