By: Courtney Dabney
For many in Fort Worth, warmer weather means one thing and one thing only: Agua fresca season is here. Paleteria La Azteca, new on the East Side at 4033 E. Belknap St., might just serve the coolest flavors in town. Choose from a half-dozen kinds of the specialty Mexican drink (a combination of fruits, flowers or cereals blended with water and sugar) in flavors such as pecan, piña colada, watermelon, eggnog, pineapple and mamey (another tropical tree fruit). While you’re there, get a scoop or three of the excellent ice cream, made on-site in both kiddo and adult-friendly flavors, including tequila – which, yes, does include a bit of the real stuff. Drink, er, eat responsibly. 817-615-9840
Some of us drive to the tiny town of Everman for barbecue from Hickory Stick and Longoria’s, or home cooking from Madea’s. But there’s another reason to make the jog to my hometown: excellent Mexican food at Tacos Oasis. In-the-know locals swarmed Ricky Garcia’s little red taco truck for years, but since this time last year, they’ve been jamming into his brick-and-mortar, a behemoth of a spot at 6,000 square feet — located at 623 E. Enon Ave., behind the Quickway gas station where he used to park his truck.
Garcia will celebrate the one-year anniversary of his brick-and-mortar taqueria by introducing several new menu items this month, including beef and chicken fajitas, salads, ceviche, new flavors of agua fresca and other items. “I’ll have several healthier, lighter options,” he says.
This’ll offer a nice balance to his decidedly not-so-light signature items, which include Oasis Fries, a magnificent mess of crisp, thick-cut fries drowned in guacamole, sour cream, carne asada and jalapeños; gargantuan burritos; torta sandwiches; and of course tacos, stuffed with fillings such as pork, tongue and chicken. tacosoasis.com
FunkyTown Donuts’ foray into downtown draws near. The second location of the gourmet doughnut shop is on track to open — at 132 E. 4th St., in the former Cupcakery spot — late June/early July, says Angie Moors, who co-owns the shop with husband Brandon and his mother, Ruth. Unlike the original Near Southside location, the downtown store will sell alcohol. “We plan on serving four beers on tap, rotating local craft beers seasonally,” Angie says. “We’ll pair some of our menu items with our beer selections.” They’ll also offer AVOCA’s Mythos cold brew on tap, along with other coffees.
Doughnuts — both yeast and cake — will be made on-site, from scratch, in a variety of rotating flavors, with glazes that will incorporate fresh fruits and other ingredients. Angie says the shop will be open seven days a week, late on Fridays and Saturdays. funkytowndonuts.com
There’s more new-restaurant action in Mansfield, thanks to the arrival of La Cima Mexican Cuisine, a family-run spot whose menu sometimes goes above and beyond typical Mexican fare. There is that, of course, in the form of Tex-Mex standards such as fajitas, nachos and burritos. But those wanting something a little more adventurous will find much to admire in owner Eddy Velazquez’s avocado enchiladas topped with finely chopped chicken fajita meat, salmon tacos dressed in a housemade chipotle cream sauce and plate-engulfing chimichangas filled with barbecue brisket.
Unusual for a neighborhood Mexican restaurant, La Cima offers an extensive drinks list, made up of red and white wines (more than a dozen each), margaritas in unusual flavors such as mango and more than a dozen martinis. The martinis may as well be a two-for-one special: Each comes accompanied with the shaker in which they were made (and those shakers are usually full enough to make a second drink). Located at 2860 N. Highway 157, the Mansfield store is an offshoot of the original La Cima, which Velazquez opened four years ago in Cleburne. lacimamexicancuisine.com
Championed by this very magazine by this very writer as one of the best new restaurants in Fort Worth, Southside soul food spot Taste-N-See Chicken & Waffles will move into bigger and better digs this summer. Son and mom owners DeMarcus Davis and Anita Wilcox have taken over the Café Brazil space at 2880 W. Berry St., near TCU, and will be open June 9. Taste-N-See’s original location in far south Fort Worth will close this month.
The restaurant’s specialty dish comes in the form of thick, Belgian-style waffles, made in-house, topped with bone-in fried chicken wings or boneless tenders. You can add additional toppings, too, like chocolate chips. Other dishes include chicken-fried chicken, shrimp and grits and rotating fish dishes. The menu will remain small, Davis says, but will include a handful of new items, such as burgers, pastas and sandwiches. Taste-N-See will also open for breakfast, which will be served all day. Davis says he’s hoping to add a bar, as well. tastenseefw.com
Creamistry, the city’s first liquid-nitrogen ice-cream shop, opened last month. For this we have to thank Jordan and Nicole Scott, owners of Mama’s Pizza, who have helped bring this all-natural, organic, made-to-order ice-cream chain to the Left Bank area. Here’s how it works: Customers choose a portion size, then an ice-cream flavor (more than 30 to choose from), then toppings (candy, cookies, fruits and sauces) — then the show begins. Employees blast each dessert with nitro, freezing the ice-cream base so fast that ice crystals don’t have a chance to develop. Smoke billows! We oooh, we ahhh! The result is decadently rich ice cream that you can eat and, more importantly of course, post on Instagram.
628 Harrold St. creamistry.com
Spring and summer bring along new menus — out with starchy and filling, in with light and colorful. Under new exec chef Bria Downey, Clay Pigeon recently unveiled its new dinner menu, which includes a beet and strawberry salad with horseradish goat cheese and pistachio vinaigrette; charred asparagus and roasted mushroom flatbread; and fried quail with Calabrian chile, honey and blue cheese. The restaurant now offers select bottles of wine for 50 percent off Monday evenings. claypigeonfd.com
Del Frisco’s Double Eagle Steakhouse also recently launched a new dinner menu, starring a grilled peach and burrata salad with basil and pea tendrils, honey balsamic dressing, fresh mint and crispy prosciutto; a long-bone veal chop with grilled spring onions, oven-roasted tomatoes and lemon confit butter; and, for the more health-conscious, butter-poached spring veggies, with white and green asparagus, sugar snap peas and English peas in lemon basil butter. delfriscos.com
By: Courtney Dabney