Eats Beat: After 46 years, Pulido’s adding more spice, new patios

12/24/2013 12:00 AM

12/20/2013 4:03 PM

Ten years after losing founders Dionicia and Pedro Pulido, their descendants are shaping a new Pulido’s.

The regional Tex-Mex restaurants now serve Hatch green chile tamales and nine other flavors. The tacos, enchiladas and stews now use Nolan Ryan beef.

Majority owner Bobby Pulido promises remodeling and new decor for several of the 10 locations, and more hands-on involvement by third-generation Pulidos.

“We’ve stayed quiet too long,” he said.

“We have a lot of great customers who’ve been with us years. Now we’re coming together to move Pulido’s forward.”

Pulido’s opened in 1967, after railroad worker Pedro started out by selling tamales to co-workers.

The family restaurants seemed more authentic than the then-leading El Chico or El Fenix chains. The Pulidos had to close midafternoon just to make enough pralines.

One son, Phil Pulido, broke away in 1970 to open now-gone Don Felipe nearby. The restaurants grew and also won the outside contract to help popularize queso pour-over “ballpark nachos,” first served here in the 1970s at the old Arlington Stadium.

Now, the family sells chips, salsa, tamales and pralines to dozens of other small restaurants.

This holiday, Pulido’s will sell 10,000 dozen tamales to go, Pulido said. New flavors include jalapeño-chicken and vegetarian bean-cheese-jalapeño.

“When we started, people would say everything was ‘too hot, too hot,’ but nowadays people want something hot,” he said.

He still likes the Pulido’s “old-fashioned” enchiladas with a milder chili gravy instead of Texas chili con carne. (It’s a local specialty also served at Los Vaqueros.)

The original Pulido Street location will get a new awning in the remodeling and new paint to draw attention to its backstreet location four blocks east of Flying Fish and Railhead, Pulido said.

The popular Hurst location will get patio upgrades, as will Benbrook.

Pulido’s is at 2900 Pulido St., Fort Worth, and in eight surrounding cities; 817-732-7571, pulidosrestaurant.com.

•  Osiel Ortiz of TPR Burger doesn’t need to spell his name.

“Just call me ‘Ozzy,’ ” he said last week, as crowds started to grow at his new burger grill on Basswood Boulevard near Watauga.

TPR originally was a grill named Tex Philly Revolution. Now, it’s a reference to the “ Texas Patty Real” burgers.

TPR’s burgers are flavorful doubles, like those at Five Guys, but served on a sweet Hawaiian bun like at Dutch’s or Johnny B’s.

TPR has a lower price point: All burgers with fries are $6.99, regardless of toppings. The menu has about 15 varieties.

It’s open daily at 5601 Basswood Blvd., Suite 197; 817-503-1839, facebook.com/tpr.burger.

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