Avoca Coffee opening second location

Avoca Coffee will open a new location in W. 7th later this fall. Photo: WorldByTheCup.com.

Avoca Coffee will open a new location in W. 7th later this fall. Photo: WorldByTheCup.com.

The W. 7th area has plenty of restaurants and bars, but it lacks a coffeehouse.

That’ll change when Avoca Coffee opens at 835 Foch Street later this fall. It’ll be in the same strip shopping mall as La Familia.

It’ll be the independent coffee shop’s second location. The first location, open now for four years, is in the Near South Side area at 1311 W. Magnolia Ave.

The Fort Worth Business Press reports that the new store will use two premium espresso machines, a rare 1979 La Marzocco GS2 and a new La Marzocco Lines PB2 Group, to brew its housemade espresso. Cold brew will be served on tap.

Pastries will be available, too, from local vendors such as Le Chat Noir Cupcake Bordello and Bakery, Stir Crazy Baked Goods, Spiral Diner and Swiss Pastry Shop.

Hours will be 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday-Thursday, 7 a.m. to midnight Friday and Saturday and 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday.

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Salsa Limon opens third location on Friday

The third location of Salsa Limon opens Friday. Photo: Facebook.

The third location of Salsa Limon opens Friday. Photo: Facebook.


Fuzzy’s Tacos is about to have some stiff competition: The third brick and mortar location of local Mexican food favorite Salsa Limon will open on Friday, according to the restaurant’s Facebook page.

The new location is at 3005 S. University Drive, right around the corner from the original Fort Worth location of Fuzzy’s Tacos, in the space recently vacated by Sol de Luna. It’s in the same strip mall as Dutch’s Hamburgers and Pizza Snob, across the street from TCU.

There are two other Salsa Limon locations, at the La Gran Plaza Mall, and in the W. 7th area, at 929 University Dr., in addition to a food truck that you can usually spot on Berry St. or on Camp Bowie in front of the Ridglea Theater.

The new store will be open for breakfast, starting at 7:00 a.m. According to the FB post, it’ll close at 9:00 p.m. but will eventually add late night hours.

Salsa Fuego reopens in new location

Salsa Fuego has reopened in the old Red Dragon spot.

Salsa Fuego has reopened in the old Red Dragon spot.

Tiny Salsa Fuego isn’t so tiny anymore.

The beloved Mex-Mex restaurant has finally moved to a new location, in the much larger space once occupied by Red Dragon Chinese Buffet (3500 Alta Mere Dr.) It’s just a few feet from its previous sardine-can-size location, which will now turn into a burger joint, Fuego Burger (3520 Alta Mere Dr.), run by the same family.

Owner and chef Carlo Rodriguez said Fuego Burger will focus on the burgers he popularized at Salsa Fuego. It should be open later this spring/early summer. He also said a new menu at Salsa Fuego is coming soon. In the meantime, you can enjoy dishes from the original menu.

Kin Kin Urban Thai opens tonight!

Scotch eggs, given a Thai twist by chef Eddy Thretipthuangsin. Kin Kin Urban Thai/Facebook

Scotch eggs, given a Thai twist by chef Eddy Thretipthuangsin. Kin Kin Urban Thai/Facebook

Chef Eddy Thretipthuangsin’s much-anticipated new Thai restaurant Kin Kin Urban Thai opens tonight at 5:00 p.m. in a highly visible West 7th space formerly occupied by MK’s Sushi.

Diners who check in on social media receive 50 percent discount off regular menu prices tonight through Thursday.

This is “Chef Eddy’s” second Fort Worth restaurant. His first one Bite City Grill is located across the street in Montgomery Plaza. If all goes according to plan, two additional Kin Kin Urban Thai stores will open in Dallas.

Kin Kin’s menu features several traditional Thai dishes such as pad thai, pad see ew and various rice and noodle dishes.

Kin Kin's burger made with sticky rice.  Photo: Facebook.

Kin Kin’s burger made with sticky rice. Photo: Facebook.

But behold some really neat twists, such as a burger made with sticky rice instead of a bun, spring rolls made from crepes and a tofu panna cotta dessert. You can review the entire menu here: kinkin_in-house_menu_8-5×11-final.pdf.

Chef Eddy Thretipthuangsin. Kin Kin Urban Thai/Facebook

Chef Eddy Thretipthuangsin. Kin Kin Urban Thai/Facebook

Kin Kin Urban Thai, 2801 W. 7th St., (817) 984-1363, http://kinkinurbanthai.com/.

ViVo 53 Pizzeria coming to downtown

Coming soon to The Tower: ViVo 53 Pizzeria

Coming soon to The Tower: ViVo 53 Pizzeria

Another restaurant is taking a stab at The Tower condominiums in downtown Fort Worth. ViVo 53 Pizzeria will take over the spot once occupied by chef Jean Michel Sakouhi’s The Vault at 525 Taylor St.

