Downtown will get a Hooters after all, there's chicken everywhere, and a sweet local will appear on TV. Here are the top tales of restaurant news in and around Fort Worth:
After more than a year in the works, Hooters has a thumbs up to open its branch in downtown Fort Worth, in the City Place office towers at 150 Throckmorton St. Some residents in the downtown area were opposed, as was Johnny Campbell, president and CEO of Sundance Square. But a judge gave the restaurant the go-ahead, saying that the zoning was proper and that there was nothing wrong with the Hooters uniforms. Forget not that, in addition to "Hooters girls," Hooters also specializes in wings.
El Pollo Loco, the growing chicken chain, opened its newest north Texas location in Hurst, at 1245 W. Pipeline Rd. This is the first location in Hurst and the sixth location in DFW. El Pollo Loco's chicken is citrus-marinated, then cooked on an open-flame grill. The restaurant incorporates the chain's new "Vision Design," which highlights an authentic, Mexican-inspired atmosphere, with warm textures, rustic elements, and a focus on the open-kitchen layout.
Slim Chickens, another growing chicken chain, has opened a branch in Weatherford, at 1802 S. Main St. This is the fourth location to open in the Fort Worth area, with another in Mansfield under construction. The first Fort Worth-area store opened in Keller in 2015, and there are also branches in Fort Worth and North Richland Hills. (A separate franchisee has the Dallas area.) Slim Chickens' thing is tenders and wings, paired with sauces, along with salads, wraps, and chicken and waffles, and it recently launched a cayenne ranch chicken sandwich. It also does rotating desserts, served in Mason jars.
Spin Neapolitan Pizza has a winter pie of the season, available through December 31. It has meatballs, ricotta, and roasted sweet potatoes with a red sauce.
Vegan Noms goodies are now on sale at Royal Blue Grocery in Highland Park Village in Dallas. There's Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough and Peanut Butter Cookie Dough in the refrigerated section, and bagged cookies of both flavors on the shelves. Vegan Noms is no longer operating as a food truck, but its holiday treats, including pumpkin cupcakes for Thanksgiving and gingerbread cookies and peppermint fudge for Christmas, can be ordered by calling 214-614-8354 or by ordering online.
Cantina Laredo has two new margaritas. One is made with Espolón Reposado tequila, SKYY Infusions Honeycrisp apple vodka, Monin Granny Smith Apple Purée, and lime juice. The other is made with Hornitos Black Barrel tequila, St-Germain Elderflower liqueur, lime juice, and Angostura bitters.
7-Eleven dabbles in fancy coffee with a new sustainable single-origin coffee from Nicaragua. Called Matagalpa, this is 7-Eleven's first coffee made with beans sourced only from coffee-growers who are Rainforest Alliance Certified (RFA). It's a full-bodied medium-dark roast with a dark chocolate aroma and sweet notes of cocoa.
Dunkin’ Donuts debuts its new candy cane-crunch donut, a yeast donut with vanilla-flavored cream filling, topped with white icing and crushed candy cane pieces. Its new Boston Kreme croissant donut is a glazed croissant donut filled with Bavarian cream and finished with chocolate icing. DD also has new crème brûlée macchiatos, lattes, and coffees. Returning favorites include its peppermint mocha drink and its black pepper bacon breakfast sandwich, with egg, American cheese, and four strips of bacon coated in a brown sugar and black pepper seasoning, served on choice of croissant or flour tortilla.
Starbucks has a new beverage, the spiced sweet cream Nariño 70 cold brew. Starbucks has offered iced and blended versions of its holiday espresso beverages, but this is the first time it has created a cold coffee holiday beverage. Starbucks Nariño 70 Cold Brew coffee is slow-steeped for 20 hours, then spiced with cinnamon, anise, nutmeg, and vanilla, then finished with cream. This is the third of Starbucks' cold-craft portfolio of beverages, following the launch of vanilla sweet cream cold brew and nitro cold brew in summer 2016.
Canary By Gorji has eliminated the practice of tipping, so that what the customer spends will not have any bearing on what the server makes. Owner-chef Gorji Mansour believes that the no-tipping trend is the wave of the future, citing research by Michelin that the international culinary scene, in which tips are small or not expected, is creating the most highly rated fine-dining establishments in the world.
Foodservice giants Aramark and Compass Group have joined a growing trend with a commitment to prevent extreme abuses in their chicken supply chain. Their new policy will observe standards laid out by the Global Animal Partnership, including providing chickens with enriched environments like natural light, better air quality, hay bales, and perches, and rendering chickens unconscious before shackling them, using controlled or low-atmosphere stunning. Aramark is the first major food service company to call on its suppliers to implement additional humane conditions for the treatment of broiler chickens.
According to DFW.com, Melt Ice Creams will appear on Unique Sweets, a show on the Cooking Channel. The episode, which airs December 18, will spotlight Texas sweets. It also includes two Dallas purveyors, Hypnotic Donuts and Kate Weiser Chocolate.