Tidbites: RIP Bennigans, here comes The Original Pancake House; new thai and pho;

So long, Bennigan's. Hello, Original Pancake House.

So long, Bennigan’s. Hello, Original Pancake House.

* Fort Worth is about to get a new breakfast spot. The Original Pancake House will open its first location in Fort Worth this year, in the Hulen-area space recently vacated by Bennigan’s. The national chain dates back to the 1950’s, when it was founded in Portland. The Fort Worth location will be the seventh in North Texas.

The restaurant is known for sweet breakfast dishes, including Dutch Babies, crepes filled with fruit and Triple Sec, and apple pancakes. Another specialty breakfast dish is the homemade corned beef hash. At lunch, the restaurant serves soups and sandwiches.

The restaurant will be located at 4646 SW Loop 820, at Hulen Street.

* Sad to report that tiny Trevino’s Comida Mexicana on Montgomery Street has closed. Owners Bertha and Louie Trevino also run L. Trevino’s in Rockwall, which is alive and well.

* Work is sssssllllooooowwwwwllllllyyyyy coming along at Wild Salsa and Chop House Burgers downtown. It’s been nearly a year since I first reported the two restaurants, owned by Dallas based DRG Concepts, would be opening side by side in downtown’s newly developed One City Place area. But I spotted a good sign of progress this week – applications for booze are now up the windows. An employee of another Chop House said it’ll be later this year before the restaurants are open.

Avocado halves topped with shrimp and crab mix at Pan Asia on the west side.

Avocado halves topped with shrimp and crab mix at Pan Asia on the west side.

* Also coming downtown is a new burrito spot called Spec Ops Burritos, the Star-Telegram reported. According to the resto’s FB page , a percentage of each sale will go to military personnel and their families.

* In the West 7th area, The Pour House has changed its name to Trinity River Tap House. New menu, too.

* There are two new places on the west side, a new location of breakfast and lunch chain The Egg & I (in the old Sushi Yoko space at 6333 Camp Bowie Blvd.) and Pan Asia has moved from Arlington to new digs at 5913 Donnelly Ave., in Saffron Sky’s old spot.

* The Thai and pho trends continue with a new Thai restaurant called Thai Terrace at 4220 W. Vickery Blvd., where the Railway Cafe came and quickly went, and a new pho spot in Burleson, House of Pho, in Gateway Station. Thai Terrace opened a week or so ago; House of Pho will open later this summer.

* Grady Spears’ new chicken fried steak restaurant Horseshoe Hill is slated to open sometime later this month. It’s at 204 W. Exchange Ave. in the Stockyards. The Fort Worth Weekly’s recent cover story on Grady is a really good read.

* I’m joining this party a little late, but some of the best BBQ in Fort Worth can be had at a new trailer on the Near Southside, called Heim BBQ. The Star-Telegram and Dallas Observer have raved, so I know I’m not the only one in love with this place. For the time being at least, it’s only open two days a week – Wednesday evenings and Saturday mornings.


Tidbites: Changes at Hedary’s, here comes Hoya, there goes Magnolia

Some of the signage is up for Hoya Korean Kitchen downtown.

Some of the signage is up for Hoya Korean Kitchen downtown.

* Some good news & bad news about Fort Worth’s Hedary family. First the bad. Celaborelle Phoenician Restaurant has closed temporarily until repairs are made to the house, owner Youssef Hedary said. Yes, house. If you’ve never been to Celaborelle, you haven’t experienced eating some of the city’s best Mediterrean food in one of the neatest old homes on Hemphill on Fort Worth’s south side.

Now the good news. Youssef has taken over his family’s namesake restaurant, Hedary’s Mediterranean Restaurant on Camp Bowie. Not just the cooking, mind you. But he has taken over the restaurant, doing away with Hedary’s menu in favor of bountiful plates of fresh vegetables, hummus, fruit, gargantuan pita bread, sausages, rice dishes, lamb pizzas and most of his other staples of Celaborelle. Plus he brought the dirt-cheap prices from Celaborelle with him, too.

As for Celaborelle, the roof needs to be repaired, among other things. “It’s going to be a while (before
it’s back open),” Youssef told me.