According to a LinkedIn page, ViVo 53 is being opened by entrepreneur Paul Daneshrad, the CEO of a California real estate company called Starpoint Properties. Paul didn’t return my calls, but the LinkedIn page says the restaurant will offer “wood fired pizza” and will be “a Pizzeria experience that captures the guest’s imagination and engages their senses.” Seriously. That’s what it says.

A Tower receptionist said it is slated to open sometime early next year but had no other details. Tower management didn’t return calls, either.

A Facebook page indicates a location in Dallas is opening soon, too.

Fort Worth New Restaurant Preview Fall 2014

Cheesecake Factory arrives in December.

Cheesecake Factory arrives in December.

Fall is always a good time for new restaurants to open. They get a few weeks to get their feet wet and kinks smoothed out before the busy holiday season begins.

This fall has to be one of the busiest our city has seen for new restaurant openings in years. I think some may end up opening in 2015 but here’s who is banking on arriving by year’s end.

Cheesecake Factory: The popular chain is opening a sixth location in Sundance Square in the old Barnes & Noble and Ferre spots across the street from Bass Hall. I haven’t been to a Cheesecake Factory, so I can’t attest to the quality of the food. But the menu is absolutely huge. There are pizzas, burgers (I counted 8 different kinds), salads, steaks, pastas, flatbread and traditional sandwiches, coffee drinks and of course different kinds of cheesecake. I stopped counting at 20. A manager at the Arlington location said the menu at the Sundance location will pretty much be the same as the others. Sundance Square marketing director Tracy Gilmour said it will open Dec. 9. 455 Commerce St.

Construction continues at the new Hoya Korean Kitchen.

Construction continues at the new Hoya Korean Kitchen.

Hoya Korean Kitchen: Sundance Square will also be home to a new fast-casual Korean restaurant, Hoya Korean Kitchen, which takes over the vacated Quizno’s spot at Taylor and 3rd Streets. It’ll be run by Odes Kim, who also has a sushi restaurant in Dallas called Little Katana. But at Hoya he’ll focus on food – with a healthy slant – from his homeland. The interior, which will include an indoor/outdoor seating area with a retractable roof, is being designed by Hatsumi Kuzuu, who also designed Tei An, FT33 and Urban Taco. Tracy Gilmour from Sundance says it could be open in November.

Le Cep Restaurant is scheduled to open Oct. 30.

Le Cep Restaurant is scheduled to open Oct. 30.

Le Cep Restaurant Next to Burgundy Pasture Beef will soon be this quaint French and modern European restaurant from local couple David and Sandra Avila, who were inspired by trips to France. Sandra also worked and studied in France, for a while at the Eiffel Tower’s restaurant 58 Tour Eiffel, according to an article in Indulge magazine. A menu hasn’t been released yet, but various stories have mentioned dishes such as seared duck, scallops with almonds and champagne vinaigrette and that there will be an 8-course tasting menu. It is slated to open Oct. 30. 3324 W. 7th St.

Pho Hung, coming to Camp Bowie.

Pho Hung, coming to Camp Bowie.

Pho Hung: Authentic pho is coming to Camp Bowie, courtesy of the Pham family, who also runs Pho Hung locations in Haltom City, Portland and Vietnam. I love how they have three different levels of pho – Beginners, Everyday Favorites and Adventurers Choice. The latter includes pho made with honeycomb tripe, brisket fat and tendons. Beginners pho selections feature pho with meatballs, chicken and beef brisket. Owner Charlie Pham says the new location should be open in December. It’ll be nice to see the old Wan Fu space brought back to life. 6399 Camp Bowie Blvd.

Righteous Foods opened Tuesday.

Righteous Foods opened Tuesday.

Righteous Foods: Opened Tuesday, Lanny Lancarte’s new “clean living” restaurant is the first of its kind in Fort Worth – a “healthy” restaurant that emphasizes “responsibly sourced” and organic food that’s open for breakfast, lunch and dinner (although you gotta get there quick for dinner; it closes at 7:00 p.m.). Breakfast dishes include coconut and quinoa oatmeal, smoked salmon and eggs and pork shoulder omelete, while lunch and dinner features smoked pistachio guacamole, pork tacos, a variety of salads and an organic burger. You can also get fresh fruit drinks, cold pressed drinks and coffee from Stumptown out of Portland. When I swung by last week to check out the interior, I didn’t even recognize the place. The space has been opened up to one room and its interior is now brightly decorated with vivid and striking color schemes. I really hope this place does well. 3405 W. 7th St.

Social House will open in Brownstone's old spot in the W. 7th area.

Social House will open in Brownstone’s old spot in the W. 7th area.

