Popsicles, sausage and authentic Mexican on the menu of May’s DFW restaurant report

Carolyn Phillips owns Alchemy Pops.Max Faulkner - mfaulkner@star-telegram.com

Bienvenido, Meso Maya

Meso Maya’s Pork Pibil
Social Circle
photos by Joyce Marshall

 

Fort Worth’s first Meso Maya location opened in Trinity Commons early this month, bringing Mexico City-style fare to the Tanglewood neighborhood. Patrons won’t find chili cheese enchiladas or queso sauce at this upscale concept, which originated from the Dallas-based Firebird Restaurant Group that also owns El Fenix and Tortaco. Instead, menu items are more refined, and standouts include tamarind-glazed Scottish salmon, Oaxaca strip loin, short rib chile rellenos and avocado margaritas. The restaurant features the cuisine of chef Nico Sanchez, who worked in Mexico before heading to Dallas to helm the kitchens of Cuba Libre, The Porch and Hibiscus. Visit for lunch and dinner daily and Saturday and Sunday brunch. 3050 S. Hulen St., Suite A, Fort Worth, 682-316-8266, www.mesomaya.com.

 

Links to Love

Salty Pig sausageRoss Hailey - rhailey@star-telegram.com

 

Nick Walker learned how to make sausage at a Seattle butcher shop before following his future wife, Rachel Upson, to her hometown of Fort Worth. Last year they launched The Salty Pig Sausage Co., creating link sausages, breakfast sausage and bratwurst in seasonal varieties using as many local ingredients as possible. This month they’ll bring back the popular jalapeño-peach sausage, made with peaches from Baugh Farms in Wills Point that they debuted last year, as well as blueberry-honey breakfast sausage made with Texas honey and blueberries from Fort Worth-based Frankie’s Fresh Foods. The couple grinds their own meat, blends their own seasonings and creates their own recipes. Find them at The Clearfork Farmers Market each Saturday morning until noon. 4801 Edwards Ranch Road, Fort Worth, 817-731-7396. www.farmersmarket1848.com. For local deliveries, email saltypigfw@gmail.com.

 

Opening with a Pop

Max Faulkner - mfaulkner@star-telegram.com

 

After launching her gourmet frozen pop mobile catering business two years ago, Texas Christian University alumna Carolyn Phillips was able to quit her full-time job last year thanks to its success. Now Alchemy Pops has opened its first pop shop, sharing space with Simply Fit Meals in Fort Worth. Alchemy has taken over the covered patio, selling handmade pops daily in flavors like blood orange margarita, grapefruit hibiscus, vanilla rosemary orange and cold brew coffee and cream. Phillips sources ingredients locally, including dairy and produce from local farmers. “We’re always trying to connect people to food in a meaningful way, but that also helps us to create really quality flavors,” she says. Visit noon-6 p.m. Monday through Saturday, noon-4 p.m. Sunday. A standalone location will open on South Main Street this fall. 1116 Eighth Ave,, Fort Worth, 817-502-2026, www.alchemypops.com.

 

Circle of Life

Basil Chili Chicken DrumettesJoyce Marshall - jlmarshall@star-telegram.com

 

Southlake has a new hot spot for after-work relaxing with the recent opening of Social Circle Bistro inside the new Cambria Hotel. The contemporary-yet-casual restaurant and bar launches happy hour this month featuring live music and specials on small plates, burgers, salads and shareable apps (think pretzel bites with beer-cheese fondue and Buffalo blue cheese chicken lollipops). The specialty cocktails are sure-fire conversation starters, like the watermelon and jalapeño-infused Smoke on the Water, shaken with mezcal, or the Shinebox, which combines bourbon with black tea simple syrup. Many local craft beers are also available by the pint in the bright and open space, which is outfitted with high-top tables, banquettes, booths with individual flat-screen TVs, and plenty of plugs and USB ports for recharging while relaxing. 2104 E. Texas 114, Southlake, 817-329-1010, www.cambriasouthlakedfw.com.

 

A Winning Brunch

French Ham BenedictBread Winners photo by Kevin Marple. Salty Pig by Ross Hailey.

 

A longtime Dallas hot spot for Sunday brunch, Bread Winners will open its first Fort Worth location late this month in University Park Village. Buttermilk biscuits with homemade jam, fruit Danishes and warm cinnamon rolls are just a few of the restaurant and bakery’s popular fresh-baked goods. But brunchgoers also visit for crabcake Benedicts, banana bread French toast and “hangover elixirs” like champagne brunch punch and frozen blood orange mimosas. The location will feature a large wine wall separating four semi-private dining rooms, covered patio and spacious bar. Can’t wait for a taste? Take a trip to the recently opened Trophy Club location for a preview. 1612 S. University Drive, Fort Worth, www.breadwinnerscafe.com.

