Fort Worth and its surrounding 'burbs continue to be on a new restaurant roll. New places open every week, serving up burgers, noodles, barbecue, and more. Have diners ever had it this good?
For our November edition of Where to Eat, here are the eight hottest new restaurant openings:
New Korean mini-chain from the Dallas area opens a branch in Hurst, at 520 Grapevine Highway, with a unique focus: the Korean dish called bibimbap, made up of a rice bowl topped with various cooked vegetables, protein, and sauces. It works like Chipotle: Move through a line, pick out what ingredients you want. There are dozens of options and potential combos, starting with four kinds of rice, eight main toppings (from beef to chicken to tofu), and many add-on's, including kimchi, sweet potato noodles, and zucchini. Lastly, decide what type of serving bowl you want: a plain ol’ bowl or a hot stone pot; the latter gives the rice at the bottom of the bowl a nice crispiness.
Cowtown Brewing Co.
The city’s first barbecue joint and brew pub combo takes over a transmission shop at 1301 E. Belknap St., on the far east side of downtown. Head brewer Shawn Kidwell brews a dozen beers on-site and the food comes from pit master Jordy Jordan, who runs a ‘cue joint in Mansfield called Big D Barbecue. The menu sticks to the basics: brisket, two kinds of sausage, pulled pork, baby back ribs, and a handful of sides, including skillet potatoes and mac and cheese tricked out with sausage. The rustic dining room is situated not far from steely brewery equipment but spills out onto a spacious outdoor deck, where there’s live music on weekends.
Touting a huge menu of burgers, gyros, tacos, and sandwiches, the first location of this California-based fast-casual mini-chain landed in Southlake, at 2325 W. Southlake Blvd. The restaurant is best known for its charbroiled burgers piled with toppings both simple and not, from basic LTO to avocados and chili. The signature burger: a pastrami cheeseburger, consisting of layer upon layer of shaved pastrami and American cheese. The restaurant also serves breakfast dishes such as egg sandwiches, omelettes, and French toast.
One of the city’s most anticipated restaurants is this newly opened Vietnamese spot in the burgeoning South Main area, at 1001 S. Main St. Chef Tuan Pham, who named the restaurant in honor of his quartet of sisters, offers a small menu of Vietnamese classics with cool twists. Go-to dishes include crab fried rice, stir-fried lobster, and the excellent shaken beef tenderloin. A sleek bar offers wine, craft beer, and specialty cocktails.
Another Dallas taco spot expands to Fort Worth, this time to the western end of Crockett Row at W. 7th St., at 3011 Bledsoe St. OMG Tacos has a few things going for it: late hours (open ‘til 3am daily) and a big selection of taco fillings. Those include pastor, steak, chicken, barbacoa, and tongue; there are also gluten-free and all-veggie options. Other items include quesadillas, tortas, nachos, burritos, and French fries loaded with meats, veggies, and other toppings.
Spice 8 is a family-run, fast-casual Indian concept newly opened in north Fort Worth, at 5633 North Tarrant Parkway, that does bowls, wraps, and pizzas. Bowls and wraps are made with your choice of basmati or brown rice; meats or tofu; vegetables; and sauces and chutneys. Similarly, for pizzas, you choose sauces, toppings, and cheese. Wraps and pizzas are served on various types of naan bread, made in a clay oven. Owners Ashutosh Acharya and Suresh Sedhain are originally from Nepal, and they offer a handful of Nepalese dishes, including momo, which are steamed or fried dumplings filled with chicken or vegetables; and aloo ko achara, a spicy potato salad.
Arlington’s ramen game improves vastly with the addition of this mom and pop spot at 1030 W. Arkansas Lane, in the Cooper Street Commons shopping mall. There are more than a dozen types of ramen, from the common tonkotsu and shoyu to an unusual seafood ramen with mussels, squid, and scallops, to one bobbing with chicken karaage. The menu also includes breaded oysters, curry and rice dishes, plus an extensive selection of boba teas.
This new izakaya-style modern Japanese restaurant is located in the Medical District, at 1229 8th. Ave., on the second floor of a new building that also houses Super Chix. It’s a spinoff of Fort Worth-reared chef Dien Nguyen’s original Wabi House on Lower Greenville in Dallas. Partnering with Nguyen is Kenzo Tran of Piranha Killer Sushi; the two collaborated on another concept, Piranha Killer Ramen. Like the Dallas location, the Fort Worth Wabi House focuses on ramen and small plates such as crispy pig ears and seared scallops, but offers items specific to Fort Worth, including a large selection of yakitori – grilled meats and veggies served on skewers.