Social House: Dallas restaurants continue to move into Funkytown. This one at least comes from a good pedigree. It’s a spruced-up bar food concept dreamed up by Chef Brian Olenjack of Olenjack’s Grille in Arlington.
This will be the third Social House location. Two others are in Dallas. A manager at the Uptown location said the menu will be nearly identical, so expect chicken fried oysters with horseradish sauce, pizzas, burgers, salads, sliders, steaks and speciality dishes like a three-meat meatloaf, rosemary bourbon butter chicken and apple jalapeno chutney pork chop. If you look on their Facebook page, you’ll see a lot of photos of people partying and drinking. It could be Brownstone all over, but I’m willing to give that bourbon chicken a shot. Opening Nov. 6. 840 Currie St.

In the old Ray's spot will soon come The Wild Mushroom.

In the old Ray’s spot will soon come The Wild Mushroom.

The Wild Mushroom Steak House and Lounge: If you haven’t been to The Wild Mushroom in Weatherford yet, no need to make that drive now – it’s coming to Fort Worth. Chef Jerrett Joslin is closing his 5-year-old steakhouse on Saturday but will barely miss a beat as it will reopen next month in the space recently vacated by Ray’s Prime Steak & Seafood in the Ridglea Village Shopping Center, next door to Little Lily Sushi. Joslin won’t be the executive chef, however (he’s focusing on another endeavor in Weatherford, the soon to open Vintage Grill & Car Museum. Instead the chef will be Darrin Green, who has worked at the Omni Hotel in downtown Fort Worth and Central Market. A manager at the Weatherford location said the menu will be scaled back to steakhouse essentials, including several cuts of steak, pasta, salads and seafood dishes, and that the wine list will be expanded. It’s scheduled to open November 6. 3206 Winthrop Ave.

Other new restaurants coming in early 2015 – Fuego Burger, long awaited burger spinoff from owners of Salsa Fuego, Dee Lincoln Steak Bar in Museum Place (scheduled to open in March) and Wild Salsa and Chop House, a pair of Dallas restaurants that’ll be side by side in the new One City Place development downtown. Rumors continue to swirl about a new location for Billy’s Oak Acres BBQ. I’ll keep tabs on that one, too.

So Pho, So Good: A Quick Look at Pho District

Pho District is now open in the So7 area.

Pho District is now open in the So7 area.

New in the So7 district, Pho District is the latest restaurant from Piranha Killer Sushi founder Kenzo Tran. It’s an homage to the street food of his homeland Saigon and Vietnam. He has taken a similar approach as Piranha, honoring the tradition of these foods but chef-afying them with unique twists and turns.

Dry pho ga.

Dry pho ga.

Without question the main attractions here are the four different kinds of pho. Two are made with chicken, two with beef, two dry and two traditional. Dry pho hasn’t taken a hold in the United States but is quite popular in Vietnam. Basically, it’s pho with broth served on the side, allowing you to control the broth to ingredients ratio.

I tried the chicken dry pho and really liked the dry pho approach. It gave me an opportunity to zero in on the broth, which had strong, clean flavors, and to sample the noodles before they were doused. But even when I poured the broth on, the noodles held up. They were slippery and firm and stayed that way until my last bite. I also liked the simple chicken, which was sliced into hearty chunks.

In addition to the chicken dry pho there’s also a regular pho with chicken breast and quail egg, a beef pho with brisket, meat ball and filet mignon, and a dry version of the latter.

Pork belly banh mi.

Pork belly banh mi.

There’s a lot of pork and pork belly on the menu. I tried the pork belly banh mi and for the most part enjoyed it. It contained slices of soft boiled egg and what I thought was a generous serving of pork belly. The sandwich was too small in my opinion. I’d get this at lunch but probably not dinner again. I loved the presentation – it was served on a Vietnamese newspaper, mimicking how you might get it Vietnam (rolled in a newspaper). It came with a cool and creamy slaw that had a kick to it.

Chorizo pancake.

Chorizo pancake.

My favorite dish was the chorizo pancake. The “pancake” was a flash fried rice patty – a spin on a Vietnamese tradition of using burned rice as the pancake. It was a little like banh xeo, but served flat, like an traditional pancake (as opposed to being folded over like a taco, which is how banh xeo is often served). It was dotted with tiny chunks of spicy chorizo and dusted with shredded pork jerky. I definitely recommend it.
Sushi ice cream.

Sushi ice cream.

The sushi ice cream sounded tempting for dessert. Much to our surprise, instead of rice, Rice Krispies came wrapped around vanilla ice cream, all topped with chocolate and strawberry syrup. It was a nice, light dessert. Next time I’m getting the pandan creme brûlée, which our server highly recommended. Other desserts include a sesame donut and banana spring roll.

If you ever visited the space’s previous tenants, Bayou Jack’s and/or So7 Bistro, you won’t recognize the place. The restaurant has been completely revamped with dark colored woods and an enclosed patio. Lighting is soft and decor consists of Vietnamese artwork.

There’s also a full bar and specialty drinks. Judging from this meal alone it’s one of my favorite new restaurants of 2014.

2401 W. 7th St. 817-862-9987.