For this rendition of Where to Eat, the theme is all about new. In a propitious set of circumstances, June 2015 has plenty of contenders.
Most of these places are as new as it gets: hot-off-the-press, just-opened within the past few weeks. If you live to dine at the newest restaurants around Dallas-Fort Worth, you've come to the right list.
Blaze is yet another chain that tries to duplicate Neapolitan-style pizza, in the same school as Project Pie, which debuted in Dallas in 2014. Blaze was created by the team who founded Wetzel's Pretzels and boasts celebrity investors such as LeBron James, Maria Shriver, Boston Red Sox co-owner Tom Werner and movie producer John Davis. The first DFW branch is in Frisco, which is a long way to drive for pizza. But if you're a fanatic who needs to try every pie, then drive you will. A second branch will open "soon" on 3388 Bryant Irvin Rd. in Fort Worth.
The Buzzbrews empire expands with a new branch at Skillman and Live Oak in the former Tipperary Inn (and Mecca) space. Many a restaurateur has tried to tame this spot, but Buzzbrews has a history of persevering beyond all odds. They've brightened what was previously a rather gloomy space and even attached a sweet little bar to the outside, to create a kind of impromptu patio. In addition to affordable grub and breakfast fare, a full bar features cocktails, beer, wine and, the best part, prosecco on tap.
Chef Ben Merritt (Woodshed Smokehouse, Stephan Pyles) branches out in Fort Worth into a space that was the former 24 Plates (which closed despite positive reviews). Fixture serves comfort food with a twist. Signature items include chicken and waffles, Brie and cranberry nachos, duck tacos, and goat hash. There's some real creativity to be found in dishes such as "beet" fries and a fried bologna club served on a kolache bun from Fort Worth's Pearl Snap Kolache.
The restaurant incubator concept at Trinity Groves has a promising new identity starring chef Anastacia "AQ" Quinones, the fifth LTO chef, whose reign extends through the end of 2015. Her modern Mexican menu ranges from classic items like guacamole to fine-dining options such as broiled red snapper with peaches, purslane, chile de arbol and pepitas. Even prototypical items such as quesadillas get a cheffly spin, filled with huitlachoche, rajas and truffled avocado puree.
The tormented spot in Highland Park Village that was once Marquee Grill, featuring Top Chef contestant Tre Wilcox, then Village Marquee, then Village Kitchen and Toko V, will now serve burgers and shakes. The "K.T." refers to the Katy Trail Ice House chain of which K.T. Burger is a little cousin. It's a fast-casual format with a funkier atmosphere — recycle dwood, exposed brick — where you order at the counter. The menu includes burgers, tacos, cheese fries and jalapeño bottle caps.
Mi Lindo Oaxaca
Taco Trail blogger José R. Ralat calls Mi Lindo "the one restaurant all seekers of authentic Mexican food should put at the top of their must-visit list." He knows! The menu has tacos but also unique dishes such as memelitas, corn discs topped with refried black beans, and the "Mexican pizza" called tlayuda, with house-made corn tortillas packed with refried black beans, lettuce, tomato, avocado, queso Oaxaca and choice of meat. There is also a labor-intensive exotic drink made from corn and chocolate, tejate, that Mi Lindo makes from scratch.
Club guys from The Mitchell partnered with chefs Brian Zenner (Oak, Belly & Trumpet) and Ann Marie Romero (Pakpao, Oak) to open this global-cuisine restaurant in Deep Ellum, in the prized space that previously housed Lemongrass. The sky's the limit as far as inspiration goes, be it Mexican, Moroccan or Thai; menu items include chicken wings and beef satay. The format is mostly snacks, with prices from $5 to $12.
When the first SuperChix opened in Arlington in 2014, it was cast as a prototype for an eventual international concept. But owner Yum Brands relented and opened a second branch of this Chick Fil-A challenger in North Dallas. Fried chicken tenders are the thing, which you can get in strips (in a cardboard box, yay) or on a bun in a sandwich. Other items on the small menu include above-average French fries, skin-on and not too thin, in three flavor options: salt, sweet, or rosemary and black pepper. There's also frozen custard in flavors that change, available as a dessert or in a shake.
You wanted new, you got it. This Chippendale's-type restaurant just opened at 4218 Lemmon Ave., in what was most recently Lolita's but has been many a sketchy concept over the past few years. A tallywacker is a stick used to keep score or count objects. A release calls the place a "bar, restaurant and entertainment smorgasbord featuring outstanding food and a handsome all-male waitstaff." You get to choose the waiter you want, by the way. The comfort-food menu has chicken-fried steak, pizza and hot dogs. Are you really going here for the food?
In case you hadn't heard, a third location of Austin-born sushi-eria Uchi from famed chef Tyson Cole has opened on Maple Avenue in Dallas. Oh, who are we kidding? If you're reading this, you've probably already eaten there. I mean, it's been open a full day already. Not to mention the soft opening last week, when on-top-of-it foodies like The Brad pored their way through the menu. It melds the best items from Uchi and sister concept Uchiko, with fish both hot and cold, and other exotic items like sake and desserts. Hurry, hurry!