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Restaurant News for August

Posted Wednesday, Aug. 07, 2013  comments  Print Reprints
Cucumber Mojito Pop Makes 6 3-ounce ice pops 10 ounces fresh cucumber juice (See note) 6 ounces simple syrup (Hip Pop uses equal parts organic cane sugar and filtered water.) 2 ounces fresh lime juice 2 tablespoons mint leaves, chopped 1. Combine all ingredients and chill for two hours to allow mint to infuse throughout. 2. Pour into ice pop molds and freeze. Note: To make cucumber juice, use fresh, peeled cucumbers in your juicer or puree in a blender and strain.
506 Bloody Caesar Makes 1 drink 1 1/2 ounces vodka 8 ounces Bloody Mary mix 1/2 teaspoon diced jalapeños 1/2 teaspoon horse- radish 1 stalk celery, peeled 1 poached shrimp Lime wedge 1 green olive 1. Salt the rim of a 16-ounce pint glass and fill with ice. 2. Combine vodka, Bloody Mary mix, jalapeños and horseradish and stir. Pour over ice. 3. Garnish with peeled celery, poached shrimp, lime and olive.

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Young entrepreneur Justin Anderson founded Anderson Trail soft granola 10 years ago after finding the tough stuff hard on his braces. Now he’s back with new Woats Oatsnack — thick and indulgent clusters of oats combined with ingredients like nuts, berries, peanut butter, graham crackers and cookies and cream. Even tastier is Anderson’s mission to inspire kids and young adults to discover their passions. Now through October, $1 from bags purchased online will benefit Café Momentum, a local nonprofit that provides culinary job training for juvenile offenders. Also look for Woats Oatsnacks 10-ounce bags ($6) at Central Market stores. www.woats.com.


We’ve kept cool this summer with all-natural frozen treats from Grapevine’s new dessert destination, Hip Pop, opened recently by husband-and-wife duo and culinary school graduates Ben Bates and Rosy Gurung. Popsicles, slushes and shaved-ice selections are made from fresh fruit juice and purees, organic sugar, fresh herbs and filtered water, so we don’t have to worry about fake flavors, dyes or ingredients we can’t pronounce. Flavor combinations are creative, and names are hilariously hip-hop-inspired. Try the cucumber-lime jalapeño “Busta Limes,” the strawberry lemon “Ice Ice Berry” and the blueberry lemon “Tribe Called Zest.” We love the strawberry-basil pop and the cucumber juice-infused mojito pop (recipe shown here). Fruit slush mix-ins include basil and mint. And if you’re inclined to add a little chill to your end-of-summer soirees, Hip Pop can cater. 520 S. Main St., Suite 205, Grapevine, 817-527-4383, www.hippoptx.com.


While we miss the chic, Southern-inspired fare of the Milk & Honey Co., which closed in December, we’re happy local favorite Café Medi took over the cozy Old Town Keller space late last month. The restaurant has built a strong following in Hurst for Greek, Middle Eastern and Mediterranean cuisine, and its second location will reach its growing customer base in the Keller and Southlake area, says manager Elena Baker, daughter of owners Manos and Theresa Moursi. It’s a family affair here, as Baker’s uncle Mohamed El Matbloi is managing the Keller location, which offers a patio and private party room along with the same menu (including a hookah list) as the Hurst original. Find meza plates of hummus, baba ghanoush and tzatziki and hot plates of pastitsio (think Greek lasagna), lamb shanks, skewered meats and gyros. Bring your favorite Mediterranean wines, as the restaurant is BYOB. 129 Olive St., Keller, 817-337-3204, www.cafemedi.com.


