Where to Eat
Where to eat in Fort Worth right now: 6 hidden-find new restaurants
In the past several weeks, several high-profile restaurants have opened in Fort Worth, making them seemingly perfect candidates for this edition of our monthly Where to Eat spotlighting newcomers.
But bigger does not always mean better, especially when we've uncovered some lower-profile newcomers that may not (yet) be a media buzz but definitely deserve attention, as well.
For the August edition of Where to Eat in Fort Worth, we bring you six small but mighty new restaurants:
After two years of setbacks and delays, the brick-and-mortar version of Trevor Sales’ popular barbecue trailer opened recently at 1012 S. Main St. in the booming South Main area. BBQ Snob Daniel Vaughn has already given the place his seal of approval, with a headline exclaiming it's the best new spot in town. The brick-and-mortar version of Brix has inside/outside seating, plus a rooftop dining area that'll be nice in the fall. Sales is still tweaking his menu, but in addition to his calling cards - brisket, housemade sausage, and ribs - he’s added a few items such as a brisket ragu pasta, and turned rotating favorites into permanent fixtures, like his popular smashburgers. Another welcome addition: booze. Brix offers an impressive assortment of beer, bourbon, and wine.
Chef Andrew Dilda may have opened the most unique restaurant in town – a restaurant that combines Asian and American cuisine, with a side of ‘90s skate-punk culture. Dilda’s newly opened spot, which takes over the old Fixture restaurant in the Near Southside, is a joint venture between him and partners Andrew Chen, who founded the Monkey King Noodle Company chain of local restaurants, and Sonali Kumar, also a partner in Monkey King. As a result, the menu is inspired by Monkey King’s creative Asian cuisine and Dilda’s ode to Americana. Dishes include crab rangoon nachos, cheeseburger fried rice, beef cheek hash, and orange chicken and waffles. For now, the restaurant is only open for third-party delivery, but once the dining room opens in September, check out its walls covered in ‘90s culture paraphernalia – a nod to his and wife’s musical and pop culture interests.
Newly opened in the Fielder Plaza shopping center in Arlington, at 1701 West Randol Mill Rd., this small Mexican restaurant harks back to El Fenix and El Chico and other restaurants that wave the flag for simple, straightforward TexMex cuisine. It practically picks up where the space’s previous tenant, the long-running Don Mario’s, left off. Matter of fact, one of the owners is a previous server from Don Mario’s. Don’t expect fireworks, just straightforward TexMex, done well and inexpensively. All the TexMex staples are here: enchiladas, tamales, chile rellenos, tacos and fajitas, stuffed, filled or served with various proteins and lots of cheese. There’s also a handful of seafood dishes, such as bacon-wrapped shrimp.
From its modest exterior, this small new Asian restaurant in Southlake, at 250 Randol Mill Ave., may seem run-of-the-mill. But the food goes beyond the norm. The restaurant’s namesake dish is made in-house, in dishes such as dan dan noodles, spicy beef noodle soup, and youpo noodles, a mix of noodles with chili sauce, bok choy and green onions. Also made in-house are the dumplings, stuffed with your choice of vegetables or various proteins; bao buns; and pot-stickers. The rest of the menu touches on various Asian cuisines, with Japanese, Chinese and Thai dishes, plus an assortment of boba drinks.
What looks like a big corporate barbecue restaurant is really an independently owned restaurant run by a small group of friends, Jeff Lowery, Dwight Dowell and Chris Polk; the place is just real big. Instead of the usual cafeteria-style service, customers stand in line to order, watching meat-cutters slice and dice meats that include brisket, sausage, and pork & beef ribs, then wait for their food to be brought to them (meats are supplied from the owners’ own Texas ranch). Everything we sampled during a recent visit was of good quality – brisket was tender and smoky, its spine etched in black pepper and melt-in-your-mouth fat; jalapeno sausage was appropriately spicy and its skin had a good snap; and pork ribs were of good size, not too big, not too small, with a hearty amount of meat. Good sides, too, including fried okra and green beans. The restaurant also makes its own bread, something no other North Texas BBQ joint does except Goldees. Located at 1801 S. Main St. in Keller, Outpost 36 is next door to the similarly named Horizon 76, an American restaurant with the same owners.
R&R’s Soul Food
This new spot in far south Fort Worth that has long been home to various takes on soul food. Before R&R, it was a temporary home to Sausage Shoppe, the long-running sausage and soul food hub that now resides on the east side, and it was the original home to the beloved chicken & waffles restaurant, Taste ‘N See. R&R picks up where its predecessors left off, with owner Renelle Davis offering a wide array of American, barbecue, and soul food dishes, including smothered pork chops, oxtails, and brisket. Sides include candied yams, potato salad, baked beans, and collard greens. There are rotating pies and cakes, too, all $3 a slice, plus Kool Aid and, what else, sweet tea to drink.