 

Angelo’s Side Project

Ross Hailey - rhailey@star-telegram.com

 

In the world of old school barbecue, menu changes are huge news. Which is why there’s so much excitement surrounding the new side dishes debuting at Angelo’s Bar-B-Que. The beloved barbecue joint is set to mark its 60th anniversary next year, and forever had offered only beans, potato salad and coleslaw to complement its slow-roasted meats. Now, however, that list has doubled with the addition of seasoned green beans, smoked mac-and-cheese and smoked corn on the cob. Other still-newish items include pulled pork, pork loin, brisket tacos and stuffed baked potatoes. Third-generation owner and pitmaster Jason George (grandson of founder Angelo George) represented the restaurant at the fourth annual Fort Worth Food + Wine Festival BBQ Showdown event in March, where his tender pork ribs were a contender for the fan favorite award. 2533 White Settlement Road, Fort Worth, 817-332-0357, angelosbbq.com.

 

Pass the Biscuits, Y’all

 

Savor the best of Southern cuisine during Central Market’s Taste the South event, a two-week festival taking place May 17-30. Stores will be brimming with products and dishes from the Carolinas, Georgia, Tennessee, Virginia, Kentucky, Mississippi and Alabama, including tomato pies, specialty hams, blue crab, Southern greens and more. Cooking classes will highlight everything from biscuits and gravy and Southern seafood to homemade pies and cornbread. On May 22 at the Fort Worth store, chefs, cookbook authors and TV hosts Nathalie Dupree and Virginia Willis will teach “Mastering the Art of Southern Cooking, Y’all.” Menu items will include field pea and butter bean salad, stone ground grits with smoked turkey and collard greens, buttermilk biscuits, and meringue baskets with berries and boiled custard (6:30 p.m., $70 per person). A family-style community dinner outside (weather permitting) featuring Southern food expert Rebecca Lang will take place at the Southlake store May 17 (7 p.m., $130 per couple). 4651 West Freeway, Fort Worth, 817-989-4700, and 1425 E. Southlake Blvd., Southlake, 817-310-5600. www.centralmarket.com.

 

Mason & Dixie on the Move

Braised short ribs, flash sauteed collards and parmesian grits at Mason & Dixie Restaurant in Grapevine, Tuesday, April 11, 2017.Rodger Mallison - rmallison@star-telegram.com

 

This month, Mason & Dixie opens in historic downtown Grapevine, its first standalone location since its 2013 start inside the Grapevine Antique Market. The big move means the Southern chic restaurant, popular with ladies who lunch, and for birthdays and baby and bridal showers, will get a fresh look in the form of soft grays and eclectic decor by chef and owner Beth Newman, a former interior designer. But the menu, which offers mainly salads, sandwiches, soups and desserts like coconut cream pie and brown sugar bread pudding, will remain mostly the same. Specials will include heavier dishes such as braised short ribs with Parmesan grits and sauteed greens, as well as fried catfish on Fridays. Brunch hours will be added, and there’ll be a stronger focus on quality coffee, which will come from Ascension coffee roasters in Dallas. Friday and Saturday dinner service will start later this year. Mason & Dixie will continue to sell seasonal and home decor items and hostess gifts. Newman expects a late May opening. 603 S. Main St., Grapevine, 817-707-2111.

 

Eddy T Takes Colleyville

Lobster WontonRoss Hailey - rhailey@star-telegram.com

 

After attempting upscale Thai concepts in flashy locations in Montgomery Plaza and West 7th in Fort Worth, noted chef Eddy Thretipthuangsin has settled down in quieter Colleyville with the opening of Sai Fine Asian Bistro. Located in a hidden shopping strip center, the restaurant combines a taste of both Bite City Grill and Kin Kin Thai with classic dishes like pad Thai and curry chicken, as well as five spice duck and 48-hour braised short ribs. “Chef Eddy T,” as he is known, calls the new restaurant “the life and soul” of both his former projects together in one venue, and he’s especially excited about the move to Colleyville. “It’s like a small town in the big city,” he says. “It’s very charming — everybody knows everybody.” Sai is open for dinner daily, and a full bar with beer, wine and craft cocktails will open this month. 5005 Colleyville Blvd., Colleyville, 682-325-4050, www.sai-restaurant.com.

 

Notebook

NM Café at the new Neiman Marcus in Fort Worth will offer a special Mother’s Day lunch menu May 14. Guests can choose from spring vegetable quiche, croque madame, pan-seared halibut and a signature tea sandwich medley. The new NM Café features a full bar and contemporary atmosphere on the store’s second level. 5200 Monahans Ave., Fort Worth, 817-989-4650, www.neimanmarcus.com.

 

The 33rd Annual Grapevine Main Street Fest — A Craft Beer Experience will take place May 19-21 in historic downtown Grapevine. Located in Liberty Park, the Craft Brew Experience will offer festival-goers craft beer samples from regional and out-of-state breweries and rare cask tastings to be tapped at various times. Tasting tickets are $15 in advance and $18 at the festival, and the price is in addition to Main Street Days’ $7 adult admission. For more information and to buy tickets online, visit www.grapevinetexasusa.com.

 

Grace will host a Ravenswood Wine Dinner with winemaker Joel Peterson, highlighting his California chardonnay, red blends and zinfandels, on May 25. The five-course dinner from executive chef Blaine Staniford will feature house-cured and smoked meats and fish, dry-aged duck, suckling pig, Wagyu beef strip and zinfandel poached cherry cheesecake (7 p.m., $135 per person). 777 Main St., Fort Worth, 817-877-3388, www.gracefortworth.com.

 

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