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.

Advertisements

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.

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.