Eat DrinkFeaturesRadar: Dining Out

DINING OUT

By August 26, 2020 No Comments

RADAR

By Meda Kessler and June Naylor

FORT WORTH

Mexican vegan dishes include portobello asada tacos at Belenty’s Love restaurant. Photos by Meda Kessler

Belenty’s shows the love to non-meat eaters Belenty’s Love has added more options for vegans (or those seeking meatless options) with the opening of a second Mexican restaurant location on Fort Worth’s Bluebonnet Circle. Serving breakfast, lunch and dinner, you’ll need several dining companions or multiple visits to get through the menu and find your favorites among the tacos, tostadas, burritos, burgers and more. (We always start out with the black bean dip and chips.) Plate dinners include hearty helpings of spicy and flavorful cilantro rice; we’re partial to the portobello asada taco meal. And the side of tofu cream cuts the heat nicely. Breakfast options include multiple toast options, including avocado and cherry tomato. Don’t miss the sides and specialty drinks, including the pineapple water. Find Belenty’s in the former Rusty Taco space. There’s patio dining along with delivery and takeout options. The Granbury location features a drive-thru. 3516 Bluebonnet Circle, Fort Worth, 817-862-9008; 2200 E. U.S. Highway 377, Granbury, 817-573-2990, belentyslove.com

Pearl Snap Kolaches contracts and expands Doors open and shut, but when that happens, some restaurants make the best of it. Wade Chappell has closed the Hulen location of Pearl Snap Kolaches effective at the beginning of this month, but is beefing up the offerings and changing hours at the original White Settlement Road location. “Not having a kitchen hurt us at the Hulen shop,” says Chappell. “At White Settlement, the burgers and breakfasts have been popular, so we’re transitioning more to a cafe.” Chappell acknowledges that the business model is always changing, and he’s just trying to keep up. “Shipping kolaches through Goldbelly has really helped us. We’ve mailed orders to nearly every state. But I want to see what more we can do with the restaurant.” The menu, overseen by general manager/kitchen manager Luis Castillo and chef Cadie Hatter, includes shareables such as fried zucchini chips. In addition to burgers, there are chicken sandwiches. And they’ve added entree-size salads with a signature strawberry-poppy seed dressing, housemade croutons and the optional addition of a protein. Or ignore the diet and go for the chili cheese fries (available with vegan chili). A brunch menu is in the works, too. Of course, freshly baked kolaches, sausage rolls, cinnamon rolls and other baked goods are still available. Join PSK’s rewards program for great deals on food and drink. 4006 White Settlement Road, Fort Worth, 817-233-8899, pskolaches.com

A grilled chicken sammie is among new menu items at Pearl Snap Kolaches.

One of the best ham sandwiches in Fort Worth might just be the Turks N’ Durks.

Lettuce Cook ready to grow Lettuce Cook/Gourmet-on-the-Go owners Todd Brown and Natalie, his wife, are among the chef/restaurant owners who have defined “hustle” since the pandemic hit. Their River District staff already is well-versed in takeout service as take-and-heat dining has always been key to the Browns’ concept. They’ve added staff and delivery, expanded the menu to include $10 casseroles, and continue to offer the popular buy one-get one free deals on Saturdays. So why not expand? Lettuce Cook hopes to open in October on Bluebonnet Circle in the former space occupied for years by Greenwood’s German European Restaurant and Bakery (it closed at the beginning of the year). Look for more of the same — wild salmon entrees with roasted vegetables, rich macaroni and cheese — in the chef’s cases along with made-to-order sandwiches, salads and specials. With a larger kitchen, Todd hopes to ramp up his catering business when possible. One of the Browns’ vintage cars will sit inside the restaurant as a room divider — and conversation piece. 3522 Bluebonnet Circle, Fort Worth; 5101 White Settlement Road, Fort Worth, 817-989-2665; lettucecookgourmet.com

Rolling with the punches While Tulips FTW plans to host live music one day, until then, think of it as a late-night coffee shop where you can get not only good java, but a cocktail and a pastrami sandwich. That’s the thinking of owner Jason Suder, who is following protocols for live-music venues and bars. The former home of a brewery is taking on a new look with one side devoted to a small music/events venue complete with state-of-the-art acoustics. The bar remains and is now the domain of Tia Downey, well-known for her tending days at Clay Pigeon Food & Drink. She whipped up a cool libation called the Jewel, a cross between a mint julep and Moscow mule, as an example of the drink menu (it will be available on tap, too). Look for a September opening. (The Band of Heathens grand opening concert has been moved to Feb. 27, 2021.) 112 St. Louis Ave., Fort Worth, tulipsftw.com

One of the best ham sandwiches in Fort Worth might just be the Turks N’ Durks.