* Downtown, Hoya Korean Kitchen , a new fast-casual Korean spot in Sundance Square is still hoping to open by the end of the year, says Sundance rep Tracy Gilmour. A block over ViVo 53, a new pizza concept, is taking over The Vault’s old space in The Tower. Cheesecake Factory is still on track to open Dec. 9. Nearby Embargo, home to downtown’s best late night eats, is closing tonight according to its Facebook page.

* Magnolia Cheese Company, one of Fort Worth’s best restaurants of 2013, is closing to make way for a new concept from owner Elizabeth Northern. An announcement on the restaurant’s Facebook page says she’s repurposing the space as a market and wine room. Thus, the name of the space has been changed to Magnolia Market & Cheese Company. Hopefully, this won’t be a repeat of Ryan’s Fine Grocer & Deli. The new place will open in the coming weeks.

Magnolia Cheese Co.’s acclaimed chef Jennifer Williams, one of a dozen people who lost their jobs, has already landed on her feet at the excellent Sera Dining & Wine (she’s replacing departing chef and co-owner Brandon Hudson). I can’t wait to see what she does at Sera.

* Two recent casualties in W. 7th – Hacienda San Miguel and The Fish (formerly MK’s Sushi). Bite City Grill’s chef Eddy Thretipthuangsin will open a new Korean resto called Kin Kin Urban Thai in MK’s old spot, according to Bud Kennedy. Hacienda San Miguel’s space will soon be home to the second location of Mash’d (the original is in Frisco), a bar/restaurant from TruFire Kitchen & Bar’s brain trust that will no doubt go head-to-head against forthcoming neighbors Social House.

Tidbites: Pho & Grill now open, Six 10 Grille relaunches lunch, other stuff!

A line to the door at new Pho & Grill on southwest side.

A line to the door at new Pho & Grill on southwest side.

* Pho District isn’t the only new pho restaurant in town. Now comes the recently opened Pho & Grill, occupying Red Door Bistro’s old strip mall spot on Overton Ridge Blvd. The restaurant is owned by Tony Tran, who ran a pho restaurant in Arlington called Kim Hong Restaurant.

While Pho District puts a snazzy spin on traditional Vietnamese food, Pho & Grill is straight-up traditional. The menu consists of 13 types of pho, ranging from the usual (meatball, chicken, steak) to flavors many pho newcomers may not be familiar with (fatty brisket, beef tripe, tendon). The huge menu also includes rice dishes, vermicelli, and house specialties like butter fried frog legs, water spinach and bean curd, catfish hot pot, and spare ribs sautéed in fish sauce. For every dish that may seem unusual to newcomers to authentic Vietnamese fare, there are familiar dishes like sautéed beef and rice, egg rolls, spring rolls and fried rice.

It’s nice to see an authentic pho restaurant in the middle of the Hulen area’s gluttony of chains. Locals seems to be loving it, too. This past Sunday there was a line to the door and a 30-minute wait. 4938 Overton Ridge Blvd. 817-292-3311.

* Just a few weeks after the Ashton Hotel’s Six 10 Grille did away with lunch and dinner service, the restaurant has relaunched lunch and also introduced several new items. This new lunch menu includes veggie enchiladas, red fish and rice, steak and potatoes, and an avocado shrimp salad. The new lunch hours are 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Monday-Saturday. Breakfast service remains daily, including Sunday (it’s one of my top picks for breakfast). 610 Main St.

* Onetime Dallas restauranteur Monica Greene is now serving fast-casual Tex Mex on the Bluebonnet Traffic Circle at Pegaso Diner (3516 Bluebonnet Circle). Mi Cocula, in old Texas Grill space, is now open at 6550 Camp Bowie Blvd. A new Mexican Inn has popped up at 5017 S. Hulen St. Every food blogger in North Texas except for me has made mention of two new restos coming to Museum PlaceMi Cocina founder Mico Rodriguez’s new concept Mesero and former Del Frisco’s exec Dee Lincoln third Dee Lincoln’s Steak Bar.

