Nobody goes to a Mexico City-style restaurant for salad.
That’s no longer such a silly idea, now that we have choices such as Wild Salsa’s tropical spinach salad.
Five months into life in One City Place in downtown Fort Worth, Wild Salsa has brought along a new corporate cousin next door: the Dallas version of Chop House Burger.
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But if you’re looking for something fresh, bypass the burger shop’s premixed plastic-tub greens. Walk one door north for Wild Salsa’s salads.
A tropical spinach salad is made with spinach, arugula and mango, topped with grilled pineapple and a coconut-habanero vinaigrette. (Go light with the dressing, unless you want lunch to taste like a piña colada.)
It’s $9, or $15 with chipotle chicken. Wild Salsa also has elote as a side ($5).
The menu also offers a Mexican salad with shredded cabbage, roasted corn, black beans, pico de gallo, avocado and a cumin-agave vinaigrette.
As you might expect, salsas, seasonings and dressings are a highlight at Wild Salsa. Salsas include the basic “wild” habanero salsa, a poblano-pecan pesto, pineapple pico de gallo and a serrano-pepper molcajete salsa.
Lunch and Saturday brunch selections also include $9 tortas and $10 omelets or chilaquiles.
The restaurant also has basic fajitas, street tacos and enchiladas.
It’s decorated in a Day of the Dead theme. Don’t miss the complimentary mini-paletas by the door. Open for lunch and dinner daily except Sunday, 300 Throckmorton St., 682-316-3230, wildsalsarestaurant.com.
Pick a Chop
Next door to Wild Salsa, the Fort Worth version of downtown Dallas’ Chop House Burger is open for lunch and dinner daily; 682-312-8477, chophouseburger.com.
As an introduction, Chop House is offering a free shake to burger diners through March 31.
(Know your chops: This Chop House Burger is known for truffle-sauce burgers, truffle Parmesan fries and specialty milkshakes. It is not related to Chop House Burgers [plural] in Pantego or the nicer Mercury Chop House steakhouse and Sunday brunch buffet only two blocks south.)
Salads and salsas
Two other Tex-Mex restaurants worth trying just for salad:
▪ The Rio Mambo Tex-Mex y Más restaurants make salads a specialty, offering a choice of six including a Mazatlán salad with chicken, bacon, strawberries, blueberries and cilantro-honey dressing, or a “diablo” salad with chili-garlic chicken.
Rio Mambo has six locations, with a seventh to open soon in Burleson. The original in Cityview Centre, 6125 Southwest Loop 820, opened Sept. 11, 2001, the day the U.S. was attacked.
▪ Mariposa’s Latin Kitchen in west Fort Worth also serves a pineapple-mango tropical salad with jicama, a lime vinaigrette and a choice of grilled chicken, beef, shrimp, salmon or tilapia; $8.95-$15.99, 5724 Locke Ave., mariposaslatinkitchen.com.
Welcome to Americado
Americado, the new “food hall” concept restaurant, is open at 2000 W. Berry St.
Americado has stations offering separate menus of rotisserie chicken, tacos, enchiladas, seafood, drinks and coffees.
It’s a little awkward — it takes a while to get acclimated and understand the concept, and you have to wait in different lines — but the word is out about cochinita pibil tacos or rotisserie-chicken adobado, or any of the grilled fish, shrimp and ceviche dishes.
It’s open for lunch and dinner daily; 817-759-9107, americadofw.com.
Double BBQ helping
Besides the Fort Worth Food & Wine Festival barbecue event March 30, pitmasters are also in town for a national barbecue conference and tasting event April 1.
For a $95 ticket, barbecue fans can go to both events. The National Barbecue & Grilling Association’s BBQ Bash at Billy Bob’s Texas will feature “Famous Dave” Anderson; Barrett Black of Black’s in Lockhart; Southern barbecue stars from The Shed in Ocean Springs, Miss., and Big Bob Gibson BBQ in Decatur, Ala.; and many more.
Tickets to most Fort Worth Food & Wine events March 30-April 1 remain, except for the sold-out burger event in Clearfork Park. They’re available at fortworthfoodandwinefestival.com.
Read more about the NBBQA event at nbbqa.org.