New Suburban Eats

Black Walnut Cafe hopes to conquer Dallas suburbs with mega-menu

Black Walnut Cafe hopes to conquer Dallas suburbs with mega-menu

Asian tuna salad at Black Walnut Cafe
Asian tuna salad is one of more than a dozen salads on the menu at Black Walnut Cafe. Black Walnut Cafe/Facebook
Pork It Over sandwich at Black Walnut Cafe
Among the sandwich offerings: Pork It Over. Black Walnut Cafe/Facebook
Chicken and waffles at Black Walnut Cafe
The au courant brunch dish: chicken and waffles. Black Walnut Cafe/Facebook
Pasta at Black Walnut Cafe
A selection from Black Walnut Cafe's collection of pastas. Black Walnut Cafe/Facebook
Asian tuna salad at Black Walnut Cafe
Pork It Over sandwich at Black Walnut Cafe
Chicken and waffles at Black Walnut Cafe
Pasta at Black Walnut Cafe

Houston-based fast-casual chain Black Walnut Cafe is coming to the suburbs of Dallas, with the first restaurant opening in Allen in early 2014.

Established in 2002, Black Walnut Cafe has a contemporary American menu with a crazy-big number of items (more than 100), including make-your-own-omelets, tortilla soups, salads, tacos, burgers, grilled cheese sandwiches, pot roast and Asian tuna salad. It has a comfort-driven atmosphere with high-back chairs, wood paneling and high-definition TVs. The chain keeps long, customer-friendly hours, from 7 am for breakfast to dinner every night.

Its wine list is helpfully marked with categories for pairing including pasta, poultry, beef and spicy, and it has a line of foufy cocktails such as the Bubble Bath martini (white peach, cranberry, sparkling wine and Grand Marnier).

Black Walnut Cafe is a sibling of Hubbell & Hudson, a specialty market/bistro concept that supplies some of its goods. "The hot sauces on the table at Black Walnut Cafe are from Hubbell & Hudson, as well as the gelatos," says marketing manager Greg Evans.

Construction on the Allen location began in October. It's going in at 955 Stacy Rd., a mile or so west of 75. Black Walnut previously put dibs on locations in Coppell and Flower Mound, but Allen is the first out of the gate. "It's too soon to tell the exact opening date, but it will be early next year, and that will be followed by Coppell," Evans says.

"We tend to settle more in suburbia, like our Austin branch, which is on the outskirts of city. In the city center, you have more options. We're able to bring something new to the suburbs."