Wild Salsa and Chop House Burger coming to downtown Fort Worth

Wild Salsa is coming to downtown Fort Worth.

Wild Salsa is coming to downtown Fort Worth.

A second location of chef-inspired Mexican restaurant Wild Salsa will open in downtown Fort Worth’s One City Place development later this year. A sign is already in the window and an employee at the original downtown Dallas location confirmed it’s coming.

It’ll be side by side with a new location of Chop House Burger. Both come from the same restaurant group, Dallas based DRG Concepts.

The original Wild Salsa opened three years ago at 1800 Main St., in downtown Dallas’ Mercantile Building, with Nova’s Kelly Hightower serving as the original chef (he has since left).

According to their web site, Wild Salsa makes much of their food from scratch using locally sourced ingredients. The menu includes tacos and enchiladas, along with unusual items like shrimp and bacon quesadillas, guacamole with pumpkin and sesame seeds and lamb shank barbocoa. Brunch offerings include a “taco omelette” and barbocoa potato hash.

Tidbites: Artisan popsicles coming, 24 Plates open, new Mex, Mex, Mex

Now open in W. 7th area: Rafain.

Now open in W. 7th area: Rafain.

I have much to tell you:

* Two new Mexican restaurants are opening on the west side of Fort Worth. Mexican rotisserie chicken empire El Pollo Regio expands to a location near the Camp Bowie traffic circle, in the old Cowtown Bar & Grill spot. Should be open in the few two weeks. Down the street in the old Texas Grill space will be Mi Cocula, a new Tex Mex resto from the Moreno family of Weatherford’s now-shuttered El Ray Taqueria.

* Sombrero Mexican Food will open its first Texas location later this year at 201 W. Rosedale St. Sombrero is a Cali-based fast-food chain that specializes in “San Diego-style” Mexican food. The menu consists of burritos, tacos, tortas and enchiladas.

* W. 7th area has some new tenants. In Patrazio’s old spot is now Rafain, a Brazilian steakhouse chain. Bud Kennedy recently reported that Brownstone’s former digs will be taken over by another Dallas import – the third location of Social House, a concept by Brian Olenjack of Olenjack’s Grille in Arlington. If the menus at the Uptown Dallas and Addison locations are any indication, expect pizzas, burger, steaks and cheffed-up bar food. A few blocks over, Landmark Bar & Kitchen has opened at 3008 Bledsoe St. Menu’s not posted on their website and all they’ve been Facebooking about is drink specials. Proceed with caution.

* The long awaited tapas spot 24 Plates is now open at 407 W. Magnolia Ave. in the Magnolia May area of the Near Southside. The restaurant is open for lunch, dinner and weekend brunch.

* Construction has started on the new Cheesecake Factory downtown, coming to Ferre’s old spot across the street from Bass Hall in Sundance Square. It’ll also take up some of the old Barnes & Noble space.

* Sundance Square also announced a new fast-casual Korean restaurant Hoya Korean Kitchen will open later this year in the old Quizno’s spot at Taylor and 3rd Streets. Owner Odes Kim also runs sushi restaurant Little Katana in Dallas’ Highland Park area, but at Hoya, he’ll focus on food from his homeland. I can’t wait to see the place. The interior is being designed by Hatsumi Kuzuu, who also designed Tei An, FT33 and Urban Taco, according to Sundance. The restaurant will have an indoor/outdoor seating area with a retractable roof.

* Just in time for summer are two new treat shops – Sugar Biscuit, a catering company that will also offer cupcakes and whoopie pies to the public, will open soon on the Bluebonnet Traffic Circle, right next door to forthcoming Pegaso Diner. Steel City Pops, a sweet and savory pop sickle chain promises to open this month at 908 Currie St. in the W. 7th area.

* I sure do hate to see Lanny’s Alta Cocina Mexicana go, but I’m excited about Lanny Lancarte’s upcoming Righteous Foods.

Dallas restaurateur Monica Greene headed to Fort Worth

Monica Greene/Facebook

Monica Greene/Facebook

Two years ago Monica Greene posted a message on her Facebook page that hinted she would open a restaurant in Fort Worth.

