Tickets for the sixth annual Fort Worth Food + Wine Festival are now on sale. Glad to see organizers took my advice and moved the thing out of the Pier 1 building, which the fest has outgrown. Instead, most of this year’s half-dozen events are taking place outdoors at the spacious Heart of the Ranch. Now watch, it’ll rain, and everyone’ll say, “Why’d we listen to that idiot?” This fest runs April 4–7. For a look at all the events, visit fortworthfoodandwinefestival.com
Joe Riscky, who bears the same name as his great-grandfather — he who founded iconic Riscky’s BBQ in Fort Worth in 1927 — opened a brick-and-mortar on the east side last month, next door to the Wild Acre Brewing Co. Joe Riscky’s Barbecue is a super-small spot with outdoor seating only. But if the weather’s bad, you’re more than welcome to take your food over to Wild Acre. Riscky is doing all the BBQ basics, plus rotating sides that include excellent butter beans (a staple of the original Riscky’s on Azle Avenue) and mac and cheese topped with chopped brisket. His signature item is the sausage bomb, a jalapeño half stuffed with cheddar cheese, then wrapped in pork sausage and bacon. At press time, he’s open one day a week only — Saturday — but he’s planning on adding additional hours in February. 1734 E. El Paso St. facebook.com/joerisckysbarbeque
A new restaurant in Mansfield specializes in a cuisine that’s tough to find in North Texas: Afghan food. Opened late last year, Zara’s Afghan Cuisine is a charming, family-run spot that mixes Indian and Mediterranean staples with several Afghan dishes. The menu includes sabzi challow, spinach cooked in a skillet in a housemade masala sauce and served with rice and a salad; mantu, dumplings filled with ground beef, then topped with a garlic yogurt sauce; mast-o-khiar, yogurt mixed with chopped cucumber, cilantro and mint, and served with naan bread; and bolani gandana, a grilled flatbread stuffed with leeks and fresh herbs. The menu also features kabobs, gyros and New York “street food” such as chicken over rice. 120 N. Walnut Creek Drive, Mansfield. facebook.com/zarasafghancuisine
Not nearly enough local barbecue restaurants offer breakfast — Smokey’s on the east side and Meat U Anywhere in Grapevine and Trophy Club are the only ones I can think of. But two more have joined the small barbecue breakfast club. Billy’s Oak Acres BBQ, at 7709 Camp Bowie West, recently rolled out a huge breakfast menu with items ranging from freshly made biscuits and pancakes to their glorious chicken-fried steak, served with eggs and hashbrowns. Up in the Watauga area, Berry Best BBQ, at 6257 Rufe Snow Drive, is now serving breakfast tacos stuffed with eggs and its fantastic smoked brisket. Keep an eye on BBQ on the Brazos’ Facebook page – I’ve noticed it’s been doing its ridiculously good breakfast tacos again, which are made with brisket, eggs and housemade flour tortillas.
I keep telling my editor we need to do a big story on breakfast, and here’s even more proof: Pearl Snap Kolaches’ original White Settlement location also recently unveiled a new breakfast menu. They’re doing old-school breakfast platters, decked out with pancakes, hashbrowns, sausage links or patties, bacon and, of course, kolaches. 4006 White Settlement Road, pskolaches.com
Dallas brewery Deep Ellum Brewing Co. will finally open its Fort Worth branch sometime this or next month, called Deep Ellum Funkytown Fermatorium. Originally slated to open spring of 2018, in what used to be a printing office, the taproom concept will include a state-of-the-art, five-to-seven-barrel brewing system, along with a full kitchen with items such as wood-fired pizza and bar. 611 University Drive, facebook.com/deepellumftw
Fort Worth is now home to Cinnaholic, a national cinnamon roll chain popularized by the TV show “Shark Tank.” What’s kinda cool is that Cinnaholic makes vegan cinnamon rolls, free from any dairy or eggs. They come slathered and topped with a variety of ingredients, such as caramel, cake batter, chocolate chip cookie bites, peanut butter, pretzels and strawberry jam. 817 Currie St., cinnaholic.com
The second location of Dwell Coffee & Biscuits has opened on the street level of the old Sovereign Bank space in the Woodcrest Capital Building near TCU. Jeff Brannon’s shop serves biscuits in both sweet and savory flavors, along with “biswiches,” sandwiches made with biscuit halves. Coffee drinks include lattes and macchiatos. The original Dwell is located in Burleson. 3113 S. University Drive, dwellcoffeeandbiscuits.com