DeLuxe Bar & Grille is so much more.Young local chef Aaron Nelson brings a first-rate Dallas comfort-food background to the former steakhouse space in Montgomery Plaza, delivering a chef’s touch but at $10-$15 prices.Nobody knew quite what to expect when the owners of Sushi Axiom next door partnered with Otto’s DeLuxe Grille in Houston to work on a new daily-dining concept.Nelson kept the DeLuxe menu from Houston but added dishes he perfected in kitchen tours at the Screen Door and the Commissary, including Tabasco shrimp over jalapeño-cheddar grits, and a garlic-herb roasted chicken with buttercream mashed potatoes.In Dallas, those were $20 or $25 dinners. At DeLuxe, they’re $13 to $15 all day. The menu tops out at $16 for glazed grilled salmon, and a dinner for two with dessert last week landed at less than $40.If you miss Mac’s chicken-fried steaks in this space, DeLuxe has a first-rate rendition made from hand-cut round steak ($12.50). I was halfway through it last week before I realized I wasn’t even using a knife.“We’re trying to do fresh, but not expensive,” said Nelson, son of an early chef at what is now the Renaissance Worthington downtown.“We want this to be for everyone.”The result is a menu close to an upscale-diner concept, with a full bar and breakfasts beginning at 7 a.m. weekends.“Brunch is a cliché,” Nelson said.“In Fort Worth, we’re doing breakfast. Everybody has breakfast.”Other dishes include lettuce wraps, fresh-ground burgers, flatbreads and an appetizer platter with red-pepper hummus and avocado fries.The dining room music is a notch louder than in the old steakhouse, and the pace quicker.DeLuxe Bar & Grille is open for lunch and dinner weekdays, adding breakfast weekends; 2600 W. Seventh St. (in the rear near West Fifth Street, cater-corner to Chick-fil-A), 817-877-0087. The menu isn’t online, but it’s vaguely like the menu at ottosdeluxegrille.com.M-town MediterraneanMansfield has gone 100 years without a Mediterranean restaurant.Soon, it will have two. Kanary Mediterranean Grill is open in a former Tex-Mex restaurant at 1007 E. Broad St. It’s the first for owner Enam Mustafa. Raz Mediterranean Cafe is near opening at 1071 Country Club Drive, a new venture for Lisa Razmjookhah and former Arlington restaurateur Hamid Razmjookhah.Babe’s, Joe T.’s: No. 1? Texas Country Reporter is polling viewers again, and three local favorites are on the ballot. Babe’s Chicken Dinner House’s original Roanoke location is one of six restaurants in the “best fried chicken” voting. For the best Tex-Mex in Texas, the six choices include Joe T. Garcia’s Mexican Dishes in Fort Worth and Dallas-based El Fenix Restaurants.The entire ballot is online at texascountryreporter.com /txbpollsfood.htm. Past polls ranked Mary’s Cafe in Strawn and Jake & Dorothy’s Cafe in Stephenville 1-2 for the state’s best chicken-fried steak and Fred’s Texas Cafe as the No. 3 burger.
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