Now that hint is becoming a reality. She’s opening a new spot on the Bluebonnet traffic circle, as reported today by CultureMap’s Teresa Gubbins. The place will be called Pegaso Diner – the same name of a shortly lived restaurant she opened in 2003 in Big D.

The restaurant will open in the long vacated Tiff & Andi’s spot, not far from where Fred’s Texas recently opened a third location.

Monica has owned or been involved in several restaurants over the years, including Monica’s Aca y Alla in Deep Ellum and BEE Enchiladeria in Oak Cliff.

The original Dallas location of Pegaso served burritos, tacos and tortas, in a fast-casual atmosphere. The Fort Worth location may open by July, Gubbins wrote in her story.

Tidbites: Landmark Bar and Kitchen opening soon, MK Sushi now called The Fish, chefs split

MK's Sushi is now called The Fish.

MK’s Sushi is now called The Fish.

* W. 7th sushi resto MK’s Sushi is no longer called MK’s Sushi. On Monday, the restaurant’s name was changed to The Fish and along with that change comes a tweaked menu. There’s still an emphasis on sushi but owner MK Lee’s added some high end dishes (a New York strip, served thinly sliced) and more cooked fish, including grilled sea bass, pan fried mahi mahi and baked and barbecued tuna (cannot wait to try that).

Avocado Bomb at The Fish.

Avocado Bomb at The Fish.

One new dish I can highly recommend is the Avocado Bomb – a mound of crawfish, crab and spicy tuna covered in sliced avocados. A server said MK changed the name and updated the menu in hopes it would drum up more business for her restaurant, which is in a prime location but faces stiff competition from other nearby sushi restaurants. Her other two MK stores in Bedford and North Fort Worth still go by the MK moniker.

Landmark Bar & Kitchen will open in May in the W. 7th area.

Landmark Bar & Kitchen will open in May in the W. 7th area.

* Also in the W. 7th area Landmark Bar & Kitchen will be opening in May next door to Magnolia Motor Lounge in the Piper Hall space. Among those involved is Sam Sameni, formerly of Brownstone and currently of Avenu club in Dallas. It’ll be similar to Barcadia in that vintage stand up arcade games will be a focal point. There will also be a patio, live bands, and a full menu, which has yet to be posted.

* Two of Fort Worth’s finest chefs Marcus Paslay of Clay Pigeon and Kevin Martinez of Tokyo Cafe will team up for a pop up dinner on May 6. They’ll each offer three dishes and both will offer dessert. Paslay’s doing a shrimp carpaccio, duck confit pasta and lavender shortcake. Martinez is bringing to the table a miso hamachi, fermented rice pork cheek and roasted banana cake. Cost is $75 per person. For an additional fee they’ll pair your food with beverages. The event starts at 6:00 p.m. and will take place at Clay Pigeon. For reservations call 817-882-8065.

* I’m about to reserve my spot for what has to be the coolest little dinner that Little Red Wasp has done. Next Wednesday, the downtown resto is hooking up with Martin House Brewing Company for a beer dinner in which the following pairings shall occur: MH’s Day Break paired with LRW’s chicken and biscuit; Rubberneck Red with LRW salad; and Imperial Texan with LRW Reuben. And for dessert? A pretzel stout float. Best part is: it’s only $19 per person. Call (817) 877-3111 for reservations.

* You don’t see a lot of chef shakeups in Fort Worth but there were two major ones this week. Jesus Garcia is no longer at Little Lilly Sushi and Keith Grober has left Rodeo Goat. Another major downer is the going away of Red Door Bistro, one of my favorite new restaurants of 2013. The last day for Donna Albanese’s quaint southwest Fort Worth restaurant is May 3.

* 24 Plates in the new Magnolia May district could be open in the next few weeks. I was lucky enough to sample some of chef Beau Johnson’s creative American food at a recent event at 24’s next door neighbor Prosper. I hope the sneak preview is as good as the main attraction. Pho District, new from Piranha’s Chef Kenzo Tran in the So7 area, is getting close to opening, too. They’ve been Facebooking about opening late May.

* Lo and behold, Fort Worth is finally getting a Whole Foods.