If you ever visited La Perla, the Latin-influenced bar/restaurant in on Houston Street in downtown Fort Worth, you know it was small.
Good food, arguably better drinks, but not a big place. And then, after only a couple of years in business, it closed.
Turns out it’s a nice size for a bakery.
Not long after La Perla closed, Immy Khan, owner of Fort Worth’s Lunch Box restaurants and Black Rooster Bakery (and a partner in La Perla), announced that Black Rooster Cafe would be taking its place. It’s a spinoff of the Forest Park Boulevard bakery/sandwich shop that Khan took over from founder Marche Ann Mann a couple of years ago.
The downtown location opened Thursday morning. It’s a block from our office, which makes its selection of cookies, croissants, scones, muffins, macarons and sandwiches dangerously close. An assortment of a dozen large cookies, brought back to the Star-Telegram breakroom, was dispatched quickly.
Khan says that the pastries and the bread for the restaurant’s sandwiches are still made at the Forest Park location, then brought downtown.
He is working on expanding the original location and especially on a third location on Camp Bowie Boulevard, which will be adjacent to the original Lunch Box in the Village at Camp Bowie Boulevard. That one is due to open in September, but keep in mind that the original target date was May.
The downtown location kept pretty close to its mid-July target date. Remnants of La Perla remain, especially the pretty amethyst bar, which is no longer a bar but a display of baked goods.
The restaurant is open for breakfast and lunch. Beyond the pastries, breakfast offerings include a quiche, a sourdough biscuit with housemade jam and maple butter, savory “hand pies” (sausage or roasted potato, both with scrambled eggs and chedddar), Rooster breakfast (two eggs, two bacon or avocado slices), avocado toasts and a yogurt-granola combo. Top price is $7 for the Rooster breakfast.
Lunch, beginning at 11 a.m., includes a half-dozen sandwiches, including a big “Downtown Club” sandwich on brioche and the Parisian, a Black Rooster staple featuring thick-cut Boar’s Head Ham, European butter and sea salt on a baguette. Sandwiches range from $8.25 to $9.50, and are accompanied by small side salad.
Cookies included a few variations on chocolate chip, as well as coconut pecan, peanut butter, a flourless oatmeal peanut-butter/chocolate, snickerdoodle and oatmeal raisin.
Black Rooster also has a small assortment of macarons, including the blueberry-muffin flavor that was a hit at this year’s Fort Worth Food + Wine Festival and an outstanding coffee-flavored one with some added crunch from espresso beans in the ganache.
The bakery uses Marfa-based Big Bend Coffee and, Thursday, also had a roast from Fort Worth’s Avoca Cofee Co. Lattes and a handful of other coffee-based drinks are available, as are iced and hot teas and some bottled beverages.