Not everybody understands the Mesquite Pit restaurants.
They’re more Texas country steakhouses than smokehouses. If you order barbecue or fried food, you’re missing the mesquite-grilled platters where Mesquite Pit really shines.
That confusion and some basic opening-month kinks — limited signage and a rookie staff — made the new Pit’s grand opening in Granbury a bumpy ride.
If you went and it was hectic, go back. This time, get something grilled: steak, chicken, salmon or the 10-ounce pork chop.
The original Mesquite Pit opened in Breckenridge nearly 30 years ago.
Ever since, the Maynard family’s restaurants in Weatherford, Mineral Wells and now Granbury have defined West Texas steakhouses for folks who can’t make it as far as Perini Ranch near Abilene or Lowake Steak House near San Angelo.
One night last week, the dining room was busy and customers on the patio over Lake Granbury were fending off a persistent flock of hungry geese.
This wasn’t the night for one of the huge rib-eyes ($24.99 up to 1 1/4 -inch-thick, $37.99). But for $13.99, the 10-ounce, mesquite-grilled double-cut pork chop is a stunning bargain.
The side dishes and dinner salad are routine. So get a loaded baked potato, and maybe on the side some fried pickles or chicken-fried bacon. For dessert, there’s cake or cobbler.
The Mesquite Pit replaced the Brazos Motel on the lakefront off East Pearl Street, between U.S. 377 and the downtown square at the turn to Northeast Loop 567. When you’re at the west end of the Pearl Street bridge, start looking to the south.
It’s open daily for lunch and dinner; 919 E. Pearl St., 817-579-9113, mesquitepit.com.
More of Olivella’s
The popular Dallas-based pizzeria’s new Village at Camp Bowie location needed more choices and lunch specials, so a new menu adds both.
Besides artisan pizzas in regular or thin crust, Olivella’s now serves six pasta platters for $12-$15, including a new cheese ravioli with vodka cream sauce; seven sandwiches, including a new chicken pesto sandwich with provolone; and a “Diavola” pizza with capicola and jalapeño.
The broader menu gives Olivella’s more varied selections than competitors such as Cane Rosso or Thirteen Pies. The pastas and salads may also appeal to the established Ridglea neighborhood, and are a change of pace from nearby Campisi’s.
Olivella’s is sending its pizza truck to a mystery location every Wednesday to give away free pizzas, with the location announced that day on social media.
It’s open for lunch and dinner daily at 6333 Camp Bowie Blvd., in the former burger grill in front of The Lunch Box; 817-439-7676, facebook.com/OlivellasOnCampBowie.
El Cerrito arrives
The new El Cerrito Mexican Bar & Grill is open in Lakeside, replacing 60-year landmark Vance Godbey’s.
Diners lined up Sunday for tables, waiting alongside tubs of longneck beers where customers used to spoon up helpings of vegetables and salad.
The Garcia family moved their restaurant from Reno. (The original owners, the Rangels, had sold that location and now have El Cerrito Cantina in Springtown.)
El Cerrito Lakeside uses the old Vance Godbey’s smoker for fajitas, tacos and chipotle-barbecue ribs. The basic Tex-Mex menu includes a few unusual dishes such as nachos toreados (with grilled jalapeños, $7.25/$9.25) or avocado enchiladas filled with guacamole and topped with sour cream sauce ($7.95).
It’s open for lunch and dinner daily; 8601 Jacksboro Highway (Texas 199), Lakeside, 682-316-4980 or 682-316-4981.
A dip cone, please
It’s become a Blizzard explosion.
More than a dozen new Dairy Queen locations have opened in Tarrant County in the past year, including a new East Loop 820 location convenient to much of Fort Worth.
The new location on Bridge Street at Bridgewood Drive includes an open grill and a pastry section for frozen DQ cakes and frozen cupcakes.