When brothers Michael and Johnny Cisneros III were young boys, pretending to be “cowboys,” or vaqueros, was a favorite game. Now the restaurant named in their honor and founded by their parents, Kiki and Johnny Cisneros Jr., is marking 30 years as a Tex-Mex institution in Fort Worth. As part of a bevy of celebratory festivities, the restaurant will throw back longtime menu items to 1980s pricing Aug. 19-23 at all three locations. Plates will include Victoria’s #1, named for Vicki Cisneros, wife of Johnny III. On Aug. 23, customers can enjoy complimentary appetizers from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 5-7 p.m. We’re excited to taste libations from Los Vaqueros’ new cocktail menu, which will launch that day at the original Stockyards location, along with weekly Friday night live music on the outdoor garden patio. Colorful yet potent specialty tequila shots will include spicy watermelon, which features Tanteo jalapeño tequila, watermelon puree and fresh lime juice presented in a spicy-salt-rimmed shot glass. The celebration will culminate with a party on the patio at the family’s original restaurant, 2629 N. Main St., on Aug. 24, open to the public at 9 p.m. Additional locations at 3105 Cockrell Ave., Fort Worth, and 29 Crown Road, Weatherford; www.losvaqueros.com.


First the Sanford House Inn and Spa, Arlington’s premier bed-and-breakfast, updated its on-site dining venue with the opening of Restaurant 506, on the property inside the white-columned Manor House and offering a chef-driven menu of contemporary “inspired-American” dishes. Now the restaurant introduces a brunch menu together with new brunch cocktails. That includes one piquant Bloody Mary (recipe shown here), which spices up Sunday with the addition of jalapeños and horseradish. We like ours garnished with a poached shrimp. Also visit for crab cakes Benedict, which forgoes the English muffins for Dungeness crab cakes, as well as tamarind-glazed roasted quail and mascarpone honey-topped Belgian waffles. 506 N. Center St., Arlington, 817-801-5541, www.restaurant506.com.


With long lines and busy crowds at nearby Magnolia Avenue establishments, we’re thankful Hot Damn, Tamales! provides a bustle-free alternative. Now, in addition to being open for lunch or Sunday brunch, the tamale factory and restaurant is open Friday and Saturday nights for tapas, sangria, beer and live music. Our favorite small plates so far include tomato sauce-smothered goat cheese; causas, or chicken salad stuffed between stacks of Yukon gold potatoes; chicken empanadas and cucumber-tomato salad spooned over bruschetta. Each $5 dish is light and sharable and pairs well with the fruity, house-made sangria. 713 W. Magnolia Ave., Fort Worth, 817-926-9909, www.hotdamntamales.com.


Yet another gourmet taco shop? We were skeptical, until we saw exactly what 333’s Gourmet Tacos is doing in Colleyville. “Everyone has been cleaning their plates,” says Valarie Proudfoot, who co-owns the new restaurant with fellow foodie friend Jesse Ford. The two share a liking for the number three, as they both have three pets, have lived in three cities and have three members in each of their families. “It’s a lucky number type of thing,” Valarie says. The duo opened the casual eatery last month in the former location of From Across the Pond (which moved to North Richland Hills) and are sourcing market-fresh fish, curing their own bacon, making fresh salsas and cream sauces, and roasting all meats on site. It’s the first restaurant venture for both, but “We’ve been making food we wanted other people to eat for years,” Proudfoot says. Customer favorites so far include the surf-and-turf taco, with grilled steak and panko-breaded shrimp, and the Hawaiian-inspired poke fish tacos, marinated in lime juice and sesame oil and served with Asian cucumber sauce over a lettuce wrap. 3809 Colleyville Blvd., Colleyville, 817-760-0345, www.threethirtythrees.com.


