Meso Maya cannot get here fast enough.
The Mexico City-style restaurant from Dallas-based El Fenix has announced two Fort Worth locations, one of them under construction in the Trinity Commons shopping center on South Hulen Street.
That would be the first upscale-Mex restaurant to open in the Tanglewood neighborhood, unless you count the new Taco Diner in the Waterside shops farther west.
And if any neighborhood is ready for an avocado margarita, it’s Tanglewood.
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South Fort Worth has been vastly underserved by Tex-Mex restaurants. Texas Christian University neighbors sip purple margaritas at Los Vaqueros TCU in the neighborhood or go to the flashier Pappasito’s near Trinity Park. Or they cross Eighth Avenue for traditional Tex-Mex at La Playa Maya or Benito’s.
The lack of margaritas near TCU is an anomaly that will be addressed whenever Meso Maya opens in place of a former seafood restaurant.
The company just opened its third location, in Dallas’ Lakewood neighborhood. The parent, Firebird Restaurant Group, developed the brand as an upscale counterpart to El Fenix. (In the same way, Cantina Laredo evolved from El Chico.)
Meso Maya is nicer enough to be completely different from El Fenix, but not much more expensive.
Lunch or brunch costs about $12. The lunch special ($12) includes pozole, soup or a house salad of greens, tomatoes and apple with a honey-lime vinaigrette, plus one enchilada or taco, rice and beans. (Yes, even a chicken mole enchilada.)
The dinner menu offers steak Oaxaca-style, a pork chop with calabacitas, cochinita pibil, chicken mole and seafood dishes such as a Herradura tamarind-glazed salmon or grilled salmon with coconut rice.
The company has been guarded about other openings. A downtown Meso Maya was planned.
Tortaco, a new tacos-and-margaritas concept, is expected to open within weeks at 910 Currie St.
Meso Maya’s flagship is at 1611 McKinney Ave., Dallas, alongside Woodall Rodgers Freeway next to El Fenix. The new location is at 4123 Abrams Road, with the other at 11909 Preston Road; mesomaya.com.
(Senior partner El Fenix is celebrating its 98th anniversary by offering $5.98 enchilada dinners through Sept. 25 with an emailed coupon. Register to win free dinners for a year; elfenix.com/register.)
Exit for enchiladas
In the old-school category of Tex-Mex, the original Pulido’s Mexican Restaurant has been quieter lately.
The 50-year-old first Pulido’s has been nearly hemmed in by roadwork, but that just means it’s easier to get the 1960s “old-fashioned” enchiladas with lettuce and tomato.
Look for it at 2900 Pulido St., behind a suites hotel off Interstate 30, four blocks east of Railhead Smokehouse; 817-732-7571. Or at other locations in Arlington, Hurst, Saginaw and outlying cities; pulidosrestaurant.com.
Wear purple for a deal
It’s another “Go Purple Friday” for TCU, and don’t miss out on dining deals.
Wear purple Friday for 20 percent off at Abuelo’s at Hulen Mall, 15 percent off at Torchy’s Tacos near Forest Park Boulevard, buy-one-get-one-free Cafe Brazil platters, $5 Pie Five Pizza or even a free Chick-fil-A at certain locations.
For details, see the “Fan Zone” at gofrogs.com.