The Best Maid boutique: all pickles, all the time The shelves are stocked with pickle everything, and an amazing statue of mascot Smiley will make you smile. The Best Maid Pickle Emporium is ready for its close-up. Located in a 1930s-era brick building just south of downtown Fort Worth, the retail/museum/event center is set to open its doors Labor Day weekend. With lots of memorabilia scattered throughout their Fort Worth office, Best Maid wanted to put it all in one place and share it with pickle fans. The space, which has been updated but still retains its original brick and windows, pays tribute to Jessie and Mildred Dalton, and how they established the company for growth. Approaching its 95th year, you could say the Dalton family knows their pickles — and their audience. Other exhibits include a look at the agricultural side of the business and displays of historic photos. Of course, there will be merchandise, including hats and clothing for the entire family, dog gear including toys, tableware (mugs, glasses, flasks) and much more. Look for pickle tastings, too, including samples of the popular Sour Pickle Beer, a collaboration with Martin House Brewing Company. Watch Best Maid’s social media, facebook.com/Bestmaid, and Instagram @bestmaidpickles, for updates and visitor guidelines. 829 W. Vickery Blvd., Fort Worth, bestmaidpickles.com

DALLAS

Elm & Good debuts with Graham Dodds in the kitchen After an extended absence from the Dallas culinary scene, chef Graham Dodds has traded tending a farm to leading the kitchen of this marquee restaurant inside the new Kimpton Pittman Hotel on the western edge of Deep Ellum. Dodds is known for creating menus that celebrate pasture-raised animals and organic vegetables. Goats, beets and vine-ripened tomatoes shared starring roles at once-storied-and-now-closed restaurants such as Bolsa, Hibiscus, Central 214 and Wayward Sons. That’s true here, as well. The menu at Elm & Good, which takes its name from the hotel’s cross streets, includes veg-forward options such as smoked tomato tartare with sweet corn and capers, potato-leek terrine, mushroom paella and beet rillette. Rabbit Agnolotti, once a Hibiscus favorite, is also on the menu, and so is a country-style rabbit pate served with preserved cherries and creme fraiche. “You know I’ve always liked rabbit,” Dodds says, adding that he helped raise these same rabbits when he lived on the farm. Would the goat brisket he popularized at Central 214, slow-roasted and crisp-edged, make the leap to Elm & Good? Maybe this fall. For now, he says, “rabbit is the new goat.” Elm & Good is open for dinner Tuesdays through Saturdays and doesn’t currently offer outdoor dining. 2551 Elm St., Dallas, 469-498-2525, elmandgood.com

Charcuterie Board filled with sunchoke pate, mushroom rillette, beet carpaccio and potato-leek terrine plus pickled veggies. Photos by Cris Molina
for Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants

A limited quantity of Detroit-style Thunderbird Pies is now available at Zoli’s NY Pizza in Addison. Shown here are the Connie (pepperoni) and the popular Honey Bastard. Photo courtesy of Thunderbird Pies

Thunderbird Pies offers Detroit-style pies The folks at Zoli’s NY Pizza in Addison didn’t simply add a new line of pizzas to their menu; they added a whole new company. Thunderbird Pies offers Detroit-style (square-shaped, buttery crusts and sauce on top of the cheese) pizza for pickup and delivery only. Baked at Zoli’s Addison kitchen, they’re only available by ordering through Uber Eats, both for pickup at Zoli’s or for delivery within an 8-mile radius of the restaurant. The pies are available Sundays through Thursdays. If the concept proves popular, Thunderbird Pies could roar into Fort Worth next. 14910 Midway Road, Addison, thunderbirdpies.com

It’s food AND beverage at Katy Trail Ice House The owners of the Ice House have relicensed the outdoor venue as a restaurant rather than a bar, allowing the Ice House to reopen. The restaurant has tapped into a new income stream — customers are now required to order something to eat before they can order something to imbibe. 3127 Routh St., Dallas, 214-468-0600, katyicehouse.com

TRENDING

AT YOUR SERVICE The Shipping News Mail order is becoming just as popular as curbside pickup when it comes to certain foods. Zoli’s NY Pizza, available in Fort Worth and Addison, is now shipping via Goldbelly. Cowtown-based Happy Tomato also ships jars of its fresh salsa (happy-tomato.com). And then there are Flores Barbecue tortillas. Michael Wyont’s short-lived stint in Fort Worth (he manned the pit at the Flores Barbecue trailer in Clearfork) left us wanting more, especially his tortillas. While Wyont stuffed them with smoked meat for tacos, they’re just as good filled with grilled onions and peppers. Or eaten warm with a bit of butter. Wyont is back in Whitney, Texas, but that’s a bit of a drive, especially if we’re hungry. We’re happy to support him and the U.S. Postal Service now that he offers shipping for his legendary smoked-beef-fat tortillas. If you’re committed to those gluten-free things, we’re sorry, because these are worth every calorie and every carb gram. They come in 12-packs ($10), and shipping will set you back almost as much. But it’s hard to put a price on something that tastes so good, and they’re the perfect gift for a homesick Texan or anyone who thinks flavorless store-bought tortillas are good enough. Order at florestortillas.com. — Meda Kessler