Ridglea residents need not travel far for authentic Vietnamese cuisine now that Miss Saigon Café II is open in the former Sonny’s Diner space. The casual, order-at-the-counter eatery is a sister restaurant to Miss Saigon Café in Hurst, and owner Lydia Hont is serving up hot and hefty bowls of pho, the traditional Vietnamese noodle soup that’s served with a choice of protein (eye of round is popular) and fresh garnishes like basil, bean sprouts and limes. If August’s scorching temps don’t lend well to soup sipping, opt for refreshing spring rolls — rice paper neatly stuffed with lettuce and shrimp, pork, chicken or tofu — or the savory Shaking Beef Bo Luc Lac, marinated and stir-fried beef chunks served with sticky white rice and a green salad. Expect a crisp, white-tablecloth setting and a potentially long lunch line. 6220 Camp Bowie Blvd., Fort Worth, 682-841-0205, www.misssaigoncafeii.com.


“Fried chicken and champagne? Why the hell not?” This is the mantra of Max’s Wine Dive, a Houston-based gourmet comfort-food restaurant chain set to open a Fort Worth store late this month in the So7 development. Other musings from Max: “Pulled pork and prosecco?” (We’re listening.) “Haute dogs and shiraz?” (Sure!) Max’s has restaurants in Houston, Austin, Dallas and San Antonio and has built a following for its extensive wine selection (bottles are available for retail sale) and its popular jalapeño-buttermilk fried chicken served atop mashed potatoes with collard greens and Texas toast. Stefon Rishel, formerly of Sisu Uptown Resorts in Dallas, will be executive chef of the Fort Worth store. Expect Kobe beef hot dogs on artisan buns, shrimp and chorizo-cheddar grits, and grilled cheese with Gruyere, Provolone and red pepper pimento. Max’s will be open for dinner Monday through Sunday and for brunch and lunch Friday through Sunday. 2421 W. Seventh St., Fort Worth, www.maxswinedive.com.


M&O Station Grillis now open for breakfast seven days a week, serving green chile chicken omelets, huevos rancheros, buttermilk pancakes and breakfast burritos. The order-at-the-counter eatery is known for its award-winning hamburgers but has nixed dinner service for breakfast and lunch hours only. 200 Carroll St., Fort Worth, 817-882-8020.

LightCatcher Wineryhas released its 2012 Sunflower Blanc du Bois, a fruity yet dry white wine that’s yours to take home for $19 a bottle. Also new from the northwest Fort Worth winery are refreshing wine cocktails — chilled sippers that combine wine with creative ingredients. Varieties include the Texas Belle, with chardonnay, orange juice and French vanilla; and the Mint Sparkle, with champagne, fresh-muddled mint and sparkling cherry limeade. 6925 Confederate Park Road, Fort Worth, 817-237-2626, www.lightcatcher.com.

The 16th annual DFW Restaurant Weekpresented by Central Market begins Aug. 12, and reservations are being taken. The event runs up to three weeks and gives diners a chance to enjoy three-course dinners at dozens of fine-dining venues for $35 or $45, depending on the restaurant. Proceeds in Fort Worth benefit the Lena Pope Home. Mentionable menus this year include the Wild Mushroom’s first-course choices of pear and blue-cheese salad, French onion soup or porcini flan, and main-course choice of salmon, beef tenderloin or chicken coq au vin. Reata’s menu (available until Aug. 18) includes a bacon and egg green salad, choice of crusted tenderloin, pork shank or Texas redfish, and creme brulee or chocolate cake. Receive a complimentary fourth course at select DFW Restaurant Week participants with a voucher from Central Market, free with a purchase of $25 or more only while the vouchers last. www.dfwrestaurantweek.com

It’s Hatch Festival time at Central Market, and spicy festivities include cooking classes with Cowgirl Chef Ellise Pierce. “Hatch Chiles with a French Accent” will showcase flavors of the current crop with a menu of Hatch chile cheese puffs, cool gazpacho, galettes with shrimp and salsa, and fig and green chile tartlets. (Fort Worth, Aug. 9, 6:30 p.m., Southlake; Aug. 11, 4 p.m., $60) Visit through Aug. 20 to load up on the New Mexico chiles and pick up a chile storage bag, preprinted with freezing and storage instructions. www.centralmarket.com.

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